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08 Baroness Silverlight

Baroness Sheryl Silverlight, who recently turned eighteen, was a maid, despite being a noble.
Her workplace was the royal palace.
However, it wasn’t like she served the royal family directly.
She was『Maid of the Duke’s House』working as『Maid of Her Highness the Princess』, quite a sad position.

After all, a girl of a certain status had the right to attend to the princess.
And all people of a certain status want their own maids.
In that case, Sheryl Silverlight, who inherited the title of baroness, wanted a maid too…….but, regretfully, she was the first from the bottom.
She had to take care of herself by herself.

Since she didn’t have a house to call her own, she borrowed a small room in a corner of the royal palace.
She was able to get some leftover ingredients after the royal family’s parties, so her life wasn’t that bad.
However, there was nothing noble to it.

But even like that, the Silverlight family had a land to call its own in the past.
No, to be precise, she still has it.
However, the underground water currents disappeared and the well dried up.
It wasn’t a land rich in rains in the first place, so, before everyone noticed, the lands dried up to the extent of being unsuitable for living and turned barren.
Judging by the map, the territory of Baroness Silverlight was uninhabited for the last hundred years.
There was only an abandoned village and an abandoned church there.

Her recently deceased father didn’t even get to see his own territory before he died.
And Sheryl, who inherited the family, doesn’t have much of a chance to see her own territory either.
『Maid of Her Highness the Princess, Daughter of the Duke’s House』she lived her days doing housework.

Working in the royal palace like that, she could sometimes get a feeling of being a noble.
But only the feeling.
Perhaps if would be better for her to chase after her commoner mother, who returned home.
Her mother’s home was a home of hunters.
That’s right. Let’s become a hunter too–on a certain day when she thought about that.

She heard a strange rumor as she listened to a conversation of other maids.

「Hey, Sheryl, do you know? All the talk about your territory」

「Eh, what are you talking about? What’s happened to my territory? 」

「Ah, it seems that you don’t know. No, I only heard it from people myself………the Silverlight Barony is supposed to be a wilderness, right? 」

「Yes. I didn’t see it with my own eyes but……the underground water source has dried up about two hundred years ago and, without much rains, it supposedly turned into an uninhabited wilderness」

「Right? Even so. A traveler took a shortcut through the Silverlight Barony and talked about a lake and grassland or something」

「Eeh? A lake? Grassland? No way. If it’s true, I can repopulate my lands right now」

「Right~. The rumors shouldn’t be counted on」

After that, the meeting near the well came to an end and everyone went to do their own work.
At first, Sheryl only treated that as a simple rumor.
However, with time she ended up thinking「What if it’s true? 」more often.

After all, there was no reason to spread false rumors about the forgotten lands of the Silverlight Barony. It won’t bring any profit.
That’s why it was trustworthy.

Sheryl wanted to confirm that with her own eyes.

As she spent her days unable to reach a decision, she heard the same rumor from another maid.

At that time, Sheryl resolved herself.

「I’d like to take some time off–」

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Having said that, Sheryl quit her job as a maid, gathered her humble savings and departed from the royal capital.
Her destination was her own territory.
If the rumors are true, I can become a real noble.
If they aren’t…….I’ll go to the mother’s home.
Either way, I don’t have any future prospects on the royal palace.

Five days later.
Sheryl was quite close to the Silverlight Barony
She admired herself quite a bit for not getting lost on the way.
It was a proof of proper roads maintenance.
Every fork had a sign, as long as you look at it, you won’t be able to get lost.

That being said, the proper roads ended here.

The highway leading to the Silverlight Barony wasn’t maintained for the last two hundred years.
Most likely, there was nothing resembling the roads there.

「Etto…….right of this big tree…..right? 」

There was a sole big three in the middle of the grassland before Sheryl.
According to the map, right of this tree was the Silverlight Barony.
There was supposed to be a signboard here.
But even if there was a signboard, there was no road.

No, looking closely, she noticed some cobblestones below the grass.
Perhaps Sheryl’s territory was at the end of this cobblestone trail.

「All right….let’s go! 」

Sheryl walked where there was supposed to be a road two hundred years ago.
Eventually, the grass is supposed to disappear to be replaced by the wilderness.
This is the Silverlight Barony.
I will reach it after half a day.

「……Strange. How far does the grassland reach……..I don’t see the wilderness anywhere」

She felt lonely and the times she talked to herself increased.
It was about time for her to reach her destination.

How far does this beautiful grassland stretch?
Even if the rumor is true, the grassland is supposed to encircle the lake.
Despite that, the grassland stretched beyond the horizon.
Maybe, I wandered off the right path somewhere.
However, there were cobblestones below the grass.
This is supposed to be the right way.

Since I came all the way here, let’s walk until the cobblestones end.
Eventually, she saw a forest.
There was a beautiful lake next to it.
There was also a hill with an old church on top.

「Is this the Silverlight Barony?」

That hill and that church, Sheryl had a recollection of them.
They looked the same as in the old painting passed down in her family from one generation to another.
However, there was no lake, there was no forest.
There was supposed to be only a small village with a small field.

Did I wander of somewhere after all, no, there wouldn’t have been this church and the hill.
Just when did this land become like this?

Failing to understand anything, Sheryl walked towards the lake.
It was clear to an unbelievable degree. She could see that far.

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「……The village has sunk」

The reason wasn’t known to her.
However, she could guess.
The underground water source suddenly revived, overflowed into the lake, and gave birth to the grasslands and the forest.

「P-People can live here…..Anyone who sees it would be glad to sponsor the development! 」

Sheryl shouted in excitement.
Her heart was beating loudly.
Trying to verify that it wasn’t her dreaming, she pinched her own cheek.
It hurts. This is the reality. Amazing!

「I did it! I did it! 」

The moment she shouted that.
On the other side of the lake, there was a splash.
Looking closely, there was a small nude girl swimming in the lake.

Her exact age was unknown but it should be about 10 years.
Silver hair stretching to her waist. Shiny white skin.
Even though she couldn’t see her looks, she could only see her as a god-like beauty.

It seems that she noticed Sheryl too and was staring back.
And she screamed even louder than Sheryl.

「Uwaaa, a humaaaaaaan! Run awaaaaaay! 」


At the same time as the girl screamed, a big slime jumped out of the lake.
The girl climbed on the slime and they ran towards the church.

「Eh, you just looked at my face…….please wait! 」

Sheryl too started running.
Sheryl didn’t know who that girl was but, perhaps, she knew the reason behind all of those changes.

「That being said……that girl called me『human』 when she saw me……almost as if she wasn’t a human herself……no way, could it be」

In this world, there were beings with human appearance.
Races like elves or dwarfs.
I wonder if the girl is one of them.
Sheryl ran towards the hill while having her doubts.


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