“Lala.”

Someone shook my body.
Ugh, stop.
I want to sleep more.

I was the kind of person who thought that people should sleep for at least ten hours to be completely free of fatigue.
If it wasn’t because I’m a maid, I’d be sleeping until lunchtime!

“Lala, wake up.
Master Isley told you to meet him at the gymnasium by six o’clock.”

“Ugh…!”

Oh, right.
Isley! My eyes shot open.
Hearing that name alone fully woke me up.
What time is it now?

I don’t know what’ll happen to me if I’m late, but I really didn’t want to go.
I could literally just see him when I’m on cleaning duty.

“It is five-thirty now.”

“Thank you, Sister!”

I got up from the bed, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and changed clothes.
After combing my tangled hair, I opened the door.

I greeted my sister who was waving at me, and I ran to the hallway.

Because it was still time for most people to sleep, the hallway was deathly silent.

At the gymnasium, the knights were in the middle of morning training.

If there is one group of people that woke up earlier than maids and servants, it was the knights.

Standing by the entrance, I rolled my eyes in search of Isley.
When I saw a man that stood out among the knights, I could guess that it was him.

Even though he was training with someone, he was wearing loose and light clothes that looked nothing like pajamas.

Internally I hoped he would get a bad bruise from being hit like that.

However, that would be a futile wish.
Isley is a genius of swordsmanship whose skill impressed the emperor and the knights’ commander.
He was someone who even received an offer to join the imperial knights… but he didn’t.

The reason was that…

“You didn’t join because it didn’t seem fun?”

“That’s right.”

‘That’s because he’s crazy.
If it were me, I would have bowed my head low in gratitude and joined right away.’

Stumbling at the entrance to the hall, my eyes met Isley’s.
After knocking down a knight, he beckoned me to come quickly.

Okay, let’s go!

Holding a sword, he was ten times more terrifying than usual.
Seeing him with it, I unconsciously backed away from him.

Isley stared at me in the face and roughly threw the sword he was holding at a nearby knight.
What are you going to do if you hurt that person?! That surprised me.

But then again, after all, he’s a psychopath who doesn’t care about other people’s well-being.

“You weren’t late.”

“…Of course.
I can’t be late.”

He called a servant who was nearby.

The servant handed him a box that looked to be containing what was the penalty item from what I could guess.

“Close your eyes.”

“Yes…?”

What is it? Are you trying to flick me in the forehead as punishment? You’ve always done that, you bastard.

As he reached out his hand to me, I naturally closed my eyes.

“Now, your penalty is…”

And something was put on my head.

Was it a headband?

“Haha…!”

Laughter followed.

“Hahaha! It’s worse than I expected!”

Isley was obviously laughing at me.

Why are you laughing like that? If you weren’t a nobleman, I would’ve knocked you out flat right now.

As I opened my eyes, a large hand covered my face.
The sweltering warmth that wrapped around about half of my entire face was terrifying.
The knights made an exclamation of amazement.

“Who said you can open your eyes?”

“Heup.”

“Just kidding.
You can open them.
Here, you should see it too.”

He took out a hand mirror from the box.
The mirror glistened in the sunlight and reflected my face.

Without realizing it, I exclaimed, “Huh!”

I groaned and rubbed the top of my head.
Two round, thin lumps protruded from the top of my head.
It was a mouse-ear headband.

Why am I fussing over something like this? I mean, there is nothing cute that doesn’t suit me.

I glared at him, remembering the chapter in the novel where he put a rabbit-ear headband on my sister.
What do you think you’re doing, you bastard?

“Wear it all day.”

That’s too much.
I was already blushing at the thought of the other employees looking at me and talking to me who was wearing this headband.
Oh, it would’ve been fine if I kept it on in front of him only, but for the entire day? Embarrassment rushed at me like a wave.

How can a disgruntled but powerless employee speak of rejection in front of their master?! Alas, I hope someone kills this bastard! I have to take this off as soon as I get out of the gymnasium.

“If you take it off as soon as you leave the gymnasium, more severe punishments await.”

Are you a mind reader? I’ve never heard of him having that ability.
How scary would it be if an obsessive man even had mind-reading skills?

Anyway, due to this circumstance, I had to wear the headband all day.

The first time my sister saw me, she covered her mouth with her hand.

“So cute! Lala, are you trying to kill this sister by overfilling her heart with your cuteness?”

“… I’m sorry I became a little more cute.”

“Then do you have to continue wearing it during the morning greeting?”

“Um, I guess so.”

“…I don’t think the maid and the butler would like it very much.”

“Right? That bastard is doing this on purpose to annoy me! He’s a psycho- Oops!”

“Lala! Lower your voice.
Didn’t I already mention you shouldn’t say something like that?”

“Well, this is our room.
No one will hear us though?”

“There is a saying that mice hear the words of the night, and the birds hear the words of the day.
There’s nothing wrong with being careful.”

And, as my sister expected, I was scolded during the morning greeting.
Roughly speaking, a higher maid had heard about what happened, and she said that I shouldn’t wear something like this.

In the midst of the nagging, I sighed and looked at the head maid.
Isley told me to wear it, so I had no choice. 

