Chapter 60: One Solution
「I’ve always been thinking」
「Is the Ambrose Ducal House under some curse or something? 」
「What do you mean? 」
My job as a temporary lecturer in the Order had rest days on weekends. Since the academy was the same, I had a get-together with Lilia.
However, as I told her all about the incident, Lilia told me so with her usual vexation.
While her eyes watched the trembling Mary standing behind me.
「I get that His Idiot Highness didn’t understand this and that, acted violently as he pleased, and then got arrested. When he didn’t come to the academy all of a sudden, they’ve said he was going to take a little break」
「Break, is it? 」
「Saying that, he is actually under home confinement, isn’t he? At the least, his right to the throne will be taken away. Well, you could say he only suffered the consequences」
I certainly agree.
Incidentally, the second in line to the throne was Prince Raul, His Majesty Galius’s younger brother, and the third in line was Prince Raul’s son. I never met him, but since he was said to be a wise person, the kingdom’s future was secure.
Still, Lilia retained a sullen expression and glared.
Not at me, but at Mary behind me.
「The way His Highness was dealt with was all right. I mean, well, he’s much more of a fool than I thought」
「The problem is afterwards. Why did you make Mary your maid? 」
At Lilia’s reproach, I heard Mary let out a small whine.
Well, I supposed she could not help but be uneasy as it was about herself.
「I wanted to have a personal maid」
「Then, you should hire a suitable woman. It doesn’t have to be Mary. To begin with, it’s because of this woman that Carol had to quit school. I don’t understand why you’re showing kindness to such a person」
「I do have a reason for it though」
「And I can roughly guess. “Because she attended the academy, she can at least read and write. She also acquired a considerable knowledge. And so, I thought she would be useful in terms of making the documents”, is what you want to say, right? 」
What to do? That was exactly it.
All I needed was someone who could make the documents, so she more or less passed the requirements. It was not unusual for common women to be unable to read or write. Even Natalia often could not understand complex words.
On the other hand, it would cost money to hire a noble woman. Mary was in need in that respect, and she was gratefully offered to me when the Hopkins Baronial House was explained of the situation.
However, Lilia heaved a sigh to that approach of mine.
「Listen here……do you really think Mary would earnestly work? 」
「N-No, I…am earnest……」
「I didn’t ask you. Be silent」
Lilia pinned Mary down with a glare.
As always, Lilia’s gaze was frightening. No wonder she could not make any friends. I would not tell her that, though.
「Now, now……even if she ran away from home, Mary has nowhere to go」
「That is a naive way of thinking. If I’m in Mary’s position, I’d use every single means I had. To begin with, there was that time she deceived His Highness, the crown prince, to cancel his engagement, where she risks being accused of subversion. And since she can’t escape death for her crimes, she can die at any moment Carol changes her mind. Do you think such a person would obey you forever? 」
I had not thought that far ahead.
Ha~a. With a big sigh, Lilia sipped her tea. Incidentally, Natalia was the one who prepared this tea.
Mary was not yet entrusted with work where she could mix in poison, such as in food and drinks. Needless to say, she could not be trusted so easily.
「I’m well-aware His Highness is an idiot, but can you say the same thing won’t happen to your elder brother? Can you say it’s absolutely impossible for Mary to entice Albert-sama and be the succeeding duchess? 」
「……If it is Elder Brother, I don’t think so」
「The possibility’s not zero. If there’s even the slightest chance she could bring trouble to the household, then you shouldn’t hire such a maid. When Carol said she wanted a maid, the madam should have stopped you. Yet, I don’t understand why she agreed to it like it was only natural and make Mary a maid like this. That’s why I asked, is the Ambrose Ducal House under a curse where they must be lenient towards other people? 」
I really did not believe my brother would be a concern, though. Since he was head-over-heels for Chris.
A while ago, I believe he was saying something like things being a bit better with Chris lately.
「Then, what does Lilia think should be done? 」
「Put Mary in the dungeon for a lifetime confinement this instant and hire a new maid」
「P-Please! I beg for forgiveness! 」
At Lilia’s harsh opinion, Mary fell to her knees.
Lilia’s eyes which were staring down at Mary stole away all warmth. It was icy.
「Oh, are you now? What does Carol intend to do? 」
「Well, I would like the present situation to stay as it is. Besides, she had already been trained as a maid」
「So she says. Isn’t that great, Mary? 」
I saw Mary press a hand to her chest and go phew in relief.
Nonetheless, it was unlike Lilia to be done with the matter.
「I knew you’re too soft. Well, because that’s just how Carol is that I like you. But better keep in mind that there’ll be those who will exploit that」
「Yes. I am counting on you, Lilia」
「……Well, because that’s just how you are that I can’t leave you alone」
Fufu, Lilia laughed.
I laughed along with her.
It was Lilia, so she surely had all the necessary arrangements laid out. Therefore, I am not worried.
From the start, by saying all of those points to me, Lilia’s aim was to instill fear in Mary.
Otherwise, she would have broached the topic without the person concerned.
That Lilia took out several sheets of documents.
「I’ll hold on to this for now……but when the situation calls for it, I won’t hesitate to use it」
「Yes, I do not mind」
「Mary, you understand, right? 」
As Lilia prompted so, Mary tilted her head in puzzlement.
She truly did not know what kind of document it was.
However—these were documents which would affect Mary’s future.
「A series of accounts of your inveigling His Highness, and the name of the one who’ll be the witness. The rest are general records of your lies. I had a specialist take a look at the dress you accused Carol of tearing, and I got proof that you turned around and tore it off yourself. Other than that, all the evidence is in my home, so rest assured」
「You really have too many offences, don’t you? If I were to submit this through proper procedures, I wonder if it would be thirty years of imprisonment. The Hopkins Baronial House may well be stripped of its rank and seized of their properties」
Kuku, Lilia’s lips stretched into an evil smile.
While Mary turned pale.
「But rest assured, Mary. Your mistress, Carol, is magnanimous. So long as you work earnestly, this household will still employ you」
「I visit regularly for tea. Nothing strange better happen. The slightest hint of suspicious behavior and you shall immediately receive proper punishment」
「I-I will work earnestly! So please! I beg for your mercy! 」
At Lilia’s words, Mary bowed her head as low as she could.
Lilia was truly reliable. After I left the academy, she went and investigated all of this evidence.
Moreover, she considered my feelings and took on a wicked role towards Mary herself.
With this, Mary would not be able to try something.
Because it would be akin to life ending once Lilia decided she did something strange.
And Mary would not be able to touch Lilia within the Duke’s house.
In other words, she had no other options except to keep on working in earnest.
Seeing Lilia laughing like that, looking down on Mary who had completely submitted, I wondered not for the first time.
I made such a great friend, did I not?
We’re near the end of the 2nd arc, but I’m afraid I might not be able to update next week. Work has piled up and I need to prioritize those for a while. ; _ ; God willing, I’ll be able to complete most of it by next week that I may continue the update after that. I ask for your understanding. (m;_ _)m