The Hurdle of Happiness
The fun times were too fast. The unpleasant times felt longer.
Violette felt like time flew by fast when they were in that cafe, but when Yulan sent her home and she reached the mansion, her shoulders were suddenly heavy.
Of course, this was not the fatigue after spending time with Yulan. She had forgotten the dejection that she should’ve felt since leaving the school for a moment, so the weight felt heavier on her mind now.
Still, it was much better than what she always felt.
She wasn’t present at the dinner table since she hadn’t digested the pancake yet, but she wondered what those would people think she was plotting… She was more dejected when she thought of tomorrow’s breakfast, but for now, the sense of liberation was stronger.
“Violette-sama, I finished preparing your change of clothes.”
Violette wiped off her body after taking a light shower and wrapped herself in a beautifully folded dress. White with no decoration, it was the so-called home wear that prioritized comfort over the design, but the dress was elegant enough for her to go outside without any problems.
Perhaps since her natural appearance stood out, when she was choosing something that suited her, she would definitely focus on the luxury. Even to the small items that seemed simple. They were beautiful and nice to look at, but for Violette, her clothes were hard to move and made her shoulders stiff.
She was tired of it, wanting to at least wear her favorite ones in the house where she spent her times alone. When she was young, all her mother prepared for her was men’s stuff… It was mostly reproductions of what her father was wearing when he was young, the complete opposite of what she was wearing now.
Even so, her father told her that it didn’t suit her when she went out, so she tried to choose “suitable things” for her plain clothes and dresses.
A-line dress, no tightened waist. Neat and elegant, she herself didn’t think that it suited her. Such a cute outfit was even more lovely, which would suit girl like Maryjun better than herself.
“Marin, you’re back.”
“If you want to take a rest, should I braid your hair?”
“Sure, may I ask for your help?”
Violette sat in front of the mirror in the bedroom which was large enough to make the full-length mirror in her private room unnecessary. Marin stood behind her, brushing her hair slowly and gently untangling her tangled hair.
In the absence of light, the dull hue of her hair was prominent, but Marin was proud that she knew more than anyone else that when Violette was basking under the sun, the gray color would shine beautifully as if sprinkled with glass. More than Violette who didn’t like this color. Even more than Yulan who valued all of Violette. It was Marin’s privilege since she had combed, touched, and braided her hair.
Marin bundled Violette’s hair thinly one by one, making the braid as loose as she could so that it wouldn’t hurt, but not so loose as to let it unravel. She completed the braid with a white lace hair tie.
“It doesn’t hurt?”
“Yes, thank you.”
What appeared in the mirror looked as if it was not Violette. The students at the school, even her family, didn’t know about this appearance. She didn’t really use make-up in the first place, but just changing her clothes and hairstyle would change her impression considerably.
Sitting down on the bed, Violette let herself fall to her side, burying her cheeks on the pillow just right. The sheets had the scent of the sun, prepared by Marin. It was one of the few things that was prepared only for her in this house.
“It was fun.”
“The pancake was delicious.”
“…It was like a dream.”
She was only spending her time relaxing, without worrying about anyone’s gaze. She didn’t have to keep her favourite things away because they didn’t suit her. Even if she ate her hair, she could laugh and it would be forgiven.
What Violette told Marin were her happy memories.
“If you’re tired, please sleep as you are.”
“I’ll do that…”
Her eyes got heavier, and even raising her eyelids became tiring.
She thought that she was physically fit, but this sleepiness was not from fatigue. Her instinct was commanding her to sleep while being wrapped in this comfortable feeling.
When she raised her feet into the bed slowly, Marin gently put the blanket over her.
She buried her face in the warmth that wrapped her, reminiscing about today’s events before she fell asleep, and realized that she enjoyed it more than she’d expected in the end while thanking Yulan.
She felt apologetic, but there was happiness again in the depths of her heart.
Marin smiled to her sleeping master who was softly breathing in small puffs. Instead of her usual luster, the person who slept in the big bed had a fleeting sacredness.
The world of dreams was surely more gentle for Violette than reality. The madness she experienced in reality could hurt her much worse, even if her dream was a nightmare of the past. Violette’s sleeping figure looked as if she was swirling in relief and anxiety.
Marin sent her master to sleep every day, and prayed many times that there wouldn’t be any expression on her face.
Maybe she had a happy dream. Not a nightmare about her past, but an illusion with no sorrow. She hoped that even if it was only in the land of dreams, Violette could laugh from the depths of her heart.
Today’s Violette would surely have good dreams.
Her small, rounded sleeping posture was no different from the usual.
But this was not the urgency of holding herself and desperately trying to protect herself. It was more like she was hugging an important treasure, sleeping in peace.
As if she was digesting the happy things that had happened today.
“…For now, that’s one step in the right direction.”
To Violette, Yulan was someone that unconditionally loved and accepted her affection. The partner whom she could accept love from without doubting him.
It was within the category of the so-called family love, but at present, the only person other than Marin who Violette could act spoiled to was only him.
The only one who could make Violette happy was only him at the moment.
Marin knew where Violette’s heart was going, and she hoped that love would bear fruit. But surely, Violette herself also realized that what she felt towards Yulan was not really love.
If this was a hopeless love in every sense, she believed that her master should marry someone with whom she truly fell in love and who could make her happy.
The best way to achieve this was to direct Yulan to Violette’s heart and have him win her as her fiancée, not her lover.
Violette already had clear affection for him, so the problem was just how to shift it afterwards. It was easy to say, but not easy to do. Probably, Yulan knew this the best. That’s why he had acted as her little brother until now.
If Violette was happy, Marin had nothing to say. If Violette was sad or hurt, she was prepared to resort to physical censure, but Yulan was more concerned about her feelings than anyone else, and Marin could trust him with that completely.
But then, Marin was not willing to help Yulan since Violette hadn’t fallen in love with him.
It wasn’t like she did not acknowledge Yulan, she even supported him in her heart, but this was a different story.
Marin knew well how bad excessive love, a one-way love, an impassioned relationship, and blind couples could result in. They had experienced the worst examples of the complexity and simplicity of love.
That’s why, she didn’t want to force Violette to be happy.
(In the end, I’m relying on him to attain my objective.)
Being of the same gender, Marin couldn’t announce her candidacy or even dream to make Violette happy. Even beyond the era when homosexuality was taboo, nobles would have loveless marriages even when they loved someone of the same gender.
Then if she was a man, would she have tried to take the spot and make Violette happy?
The answer was… no. If she was strong enough to do so, she wouldn’t let her important master stay in this mansion, even if they had the same gender.
Even if Marin had been a man, no matter how much she cared about Violette, she would just dream of the day when her master would be happy with somebody else, not having any power or courage to do it herself.
That’s why, she wished for it. She imagined the smile she hadn’t seen yet, because she could never reach it. Marin wanted Violette to obtain the ideal family that was once destroyed here.
“Well… I won’t let anyone have her so easily, though.”
They wanted her beautiful, lovable, intelligent, and beloved master. Of course they have to face reasonable hardships and make efforts. Marin had to do her best to repel those stupid idiots that were attracted to her.
But if Marin, and most importantly Violette, found someone who they deemed wonderful, she would use all of her power to prepare the best chair for that person.
Marin didn’t know if the person who would sit on that chair was Yulan, or a wonderful prince that she hadn’t seen yet, though.