06: Thus I Became the Person I am
My mother’s cold dragged on and one morning when I’d noticed, she’d passed away. The doctor, who came to investigate her cause of death, said that she had passed away from a heart attack.
When I think back on it now, we went through a cycle of living together and then separating again, which resulted in her dieting a lot and that was taxing on her body.
I was told that her hair got lighter because of her age but I don’t know because it could be from something else altogether.
That’s why I eat properly.
My time learning ‘noble education’ decreased after my debut in high society. Ms. Dolcie gave me a report saying that I mastered my education at my debut. My sisters continued to study mannerism and elegant behaviour.
Around this time, my irregular stays at the estate of 3 weeks every two months disappeared and I would sometimes stay for a night or two when my father asked me to do work for him. Even if I said it was work, it was just copying documents that I had no trouble reading or doing calculations. I mainly commuted to and from the gardener’s work shed to do washing and cleaning.
I feel more liberated after my study time disappeared and felt that I should do my best at my side job.
That was when my mother died. My mother passed away and the sadness of great loss stayed with me the whole time.
Because my feelings were somewhat lacking, my tears flowed down by themselves when I suddenly noticed that she was gone.
My father and I, we were the only two to attend my mother’s funeral. My mother was buried in a cemetery outside of town.
My mother didn’t have any relatives. If she did then she wouldn’t choose to live inside of my father’s estate like a mistress. I’ve also heard that… She was the daughter of a failed merchant. That was why I thought that studying to gain knowledge was important and that having a profession was valuable. I looked at my father, who was crying, and understood that he loved my mother in his own way. However, I still don’t understand what romantic love is.
“Won’t you live at the estate?”
“Thank you for your offer, but I want to live as I have been now.” I said very politely. I ridiculed myself for being this polite towards my own father.
It might have been difficult to do everything alone, but I decided that it was fine as long as I didn’t have to stay at that uncomfortable place for long. I wanted to live at the gardener’s work cabin which held memories of my mother. I haltingly raised these points to him.
My father looked a little sad and unfortunately my wish wasn’t granted. There was no way a noble young lady would be able to live by herself.
I moved to my room at the estate after I cleaned up the gardener’s work cabin.
… After the funeral, when everyone was gone, I cried my heart out for the first time.
My brother, Guerlain, mainly helped my father manage his fief. In a few years when he marries, he would become the feudal lord. Unfortunately, he still didn’t have a fiancée, maybe because his expectations were too high… That was a taboo word.
My brother, Guerlain, was my escort for my debut in high society. He had the same cold-hearted appearance as Furore-sama, and I never got used to it. Instead of feeling happy about dancing at my first official occasion, I was worrying about what would happen if I stepped on Guerlain’s toes. After that, I wasn’t invited to dance at an official place again.
Debut in high society was one of the things that people attached to noble registers had to do.
If your name was in the register and you didn’t debut by the age of sixteen, then the royal family would investigate your House under the assumption that your existence was denied. At that point, the House is already out, but if it was found out that that person had really been murdered or abused then they would be punished accordingly.
Nobles follow the royal family and they are protected accordingly.
Well, my treatment at my House wasn’t good but my life wasn’t in danger. I was also given the opportunity to study many things, so I was probably blessed in a way.
There wasn’t many opportunities to meet Furore-sama outside of dinner time. Even if Furore-sama attended the ball, I never saw her.
She didn’t want to see me so she kept her distance.
I would eat in the dining room with whoever was in the estate when I was there. When no one was there, I asked the servants to portion the meal they were having and ate in my room. I have to eat properly. That was the iron rule.
The servants also began to listen to what I say after I lived in the estate. However, I don’t ask them for anything excessive. I would basically do things for myself. Just like my mother taught me to. So, I wash my own bedsheets and underwear and clean my own room.
My older sisters reached a marriageable age and they were busy with tea parties and balls.
They would wear fashionable dresses and trendy accessories. They didn’t think of anything but improving themselves.
The dresses that became unfashionable were passed down to me one after another. Their harassment never stopped, no matter how much time had passed. It was enough that I, who didn’t show my face to high society, had dresses to wear. Because it was only necessary for me to wear dresses when I met my family.
Maid clothes that weren’t too wide around the sleeves and hem were enough for cleaning and washing.
Everything worked out the way I wanted when Furore-sama and my older sisters spread the rumour, “She’s an eccentric girl who doesn’t like to leave the house and isn’t interested in high society”.
I didn’t go to social occasions but I was well trained on how to behave myself and on how I should appear to others, so I got good at it. My standing was a little lower in front of my family, and I obeyed what they said without opposing them. No matter how I thought about it in my mind.
Although I was only a half-blood, I was a daughter of a noble and was not allowed to go to the city by myself. They also wouldn’t prepare a carriage for me to go out by myself.
However, I went to the city many times with my mother when I was younger. I could sneak out of the estate by climbing a crumbled wall. If I was a normal noble’s daughter, I wouldn’t do something like this. I walked down memory lane. I changed the appearance of the maid’s outfit. If I added embroidery to it then it became street clothes. I tied my hair in a ponytail. I looked like a common girl.
I visited the clothes store I was familiar with like this and told them that I couldn’t work here anymore. Instead, I showed them the handkerchief I had embroidered and they brought it. This earned me some pocket money.
I was able to regain my peace of mind by walking around town and talking like a common girl.
As I thought, common life suited me more.