Huge thanks to Sammikinns for the kofis! (2/4)
From the way those that were served aristocrats in close quarters would be able to access the most personal spaces of the aristocrats, majority of women chose to use maidservants, and men chose manservants. Within the duchy, the duchess and Karla gave orders to maidservants while the duke and Max had manservants.
However, to be the dedicated maidservant of a young master. And she was nominated instead of a manservant?
Dahlia and Thelma were already taking care of the smallest details even when she wasn’t a maidservant. Other than that, additional things were taken care of by Hoover, who was originally serving him.
She couldn’t help but wonder if that was necessary. When she raised her gaze awkwardly, Mrs. Prada explained in a soft voice like she had read her thoughts.
“Come on, Dahlia. As you may have already heard, the Young Master has consolidated his position as His Grace’s aide.”
“He’ll have matters that require more hands than he used to, right? Hoover, who was originally his manservant, often leaves his position vacant while settling sundry errands.”
Mrs. Prada fiddled with her wrinkled mouth, then sighed.
“Personally, I had hoped to promote you to senior maid like usual as there are few children that would work as hard as you do. But what can I do? There’s nothing I can do as it’s something personally ordered by the Master.”
“Is that so…”
If it was something ordered by the Duke himself, it was indeed something that can’t be helped. However, her feelings of regret can’t be helped, so Dahlia lowered her head sullenly.
At the gloomy atmosphere, Mrs. Prada glanced at Thelma restlessly. As such, Thelma let out another sigh and spoke in a friendly tone.
“Dahlia, you mentioned that your sister is sick, right?”
“Your treatment will be much better than it is now. Your pay will be higher than a senior maid. So just accept it.”
Dahlia nodded silently. Unlike a consenting attitude, she looked disappointed with raised eyebrows and a tightly closed mouth.
While the conditions were good, Dahlia’s goal was to become a senior maid. To be blunt like Thelma, and cause others to become nervous every time she speaks.
As Dahlia had always admired her mature appearance, she couldn’t feel inclined no matter how good the conditions to be a maidservant were.
“There’s nothing I can do if there’s such an order. Understood…”
She mumbled in a melancholic tone, and jutted out her lower lip. It was an uncharacteristic, childlike attitude from Dahlia, who always adhered to a precocious attitude.
Thelma comforted her in a softer tone while clicking her tongue inwardly.
“Dahlia, I know that you’ve been waiting a long time for a promotion. I know that there isn’t anyone that’s as hardworking as you amongst those of the same age as you.”
“That’s why you’re quite suitable. The Young Master is often gossiped about, so a smart person should attend to him. The Young Master just so happened to nominate you.”
“Did the Young Master personally nominate me?”
Thelma nodded silently, and Dahlia couldn’t help but sigh.
‘To think that he nominated me. Did the Young Master find my presence that comfortable?’
It isn’t that bad of an idea to work as his dedicated maidservant, but the unhappy expression was inevitable as she had looked forward to becoming a senior maid more. Dahlia closed her mouth, uncertain whether she should be pleased or not.
Mrs. Prada, who was watching the two from the sidelines, tried to brighten up the atmosphere by reciting the merits of becoming a maidservant in a light tone.
After receiving the order that she would start working as a dedicated maidservant from tomorrow onwards, Dahlia quietly left the office. As she was plagued with various worries and concerns, her feet moved thoughtlessly.
She passed the garden, and crossed through the grass, dazedly heading towards a familiar place. When she lifted her gaze like that, she had already reached the front of the annex.
“Hooh, what brings you here at this hour?”
A husky voice awakened her from her thoughts.
Hoover knocked on the bent waist and spoke with an indifferent tone. From the way his arms were filled with books and scrolls, it seemed that he was in the middle of organising the study or on the way back from the mansion’s library in Isaac’s name.
“Excellent. The Young Master was looking for you. Go in.”
“Mr. Hoover, have you heard the news?”
Hoover’s nose wrinkled and tilted his head sideways. He looked at Dahlia like he was asking what she meant, before snorting, “Ah-ha.”
“What a windfall it is for a maid doing sundry chores to become a personal maidservant in one fell swoop. I am me, but you are you.”
[T/N: the last line seems to be saying that Dahlia’s impressive for managing to become a personal maidservant.]
“… So you knew about it.”
“Isn’t it great? You came to the mansion in order to make money anyways. The difference between a maid and a maidservant is like heaven and earth.”
His grumbling tone was much more comfortable than the friendly tone and kind words that were given for no reason. Dahlia let out a deep sigh and slumped down onto a bench in front of the annex.
“But I was so embarrassed. I was only hoping for a promotion, but I never imagined that I’ll become something like a maidservant. What does a maidservant do?”
“You’re working in a mansion, yet you don’t know what a maidservant does?”
“Since you’re saying that, it seems that Mr. Hoover also doesn’t know, right?”
“Why wouldn’t I know? Do you think I’m like you?”
Hoover raised an eyebrow and dropped the pile of books he was holding onto the bench.
“Angie Rhodes. Don’t you run into her often in the mansion?”
“…Ah, Young Lady Karla’s maid?”
