Intermission – A certain steward’s recollection
Olga-sama was fifteen years old when I began working as a live-in steward of the Rifald Household.
My family is of nobility, but because of a poor financial situation, I had no choice but to work.
It cannot be helped since we were originally just a small Baron household.
Well anyhow, on my first day, when I fired myself up and went to greet Olga-sama for the very first time, I was struck dumb.
“I will be working as this family’s steward starting today, my name is Keith Dewcelio. Ojousama, I am pleased to meet you.”
She then spoke to me, who bowed my head to her.
“It’s nice to meet you… umm, I would be grateful if you could call me by my name instead of Ojousama. Also, you don’t need to act so respectfully towards me.”
I was surprised.
… The name, I could still understand, but I have not met a person of a high standing who didn’t want servants to humble themselves before them.
The common sense of the nobility which states that humbling oneself before the masters is how things should be has been swiftly thrown out of the window.
“Ah, it’s fine if you don’t like calling me by my name, but… an acquaintance’s guard is calling him by his name, so…”
She explained hastily. However, that’s not it.
I am shocked by not having to humble myself before you.
“… Not being respectful, to what extent did you have in mind?”
「Ah, err… I’m fine with as much as you are okay with, but you don’t have to talk to me so courteously.”」
This is somewhat embarrassing, she said as she smiled wryly.
… This person has defied my conventional wisdom altogether.
“… I understand, Olga-sama.”
When I called her by name, she smiled delightfully.
One day, while working, she suddenly turned up.
“What is the matter?”
I asked while softening my honorific language by a certain degree.
She trotted over to me and longly stared into my face.
“I, is something going on?”
“… Keith-san, you don’t show your expressions much, do you?”
Being told so, I nodded in consent.
Apparently, she was curious about my lack of expressions.
When I explained that I was like this since birth, she went “Hmm~” and nodded her head.
“… How do I make you laugh?”
… Hearing that, I realized that I don’t have many memories of laughing.
I have lived mostly expressionless like this.
… Just when do I laugh?
“I don’t know…”
When I said so, she started pondering once again.
… Does she want to make me laugh that much?
Rather, it’s considered a good thing for servants to not show many expressions though… well, it’s Olga-sama so she’s probably thinking out of the norm a lot.
“… Is that so? You don’t need to hold back on your laughter… hmm, I would like to see more of Keith-san’s expressions.”
“I, is that so?”
I believe that there isn’t anything fun in my angry or laughing face though.
However, having the exact opposite thoughts, she enthusiastically said: “I will somehow make you show expressions…”
Well, I have not laughed in front of her for two whole years since then.
“… Come to think of it, wasn’t this the day you were supposed to meet Albert-sama?”
She’s engaged with this country’s First Prince Albert, and I believe she was supposed to go see him today.
… Well, the First Prince is famous for being worthless and he might bring harm upon Olga-sama, so I don’t want her to see him too much.
“… No, I went to see him, you know? I went, but…”
A somewhat disgusted expression floated on her face.
… She has not returned after shaking him off forcibly, has she?
While I was silently getting angry, she who guessed something quickly explained in a panic.
“No, he hasn’t done anything unpleasant to me, okay? … It’s just that when I was about to knock on the door to Albert-sama’s room, I heard gasping of a woman.”
… I pinned my forehead.
I heard that the First Prince was a cheating, lustful man, but I have not thought that he would be such a scum that he would cheat on the day his fiancée came to meet him.
… Putting my fountain pen away, I seriously felt like punching him in the face, but she spoke up with an indifferent tone.
“No, it’s not like I love him or anything, so it’s fine.”
… I was drained of strength.
Well, that’s true. As if she would fall in love with someone who would cheat on the day of their meeting…
No, it’s not like it would be fine if he cheated secretly.
Feeling slightly relieved, I was shocked at the same time.
… Right now, why was I relieved?
Why did I feel relief after knowing that she’s not in love with the First Prince?
Surely not, no way. This is not love, is it…?
On top of having a fiancé, she’s the person I am serving.
The love between people with such a difference in social status is not allowed.
She peeked into my face with her puppy eyes.
… Seeing that, I felt motivated and also I also gave up on various things after admitting it.
… What do I do? Falling in love with someone I shouldn’t, that’s not like me at all.
While inflicting wounds on my heart, these feelings of mine didn’t fade.
… Even when I wished for them to quickly disappear, I didn’t know that my feelings wouldn’t disappear even after another two years.