PDM Chapter 9
T/N: I just want to make it clear that I never sniped this novel. I posted PDM first and have contacted the other translator about it but have not heard back. So I’m uploading the chapters here as well.
It’s not that I didn’t understand them. The master’s power and hierarchy were the pride and honor of his people. I heard that the duchy’s employees were mostly new hires.
They must be proud to serve the Duke of Harace, especially since it was difficult to enter the house. So, unsurprisingly, the employees, including Butler Takan, wouldn’t be pleased that I became the Duchess.
But it wasn’t that I wasn’t angry or that I wasn’t ashamed.
It was also a question of whether I could fire them or not. If the butler tolerated this insult, then everyone in this house would realize how little power I actually had.
Even if they were fired, it would still be a problem. I couldn’t do that because I knew how sad it was for a person to suddenly lose their job.
I slowly descended the stairs. Every time my hand ran across the railing, there was an eerie sound.
The maids couldn’t raise their eyes, much like rabbits in front of a lion. But I was doomed to lose my dignity.
I tried to call them but paused. Come to think of it, I didn’t even know their names. I couldn’t keep track of my surroundings because I was in a tight situation.
Slightly remorseful, I asked, “What’s your name?”
One of them responded quickly. “M-my name is Mars.”
The maid next to her opened her mouth. “I’m Lil.”
She was relatively calm. She did not appeal to me for mercy, nor did she reflect on it. She seemed to be looking forward to getting punished. Her gaze reflected her repulsion towards me.
“Laura.” I called Laura in a pretty stern voice. Laura hurried to my side. “Cut their salary for one month.”
As if I had authority, I spoke coldly and turned around. I bet Takan would do something like this.
Mas fell flat on her stomach and repeated the same words, “T-thank you! Thank you!”
When I stopped walking and turned around, there was Lil, who, unlike Mars, was staring blankly at me. Lil was staring at me with her arms drooping helplessly, her expression sullen. When our eyes met, she hurriedly schooled her features.
It was a little softer than before. I nodded slightly to them, turned around, and ran into the person on the other side of the stairs.
Kyle was walking through the hall with Takan, taking off his gloves as if he had just returned home. It was the first time I had seen him in about a month.
I was surprised to see Kyle narrowing his eyes and looking at me.
I was worried he might misunderstand that I was pretending to be a hostess and scolding them. I looked down, waiting for Kyle’s words, but he didn’t speak.
As I slowly raised my head, there was Kyle, still staring at me. For a moment, doubt flashed in his eyes. Maybe I misunderstood the situation. I hesitated for a moment before opening my mouth.
“Your Grace, this is–”
Kyle cut me off and turned around, his face indifferent. It would have been better if you said something. Kyle didn’t ask or press what was going on.
I shut my mouth and walked away.
“What is with that woman?”
Takan narrowed his eyes at where Aelle was, his blue eyes glistening with discontent. Kyle walked past the hall without responding to Takan.
“Kyle, why is she pretending to be nice?”
Kyle, who continued walking despite Tarkan’s call, didn’t stop until he reached the office where his aide was waiting.
‘Don’t reprimand them.’
Aelle’s voice echoed in his mind. Truthfully, Kyle saw everything, from the maids talking ill of Aelle to the moment Aelle approached them.
He thought Aelle would rush down the stairs and slap the maids. Yes, he expected that. However, Aelle did an excellent job of proving him wrong.
Kyle turned slowly and stared at Aelle’s back as he moved away from the first-floor hall. Before he realized it, he was standing by the railing and tapping on it.
No matter how powerless, the influence that came with the position did not disappear. He expected Aelle to make full use of that power on the employees in the mansion and fulfill her self-indulgence.
“Well,” Kyle muttered as he narrowed his eyes. He still hadn’t taken his eyes off Aelle’s back.
Upon arriving in the room, Laura closed the door and came closer to whisper, “Madam, it is good to be merciful, but if you set a precedent, this will happen again and again.”
“For whatever reason, they have insulted their masters,” Laura went on, clearly agitated. Then, she must have come to her senses and calmed herself down. “I’m sorry for being presumptuous.”
I patted Laura’s shoulder with a smile and headed to the balcony.
“Laura, have you ever lost your job unfairly?”
“What do you mean by that…”
“I have.” I pulled back the curtains and stepped into the balcony. “When I was ten years old, my brother left home. I was afraid to be alone in the house with my father, so I cried and blamed my brother, right?”
“But I was starving because I wasted time on unnecessary emotions. I looked around the house, but there was nothing to eat.”
I grabbed the railing and took a deep breath. The smell of damp summer wafted softly.
“My father sold all of my mother’s belongings, so there was nothing in the house I could sell. So, I pretended to be a commoner and went to work in a mansion that needed more hands.”
“People would refer to me as ‘hey, you.’ Then I got fired for something I didn’t do. It was so unfair.” I shook my head as I recalled my childhood. “I don’t know how many times I tried to explain myself. Afterward, I cried my eyes out and walked home.”
I lowered my face and smiled bitterly. Even though it happened a long time ago, the memory was so vivid as if it had been engraved in my brain. It was so easy to forget happy memories, but it was the opposite of sad memories. I could even remember the dandelion I saw on the roadside as I sobbed on my way home.
“When I got home with swollen legs, I cried and made a promise. I should never do that. I have to be nice to anyone below me. Remember their names, take care of their meals, and always remain just and fair. I didn’t even know those maids’ names.”
“Madam…” Laura approached the balcony, her voice filled with sympathy for the ten-year-old Aelle.
As I turned in Laura’s direction, the wind blew and made my hair flutter.
“What they did was wrong. But I don’t want to make their lives difficult by punishing them too harshly.” I smiled, shrugging my shoulders and wrinkling my nose. “Laura.”
Laura slowly raised her head, and her fine hair shook.
“Besides, I have Laura. As Laura said, I have to make them look up to me. It’s no use cutting them off.”
She took a deep breath and smiled softly as if she couldn’t help it. Her smooth wrinkles that were like a stream of water deepened.
“Yes, Madam, you’re right.”
There was warmth in Laura’s dark eyes.
“I’ll wait until he returns home. You can keep an eye on me.”
“I’m sorry, but that’s impossible.”
He didn’t look sorry at all.
I confronted Takan when I entered Kyle’s office. Takan stared straight ahead and stood tall, and at first glance, he seemed more like a knight than a butler.
I looked at the sky-blue eyes and raised my chin sternly. “Takan, you have no right to stop me. I…”
It was awkward because it was the first time I’d said such a thing, and I was skeptical whether I had the right to say it. I sighed before continuing.
“I am the Duchess.”
A voice without a hint of confidence came out. Takan glared at me, but a moment later, he stepped aside with a groan. “I don’t know when he’ll be home.”
“Thank you, Takan.”
When Takan opened the door to the office, I hesitated before entering. There was a large, full-length window, a wide mahogany desk, and a multi-seater sofa for guests.
I sat on the edge of the sofa and stared straight ahead. Laura asked me how I was faring once, but I just shook my head and said I was okay.