Noblewoman Kills Time
Often on clear, sunny days, Rachel would stare out her window.
“Good weather…….it makes me wish I could fly through the sky like a skylark.”
Trapped inside a dark prison, there are times where she misses the outside.
“However, I can’t go out………..”
Just because she says she can’t go out doesn’t mean she can’t get out.
Rachel suddenly came up with the idea of throwing out some paper airplanes. Since she can’t go outside herself, she thought about something else flying high through the sky………
While searching for paper, she was able to find a bundle of backing paper for memos she had on hand. She would use these since they weren’t something she needed anyway.
“Paper airplanes……..they’re surprisingly deep and amusing.”
Depending on how you fold them, the way they fly becomes quite different. Even folded smartly won’t mean it flies far, and just using thin paper might mean that it catches the wind and flies over the fence.
Rachel fell into a trance, trying out various different ways to fold the paper airplanes to see how far they’d fly. White paper was flying this way and that, and it was interesting to see the ones that had already fallen be picked up by the wind and leave the ground once again.
Until all of the prepared airplanes had been exhausted, Rachel continued to challenge the sky from her small window.
Prince Elliott suddenly looked up towards the sky, and he noticed some paper garbage dancing through the air low overhead.
Something like that wasn’t causing him worry, but rather curiosity at the vastly different shapes that the papers were taking. From paper plane-shaped objects to ones that were more cylindrical, these had clearly been folded by someone.
After picking up one that the wind dropped off close by, he saw that there was actually some kind of message scrawled across them.
After unfolding it, he read the message scribbled on with elegant handwriting.
“Scoop! The Prince is hiding a bald spot behind his long hair!?”
He instinctively dropped the memo. But then he quickly picked it back up before the wind could carry it away again.
“What, is this!?”
In a panic he ran over and picked up some more papers.
“The handsome prince with ten years of ringworm fungus. ∼His endless desperate battle with athlete’s foot∼”
“Private rooms in the castle hall Rooms greet you with “Welcome home.” Be astounded at the Prince’s personal life.”
“Royal palace in an uproar! All subjects shocked at the red marks, pray for the Prince who is unable to study!”
Elliott was about to faint at just a glance of what was written down, but then the wind was about to take away those he already had in hand, so he hurriedly held down on the bunch.
“What is this forged gossip!? There’s no way, is it scattered all around here!?”
Looking around, the white papers had been spread everywhere.
From the other side of the castle walls, the Prince started hearing some of the castle children singing a most inappropriate arrangement.
“The Prince who rode a horse
slid off after one step
fell off after two steps
stepped off after three steps
Ah~ Ah~ he doesn’t know how to ride in the first place~
because El-chan is an idiot~”
The sound of footsteps running down the stone steps could be felt throughout the entire dungeon.
Elliott started jabbing a spear in hand through the space between the iron bars of the jail cell.
“Youuuuuuuuu! Die! You’ll die right now! You’ll die right away!”
Driving a spear inside many times, Rachel, who had been peacefully reading a book while resting on her cushion, glanced up at him.
“Your Highness, even though a horseback spear has quite a bit of impact in its strikes, the attack range is low. Shouldn’t you know that without a woman like me telling you?”
“Shouldn’t you be scared a bit you damn, impudent woman!?”
“Although your face looks quite pure, your language is quite trashy.”
“Being honest, haven’t you been saying some things that are so much worse!?”
Elliott threw a pile of crushed up paper airplanes inside through the bars.
“What is this!? This slander about me is spread all the way to my villa! Only a filthy woman like you would spread these lies for fun in order to defeat me!”
“Once again you try to convict somebody based off of a single testimony……..”
Rachel gave a glance towards the mountain of memos that the Prince had collected as Elliott watched on.
“I have absolutely no intentions of slandering His Highness’s name.”
“Then what is this!? Scattering this stuff around, what excuse could you possibly give me!?”
Rachel raised herself up and closed her book.
“Where exactly is this content slandering Your Highness written?”
“Where…….it’s right there inside the contents of the things you just read!”
Rachel pointed towards one of the memos that were resting on the prison floor.
“Please read it carefully. There, ‘The Prince is,’ is all that’s written there. Don’t you know that there are hundreds of princes out there in the world? I don’t really care myself, but perhaps Your Highness is feeling a little paranoid from stress? When was the last time you went to see a doctor?”
