Well here’s chapter 3. As usual, I’ll give my obligatory “took me forever” complaint here. Anyways, enjoy!
By the way, I’ve decided to colour Sakura’s speech pink and Lilia’s, well, google tells me that that’s what the colour of lilies are so let’s go with that. Let me know if it makes thing easier or harder to read! Also, you can thank Este for the colouring work on any future and past posts, since he’s offered to do it for me whenever I’m too lazy to work it in. And maybe in the future I can make Alisa’s speech the colour of heather, whatever that is. Cause apparently Alisa comes from Alice which was eventually derived from some German word meaning heather. Or the Alyssa spelling variant, originating from some flower called Alyssum. Wikipedia is just wonderful isn’t it. Rainbow text here we come~
Sakura was the one amazed at Lilia’s recent actions this time around. It was unbelievable that even without any intervention from Sakura, Lilia had made the young maid Alisa into her personal attendant. One had to wonder how this came to be. Such a thing happening was perplexing, as much as it was odd.
At hearing about becoming Lilia’s personal maid, the expression on Alisa’s face could only show that she was at a complete loss as to whether she should be overjoyed, or saddened at this fact. In fact, Alisa was originally hired to be Lilia’s personal maid. Though, Lilia being how she is, this fact had completely left her mind immediately after Alisa’s first introduction. Lilia having so easily forgotten about her brought Alisa some sadness, but she also felt happy that Lilia would now personally establish her as a personal maid.
Thinking back on Alisa’s reaction back then, Sakura endlessly tried to bear with her urge to laugh out loud, and turned her mind towards the things to come.
Finishing with her bath, Lilia donned the dress Alisa had readied for her and set off outside the mansion accompanied by her maid. Even though Lilia said that she would be fine going alone, Alisa wouldn’t budge in her decision to always accompany her master.
It seems she somewhat lacks self confidence.
The grounds around the mansion were lined with flowerbeds. It was the maids’ responsibility to raise the flowers here, so all around, the flowerbeds were blooming with diverse blossoms reflecting the tastes of their various caretakers. The flowerbeds themselves were by no means organised in uniformity of any kind. Among them were plants of different seasons, and ones just sprouting their buds in the soil.
“Looking at it again… This, isn’t there anything we can do about this? It’s the first thing visitors will see upon entering the estate, so I think it’s better if we pay attention to the appearance a bit more.”
At Lilia’s words, Alisa showed a troubled expression.
“This is something the lord here bestowed upon us… “Don’t worry about it and just do as you like. Don’t bother worrying about something trivial like its appearance.” was what he said.”
“Hmmm… So in other words, someone like me who actually pays attention to “trivial” matters such as appearance is just a narrow-minded woman right?”
“Eh? Tha, that’s really not what I meant! Really!”
Really now, thought Lilia, as she turned her face away and proceeded into the garden. Behind her, Alisa followed along with her shoulders drooped.
—Lilia. Kindness. Did you suddenly forget how to be nice again?
—As if. I was just teasing her a little.
Even though it wasn’t something that would bother her now, this girl named Alisa displayed such strong reactions to her emotions. Conversing with her became quite the amusing activity.
“Alisa. Which one is your flowerbed?”
“My, flowerbed? It’d be boring even if you see it. It’s better if we don’t…”
“Never mind that just lead me to it already.”
“Uuu… I understand…”
For some reason, it seems that Alisa was hesitant to show Lilia her flowerbed. While thinking it strange, pointing this out would only make her more averse to showing Lilia. Sakura was surprised but understood this, so she decided to keep silent.
Alisa showed Lilia the way as they advanced. Along the way, the numerous other servants they passed by were all wide eyed in surprise at the sight of Lilia and Alisa. Among them some were glancing back in worry for Alisa. It wasn’t as if Lilia had intended to devour the poor girl for lunch, but she made no move to explain the situation.
And so Alisa led her to their destination, near the back entrance of the estate. The entrance was mostly for the coming and going of servants and merchants. A bit to the side, was a small flowerbed.
“What is this. There’s nothing here.”
The flowerbed Alisa pointed to was filled with plain dirt. There weren’t even weeds growing there. Trying to explain, Alisa had a cramped expression as she responded.
“No, that is… I didn’t have any time, for it… Nothing was planted. I’ve thought to give it my best shot in the past but, everything always wilted…”
“Why don’t you have time for it? Are you saying that you’re the only one getting extra work?”
It wasn’t as if she was trying to help Alisa or anything, but if that was true then she would at least raise an objection with Alisa’s superior. She thought it would be fine to do at least that much.
But Alisa shook her head, and replied in a small voice.
