Third Imperial Princess’s Butler Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 2

a knocking sound on the director’s office door suddenly echoed through the room.

“Enter.”

After a beat, the director called towards the door. Then, the door opened hesitantly, and at the same time, a recently familiar face appeared.

She’s…if I remember correctly.

“Pardon my—-“

The person who entered stopped moving when she saw Princess Krell sitting on the sofa and me standing behind.

Wearing a white coat stained with large amounts of blue and yellow paint, and holding what looked like a stack of documents in her right hand. With her appearance, she looked more like a young aspiring painter rather than a museum employee. Also, perhaps to prevent paint from getting on it, her hair was tied back in one bunch.

She looks quite different from last time.

As I silently watched the door, Princess Krell greeted her in a kind voice.

“Hello, Erne-san. You seem to be in the middle of work.”

“Ah, um… Hello, Princess Krell. Um…”

She tried to string words together in a panic, but it seems she was having trouble finding the words from being more panicked than expected. I can understand why she would feel that way, but as an adult, she should have a little more composure. Especially since some nasty nobles would try to punish something like being too nervous to speak as disrespect. Well, I’ve mercilessly crushed nobles like that though.

As Erne panicked, I wondered if I should give her a lifeline, but the director laughed wryly and called out to her.

“Erne, did something happen?”

“Oh, um…it’s about the restoration of Naft the 2nd’s stone painting, there’s a small problem…”

“A problem?”

“Yes.”

Erne approached the director and traced the papers in her hand with her finger as she spoke.

“In the previous restoration…over fifty years ago, the restorer at the time seems to have made a mistake, and black powdered Cocoun stone paint was applied under the red eye paint. For a perfect restoration, it looks like we’ll need to shave the stone.”

“Shave the stone? We can’t do that. As much as possible, the stone paintings need to be repaired without damaging them.”

“But then the restoration won’t progress…”

“Hmm… Isn’t there some way to restore it without shaving the stone?”

“I’m looking, but nothing so far.”

The two made troubled expressions in unison, furrowing their brows as they stared at the papers.

It seems they’re struggling with the painting restoration work.

A task like restoring it to exactly how it looked originally is an extremely difficult effort that those of us without experience can’t understand. Glancing over, Princess Krell was tilting her head at their complicated conversation. No matter how hard she tries to listen, she can’t understand with her lack of knowledge.

However…from what I’m hearing, it doesn’t sound too hard for me to comprehend.

“Powdered Cocoun stone paint dissolves well in salt water. After peeling off the top red paint, patiently continue wiping with a new, clean brush soaked in salt water to cleanly remove just the black paint.”

“Salt water—!!”

As if saying “That’s right!”, the two opened their eyes wide in unison, and Erne hastily wrote something down on the papers in her hand. Beside her, the director raised a voice of admiration.

“Even though you’re not a professional, you know a lot. Did you aspire to be a painter or something in the past?”

“No. I just happened to see it in a book I read before.”

“Still, that’s amazing. You really helped us out. With this, we can restore it without having to shave the stone… Right?”

“Of course!”

Erne nodded vigorously, showing fighting spirit.

While it’s good to enthusiastically work, she can’t let her guard down.

“Salt water will seep into wounds, so please be careful, Erne-san.”

I pointed to the bandage wrapped around Erne’s right index finger. The boundary between the bandage and her skin was red and swollen. Seeing my warning, Erne panicked and hid the affected area with her left hand—Hm?

Right after feeling a sense of discomfort, Erne wrapped her hand behind her back, then awkwardly laughed.

“How embarrassing.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Oh, it’s nothing major. I just cut my finger on the stone’s jagged edge during restoration. The bleeding’s stopped, so it won’t interfere with work. I didn’t drip any blood on the paintings or anything, so please don’t worry.”

“If you’re okay, that’s good… But be careful, okay? There are a lot of injuries during restoration work.”

“Yes. Well then, I’ll get back to the workshop. Thank you for the advice, Roth-san. Please relax, Princess Krell.”

