At the end of the year, the birthdays came first. Even the monastery, which was also known as the House of God, celebrated birthdays, as expected, and Nicolette knew about them. However, she was a bit taken aback that it was such a big deal.
“I thought birthdays were supposed to be spent with family.”
“'Normally, yes, but I'm the emperor and you're the queen. This is what an imperial aristocrat's birthday celebration looks like.”
And Wolfgang indicated with his hand at a dance hall a little further down. Many aristocrats were enjoying their evening parties there. It was a birthday party hosted by the emperor.
“I agree with that.”
Wolfgang and Nicolette agreed that a birthday celebration should be spent with family or at most with good friends.
As expected, there was no entertainment on New Year's Eve. Nicolette was disappointed that she did not get to see the first sunrise of the new year because she stayed up late, but he didn't think she would have seen the sunrise on the first day of the new year anyway because of the snow.
Although the court had stopped functioning during the year-end and New Year's holidays, officials would come to the castle in three days. In conjunction with this, a New Year's audience with the emperor and queen would be held. The idea was to listen to the New Year's greetings of the nobility in the audience chamber.
Every year, this was a pain for Wolfgang. This was in addition to the increase in work since the harvest festival, followed by the birthday festival and the year-end and New Year's holidays. It was difficult to just ask, but more difficult to have to respond.
This time, however, was unexpectedly easy. Nicolette, who had a good memory and was a good speaker, would interject appropriately if she thought the greeting was too long. As a token of his gratitude, he decided to place the organ that Nicolette had wanted in the queen's room. She literally jumped up and down with joy, flabbergasted, and Helma warned her.
He feared that she would eventually collapse due to her increased preoccupation, but it was Wolfgang who actually collapsed. Toward the end of the first month of the new year, Wolfgang went to bed. According to the doctor, overwork caused the fever.
Wolfgang woke up with a dazed head and found Nicolette sitting on a chair by his bedside, knitting for some reason. She was making something big with white yarn.
“What are you making?”
"Ah, Wolf-sama, good morning.”
When Nicolette realized that her voice had awakened Wolfgang, she looked at him and smiled.
“I thought I'd make a simple lap blanket. Is Wolf-sama all right? Ah, do you want some water?”
"Ah, please do.”
When Wolfgang sat up, Nicolette offered him a goblet of water. He accepted it with an unstressed hand and drank the contents.
This was not the marital bedroom of the emperor and queen. It was another bedroom, on the emperor's side. From the queen's room, it was still connected by a door, so Nicolette could enter...
When he said this, Nicolette tilted her head with a scowling expression.
“Is it weird to take care of my husband?”
“...Here we go.”
“My mother said, 'You can catch a cold, but not a fever.'”
Nicolette's mother was apparently as bright as she was, but he felt this statement lacked credibility.
However, Wolfgang decided not to make any specific tweaks, since he had already learned that it was useless to point out to Nicolette, who was basically a free spirit. Part of it was simply that he was happy to have her take care of him.
“It seems your mother was keeping statistics. I wonder how she got those statistics.”
“You... It's coming back to me...”
How they kept weather statistics was also a mystery to Wolfgang. Nicolette smiled deceitfully, “Ah ha ha”, and reached out to touch Wolfgang's forehead. Her hands felt nice and cold.
“The fever is still high. I think you need to get some sleep.”
Nicolette laid Wolfgang down and covered him with a sheet. A wet cloth wiped the sweat from his forehead. Wolfgang closed his eyes.
He remembered his mother used to take care of him like this when he was really little. His mother died soon after giving birth to his brother, but she was a beautiful and kind person. Wolfgang's silver hair was inherited from his mother.
When he closed his eyes, it seemed he had fallen asleep before he knew it. The next time he woke up, it was dark all around.
“Are you awake?”
A voice called out from the darkness, and as expected, surprised Wolfgang. It was nothing. Just Marx. Wolfgang had a fever, so he must have kept an eye on him through the night.
“Is it Marx?... What time is it?”
“It's 2:00 in the morning. The queen has long since rested.”
In fact, he would have scolded her if she had stayed awake. He decided to drink some water and go to bed for now, but his eyes were bright, so he asked Marx to talk to him for a while. As usual, his comments were in favor of Nicolette.
“She is truly a wonderful person, Your Imperial Highness. She willingly nursed His Majesty, and as expected, she became tired at night.”
“...Stop there. I might get depressed....”
“No, it was the mysterious words of Her Imperial Highness, 'He doesn’t have a fever, so he'll be fine.”
“Did she tell you guys...?”
She was not supposed to have much medical knowledge, but what did he know about the disease? He didn't understand Nicolette’s theory.
