Her first impression of the child was, to put it bluntly, not very good.
“I’m Dahlia Beroch.”
After bowing deeply, the girl looked straight ahead as before. Her gestures gave off an impression as if she was brought up in a fairly strict house.
Mrs. Prada buried her body deep in the chair and began to scan the child with her indifferent eyes.
“Miss Beroch, how old are you?”
“I turned 16 this spring.”
“It’s very young for a career.”
The girl had fine brown hair and bright green eyes. Her nails and skin were clean, and her clothes were neat. She was so well-groomed that perhaps Mrs. Prada would have hired her as soon as she saw her if she had been an ordinary maid… but there was a silent frown on Mrs. Prada.
As the chief maid with 22 years of experience, the essence of the child was clearly visible to her, who was more bitter than anyone else.
The girl in front of her, who should be better referred to as a woman but is still a girl, didn’t have any hairpins or brooches that the girls of her age would normally wear.
Perhaps without that hat, it would’ve been more unpleasant to see just her untied long hair. And even though she had a good taste in jewelry, but by looking at her attire…
An old dress made of cheap fabric, and a shiny jacket with worn-out sleeves. The suitcase near her feet was covered in white leather that had been handed down from generation to generation.
Seeing her poverty dripping down all over, Mrs. Prada sighed inwardly.
“Where are you from?”
When she briskly asked the question as she read her introductory sheet, Dahlia answered with a broad smile on her face.
“I worked at Baroness McFon’s mansion for half a year.”
She worked as a mansion maid there. She got a lot of compliments for doing a good job. Her introductory letter was also written by the baroness…
“No, other than that, where did you say you were from?”
Dahlia gently lowered her head at this question. Hoping that her answer would be accepted without prejudice, she clasped her hands and answered politely.
“I am from the Cerecopalts Poverty Centre.”
Missy Prada frowned at the word ‘Poverty’.
As she thought, the girl looked shabby for a reason. Orphaned children do not learn basic etiquette properly, so there are many things to be taught, and most of them have a bad hand at it.
She tried to turn a blind eye a few times and hired some, but all of them ended badly.
She wondered if this girl was any different.
Mrs. Prada was troubled when she saw the seal stamped on the girl’s introduction sheet, and she felt she was going to give in again.
After all, the girl in front of her was a child who worked in the mansion of the infamous Baronness McFon. Besides, the fact that she even wrote an introduction sheet means she was a pretty good maid, so Mrs. Prada believed this kid was different from others.
And most importantly, Mrs. Prada was not in the position to be too dismissive and strict. They were seriously lacking workers in the mansion.
After much deliberation, Mrs. Prada came to her conclusion.
“You must have known what kind of place this mansion is now and applied for it knowing that, right?”
Mrs. Prada stood up from her seat and looked out of the window.
Blue flags fluttered all over the garden where the forest can also be seen and were in harmony with everything around it. The silver wolf embroidered on the flag symbolized a family that no one can not help but know in this Northwestern land.
“To be honest, Miss Beroch. You don’t fit our mansion.”
In response to her resolute words, Dahlia raised her head and answered her.
“Well, if it’s because of my origin, don’t worry. It’s a prejudice that orphans have bad hand habits…”
“Listen to the end.”
Mrs. Prada turned her head, raising her hand to stop her from speaking.
“I wouldn’t be hiring you if it wasn’t needed, but three maids left the mansion all at the same month.”
Mrs. Prada stared at Dahlia in her upright position with her back erect.
“Since the mansion is so large, there was always a shortage of people, but coincidentally, three quit at a time, so there was too much of a shortage of people right now. And Miss Beroch came with a letter of introduction from Baroness McFon. A letter of introduction from that picky baroness, who is known to have every maid quit after a month.”
“Well… that’s right. I’m a little curious as to how you worked with Baroness McFon…”
Watching Dahlia’s puzzled face slowly change to raise a smile, Mrs. Prada raised the corners of her lips as well but only so barely one would think it wasn’t there.
“I will trust you once. I will keep an eye on you for a month, and if you do well, I will officially hire you. Dismissed.”
“Thank you, Ma’am! Don’t worry, I’ll never let you down!”
Dahlia, who was so happy that she let out a small cry, hurriedly covered her mouth and nodded her head.
She was now the maid of the Duke.
This mansion was of a high level in terms of salary and welfare that could not be compared with that of Baroness McFon but because of its popularity, it was famous all around that one could not even be interviewed without the arrangement of a job agency.
She had come here thinking it would be a good thing if she didn’t get kicked out, but she had never imagined that she would be hired. Dahlia bent over her tightened waist, clutching the hem of her skirt so tightly that her hands turned white.
Her superior, Mrs. Prada, said goodbye to her, but Dahlia shook her head violently to not receive the greeting of someone of higher status than her. Even when she was told that if she didn’t work she would get kicked out in a month, Dahlia only smiled more.
