Chapter 47 – Then, I’ll Become An Imperial Pharmacist
The next morning came soon. Sierra was asked to give a blood sample for the second stage of the paternity test, just as Hanael said. Fortunately, it seemed to be true that the test wouldn’t take long.
The Hippo Kingdom’s doctors seemed to think that Sierra was Hanael’s real mother already, but Sierra paid no mind to that today.
‘In order to enter the Imperial Palace, I’ll have no choice but to become an Imperial pharmacist.’
If she became one officially, she’d be able to investigate people in the palace more freely, and she’d be able to look into the suspicious things within the palace itself.
While there were rumors that subordinates could glean from within the palace, there were also rumors that only those with higher positions could hear. If she could get close to those superiors, she’d be able to catch onto those rumors. The same goes for the subordinates as well.
‘I’m going to have you all drink my truth serum so I can hear everything.’
…She didn’t know who she was going to be up against, and it was obvious that this method was cowardly. Still, Sierra intentionally wanted to go by this method. She could stay cowardly and win through her potions! There’s no such thing as fairness! This was a plan, not a scheme.
‘If someone tries to harass me, then I’ll kill them through my potions, so what!’
After finishing the second round of the paternity test, Sierra walked along the corridor, guided by the head maid while Hanael skipped beside her. She gritted her teeth to the point that the tendon on her chin slightly jutted out.
‘I have quite a lot of potions with adverse effects up my arsenal, so if you dare touch me, you’re dead. And I’ll surely find and kill the one who touched my sister.’
Sierra had always been confident in both her abilities as a pharmacist and her sister’s outstanding magic abilities.
“I’ll really go all out this time, just you wait.”
The head maid who was guiding them back looked at her with a perplexed expression. Sierra, who had been immersed in her own world, smiled awkwardly and shook her head.
“Ah… No, uh, where’s Godmother?”
Since she was planning to strike while the iron was hot, Sierra thought that she should meet the Godmother and talk to her about entering the palace while hiding her identity. She wanted to ask if she could get a recommendation letter from her.
“Are you planning to meet the Godmother, Miss Sierra?”
“Yes. But, ah, she must be busy.”
At Sierra’s hesitant tone, the head maid shook her head.
“The Godmother puts Miss Sierra above all else in the world. Please rest assured.”
Sierra thought if this was something that was a good thing or not to her situation, but as she bit her lips, the head maid nodded and said kindly.
“I’ll guide you there, Miss.”
Then, as Sierra nodded in return, the head maid guided her there as promised.
* * *
As the head maid mentioned, Sierra was easily able to meet the Godmother. Just one word towards the maid standing in front of the door, and she was quickly led in front of the drawing room where the Godmother was.
The maid immediately went into the room to inform the Godmother of Sierra’s visit.
‘Judging by the circumstances, there seems to be an important guest in the drawing room.’
The maid came right back after informing the Godmother, and when Sierra tried to say that she was sorry for imposing, the maid just shook her head. The maid conveyed the Godmother’s words, that she was happy to meet Sierra since she wasn’t doing much anyway.
“Sierra, you’re here!”
After hearing the same burdensome remarks again from the Godmother today, she entered the door and was welcomed by a bright and lively greeting. But then…
…Sierra didn’t know if the Godmother truly thought that she ‘wasn’t doing much’ when Marchioness Andante Mails was right there.
The Marchioness was the Godmother’s daughter-in-law, and she was a high-ranking aristocrat… Sierra just asked to meet the Godmother, but she really was imposing since the Marchioness was already here.
Sierra pressed her temple awkwardly while she was still feeling puzzled. Then, Andante stepped forward and held Sierra’s arm.
“Do you feel sick?”
At Sierra’s awkward answer, the Godmother approached.
“Andante, Sierra feels uncomfortable.”
The Godmother, who patted the frozen Sierra’s shoulder affectionately, led her to the sofa so she could sit beside her.
“So, why did you come to see me?”
“Mother, you must have noticed now that I’m here.”
“After you died and came back to life, your tongue must have gotten longer.”
“It seems so, Mother.”
Sierra gauged the atmosphere while sipping the cup of black tea that the maid handed to her earlier. It was a strange triangular relationship, and Sierra was like a shrimp caught in the middle of the fight of two whales. The Godmother took Sierra’s hand and squeezed it warmly.
“What brought you here, Sierra?”
“Ah, I recently saw a listing about an Imperial pharmacist being hired.”
Sierra recounted the Imperial pharmacist selection pamphlet that she saw attached to the gossip news clipping next to the map of the Imperial palace that Abel brought to her.
The pamphlet stated the recruitment period, and it said that a recommendation letter was also necessary. For pharmacists employed by noble households, the usual route would be to get a recommendation from their employer. Most of the pharmacists who pass had more than a decade of experience, but that’s not going to be a problem.
‘I have a powerful guardian like the Godmother.’
Looking at the Godmother who she claimed to be her powerful guardian, Sierra smiled brightly like the sun.
“And I want to enter the Imperial Palace as a pharmacist.”
‘I won’t seem suspicious, right? Being an Imperial pharmacist is the best honor a pharmacist could have.’
