Chapter 13: I’ll Go
“Olivia-sama, you have cream in your cheek.”
“Also, the teapot is about to overflow.”
“How? Oh! It’s true!”
Olivia stood up in a panic as Lottie pointed out.
Then she went outside to get a rag.
She stubbed her toe as hard as she could into the corner and crouched down with a contorted face.
“Are you all right?” Lottie looks worried.
“Olivia-sama. You were acting strange the day before yesterday, but you’re acting even stranger today.”
“N-Nothing, it’s nothing. I just couldn’t sleep. I’m fine. I’m awake now.”
Olivia forced a smile while wiping up the spilled tea with a cloth.
“… I don’t think she’s all right.”
“Olivia-sama’s shoes. The right and left are reversed.”
(Sigh. Today was a disaster.)
Olivia sighed deeply as it was time to close the store.
She nearly knocked over an inkwell and nearly smashed a trash can with her foot. It had been a particularly sloppy day.
(Huh. I’m really vulnerable to this kind of damage…)
She didn’t sleep well last night. She woke up halfway through and she’s dizzy from lack of sleep.
(Let’s forget about dinner tonight and just go to bed.)
She was just thinking about that when…
The store’s doorbell rang.
(I thought I put a [closed] card on the door. I wonder if it’s an urgent customer.)
“Welcome,” Lottie says as she opens the door for Olivia.
There stood Sally, Nikka, and Elliot.
(… Huh? )
Olivia is taken aback by her friends’ unexpected arrival.
It was the first time the three of them came together without warning.
Sally sighed deeply when she saw Olivia’s face.
“You look just as bad as I heard. You’re not sleeping, are you? What happened?”
Olivia blinks at Sally’s words, then stares at Lottie.
“You. You told Sally when you went to run an errand?!”
“Yes. I couldn’t handle it on my own, so I sought advice from Sally.” Lottie replies sullenly.
Sally said soothingly.
“Lottie approached me because she was worried about you. Her store’s owner wears her shoes in reverse and reads the newspaper backwards. It’s impossible not to be worried.”
Olivia’s breath catches as she recalls a day of blunders.
And she sighed in resignation when she saw Sally’s face, as if to say, “I’m not going anywhere if you don’t talk to me.”
(I really don’t want anyone to know about this petty family affair.
But the problem is too large for me to handle on my own. I need someone to listen to me.)
Olivia retrieved a letter from her house upstairs and handed it to Sally.
“This is the reason. When you read it, you’ll understand.”
“Excuse me,” Sally says as she opens the letter.
As soon as she read what was inside, she turned red and became angry.
“Hey, what the hell!”
Nikka and Elliot, who read the letter from behind Sally, tilted their heads, “Isn’t it just a wedding invitation?”
(Well, we’ve come this far. I can’t help it now)
Olivia begins to tell them a story about herself that she had previously only told Sally.
・My uncle and his family took over our house and store after my parents died.
・Being falsely accused of stealing her own designs, having the engagement annulled, and being evicted from the house
・I traveled to the Royal Capital to ask Gordon, my father’s best friend, for assistance.
Elliot’s handsome face shows his anger when he hears Olivia’s story.
Nikka’s expression is also becoming glum.
Sally groaned and opened her mouth.
“Just ignore that invitation. You don’t have to go.”
The two men agreed with a nod.
Olivia, on the other hand, vigorously shakes her head.
“That’s something I can’t do. Take a look at the second note.”
Sally says, “I see you have another sheet” and unfolds the second sheet of paper quizzically.
When she read it, she looked astonished.
It was a letter with a noble seal from Viscount Bergor, the family of her former fiancé, Henry.
Olivia was instructed to attend the wedding.
Olivia cowered self-mockingly.
“To put it bluntly, it’s a lord’s letter of command.”
“That is absurd. It’s an abuse of authority!”
“I agree, but this happens all the time in the countryside.”
Nikka frowns as he opens his mouth.
“…This is my guess, but in the worst-case scenario, you won’t be able to return.”
“Why would you think that?” Olivia murmurs.
Nikka points to the letter.
“I doubt a nobleman would write a letter with a noble seal like this just to invite someone to a wedding. There must be some hidden agenda.”
“What’s the purpose behind this?”
“I’m not sure, but I’m sure it’s bad for Olivia.”
“Can’t you cancel it?”
“…I don’t think so. There’s no reason for it. All it says is [attend a relative’s wedding].
The store falls silent.
“…In the meantime, you shouldn’t go alone. Don’t you have any relatives you can rely on?”
“If there’s no one, I’ll go!”
Sally vigorously raises her hand.
Olivia gives her a grateful look.
She is very grateful for Sally’s offer, as she has only her distant and pregnant cousin to rely on.
But she can’t let the busy Sally miss work due to a minor family crisis.
(It’s okay. I can do my best by myself.)
So Olivia says, “Thanks, but I’ll be fine on my own.”
Elliot, who had been silent and grimacing, slowly opened his mouth.
“….I’ll accompany you.”
“I’ll accompany Olivia.”
Olivia is taken aback by this unexpected offer.
Nikka looked at Elliot’s serious face and crossed his arms with a “hmm”.
“…you’d be much safer if Elliot accompanied you, but… Are you sure?”
Elliot gives Nikka a determined nod.
“Wait a second! I understand your sentiment, but don’t you have to take time off work in the meantime?”
“Isn’t it about a week after a month and a half? Then there is no issue.
“But—but I can’t cause you any trouble…”
Elliot looked straight into her eyes.
“Please don’t say no, Olivia. You’re not troubling me. I’d like to go.”
Olivia is at a loss for words as a result of the gravity of his expression.
Nikka laughs and whistles.
Sally pats Olivia on the shoulder, as if soothing a small child.
“You know, if you’re not going to rely on your friends now, when will you?”
“No buts! Just say yes!”
Her energy gets the better of her and she finally nods “Yes”.
Sally nodded as if to say, “I have something to say,” and looked around the room with a brave expression on her face.
“Now that we’ve decided that, let’s talk about the future… Lottie, are you okay with working for us for the time being?”
“Yes, of course.”
“First and foremost, there are the clothes. You should dress the part if you’re going to be a witness at a wedding. Let’s get some nice stuff and give them a big whoop. Yeah!”
Lottie, who is standing next to Sally, speaks up calmly.
“Perhaps we should also stay current on trends in the Royal Capital.”
“Yeah, Lottie’s right. If we’re going to dress like in the Royal Capital, we should talk about the royal style, too. Elliot, can you do that for me?”
“Yes, of course.”
Olivia is shaken by the unexpected turn of events as the four of them talk excitedly.
In the absence of the other half, two decisions are made:
・Sally and Olivia are going shopping for clothes and cosmetics.
・Elliott and Olivia are going to see a popular play.
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