“Yeah, you can just copy the way she acts. All you have to do is follow him around and attend to him, and recite his orders to the maids as it is, that’s it.”
It was an overly abridged explanation. Dahlia looked at Hoover with a dissatisfied gaze and complained in a small voice.
“The Young Master is usually in the annex unless the Master calls for him. And most of the hard tasks are done by Mr. Hoover. Is there really a need for me to follow along?”
“That’s why it’s a windfall. I’m doing all the dirty work and you’re taking care of the trivial matters, so you won’t be doing anything busier than what you’re doing now, but your salary will actually be increasing by more than four times. If this isn’t a windfall, what is?”
“You get paid… more than four times?”
Her green eyes were wide open like they were about to pop out. Dahlia rose from her seat and pressed on her chest in order to calm down her gasping breathing.
Unlike the maids that were always busy, a maidservant didn’t seem to be in charge of many things. As such, she thought that even if her salary rose, it would only be increased by half, but all of her regrets disappeared when she heard that it was by four times.
Dahlia expressed her surprise by opening and closing her mouth, and asked a question with a trembling voice.
“Does a maidservant get paid that much? Why? How?”
Hoover gave a wry smile at the sight of Dahlia’s excitement.
“I guess you weren’t told about your salary properly. Of course it’s different.”
“But that money is also given out of courtesy. Most of the maidservants and manservants are appointed from the vassals’ families. Since they’re aristocrats, they probably aren’t working for the sake of money. Well, since you’re a commoner, you’ll probably receive less than any other maidservants.”
Dahlia, who was listening to his words earnestly, started to bend her fingers and count.
Dahlia mumbled something with the most serious face Hoover had ever seen. After a moment later, she made the brightest expression he had ever seen and raised her head up towards the sky.
“It isn’t a dream!”
“What, why…a dream?”
“Earning five gold within this year! It isn’t impossible!”
Dahlia grabbed Hoover’s hand and started spinning. Hoover followed her with a helpless face, before coming to his senses belatedly and shaking her hand off.
“Did you eat something wrong… Get a hold of yourself and go to the Young Master! He’d been looking for you for a while now!”
Dahlia grinned and followed Hoover’s words obediently. Just like that, she climbed up the stairs lightly and arrived at the room in an instant.
When she entered the room after knocking, Isaac, who stood before the bookshelf and was in the middle of reading, looked up at Dahlia. When faced with his melancholic black eyes, Dahlia ran over quickly and hugged Isaac.
Isaac looked downwards, astonished at the sudden embrace.
The soft curves of her chest were pressed against the pit of his stomach and conveyed the sensation of touch. The moment he realised that she was embracing him once again, his face turned hot enough that he himself could recognize it.
Isaac struggled to move his lips and stuttered out his words.
“D–Dahlia. Why… why all of a sudden, are you…”
“I heard the news! That I’ll be a personal maidservant!”
“…Ah, ahhh… Yes.”
“Thank you! I’ll do my best as a personal maidservant!”
Isaac raised his arms and looked downwards at her with difficult eyes, but he gave an awkward smile when met with her smiling face. Unlike her innocent smile, lewd desire slowly began to spread within the eyes that were looking down at her.
“…Yes, I’m looking forward to your kind cooperation.”
A hand that was hovering in the air wrapped around Dahlia’s back, and another hand brushed her hair away gently.
The soft texture of her skin and her warmth led him to think about spring inadvertently. In order to escape her notice, Isaac carefully planted kisses on the top of her head, and thought of the small bird that hovered around his fingers.
Though he wanted to hold it, he let it go as he was afraid of killing it.
That little bird with beautiful dark brown feathers.
[T/N: referring to the bird that appeared in ch9-10]
The clattering sound of her heels rang loudly on the other side of the dress’ hem. While expressing irritation with her entire body, Karla took a deep breath in front of Max’s door.
‘Let’s not be angry. I’m currently trying to console a beast that’s unable to speak.’
She kept repeating that to herself and twisted the door handle open carefully.
Karla frowned as soon as she opened the door.
Even when it was still early evening, and the sun had yet to set, the scent of alcohol filled the room. Karla pushed a rolling bottle of alcohol away with her toes and approached Max calmly.
“Max, stop drinking.”
Max, who was sipping alcohol on the sofa in front of the window, moved his eyes to glance at Karla. The colourful traces of the previous night’s debauchery peeked out from the unbuttoned shirt and got on her nerves. Karla buttoned up the shirt unwillingly and snatched away the glass of wine.
“Stop drinking. How long are you going to continue lazing?”
“What are you trying to interfere with, coming all the way here?”
“…Mother can’t even fall asleep as she’s worried about you. Do you know how messed up the mansion’s atmosphere is?”
While it has already been more than a month since the conference ended, the aftermath of that day still remains in the form of the mansion’s frigid atmosphere. It was because the relationship between the duke and the duchess soured to an irreversible degree.
Max, who was dragged out by the guards, didn’t even show remorse but went on a rampage, saying that he would burn down the annex. While the Duchess was interrogating him about what happened, the Duke, who had come out after the conference had ended, slapped Max on the cheek abruptly.
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