She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 8

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Dor François

※From Dor François’ perspective.

Once Claire and the head maid had left the room, I once again looked at the girl before me.
While she did appear somewhat nervous, she showed no signs of fear.
To be able to hold such composure in this situation, her courage was impressive.

“…“

This girl knew my connection with the resistance.
She had stated the correct amount of my donation, its date, and the name of the resistance’s treasurer.
I had taken full precaution, making sure the money trickled down many independent sources, so there should have been no way for anyone to trace the funds back to me.
I needed to find the source of the leak.
While the girl before me appeared to be the same age as Claire, there was no way that she was just some ordinary girl.
I pitied her, but there was no way that I could let her leave this mansion alive.

“Now then… Just who are you? How much do you know?”

Killing her would be simple, but before that I needed to extract information.
The road toward the revolution was still long.
If my plans had already leaked, I would need to account for that and make the appropriate adjustments.

“Your Grace, first I would like to clarify that I am not your enemy.”
“Hmph.
Then what do you claim to be?”
“Your Grace, I am your ally.
Your Grace harbors the burdens of a grand ambition, and I wish to be of assistance.”

The girl lowered her head.

“Your name?”
“I am Rei Taylor.”
“And you’re a commoner?”
“Yes.”
“I heard that you want to become Claire’s maid?”
“I do.
However, that is but a drop in the bucket.
From the very bottom of my heart, I want to save Claire-sama.”
“…”

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I had to swallow back my surprise.
Why does she know about that? I had never mentioned the full extent of my plans to anyone, not even Arla or Irvine.

“There is something I must confirm.”
“By all means.”
“You claim to know of my ambitions, but to what degree? Tell me everything that you know.”
“Of course.”

Under my order, the girl spoke without hiding a single thing.
She knew that I wanted to purge the corrupt aristocratic system.
That, in order to do so, I had been making secret donations to the resistance.
That in the long run, I intended to induce a kingdom wide insurrection and sacrifice myself as a symbol of the corrupt system.
She even knew that I intended to sacrifice my daughter in it all.

“Your Grace, I hold nothing but respect for the ideals you seek.
However, I cannot bear to allow Claire-sama to perish.
Please let me save Claire-sama.”

The girl―Rei Taylor concluded with those words.

“How did you come to know all of this?”
“I do not believe that you’d believe me even if I tried to explain.”
“I am the one who will decide that.
Speak.”
“… Okay.”

What Rei spoke of was certainly not something simple to accept.
She claimed that she had come to this world from another, that this world was created by and existed in hers as a stage for a fictional story, and that she had full knowledge of everything that would happen in that story from this point onward.
Under normal conditions her tale would be something that I’d brush aside…

But Rei truly knew the full extent of my plans.
Not only that, she went so far as to prophesize future events that she claimed would certainly happen.
If what she said was to be believed, in the near future, Mount Sassal would erupt and Bauer would be brought to its knees.
She went so far as to say that we should take advantage of the situation! If this were all an act, then she was undoubtedly the greatest showwoman.

Now that it had come to this, there was no point for me to continue my act as a putrid noble.
I changed my disposition toward Rei.

“You’ll believe me?”
“… I don’t have much of a choice.
So? What specifically do you intend with Claire?”

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“Your Grace, while I’m afraid that my answer may infringe on your values, let me be clear and say that I am in love with Claire.”
“What?”
“Of course, as a commoner, I don’t hold any lofty ambitions to join her in matrimony… But I would like to be as close to her as possible and serve by her side.”
“…”
“Your Grace, you seem to believe that there’s no choice but to involve Claire in your plans, but I have a way to avoid that outcome.”

Rei’s eyes contained true earnesty.
Though I could not understand the ins and outs of homosexuality, I could tell her concern for Claire was genuine.
She was not lying.

No, I didn’t mind even if she was.
If it meant saving my daughter’s life, I’d even hand my soul over to the devil.
If it were possible, of course I’d want my daughter to live! But even if she lived past the revolution, could Claire, who had only ever known the lifestyle of a noble, truly find a new lifestyle? Unable to bear the living conditions, I was near certain that she’d immediately put a knife to her own throat.

