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'First of all, Margrave... I must listen to what Lord Jean has to say, and then I must inform him that I am my sister's substitute.'
As he escorted Clarisse, they walked through the garden with her hand around his elbow.
The mansion, let alone the garden, looked amazing from the outside. There appeared to be many plants in this large and magnificent garden that she had never seen before.
She wished she could look at each plant more closely, but she simply couldn't do it now! She wasn't ready for that.
The Margrave, who had been silent the entire journey from the mansion, opened his mouth as they entered a small path leading to the garden’s centre.
"First and foremost, I want to apologize for not being able to pick you up at the capital. As I told the king, even though a peace treaty has been signed with the neighboring country, there is still tension near the border. I can't leave my own territory during this period of instability."
The Margrave always had a stern expression on his face. However, the content of his speech was still considerate and kind to Clarisse.
'He apologized... even though he didn't have to...'
"Yes, I understand, Lord Jean."
Jean glanced at her as she called his name.
"And, with the king's blessing, we're ready to marry right away, but I’d like to postpone our engagement party until relations with our neighbors are more stable. Oh, and regarding the wedding, do you have any desires, wishes, or plans that I should be aware of? stolen from sleepy tl."
She assumed Jean didn’t want to do the wedding ceremony, so she was taken aback when he asked her that, but she quickly shook her head in a small gesture.
"I don't...I don't need...a ceremony."
Either way, she was a replacement for her sister. If they held a big wedding in the royal capital, Jean would be humiliated for being trapped with her.
After all, as soon as Clarisse tells him that she is her sister's substitute, he may break off the engagement and send her back to her parents' house.
"Is that so?"
His tone sounded a little surprised.
'But what does that mean? He was going to hold a ceremony for me if I wanted one?'
Suddenly, Clarisse's eyes caught sight of a large, tube-like object standing perfectly next to the mansion.
It seemed too unconventional and inorganic for the elegant mansion. Jean, who had followed her gaze, explained.
"That's a tube that leads to the sewer."
"...What exactly is a sewer?"
"Every floor has a bathroom. In short, it’s a system in which all unclean things flow down through that tube into the sewer. The sewer is a way to flush out the filth."
Yes, this mansion had toilets!
Of course, the bathroom didn't have a flushing system, but rather its own tub of water to wash in, but it was still a rare thing. Most of the noble families in the capital usually used something like an Omaru* to do their business. (TL note: potty, the kid's toilet practice chair :))
After doing their business, the Farenheit’s family servants would flush the garbage into the gutters and rivers where the river’s water flowed. Honestly, it wasn’t a very sanitary method of disposal.
Come to think of it, Clarisse suddenly realized that this house, unlike any other in the royal capital, had no odor..
"I was thinking about it when I heard that many children get sick, and it occurred to me that it could be because of the filth around us or what we flush down the river. So I built a sewer system and poured it somewhere other than the river. Then, little by little, year by year, the number of sick children has decreased. So, in my territory, we are working hard to build sewers and bathrooms as close to each household as possible."
He seemed more talkative and lively when he talked about the sewerage system he was working on for the people of his domain than any other topic. Clarisse was struck by this. So far, she could tell that he was proud of his efforts to govern his remote land.
"But the only downside is that the sewers smell, making it really difficult to use the restroom, especially in the summer. That's why I'm encouraging the estate’s researchers to come up with a better system of restrooms and sewers."
'I see, for smell-...' Clarisse thought about it.
Jean was intrigued by Clarisse's mumbled words.
"What is it?"
'I said it out loud.....'
"You can't say it's nothing now. You should finish what you were going to say."
His golden eyes captured her violet irises.
Clarisse had no choice but to give up when he said that.
"There’s a plant called Sansevieria that comes from the south and has a deodorizing effect. It's relatively easy to get to the capital, so it’s not that expensive. If you can get it here, I think it’d be helpful if you plant it around the sewers."
"Also, since herbs are less expensive and easy to find, we can make a simple spray with peppermint or lavender, both of which have antibacterial properties...this was typed by leila... If we leave it in the bathroom and everyone can use it as they please, it will keep the bathroom relatively clean, and the odor may lessen a bit."
After she had said that much, Clarisse came back to herself.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that!"
Jean looked down at her with a puzzled look.
"Why? I'll have to run some trials to see if it's feasible, but I'll take it under consideration. I'm surprised; you know a lot about plants."
Clarisse felt a great warmth deep in her chest.
It wasn't because of his handsome looks or the fact that he owned such a large mansion, but because he recognized Clarisse as she was, without looking at her through spectacles.
'I'm sure that Jean-sama is a noble person.'
That's why she had a strong urge to say something.
"I am not the 'Jewel of Farenheit'... the 'Jewel of Farenheit' is my sister."
Jean stopped, and Clarisse followed. He looked down at her, but his beautiful golden eyes did not appear to be filled with the disappointment and rage that Clarisse had expected to see.
Instead, what was floating in the air was --- what was it? His eyes flashed with an emotion Clarisse didn't recognise and then vanished.
They returned to the mansion in silence, and he escorted Clarisse to her room without telling her whether she could stay or return to her parents' house.
This was the most non-romantic conversions I ever translated in a romance novel....
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