Leaving those parting words, Erne left the director’s office.

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

After the quiet open and close sound faded, Princess Krell asked the director.

“Just what is Erne-san restoring?”

“She’s restoring the stone portrait of Naft the 2nd, the seventh king of the ancient Ritual Kingdom, Princess.”

“Um…”

Seeking help, Princess Krell glanced at me. With no interest in history or art, most talk about the museum would be incomprehensible to Princess Krell. Then she shouldn’t have asked.

However, her troubled face was so cute that I decided to teach her and provide another opportunity for Princess Krell to gain knowledge.

“About twenty-three hundred years ago, south of the Caliard Empire was a large country called the Ritual Kingdom next to the Aigum River. Their seventh king was Naft the 2nd, and since paper art mediums didn’t exist in their time, they painted portraits on white, square stones. Paintings on white stone are called stone paintings, so Erne-san is restoring the stone painting of Naft the 2nd.”

“They’re restoring a twenty-three hundred year old painting… It’s amazing it survived without damage.”

“We’ve experienced several thefts, and all the thieves clearly understood the value of the paintings. They were handled with great care, knowing that any damage or scratches would decrease their worth. Of course, in our museum, we also handle them with the utmost caution.”

“The stone paintings have the characteristic of being less susceptible to degradation compared to paper paintings, but there is a risk of the pigments being damaged by humidity and light. If left unattended, they can be covered with mold to the point where the painting becomes completely invisible. King Naft II is a famous and popular symbol of the Litoral Kingdom. His portrait stone painting is particularly valuable, so we have to handle it with utmost care. The responsibility in case something happens is heavy. It’s a matter of life and death, quite literally.

“Elne seems to be even more capable than I expected. She’s still young, yet entrusted with the important task of restoring such significant portrait stone paintings… I really admire her.”

“She is indeed very talented. She’s a curator with the ability to restore over forty art pieces in just five years.”

The director proudly boasted about his subordinate.

She might indeed be talented, but…

“If she’s so talented, I’d appreciate it if she didn’t trigger traps that could kill us.”

“Oh, come on! You’re safe, aren’t you? I don’t like men who keep dwelling on things forever!”

“I suppose having a young curator with such achievements is quite rare. She truly is amazing. I need to learn from her.”

“Roth, don’t you have any pride?”

If losing Princess Krell’s favor means being hated by her, I’d gladly throw away any pride, even if it means being reduced to a pile of mud. In fact, I’d gladly destroy it to pieces to gain her affection if I have to discard my pride.

Well, that aside.

“I was honestly surprised that Princess Krell didn’t know about King Naft II.”

“Likewise. King Naft II is a big name, and his name is almost always mentioned in world history.”

As both the director and I say this, Princess Krell blinks repeatedly.

“I-I see. Is that so?”

“Yes. Princess Krell, do you know the fairy tale called ‘The Poisonous Drink King’?”

“The poisonous… Ah, I vaguely remember hearing about it.”

It’s only natural; this fairy tale is quite famous.

The story is quite simple: a beloved king is poisoned with bright red poison in his drink and dies. It’s a bit cruel for a children’s story. I wasn’t a child when I first heard the tale, but young children would surely be shocked. After all, it has what is called a “bad ending.”

“It’s a world-famous fairy tale, and the protagonist, who is the king who gets poisoned, is a name known to everyone. His name is Naft II.”

“Ah!”

That’s right. This fairy tale is modeled after the life of Naft II. In reality, records about him show that he was a benevolent king trusted by many of his people.

His death, like in the fairy tale, was due to poisoning.

“In the fairy tale, it’s written that he was poisoned with bright red poison, but in reality, the poison that took Naft II’s life was called ‘Tree Blood,’ a highly toxic substance. It has the property of being neutralized if exposed to temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius for two minutes… However, without prior knowledge of the poison’s existence, one cannot prevent it. The king, unaware of the poison mixed in his wine, drank it all at once and died, still holding the glass.”

The director explains with an air of an expert, raising his teacup with one hand.



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