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Young Mistress, Collapsed
With Dean assisting and shortening the time needed to work on fief management, I recently have time to spare to go to town. As I thought, I feel refreshed every time I go to town.
“Ah, Dean! I wonder if it’s fine if we make the orphanage as our last stop?”
“If that is Alice-sama’s wish.”
By the way, when I headed to town, I invited Dean along. Because work ended early… I was thinking of ways to pay him back, it suddenly came to my mind.
In the beginning, Tanya strongly opposed the idea. While saying, “To actually suggest bringing someone whose character is unknown.” But because of mother’s recommendation and grandfather’s presence, I managed to pull through.
By the way, although Dean is not used to children, he is quite good at handling them. Because of that, compared to me, he is more popular. …When I think about it, I’m quite frustrated, but after seeing the happy faces of the children, I decided to hold it in.
“Onii-chan, onee-chan. Will you come here again?”
The child approached us and looked up at us with an upward glance. Ahh, so cute…!
“Of course. Right, Dean?”
“Yeah. Therefore, please be a good child and wait a little.”
When dusk came, I, who enjoyed myself to the fullest, left the orphanage to return home. Un. I had a lot of fun today. Let’s do our best again tomorrow.
Although I took a break from time to time when mother came to visit, but as always, there was no day offs. However, when Dean came, I have recently been taking days off and coming to town.
Or rather, when Dean is here, work unexpectedly finishes early, as a result, it was fine even if I take a day off. As I thought, days off really are important.
“Because we’re already inside the compound, it’s all right if you don’t call me Alice anymore.”
With me retort, Dean laughed lightly.
“Pardon me. Young mistress, why do you work so hard to that extent?”
Because of the sudden and unexpected question, I stopped walking.
“You, yourself, aren’t you working hard as well?”
“It is different for me. I am working because I need to do it to live. However, the young mistress is different. As a daughter of a Duke, a daughter of the Prime Minister… even if you don’t work, won’t you still be able to survive?”
Well, that is certainly true. Among the aristocrats, it is rare for a woman to work. To protect the house and manage the household is the wife’s duty. Even in our fief, it was the butlers and the other employees who were arranged to manage our house and the fief.
“But I was granted the position of the fief Lord’s proxy by father. And to work befitting of our position, isn’t that what being an aristocrat is all about?”
“With all due respect… the image I had of aristocrats are people who do nothing but exploit taxes of the people of their fief, and continued to live that way. In addition, the young mistress could do what the fief Lord has done and leave it all to Sebastian-san.”
“That method, it’s not as though it has never crossed my mind. But as I thought, since I have been given the responsibility… even though I’m still inexperienced, I thought to give it my best. And it is also an opportunity. But now…”
I gently looked at my hand. …A very, very small hand. It holds the life and future of the fief’s people, but yet very undeserving to protect them, and so I laughed while looking at myself.
“When I met the children in that orphanage, I thought that even if it’s me… No, because it’s me, I can do it. When I do my best, if it increases the smile of the people even just a little… If the people can find happiness, wouldn’t that be such a great thing?”
“…You are right.”
When he gave a beautiful smile, I was fascinated for a moment. …That was dangerous, too dangerous. Because Dean’s smile has destructive powers, I really need to be careful. I became slightly embarrassed, so I quickly thanked everyone and headed to my room in a rush. Ah, really… I’m not that kind of character.
…And then, two days later. At the end of Dean’s contract, I collapsed for the first time since I came here. Up until now, I have always taken care of my health… so why?
But because of my high fever, I couldn’t concern myself with thinking of such matters, and so I slept.
The next time I opened my eyes, the room has already gotten dark. …Was I sleeping for the entire day?
Taking care of one’s health is the basics of the basics when it comes to work. I collapsed and then spent the whole day sleeping… I still have ways to go.
Although my voice sounded a little hoarse, my throat seems to be fine. …In any case, I feel thirsty. I feel unpleasant because I perspired a lot and my clothes were sticking to my skin.
When I called out, Tanya who was waiting inside my room immediately arrived beside my bed. And the expression on her face looked a little angry, and she seemed to have cried.
“…Please give me, some water. After that, please bring me a towel dipped in water and wrung. I want to wipe my body.”
She probably already had it prepared. She shortly handed me a glass of water and I quickly drank it. …Un, it permeates down my throat.
After that, Tanya promptly handed me a wet towel to wipe myself with.
…Tomorrow, I wonder how much work had piled up …Just thinking about it scares me. Dean had already returned to his parents’ house by the end of this morning. Ah, I shouldn’t have rested yesterday… Although I would think that, it’s too late to regret it. In any case, today I will fully rest myself, and began to fall asleep.
The next morning, while my body still felt heavy, I dragged myself to the study. Ah, I wonder how much documents have piled up… While I was thinking that, I opened the door and found the usual amount of documents on top of the desk… No, it’s a slightly less than usual.
While I was wondering why, with perfect timing, someone knocked on the door, and the person who entered was Dean.
“Dean! What’s wrong? Weren’t you supposed to leave yesterday morning?”
“Young mistress as well, is your body all right now?”
“Yes. Because I was able to rest for all of yesterday. That aside, this amount…”
“I finished everything I could with my authority. All that’s left are the documents and reports that need the young mistress’ approval.”
“Is that so… Thank you. However, Dean. Will you be all right? I mean, aren’t you delayed by one day?”
“The young mistress wasn’t feeling well, there’s no way I can leave like that. I will be leaving tomorrow, though.”
“…I’m really sorry to have caused you trouble.”
“It’s fine. Because it’s something I did on my own. Now then, please look over these.”
After Dean placed the documents on the desk, he left the room. When he left, I roughly looked at the documents he left on the desk. …There’s no particular problem. And I’m troubled because there isn’t any problem.
I unintentionally blew out a heavy sigh. …It is no good at this rate. At this rate, I will end up depending on him. In terms of work and other things. …It’s like that even now. Because he is around, I feel relieved. I rely on him. …At the same time, I want him to stay.
However, it’s no good. …I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I realized it at that time with the situation with Ed-sama. A person will one day betray others. Because of that reason, I believe that I must stand on my own two feet.
It has always been like that. I’ll accept the help. I will rely on others. If it’s this person, I can leave it to them, and I start trusting them. However, on the other hand, how much can I can leave it to this person… and how much I can trust that person, I drew a line. Since that was the case, it would have been fine if they ever betray me.
…Nevertheless, he is trying to destroy that line. He is slowing creeping into the depths of my heart without permission, making me want to leave everything to him. That’s why… I’m scared.
I strongly deny that thought and shook my head from side to side. …Let’s not think about this any further. By not thinking about it and putting a cap on it… before one realizes, that thought has already disappeared.
* * *
Sorry for not releasing any chapters yesterday. I was feeling under the weather, so I took some medicine and before I knew it, I’ve already slept for more than 17 hours…
Next chapter is Berne’s PoV. The chapter is a little long so give me some time… But it will be released today.