17: New Year Holidays
On a calm winter’s day with no wind, my sisters were polishing themselves up for the new year. I was also putting a great effort into cleaning the estate, while wearing a maid uniform.
It was probably out of the question for nobles to clean with the servants, as I learnt in my education it was something that never happened. I’ve been cleaning the estate since I was a child. I could find out who was giving orders if I went to where the cleaning started, but I didn’t want to bring unnecessary troubles to myself.
However, no one opposed when I cleaned the places where I always stayed. It was an extension of how I usually clean my room. Still, I couldn’t let other people mop my room for me.
I felt a sense of fulfilment after I finished cleaning. I think I’m a commoner through and through.
Now all that was left was the New Year’s decorations.
Everyone in my family went to the [Ball to Welcome the New Year] at the Royal Palace on the last day of the year. My sisters were more fired up than ever.
The nobles greeted the royal family at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. The Emperor and Empress were there and even their Imperial Princes. All the Imperial Princes were handsome. It was only natural that the young ladies of marriageable age were fired up. Anyone could tell that they were good looking, even from their portraits in the noble almanac.
I was also supposed to go with my family to greet the royal family, but I couldn’t go because of a terrible cold. This happened every year.
Most of the servants went off to the city to [Welcome the New Year].
I heard from the maids that there would be a lot of food carts in the city and people would go there in their best clothes. I was a little curious to see that, but I was forbidden from leaving the estate because of my horrible cold.
Sounds of fireworks echoed from everywhere at midnight. It was probably really loud outside, since I could hear them from inside the estate. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the fireworks; I could only hear them.
When my mother was alive, we would watch the fireworks together while exchanging New Year’s greetings, but this year I was by myself in my room.
My sister, Catherine, had brewed caramel tea that was kept in reserve for me.
“Cheers to the new year.”
I drank a little from the tea cup.
My family would be out all night at the New Year’s Ball, so they wouldn’t return until dawn.
I would greet everyone during the New Year’s greetings.
I drank my tea and got into bed.
I was still awake at dawn, probably because I was nervous about having to get up to greet my family.
My room was on the east-most side of the estate. It was the first room that the sun shone upon. I think a room that the sun shines upon is better, but I wonder how it is for the guests? It’s hard for them to sleep in.
I opened the faded curtains, brought a chair to the window and waited for the sun to come up.
A thin layer of clouds shaped like a vortex in the sky and the sky gradually brightening; it was the perfect first sunrise.
Somehow it feels like a good omen…
I chose a somewhat appropriate dress to welcome the new year, amongst the leftover dresses I had, and wore it.
I was feeling good so I went to the entrance to greet my family, who stayed out late, with the servants.
I glanced at everyone and they were all tired, since they stayed up all night, and it was enough for me to think, if everyone’s this tired then we probably don’t have to worry about personal conduct.
“““Have a good new year”””
“Oh, happy new year.”
“Happy new year.”
“Yeah, happy new year.”
“Yes, happy new year.”
“Fuaha, happy new year’s.”
The greetings in order: the servants and I, my father, Furore-sama, my brother, older sister Catherine and older sister Rosalie.
Everyone greeted each other at the entrance and then the New Year’s greetings were over.
“I’m going to bed. I hope you’ll stick with me for this year as well, everyone.” My father said that and everyone returned to their rooms.
Still, you shouldn’t do anything hastily on New Year’s day.
I went to the kitchen to make an omelette for breakfast, since there wasn’t many people around, and ate slowly in my room.
I went for a walk in the garden and I could see my breath in the cold. I calmed my feelings in the stiffening cold and walked gracefully in the garden.
I then confirmed that my father had woken up late, ate breakfast and then went to his office.
I told the maid to tell him that I would be visiting him. She looked annoyed but passed on the message anyways. I’m glad.
I timed my visit with father.
I thought that today would be the appropriate time to talk to my father about that.