Although I did not completely understand Narsht's person, observation is not something that can be completed in a day.
It is necessary to continue to make observations.
Now, the next object of observation, Meisy, seems to be in a hut built on the side of the mansion.
It was just a hut until recently, but it seems that Neil, who came back from the city yesterday, brought in some alchemical equipment and turned it into a laboratory.
According to Diana, Meisy is not a bad person, but she is not a good person either, and she is a person of strong habits with simple but unpredictable principles of behavior.
It is said that Meisy is on an equal footing with Neil, and at that point, there is no doubt that Meisy is a strange person.
Now, when she saw the hut that serves as a laboratory, there was a small light window, but it was a little too high to look in, so she had no choice but to enter the hut openly.
She knock on the door of the hut several times to see if there is any response, but there is none. Thinking that possibly Meisy has returned to the mansion because it is late, she knocks on the door again to make sure there is no response, and then opens the door.
Inside the hut, where the sun is shining through the window, a figure is seen.
She calls out to the figure, who is staring at what seems to be an alchemical device, with her hand lit by candlelight in the dimly lit hut.
"It's almost dinner time."
"Hmm? Ah... as I recall, you were outside giving instructions to the workers."
"I'm Lewya, I'm Master Neil's servant with Diana."
"Well, I'm Meisy, feel free to call me Mei."
"No, I'm just a commoner and I can't call the Duchess Meisy like that."
"Ah, I don't need that kind of thing, so you don't have to bother with unfamiliar honorifics."
I was at a loss for words for a moment, thinking that I had made a mistake in using unfamiliar honorifics, but Diana had recently taught me how to use honorifics for aristocrats and other guests, and I don't think there was anything strange about it when I think back on it.
After wondering why I was not accustomed to using honorifics, and wondering whether it was acceptable to break my tone at the other party's invitation, I stopped using honorifics and frankly answered her question.
"Then, let me take you at your word. But why do you say that I am unfamiliar with honorifics? I don't think there was anything strange about my language."
"Hmm? I got that impression from your tone of voice. Isn't that the tone you usually use in front of Neil? I also noticed a slight difference in your tone when you called Diana's name and when you called Neil's name. If you are calling Neil by his name, you don't need to use honorifics to me."
"...you're right, I'm surprised you could see that much."
"I'm sure even that insensitive Neil can at least sense the difference."
It seems that I was naive in thinking that I would be able to hide it as long as I could fix my attitude and tone of voice.
Although I may not be revealed as an elf, at least I am not a mere servant of the Count.
"Besides, I don't think Count Atmiras had a servant like you, where did Neil hire you from?"
I knew she would ask me that question.
If there is a servant who calls his master by his name, anyone would wonder who are they?
As I was wondering how to avoid this question, Meisy suddenly turns her eyes back to her hand and opens her mouth.
"Well, it doesn't matter."
"What? Don't you care about it?"
"Hmm? I do, but I don't see why I should 'care' if Neil knows who you are, and it's not like I'm the one hiring you."
I see, I think I understand what Diana meant.
When Diana first told me about Meisy, I thought she was a person who had no interest in anything other than research, but that is not the case.
It is not that she is not interested in other things, but that she loses her interest in a moment.
She is curious about what she is curious about and asks questions about it, but immediately after she asks a question, she loses interest because she thinks that there is no point in knowing about it.
It was easy to imagine that she could maintain her interest only in the matters related to her research, and her reaction to other matters would be as it is now.
I thought this was indeed a strong habit of hers, and I talked to her more to get to know her better.
"By the way, what are you doing now?"
"Distilling miorne, the base of alchemy. The stuff Neil bought was a bit poor quality, so I'm removing impurities from it."
"Are you going to make a seasoning with it?"
"No, this is not what Neil is trying to do. The seasoning is over there."
Meisy pointed in the direction where I saw a small barrel in the corner of the hut with a strange metal doll on top of it.
"Is the barrel with the strange doll on it the seasoning?"
"To be precise, the inside of the barrel is the seasoning, and by the way, the doll is a substitute doll often used in alchemy experiments. The reason I put it on top of the barrel is so that if any toxin is generated or leaks from it, the substitute doll will be the first to detect it."
"I see, so people have been experimenting with alchemy using such a thing."
"Well, I heard that they experimented with sinners before the substitute doll was invented. As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather have a human being who gives me a live reaction than a substitute doll."
"You're saying that humans are better, but that's quite a disturbing thing to say. Is such a thing still allowed today?"
"It was banned in the Empire a long time ago, but I heard that somewhere in the Republic they are still experimenting with prisoners, not substitute dolls. So, it would be a lot easier if the 'our' Empire did the same."
"...You seem to know a lot about this. Why do you want to experiment on humans so much?"
As Meisy acts as if she wants to, not hesitating to use human beings for her experiments, I ask her with a wary look on my face.
"After all, the only thing we can tell from a substitute doll is whether or not it will harm us, that's all we can tell. For example, even if there is a cure for some disease, we can only know from a surrogate that it does no harm, but we cannot tell if it works for the disease or not. We won't know until we finally administer it to a human being, so it would be better to experiment on a prisoner, wouldn't it?"
I see, this is what Diana means when she says that she is not a bad person but not a good person either.
She is willing to do things that ordinary people would avoid if necessary, and although she is still on the good side, she will become a bad person if necessary.
I continued to talk with Meisy until Diana called me for dinner.
At bedtime, I walked down the corridor of the house to my assigned bedroom, reflecting on the day's events.
I think that both of them would have been fine as members of the settlement.
But when it comes to being neighbors with the elves, I am not sure yet.
Especially Meisy, who is basically a good person, but when her research is involved, she has the potential to do some evil deeds, so it is a difficult question.
I hear what sounds like a moan from somewhere, and I turn my head to the direction of the sound.
"Is this Neil's private room?"
The source of the voice was the private room of Neil, the owner of this mansion.
Listening carefully, I realize that the source of the moaning sounds is Diana.
The sound of her voice, which sounded like a pained voice that I had never heard before, made me have a bad premonition.
No way, it can't be that Neil.
Even though I denied it in my mind, the sound of Diana's voice from the other side of the door became more and more intense, and I put my hand on the door and peeped into the room.
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