“It’s, because I’m too slow. If only I could work skillfully like my seniors here…”
Somehow it seems like the problem lies with Alisa herself. Lilia couldn’t help but let out a sigh. What’s more, Alisa even said that her seniors were maintaining the flowerbed for her, preventing it from being overrun by weeds. So that it was ready to receive plants at any time, they took care of it for Alisa.
“Well then, do you have any intention of planting something?”
“No… I can’t say that I do…”
“Is that so.”
The conversation was cut off at that point. Uncertain about what Lilia was thinking as she stared at the empty plot, Alisa was restless as she fidgeted nervously. Though in the first place, there was no deeper meaning to Lilia’s observation of the flowerbed, as she was simply wondering whether something should be planted here after all.
Sakura spoke. Lilia prompted her to continue through her silence.
—You should try raising some flowers together with Alisa. I’m sure she would be thrilled.
Lilia grimaced at the prospect, while the observing Alisa turned pale at seeing her master’s sudden displeasure.
—No way. Seems like a pain.
While Lilia did appoint Alisa as her personal maid, she wasn’t under the impression that they had become friends or anything. To put things frankly, it was simply convenient that from now on she’d have someone about the same age as her around. Nothing more, nothing less.
Having this thought conveyed to her, Sakura sighed in disappointment.
—To hell with the reasoning. Lilia. Go with it.
This time it was Lilia’s turn to sigh. She had no idea what good it would do, but she didn’t want to go back on her word after promising to listen to Sakura’s instructions. Reluctantly, Lilia turned to face the maid. She spoke to the intimidated Alisa.
“This flowerbed, there are no plans to use it anytime soon right?”
“Then I’ll be taking it under my care.”
At those sudden words, Sakura’s breath got caught in her throat, while Alisa’s mind went numb from astonishment. Coming to process those words little by little, Alisa started to become flustered in an amusing reaction. Simply staring at Alisa’s condition, a while passed before the maid finally calmed down with a short sigh, and nodded in understanding.
“Since I have no plans to use it, this flowerbed will be entrusted to Mistress Lilia. I will take care of informing the Master.”
“That will not do. I have something to ask of my father so I will go to speak with him. Wait here until I return.”
Leaving a dumbfounded Alisa, Lilia returned to the mansion from the back entrance.
—Lilia. What are you trying pull here?
—Pull what? I’m properly following your directions.
—Muu… Well, I suppose how you accomplish my instructions, is for you to decide…
Lilia was walking down the hallway heading towards her father. If it’s now, he should be working in his office going through documents. It had become his routine to confirm all the paperwork for the day before breakfast time. Knocking on the door of the second floor office, sure enough her father’s voice came in response.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Father.”
“Lilia…? So you’ve come out of your room, huh. Enter.”
Though the words were blunt, he was wrapped in a happy atmosphere. For her normally unemotive father, Lilia was considerably surprised at his current disposition. And so she reflected on her actions a little. To think that he had been this worried.
Lilia entered the office. At the very back of the room sat her father at his desk. Though the eyes that stared straight at her father shone in a cold light, the side of her face moved ever so slightly. As if she was suppressing a smile.
“Good morning, Father.”
“Ahh, morning. So, what do you need?”
Overturning the happy mood from before, the talk proceeded quickly. Lilia who was aware that her father was a busy person even amongst the nobles, quickly cut to the chase.
“It seems that Father had bestowed the flowerbeds here to the maids.”
“Ahh. I thought that it would be a good past-time for them. What about it?”
“I one request regarding that. I would like to receive the flowerbed allocated to Alisa.”
Her father’s face fell in disappointment. With a shake of his head, he gazed at Lilia through squinted eyes. With just that the temperature in the room plummeted all at once.
“Lilia. So you’re still saying such things, huh….”
It was her father’s way of ascertaining her own actions. With admiration towards her reliable father, Lilia responded.
“Do you happen to have any seeds you would recommend? If you have any suggestions I’d very much like to receive them.”
Without a word, her father silently got up, and went to a shelf at the corner of the wall. Opening the shelf, from inside it he produced a small paper bag. She wondered why in the world he had flower seeds kept in such a place, but those thoughts were dispelled as her father approached with the bag in hand.
Her father presented the paper bag, and Lilia respectfully received it.
“Lilia. If you overdo it too much, even I won’t be able to protect you anymore.”
“My, what a strange thing to say. I’m not doing anything to be ashamed of right now you know?”
Heaving a large sigh, her father gave a short “you may go”, and returned to the back of the room. Lilia gave a deep bow on the spot, as she took her leave and exited from the room.