Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 53

𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐠𝐞

When I woke up with a dry throat, I realized it was already time for afternoon tea. Tossing and turning in my lethargy, I found myself in a drowsy state, hovering between sleep and wakefulness.

“I have to get up. . .”

I don’t know what I can achieve by waking up, but I can at least make tea and prepare some food.

There was a water pitcher on the table next to my bed, so I gratefully took a sip. Cold water and warm tea were both available in their respective magical pitchers.

After having several refills to quench my thirst, I peeked into the bathroom.

Good, no one’s there. I’ll wash my face while I have the chance.

“. . .Huh? Is this a day dress?”

Hanging there was a salmon pink dress.

Several layers of thin fabric made up the skirt, which billowed softly. The collar featured intricate embroidery and tiny jewels were scattered throughout. The cuffs were adorned with rose-shaped decorative buttons.

There was a note in front of the dress.

“To Miss Norchev. Please wear this day dress. Feel free to use any cosmetics.”

They’ve even thoughtfully provided a back scratcher for wearing the dress.

“I wonder if this note was written by Miss Maid? She’s both cute and attentive, how amazing.”

Wearing expensive clothes feels intimidating, but I can’t go out in just my negligee.

I wash my face and put on light makeup.

I hesitated to use the brand-new cosmetics, but if the roles were reversed, I’d provide new ones, so I gratefully used them.

I usually wear light makeup, but today I go a bit heavier. Perfect eyeliner serves as my armor to boost my spirits.

As I quietly open the door and peek into the living room, I see Arthur sitting there.

He’s dressed in a valet’s attire, primarily in black. A black shirt and pants, with a white vest. The outfit is edged in gold embroidery that resembles thick threads.

The simplicity of the attire only enhances Arthur’s good looks and style.

“Ah, Miss Norchev. Did you get some rest?”

Arthur doesn’t look well. His usually well-groomed hair is somewhat disheveled.

“Thanks to you, I had a good rest. How about you, Arthur-sama. . .”

I try to ask if he rested, but my words trail off unnaturally. Arthur has been doing a lot for me.

Because he’s irreplaceable, he can’t take a break.

“I was told to rest, but I was too restless to fall asleep.”

Arthur gives a wry smile and crosses his legs.

“I’m good at staying optimistic, but when I’m alone. . . my mind starts to wander.”

He must be worried about what’s to come, what has happened, and on top of that, Shiro is still missing. He must be many times more anxious than I am.

“Please wait a moment.”

I go to the bathroom and grab some towels, wetting them with water. I bring them to the kitchen, where Prep-kun heats them up for me.

I return with the steaming towels on a tray.

“Arthur-sama, please lie down on the chaise longue. If you don’t rest a bit, your performance will suffer.”

“. . .You’re right about that.”

Gracefully placing his hands on the elegantly curved back and armrests, Arthur lies down. I sit on a nearby sofa and place the tray on the table.

“I’m placing a hot towel over your eyes. It might feel hot, but please bear with it for a moment.”

 ㅤ

Gently brushing aside the hair that’s fallen across my face so it doesn’t touch my skin, I place a towel over it.

“Ah. . . this feels nice.”

“Right? I’ll switch it with a warm towel once it cools down.”

It would be great to offer a massage here, but it’s not appropriate for me to rub his seemingly tired legs and back.

Parts that are acceptable for a noble lady to touch. . .

“How about a hand massage? Is it okay if I touch your hands?”

“Of course. It’s an honor.”

“Let me know if it hurts.”

Switching the towel for a warm one, I take Arthur’s hand. Pressing points based on my vague knowledge, I felt the tension leave Arthur’s hand.

“This feels incredibly good.”

“I’m glad to hear that.”

Arthur has been scouting all along and even carried me for part of the way. I wish he would take a moment to rest now.

Massaging his large hands that have become tough and thick-skinned, I eventually hear Arthur’s soft snores and gently lay his hand on his stomach.

I start to feel sleepy as I massage the other hand.

Only Arthur and I are here. It’s not good to move around freely, but there’s nothing to kill time with.

I wish I had some information. I want to know what’s happening.

Calming my anxious heart, I lean against the back of the lounge chair.

“Mom, dad, Thor. . . I hope you’re all safe.”

I murmur my family’s names with a feeling of prayer.

I’m not doubting the words of Roa-sama, who assured me everything was fine. I just feel anxious until I see with my own eyes that my family is safe.

Our lower-ranking noble family, who had been living leisurely, has suddenly become involved in the anti-royalist conflict.

I said I’d find evidence, but I’m not confident. I wonder what will happen next.

Just as I started to feel down, I shook my head vigorously.

“No. I trust Roa-sama. My loved ones trust Roa-sama too. Besides, Roa-sama wouldn’t lie just to make me feel better.”

 ㅤ

If the situation were bad, they would definitely tell me.

When I close my eyes, the faces of my family come to mind. It’s going to be okay. Let’s believe in a happy ending.

“Miss Norchev, please wake up.”

Shaken gently, I emerge from my slumber. Leaning against the back of the chaise longue, it seems I had fallen asleep without realizing it.

“Arthur-sama. . . I’m sorry I fell asleep.”

“You must be tired. It seems like you’ll be able to sleep well tonight too.”

“Arthur-sama, you also look somewhat refreshed. That’s good.”

When I smile, Arthur, for some reason, opens his eyes wide.

“I’ve never seen that kind of smile from you before. You look adorable just after waking up, Miss Norchev.”

“I am honored.”

I wish he wouldn’t tease me for falling asleep in the living room.

When I turn my face away with a huff, Arthur laughs as if he finds it amusing.

“Soon, everyone will be coming back. I wanted to be the only one to see your sleeping face, Miss Norchev, so I woke you up.”

“Then, let’s keep the sight of Arthur-sama’s sleeping face earlier a secret just between us.”

In response, Arthur looks a bit surprised, then laughs. The fact that Arthur is smiling this much probably means that I can be confident that the school is safe.

While checking my just-awoken face in the bathroom mirror, I feel the presence of someone coming home. I don’t know what has happened, but I want to greet them with a smile at least.

“Welcome back, everyone! You’ve worked hard.”

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