Isley’s cleverness and wittiness were famous among the employees.
In the past, he had asked a servant to kick the buttocks of the butler.
The threatened servant cried and kicked the butler’s ass, and the news about the incident was spread throughout the mansion like spilled tea.
Shortly thereafter, the butler had enough and quickly reached retirement.

Isley’s exclusive servant who was continuously beaten by Isley’s tricks was kind-hearted.
Had he not been so, he might have ended up like the butler as well.
When I think of that fact, my heart trembles.

“Look at that.”

“It’s a cute headband.”

“The master is so… He must have something in mind.”

The employees went to the dining room and glanced at me as if I was some kind of exotic antiquity.

Among them, there were some who laughed out loud.
I remember who those people were.

Hearing the squeaky laughter of Lemon and her gang, I kicked her leg once without my sister’s knowledge.
The way she jumped and grabbed her calves in pain was really worth seeing.

At first, I was afraid that I might lose some points from the head maid for this, but when I went down for breakfast, she just looked at me pitifully and told me to work hard.

As I was walking down the hallway, I saw the duchess entering the dining room.
Oh my gosh, has it been almost three or four weeks since I first came here? It seems like she is thinking of having breakfast with her sons after such a long time.
Maybe that’s why Arthur’s face, right before he disappeared into the dining hall, was exceptionally bright.

What a mama’s boy.

Their current expressions didn’t show, but Isley and Osses must be annoyed.
They hated their mother in the novel.

But I know that what is called hate is another word for the feeling of affection.

My guess is that if their mother wasn’t the duchess, they would have been imprisoned in the dungeons way earlier on since they didn’t have any power.

“So what?”

Whatever happens to them, I didn’t care.
Was I the kind of person who gets a headache from thinking beyond my sister’s well-being?

I shrugged and repeated the task of cleaning the hallway.
When will the head maid come to like me and write me a letter of recommendation?

After cleaning, I decided to go play in the garden.

“I’ll walk around for a bit and then go to my sister~”

As it is called the Rose Mansion, the garden of Emers Street, where roses bloom all year round, was absolutely beautiful.
It makes me feel better when I come here every now and then when I’m working.

How do the roses never wither and continue to keep blooming? Was it magic or was it alchemy?

The gardener who was tending to the flowers in the distance waved to me.
I raised my hand and waved back.

And then I found a creature trembling in the tree.

“…A cat.”

No, it wasn’t just a cat.
It was Orange.
Not the fruit orange, but the cat’s name is orange.

The creature, given its sweet and sour name because the fur color resembled an orange, was a kitten secretly kept by the employees.

Is it a bit harsh to say that we are raising him? Just one day, the chef found a kitten wandering behind the kitchen building and fed him.
I’ve given him something like chicken before.

“Orange, what are you doing there?!”

Orange was clinging to the tree and trembling.
If you are caught by Osses, who has a cat allergy, you will be kicked out immediately.
You won’t even be able to enter this mansion in the future!

I looked up at Orange, restless.
He’s too young to come down by himself.
I took a deep breath and clenched my fists.

Let me save you.

When I lived in Count Nigor’s estate, I often played with the trees.
This is a piece of cake to me.
I gave strength to my arms and climbed up the tree.

If the gardener finds out about this, I’ll be scolded, but he likes Orange too, so even if I go up to get him, the gardener should let this slide just this one time.

I moaned and climbed up the trunk.
In the blink of an eye, the cat reached the branch where my hand could reach.

The cat looked at me, crying like a baby.

“Come Orange.
This sister will save you.”

And just when I reached out to Orange,

“You there, maid, what are you doing?”

“Uh, wait, this voice…Ahh!”

In addition to Orange that stepped on my face and jumped down, I was startled by the sudden voice from below and lost my balance.

“Ahhhh…!”

I screamed and fell down.
Quick! I need to think of this as a sport.
I should use that landing method I learned from the books! But I closed my eyes at the pain that was about to come.
But when I touched the ground, there was no such thing as pain.
It felt soft.

I looked down and saw Arthur lying down with his eyes closed.

“Oh my…Y-young master!”

Why are you out here? When I heard the voice, I wondered who it was, but it was you! I must be crazy! I killed a young master who I served by my own ass.

I quickly put my ear to Arthur’s chest.
Fortunately, his heart was beating well.
No, it’s actually not that reassuring.
I may not have killed him, but this is still a serious situation!

Layla, you idiot.
Master, can you forgive the person who knocked you out with an ass? Of course, if it were me, I would have forgiven, but it may not be the same for him.
Wow, this is a death flag, right?

He ruffled his hair and let out a silent groan.
Meanwhile, an indifferent Orange wandered around us.

I know you feel grateful because I saved you but go away.
Please…

Arthur groaned and opened his eyes.
The red eyes that had always harbored cold energy slowly released their energy.

“Are you okay, young master?”

I approached him and checked his body thoroughly.
G-good, his eyes are moving just fine, he’s breathing well, and… 

“…Do you want to rest your head on the guillotine?”

His personality is as dirty as usual.

Well, I’m doomed!

Knowing that a person is doomed sometimes makes my heart feel light.
I smiled broadly and held Arthur’s hand to get him up.
Sister, I’m sorry.
I might die today.
It may either be from being shot to death or beheaded to death.
But anyway, I’ll try to fix it… hopefully?

 

 

-To be continued

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