04: A Little about the Past 03
“Ayesha-maria.” A shrivelled voice said as she struck the back of my hands with a thin stick.
My tutor, Ms. Dolcie, looked at me with a scary face.
The young me couldn’t drink tea without making a sound. Meals were taken in the study room under Ms. Dolcie’s supervision until my table manners were perfected.
Ms. Dolcie…… As a tutor of the Thousand House, she was an honest person who did her job properly.
She did her job properly so that was why she was strict even when teaching young children. I felt like she was especially strict towards me.
Her dark brown hair was tied up in a single ponytail. She wore a high quality but plain long skirt. She felt older than my mother and a little older than Furore-sama.
She would overlook if someone made a mistake in front of her three times, any more than that and you would get hit with a stick somewhere on your body. I couldn’t do something right after being hit now could I? It was impossible to oppose her.
I heard from a maid that there was a rumour about a young lady from a wealthy Baron House had ruined Ms. Dolcie. Well, it had nothing to do with me though.
I studied ‘noble education’ in the study room of the place I called the estate. It wasn’t filled with more things than needed, but it was a big room.
The place where I learnt had 4 simple desks pushed together. I practiced tea time mannerism on a sofa with carved legs and a table… I learnt things like how to make delicious tea. In a vacant space, I learnt to dance on the wood floor.
It was a place to study, but I had my meals in here whenever I was at the estate until I was around 8 years old. My brother and sisters no longer came to this room when I turned 5.
When I thought about it now, I could have my meals relaxingly if Ms. Dolcie wasn’t there to rebuke me. After the maid brought the meal to the study room on a cart, I would serve myself, arrange the cutlery and deepen my knowledge about food and taste. I felt that the food was delicious. It didn’t have anything to do with making nice conversations or sitting with people.
If the tutor concluded that I had perfect table manner, then I would have to eat meals with my family (?!) in the dining hall, and the food would be less delicious.
It didn’t matter to me even if a first-class chef cooked the food with high quality and carefully prepared ingredients.
The most delicious meal was when I could eat the meal my mother made with her. No matter what, this wouldn’t change.
I learnt letters at first in my classroom lectures and then I would transcribe words.
It became a little less scary to live in the estate by myself after I was able to read. I borrowed picture books from the estate’s extravagant library. It was very scary to suddenly have to sleep by yourself at the age of three, so I pulled the covers over my head and sang. It didn’t matter that the bed was clean and fluffy. I always slept with my mother at that time and I longed for her so much that I wanted to cry. I thought that they would get angry at me if I cried so I didn’t. I honestly think that the trauma from this time caused me to become unable to show my emotions.
I had less time to learn than my siblings, and I was the only book that I could memorise was the noble almanac.
The noble almanac was like a dictionary, containing all the facts about the nobles of this kingdom. There was about 1000 pages. It didn’t just contain their name, but also their hair and eye colour, special features and achievements. Portraits were drawn for the royal family. There was a full 15 pages about the royal family tree. Relatives of major houses were also listed.
Incidentally, I was also listed in the almanac. It listed my name, my hair and eye colour. It was only one line. I was angry that my mother’s name wasn’t listed.
A new almanac was published every year and whenever I had free time, Ms. Dolcie would ask me many questions related to the almanac. I read it so much that it could also be said that ‘my favourite book was the noble almanac’. Of course, if I couldn’t answer it then I would get the stick…
I wondered why Ms. Dolcie made me read all of this.
Another thing I studied a lot was dance. It was completely different from the dancing commoners did.
First, it was bad if the dance posture wasn’t correct. I wonder how many hours I stood with a book on top of my head. My sisters were mean and I dropped my book which caused Ms. Dolcie to hit me with the stick.
I wore my sister’s hand-me-down dresses and high heels and practiced the steps while smiling.
I didn’t think that I would be invited to any balls, but I couldn’t go against Ms. Dolcie. As soon as a new dance step became popular, she would make me practice it until I mastered it. Well, I didn’t hate dancing so I remembered the steps. I also mastered how to fake smile. I thought that the way I carried myself was too light.
I was the one who mostly brewed tea at the study room, this also went well. I did so well that I could probably work as a maid for an ojou-sama.
I hardly drank such luxury items like tea when I lived with my mother. But sometimes I would receive low quality tea, which I take home and brew.
What was noble education useful for?
They learn… The responsibility of a noble. Manage their fiefs and become a model for the people. Serve your kingdom. I can’t believe I was involved in such a thing. Marriage? I don’t think I would want that.
I didn’t have any noble pride in me at all. I was only a noble half-blood, so my family, who are noble, looked down on me. The people, who worked at the estate, also shunned me, so there was no way that I would be raised with pride. I, who was mismatched, because I was raised as a commoner but could behave like a noble.
I couldn’t find the meaning to being a noble because I loved my commoner mother.