“You… you’ve come into our house for Anna’s sake, aren’t you?”
The Grand Wife muttered as she sat in the rocking chair in her room, looking out the window after finishing her lunch.
I’ve just finished bringing food for the Wife and Anna in the Anna’s room while I check her belongings.
“Yes. That’s pretty much it.”
It’s for my sake rather than Anna’s, though, but if the result is good for her, then I guess that statement was not wrong.
“I wonder when she becomes so haughty… I thought she just a baby chick up to now.”
“She’s fifteen, you know.”
“That’s right. Children grow up so fast… If you ask me, even my son is already middle-aged. It’s not surprising that my grandchildren are now adults… for me to not notice it, I guess I am getting old.”
The lonely expression of grandma suddenly changed into a smile.
At that time, I noticed Hayato in the garden, lifting up a completed birdhouse and waving at me.
“It looks like the birdhouse is ready.”
“He made a good one. I wonder if you could put it in front of my room, not on the roof. I’m sure it would be a lot of fun for the birds to come and play here.”
“True, let’s ask him to make another one.”
I opened the window and leaned forward a little. A warm, soft breeze shook the thin curtains.
“Can you make another one of those?”
“They want one here.”
“Oh, understood. All right. –Mr. James! Do you have any more wood and nails?”
The gardener, called Mr. James, replied in a loud voice, “Gotcha!”.
He seemed to have become friends with the gardener. How could they accept him with his suspicious appearance?
“Please wait,” he said. “After I’ve installed this, I’ll clean up the inside, and then I’ll start working on the next one.”
“Thank you very much. But there’s no need to rush.”
“Yeah. –Hey, come here a second.”
“What is it?”
He took off his gloves and touched my cheek with his bare hand as I put my face out the window as he asked.
It was recovery magic. There is hardly any pain anymore, but the burning is fading away. –It seems to be working. Good.
“It’s healing quite well.”
“Thanks to you. Thank you.”
He took my hand from the window, lowered the cloth from my face, and kissed the back of my hand.
It was a gesture that was too intimate. I couldn’t believe he was the same person who had asked me just a few months ago, “How much touching is okay?”
He’s changed a lot in the past few months.
He’s dyed in “noble color” as the day gone by and grown a bit taller. It’s not a bad change, but I also feel a little lonely.
I feel as if I’m being left behind. I know it’s a selfish feeling since I’m the one who dragged him to this side.
“I’ll see you later.”
When I was about to close the window, the Grand Wife said, “Leave it open.”
“The breeze looks nice today. I think I’ll go for a walk in the garden for the first time in a while. Can you go with me?”
“Yes. If you give me ten more minutes, I’ll be able to finish my job.”
“Yes. How is it going…? Is it all there?”
“Yes, ma’am. There are no missing items so far. Though there are still some things to check.”
“Hmmm… Well, that’s good. I’ve asked Stella and the butler to take care of the rest of the household… I wonder what will come up.”
If nothing happens, so be it. If there is a loss – then it’s a bit of a problem. If possible, I want everything to go off without a hitch. As I was checking, the Grand Wife began to work on the embroidery on a shiny blue ribbon. She stitched a flower pattern with blue thread.
“Is that for Miss Anna?”
“Yes. They say the color blue brings good luck to a bride, right? The girl has to decide who she wants to marry. Might as well preparing it now.”
“…Oh, that’s right. You and your husband are very close, aren’t you? I’d like to have a handkerchief from you to lend to Anna for her wedding.”
“That’s a bit…”
What the Grand Wife is talking about is the Four Something jinx.
It is a traditional jinx to use four things at a wedding to wish for eternal happiness. It consists of: something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue.
I guess what the Wife is saying is that she wants me to give her something borrowed from me since we are happily married.
Though I can’t do that, it would be too sarcastic to share my happiness with her to celebrate her marriage.
I mean, I’m not really married yet. And I don’t know who’s going to get married first, her or me.
“Lady Anna hasn’t decided who she’s going to marry yet, has she?”
“Yes, but in my mind, it’s already decided. He is the heir and has a good personality. It’s not the one my son recommends. It’s a good offer, but I’m afraid it’s too good to be true.”
“Oh, is that so?”
“Pretty much it is. Your husband is a bit like that, isn’t he? I think he’s the kind of man that no normal woman can handle.”
“Am I wrong? He’s good enough to move up to the B level when he’s 20, loving enough to follow his wife to her job, and he’s got the looks, right?
A normal woman wouldn’t want to lose him, so usually, she will cling to him too much and loses herself. He’s like an addictive poison.”
“That’s quite a statement.”
