The next morning, the first thing I did was go to the head maid.
As if she wasn’t going to eat breakfast, she walked straight past the cafeteria.
I hurried after the head maid and gave her what I was holding in my hand.
“Miss head maid, please take this!”
The head maid’s eyes widened.
“This is… Apple pie?”
“Yes, I was passing by a bakery on the way to run an errand, and I remembered the head maid saying she liked apple pies.
Before I realized what I was doing, I had bought an apple pie!”
“Ho-ho, how cute of you.”
“Will you accept it…? If the head maid doesn’t accept it, I’ll eat it all!”
“Okay, okay… I will accept it, so give it here.”
The head maid took the well-packaged apple pie.
Hooray! Success! The second way of becoming closer to the other person is to gift items they like.
Who doesn’t like receiving gifts? As far as I know, such a person does not exist in the world.
Just like using a sweet treat to start a conversation with a friend in a new school semester, gifts like this can attract the other person’s attention.
After I handed her the pie, I tried to go back to work.
Just then, I nearly tripped over someone’s foot.
My sister, who had followed me, hugged me in a hurry.
After barely balancing, I noticed Lemon and her friends nearby.
“I thought the sly fox was your sister, but it was you? I heard it all.
How dare a girl like you ride in the same carriage as Master Osses? Seeing you wag your tail at the head maid too is pathetic…”
Why is she like this again? My sister’s face changed strangely.
Her face changed as if she had heard something that wasn’t supposed to be heard.
“… What did you say?”
Oh, she’s mad.
My sister was one of those people who doesn’t usually get angry, but when they do, they become incredibly scary.
Maybe it was because they felt a strong, eerie force, Lemon and her group stumbled and retreated back a little.
“I said, what did you just say to my sister?”
“… Huh, i-it seems you didn’t understand, so I’ll say it again.
I said she’s a foxy bitch!”
Look at how she talks.
I glanced at Lemon.
Lemon liked Osses.
No one told me about this, but it was obvious.
That was why she kept picking a fight with my sister.
Although, it felt like she’s been acting up more in front of me ever since she got beaten up by me.
I wanted to punch her eyes in and turn her into a raccoon if I could, but there were too many eyes here.
See? There are currently people looking at us.
I guess I’ll have to tell Lemon to meet me in the back alley later.
My sister turned to Lemon and glared.
“You guys really are bad kids, aren’t you? If you continue to say things like that, no one will like you.
I hope that you will apologize.”
“Sister, stop it! It’s not healthy to listen to nonsense like that.”
Before my sister got truly mad, I quickly pulled her into the cafeteria.
My sister insisted on not going.
But what can she do? If I act cute and beg, she can’t help but go along with what I say.
While I ate, I had to keep comforting my sister.
To be honest, I pretended to be okay, but I was very upset to hear Lemon say something like that.
So, while I was cleaning a vase in the hallway, I grunted at Amy, who was in charge of the people cleaning the same area.
“Just what should I do about Lemon?”
“Just ignore her.
Don’t you know that it’s best to ignore kids like that?”
“I can’t ignore her… Every time my fist sees her face, it cries that it wants to hit her.”
“I- I see.”
What’s with that look? It’s as if you’re looking at a thug.
Amy shook her head.
“Still, Lemon is amazing.
The last time you guys fought, she must’ve been beaten up pretty badly… If it were me, I’d never be able to fight you.
Even if the three of them rushed at you at once, it was no use.”
“I can do five to one.”
“Are you a monster…? You should’ve been a knight, not a maid.”
“But when you become a knight, you have to work hard.
You have to train every day, and if there’s a war, you have to go to the battlefield… I hate living the hard life… I want to suck honey… ”
Note: It’s slang for taking a lot of benefits/ advantages from something without much effort.
“Suck… Honey? What do you mean?”
“There’s such a thing.”
“Then, did the scar on your cheek in the past come from that fight?”
It happened then.
If not, when else would I’ve gotten it from?”
“Well… I had known about it, but.
Lemon is the one you fought with?”
“Who else would I fight other than Lemon?”
“… Lala, who are you talking to?”
Wasn’t I talking to you?
Amy turned her attention from the vase she was wiping to me.
Then, with a flustered look, she started gaping.
What’s wrong with her? Is there something on my face? Or is there a bug on it? When I looked closely, I noticed she wasn’t looking at my face, but somewhere a little above it.
When I saw Amy bow her head, I felt uneasy.
When I looked back, I saw Isley Emers.
He looked at me and smiled.
It was a beautiful smile that made goosebumps rise all over my body.
“Hello, little liar.”
Liar? I don’t know why he called me that.
I don’t remember lying to him… Or did I? Isley looked at me blankly and tilted his head.
“Aren’t you going to say hi?”
I didn’t expect to see this guy here so I panicked.
I guess you can say the situation felt like your boss walked in in the middle of your and your coworker’s conversation.
“Hello, young master…”
I quickly lowered my head and tried to lift it up again, but something blocked me from doing so and I couldn’t move.
Turns out, it was because Isley was holding my head down with incredible strength.
Oh my gosh, I didn’t know the duchess had raised a gorilla.
“…Young master…? Why, why are you doing this…?”
“Why? I don’t know either.
Maybe because I’m reprehensible?”
What nonsense are you spouting? I mouthed curses at him, saying that he’s a jerk and a selfish psycho.
When I reached the point of cursing every single hair on his head, Isley released his hand.
