AIWTRO Chapter Twenty-One

AIWTRO Chapter 21

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Emily: “I-I’m done cleaning up, so I’ll excuse myself, my lady.”

Keira: “Wait a moment!”

Keira stopped the maid who was backing away at a breakneck speed.

Emily slowly raised her head.

Emily: “Do you need anything?”

Keira: “That… I wanted to return this.”

Keira’s voice was so soft, Emily bet that the footsteps of ants would be louder. 

‘What did she say?’

Emily still remembered the look on her lady’s face when her lady asked her if she should repeat what she said. Fortunately for her, Keira spoke again.

Keira: “This side novel is yours, right? I enjoyed reading it.”

Emily: “Y-yes?”

Keira swallowed and said. 

Keira: “I heard you ladies yesterday while I was passing by… You said the masquerade scene was your favorite?”

Emily: “Yes?”

Emily felt stupid. She knew it wasn’t right for staff to keep parroting ‘Yes?’ but the situation called for it. She desperately tried to recall what happened yesterday. 

Did she say that? She thought she did. 

Emily: “M-my lady… That is… Well, we were on a break…”

She suddenly realized that she could make her lady angrier if she made up excuses, so she changed courses. 

Emily: “I’m sorry. I won’t be chatting with the other maids in the future.”

Keira: “What are you talking about? I just wanted to say I also liked that scene the most.”

Emily: “…Yes?”

Keira: “I think… I think we have the same taste. I wanted to ask if you can recommend any more novels.”

In embarrassment, Keira’s voice was becoming softer, but she tried to perk up. The more she talked, the less tense her expression became. 

But facing that frosty expression, Emily thought she would faint.

‘Your expression and words don’t match at all!’

She thought it was less surprising if her lady said: ‘I can’t believe you’re reading this kind of book in my house! You’re fired!’

Emily knew she had to say something since her lady asked for a recommendation, but her mind went blank. 

Emily: “I-I can’t think of anything right now… Can I give you my recommendations later?”

Keira: “Okay, then.”

Emily: “Then, I’ll be on my way, my lady.”

Emily stepped back and left the room. 

When Keira heard the door click shut, she clenched both fists. 

‘See? It was nothing!’

It was a natural conversation between two people who shared the same interest. She convinced herself and nodded.

After a while, Rose poked her head through the door.

Rose: “Are you finished writing your letter? May I come in?”

Oh, the letter. Keira looked down at the desk. She only ended up writing two lines of greeting.

She couldn’t write the letter properly because she was too occupied focusing on finding an opportunity to start a conversation with Emily.

Keira: “Just a moment. I’ll write it now.”

Rose, a person she trusted, was the only one who should send the letter which will be delivered to her maternal grandfather.

It was a letter to form a connection with their powerful family. A ‘contingency’ in case history repeated itself.

The most ideal ending was to expose Cosette as a fraud, punish her, and be recognized as the real child of the Grand Duke.

But Keira knew better than anyone that things couldn’t always go the way she wanted them to.

She must prepare for the worst. And the only one who could help her was her grandfather. 

She knew he was a cunning and greedy man, but they were on the same boat. If she told him she needed to discuss urgent matters about the safety of his family, he would not ignore her letter.

After finishing the letter, telling her grandfather she wanted to meet and talk in person, Keira sealed the envelope tightly.

Keira: “Please make sure it’s delivered directly to grandfather.”

Rose: “Yes, I’ll keep that in mind.”

Rose took the letter and left. 

Keira clenched and unclenched her fist, recalling the conversation she had a while ago. Although it was short, it was important to take the first step.

Will I be able to chat with others like that someday?

‘Like the maids I saw yesterday…?’

Keira felt her hands tingle as she imagined laughing and chatting with the maids. 

As expected, Keira was still shy.

‘Cosette didn’t care at all.’

Perhaps because she grew up outside, Cosette had no qualms about hanging out with the servants. It was the complete opposite of Keira, who thought that keeping her distance from her subordinates was to preserve the dignity of the nobility.

Keira once told Cosette that if she wanted to be part of the Parvis House, she needed to act like a proper noble. And instead, what did Cosette say?

“Don’t you get exhausted of living like that? That’s why you’re alone.”

She said those words with a sneer.

Keira bit her lip as she recalled that unfortunate encounter. 

She used to think Cosette’s actions were vulgar, but perhaps it was the secret to quickly winning the hearts of the servants? They would look more kindly to the lady who laughed and played with them than the master who made them feel uncomfortable.

Keira looked back on the things Cosette did. She was always smiling, laughing and saying hello to everyone. 

Keira thought she smiled too much. She thought it was unbefitting a noble who must keep their dignity. 

Maybe it wasn’t Cosette who had an issue, but Keira?

‘…it wasn’t that bad.”

Reading romance novels and talking about them with others. 

What was so important about maintaining a noble’s dignity? 

It was humbling to admit that the person she thought was inferior was right and she was wrong.

If she hadn’t experienced it in person, she would have lived her whole life in denial like she did in the past.

But something was strange. 

Even though she admitted that Cosette was right and she was wrong, she didn’t feel bad about it.

Rather, she felt an unexpected sense of relief.


“What? My lady asked you to recommend a novel?”

“You think I’m making it up? She really did!”

The maids thought of the cool and blank face of their lady. No matter how much they tried to imagine it, they could only picture the lady see everything other than academic and classical scriptures as trash. 

“Maybe she’s planning to confiscate and burn them?”

“If she did, she would have just had our dorm searched!”

Then Emily said.

“She heard our conversation yesterday. She said the masquerade ball was her favorite scene.”

“…”

“…”

The maids stared blankly at each other.

It’s like Emily was saying that…

“It sounded like our lady was listening to our conversation because she wanted to talk about it, too.”

They immediately dismissed the idea that the prestigious lady wanted to join in on their conversation about the romance novel.

“Someone might misunderstand. Watch your tongue, Emily. I’m worried about you.”

“Hey, what–”

Emily tried to protest but stopped.

The lady never did say ‘I wanted to join in on your conversation’ or ‘Your conversation was interesting.’ So, it was hard to tell what she was really thinking behind her indifferent expression.

If Emily misinterpreted what her master meant, she could be punished. Eventually, she just swallowed her words.

“Anyway, the important thing is the lady asked you for a recommendation. So, we need to think hard.”

“Since she said she wanted to know about the normal life of a noble, the story should be about a noble.”

“She might enjoy something sweet and light.”

It was still hard to imagine the lady giggling over a romance novel, but since she asked the maid to recommend more stories, she had not choice but to follow the order.