“Speaking of which, the queen was very pleased with the organ that His Majesty gave her. According to Helma, she always plays a few songs before bed.”
They recently installed an organ in the Queen's room. He used to bring them in only when necessary, but Nicolette was a rare one who said she wanted them, so he brought them in as a thank-you. Originally, it was an ordinary organ that was placed in the music room.
Now they’d have more descriptions in Nicolette's experimental record... Knitting and playing the organ.
“I'll be replaced after a while, but I'll be here so you can sleep in peace.”
Marx patted himself on the chest and said. Somehow glaring in his direction, Wolfgang closed his eyes again and fell asleep.
When he returned to consciousness for the third time, the first thing he noticed was someone singing. But not in the Hainzel language.
He recognized the voice, but when he looked in the direction of the voice, he saw Nicolette sitting in a chair, knitting. While knitting yarn, she was humming something. This was...
“Oh. I was surprised. If you're awake, call out to me.”
Literally jumping up, Nicolette expressed her surprise. Wolfgang apologized with a wry smile, “Sorry”. He got up, feeling much better, just a little light-headed.
“Is that song in Dalimorean?”
“Ah, yeah. I wonder if it was a Dalimore nursery rhyme. Wolf-sama, how are you feeling?”
“I guess so. Your breathing is steady and your pulse is much calmer. You look better if anything else.”
Nicolette smiled as she reached for the nape of Wolfgang's neck. As usual, he didn't understand what she was saying.
“But I think you still have a bit of a fever.”
Nicolette put her hand on Wolfgang's forehead as well and nodded. As usual, her hands were cold.
There, Wolfgang found himself hungry. When he complained, Nicolette smiled again.
“Yeah. If you've worked up an appetite, you're doing fine. Ah, by the way, it's about 10 a.m. right now. It's been two days since Wolf-sama had a fever.”
Casually giving information about the time, Nicolette went to open the door to call someone. There must be some servant waiting outside. Nicolette sent a message and returned immediately. She picked up the knitted lap blanket she dropped and placed it on a nearby table.
“They said they'd bring it right away.”
“I see....It's an unfortunate thing to get a fever.”
“Ahaha. You were tired, I'm sure. I'll try not to bother you too.”
“'No, since I enjoy spending time with you, it was no problem.”
Nicolette looked surprised, but also a little happy. He was rather surprised that she was aware that her behavior was annoying to others.
A short time later, Helma brought the meal. It was generally referred to as food for the sick, no wonder, because a normal diet was bad for a weakened Wolfgang.
Next to Wolfgang eating, Nicolette was knitting. It was getting pretty well done, but the mesh was uneven no matter how you looked at it.
“Nicola, you're surprisingly clumsy...”
“I can't help it. It's my first time. But I've learned to embroider reasonably well.”
Nicolette's chest puffed out, but it was a mystery to Wolfgang why she could not knit, which seemed easier than embroidery, but could embroider.
Later, after Wolfgang had fully recovered, he asked Nicolette.
“Do you even know anything about medicine?”
“Eh, why do you ask?”
“No, you took care of me. I thought you knew what you were talking about.”
Nicolette nodded and put the fork in her hand back on the plate.
“I’m not saying I have the knowledge, I just know how to deal with it. They said that when you have a fever or a cold, it's good to stay warm, drink fluids, and sleep well. I wonder what they also said...Yeah. They say it gets all the bad stuff out of your body along with the sweat.”
Who said that? Probably her mother.
However, she did not seem to know any more than that. That would be true. If she had any more medical knowledge, she would have at least dissected the animals long ago.
“...You know, Wolf-sama.”
“What is it?”
When Nicolette looked up at Wolfgang with a raised look, he was prepared to think that she was going to ask for some strange favor, but he was wrong. With a “yep”, she hugged Wolfgang around the belly.
“!? What's wrong!?”
“……You know. I am so happy that Wolf-sama is feeling better.”
By the way, did Nicolette's mother die of illness? Wolfgang's father, the earlier Emperor Hainzel, also died of illness. Illness was not something to be taken lightly.
Wolfgang smiled and stroked Nicolette's cheek as she hugged him, “I see”.
By the way, Nicolette really did not get the sick from Wolfgang. This made him wonder if she was right in her assertion that 'fever is not contagious' or if she was simply a very healthy person.
A/N: Thank you for reading this far.
Perhaps Nicolette is just a very healthy child, yes. I am not an expert on medical care, so please point out any areas of concern.
And casually, Wolfgang's thinking is terrible. But he didn't say it, so it's safe. Having said that, though, it seems that Nicolette, with her strong mentality, doesn't care.
It is time to recover the foreshadowing of the prophecy.
The next post will be the day after tomorrow (January 7).