Chapter 61: The Servant Mary’s Lamentations
「All right. We are almost finished with the morning work, let us take a break」
The old steward Richard said so to Mary who moved about drenched in sweat.
Since morning, the manor was cleaned, clothes and sheets were washed, beds were made, and so on. Mary, who was almost out of stamina, could do nothing but nod.
Mary Hopkins was a baron’s daughter.
The Hopkins Baronial House was by no means wealthy, but they were also not poor. They have quite a number of servants, so Mary had never done housework like this.
But Mary was now a servant of the Ambrose Ducal House. Though this was Mary’s just deserts, she was still a little fed up with each day her stamina was pushed to the limit.
Why do I have to—was what she would start thinking, but there was no way to overcome her current situation. Rayford, who was Mary’s sole support, had already been taken away by the Chivalric Order. According to the statement of Lilia, her mistress Carol’s friend, it was announced he would take a rest but was actually under home confinement.
And Mary, who had all the evidence of her crimes held against her, could only earnestly work for this Ambrose household.
“Why is this…?” she would mourn. But no matter how one slices it, the fact that this was her just deserts would strike without mercy.
「Well then, we will have our lunch. This way」
Mary had no days off.
Richard, who was in front of Mary and who taught her a lot, had a day off every week. Even the other servants had some days off. Yet only Mary was not given a break.
Thus, her days of being given one of the rooms to stay at, sleeping dog-tired, and working again the next morning continued. As well as being able to go out of the manor when garden cleaning but could not even run away.
No—if she ran away, Lilia would then publicize the evidence.
If that happened, Mary would have no future, and the Hopkins Baronial House would fall into ruin.
As she despaired, Mary headed towards the servants’ antechamber.
Basically, only the duke’s family would have their meals in the dining room, and the servants would eat in the antechamber. And not everyone would have their meals at the same time, but took turns.
Richard was now together with her as the person in charge of her training, but he ate with other seniors on his day off.
「……Thank you very much」
She silently started eating the lunch Richard provided.
For a baron’s daughter, she had a trained palate. The ingredients used were not anything expensive and was a simple meal suited to servants. Even so, it was somehow delicious.
She wondered what kind of seasoning was used to make something delicious with such simple ingredients.
In a sense, there was no time for Mary to enjoy this meal.
「You are getting used to this」
「……is…that so? 」
「Indeed. The sheets are pulled tighter than before. And your sweeping used to be noticeably crude. But now, every nook and cranny is properly cleaned. If you keep up with this pace, you will soon be able to be on your own」
「……I do this every day, after all」
She could only return a bitter smile to Richard’s compliments.
So what if she improved on being a servant? Mary’s situation would never change. These days would last forever.
She unconsciously let out a sigh at that depressing future.
「For this afternoon, change the sheets in Danna-sama and Oku-sama’s room. Afterwards, we shall clean the garden. Once that is finished, you may take a break until Ojou-sama comes back. After she returns, please follow Ojou-sama’s instructions」
Finishing the given meal, she stood up with Richard.
Because Carol was a temporary lecturer, she was not around the manor on weekdays. And because Mary was hired as Carol’s personal maid, she would follow Carol’s instructions after she returned home.
Although, this evening would probably be the same making of documents.
Under Richard’s watch, she headed to the Ambrose household’s master and madam’s—Gilliam and Elizabeth’s bedroom and changed their bed sheets.
Richard mainly taught seriously. But when Mary changed the bed sheets and slightly bent down, he mysteriously laughed 「Uhoho」. Was her posture that weird?
Having changed the sheets a dozen of times, it was easy to tidy up as she did. Then, they headed for garden cleaning.
It was just sweeping the fallen leaves of the manor’s garden and then burning it in the incinerator. But the difficult part was that it took time due to the vastness of the place.
Richard did not help and simply watched Mary sweep. He was in charge of training, and his role was simply to supervise. Though she had no complaints with that, she was still fed up with sweeping this vast garden by herself.
Ha~a. While sighing a lot, she finally finished when it was nearing evening.
After a light rest, she would wait for Carol’s return—however.
「Oh, garden cleaning? 」
「Welcome home, Ojou-sama」
「……Welcome home, Ojou-sama」
Dispirited, she greeted Carol who had returned before she could take a break.
