AIWTRO Chapter 91
Raw Provider: Jessica
TL: Ms MTLer
It was basically a criticism. Like, ‘You didn’t even say you were uncomfortable, but you suddenly brought in children you knew nothing about.’
Keira could see Cosette biting her lip as if she couldn’t think of a response. But a moment later, her face brightened.
Cosette: “I know I made a mistake, but look at these skinny limbs! Poor kids. It would be too sad to let them go like this. They must have followed me thinking they could get a stable job.”
She seemed to have changed course to tug at their heartstrings.
Cosette: “Can’t we just do it once? If we kick them out, they might really die.”
The two kids appeared to be in their mid-teens. People their age wouldn’t have a hard time finding work elsewhere.
However, Cosette’s acting skills were quite convincing, making the spectators sympathize with the siblings.
Of course, Keira was the exception.
She couldn’t sympathize since she remembered how well these clever little b*stards played the role of Cosette’s eyes and ears.
‘If I kick them out, I feel like I’ll become a cold-blooded person who has no blood or tears in their eyes.’
The thought came to mind as she looked around.
Even if she got those two out of here, Cosette would find a way to get a new employee into this house. Instead, Mina and Mason, whose behavior patterns Keira knew through past experiences, were better.
Plus, her selfish desire to return the pain they put her through was too strong to ignore.
Looking reluctant yet resigned, Keira said.
Keira: “I’ll let it slide once because I can see how much they’re struggling, but next time, I won’t. And if these children do something that tarnishes the family’s honor, I will kick them out immediately.”
Cosette: “Yes! I’ll pay close attention.”
Keira: “Robert, give these kids a bath and a meal. Then start training them tomorrow.”
Robert: “Yes, I’ll do as you please, milady.”
After that, Keira turned around and went upstairs. Then the employees left behind started whispering amongst themselves.
“I didn’t think she’d let this go since she’s always been cold-hearted.”
“I told you, didn’t I? She’s become a little more gentle lately.”
“Is that so? More than that, Lady Cosette is too reckless.”
“That’s what I’ve been saying. What kind of place did she think this is to bring people out of nowhere?”
“Just because she became a lady overnight, she thought she could do anything she wanted, huh?”
“Shh! She’ll hear you. Be careful.”
“Anyway, did you hear what happened in Lady Johanna’s mansion?”
“What? What happened?”
Time passed, and winter was coming to an end. The Grand Duchy was busy preparing for spring.
Although she was excluded from physical labor, Keira was no exception to being busy. After all, she was in charge of housekeeping.
As Keira sat at her desk and fiddled with her pen, she inadvertently thought about Cosette.
‘Come to think of it, Cosette was quiet all winter.’
She lived quietly throughout the winter, probably because she would rather take care of her body than do anything.
Whenever Keira bumped into Cosette, Cosette would greet her kindly and act friendly to the maids.
As expected, Keira had seen her chat with Ludwig a few times.
She heard Cosette didn’t do anything special except for the occasional volunteer work or outings whenever she received tea party invitations.
Cosette’s efforts were effective to a certain extent because the people at the mansion soon became accustomed to her existence.
It was a distinctly different atmosphere from the beginning when everyone was nervous that something bad would happen.
‘You’re so clever.’
However, Keira thought the moment she could freely breathe was about to end.
She noticed such signs when she looked around the mansion to ensure the duchy was ready for spring.
As Keira passed through the backyard, she heard people chattering.
“Ah, my hands are freezing! It’s spring already, but when will the weather get warmer?”
“At least a fortnight from now, I think. My skin is about to fall off! How annoying.”
“But it’s your first time doing laundry this week. I’m already on the third day! Look at how chapped my hands are.”
So, the maids were talking amongst themselves. Usually, Keira would just pretend she didn’t hear it… if it hadn’t been for Mina’s voice at the end.
Keira’s steps stopped.
Mina: “Isn’t the head maid doing this on purpose to bully me?”
“Why would she do that?”
Mina: “Well, Her Ladyship Cosette brought me here. So it’s an open fact that the other lady doesn’t like me. So how would I know if she’s trying to bully me into getting some brownie points?”
“But if Lady Keira really hated you, she wouldn’t have let you in the mansion in the first place.”
“She’s right. It’s not easy to get hired to work as a maid in a place like this. I mean, a relative I know is a butler in some county, so that’s how I barely got a recommendation letter.”
When her co-workers didn’t agree with her, Mina clicked her tongue.
But it didn’t stop there.
Mina: “That’s because if she kicked me out at that time, people would think she’s a bad person. When I see her, I can feel her hatred towards me.”
“Hey, don’t read too much into it.”
Mina: “I’m telling you! I can feel her staring at me every time I run into her. I’m sure she’s hoping I’ll quit.”
Keira thought, ‘This is good.’
Actually, she didn’t like Mina very much. It wasn’t just because Cosette had brought the child herself.
It was because Keira was rebuked in front of all of the employees in the mansion because of Mina, and was even blamed for things she didn’t do.
And it was also true that Keira was looking for an opportunity to kick Mina out.
As Keira contemplated kicking Mina out under this pretext, Emily, who was walking with her, suddenly shouted.
Emily: “Hey! You! What are you talking about?”
“I-I told you to stop it! What are you doing, Mina? Why aren’t you apologizing for making a mistake?”
By now, Mina should have come forward. She could have made excuses that it was just idle chatter with the maids.
‘By the way, was it around this time?’
This was when Keira was framed for Cosette’s scheme in the past.
Suddenly, it occurred to Keira that Cosette, who had been quiet throughout winter, was now showing signs of slowly starting to act.
‘She might have made Mina do it on purpose to see how I’d respond.’
Keira looked at the maids and said.
Keira: “The butler must have told you that you should always be careful if you want to work in this house.”
Mina: “I-I’m sorry, milady. I just… I was worried that I might look hateful to milady…”
The absurd excuse made Keira laugh out loud.
It was easy to find fault and kick Mina out, but… Keira wanted to deal with her as neatly as possible.
Besides, she didn’t want to give Cosette fodder to turn the public opinion against Keira.
Keira: “You’ll get a three-month pay cut for your mistake. Any complaints?”
The maids beside Mina elbowed her and whispered.
“Hey, what are you doing? Say thank you quickly.”
Mina: “Thanks for your generosity… T-thank you. From now on, this will never happen again.”
Keira: “Watch your mouth from now on. Unless you want to get kicked out.”
Keira glanced down at Mina then walked away. But before she could even take ten steps, a servant hurriedly approached her.
“Milady! Milady! A man has come from the temple.”
Keira: “The temple?”
“Yes, it’s about this year’s memorial service.”
Spring was the season of the goddess; it was the time when the dreary winter passed, and the flowers bloomed.
It has been a long tradition to offer sacrifices to the goddess in early spring. However, it was usually a private event between the priests in the temple…
Keira: “If that’s the case, it wouldn’t have anything to do with our house, would it?”
“Isn’t Lady Johanna’s health not good this year? So the person said they needed someone to do her part.”
Then she remembered.
This year, Johanna was unable to attend due to health problems and needed someone to replace her.
The reason Keira forgot about it was that it was Cosette who played the part.
What was Keira doing when Cosette took over the elementalist’s role? She was forced to stay in an annex for self-reflection after being sentenced to be on probation.
It was because Cosette used Mina to frame her up.
Although it was a private event, it had a symbolic meaning that Cosette went to the ritual on Johanna’s behalf.
Keira: “Tell the person that we will answer after discussing it with the Grand Duke.”
The maid answered and returned to her station.
It was then that Keira remembered that Mina was listening from a few steps away.