The residence of the Duke of Armelia… In our house here in the Royal City is where father, who cannot leave the Royal City due to his job title of being the Prime Minister, and mother, who likes sticking with him, lives. And because of that, the house was unexpectedly luxurious. Judging from the knowledge of my previous life, the house is more than large enough to be considered as a mansion.
Upon entering the house, the first thing I did was head to my room. And then I sat down on a chair to calm my heart. After all, I’ll be having a face-to-face meeting with the “Last Boss.” I want to relieve some tension.
“…Oh, Tanya. I’m home.”
Entering the room filled with tears was my maidservant, Tanya. Despite being a commoner, she has perfect manners, and at the same time, she also has beautiful features.
“How can you stay so composed…! As for me, I’m so vexed and frustrated…”
When I see her looking ragged while shedding tears, it really warms my heart. But at the same time, I feel really apologetic for causing her inexcusable worries.
The commoner, Tanya… is a girl whom I picked up from somewhere generally known as “the slum” when I went to town incognito. It was a time when I felt the heavy weight of having title “the child of a Duke.” It wasn’t just at home but even amongst the aristocratic circle. The other parties found it difficult to speak to me with ease because of my lineage. When I went to town, I found her lying on the side of the road. While thinking, “Maybe if it’s this child, she can become my conversational partner…” and calculatedly picked her up. She, however, since that time, felt really thankful and decided to serve me very, very well.
If you ask me, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that Tanya is family.
“Please calm down, Tanya. It is still not the right time to wallow in sorrow and cry.”
“…It is as you say. Please pardon me. As for Master, it seems like he will be returning in the evening.”
Tanya has a good head on her shoulders. In addition, she can also cope with any situation immediately. Even now, I wonder what happened to all her tears, she has already regained her composure.
“…Is that so. Well then, could you please bring me a drink to relax with?”
“As you wish.”
“What is it?”
“It might be presumptuous of me, young mistress. However, I do not serve the Ducal House of Armelia, but rather, I serve the young mistress, is what I think. Therefore, even if it’s someone part of the royal family, I will never forgive Edward-sama who betrayed young mistress. As for young mistress’ meeting with the Master, I will be behind young mistress all the way as your ally.”
“How fortunate I am.”
“No, it is I who is. Also, I’m not the only person in this house who feels the same way, young mistress, so please do not forget it.”
That right. In fact, in addition to Tanya, I have picked up others. I was considerably strange while I was growing up. Back then, instead of getting presents, I asked to pick up children who, like Tanya, have no relatives and wanted those kids to stay by my side… This was something I begged my parents to do.
The scary thing was, it was cheaper to feed commoner children than receiving a gift. My parents reluctantly agreed, and every year, a child without relatives who was the same age as I would be picked up. This was not introduced in the game’s setting. If I was affected by the memories of my previous life sooner, I might not have remembered this at all.
When I was talking to them, I was able to forget for a moment that I was a daughter of a Duke, and it was a precious time for me. However, as years slowly went by, the pressure from the surroundings expressed that it wasn’t appropriate not to clearly establish our standings. Although the relationship between us are similar my relationship with Tanya — Master and Servant — they are nevertheless very special to me.
“…However, Tanya. Please put your own happiness first before anything else.”
When she heard my words, Tanya had a dubious expression on her face. No, in actuality, she’s pretty much expressionless… However, having spent a really long time with her, I can pretty much guess what she’s feeling.
“Because of my willfulness, I ended up dragging you guys into a destitute world. At any time, if any of you desire it, you may be free from all this and I will not oppose. Or rather, when I think about what lies in the future, this would be for the best…”
“Young mistress, please do not say any further than you already have.”
Unexpectedly, Tanya interrupted my words.
“I would have died at that time. And it was young mistress who saved me from that situation. From then on, my life belonged to you. The only time I will leave your side is when either this life of mine has come to an end… or when you decide that you no longer need me.”
“Goodness. If that’s the case, then I suppose you will never be able to leave my side unless you die, Tanya”
“I wonder if there is any greater happiness than this.”
“…I completely understand how you feel now. As I thought, I really am a very fortunate person. However, Tanya. There is more than one way to be happy. That’s why you shouldn’t forget what I’ve said earlier.”
“…If that is what the young mistress wants.”
Although reluctantly, Tanya nodded her head. …As I thought, if it ends up being the “church imprisonment and status deprivation” route, I do not want Tanya to go with me. Just to this extent, because it’s necessary.
However, in this condition, it seems like she’ll follow anyway… Haahhh~ As I thought, I should somehow try to get an upper hand on father.
With a new determination, I drank the tea Tanya served. …Yup, it’s delicious.
When the atmosphere in the room calmed down, a different servant knocked on the door.
“Please, come in.”
“…Please excuse me.”
The person who came in was the head maid, Rimé. Wearing stylish maid clothing without a single opening, giving an impression that she is the real thing.
“…Young mistress. The Master has called for you.”
“Oh, it’s time already? If I’m not mistaken, father doesn’t return usually return unless it’s nighttime…”
“Because of the matter regarding young mistress, he seemed to have returned as soon as possible.”
Fuu, I spat out a sigh. Ah, where did the vow I made earlier go… Somehow, it seems like my stomach is doing flip-flops.
“…Although it’s impudent of me, young mistress. Regarding the current situation, I think that young mistress is faultless.”
Because the usually strict Rimé unexpectedly made a supportive declaration, my eyes involuntarily widened with surprise.
“Everyone in this mansion is an ally of the young mistress. Therefore, please meet with Master with a dignified appearance.”
…In the story, Iris had been portrayed as a villain. But in actuality, Iris had built a good relationship with all the people in the house. Naturally, it didn’t matter whether they were nobles or commoners. …In other words, because of how much she was madly in love with Edward, she was driven by jealousy and held the heroine of the story, the daughter of a Baron, in contempt and made it a habit of slandering her.
Let me say it again, I sympathize with Iris… Or rather, this won’t do. I am Iris now. Even if it’s just for my sake, I must make Iris happy.
Now that I’ve prepared myself as much as possible, Rimé led me to father’s study. And behind me was Tanya who came along.
“…Well then, young mistress.”
“Yes, thank you. Rimé. And Tanya, please wait for me here.”
“As you wish.”
Now then, I’ve reached the battleground.
Standing before the massive door, I swallowed my saliva and took a deep breath… and then I knocked.