Chapter 59: Is it abnormal to only be able to love things?
On a sunny summer day.
Under the scorching sun that seemed to burn their bodies, Diana and Leon, both wearing straw hats, rode on horse towards Lipps village.
They took a different path than the usual direction to the inn they always went to, heading towards the center of Lipps village.
It was their first time going to the center.
It was a livelier village compared to Pabst village where Diana and Leon lived.
Here, there was a shopping district. In Pabst village, everything was scattered, but here, the shops lined up side by side.
The shopping district was bustling with people who were lured out by the clear weather after a long time.
Diana’s eyes sparkled as she looked around.
The buzz of the people, the aroma of fast food wafting from food stalls, baskets and piles of fabric messily arranged, decorations displayed on velvet beds. The voices of fruit vendors shouting their prices. The sound of a band playing on a street corner.
“Wow, there are so many things!”
Diana’s eyes shimmered with various colors. Instantly, her desire to buy things ignited.
“Oh, look at this big leather pouch. . .Wait, this pure white linen cloth is priced like this?! Oh, such a cute little mirror. . .Oh, this basket is such a great deal when bought in bulk! I want them all!”
Leon firmly grabbed her by the back of her neck.
“I didn’t expect it to go this far. . .”
“Well, you did tell me to buy whatever I like, didn’t you, Leon?”
“I didn’t tell you to buy that much!”
“But this is money I earned.”
“Ugh. . .It’s unfair to bring that up now.”
Diana loaded the purchased items onto a basket and tied it to the back of her beloved horse, Regina.
“Leon, you can buy things you like too, you know?”
“It’s fine, really. . .Oh, wait.”
Leon pointed to a certain shop.
“The omelettes there are delicious.”
“Oh, really? What kind of omelette is it?”
“They whisk the eggs until they’re fluffy like soufflé. You can choose the sauce to go with it. It’s a bit early, but let’s have it for lunch. That place gets quite crowded around noon.”
They arrived in front of the shop while leading their horses.
There was a large carriage in front of the shop.
Diana twisted her head, feeling like she had seen that carriage somewhere before. It was filled with various items, and a coachman stood guard beside it.
As they entered the shop, they noticed a familiar figure in the back of the dining area.
It was Sofia.
She was accompanied by a maid, and both were quietly enjoying orange sauce omelettes.
When Diana took off her hat, Sofia seemed to notice them from a distance.
She gently waved her hand at Diana.
And then. . .
“Would you like to share a table?”
Suddenly, a waiter approached them from the side in the crowded restaurant, leaving no time for refusal. Diana and Leon had no choice but to nod and were guided to Sofia’s table.
“Sofia-sama, what a coincidence to meet you here.”
Diana greeted her, and Sofia nodded.
“What did you come here for today?”
Continuing the inquiry, Sophia blushed and answered,
Her embarrassment was evident in the state of that carriage, which had too much persuasiveness.
“. . .You must have done quite a bit of shopping in the village.”
“Yes, well, I just love things.”
Leon looked puzzled. Diana somehow understood what she meant.
“I understand. When you have things you love, it makes you feel happy just having them around.”
At that moment, Sophia’s face, which had been expressionless, began to shine as if illuminated by light. Diana was surprised but sensed something special within the young lady.
“T-That’s right. If I say this, everyone will dislike me. . .But I love things more than people.”
To reveal such a thing was somewhat too stimulating.
Diana nodded. Sophia seemed convinced that she had found someone who understood her and earnestly spoke to Diana.
“People. . .are scary. They have emotions that are always in motion, betraying or showing affection. Everything is so fluid and very frightening. But things. . .they accept me silently. As long as they don’t break, they stay by my side. They shine for me. I can love things, and it truly makes me happy. Even if no one understands.”
The maid girl next to her shook her head in pain. Leon also looked at Sophia with a somewhat solemn gaze. But Diana, a merchant’s daughter who reveled in wealth and material possessions, understood what she wanted to say.
When you acquire an abundance of things, the desire for more deepens. Moreover, it is not the base desires or attachments that ordinary people imagine, but rather a sublime love. Diana herself knew all too well that there were moments when she almost poured her love into things more than people.
“Sofia-sama, you have a deep love for things, don’t you?”
As Diana murmured, the maid and Leon looked perplexed, but Sophia nodded excitedly.
“Yes, that’s right. After all, things are meticulously crafted by everyone, hoping that someone will buy them. They have more heart. . .and sincere feelings. I can see the emotions entrusted to things.”
The maid’s face twisted in further agony, but Leon’s expression became unexpectedly serene, as if relieved of some poison.
“Don’t you think you could love a husband who would provide you with all those things?”
Sophia casually replied,
“I can’t love a husband who can only win my attention by buying things. He’s just trying to buy my heart with material possessions. It’s inevitable, considering the kind of woman I am. . .I’m sure he does the same with his mistress.”
Diana swallowed audibly. Memories of the conversation about their worth that the ladies had at the inn in Lipps village resurfaced in her mind.
Those who were constantly evaluated by someone else might have lost the ability to find solid value in intangible things.
(She places too much value on things. But that’s because she can’t find value in herself. . .)
Sophia had a quiet demeanor, but she held a rather challenging set of values. However, Diana couldn’t decisively declare it as wrong.
After all, she herself could have easily ended up the same way if she had made one wrong step.
“That’s why I envy Diana-san, who can bring various ideas to life. If I weren’t a noble, I might have become a craftsman.”
Saying that, Sophia smiled cheerfully without any worries.
(If I weren’t a noble, I would have become a craftsman, huh. . .)
Diana pondered silently as she brought a bite of tomato sauce omelette to her mouth.
(Maybe my inclination towards craftsmanship is similar to Sophia-sama’s values.)
Sophia’s character, with a deep affection for things and dedicating all her energy to something, would certainly be suited for a craftsman. Diana had a similar inclination.
(If I hadn’t met Leon, would I have become like her. . .)
Leon seemed to be lost in thought as well.
At that moment. . .
“Hey, what kind of things will be available in Diana-san’s shop from now on?”
At Sophia’s unexpected question, Diana looked up.