Chapter 6. New Job

 

 

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***

 

For a moment, the room was engulfed in silence, as if cold water had been poured in.

 

“Ohohoho.”

 

The first thing that broke the engulfing silence was Lily’s laughter.

 

“The duke is very good at making jokes!”

 

Duke Hart shook his head to Lily, who spoke while swaying her hand.

 

“I mean it.”

 

Lily erased the smile on her lips right after he said so. She asked with a reluctant look on her face.

 

“Really…….?”

 

Duke Hart nodded again.

 

Sean, who had been quiet since earlier, finally opened his mouth to speak.

 

“I appreciate you for putting trust in our Nelia, but she’s not going to be of help because she loves to live idle.”

 

Although Nelia was grateful to her mother for refusing the offer in her stead, there was bitterness inside her mouth due to the sudden fact assault.

 

“The job of a handmaiden is not that difficult. I’m telling you this after considering it as much as possible, so you don’t have to be concerned about that.”

 

Duke Hart’s tone was gentle, but there was a somewhat overbearing atmosphere around him.

 

“Is this a suggestion?’

 

The villain seemed determined on his will to take her at all costs.

 

Making her feel even more suspicious than before.

 

‘Why in the world……?’

 

Why would he want to use her as a maid?

 

So he wanted to get back at her for hurting his foot? By keeping her at his side and tormenting her a little bit?

 

The villain in the original story was cruel and someone who would return what he had received, but would he do such a petty thing?

 

Once he had guessed his intentions, he needed to know exactly. She needed to figure out his intentions first, rather than guessing it wildly.

 

“I……. Mother, Father. I would like to speak with Duke Hart for a moment. May I?”

 

Nelia contemplated, then Lily and Sean stood up from their seats.

 

“That will be good.”

 

“Please make yourself comfortable, Your Grace.”

 

Lily smiled sweetly and withdrew.

 

She was left alone with Duke Hart.

 

“……”

 

“……”

 

There was a moment of silence.

 

 The duke seemed to be waiting for her. Nelia hurriedly began to speak.

 

“Your Grace.”

 

“Yes, Nelia.”

 

What on earth is he thinking about?

 

She wanted to ask, but then it would seem too impolite.

 

First of all, she should start with the things she was most curious about.

 

“Why did you lie to your parents?”

 

“I’m afraid that would make Nelia embarrassed.”

 

Nelia momentarily put aside the question she had for the duke in her mind and sent him a touching look instead.

 

It was like the duke said.

 

They have been happy about her daughter who has been quiet recently, and it would be ridiculous to say that she caused great harm to Duke Hart, the cogwheel of the empire, by stepping on his foot.

 

Even if he didn’t know the situation, she couldn’t believe he was being considerate by lying on purpose for her despite being the one who caused him to get injured.

 

‘……. Is he an angel?’

 

Nelia shook her head cutely.

 

No, the man facing her was the villain. He could have another idea in mind.

 

Nelia quickly fixed her expression, which was melting before.

 

“Did your foot …….hurt a lot?”

 

“I think there’s a fracture at my foot, so I’ve been told to be careful with whatever I’m doing for the time being. I will have to take a look at it again after the bandages are removed.”

 

Duke Hart explained the situation calmly, there was absolutely no indication of pain on his face.

 

“How long does it take to untie the bandage?”

 

“The doctor told me it would be a month, but he said he will have to keep an eye on my condition even after the bandages are removed.”

 

In her previous life, the convenience store manager showed up in a cast after having his foot struck by a heavy book, and it took him about a month to remove the cast and was finally able to walk properly.

 

If the duke recovered slowly, the working period of his handmaiden would increase.

 

Therefore, she has to work as a handmaiden by his side for a month, at least….

 

“Is there anything else you want to ask?”

 

Duke Hart asked first. Nelia, who thought it was the time, quietly put out the words.

 

“Excuse me but……. I’m sorry in advance for saying this.”

 

Duke Hart tilted his head.

 

“Can you not just get someone else who can be your handmaiden or can I make it up to you with money instead?”

 

Duke Hart’s face, which had maintained a gentle expression since earlier, immediately hardened.

