‘It’s sacred…’ She arrived at the warehouse where the beans were piled up with sand.
It was a warehouse, but it was enshrined in the center of one of the guest rooms in the crown prince’s palace; perhaps it was impossible to arbitrarily pile up things containing divine power.
When the servant left after the guide, Ophelia was left alone with the beans, or rather, beans mixed with sand.
Ophelia knocked on the huge barrel of beans and sand, then put her hand inside it.
She picked out a couple of beans from the much more finely grained sand than she expected, and proceeded to take out beans one after another.
However, it was impossible to pick out all the beans in a container large enough for one person to fit in by hand even if you were given a long time.
Ophelia muttered, searching for a solution while picking out the beans.
“I think I’ve seen something like this somewhere…”
Ophelia, who had tilted her head greatly, immediately widened her eyes.
Psyche, unable to resist temptation at the whispers of her older sisters, eventually lost her husband, Eros.
One of the things she received from Aphrodite, the mother of Eros and the goddess of love, to make up for that mistake.
“Is it classifying pigeon feed?”
Ophelia couldn’t remember the details, but it was regarding sorting out things of different sizes, be it sand or something else.
“It’s not exactly the same thing! But the story is a myth and this world is in a novel, so something similar may be done. What did Psyche do then?”
Although the basis for finding a solution was absolutely poor, Ophelia was serious.
Rolling the beans she had picked out while being immersed in her thoughts, Ophelia suddenly patted her numb leg and got up.
“The ants sent by Eros helped to classify them.”
In other words, Psyche’s story was of no help to Ophelia now.
“How can I use ants…. There really is no answer.”
As Ophelia shed a dry smile, a familiar voice resounded from behind.
She didn’t know how or when he came in, but Richard was leaning his back against the closed door, tilting his head.
Ophelia approached Richard in a heartbeat.
“Your Highness! Don’t you have anything to do?”
“It sounds quite unpleasant, it makes me feel uncomfortable when you say it so refreshingly.”
“No, I don’t mean it in a bad way. I was wondering if you could help me.”
Richard covered Ophelia’s forehead with his palm as she approached him, holding both hands together and with her eyes shining brightly.
“I thought I heard you say you’ll work hard like a cow as an assistant. You want me to help you? You can’t pick up all the beans by the end of the day even with one more hand.”
Ophelia raised her brows and replied, her eyes still twinkling as it was.
“What do you mean, you don’t have to pick beans with your noble hands.”
Ophelia took Richard’s hand down and lowered her voice to the fullest.
“If it’s not ants, don’t you have something like insects?”
He was silent for a moment, unable to find a word to answer for a moment, and Ophelia did not bother to hire him.
When Richard realized that the blue eyes full of hope were sincere, he asked for confirmation.
“Ants, ants. Don’t you know ants? A very small, creeping black insect with a head, thorax and abdomen.”
“I know what an ant is. But asking me if I have ants? Like humans?”
“Yes! It doesn’t have to be ants. As long as it has enough strength to pick out beans from sand, and there’s a lot of them!”
“There is no such talent.”
In response, Ophelia patted Richard’s hand and clicked her tongue.
“It’s really not helpful.”
“It’s really the first time I’ve ever heard that not being able to control ants doesn’t help.”
“As the protago… no, as the Crown Prince, shouldn’t you be able to control insects?”
Richard looked at Ophelia expressing her dissatisfaction through complaints even though it was obvious he couldn’t do it, and then turned his head away.
“You’re smiling to yourself again…”
Ophelia didn’t know what caused the smile, but leaving Richard to smile by himself, she resumed thinking of ways to pick out the beans.
After a while, the crown prince’s smile faded and he asked the woman.
“What are you going to do now? I can’t control ants, but I can control humans.”
“If I make use of Your Highness so openly, the two aides who are already looking at me with bad eyes will come to boil and eat me.”
The two were more likely to give Ophelia a very high score for moving him, but he didn’t bother to add that.