Natalia, who was also Carol’s personal maid, looked at Mary in slight dissatisfaction but kept her silence. Perhaps it was an implied warning for her to not assume such an attitude.
Carol slightly smiled.
「You look awfully tired, Mary」
「You may rest until after dinner. Once I am done with my dinner, please come to my room」
She was left speechless by Carol’s words.
Ahh—she really disliked it.
Carol was kind in any case. Even when making the documents, she would teach politely and thoroughly and never let Mary work too hard. She always cared for Mary, even though she could push her around. Especially when Mary first started making the documents, she did not know how many papers she wasted. And yet, Carol never got angry.
Such an attitude, she really disliked it.
It was as if everything Mary had done was an insignificant affair to Carol—that attitude.
「……Thank you very much, Ojou-sama」
「Then, to my room after dinner」
She accepted Carol’s offer to take a break.
Currently, her stamina was at its limit. She was likely to collapse if she did not rest even for a bit.
She excused herself to Carol, and then headed to the servants’ antechamber.
She sat down to rest on the simple sofa placed there, and then laid her body down.
Just a little rest—yes, close your eyes.
And then, just like that, Mary fell asleep.
「Are you finally awake? 」
She jumped up despite herself, restlessly looking around her surroundings.
The sun had already set outside the window. The curtain of night had descended. It was not just after sunset, either.
One might say it was around midnight.
She was tired and accidentally slept until this late. This is bad, Mary’s eyes met with Richard’s displeased frown on the couch in front of her.
「T-The time is……! 」
「The rest of the servants already left. I am on duty this evening」
I sure have done it now—she held her head in despair.
She was allowed to take a little rest, and yet she ended up falling asleep. Even though she should be making Carol’s documents.
For this blunder, what sort of punishment could be lying in wait—.
「I-I am really sor……! 」
「Please apologize tomorrow after Ojou-sama wakes up」
It was already Carol’s sleeping time.
With just that thought, all hope crumbled into dust.
「Come now, there is nothing to fear. Ojou-sama was not particularly mad」
「She came to this room with Natalia, saw you fast asleep, and said『Let us leave her to rest』. Well, you were working without break, and Ojou-sama probably did not want to push you too hard」
「Such a thing……! 」
Why—tears pricked her eyes.
Time and time again, she wondered…
“Why is she so kind…?”
「Ojou-sama asked Oku-sama to consider allowing you some days off. After all, it is impossible to work without rest. You will not be permitted if you fell asleep due to leniency, but I had reported that you are earnestly working」
「All the servants know what you did to Ojou-sama. Well, those who are not pleased that you were shown sympathy by the kind Ojou-sama are not small in number. However……Ojou-sama has pardoned you」
「As long as you work in earnest, the Ambrose Ducal House will keep their word. Please remember that well, and be sure to earnestly work from tomorrow onwards」
Though she was treated as a slave, she also did something unacceptable.
She did something as outrageous as stealing away someone’s fiancé.
Mary who did such a deed—Carol had forgiven her.
「Thank…you…very much……! 」
「I am troubled even if you are grateful. Ah yes, here is your dinner. Please eat」
With that, Richard removed the bamboo basket from the table in front of Mary.
There, laid the usual cold, simple, but delicious meal.
「Then, I must go make my rounds. Please rest in your room after you have eaten this」
She put a spoonful of food into her mouth.
It was cold. It was made with simple ingredients.
Even so, it was extremely delicious.
Working as a servant was really trying. It was stressing, it was exhausting, and she was fed up with every day.
Since the meal was delicious, she would do her best.
Here ends the 2nd part.
We will continue onwards to part 3, so I would appreciate your encouragement.
I look forward to your continued support.
First of all, I appreciate everyone for understanding my lack of update last week. 🙂 I managed to finish what needed to be completed on time. Huzzah!
Moving on, similar to the previous arc, despite the author’s note, there’s one more chapter left in the raws before the next arc.
We got Mary’s POV this chapter. When I first read it, I wasn’t much motivated as it seemed like a filler to me. ^^; But the chapter ended in a good note, I guess. What do you guys think?