But I don’t know.
I already don’t know who I am. I’m not sure if I’m Alisha or Elly, a daughter of Duke or a B-rank adventurer, a lecturer or a maid… I’m so confused. I think it’s too late.
I don’t know who I am… I really don’t know what I am anymore.
“Since you married such a man, it’s best to look at him from a distance. you’d better pull yourself together and work hard.”
Soon after I finished checking the inventory, I closed the window and accompanied her for a walk in the garden.
I declined the offer to lend her my handkerchief and returned to the house after watching the baby birds enter the birdhouse on the roof.
When I went to the kitchen to prepare for 3 o’clock, I found Hayato cleaning the fireplace in Anna’s room with someone who looked like a servant of the mansion. The head maid and his Wife were also with him.
The door was open for ventilation, so I could see what was going on inside.
The head maid seemed to be checking Miss Anna’s belongings, alternately looking at the shelves and the inventory at hand.
Both Wife and Miss Anna’s eyes were red, but Wife was gently combing and retying Miss Anna’s black hair with a gentle expression.
It was as if she was doing it for a small child.
Anna was staring at the mirror as if to check her and her mother’s condition. Suddenly she noticed my gaze, looked at me and smiled embarrassedly.
Apparently, they were able to have a conversation that resolved their differences.
Judging from the high population density in her room, it seems that unless there’s a big problem, it won’t turn out to be a conversation between Hayato and Anna.
With that in mind, I made my way to the kitchen.
As I began to prepare the tea, thinking that I was going to be relieved of my duties sooner than expected, the senior maids came into the kitchen later, chattering.
“Didn’t you see that? Didn’t you see how cool that chimney sweep was?”
“I saw it! He’s got that kind of vibe!”
“I want to see his face! If ‘accidentally’ pour tea on him, will he take the cloth off his face?”
“Wanna try it?”
A terrifying exchange is taking place.
I don’t think they are seriously going to pour boiling water on him, but I think I need to warn him about this. With that in mind, I put some magic into my ear cuffs.
“What? What’s wrong?”
“Be careful with the maids. They might pour tea on you.”
“What? What’s that? They were the cause of Alice’s burns, after all. Why do they want to pour liquid on people so much?”
“I don’t know. Anyway, please be careful.”
After the whispered exchange, I cut off communication. The trio put the tea set and cake on the cart and started discussing who would go to serve which family member.
“I’ll go to the Grand Wife.”
“Yes, but the Grand Wife wants that newcomer to come.”
“No problem. I’d rather find out why a newcomer who just arrived this morning suddenly became a senior. I’m sure you’re all wondering the same thing.”
“That’s true, but …”
“I’m also a senior, so I can find out that much. Let me do it.”
She then pushed the cart with great enthusiasm and left the kitchen.
The remaining two consulted with each other and decided to go to Alice’s brother and sister, respectively. Naturally, the remaining part went to me.
“You, go to Miss Anna and the Wife.”
I wanted to find out a little more about the situation, so this was perfect. If it looks like it’s going to be okay, I’d like to withdraw without going any deeper.
Originally, it was a problem that could be overcome if only Miss Anna herself was willing to do so.
She seemed to think that if she sided with either her grandmother or her mother, she would feel sorry for the other, and I could understand why she felt that way, but it wasn’t like they had to be enemies.
After giving the grandmother a stern warning, she should give her some homemade cookies and tell her that she cares for her too.
That’s the privilege of being a grandchild, something no one else can do.
“Excuse me. I’ve brought you some tea.”
I knocked on the door and entered Miss Anna’s room. It seemed that Hayato had already cleaned the fireplace, and Anna’s inventory inspection had ended, and now she was alone. I read my mind, though now I feel very comfortable talking to her.
“Miss Ellie, I’m…”
“Were you able to talk to your mother?”
She nodded her head.
“Yes. But my grandmother…”
“She wasn’t upset at all. She’s fine.”
“I see. I’m glad… I was afraid I was a little out of line.”
“[That old woman] was definitely a harsh word. But it’s okay, isn’t it? If you think of it as the same as when we are called little brats by the chairman or messengers of hell by our brother.”
“Eh… Dr. Ellie, is that what they call you?”
“What? You’ve never been told that?”
–I almost dropped the teapot.
She was an unpopular girl. I felt a bit of camaraderie with her, but I was mistaken.
She doesn’t have good adults calling her a brat, and her family doesn’t call her the devil.
I realized the disparity in our basic quality where I didn’t expect it, and it slowly took effect like a body blow as time went by.
I need to do something about my bad… trait.
Something old jinx – okay, I just know this, thx google sensei.