05: Life with Mother
My mother was in a terrible condition the first time I’d returned home from the estate after being forced to go there.
She had become so thin. The reason why she’d become so thin was that her own child had suddenly disappeared from her side and didn’t return for more than three weeks. Even if she knew where I’d gone, she couldn’t enter. She probably worried endlessly. She just barely managed to divert herself by sorting through our personal belongings.
Did no one explain to her what was happening to me? I thought, but my father visited my mother’s place. I was worried about my mother, but since I could only come once every two days, she wanted to talk about how I was. Before I knew it, we were only talking about me..
Even though I wasn’t trying to be apathetic, my mother would often display the spirit of being ‘gentle to woman and children’. I’m also a woman, you know? Is it out of my range? But, you know, it’s fine for you to be more affectionate to your own child, you know? Were you that scared of Furore-sama?
Well, let’s just say that it was good that my father was by my mother’s side when I wasn’t. If my mother can be relieved by my father’s visits then there was nothing better than that.
The feelings of not wanting to worry my mother grew when I saw her worn-out figure. That was why I only told her the good things about the estate. I told her things like the delicious food I ate and how I could read now.
I tried very hard to help my mother whenever I was with her.
I cleaned, as well as drew the water for cooking meals. I did the washing and even farmed. For farming, I pulled out the weeds and put the vegetables into the soil… But it didn’t change the fact that this was important for us, who had very few food resources.
I used the knowledge I’d gained from the books at the estate to increase our harvest. I fermented the vegetable waste to make fertilizer. My mother didn’t have any experience in farming, so she praised me a lot. Of course, people worked harder when they were praised.
Unlike when I was at the estate, I could show my feelings without worry when I was with my mother.
I would laugh at silly things or when I was being clumsy. I would cry if I tripped while running and my mother would caress my hair while I slept in her lap.
How fulfilling it was.
The gardener’s work cabin was mine and my mother’s castle.
My sewing skills got really good under the guidance of my mother, who was an excellent seamstress. Like my mother, my forte was embroidery. At the age of 10 I surpassed noble standard levels. I don’t remember Ms. Dolcie ever getting angry at my embroidery. Ehehe.
I was able to work at my mother’s side job. I was already a pro.
I studied about housework and farming. My life got busier when I got the side job, but I didn’t suffer because I thought about how earning more money would improve our lifestyle.
I didn’t know how the Thousand House would treat me when I grew up. They might marry me off into some old man’s house because he desired noble blood. Would they pay my dowry since I was the third daughter? It seemed likely that they would detain me at the estate so that they could treat me as a servant. But I couldn’t be sure right at this time because Furore-sama didn’t want to see my face at all.
In any case, I decided to save up a little for my future life with my mother.
As I grew older, I had to do my own cleaning and washing whenever I was at the estate.
Because it was work a maid could do. Everyone knew that I did these things whenever I was at the gardener’s work cabin. Well, they did prepare my meals for me.
I think the servants pitied me a little when I was younger. They began to feel jealous and were unreasonable when I grew older, because they found out that I did the same work as them.
Whenever I was at the estate, they had to do the minimum to treat me as an ojou-sama. I didn’t notice that they had turned their anger towards my mother.
I, who sometimes lived at the estate, gained more acquaintances both good and bad. They became involved with me so whenever I go to the kitchen to get food for my mother and me, I would receive them. But they would more or less grumble about it.
That was when I went to the kitchen, but when my mother went, she would receive less food, especially meat. They must have pilfered it. My father would bring confectionaries whenever he visited my mother but he didn’t bring meat.
Her mental grief was gone but she was physically worn out and it slowly ruined her health.
She could have brought food from the city if she wasn’t getting enough, but she didn’t because she saw how happy I was saving.
My mother passed away when I was 14, after I got the confirmation that I would debut in high society.
My mother’s golden hair had turned white.