If it was Iris, aside from rating Ophelia’s abilities as high, just the fact that she used Richard would make her want to take Ophelia.
“By the way, Your Highness.”
“And what else?”
“Don’t you have anything to do? This time, I’m asking with the correct intentions.”
—Honestly, aren’t you going? Ophelia asked with this meaning, but Richard shook his head.
“You’ve cleared the whole mountain of documents?”
—Then? To Ophelia, who had the question written on her forehead, Richard answered dryly.
“I don’t want to work right now, so I’m not.”
At his statement, the words that ‘he lived so comfortably in the world’ were pushed to the tip of her tongue, but she swallowed it.
This was because she knew better than anyone that his life was never comfortable.
“Come to think of it, if Your Highness is here, even if there is an assassination attempt, it will be easier for me to understand. Since we’re just here.”
It was rude for an aide to say that to the crown prince, but it had been a long time since either of them cared about such trifles.
How much time had passed as Ophelia picked the beans with Richard watching her?
Ophelia tapped her throbbing waist and licked her dry lips.
“What is the probability that if I go into this barrel and struggle, the beans will pop out?”
“It will be infinitely close to zero.”
“In that case, please tell me a white lie.”
“Once I get in it, something must pop out, whether it’s beans or sand.”
“I guess so. It’s not like it’s overflowing with water…”
Without speaking, Ophelia rapidly blinked.
Richard, seeing that, took his back off the wall and stepped out.
Ophelia found Richard approaching suddenly, but she was not surprised at all. Instead, she narrowed her eyes.
“What is it? Why are you looking at me like that?”
An expressionless face and gaze. But as she went through the loop of infinite regression, she was gradually able to read his minute facial expressions and emotions; thus, she found the slightest interest in his eyes.
“I was wondering what other crazy things you would say this time.”
“Crazy? I’m an aide, not a clown.”
“I’m not a clown.”
“A great aide.”
“Please put more heart into it.”
“Okay. Aide, so?”
Ophelia was not at all satisfied, but at that point, she brought up the answer that Richard was hoping for.
“Is it another insect after ants?”
Ophelia paused for a moment at Richard’s incredibly strange retort that came out so quickly.
After all, this was a fictional world.
After going through so many ups and downs in this world for so long, even though her brain knew this was in a novel, the memories of her previous life would sometimes surface and mix.
It did have its own merits.
Ophelia stared at Richard.
Even though she kept looking at that unrealistic face shape and physical abilities that couldn’t be considered a human in front of her, he didn’t feel like a paper doll.
Wasn’t that often the case in novels with possessed people?
Whether it was possession or reincarnation, if you entered a novel, even if the place became a reality, the characters rarely felt like real people.
While feeling the reality with your whole body, in the corner of your mind, you would go ‘this person will be like this, that person will be like that’ and unconsciously makes the mistake of fitting them into fictional characters rather than real people.
Then at some point, as if struck by lightning, you realized that these people were ‘real’ people…
“Your Highness. Can I touch you?”
It wasn’t the reply Richard was looking for, and it came out of nowhere, but he didn’t say anything and simply grabbed her hand.
Ophelia smiled halfheartedly at the rough, dry warmth felt by her hand.
His hands, which had been returning infinitely for so long, giving up life and even death, were warm.
“So what about Archimedes?”
“Oh, that’s right. he’s just a scholar. Don’t make a face like, ‘There are scholars I don’t know?’ Scholar… he’s just a country grandfather.”
Although she quickly turned the greatest mathematician in Greek history into a grandfather next door, Ophelia was brazen.
It wasn’t like she ate and lived well from copying his achievements.
“What he said is a lot more complicated, but anyway, all I need now is water.”
“Water. Sand sinks and beans float.”
“How can you infer that with the one word ‘water’. You’re really not human.”
“A very simple but more efficient solution.”
Ophelia brought out the abandoned elegance for a moment and bent her knees slightly.
“Thank you for the compliment… Your Highness.”
She stopped being formal and asked with a serious face.