Chapter 210 Go or stay
“Perfumed Soap?” She picked one block up and placed it near her nose to smell it, and indeed, she could make out the fragrance of roses.
“Yes, it is tough to imagine that to manufacture it, you begin with a thick paste, into which His Royal Highness also added perfume, to make it full of fragrance.
May once more subconsciously glanced at the price written on the parchment, with a selling price of 25 silver royals for one block it could be seen as a luxury product, but compared to even more expensive perfumes, the price was clearly set too low.
“Are you sure that it’s perfume? When I’d performed in King’s City, there was once a powerful nobleman who gave me three bottles of perfume. Each of those bottles of perfume was only the size of the thumb, but their price was still more than five gold royals. For such a large piece of soap, you have at least add half a bottle of it, right?”
“Is that so?” Carter got startled, “Perfume is actually so expensive?”
“Of course,” May gave him a look, “It is one of King’s City Alchemy Association proudest products, except for crystal glass, perfume is their best selling product. I’d heard from other people, that besides the tribute they paid the Royal Family, they were able to let nearly one thousand bottles flow into the market each year. Individuals who can afford such a luxury belong to the upper nobility or are wealthy merchants. In case I hadn’t gotten it as present, it would be absolutely unlikely that I would ever purchase a bottle of perfume which costing as much as my salary from several plays.”
“But I have seen how His Royal Highness has used the perfume, and it didn’t seem to be a rare material…ah… listening to him, it appeared to be made out of sugar cane?” Seeing the puzzled look on May’s face, Carter added, “A sugar cane is just like a sweet stick, it is a typical crop of the Fjords, which looks like a stick. When you bite into it, you get a mouthful of sweet water. Currently, it is only planted in the castle’s backyard, but next time when I see His Royal Highness, I will ask him if I can take one out.”
Once again, it was His Highness the Prince… Since May had come to this town, the name she had heard the most of was Ronald Wimbledon. Whether it was Irene or Cater, whenever they talked about the changes happening in Border Town, they would always mention him. It seemed that His Highness was omniscient and there was nothing he didn’t know. Furthermore, all of these new things had been created by him.
Does there really exist such a learned person in the world? She couldn’t believe it, after all, even if they were smart, learning all this knowledge would still require time. Whether it was in King’s City or Longsong Stronghold, the people that were recognized as scholars were all old men with white hair. The folk of the Western Territory even had the phrase: ‘The longer the beard, the broader the knowledge’. But the Prince was only twenty years old, so how could it be that he knew all these things?
Even when thinking this way, May’s face still showed her usual expression, “No, if it could be used to make perfume, it has to be a very rare crop. Especially the perfume formula, that could be sold to any Alchemic workshop for an incredibly high price. You must never make discreet inquiries about this to His Highness, even in case you see it, you shouldn’t speak about it.”
“All right,” Carter said and took a handkerchief, putting four pieces of soap into it.
“Will you really buy so many of them?”
“The most a person can buy are two of these. So we will pretend to buy them separately and when we leave I will give them all to you – let’s first leave before you start disagreeing.” The knight raised his hand to interrupt May who wanted to say something, “When I use mine up, I can still go to His Highness to ask for new ones, but when they are sold out here, you never know when they will get new goods. So, by taking these four, you can use them for a very long time.”
When May saw her counterpart’s serious expression, it seemed as if her heart suddenly started burning. And for a long time, she just pursed her lips, not saying another word, just silently watched how the knight wrap up the perfume soup.
“Since we are already here let’s look at some other commodities,” he laughingly said as he held the bundle.
When she returned to her “home” in Border Town, the outside skies had already become dim.
The last light of the day falling through the curtain decorated the room with a touch of orange.
Since she had stayed to perform the second drama, May had received the same set of rooms as Irene. Although it wasn’t very large, it was still fully furnished.
After placing the novelty goods she’d bought from the convention market one by one on the table, there was in addition to the four perfumed soaps along with a bottle of wine.
This bottle of wine and the common wine found in pubs were different. It had almost no color and was instead pure and transparent with no difference to water. She remembered that according to the products description it was called White Liquor, having a higher concentration of alcohol, it wasn’t suitable to be ingested in larger amounts.
‘White Liquor’, she smiled, looking at it from its outer appearance, it really suited its name.
Pulling out the wooden cork, May poured herself a cup. Raising the cup, a burst of flavor hit her face and entered her nose directly, making her frown. However, after the first strong scent, a bouquet of delicious flavors entered her nose, they were sweet and mellow, not like the inferior watered wine from the taverns.
As a result of devoting herself to acting and the high amount of attention that gathered, May seldom went to the pubs. When a play became a great success, and the theater collective went to celebrate, only then would she follow them to go drink two cups of wine. Making sure that she never reached the state of becoming drunk where she’d be unable to speak as she had witnessed numerous actors who got so drunk that they forgot all sense of self-control. Instead, she was always controlling her drinking so that it would never affect her mind.
However, today May had a strong impulse to want to get drunk. Otherwise, she would have never bought such expensive Liquor against Carter’s advice. Wanting to try the story she had heard from other actors, that when they got drunk, they would be able to shield of all distraction and concerns, seeing the true answer that lay at the bottom of their heart.
May closed his eyes, raised the cup to her head and poured the drink into her mouth. Immediately a hot spicy sensation exploded in her throat, causing her to directly spurt out the liquor again, and to cough out until tears arose.
Hell, is this thing really wine?
Waiting until the burning sensation had completely faded, she bit her lip and tried once more – this round; she only dared to take a sip of the liquor. Once again, a spicy flavor appeared, but this time it was followed by an intense richness and mellowness when those two flavors mixed together, she actually couldn’t say if it was a good drink, but it brought a kind of strange sensation with it.
Around a quarter of an hour later, May felt a dizzy feeling overlaying her mind.
She took a fist-sized box from her pocket and opened its lid, and saw herself in a bright mirror. This mirror was different from her previous bronze mirrors or the thin silver mirrors, its surface was smooth without a scratch and her reflection was was very clear, presumably making it very valuable. Within this mirror, May could see her flushed cheeks and her confused eyes.
It was a gift given by the Knight as they parted, she’d wanted to refuse, but the other side had turned away so fast that he hadn’t given her the opportunity to give it back. As he walked away, he once more turned around and waved goodbye to her.
Speaking earnestly, when Carter Lannis shut his mouth, his appearance can absolutely be regarded as being impeccable. But if he wasn’t such a chatterbox, I might not have stayed behind.
So, should she really take root here? Far away from the bustling city, starting once more in this remote town, where beside the few people in the crew, no one else knew her identity… The fear of the unknown only made it harder for her to make up her mind.
May put the letter on the table she had received several days ago, and spread it out – it had been forwarded to her by the Prince and Irene, the writer was Longsong Manager Petrov. From the letter, she learned that the stronghold theater had announced that her current whereabouts were unknown and that Petrov hoped that she would soon return to Longsong Stronghold to continue her performance.
His Highness the Prince hadn’t concealed this news and instead given her the right to choose.
After draining the rest of the cup, May’s vision gradually became dizzy.
She staggered to the desk, spread out a piece of paper and began writing a reply.
Within her overlapping surging train of thoughts, she saw the stronghold theater, Irene, Ferlin Eltek, the thundering cheer of the crowd in the town square, and those third-rate actors who lost their self-control after performing together with her. Eventually, these images all slowly faded, leaving only the memory of Carter Lannis behind, as he invited her with a grin.
“Hello, Miss May, may I have a drink with you?”