I noticed now that there was a servant next to Isley.
He was held by his shoulders and had a smile that anyone can tell he felt awkward and burdened.
As Amy and I nodded towards the servant, he bowed his head in the same way.
Pointing his finger at the servant, Isley said,
“This guy told me Arthur is looking for you.”
Why is he looking for me? As if Isley was wondering the same, he tilted his head.
“Are you two close? It didn’t seem like that to me.”
“… We’re not close.”
We’re definitely not friends.
Thinking about it now, Arthur did have a reason to look for me.
It must be because of Orange.
Didn’t he tell me to bring Orange whenever he called for me? Moreover, the servant held by Isley informed that Master Arthur had told me to come to the garden maze.
And since his business was over, the servant ran away.
To think I had to see that guy’s face… I hate that.
While I was letting out a heavy sigh, Amy pushed me on the back and told me to hurry and go since we finished cleaning… Even though we haven’t even finished wiping the vases yet.
Thank you, Amy.
It would have been better if you held me back and said I had a lot of work to do instead.
I hugged her tightly and headed to the garden.
But why is Isley following me again? I thought I was mistaken, but I wasn’t.
He continued to follow me even after we neared the garden maze.
I can’t take Orange with me like this… Arthur said he would keep it a secret, but if Isley finds out about the cat, he will try to wield it as a weakness.
When I glanced at him, he smiled back at me carefreely.
“It’s really strange, isn’t it? Why is Arthur looking for you? Did he take a liking to you? There’s no way a guy who acts like he hates everything in the world would like you… Oh, you did something wrong to him, didn’t you?”
“… No way…”
“Oh? I guess I’m right?”
Wonderful! You’re close to the answer! If it were a game, I think such phrases would be said.
He’s too quick to catch on.
As soon as I kept my mouth shut and continued to walk, Isley pinched my cheek, stretched them out, and said,
I will help you.”
I looked up at him, stroking my painful right cheek.
What? Are you saying you’ll help me if Arthur picks on me? You? To be honest, it would be more helpful to me for you to get out of here.
I didn’t believe in his words, but I nodded my head to signify that I got it.
We reached the garden maze.
Arthur, who was sitting on a nearby bench, frowned as he took turns looking at Isley and me.
“…Why did you bring him here?”
And mouthed, ‘What about the cat?’ I glanced at Isley at that question.
I couldn’t bring him because of this guy.
Arthur’s face began to grow grimmer.
Are you really upset because you can’t see the cat? Or are you just mad at seeing Isley? Well, it could be both.
As I was thinking about it, Arthur snapped at Isley,
“Never in your life have you ever been helpful to me.”
“Don’t say that to your brother.
I feel hurt.”
Isley smiled bashfully, as if he had not been hurt by those harsh words, and placed his arm around my shoulders.
Oh my, how dare he put his arms around me.
You mess around with my sister like this, huh? I secretly glared at him.
“But why did you call my maid? Are you trying to bully her? Of course, if you bully her, her reactions are really funny.”
“Do you think I’m like you? It’s just because I had some business with her, but… your maid? She’s not even your exclusive maid.”
Isley began to roll his eyes as if he was trying to hide from something.
“…Hey, she even cleans my room, you know.
So she’s my maid… Well, that’s not what’s important right now.
Why did you call her?”
“Did you come all the way out here out of curiosity?”
“Yeah, you know I can’t stand my curiosity.”
Arthur looked back at me and Isley, then sighed.
“… It was nothing.”
It seemed he wasn’t going to talk about Orange because of the promise he made last time.
Wow, if it were me, I think I would have just confided in Isley just to chase him away.
It felt like my likability for him, which was -999, had risen to -998.
Arthur put a hand on his forehead and sighed deeply, beckoning me to go now.
He then left the garden and went into the mansion.
When I saw his strangely lonely back, I felt sorry even though I knew I didn’t have to be.
I felt a gaze poking my cheek, so I looked to the side.
Isley looked at me with a face that seemed to be wishing for something and was smiling broadly.
What… I don’t know what it is that he wanted, but that smiling face felt uncomfortable.
“I chased Arthur away.”
He didn’t seem to know that the person I had to defeat was Isley himself.
“Ah… Yes… Thank you…”
Here you go, take the thank you and get lost.
Isley ruffled my hair and headed to the gymnasium.
He had a happy-looking back.
He always looked happy like that whenever he teased me.
Oh, how I want to slap him in the back of the head.
I was about to secretly raise my fist, but stopped and looked towards the window of Arthur’s room.
“… Ah, shit… I keep worrying about him.
I must be crazy.”
I may really have gone crazy.
I found Orange from the back of the kitchen just for Arthur, the scum who will imprison my sister in the future.
I grunted as I climbed up the tree and made it all the way to his window.
“My sister is right… I’m too nice…”
I lightly clenched my fist and knocked on the window.
Then, Arthur appeared with a frown on his face.
Of course, the grim expression on his face melted away as soon as he saw Orange.
Arthur took Orange from me, held him, and smirked.
“… Did you come all the way up the tree just to show me this?”
“Uh, I guess that’s how it ended up…?”
“Don’t you know that it’s against etiquette to climb a tree and knock on someone else’s window like this?”
“… I’m sorry…”
I knew I shouldn’t have bought Orange.
“But… I’ll let you off just this once.”
Arthur smiled, and as I had previously advised, gently touched Orange.
-To be continued
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