Chapter 42: A Break in Routine
Nn, I woke up and first stretched out my body.
Yesterday, I had been knitting all day since coming back to my room. It was surprisingly fun.
Now, Natalia was off today but I would still be going to the Order. I had asked the steward Richard yesterday to be my escort for the time being.
While Richard was nearing his old age, he was still a strong man as it was. He could also protect me. If he could just fix his bad habit of seeing nothing but women’s breasts, then it would really help.
「Ojou-sama, good morning」
「Good morning, Richard」
Richard politely bowed.
Whenever Natalia was with me, all he could see was Natalia’s chest. But I am by myself now, so there was not anything like that. Because I am flat-chested.
……I am getting sad for some reason.
「What shall be done today? 」
「After breakfast, I will be making lunch to bring to Wilhelm-sama. After that, I will pass the time until noon before heading to the Order」
If it was Natalia, she would know the entire schedule. But it would be the first time I would go out with Richard, so we went over it. I had first considered leaving and returning home with my elder brother. But I would trouble the Order, so I dropped that thought.
And the other strong person I know was Deborah who served Lilia. But I could not have Lilia present for my lunch with Wilhelm-sama. To start with, Wilhelm-sama and Lilia did not know each other.
After having breakfast with my family, I headed to the kitchen with Richard.
As usual, Chris was scolding Robert again. On that note, did Natalia properly report to my mother?
It was truly unacceptable for a servant to take that behavior. But how did my mother decide?
I should have asked during breakfast. It was too late now.
「Good morning, Chris」
「Wha……Ah, good morning, Ojou-sama」
「What will you teach me today? 」
「Aah……Please wait a moment. I’ll now prepare the ingredients. Huh? Is Natalia absent today? 」
「Natalia is off today, so I would have Richard accompany me」
「Oh, a day off, is it? Then, Richard will be come along to the Order? 」
「Yes, that is correct」
U~n, Chris frowned, worried for some reason.
That doubtful expression was directed to Richard.
「Richard-san, can you properly protect Ojou-sama? 」
「How rude, Chris. Even if I look like this, I was once a mercenary」
「……But that’s a long time ago. Oh well, it’s good that the Order’s nearby」
Heave-ho, the ingredient Chris took out was a slightly small meat. It was sausage. It seemed we would be making yakimono1 today.
I had been taught Fish Meunière before. But I had not cooked with fire until now, so I was a little anxious.
「Now then, let’s fry this」
「Yes. What should I do? 」
「First off, put oil in a frying pan……」
I fried the sausages according to Chris’s instructions. I was a little scared.
Since it was already seasoned, there was no need to flavor it. But it seemed I only learned how to fry.
I should not be afraid of frying just this much.
Fu~u, I wiped the sweat off my forehead.
Come to think of it, Robert was present today but I did not feel any unpleasant staring. Even though he always looked at me with a dirty gaze.
When I looked around the kitchen, Robert was not there. I wonder if he went to do some errand.
「Ah? Michelle, where did that idiot Robert go? 」
「N-No, I do not know, but……」
「The toilet? Really, how many times do I have to say it, tell me whenever you go out of the kitchen! Damn it, he better not come back! 」
Apparently, he does not follow Chris’s instructions.
Would not obey orders, acting without permission, would not repent even when scolded, and would click his tongue when reprimanded……Really, the Ambrose Ducal House’s eye for capable people was truly open to question.
For the time being, because Robert was not around, I shall consider this a good thing.
「Well then, Chris, this is complete, is it not? 」
「Ah, yes. It is」
「Then, I will receive it. Chris, thank you for every day」
「It’s alright, I’m being properly recompensed by Oku-sama」
Was that so? I did not know.
However, it was only a matter of course if one carefully thought about it. Since the busy Chris especially makes lunch of three servings, it would naturally reflect on payment. The me who did not realize it was, indeed, still immature.
After receiving the boxed lunch from Chris, I returned to my room. It was still early in the day, so I would pass the time.
I was knitting the whole time yesterday, so the muffler was extremely long. The length was already enough.
However, what I learned yesterday was how to continuously knit a muffler. I did not know how to finish it.
Richard would not know, either. Once the muffler here was finished, I shall ask Natalia tomorrow on how to fasten it at the end.
Meanwhile, it was a good time for me to leave the manor and head to the Order.
Richard was next to me, but my discomfort was terrible.
「My, it has been several years since I last went out with Ojou-sama」
「I do not remember though, was there really a time? 」
「Indeed. I accompanied you several times when you were young. After Natalia started serving Ojou-sama, there were no longer a need」
「Was that so」
It seemed I simply did not remember.
However, it sounded to be quite long ago that I no longer remember it.
「Well, as I have not been shopping recently, it is refreshing to go out in the day while working like this」
「Is that so? 」
「Yes. I am a steward, so it is my role to give instructions to every one of the servants」
Come to think of it, Richard had the most important position among our servants.
His standing was higher than Chris, the head chef. Whenever someone was absent, it was Richard’s role to fill in. So, he knew most about our household.
Let us ask Richard about Robert’s case as a test.
「By the way, Richard」
「I have something to ask you」
「Can it wait a moment, Ojou-sama? 」
Richard did not look my way. He simply held his hand up. What was the matter?
I wondered if something happened, so I followed Richard’s line of sight.
A woman was walking alone.
A boing boing. Moreover, she showed an amazing cleavage. Her features were also beautiful.
……Richard kept his stare fixed at her chest. Would you not even consider being a little covert?
It seemed Robert had too much of a bad attitude, and Richard had a too much of a problem.
Well, Richard was considerably old and was retiring soon. You should not make any trouble, alright?
Then, I—casually looked at Richard.
Afterwards, at the back of his head—something—swung down—the blood is—.
With something like a blunt weapon, Richard was struck from the back and fell down.
I could only watch without being able to scream.
And then—two men with vulgar smiles looked at me.
「We’ll have you come with us.……」
「What’s this, it’s really as the information said. She’s easy to catch」
Two men and the woman Richard was staring at earlier.
These three people surrounded me and covered my mouth.
And then—I was taken away.
 Yakimono is a Japanese term referring to a range of dishes having in them meats that are either cooked by direct exposure to fire or heat, such as by grilling or broiling, or, fried in a pan. ↩