4. A Thousand Years of Memories (4)
As per my instructions, Hannah appeared, innocently pushing the tea cart.
No, no, that’s definitely not an innocent face…
She was afraid of something—and that ‘something’ was me.
“I-I’m going to prepare the tea~…” Hannah’s voice was akin to a desperate plea. Under the pretense of preparing tea, she avoided eye-contact with me.
We had been practicing for today. Although Hannah was against it at first, after seeing how desperate I was, she finally yielded—
—in front of Earl Falmouth who saw everyone as an equal, I was going to chastise Hannah.
Now this is something he definitely won’t let go.
With an icy glare, I scolded Hannah. “How slow, do you realize you’re making my important guest wait?”
Hannah was trembling. She didn’t dare meet my gaze. In a low voice, she murmured ‘sorry’.
—at the same time, I didn’t fail to notice the Earl’s clouded expression. But, just like that, he reverted to his original gentle smile, and said, “Indeed. However, I don’t mind. Because of this, I get to spend more time with Amelia.”
He’s a good person.
I realized how genuine his smile was. No wonder he was popular amongst the ladies; it seemed like this was his true self—charming, but also kind-hearted. Nothing about him was deliberate.
Such qualities are wasted on a woman like me.
With proud air, I opened my fan to hide my sneer.
“Ara~ of course you’ll defend the maid. I kindly suggest you to not do that often. Because as they say—a bigheaded person tends to forget her own position.”
“Ah, but I’m not—…” Earl Falmouth’s eyes shook.
“Dear lord, Hannah, pour that tea! Now that you’ve arrived you’re going to make us wait another round?”
“Uh—… uhm, sorry, I’ll finish it, as soon as I can…”
Hannah’s hand, which was holding the teapot, trembled. The pressure made her impatient—what would happen next could easily be guessed.
Hannah’s arm bumped into the glass three-tiered cake stand at the center of the table. The cake stand was fairly stable, so it didn’t fall down—however, her shock caused the teapot to lean towards me. “No—…” The tea spilled and stained my dress.
Immediately, Hannah went pale. “Ah, aaah! I, I’m so sorry! Don’t worry, I’ll wipe it off you this instant—“
As she pleaded, she kneeled and grabbed the towel on the tea wagon and wiped my wet dress.
I took a glance at Earl Falmouth. Without words, he was frozen. Perhaps, he was worried that him talking will only worsen off my mood.
Let’s see… if it was him, he would brush it off, saying ‘it’s only tea, unlike wine, it won’t leave a stain. No need to worry. Besides, it’s already warm so I’m fine—what about you? Are you alright? Did you get burn?’
He would forgive and even get worried for the maid—too bad, Amelia isn’t that kind of person.
Keep your eyes open, Earl Falmouth—I’ll make you see the difference!
I calmly stood up from my chair and stared at the pitiful Hannah who was still trying to wipe my dress. Then, I picked up a cup of tea and—before anyone could say anything—poured it all on Hannah’s head.
It was a magnificent sight, to say the least.
The tea poured all over her hair, face, and clothes.
“Countess Amelia…!! What do you think you’re doing…!?” The Earl got up from the chair with a snarl. His eyes didn’t mask his contempt towards me.
“What? This maid soiled my dress. She deserves it.”
“You…! It was an accident…! What you’ve just said, it’s unforgivable…!”
His previous gentle attitude—none of it could be seen anymore. Obviously, his emotions had overtaken him. I couldn’t say I wasn’t relieved by that.
Our faces, which were the exact same as a thousand years ago; His sudden advances towards me—those were nothing but coincidences. I was only overthinking.
There was no way he would accept me after this. He would definitely withdraw from the relationship and never approach me again.
This time, my chilling glance went towards Earl of Falmouth.
“This woman is my property. I’m allowed to do as I please with my property.”
My cruel words caused his eyes to widen. Looking at his expression, I smiled coldly.
Then, I turned towards Hannah.
“Hey, Earl Falmouth scolded me because of you. What do you have to say about that?”
It felt like the more I gazed at her, the smaller she would become. She was petrified, as if trapped in a wolf’s den. Desperately, she squeezed her voice from the back of her throat.
“…I, forgive me, Duchess… I’m the one at fault… what you did to me, is only natural… I deserved it, after all…”
I laughed at Hannah and gave Earl Falmouth my nastiest grin. He stood still, and with eyes full of hate, spat out my desired words—
“—enough…!! I’m going to take my leave…!!”
Disgust, contempt, hatred—all could be seen on his face. Without waiting for my reply, he turned his back and left the courtyard—disappearing forever from my sight.
All according to plan.
The plan went really well—it was perfection.
As I thought of his retreating figure, I felt truly relieved.
This is good.
Now he wouldn’t die.
Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, I wished: …Be happy, you.
“Milady…” Hannah, who all of the sudden was already beside me, peered at my face anxiously.
Right. I still owed her an apology.
“Hannah, I’m so sorry for what I did during the meeting. Did you get burn?”
“No worries, as per your instruction, I prepared cold tea. Luckily for us, before the plan could commence, Earl Falmouth didn’t take a sip.”
“…How fortunate, indeed. Otherwise, our plan would be doomed. More importantly, you should get changed soon—I don’t want you to catch a cold.”
“I’ll do as you say, Milady.” Hannah cheerfully left the room. As I saw her off, I let out a small sigh.
***T/N: Ouch. That sincere wish from Amelia, tho.