 

“That sounds a little difficult to do.”

 

His eyes fell as he lightly caressed the tea cup.

 

“Like I said, the vacant position is currently my head attendant, so I can’t just let anyone take it.”

 

Am I not ‘just anyone’ to him……..?

 

How could he trust her to take such an important position?

 

Nelia thought there was a contradiction in his words.

 

“And I don’t need money.”

 

Nelia was momentarily flustered by the duke who seemed so determined.

 

‘Now that I think about it, he was the richest man in the empire.’

 

Although Duke Hart himself was also a competent man who was in charge of being a prime minister, his family, The Dukedom of Hart was always rich due to their tradition that had been carried for a long time.

 

Therefore, he was able to say that he would restore the necklace made for ‘Elena’s Tears’ without an ounce of hesitation.

 

Duke Hart sipped the tea with a graceful hand gesture, then put it down slowly.

 

“What I mean is, I only want you, Nelia.”

 

Nelia felt strange as his earnest silver eyes turned to Nelia.

 

The way he talked to her about the handmaiden job was similar to a marriage proposal.

 

“To be exact, it’s not me who wants it, it’s my labor.” ‘To be precise, what you want is not me, but my manpower.’

 

“So, you mean the one who has to be your maid is me, Your Grace?”

 

“For now. As I said, my foot are uncomfortable and I need someone to wait for me.” 

“That is, to make it with your body…” “For now. Like I said, I’m not comfortable with my current foot and I need someone to take care of me.”

 

“And that is, using my body………”

 

“That’s right.”

 

At the duke’s affirmation, Nelia realized that there was no room to escape anymore.

 

Right, she brought this upon herself, so she was supposed to take responsibility on her own.

 

No matter how much she wanted to avoid the man facing her despite having been defended twice by him, to the point that it was no longer possible to have the guts to say that she didn’t want to work as a maid.

 

Nelia glanced up at Duke Hart.

 

“Your Grace.”

 

Gulp. But, she was seriously worried about having to work with the villain until he said it ended….

 

“I have caused you such trouble, so I will be the hands and feet of Your Grace for a while. If Your Grace doesn’t need any money, I will have to pay you back with my body.”

With my body……. Only after that did she realize there were subtle connotations, but she already spat them out.

 

Duke Hart didn’t really seem to mind it, and he recovered the smile on his face.

 

“I’m sure it was a tough decision to make, thank you, Nelia.”

 

She was glad that he knew.

 

Nelia unconsciously gulped all the while staring at the beautiful man in front of her.

 

‘I don’t know if it was because of his appearance.’

 

Perhaps because of his fine-looking face, he didn’t seem like a bad person to retaliate against someone who had crushed his foot. It was probably because of his beautifully sculpted face that didn’t look like a bad person who would retaliate for his crushed foot.

 

If she didn’t care about his identity in the original story and helped him as best as she could, his foot might get better in no time.

 

Nelia gulped before asking him again.

 

“When should I start working as your handmaiden?”

 

***

 

Consequentially on the very next day, Nelia was standing in front of Duke Hart’s mansion.

 

‘So huge……..’

 

It couldn’t be compared to Count Benedict’s mansion.

 

‘How big is their territory?’

 

She heard that Duke Hart’s territory was in the west. It must be several times larger than Viscount Benedict.

 

Nelia approached the mansion in admiration.

 

“Who are you?”

 

The gatekeeper stopped Nelia from entering.

 

“My name is Nelia Benedict, and I will be the handmaiden for Duke Hart starting from today.”

 

It seemed that the duke had told him earlier because the gatekeeper proceeded to open the door passively.

 

“Please enter.”

 

Nelia carefully moved her feet to walk through the gate.

 

There was a pretty huge garden between the mansion and the gate, and in the place where the detailed landscape really stood out.

 

“If you go through the main entrance, you’ll find the butler who will welcome you.”

 

Nelia nodded and walked away while looking around the unfamiliar place where she would begin her work.

 

The mansion’s structure was a bit weird.

 

From the moment she entered, she noticed that the wall was very high and made from red bricks that piled up thickly, making the impression that this mansion looked like a strong fort.