“Because of whom do you think is the reason why my stress is accumulating………!? What about the disrespectful song that the children were singing outside the castle walls about ‘El-chan’!? That refers to me by name!”
“El-chan refers to Your Highness? But it could be referring to Ellis, or Ellington, or Eltsin right? Isn’t Your Highness just being self-conscious?”
“In this place! The Prince! Name starts with El!? I’m the only person who meets those conditions! Don’t be stupid!”
Rachel furrowed her brows.
“You’ve been getting smarter recently………..not cute!”
“Are you looking down on me!? Your behavior has already long passed the level of just being disrespectful!”
“Well if I’m already guilty, then I suppose the charges won’t change even if I were to continue for a little longer.”
Elliott glared towards her prison cell.
“Then you admit it, you insulted me!?”
Rachel ignored the monkey prince’s attempts at an intimidating glare and opened up her book again.
“With that, I never did anything to slander you. All I did was make some paper airplanes, and let them ride on the wind. But, I did use some backing paper that I had lying around for those though.”
“Backing paper!? With what contents!? You, what kind of memos have you been writing and having sent out!”
“It happens to be an underground publishing company, and I was doing internal jobs as a copywriter for them. The title contender is a gossip column.”
“What kind of work is that for a Duke’s daughter!?”
“That idiot prince will hurt his head if he keeps coming here……..his job inside the prison isn’t just to tsukkomi me……..”
The Prince has, finally given Rachel her reward! ………is it fine to say that?
Rachel was grumbling to herself as she sifted through the books inside one of the wooden boxes.
“Hmm……..have I already read all the things that I brought with me?”
Although she had prepared a number of interesting novels, she had so much free time that she had already read them all. Although there was a pleasure to reading something a second time through, it was still too early to adequately enjoy that.
“I’ve also already finished my embroidery.”
(Arbitrarily) she had brought in George’s good suit with her, and done him the favor of (without permission) embroidering it for him.
The black half mantle now had a finely sewn design of a battle between a phoenix and a dragon embedded in it in silver and gold thread. If George were to wear it with his intelligent looking glasses, sullen face, and receding hairline, it would suit him very well. Surely people around him will go, “Uwa, an almighty person drunk on themselves,” and also, “How old is he……..does he think he was chosen by God or something?” and whisper his praises.
“George will surely become a popular person with this. An older sister should work hard for their younger brother.”
He will certainly be crying and showering me with thanks later on. For now, let’s secretly put it back in his closet.
And so, with all of her hobbies completed she had nothing else to do during her free time.
“Both musical instruments and hunting have been forbidden……”
Of course it’s fun to daringly break such rules, but the Prince has annoyingly learned how to deal with disturbances in the middle of the night.
“Certainly, he’d like to avoid making a fuss in a woman of age’s bedroom in the middle of the night. The Prince isn’t lacking in modesty.”
Muttering to herself like she wasn’t the cause, Rachel began looking around herself for something to do.
Suddenly, Rachel’s eyes feel on some stationary. She had used some backing paper earlier to fly some paper airplanes, but there was still some blank sheets piled up.
“That’s right…….if there are no novels to read, then let’s challenge ourselves to write one instead.”
Rachel’s ability to produce good characters is nothing she would brag about. She had tried her hand a little bit at making a book before. She would always have trouble with length though, but thankfully this time she had plenty of subject matter to work with.
“Hmm, the protagonist will be Prince Vermouth, the prince of a small country. He’s an idiot who is faithful to his desires and can’t think through difficult problems………..right. He falls for traps, is stupider than a horse, and chases after every girl he sees.”
As she continued to write the character settings, the story and sub-characters also began to come out one after another. Just by forming it into a bulleted list, she had a premonition for quite a large masterpiece.
“Un, this is really good! If there’s no novel for me to read, then I shall write one!”
Rachel prepared as much paper and ink as she could, and she held a light in one hand while the other gripped her pen.
A few days later.
A woman rose up from the darkness and approached the iron bars as Rachel continued to furiously move her pen across a sheet of paper.
“My lady, I came immediately after I heard there was an emergency…….this stuff, what is it for?”
