17. Carla’s Melancholy (5)
After the three of us finished changing, we went to a pub. The pub had two entrances—one of them led to the exclusive lounge; intended for middle class. The other seemed to be public; intended for the working class.
Brian and I had never been there before, of course. In the first place, we nobles didn’t go to pub. Although, we could if we want to, of course—only not a pub, but a membership club.
“Which entrance do we use? Eh…? This one?” “The one intended for commoners?”
We watched Amelia. She wore a simple black dress and a wide-brimmed bonnet. Her attire was such that it belonged to neither the aristocratic nor middle class—
—in short, she had planned to visit the public section since the very beginning…
Amelia smiled—and we saw blackness in it.
“Now, you guys will refer to me as ‘Roza’. I’m a newly-hired maid of the Southwell Family, my duties require me to be in the parlor. Meanwhile, you two are footmen.”
“Whoa, whoa! Hold it right there! Of all the things—a footman…!?” “That’s just too extreme…!! Can’t we at least be the valets…!?”
“Ara, but are you two not too young for the position of a valet? Also, attractiveness is required in being a footman. In my honest opinion, the two of you aren’t bad looking.”
“I sincerely accept your praise, thus, the role of a footman as well.” “A footman, it is. And you are the parlor maid, got it.”
“Very nice. Well then, let’s enter. Oh, don’t forget to leave those refined ways of speaking behind—it’ll reveal your nobility.”
Certainly, her tone had switched to a more informal one.
That day, for the n-th time, another question mark popped in our heads.
When the three of us walked into the pub, the low, seductive voice of a woman greeted us.
A waitress carrying food to the tables said to us with a smile.
The pub was smaller than I expected—yet, this normalcy …inside of me, I somehow longed for it. There are three tables intended for four people, and eight stools near the bar. There were also several standing tables—
—all of them were crowded.
Every table was filled. Standing tables were overflowing with men and women enjoying alcohol.
After confirming that, Amelia decided to sit on the bar stool third row from the right. Should we sit next to her? We supposed so. Thus, Bryan and I sat together on the right side of Amelia.
We were side glancing at Amelia, unsure of what she was going to do next—
—she called to the Barman.
“Ready to order?”
“Three ales, please.”
After some time, three mugs were served. Amelia paid for all three on the spot—apparently, that was how this place worked.
“Here you go.”
Amelia smiled and gave each of us a mug.
Ale… basically, a beer?
We never had beer before. We were taught that such drink was unbecoming of nobility, thus, we never had the opportunity to try it.
The drink was yellow and foamy.
—would I be able to stomach this?
Bryan was also staring at the mug, pondering the same thing. But, this had to end—and so, we decided. At the same moment, Amelia raised her own mug—
“Good work today! Cheers!”
We parroted her. After that, we imitated Amelia and downed the beverages in one gulp—
A slight bitterness and deep aroma spread in my mouth. The taste wasn’t comparable to wine, but it was also fruity. Most of all, I hardly felt the alcohol—I could drink as much as I like!
“T-this…” “It doesn’t taste bad…”
“Fufu~ right? Wanting to drink once in a while isn’t a bad thing.”
“’Once in a while’, you say… Ame—Roza, are you really younger than us?” “To be drinking at your age, isn’t it too early?”
“Say, when you guys were fifteen, didn’t both of you sneak a taste, too?”
Amelia’s word made us recall our experiences from three or four years ago—
“—yeah, yeah we did.”
“We borrowed it from our brother’s room. But the empty bottle was found and we were beaten.”
“Yeah, that one was intended for guests, wasn’t it?”
That experience was very nostalgic. Now that we thought about it, we had had our first alcohol even before we enrolled in the boarding school—and that wasn’t the end of it. We would sneak some from somewhere, or received them from bad seniors.
After talking for a while, a man appeared beside Amelia. He is about …forty?
Then, we looked at Amelia, and were amazed—
“Hey, Missy, I’ve never seen your face around before. Is this your first time here?”
The man, bearded and wearing a hunting cap, was captivated by Amelia’s beauty. …I was getting some bad vibes from the man. Despite that, Amelia smiled back at the man.
“That’s right. I only started working in this neighborhood as of last month.”
“Heee… then, those two are your colleagues?”
“Correct. My name is Roza. These two are Edward and Bryan. You?”
Amelia introduced us and carried on with the conversation.
“I’m John. Even so, Missy is very fine looking, eh? And the two accompanying you are also very good-looking.”
The bearded man observed our faces closely—
—what’s the deal with this man? He’s making me very uncomfortable…
Whether she was aware of our feelings or not, Amelia signaled something to us with her eyes;
“Well, of course. After all, these two are the highest ranking footmen in the house. They are also my Master’s favorites.”
“Oh, is that so? Certainly, that makes sense. So, I take it that Missy isn’t merely a maid, either?”
Within his smile, John was provoking her.
“My, aren’t you a bully. Don’t get your hopes high, because I am merely a maid—a parlor maid, at that.”
“Well~ and a parlor maid? Isn’t your face too beautiful for that? You should be serving guests.”
—when John said that, we saw Amelia narrowing her eyes for a short moment.
“Ara, that kind of job requires not only a fantastic face but a body as well, you know?”
At her words—which were vulgar, no doubt—we were appalled, to the point of almost complaining—
—but John didn’t think so.
“Ahaha—! Why, Missy is too funny! Interesting! Won’t you drink with my friends over there? Your two colleagues can join, too!”
He seemed very stricken with Amelia. Her reply was natural, as if John’s invitation was nothing.
“Fine. Both of you, let’s join them.”
Amelia motioned to us, whom were still very confused, before joining John and his friends.
***T/N: Gosh, Amelia is a queen by nature.