“How do you intend to avoid it?”
“We’ll have Claire-sama stand along with those against the aristocracy.”
“… Go on?”
“Though it may be painful for Your Grace to endure, we’ll have Claire-sama publicly oppose you.”

The blueprint that the girl laid out was as follows.
Mount Sassal’s eruption would cause massive casualties within the kingdom.
Claiming that it was for the kingdom’s restoration, we would increase the taxes and incur the ire of the people.
We would guide the situation to a point where I was the figurehead behind the corrupt aristocracy, and Claire would openly voice her objections against me.

“I really don’t believe it will be that simple.”
“I understand that, but I will show you that I can see it through”
“And to do so, you need to become Claire’s maid, is that right?”
“Yes.
Claire-sama still doesn’t hold any doubts toward her status as a noble.
I doubt that she has even tried to take a proper look at the current problems that the kingdom faces.”

Rei claimed that she would change all that.

“We will have Claire-sama serve as the star of the revolution.
This way, even if she loses her status as a noble, she should be able to live proudly.”

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“I see…”

It wasn’t as though Rei’s suggestion had never crossed my own mind, but to achieve it I’d need a cooperator that could change Claire.
If there was someone that I felt I could entrust Claire to, I would have begged for their help even if it meant prostrating myself.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone capable of protecting Claire both physically and emotionally whom I could trust even after explaining my and the kingdom’s circumstances.
In other words, it was the first idea that I had ruled out.

But now, Rei was saying that she would take on that role.
Not just that, but also that she’d get Claire to see the kingdom’s issues for what they were and push Claire to grow.
I had not factored in my daughter’s potential growth into my plans.
It appeared that I had failed as her father.

“… I see what you’re saying.”

At least for the time being, I decided to trust Rei.
She seemed to be quite capable so rather than disposing of her as a preventative measure, I decided that it would be best to include her in my plans.

“I will allow you to become Claire’s maid.”
“Thank you.”
“Send me regular reports on the detailed situation.
We need to align our plans.”
“Certainly.”
“I assume that we’ll be keeping our schemes a secret from Claire?”
“Yes.
If Claire-sama were to find out I’m sure that she would oppose us.
I believe that if we were to tell her, it would have to be after our plans have progressed to the point of no return.”
“Agreed.”

Rei appeared to have a very good grasp of Claire’s personality.
However―

“Very well, today onward we are accomplices.”
“Thank you, let’s achieve this together.”
“Your plan is very well thought out.
However… will my daughter really accept it?”
“?”
“No, nothing.”

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I could only hope that my apprehensions were unfounded.

“To start, I suppose we’ll need to convince Claire to take you as her maid.”
“I’ll leave that in your capable hands, Dor-sama.”
“But really, why is Claire so obstinate about refusing you?”
“Ah… Well, I may have gone just a little too far in my advances…”
“Hm?”

I didn’t understand what she meant, but it was unusual for Claire to show her emotions so openly around others.
Though she could be selfish, my daughter was normally very good at keeping up appearances as a nobile.

“Rei Taylor, I have one more request.”
“If it’s something that I can do.”
“I’d like for you to become Claire’s friend.
She’s taken after me and has a bit of a difficult personality… So she tends not to open up to others.
The one exception may be Lene.”

Though there was one other individual, I could never tell what she was thinking.
Come to think of it, I couldn’t even remember the last time that I had seen her.
But enough of that, I was still talking to Rei.

“A… friend…”
“Of course, I’m aware of your romantic interest in her, but realistically, aren’t there a few too many difficulties in the way? But as her friend, you should be able to stay by her side for longer.”
“You… may have a point…”

Much later on I would look back on these words with pain in my heart.
I wonder how much my words had hurt Rei, and how much they had bound her.

At that time, there was no way that I could’ve understood the depth of conflict that raged within Rei’s heart.

Translator Comment: It’s really nice to know just how well intentioned Dor is from such an early stage.
Unfortunately he chose the wrong words, but sometimes that’s just how it be…

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