Late at night in my room, I reflected on what happened during the day.
Within the otherwise quiet room, Catherine hummed with licorice still in her mouth.
“What is it~ Claire-chan?”
“What do you think of the Commoner’s Movement?”
“The commoner’s movement~?”
I felt Catherine shifting around on the bunk above me.
As she usually did, she let herself hang upside down from the top bunk and looked straight at me.
“What’s up~ Bringing that up all of a sudden?”
“I saw some activists involved with the commoner’s movement today on the academy grounds.
They were quite the eyesore, so much so that I lashed out at Lene…”
“Ahh, so you were worried about that~”
The commoner’s movement was a notion that advocated for equality between nobles and commoners.
They held no regard for noblesse oblige, nor the history or wealth that we nobles painstakingly built up, and blindly advocated for equality.
“Could you explain what happened in detail~?”
I recounted today’s events to Catherine.
That we had come across activists, that they then called to the commoner to join their cause, that Lambert stepped in to mediate, that Lene then made a statement that seemed supportive of the movement, and that I had rebuked her for it.
“Mm, that’s tough~”
“There’s nothing tough about it.
Nobles and commoners could never be equal, it’s unthinkable.”
If such a thing ever came to pass, our society would surely collapse.
The majority of commoners couldn’t even read.
If we were to give them authority on par with the current nobles, I had no doubts that both the kingdom’s government and law enforcement would grind to a halt.
To me, their petitions sought nothing more than an irrational delusion.
That was precisely why I reflexively snapped at Lene when she spoke to protect them.
I doubt she had allowed herself to be stained by their beliefs, but she too was a commoner.
Even if it was nothing more than a lofty dream, perhaps anyone would be drawn toward a movement that offered a better life.
I was worried…Though there were no signs as of yet, what if one day she did choose to support the commoner’s movement?
“First off~ Why do you think the commoners want equality?”
Catherine asked me that question in her usual relaxed tone.
“Aren’t they just being greedy? I’m sure they envy our lifestyles… Even though they know nothing of the strict mannerisms, customs, and responsibilities that come with it.”
There was no arguing that the we nobles were wealthier than the commoners.
We also received the blessing of education, but there was a proper reason for all that.
In times of war, we held the duty to lead soldiers in battle.
In times of peace, we nobles were responsible for managing the land and the well being of its people.
Because of the heavier burden we bore, we required the proper knowledge, refinement, judgment, and armaments.
Simply put, there was more than adequate justification that us nobles should be noble.
We were different from the common folk who simply went about their lives carefree.
“Yup, I definitely think there’s some truth to everything that you’ve said, Claire-chan.
But you know~, isn’t it also true that you yourself don’t really know much about the commoners?”
Catherine tilted her head while still hanging upside down from the upper bunk.
“That’s not true, there are plenty of them around me.
For example Lene and that commoner.
Besides, don’t we learn plenty about the commoner’s lifestyle during our academy lectures?”
It would be impossible to govern territory without knowledge of the commoners who lived in it.
Commoners were but irrational human sloths, driven only by their selfish whims.
We were taught as such at the academy.
“Mmm… I think that understanding is pretty biased though~”
“In what way?”
I sulked in response to Catherine’s rebuttal.
First it was Lene, now even Catherine seemed to side with the commoners!
“First off, whether we’re talking about Lene-chan or Rei-chan, the commoners around you are es-pe-cial-ly unique, you know?”
“Again, in what way?”
“I mean, Lene-chan is the sole daughter of an extremely wealthy family, and Rei-chan is talented enough to attend our academy.
Don’t you see why they might not be the greatest examples of what most commoners may be like~?”
Catherine did have a point.
Lene’s family owned and operated the Orso Market, a large trading company that mined and distributed all of the magic gems within the kingdom.
Frankly put, their financial prowess surpassed some of the poorer nobility.
Even that troublesome commoner that was normally nothing more than a thorn in my side displayed a remarkable understanding in the cultures, had acquired formal mannerisms that a commoner normally never could, and when it came to magic, her control was world class.
I could not deny that it was implausible to use those two as a sample of commoners as a whole.
“Not to mention what the academy teaches about commoners is pretty off too you know~? They teach an image of the commoners as seen by governors and rulers, elite nobles who only stand far above them.
It’s a perception specifically meant to be taught to those in power~”
According to Catherine, the commoners as portrayed in lectures were assumed to be lazier, greedier, and more barbaric than they truly were.
This was done to make it easier for those who stood in positions of power to envision and understand the worst case and work against it.
She told me that not all of the commoners fit under the model that I had been taught.
“… You seem to have quite the detailed understanding of commoners, don’t you?”
“Well yeah, I mean my mom was a commoner, and for some time I even lived my life as one~”
While she may be a daughter to the Achard lineage, as an illegitimate child, she had always been treated coldly.
If her mother had been a noble, even if she was an illegitimate child, she would have received proper treatment.
Unfortunately, she was in this difficult situation specifically because she had been born to a common mother.
Strictly speaking, Catherine did not hold nobility by birth.
She was born as a commoner, only brought into the Achard family when Clément-sama called for her to become his political tool.
“… I… Catherine, is it possible that I’ve unknowingly been hurting you?”
“No, not at all~ I’ve long since gotten used to my life as a noble, to the point where I don’t even think of myself as a former commoner anymore~”
“Is that so… I’m relieved to hear that.”
Catherine paused and looked straight into my eyes.
“But Claire-chan, I do think that it would be best if you knew a little more about commoners~”
“One day, Claire-chan will become the next Finance Minister’s wife, right~ When that happens, to prevent your future husband treating commoners unjustly, I’d like you to become someone who can consider them fairly~”
Catherine put on a bright smile.
“I’m already receiving the education that I’ll need to serve as the Finance Minister’s wife.”
“Yup, I’m sure that you are~ But, since you’ve got the opportunity, why don’t you take an extra step and learn a little more about them? You never know how it might come handy~”
“… I’m not so sure…”
I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the idea.
“That’s fair, I just wanted to offer my perspective and I hope you’ll keep it in mind~ but in the end it’s up to you, Claire-chan~”
I’m sorry that I brought up such an outlandish topic so suddenly.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
With that Catherine pulled herself back up onto her bed… Or so I had thought, until her head once again poked back out from behind the upper bunk to peer at me.
“It could be good to think what it might be like if you yourself were to become a commoner~”
“If I were to become a… commoner…?”
“That’s simply impossible.”
“I mean, just as a hypothetical~ Like a mental exercise to develop your imagination, just give it a try~!”
“… I’ll consider it.”
Well then, sweet dreams~”
“Yes, good night to you too.”
Catherine settled back into her bed.
I, on the other hand, lay still and contemplated her words.
“If I… a commoner…?”
The thought was just so unrealistic that no matter how much I tried, any scenario that I thought of just seemed too far removed from reality.
Translator Comment: Catherine… do you know something…?
You'll Also Like
lost in the after lifeChapter 4 14 hours ago
A Mob’s Disastrous LifeChapter 5 14 hours ago
Bitter Fangs Against The MoonChapter 4 14 hours ago
He’s my FairytaleChapter 8 14 hours ago
The Rulers WorldChapter 10 14 hours ago
I am already dad at collegeChapter 9 14 hours ago
materaChapter 4 14 hours ago
Gladiatrix SystemChapter 10 14 hours ago
Is It Really Really Love?Chapter 5 14 hours ago
I Became the Villain’s WifeChapter 11 8 hours ago
Quick Transmigration System: The Rise Of The Ultimate VillainChapter 2 14 hours ago
Ancient Dragon’s OrendaChapter 7 14 hours ago