Of course, Sierra was someone who likes money, so being an Imperial pharmacist wasn’t something she fancied as the position only had honor to offer. However, it was still a sought-after position for many other people.
Sure enough, the Godmother clapped her hands once and smiled broadly.
“Finally, there’s something you’d like to do. I can give you a recommendation for the position. But if you want to be the next Duchess…”
…Warning bells rang. Come to think of it, the Godmother was one of the people who believed in the results of the first paternity test. Sierra averted her gaze awkwardly.
At that, the Godmother sighed, then spoke.
“…No, you should do what you want to do. I don’t think being a Duchess would give you the same satisfaction as being an Imperial pharmacist.”
“…It’s not that I think they’re too different!”
And it was then that Sierra and the Godmother smiled awkwardly as they made eye contact with each other.
Andante wiped her cheeks because tears were streaming down her face. Sierra scratched the back of her head awkwardly.
‘But why is she crying?’
Sierra called out to her cautiously.
Andante took Sierra’s hand.
“…Are you doing this because of me? You’re going all the way to the Imperial Palace to investigate the conspiracy around my condition?”
Sierra blinked repeatedly in confusion.
…Well, to be exact, it wasn’t one about the Marchioness.
Andante nodded vigorously. As Sierra stared at her, a plan began to form in her mind. Now that she thought about it, it was also the Imperial Palace that was threatening Andante’s life.
Since Sierra saved Andante’s life, misunderstandings formed from the latter’s side since she knew nothing about the situation of Sierra’s sister.
“I don’t know how to express my gratitude…”
Surprisingly, misunderstandings once again piled up in layers, but this time, Sierra couldn’t afford to clear it up. This would only help her chances at entering the Imperial Palace.
“What are you talking about?”
When the Godmother asked sharply, Andante raised her hand and spoke.
“I’ve been hiding it so far, but truthfully, and because it was Sera who cured me of my illness, I have no reason to hide it anymore.”
Andante, who glanced at the carefully closed window, opened her lips without hesitation. In fact, she seemed to be relieved to finally let it out.
“As you know, I was almost poisoned a few days ago.”
The Godmother sighed. She already knew about this before Andante even told her. Gracefully tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear, Andante quietly whispered.
“It seems that either the Princess or the Imperial Palace was behind my poisoning.”
“What’s your basis on this claim?”
Sierra sipped her tea quietly as she listened to the serious conversation between the two women, looking alternately between them.
“In a way, I should watch my words in front of a commoner who knows nothing about this—no, a semi noble…”
…But she didn’t stop speaking.
“I don’t think they’re aiming just for the Marquisate. I believe they’re ultimately targeting the Ideos family.”
“Apart from that, they tried to bribe me into having Sierra expelled from the Duchy.”
“Then if that’s the case, how could I possibly allow Sierra to look into this matter? I will not allow anything dangerous to happen to you.”
…And it was then that an obstacle appeared unexpectedly. Sierra straightened her shoulders, her expression perplexed as the Godmother continued speaking.
“You don’t have to do so much for Andante. We’ll take care of it ourselves.”
“But as a ph-pharmacist, I need to enter the palace. Because!”
She needed a reason to persuade the Godmother, but she couldn’t think of anything.
‘How should I do this?’
As Sierra contemplated what her next step should be, she looked at the Godmother’s face, which was full of doubts and worries, and Andante’s pitiable expression.
‘…Okay. They both think I’m just being worried about the Marchioness.’
Sierra looked up dramatically and clasped her hands together.
“I’m just so worried about Marchioness Mails! As a pharmacist who abides by my professional code, I can’t just let those evildoers go unpunished. I have to go and find out the truth myself. I’ll do it for sure!”
Then, the hard expression on the Godmother’s face as she stared at Sierra changed considerably.
“How can you be so gentle and kind…”
The Godmother sighed deeply. On the other hand, Andante was on the verge of tears. Sierra had one hand covering her face. Before she could shed any tears, Sierra hurriedly spoke up again.
“Please don’t cry. It’ll be alright. I won’t do anything dangerous.
It’s all connected to the Imperial Palace. The one trying to get rid of Andante, the one aiming for Cassius, and the one after her sister’s life.
‘I’m sure there’s a conspiracy lurking inside the palace.’
She didn’t have a clear lead yet, but Sierra frowned slightly. Then, handing over a handkerchief to her, the Godmother spoke gently.
“Ah, how could I stop you? I’ll write you a recommendation letter, so please open your beautiful eyes.”
Andante also spoke beside the Godmother.
“Yes, don’t strain your beautiful self, please.”
No, but… I’m really just ordinary. Sierra sighed inwardly. This princess treatment wasn’t actually that bad, but she found it hard to adapt to them being like this. She was used to just relying on herself…
Sierra took a sip of her lukewarm tea as she watched the middle-aged woman and the older woman fight over complimenting her.
Sierra only had her sister beside her, not her parents. So it was the first time that she was being doted on by older women. She was like a baby bird being fed by its mother when they gave her more refreshments, and when they patted her back when she coughed a little while sipping her tea.
‘This kindness… makes me a little happy…?’
Sierra smiled brightly. And in turn, the Godmother and Andante also smiled happily.
She was a little touched because a thought ran across her mind, that this might be what having your family beside you felt like.
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