「Welcome Wallace-san! I’ve been waiting for you!」
After being informed that the items she had requested 10 days ago were finished, Eseria welcomed Wallace in the mansion with a full smile. However, his expression is not clear.
「Eseria-ojousama. We tried making the item as per your request like last time…I’d like to talk to you a little, no, I’d like to report to you….」
Wallace explains the issue to Eseria as he shows her the goods. She was dubious at first but she had no choice but to recognize the problem upon testing.
Like usual, Dolpa was taking care of the garden. When he looked about, he saw Eseria, who just let out a big sigh, sitting on a stone bench.
「Oya, Eseria-ojousama. What are you doing in a place like this and Misty’s not with you too?」
It’s unusual for this duke’s daughter to be alone in the garden of her house so he calls out to him instinctively. Eseria shakes her head and explains why.
「I asked Misty to leave me alone because I want some time to think. She’s not being lazy and I did not escape from her, got it?」
「Is that so? Then, I apologize for bothering you.」
Dolpa smiled wryly and tried to leave but an unexpected voice stopped him from doing so.
「Ah, Dolpa, wait a moment.」
「Yes, what do you need?」
「I came here in the garden for a change of pace but it didn’t change anything. I think it is pointless for me to think alone. If you’re not busy right now, can you talk to me a little?」
That request made him puzzled.
「No, there’s no way an uneducated old man like me can say witting things about ojousama’s education, right?」
「It’s not about my education. If I talk to you, I might discover some unexpected discoveries. Can’t you?」
She said that with a serious tone. Dolpa agreed with her with pleasure thinking “if this can make ojousama feel better”.
「If that is the case, then let me accompany you a little.」
「Good. Then sit here.」
「Then, excuse me.」
Eseria pointed at the vacant space on the bench so he sat next to the basket. After that, she started talking while taking various things out of the basket.
「This is what I’m worried about right now.」
Seeing the paper spread between them, Dolpa looks puzzled.
「This is….there are variety of shapes and sizes….I’m sorry for being illiterate but, are those chess pieces?」
「Yeah, but much smaller than that. Those are prototype pieces for a new game.」
「Haa….game, is it….」
Eseria began to explain it in an easy-to-understand manner that even the confused Dolpa could understand.
「So, those black circles will be placed on the place where the lines intersect on this paper?」
「Yeah. Have a drink.」
「This black piece can only move one place per turn. However, when there is another piece before it, it can jump over to advance.」
Like she said, she made the piece jump over another piece as he nodded in understanding.
「Hou? So that’s how it is, got it.」
His honest impression made Eseria instinctively laugh.
「That’s right. So, for example, if it is like this, you can move a considerable distance by jumping forward and backward.」
「That looks interesting, ojousama.」
When she showed her how to move one piece over several pieces in sequence, Dolpa nodded with a smile. However, after that, Eseria’s face darkened and she even groaned.
「However….I stumbled on an essential part….」
Surprised with her sudden change of mood, Dolpa asked which Eseria answered.
「It was made from cork like the previous item. It molds easily and even if it cylindrical and easy to pick up, it is too light so the balance is bad and it can easily be toppled down.」
「….Haa, so that’s how it is.」
As she was explaining, she tapped a standing piece and it fell down without resistance. Dolpa, who saw that, made an indescribable expression.
「Because of that, Wallace-san thought of various countermeasures like making it conical or pyramidal shapes that have wide bottom and small top. Here they are.」
As she said that, Eseria took out several pieces from the basket. Dolpa, on the other hand, nodded in admiration.
「Great. As expected of Wallace-san. With that, they won’t fall down even if they were tapped. Isn’t that great, ojousama!」
「Is it? However, this time, it has become difficult to pick them up because the top is so small.」
「Ehto….Haa, I see. Truly…」
Dolpa tried to pick one up to try and realized that Eseria’s explanation was correct. While looking at him doing that, Eseria continues talking.
「When I tried to draw a unique shape with flat bottom and partially constricted middle part and bulging top, he told me “We can do that but it is impossible to make them uniform given that they are small pieces.”!」
「Ojousama has it hard….」
Although he didn’t know the details of the story, Dolpa felt sorry for her. Eseria can only sigh deeply.
(Next to othello, I thought it would be a great idea to make a diamond game since the rules are simple and there are only a few pieces needed. I can’t believe I was stuck this early. This is really unexpected.)
TN: Diamond game is Chinese checkers
Because of that, Eseria began asking herself.
「Ugh, should I change the material? Should I use metal molds or something? The size is too small for stones so it is impossible. How about making it out from wood or paper?」
「Fuun, it is easy to stumble, can’t stand, or….」
Eseria was lost in her thoughts while murmuring. On the other hand, Dolpa took up several cone-shaped pieces and observed them seriously.
And after a little while, he humbly calls out Eseria.
「Eseria-ojousama, can you give me a moment?」
When she looked up at him, Dolpa asked something with a serious expression.
「Isn’t this piece supposed to move on this paper?」
「Yeah, that right?」
「Does it have to be paper?」
Since she was asked with something unexpected, Eseria can only answer while being confused.
「It doesn’t have to be paper but….what’s wrong with that?」
「Then, instead of paper, is it okay to make that thing from a board?」
「….That’s right. You can think like it’s some sort of chessboard.」
Eseria nodded as she thought of chessboard but Dolpa’s question continued.
「Then, is it okay to copy this pattern on a board at the same size as this paper and put legs on it like a table?」
「Eh? Ano, Dolpa? Table? That’s fine but why do you need to put legs on it?」
Eseria was seriously confused but he answered her question without hesitation.
「Because I want to dig holes.」
Dolpa hurriedly rephrases what he said to the stunned Eseria.
「A-ahh, no, my apologies. I made a mistake. Just like digging holes on the ground, why don’t we drill a hole on the board? You can easily put the black circle there.」
After hearing his explanation, Eseria somewhat regained her consciousness and asked back.
「Ehto….I understood until the drilling a hole part but, what are you going to do with it?」
「Look at this piece, it is pointed downward so you can easily insert it on the hole. Well, this basically looks more of a tip of a stake. I think the hole will be able to hold this piece easily. This is similar to how I dig a hole to make a pillar for the seedling I plant.」
Seeing Eseria completely expressionless and silent, Dolpa thought he had offended her.
「Ojousama? This something that shouldn’t be turned upside down after all….」
Dolpa bows and apologizes to Eseria but his line was interrupted by her scream.