𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟑: 𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐌𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐍𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐲𝐚
Despite her sudden visit, Owenna was treated with great respect as a guest. However, her behavior was so off-putting that even I, watching from the side, felt uncomfortable.
She complained about the food not suiting her taste, ordered changes if she didn’t like the maid’s attitude, insisted on accompanying Theodore-sama on his inspections, dragged her guards around the city, and did as she pleased.
Then one dayーーa decisive incident occurred.
“They’re late. . . Everyone is always on time.”
Today, I had planned to gather all the children for a morning lesson. However, no one came to the dining room designated as the meeting place. I tilted my head in confusion with the maid.
“I’ll go check.”
“I have a bad feeling, so I’ll go too.”
As we left the dining room and searched around, we suddenly heard the angry voice of a boy who had just hit puberty. It was the older boy, Serio.
We hurried towards the sound of the voice. The scene was in the guest dining room.
There, the children were gathered around a maid, shielding her, and glaring angrily at Owenna, who was standing in front of them.
The older maid had been doused with tea from head to toe. It was Nowariya, who always greeted me with a smile and treated me kindly. The children were wiping Nowariya’s hat and holding her hand.
Serio asked Owenna in a voice that could not hide his anger.
“Countess Strelitzi. Why did you need to pour tea over her head just because there was no sugar in it?”
“I just disciplined her because she didn’t remember that I always have her bring me tea with sugar every morning.”
Owenna shrugged her large body with a look of disbelief at the angry Serio.
“I wonder why such an inconsiderate old woman is assigned as my maid? I’d like to suggest to Theodore-sama that he should fire her.”
Serio glared at Owenna with eyes filled with inarticulate anger.
From behind Owenna, Anne, who had turned pale, tugged at her mother’s sleeve.
“O, Okaa-san. Stop it, it’s just tea. . .”
“What are you talking about? It’s also for Theodore-sama’s sake to reprimand a maid who was rude to the Countess.”
“But you didn’t have to pour. . .”
My heart ached at Anne’s tearful expression.
With Serio, who looked ready to strike at any moment, behind me, I stepped in front of Owenna.
“Countess Strelitzi, please let this matter rest for now. We will apologize again when Theodore-sama returns.”
“Teacher, we don’t need to apologize to someone like her.”
Serio shouted. I turned back and silenced him with a look.
Owenna, on the other hand, looked down at Serio with a snort.
“Really. . . Such an ill-mannered child. Even though he’s Theodore-sama’s adopted child. I wonder if it’s the tutor’s fault? Or maybe his real parents didn’t discipline him properly?”
At that moment.
Not just Serioーーall the children present turned pale.
It was a powder keg.
The person who changed the flow of the situation was an unexpected one.