<Rikonen District> is a residential area located in the northwestern part of Vouka town.
It's a quiet neighborhood where middle class people reside, it's got its name from the Rikonen tress growing on the sides of the road.
One woman has purchased a snug house situated around the middle area of this Rikonen District. It was originally a house built by a renowned transcriber with a small yet tasteful garden inside, fit for anyone wishing to live a quiet life alone.
The woman who bought this house is quite at an advanced age, yet she's got this springiness about her, and despite her rather rough speech, she's furnished with high scientific attainments.
For a period of time, even the close neighbors weren't aware that this woman had started living in the house.
Her existence only became known after a certain event in the neighborhood.
The eldest son of someone who lived there, then 12-year old Bonfur fell from the veranda of his house and hit his head on a garden stone.
The mother Rikanu was panicking around in a half-frenzied state, the father Jaston had resigned to his son's impending death despite sending an employee run to a medical center.
That was when this woman showed up and offered a medium red potion.
Rikanu took the potion like she was snatching it from her and frantically sprinkled it over her son. The son who was bleeding on the head miraculously recovered, and by the time a medical practitioner arrived, they couldn't find anything wrong with him.
A medium red potion fetches one big silver coin, but that's the lowest price one goes in a dungeon city, in ordinary towns, it can go ten to sixty times higher. Furthermore, they're not something stores display on the shelves, you just can't buy them whenever.
That woman who called herself Sandra spoke to Jaston who offered to compensate her for the potion how that red potion was something she bought in a dungeon city she was visiting as a research material, and for him to take it as a greeting present for her moving in.
Jaston, an experienced middle-class headhunter is no stranger to bargaining tactics. He could tell that Sandra was serious about not seeking compensation.
Jaston who had been completely amazed by this told Sandra to go ahead ask him anything should she need something.
Sandra took upon his offer right away and said that she was looking to hire a maid so she would like a recommendation on a good establishment.
As Jaston is exactly running that kind of business, he told her that he would look for a maid that fit her criteria, which Sandra then enumerated.
She's not particular with ages or looks. She's looking for a quiet and obedient individual.
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The maid's work will be cleaning, tending garden and washing.
She is to come to the house every two to three days, and to finish the work in half to an hour time.
Sandra herself frequently goes out to faraway places for her work, so she's often not at home. She'll left the key to the maid, and she expects her to work even while she's gone.
There's no room the maid can't enter. Cupboards and drawers she doesn't want open will be locked. She doesn't want the maid to touch papers and documents that may be lying around.
As she likes to brew tea on her own, the maid isn't expected to do that.
She cooks for herself, so there's no need for that either. As she won't prepare meals for the maid, they're expected to have eaten before coming in.
Sandra isn't really fussy about built-up dust, so the cleaning doesn't have to be too thorough. The maid can come and go as she pleases since it will also serve to ventilate the house.
After stating those curious prerequisites, Sandra handed over a big magic stone as the wage for a period of time.
Jaston firmly denied it at first. He was planning to shoulder the wage for the maid. But after a heated argument, he relented and took the magic stone.
He was not too familiar with magic stones, yet he still found it magnificent to the point he thought of gazing at it for a while. 'I can just hand over a sum amount of money worth this magic stone later', thought Jaston.
Later on when he showed it to a magic stone merchant, he was dumbfounded when he found out about the price.
At first he sent a young maid for the job, but she got married and stopped the gig, thus he sent an elderly maid next. This one is still working for Sandra even now.
According to the maid, Sandra's house is filled with books, documents and weird articles in every room. As books are expensive, Sandra must be quite affluent to have so many.
Curiously enough, there's barely any cookware in Sandra's house. The maid would sometimes found leftover garbage from store-bought food, and very rarely she would make soup Sandra would gulp down, but it's a mystery just what kind of food she persists on.
Sandra frequently goes out in a long excursion. Even when she's back, she often goes out in daytimes, and conversely people tend to see a flicker-less light, magic light, late at night. People guessed that she was an avid and wealthy researcher who wouldn't pinch on magic stones. She would present in her house very rarely, like once every tens of days. Mysteriously enough, there's a surprising lack of people who have seen her go in and out of her house.
Her nickname <Scholar Sandra> was first coined by Jaston. The neighbors called her Sandra-san the scholar, and then it got stuck before anyone realized.
Bonfur the boy she saved would often come to thank scholar Sandra, and got along well with her now. Sandra herself never went out of her way to get in touch with people, but neither would she act apathetic to those who visited her.
At times, Sandra would gently talk about simplified versions of advanced research that would pique Bonfur's interest, another time she would talk about true facts and secrets of histories, then one time was about songs and tales from another country, all which tightly seized Bonfur's mind.
Eventually Bonfur came to call Sandra, 'sensei', he would intrude on her house whenever he saw her home to listen to her stories. Sandra would send her maid to buy expensive tea and snacks, but most of those snacks ended up in Bonfur's stomach.
Bonfur is 22 year old now, he's started managing his father's business. The father would look fondly on his son's growth and begin to consider retiring.
On the sixth year after Sandra took residence in that house, Jaston's wife, Rikanu fell down with a high fever of unknown cause, her condition worsened badly and the medical practitioner couldn't do anything for her, that was when Sandra who had come to visit asked them to leave her and Rikanu alone in the room, in which they did, afterward Rikanu's condition improved.
Sandra asked Jaston to keep it a secret. Jaston swore to bring it to his grave.
That was how Sandra became Jaston's family's neighbor as well as savior. Apparently, a few other neighboring houses are also indebted to Sandra in some ways.
Sandra never interacted with the neighbors, no one even saw her going out of house to meet another. Hence, there's only a handful of people who knew Sandra's name and face.
Nevertheless, no one in Rikonen District would speak ill of Sandra.
Incidentally, an apothecary by name Shira lived deep in an area of dilapidated buildings at the opposite end of town to Rikonen District. She was an individual who made highly effective medicine, those who know know, but her social disposition was extremely lacking, in fact, barely anyone knew Shira's face.
How that Shira was visited by <Herb Saint> Guide Skalabel and even got called master by him is a popular pastime talk in the town. It's also said that Shira is living a secluded life somewhere, so no one knows where to see her.
If someone who knew apothecary Shira's face saw scholar Sandra's, they might speak how they are the exact same person.
However, apothecary Shira would wear ragged and dirty clothes, while scholar Sandra always wore elegant and tidy outfits. They live apart and the air around them is quite dissimilar as well.
At the end of the day, humans don't only see faces, but also social class, clothes, bearings, residence and how someone socializes with others, they look at how someone lives their life as a whole, as such no one would make the connection between the two, that they're one and the same.
Even if someone did manage to, it's clear that they're completely different people when you compare how Sandra lived for the past ten years in the district in contrast to how Shira lived. Even though it's the same town, their places of residents are too far apart. It's impossible for her to be at Shira's house at daytime, and Sandra's at night. Human cannot be at two different places at the same time.
Scholar Sandra is deep in another research today.
A research no one is privy to.
[Intermission 2 Scholar Sandra] End/Next [Episode 28 Rafin's Rock Terrace Arbor]