Broken Engagement and Punishment 8
Ever since that crazy day when those Marquis’ Daughters charged into our residence, everything has been peaceful here. Liechten had also left the estate around that time, and still hadn’t come back yet
And now a month has passed. This is definitely a new record for him being away: he’s never been gone this long before. It was just as I was starting to worry that something had happened to him, that he’d tried to spur on his horse for the full three day trip, hadn’t taken any rests, and had gotten himself into some sort of terrible accident, that Liechten finally came back.
“Althea Cezara-Ojousama! You must hurry! Alten Liecht-sama has returned!”
Marie cries, flying into the kitchen. Unfortunately, I am currently having Vance teach me how to make butter cakes, so her energetic entrance causes a flurry of flour to go everywhere.
“Hey now! Marie! Just how many times do I have to tell you not to run in the mansion!?”
“Ow ow ow ow ow, Vance-san, that h-hurts!”
“Hah? Do you think that it’s your job to make more work for me!? Do you?”
Vance had seized Marie by the collar of her maid’s uniform and he roughly shakes her a few times as he says this, looking frighteningly barbaric.
Just by looking at him, you would never guess that he was a cook. His chef’s uniform isn’t thick enough to hide the rippling muscles that seem unnecessary in a kitchen, and in one of the openings I can see part of a nasty looking scar. Not for the first time, I can’t help but wonder what he did before coming to work here. I actually did ask Claude about this once, and was told that Vance had a hobby of tormenting his body. After hearing that, I decided to mind my own business.
“You lot! What do you think you’re doing!? Oh, Young Mistress, there you are. Please hurry over to the entrance hall. If you’re caught in the kitchen by Young Master Alten Liecht, you know you’ll be in for a veeery long lecture on the dignity of being a noble and the acting lord of this house. Now, come along. As for the rest of you, I will talk with you once you’ve cleaned this place up!”
Tracy, when her steady, cool gaze finds me, begins chasing me out of the kitchen without so much as a break in her speech. She has always been a long-winded, fast-talker, and now is no exception. She seems to be using all her might to try to talk as fast as possible at the moment.
Glancing back one last time into the kitchen, I see that poor Marie is shaking while being glared at by the extremely terrifying looking Vance.
You two, I’m sorry, but I’ll have to leave this mess to you….
I half run all the way to the entrance hall, but I slide to a stop just outside the doors. I need to appear ladylike in front of Liechten, so I quickly get my breathing under control before elegantly walking into the room. I seem to have had great timing since Liechten had just handed his coat over to Claude and was still working on taking off his gloves.
“Liechten! Welcome back!”
Eyes bluer than mine turn towards me, and when they lock on mine Liechten gives me a soft smile that can’t quite manage to hide how tired he must be feeling.
I was right. Something must have happened after all.
“Sister, I’m back. Did anything bad happen while I was gone?”
“Jeez. You sound just like Father! Don’t worry. Everything was fine.”
Liechten grabs my hand and, just like a loyal knight, places a kiss on the back of it. I can’t help but laugh at his gallantry and give him a very exaggerated curtsy in return. Seeing me messing around with him, Liechten lets out a sigh of relief, finally believing that nothing went wrong while he was gone.
He really does worry too much.
Speaking of the last month’s events, we did have a close call when Torneo was tending to the garden. He had been pruning a tree when he accidentally slashed his upper arm. He turned so deathly pale when he collapsed that we were all deeply worried as we frantically tried to take care of his wound.
A little less harrowing, I also had Marie teach me how put on a simple, every day dress by myself so that she wouldn’t always be so far behind in her work. I also practiced my dish washing and laundry skills and finally received a passing mark from Tracy.
….But I can’t very well tell Liechten or the duke (my father) that I was doing such mundane things, now can I?
“Sister, there’s something in your hair. It looks like….. flour?”
“Oh! Ha ha ha ha ha ha. It’s probably face powder.”
“You’re not even wearing any makeup though, are you? Sister?”
“I w-was practicing….”
When Marie came rushing into the kitchen, causing flour to go everywhere, some of it must have gotten in my hair!
Liechten watches as I quickly brush at my silver hair (which looks just like Mother’s) with a doubtful look on his face, but in the end he just nods his head and says, “Oh, is that so?” and thankfully lets the subject drop.
In my mind, I heave a sigh of relief. If he had found out that I had been doing work in the kitchen, there’s no doubt that I would have been stuck listening to him preach about what is befitting of a Duke’s daughter.
Even though Liechten is only 14 this year, he’s somehow strangely authoritative.
Maybe it’s because of his handsome face and strong features, or possibly his cool deep blue eyes that make him feel that way, but most likely it’s due to our father the Duke’s teachings finally seeing some results.
He may be my little brother, but honestly, if he’s like this already, I’m afraid to see what he’ll be like when he gets older.
Original translation at Carnations Scans