Chapter 66: Before the Day Out
It was now morning.
In the end, I could not go back to sleep, and the sun rose as I talked a lot with Mary. Though I had been interacting with Mary before, it was the first time we had a heart-to-heart talk like this.
I felt that we have become relatively close. Should I speak to my mother about letting her accompany me whenever I go out? It would be a pity to keep Mary in the manor.
After that, I ate breakfast with my father, mother and brother, then changed into my uniform, and waited in my room.
I am all set when Wilhelm-sama arrives. Come along, anytime now!
Only…he would come before noon, and it was still morning.
「A spare time, huh……」
「Ojou-sama, how about knitting? 」
「The muffler is finished」
After the sun had risen, Mary went back to work and I was left with nothing to do. So I used all that time to knit the muffler. As a result, it was finished.
The muffler was large enough on a big person like Wilhelm-sama.
It was not yet too cold for a muffler, but winter was coming. I shall hand it over when Wilhelm-sama would need to wear it.
Would he be pleased with it?
Just thinking about it was enough to make me smile broadly.
「I see. Would it be all right for me to see it? 」
I handed the completed muffler over to Natalia.
I thought it turned out fine in a way. I had knitted loosely, so it would feel comfortable.
You could apparently make dolls with tight knits, but I was not yet skilled enough for that. So, it was a single-colored muffler for now.
「Ojou-sama, this was your first time making this, yes? 」
「And yet, you did well. It would be all right to give this as a present」
「I see. Thank goodness」
If Natalia says so, then it was all right.
It was my first time making it. And I had not seen one made by other people, so I had nothing to compare it to.
Knitting was finished for now, and I was still left with a spare time.
Should I read a book while waiting? With that thought, I went to the bookshelf. I had not read a book recently, so a light read might be good.
Just when I found a suitable book, I heard a knock on the door.
「P-Pardon my intrusion, Ojou-sama」
「What is the matter, Mary? 」
「U-Umm, a g-guest…is here…to see Ojou-sama」
Lilia suddenly appeared behind Mary.
I see, no wonder Mary looked extremely scared. She would come to my house once a week to have tea, and Mary would be asked to serve every time. She also kept a sharp eye out for any slight mistake. Though Lilia did not have to be that cautious, I left her to her own devices since she seemed to be having fun.
Well, enough about that.
Why was she here?
「What, did you forget what I looked like? 」
「No, nothing like that……」
Of course it would be impossible to forget the face of a best friend who would come to one’s house once a week.
However, today was my day out with Wilhelm-sama. And so, our meeting for tea was supposed to have been cancelled.
I had sent Natalia out to inform the Anderson House for that reason.
「Yes, I know about it. I heard from Natalia」
「Then, why……? 」
「As I said before, I’ll come to this house regularly for tea. Otherwise, I won’t know whether or not Mary was behaving poorly. That’s why I came in the morning, in consideration of the said agreement at noon」
Meaning, Lilia was thinking to visit once a week and check how Mary was doing.
So, she came to show up for a short while before the agreed time.
I was free anyway, and it was not a bad idea to go and enjoy tea with Lilia.
Also, I shall ask Lilia for advice on how I should behave on my day out with Wilhelm-sama.
「Then, please have a seat, Lilia」
「Right. I’ll have to bother you」
「Mary, please prepare some tea」
I instructed Mary and sat down in front of Lilia.
Now then, what should I ask first? Should I ask about paying attention as a lady when going out, after all?
However, Lilia was muttering deeply and staring at the door Mary disappeared to.
Did something happen?
「Is something wrong? 」
「Hmm. You trust Mary quite a lot」
「Well, it has already been a month」
「More like, it’s only been a month. Wasn’t Mary kept from touching anything involving food? 」
「She was permitted to a few days ago. She was under Richard’s supervision at first, but since she is working in earnest, she is now ready to work on her own」
「……Goodness. You’re all too soft that it’s absurd I’m the only one staying cautious」
Ha~a, Lilia heaved a sigh.
She often mentioned my family is too lenient, but were we really that indulgent?
Mary had been quite earnest in her work, and I thought we should also place more trust in her.
She also seemed to have properly reflected on what she did.
「Fine, whatever. It’s not like I doubt Mary that much」
「Is that so? 」
Mary’s earnest labor was properly conveyed to Lilia.
A day where we could include Mary in our tea party might come.
「It’s simple. All evidence of fraud is being held against her. And if she’s indicted, her family will be ruined and she’ll be sentenced to death. Of course she can’t show any suspicious behavior under that situation」
Apparently, it was confidence in the other’s self-preservation rather than trust.
Well, considering what Lilia said, it would indeed be futile to oppose.
「Then, even without being too cautious……」
「Since Carol and the Ambrose ducal house are soft, it’s up to me to keep an eye on her. Listen, give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile. If you’re not strict with them, they’ll get carried away」
I did not understand it much, but I trust Lilia, so I shall leave it to her.
Like Lilia said, all evidence of fraud is being held against her. And if she’s indicted, her family will be ruined and she’ll be sentenced to death. I would be at a loss on what to do were I on her shoes. I had no other options but to earnestly work and somehow earn the trust of others.
That was why I thought Mary was truly and sincerely working.
After that, we talked about a lot of things as we drank the tea Mary brought over.
Since Lilia was still studying at the academy, we mainly talked about what happened after I left. Well, I was worried Lilia was feeling lonely since she had no friends besides me.
But listening to various stories about the academy was really interesting.
And on my part, I told her a lot about my time teaching at the Order’s garrison.
Since I am currently a temporary lecturer, I made many acquaintances.
「Oh, by the way, Carol. Have you heard? The talk of war」
It was nearing noon.
I was getting restless with Wilhelm-sama’s arrival, my heart was beating fast.
Because of that, half of what Lilia said did not sink into my mind.
「Umm……the talk of war, is it? 」
「Yeah. Wait, don’t you currently work at the Order’s garrison? I’ve only heard rumors, but……you haven’t heard of it in the Order? 」
「No, I have not」
「Fu~un……Well, you are aware the Empire is in the midst of war now, right? 」
「Well, more or less」
I did not know the details, but I heard the neighboring countries were having a terrible dispute.
Since Flarekista was more or less a vassal state to the Empire, it was quite hostile with the neighboring country, the Principality of Estee.
「The Kingdom of Garland dispatched soldiers to the front lines in response to the Empire’s request. Which means, Garland and Flarekista are allies, right? 」
「Haa……is that so? 」
Even though I listened to the stories, I am not fond of war and only thought of impressions of it. Perhaps it was better to say, it did not appeal to me much for some reason?
I had heard the war between the Empire and the other country has been going on for more than a year, but there was no further information about it.
「……I see, so that’s why」
「No, it’s nothing」
Lilia shook her head.
What on earth could it be?
Suddenly, a knock sounded on my room’s door.
「Please forgive my intrusion, Ojou-sama」
「What is the matter, Richard? 」
It was Richard who opened the door and came in. When would his unchanged bad habit of glancing at Natalia’s chest before looking at me be healed?
Perhaps it would never be cured until the day he died.
「Yes, the guest of Ojou-sama has come」
「The Knight Captain, Wilhelm-sama」
Finally…Wilhelm-sama has arrived—!