Gilbert’s Point of View
“Can’t you persuade her to leave these things at the castle’s workshop? Why did she even bother creating a storage room”
“Shut up! It wouldn’t be an issue as long as nobody other than me goes in without permission. And that applies beyond this point too. I haven’t considered the possibility of anyone else entering, so don’t touch anything without my permission.”
With those words, we entered the Treasury. It was a place guarded by Alice’s barrier, which was more durable and sturdier than her usual ones… Although it felt a bit awkward, everyone believed it was necessary to confirm its contents.
The impression we had… It was extremely luxurious. The walls were adorned with patterns that even top-notch artisans would struggle to create, and fantastical pillars stood in multiples. Oddly, even though it was a treasure vault, there was a fountain inside, along with chairs and bookshelves nearby. I asked Marquis Grantz and Mother to check it. If they turned out to be grimoires, there could be traps set up by the authors. Although such books weren’t commonly available, there was a possibility that Alice herself might be the author.
“Hm~ they don’t seem to be grimoires. Just the quality of the paper seems too good.”
“Yeah, it’s nothing we couldn’t create ourselves, but generally, we wouldn’t circulate a book like made like this.”
With no issues apparent, I reached for the book, but I couldn’t read it. According to Mother, it was written in Alice’s encryption. The characters Alicia wrote were apparently sent to the Secret Service to analyze, but they didn’t even grasp the rules governing the characters.
Going further in, wooden boxes and items wrapped in what appeared to be bandages were haphazardly strewn around. Marquis Grantz sternly warned me not to touch them. It seemed these were items of magic nature being stored and sealed away.
And further in… just how vast is this place!? I can’t see the end. But after walking for about five minutes, a small house came into view.
“Why is this here?”
Mr. Coote’s home.
It wasn’t a house. There were no doors, only a roof and walls, with blankets spread inside. It was a doghouse. Only Alice would know the reason for its existence. It felt overwhelmingly out of place here. However, as we approached, a slightly larger structure came into view behind it.
“Is this the real workshop? But there’s a barrier around it. It seems like the same barrier guarding the Treasury itself. Alice, could you let us in, please?”
When Mother asked, the “sleepwalking” Alice entered the small house first. Then the barrier disappeared without a sound. But soon after, a buzzing sound began.
(Up to 5 cookies per day.)
“It’s not a workshop, it’s a snack storage.”
The sound of “Up to 5 cookies per day” echoed throughout the room. The place was filled with a multitude of sweets. Truly Alice-like. She had been hoarding this much. It was like the reserves for an entire army. Moreover, they seemed to be preserved with magic, showing no signs of deterioration. It appeared that she was controlling the storage with a magic stone in the center of the room.
“How much has she been hoarding? In a way, it’s surprising.”
No one expected that she had amassed this much. Marquis Grantz burst into laughter.
“Guhahaha! Isn’t she just like me? I also have my storage cellar filled with barrels of alcohol.”
“You!! Don’t tell me you’re keeping hazardous materials in the workshop!”
The situation was met with laughter and astonishment.
They were having things done her way in here too, even though it was technically a state facility. Alice’s carefree nature must have undoubtedly been influenced by Marquis Grantz. The only difference was barrels of alcohol and sweets. Moreover, as a measure to prevent overeating, warnings continued as long as one stayed in this room. In a way, it was quite strict. Five cookies wouldn’t be enough to satisfy anyone.
“What do you think, Alicia?”
“Most of these are what I’ve made. As for the store-bought ones, they are all from the Princess’s favorite shops.”
“I wonder when she started stockpiling. She spends money so easily, but she hoards sweets.”
“Perhaps for Alice, these have more value than money?”
It seemed like the only plausible explanation. Alice was naturally indifferent to money. She had no pressing needs, and it was unlikely that she ever would. Since she earned her own living wages, financial difficulties were unlikely to be a concern for her in the future.
However, the security measures were quite stringent. This room was heavily guarded. Fully armed golems with guns were stationed on all sides. They probably attacked if you tried to eat without permission… or was it not strange at all?
“Is this to prevent Alice from eating them freely? Isn’t she being too strict with herself?”
“She must want to hoard them that much. There are even traces of her blood around here. They probably attack by avoiding vital points. I’ll definitely give her a lecture later. I wish she would take better care of herself. Why are sweets more important than her own well-being?”
It’s hard to say. Marquis Grantz was roaring with laughter, saying he might need the same kind of protective barrier in his storage, considering his recent excessive drinking might deplete all of his alcohol reserves.
Alice’s hoarding was almost on the same level as Marquis Grantz’s. Finding the golems too dangerous for Alice’s well-being, Father destroyed them. (He couldn’t break the barrier protecting the sweets.)