The woman pushed in the baggage she had brought into the prison through the cell doors. Four bundles of letter paper wrapped tightly in brown oil paper inside a cardboard box along with a dozen bottles of ink. It added up to two, maybe three thousand sheets of paper and a sufficient amount of ink for the pile. It was an amount that one person would normally be unable to use.
“Is this all from the Duke’s house?”
“Yes, I purchased ready-made items when I was in town. They are unaware of who they sold this to though.”
The woman shook her head while filing her report, and Rachel in turn handed back to the woman another large stack of papers. These ones already had writing on them. Wonderfully drawn writing and precise spelling made them easy to read……….but, there was just so many of them.
There were bags under her eyes as Rachel laughed watching her subordinate confirm the contents.
“There are publishers who are good at distributing material without revealing the identity of the writer correct?”
“Hah, I have some knowledge…………?”
“Send that manuscript to them, and have it spread across the city at once. I’ll give you this portion, so print out a large number of copies to push down the price to make it readily available to anyone inside the Kingdom.”
Rachel handed over her manuscript with a recently completed ending over to her subordinate, and then started rubbing her eyes. As expected, it was time for her to get some rest.
“Ha………it’s been a long time since I’ve been so exhausted…….”
The subordinate confirmed the contents of her package one more time before tilting her head.
“My Lady……honestly, I believe it might be impossible to finish all this right now…….”
“You don’t understand what I’ve done. I’m a creator who wants to strike on her passion during that flash of realization before it goes cold……..fu, fufu……..my brush has already finished The Stupid Prince’s Grand Adventure along with a second book from its spin-off series His Highness is Aiming for me.¹”
There was quite a bit of actual life experience used to help create this work which mainly depicts the exposure of Prince Vermouth’s shamelessness, but, well, “This story is fictional,” everything will be fine so long as that phrase get published along with it.
The spin-off idiot is the innocent boy Hanks, a story about a boy aiming to become a knight who is able to overcome his low birth thanks to the Prince’s unexpected assistance. Even though the young knight swears to protect the kind prince who helped him, in truth the prince is actually gay and aiming for Hanks……so it’s a slapstick comedy.
Now, lately the literacy rate inside the city has increased, and the popularity of novels and the written word is vibrant. They will read anything so long as it’s interesting.
“This is something I wrote. I want as many people to read this as possible……………I will continue writing, so will you help me?”
The woman gave a resolute bow, however rather than exiting there, she instead took a look at the manuscript she was holding.
“I have found two mistakes I wish to point out. Here where this person goes, “From behind”, and then the following scene where Elliott forcefully presses against Sykes and then the “Ahhhh~!?” leads into the “I’ve been dirtied…….” continued scene, wouldn’t those three scenes placed consecutively like that bore the reader? And as for my personal impression, wouldn’t Sykes be the one on the attack?”
“……….I didn’t ask you to edit it. It’s fine, properly correct the places you find strange.”
Facing an unidentified woman who made contact through shady routes, carrying in a book she wished to have published, the Mouse & Rat company representative Robinson wiped his forehead with a handkerchief while making an uneasy smile.
“Then, I understand the conditions for publication. Yes, we are doing a business that has no relation to the printing house, and you can leave hiding the identity of the source to us. We will disperse the books so that no one will ever know who was involved…….by the way”
Robinson pointed to two places on the manuscript and then motioned to the other one as well.
“The first work has Prince Vermouth as the main character with his knight Hanks, but in the second one their names have changed to being Prince Elliott and his knight Sykes. Was the person who wrote these books thinking of someone as they wrote it? Perhaps one of them is the name for the model, but in that case wouldn’t it be better to unify the two names?”
The common people such as Mr. Robinson lived their lives unaware of the names of the members of the royal family even though it was the one belonging to their own country. And then there was the maid who had been dyed in Rachel’s colors.
“Maybe they just thought that Elliot and Sykes sounded good together.”
Elliott noticed that Sykes had been acting aloof recently for some reason. It feels like he is taking a strange distance whenever they’re together.
“Sykes, what’s wrong?”
“No Your Highness, my heart isn’t ready.”
Seeing Sykes clutch his chest, giving an ambiguous smile while taking his distance, all Elliott could do was tilt his neck.
1. The ‘me’ in this line is boku which is a male pronoun which means the person saying that title is a guy.