 

In particular, she could never see the inside from the outside.

 

And there was a building similar to a warehouse beside the main building, but it seemed they had put all efforts into just making it a solid building because it didn’t match the vintage-style of the surrounding building, so there were differences between the building and the rest.

 

When she entered through the front door after finishing the tour, a middle-aged man wearing one-sided glasses was the one who welcomed Nelia this time.

 

“Are you Lady Nelia?”

 

“Yes, I am.”

 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Ton, the butler who manages Duke Hart’s mansion. Please come in.”

 

The butler, who introduced himself as Ton, seemed very stiff and straightforward.

 

She could tell just by looking at his monocle and his hairstyle that prevented even a single hair from sticking out of their place.

 

“The master hasn’t returned from the outing yet, so you can stay in the drawing room for now.”

 

“All right.”

 

Ton led Nelia to the drawing room with a rigid stride, as if he was a robot.

 

Nelia’s anxiety deepened at the sight.

 

‘I won’t be able to work like that, what should I do?’

 

Although she has done a lot of part-time jobs in her previous life, she wasn’t confident that she could do well in attending others because most of the jobs she has done were either being a server or cashiers.

 

‘But there’s no way I’m the only maid in this huge mansion.’

 

Duke Hart clearly said that she would be a ‘head’ servant.

 

By becoming the head in this position, so of course there are other servants and maids as well, right?

 

“If you need me, don’t hesitate to summon me. Then, I shall take my leave.”

 

“Wait a minute!”

 

Nellia stopped Ton when the man was about to leave.

 

“What is the matter?”

 

“May I…… ask something?”

 

Ton nodded politely like a soldier.

 

“Do tell me.”

 

“May I meet another maid or servant before Duke Hart returns? After all, it’s my first time working as a handmaiden.”

 

“There are no other maids or servants here.”

 

Nelia blinked at Ton’s firm voice.

 

“What…….? Of course………”

 

“Duke Hart only has one head servant.”

If that was the case, why did he even bother to name her position with the word ‘head’……..!

 

“He used to have several maids and servants, but he cleared them off just recently.”

 

“……Why?”

 

“Personal conversation about His Grace is strictly prohibited.”

 

I guess that’s all the information he can tell you. Looks like that is all he can tell her.

 

Ton pulled out his pocket watch and took a look at it.

 

“I think it will be a while until the duke returns.”

 

“Oh ……… Yes.”

 

“I will serve you while you wait for his return. We have jasmine, chamomile, and earl gray. Which one do you prefer?”

 

“Ja, jasmine………”

 

“Understood.”

 

Ton lowered his neck at 90 degrees before walking away.

 

“The more I see him, the more he resembles a robot in my eyes.”

 

Nelia was seriously doubtful of his identity.

 

Nelia, who was staring at the direction where Ton went out, realized it wasn’t important now.

 

‘So…….. I’m the only maid in this place?’

 

She felt a little burdened thinking that she would do everything by herself………

 

Why did Duke Hart clear away all of his maids and servants?

 

Nelia looked down before averting his gaze to the window of the drawing room.

 

Apparently, the head servant, who was the only worker, also returned to his hometown.

 

So, the family lived together here, didn’t they……? Doesn’t that seem to be the case? So she wasn’t going to live alone in this huge mansion.

 

If she knew it would happen, she would have done a background check on Duke Hart in the current world.

 

While she was busy wondering a lot of things on her own, there was a commotion outside.

 

“Is Duke Hart here right now?”

 

“He is not.”

 

“Then I’ll wait for him inside.”

 

It seemed that a noisy guest came by, and she could sense the robotic butler bewildered all until here.

 

“Marquis, there’s already someone else inside………”

 

Creak!

 

Someone opened the door and came in.

 

He also had the similar color of hair and eyes as Duke Hart.

 

This man also had a good-looking face, but he had a thicker line than Duke Hart, so he cited a more manly impression.

 

‘Who is he…….?’

 

Is he Duke Hart’s brother?

 

Nelia thought about his identity as the man walked in.

 

“Are you possibly Lady Nelia?”

 

The man seemed to already know her.