Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 74

𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫

Waking up from a lethargic sleep, I realized it was already evening. I must have dozed off immediately after writing the letter.

My head and body feel foggy. Maybe I’ve really been overworked.

I hydrate myself with the water pitcher on the bedside table and ring the bell. Soon, there is a knock at the door.

“Alice, are you awake?”

It was Rolf’s voice. Trying to reply, my throat feels scratchy and I cough.

“Alice?! Sorry, I’m coming in.”

Rolf strides in, gently pats my back, and offers me some tea.

“S, Sorry. . . It’s not a big deal. Where’s Chris?”

“I’m the only one here right now. How are you feeling?”

“Just sleep-deprived, so I’m feeling much better. I just wanted to let you know I’m awake, so please go on with your business, Rolf-sama.”

“My current job is to guard Alice. Need me to bring you anything?”

My stomach growls audibly.

I slept in my dress, so showing my wrinkled clothing takes some courage. But I can’t beat hunger.

“I want to go to the kitchen.”

“I’ll make something. I can cook decently, you know that, right, Alice?”

“Right, could you please use the cooking appliance to make some rice porridge? It should be quick; just press the button.”

“Got it. Just wait a moment.”

I thought he went to cook, but Rolf returns almost immediately.

“Here’s hot water and a towel. If you don’t need it, just leave it and I’ll clean up later. I’ll knock when the porridge is ready, so take your time.”

“T, Thank you.”

As always, Rolf is considerate.

After locking the door, I take off my dress and wipe my sweaty body. Changing into fresh clothes feels refreshing.

I loosely braid my hair, and just as I finish putting away the towel and hot water, Rolf knocks at the door.

“Sorry for the wait, Alice. Here, sit on the bed.”

Pillows are moved aside and several large cushions are placed. I sit against them on the bed, and a bed table is set up.

“It’s hot, so eat slowly.”

The porridge on the plate steams appetizingly.

Rolf picks up a spoon, serves a little porridge on it, and offers it to me with a smile.

“I can eat it myself.”

“If you can’t be convinced with just ‘feeling unwell,’ consider it special training from Ojou-sama. You may not notice, but you’re moving slower than usual and your balance is off. You should rest today.”

Being seriously told off like this makes me feel like I’m acting petulantly.

“If you’re too slow, I’ll blow on the porridge to cool it.”

“I’ll eat.”

Opening my mouth, some slightly cooled porridge enters. It’s still hot, but that’s what makes porridge delicious.

The finely chopped vegetables and broth blend with the soft rice, settling in my stomach. As I eat the porridge, cooling it with my breath, I feel like a baby bird.

While eating, I observe Rolf’s demeanor. Edgardo said he told Rolf about the confession. That makes sense, I think.

I have no idea how confessing makes sense, but it’s certain that Rolf knows about it.

“Rolf-sama, about Edgardo-sama. . .”

“Ah, you mean confessing your feelings? I heard it from Edgardo. He’s very conscientious.”

Rolf smiles and puts down his spoon.

 ㅤ

“I’m not disregarding Edgardo-sama’s feelings, but wasn’t I the only woman in the Fourth Knight Order? So, it’s not entirely unreasonable to consider the possibility of him losing his senses.”

“Edgardo has had plenty of opportunities to interact with beautiful women. Yet, he still fell for Alice.”

“Is that so. . .”

The likelihood of him losing his senses has just diminished further.

“No offense to Alice, but I’d like her to wait a bit longer for a response from Edgardo. Everyone wants a chance to win a lady’s heart, after all.”

“If I were beautiful and of high standing, I’d readily accept, but I’m just an ordinary daughter of a Viscount family.”

“I think Alice is quite extraordinary, but fine, let’s leave it at that.”

Rolf’s laughter shows no sign of abating as I continue to gaze at him.

“I get why Edgardo fell for Alice. I like her too.”

I was caught off guard by how casually and straightforwardly he said it, delaying my response.

“Thank you. I hold Rolf-sama in high esteem as well.”

“Oh, so we can become lovers?”

“Is that what you meant?”

“That’s exactly what I meant.”

Rolf continued with an utterly normal expression.

“I didn’t fall for Alice for some noble reason like Edgardo did. I’ve simply grown fond of her as we’ve spent time together. Alice doesn’t have to give me an answer. My feelings are one-sided.”

“. . .Are you serious?”

“I’m serious. Just being in a corner of Alice’s heart would be happiness enough for me.”

. . .Inside my head, thoughts swirl intensely.

A sudden spell of popularity. What’s going on? Maybe everyone’s lost their minds.

“Please, calm down and think. Why me? Beautiful people surround you, Rolf-sama!”

“It might have been better if I knew the reason.”

With a mocking smile lifting one cheek, Rolf picked up his plate.

“I know I’ve added to your confusion following Edgardo, but please understand that our time is limited.”

“. . .What do you mean?”

“Our infiltration into the school will end someday. Dyson should be captured by then. Alice might receive a medal, and even if not, she’ll be in the limelight. An unmarried, noble young woman with no fiancé—what do you think will happen? Suitors will come. Definitely.”

“Is that so. . .”

“At that time, the only ones who can protect Alice will be those here who know her. Neither Edgardo nor I want to force Alice into a marriage she doesn’t want. Our confessions also serve as something for Alice to remember when that time comes.”

Although his eyes narrowed in a melancholic manner, Rolf’s smile remained unnaturally unchanged.

“I’ve said some grandiose things, but the main reason is simple. I want to convey my feelings and want them returned. That’s all.”

“. . .I’m quite confused all of a sudden.”

“Haha, I bet!”

Rolf’s smile hurts. How can he muster such a smile with those painful eyes?

“Please, Alice, don’t respond out of pity. It will make both of us unhappy. We’ve shared our feelings and are prepared for any answer. Alice, please proceed according to your own feelings.”

I couldn’t find any words to say to Rolf, who quietly left with his plate in hand.

That night, I fell ill with a fever and had to stay in bed.

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