“I am Owen Prada, the mansion’s chief maid. Everyone calls me Mrs. Prada. First, we will guide you through the dormitory, so let’s talk about the details there.”
Mrs. Prada stood up from her seat, walked, and stood in front of the door with calm steps. A large bundle of keys, which did not match her slender stature, creaked incessantly from her waist.
Dahlia clasped her suitcase tightly and followed the chief maid with a jolly pace. Hope for a good future glimmered in her soft green eyes as if mirroring a lively spring.
More than fifty years ago, the historians of the empire chose luxurious diamonds to represent the imperial family and nobles, with the meaning that they are what will never change. Their words were accepted as the creed; it was without exaggeration or pretentiousness in their belief that even if they lose their luster and become cloudy at any time, their value and essence will still be brilliant.
But now, only half a century has passed.
With the collapse of the imperial family and the establishment of a republic, most of the nobles, except for the great lords, had their territories taken away and they all wandered the streets without a penny.
It is natural for what was once considered valuable to slowly fade away in worth over time, but no one would have expected that the value of aristocrats would drop so sharply.
For the people of the republic, who wished for the downfall of the wealthy, the word aristocrat was used as no worse than and was even considered as synonyms to prostitute or a beggar in an instant.
But, ironically, the value of the 22 High Lords left who became the foundation of the republic, soared without caring for their past status as what they once hated aristocrats due to their scarcity.
At the center of it all was the Duchy of Eufgenschult.
The Eufgenschult family that ruled Helman, a vast territory in the northwest, was a prestigious family that had built up the trust of the permanent residents for many years after the border guarding the western border of the Dinoessa Mountains.
The imperial family looked down on Eufgenschult as merely an old wolf guarding the mountain range, but as if ridiculing them, the Duke only showed off his wealth with iron and gold, then played a major role in driving out the corrupted imperial family.
Thus, Duke Eufgenschult’s rise in reputation as one of the main contributors to the revolution. To the extent that even an orphan like Dahlia knows his name.
That’s why it was not unreasonable for Dahlia to wander around the mansion she worked in that’s so famous for its greatness.
But life doesn’t always turn out the way you think.
“Dahlia, go to the reception room in the left wing instead of here. This is the main building.”
“Oh my God, Dahlia! Wood tables should be oiled, not waxed!”
“Dahlia! The sheet is in the laundry room in the right wing, not the left wing. Hurry up and move!”
There was only one word that Dahlia could say amid the pouring rebuke that poured out all day.
Contrary to the initial aspiration that she would never disappoint, Dahlia made frequent mistakes for about a week, and she had to be scolded by a senior maid.
Actually, Dahlia didn’t have a problem. All the maids working at the Duchy for the first time made similar mistakes. It was not a matter of ability, but the peculiarity of the mansion itself.
First of all, the Duchy was incomparably bigger for Dahlia than the Barony she had previously worked in.
In addition to the main building where socializing and business are held, there is the left wing side of the mansion that entertains the house vassals, and the right wing side where members of the duke family reside, so it took several days to memorize the place.
In addition, with learning the strict rules to be followed and paying attention to the manners to be applied, Dahlia had to spend a whole month in a nervous state.
But all people can get used to whatever peculiar situation they’re in, wherever they’re at. Besides, Dahlia was a dexterous and quick-witted child.
About a fortnight after entering the mansion, Dahlia began to be mentioned by the senior maids as the most anticipated newcomer.
She was cleaning again and again. She ran minor errands for the high-ranking maids and the maids chasing after them. It was truly, very demanding work. But with pride in being able to contribute to such a great mansion, Dahlia tried to live each day happily.
But just as the words mean, trying to live happily meant that there were things that were not enjoyable in the first place. For example, getting used to the work was okay, but getting used to the atmosphere of the mansion was a different matter altogether.
She also had a pretty hard time at the baron’s mansion, but this place was different. Dahlia realized every day that serving nobles was much difficult than she thought.
“Lady, I brought the ribbon you mentioned.”
As Dahlia bowed her head and handed the satin ribbon with her hands, the maid standing in front of the dressing table took the ribbon with a sour look.
Then, in front of her, the woman sitting in front of the dressing table looked at Dahlia using the reflection in the mirror and let out a small smile.
“I’ve never seen your face before. What is your name?”
Her voice was very smooth, like high-quality silk.
Do all noblewomen have this voice?
Carla Eufgenschult, the Duchess’ cherished daughter and the only lady in the mansion, was awe-inspiring to meet.
“I am Dahlia Beroch, my lady.”
Carla, who smiled as she bent her fine eyes, spoke her words in a calm tone.
“You have a pretty face. You poor thing… Still, Mrs. Prada doesn’t seem to have presbyopia yet.”
[Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects.]