Jeanne Learns to Read
As the rest of the commanders moved out and the soldiers rested, I saw a single girl sitting at the council table.
She looked bored as she sat there and leaned on her elbow.
I considered talking to her.
But if I did, she would probably expect me to amuse her for a while.
And yet I was rather busy and needed to rest as well.
And so I didn’t talk to her. At least, until I realized that she had been staring at Eve for quite some time.
She was looking at Eve’s book, and there was something like jealousy in her eyes.
It was only a dictionary, not the most compelling reading material.
As I thought this, she began to mutter to herself.
“…It must be nice to be able to read.”
Those words were enough to get an idea of what was going through her head.
Saint Jeanne wished to read books.
She was the daughter of poor farmers in the countryside of France. She was illiterate in that world as well as this one.
And this seemed to trouble her.
I found that I pitied her, and so I said,
“Jeanne. Do you want to be able to read?”
She said as she raised her head.
“Yes, I would.”
“Are you interested in being an administrator?”
“Then why do you wish to read?”
“It seems like a good way to stave off boredom.”
“I see. Well, you’re not wrong.”
“There are many books in this castle’s library that look interesting. I want to read them all.”
“You do seem to like being there.”
“Yes, though I can only look at the illustrations.”
“Perhaps. It’s my lot as a heroine.”
She said and pretended to cry.
Feeling sorry for her, I promised that I would teach her to read.
“You will? Demon King?”
“I do not mind. You are important to this castle, Jeanne. It would be convenient if you could read. And I do not wish for you to be bored.”
“Do you say that to the ladies at night?”
“I definitely do not.”
“Hijikata once told me. Men who bore women in the bedchamber are scum.”
“It is better that you don’t trust the words of the worst womanizer of his age.”
She said obediently. And then the lesson began.
I had Eve bring over some paper and then started to teach Jeanne the alphabet of this world.
The alphabet was the same that was used in France.
A to Z. Twenty-six characters.
Of course, they looked different, but it was easy to memorize.
But then again, Jeanne was not even familiar with any alphabet.
And so I had to be slow and patient as we started with ‘A.’
I scribbled an ‘A.’
It was pronounced differently in the small country of England, but that was fine.
Though, the British were known for their poor food, but someone should say something about their language. I complained. Jeanne readily agreed.
“Yes, I do hate those English.”
“Indeed. There are beasts who dress as gentlemen and gentlemen who dress as beasts in this world. But they tend to be the former.”
“We think very alike.”
“But then again, I do love tea.”