16: A Cold Winter Day
Yup, life doesn’t always go as planned. Still, I want to think that things are changing little by little.
I didn’t have to help with my father’s work much in winter, but a lot of evening parties and balls were held, so my family asked me to embroider a lot of dresses for them.
My father had said something like, “I would like to improve your treatment at the estate,” but not much has changed. I was treated half-hearted as a noble, or rather, my treatment was closer to that of a servant’s. Well, I could use this cruel treatment as one of the reasons why I want to become a commoner, so for now it was welcomed.
However, I didn’t have the chance to tell my father that I’ve wanted to ‘become a commoner’ since the opportunities to work with my father have decreased.
I will turn 16 at the beginning of spring, the month when the flowers blossom. There was still time.
“Ayesha-maria, the next dress is dark pink. Match it with a light pink organdy scarf and embroidery.”
Older sister Rosalie always asked me to do things like this. She was absorbed in dressing herself up in the latest fashion.
The organdy scarf with realistic embroidery that I suggested in summer was still fashionable.
My older sisters were known for their excellent embroidery skills so they wore a lot of dresses that had magnificent embroidery on them. Therefore, I could embroider a lot. However, my father must have said something because recently whenever I give them the finished products they would give me confectioneries or things to adorn myself with as rewards.
It was finally cold and I felt chilly even if they were burning firewood in the fireplace.
Even if I went to the gardener’s work cabin, spending a long time in there was extremely cold. It was best to use a duster to avoid dust accumulation.
My father found out that I snuck off to the city. I didn’t have much time to go recently since the days were getting shorter.
I still put on a maid outfit and snuck off to the city through the broken wall, even if he knew that I went. Did someone see me somewhere? I looked around from time to time whenever I went to town, but I didn’t see anyone…
But I did feel that someone was guarding me or observing me. It was dangerous for a noble child to go out alone after all. But if they were going to do that much then I wish they would have prepared a carriage for me to go to the city in.
I didn’t care if anyone saw me anymore, so I started eating at the food stalls more often. My favourite food recently was sweet roasted chestnuts. I get bloated from it even if I just eat a little. I liked that I could bring it home with me.
I firmly fastened the collar of my dark blue cloak and wore a woollen stole on top of it.
It was the stole that I was going to sell to the western clothing store today. It was easy to embroider gorgeous designs onto plain woollen cloths, but the embroidery wouldn’t shine if I embroidered it with the recent fashionable trend. Therefore, I thought about combining it with lace. The designs looked even more gorgeous when I sewed lace around the edges so I did it more often. I sewed the lace in 3d and made it look like a flower. I thought about getting the shop to buy the design along with the sample stole.
I wonder if they also told my father that I did things like this.
But nothing has been said about my activities so far so they probably didn’t tell Furore-sama. She had high pride so she would probably scorn me if she knew that I was mimicking pro artisans. I probably wouldn’t be able to sell my products anymore if I was careless. That would be troublesome for me and the store.
I was able to successfully sell my woollen stole and design today, so I went to the handicraft shops. I brought detailed lace even though I couldn’t use it. I also brought some different coloured threads.
I wouldn’t receive money even if I buy a lot of lace or threads now… It was a secret that I went out to buy these things. I can give people samples, but no one paid for the important stuff. Thus, I had to control my expenses.
Winter nights are long.
I had more chances to help my sisters prepare for night parties. I went to their rooms whenever they called for me.
Rather than help them, they bragged and showed off their dresses. I couldn’t do their hair up for them so the most I did was hand them things.
I also praise my sisters’ beauty so that they could leave the estate in a happy mood. They were probably used to getting praises since they were noble ladies, so I think they were already familiar with my praises.
Also, my sisters would smile and their eyes would sparkle if I, who couldn’t go out and seemed pitiful, said, “Balls are lovely, aren’t they?”
Recently, I’ve been enjoying the meals I have when everyone goes out.
It was getting colder and the chefs made a lot of stew dishes. They couldn’t serve it for a noble’s dinner because the ingredients were mixed together.
I was glad that I wasn’t receiving cold food anymore from the kitchen ever since I started going there more.
If I waited for my family to return from the evening parties and balls, then I could use the light in the antechamber and get a fire going in the fireplace while reading a book I brought from the library.
I felt like the antechamber really brightened up when everyone returned because everyone had red hair except for my father. It was forbidden for me to stare at them so I would lower my head like the other servants. But the piercing gazes Furore-sama sent my way was painful.
“Come to think of it, Earl Denbar asked me if you were coming to the evening party, Ayesha-maria.”
“I was also asked, Catherine. Marquis Chaos asked me if it was true that Ayesha-maria didn’t leave the house.”
“What did you do?” My sisters greeted when they came home.
I quietly shook my head, “No. Nothing comes to mind”.
I wasn’t acquainted with neither Earl Denbar nor Marquis Chaos.
From their descriptions in the noble almanac, they were both younger than my father and were bureaucrats at the Royal Palace.
“I gave the usual answer, she’s an eccentric girl who wasn’t interested in socialising or leaving the house.”
“Yeah, I said that too.”
“You know, isn’t it gross that she’s become the talk of gossip when she don’t even leave the house?”
My sisters faced each other and shrugged. “How terrifying.”
I also didn’t want to be talked about by old men I’ve never talked to before. Question marks were flying about in my head.
I barely met nor knew anyone yet rumours about me spread throughout high society from that one line in the noble almanac. Their imaginations grew bigger because I was a phantom.
However, neither I nor my family knew this.