Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 118

𝐈𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐣𝐞𝐰𝐞𝐥 𝐛𝐨𝐱

A carriage ride alone always feels broader than usual, and the path to the villa seems longer.

. . .By the way, Shiro and Rene always sat in a way to protect me. While praying for their safety, I tightly clasp my hands together.

“. . .I wonder what happened to Rene-sama. . .”

It’s presumptuous to think so, isn’t it? Even for self-flattery.

But after being confessed to by Edgardo and Rolf at school, I realized that I am seen more as a woman than I thought. I never imagined I would be a subject of such feelings.

I don’t understand Rene’s feelings. I think I shouldn’t decide on my own.

“. . .I think, Rene-sama chose not to say something. . .”

Maybe. Probably.

I am not confident, and it fades out, but I think I am not largely mistaken.

Rene covered my ears and vented something. Something he doesn’t want me to hear.

If Rene has something to say to me, he would say it clearly. It’s better not to know what he said at that time.

“. . .face is red.”

If it were Maurice or a stranger, it would be nothing but unpleasant, but the other party is Rene.

If I consult, he will think about it seriously, a person whom I can trust not to betray me.

. . .I won’t tell anyone. It’s a secret just between Rene and me.

When the heat on my face finally subsided, we arrived at the villa. When I got off, there was no one at the coachman’s stand, so I couldn’t tell if it was the old couple.

When I entered the villa, Edgardo greeted me.

“Welcome back, Alice. I heard the carriage. . . What happened?”

“Please call everyone. I’ve made contact with Maurice Maigret.”

“Understood, please wait in the dining room!”

Edgardo ran off and soon disappeared from sight.

Since the well-bred Edgardo runs inside, it must be something serious.

I check again for a note and wait anxiously in the dining room. I couldn’t sit still.

“Alice! Is it true about Maurice?!”

“Roa-sama! Yes, here is the note from Shiro and Rene. I will explain after you read it.”

Arthur, who followed Roa-sama in, also had a stern face. Armed with a sword, he was on alert.

While Roa-sama read the note intently, Emilia also entered the living room. Her lips tightly closed, her face pale.

Since I’m the only one who returned, they might be assuming the worst. Since Shiro went after Maurice, I couldn’t say he was safe.

“Arthur, Edgardo, take this. And Emilia, please read it as well.”

Arthur and Edgardo were handed the note and began to read it hurriedly. Roa-sama came striding over and stood in front of me.

“. . .It seems there are no injuries.”

“Yes. . . .I’m sorry for acting on my own.”

“. . .I’m glad you’re safe.”

I felt that single phrase said it all.

Roa-sama, who is working hard to prevent the assassination of His Majesty for the sake of his beloved brother, must have many things that need to be prioritized over my life.

But given Roa-sama’s character, he probably can’t be wholly happy about the risk taken to bring back information.

 ㅤ

“I’ve always wanted to do something for Roa-sama. So, it was good. . .I was scared, but I knew Rene-sama and Wanko-sama would definitely help if something happened, so it was alright.”

“Alice. . .”

Roa-sama began to raise a hand, then gently lowered it.

“Could you tell us what happened from the beginning?”

Everyone confirmed that they had finished reading the note and nodded. Emilia, who is usually so strong, looked pale, so we all sat down in chairs and started the story from when we arrived at the market.

The four of them were surprised and scolded me for my reckless actions, but in the end, they were pleased I was safe. It seems that a significant factor was that Rene and Shiro were with me, and they decided it wasn’t bad enough to step in.

“I’m worried that only Shiro was able to chase after Maurice. . . but there’s nothing to be done in this situation.”

Apparently, Shiro seems to be clinging to the underside of Maurice’s single-passenger carriage. Upon learning this, Emilia bit her lip so hard it looked like she might bleed.

If we’re up against a carriage, we’d be outrun and lose sight of it, right. Yes, that makes sense. It seems like we would be easily spotted if we rode horses to chase it.

But wouldn’t clinging to the carriage also give us away?!

“From what we know so far, Maurice is likely conducting research in the depths of a deserted forest. Therefore, whether by horse or on foot, there’s a chance he’d notice us by our tracks. That’s probably why he clung to the carriage. . .”

“Indeed, he must be checking daily. There might also be traps set for intruders.”

Arthur suggested that there might be traps set around the laboratory to detect and keep intruders away.

“Shiro has always been hard to read. But he’s never failed when he’s like that. Shiro is safe. Until then, let’s do what we can.”

With Roa-sama’s words, the meeting was adjourned.

Feeling a bit tired and thirsty, I excused myself to make some tea.

In the kitchen, there were new tongs, bowls, and pots lined up that hadn’t been there in the morning. Along with them, a small bouquet.

“. . .. . .does this mean I can use these. . .. . .?”

Surely, it was a gift from the ninja couple.

Everything was shiny and new and neatly arranged, which made me happy. It must be a response to the letter.

. . .Such things are touching. Especially after going through something scary.

“Alice? What’s wrong?”

“Edgardo-sama. . .A servant told me that I’m free to use the kitchen and gave me a present. I’m happy. . .!”

“. . .Is that how you see it, Alice?”

“Could it be a misunderstanding on my part?!”

Does this mean, instead of using the kitchen, I should make a campfire outside?!

If that’s the case, it’s a pretty embarrassing misunderstanding!

“No, it’s not that. If you want to use the kitchen, normally you would use it without asking and leave the cleanup to the servants. . .It’s like you don’t treat the servants as commoners.”

“Is that so? I’m just interacting with sincerity with people who are nice to me. There’s a lot I want to learn from them.”

Like how to become a ninja, or if there’s a trick to blending in with the crowd at the founding festival even after eating a lot, I’d like to hear it.

“. . .The servants will surely be happy. Thanks to Alice, we’ve been able to regain some peace of mind. Rene and Shiro, the two of them will surely do well.”

“I believe so.”

 ㅤ

Upon returning with tea for myself, and coffee for Roa-sama and Arthur, I found Roa-sama and Emilia deeply engaged in conversation.

I placed cups in front of each of them, and also set down the food received from the stall vendors. There was no uniformity, with skewers, bread, and fried sweets, but everything looked delicious.

“After I parted ways with Maurice, the people who were concerned and watching over me offered these. There was even an auntie trying to hit Maurice with a frying pan. The people from the Valka domain really live in a kind and supportive way.”

“It’s a bit cold here, after all. In the winter, it’s common for several families to gather and live together in one house.”

“I, too, would like to visit the market at least once. Why do I stand out so much?”

Arthur, looking disappointed as usual, is sparkling.

“The citizens were concerned about Alice, and thinking that if anything happened, they would help, which is why Shiro and Rene did not step in.”

“If it were me, I couldn’t have contained the urge to kill Maurice. . . Alice has endured well.”

“I was too surprised to even think about that. It felt like Maurice had a switch that flipped his emotions. . . You never know what will trigger it, and if he suspects something, you won’t get any information. . . Everyone has always been doing things like this. It’s amazing.”

Eating a small round donut coated with sugar, custard cream oozed out from the inside. It seems very caloric, but now, feeling tired, my body craves this sweetness.

I briefly considered drawing a caricature of Maurice, but decided against it. My caricatures tend to be quite avant-garde.

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