38. Day 0 (2)
Lorona opened her eyes as the irregular shaking returned her to consciousness.
In front of her, Chille could be seen sitting quietly. Lorona blinked in surprise.
“…You didn’t go home?”
“I can’t leave Milady alone. Are you alright, Milady?”
Chille asked in a strangely chirpy voice, as if Lorona had never scolded her. Due to her current state, Chille’s bright voice rang in her ears.
While looking away from Chille’s unnerving smile, Lorona slowly got up.
Filling the window’s view was scenery from the countryside.
While she was asleep, the carriage seemed to have left the royal capital. She basked at the peaceful sight.
It reminded her of the memories she revisited before falling asleep. Lorona could feel joy bubbling within her chest.
When she was young, before letting go of her deceased mother’s villa, she visited a flower garden in a small village.
The little boy she met there was truly kind.
He didn’t despise the expressionless Lorona. Even after learning she was a noble lady, he didn’t treat her any differently. He had treated Lorona like a person.
As those memories resurfaced, Lorona unknowingly smiled. Just by remembering them, her heart felt rejuvenated.
The boy wanted to see her again. However, that wish couldn’t be grantable for at that time she was the fiancée of the crown prince.
I hope he’s doing well.
She couldn’t remember his face clearly, but she recalled him having beautiful red eyes hidden beneath his glasses.
Lorona immersed herself in the fleeting dream. Surely, that boy must had grown into a pleasant young man.
After a short rest, she felt a little better. However, her head was still burning for she was still pained.
I wondered if that boy is still waiting for me.
The nursing home in the Stein village was one of the facilities backed by Lorona.
To reach out to the vulnerable civilians—such was her role as an aristocrat. However, her father, Count Ruth, continued to neglect that duty.
Upon being informed of such by Shesam, Lorona donated a portion of her company profits to a small, suburban, nursing home beyond the reach of the temple.
Her good deeds towards the temples of the royal capital and renowned nursing homes didn’t go unnoticed. She tended to work together with other aristocrats. Nevertheless, when it came to small, suburban, facilities, help often failed to reach them.
It was only recently that she became involved in the nursing home in Stein village, but the children living there were familiar with Lorona.
She had been asked by the children to visit that place because a birthday party was being held that day.
Nursing homes housed many children, as such, celebrations couldn’t be held for each individual child. Therefore, a birthday was thrown each season for all children.
When she asked what the children wanted, they answered: Lorona, which made her blush.
Lorona couldn’t turn down such an adorable request, and promised to visit them as soon as the graduation ceremony was over.
When the light dimmed, the carriage finally stopped.
The children greeted Lorona with great cheers and welcomed her to the celebration.
Lorona spent her time interacting with the cute and pure children.
“…Older sister, your face is bright red.”
In response to the words of a nearby child, Lorona put her hand to her cheek.
Her dry, feverish cheek felt tingly and painful. As the child had pointed out, her cheeks were burning.
“M, Milady, are you alright!?”
A sister in the nursing home rushed to Lorona before proceeding to feel her forehead.
“You have a terrible fever! You absolutely have to rest!”
“It’s fine, I can just sleep in the carriage…”
“Don’t! If you ride a carriage with such a high fever, you’ll die! Stay here tonight!”
“But, I can’t be a nuisance…”
“Older sister, are you going to die…?”
The girl who begged Lorona to celebrate with them held her hand, seemingly about to cry.
Lorona recalled that the mother of the girl had succumbed to her illness.
Her little hands clenched Lorona’s fingers tightly.
“I won’t… don’t worry. Sister, I’m sorry, but may I stay overnight?”
“Of course, I will prepare a room and a change of clothes!”
Lorona bowed down, feeling sorry that she had worried everyone.
But her heart was filled with tenderness.
Their kindness seemed to sink into her exhausted and weakened body.
“Is there anything else older sister needs? What is it?”
Lorona awkwardly smiled at the girl who had just asked.
She stroked her little head and thanked her.
“…That’s right. The maid in the carriage outside… Won’t you call her for older sister? I have something to tell her.”
Answering that, the children started scrambling all at once.
Lorona was worried that Chille would scream at them. However, Lorona, who was incapable of going by herself, could only see the children off in silence.
Then, the sister of the nursing home returned. Perhaps, the room was ready.
Her body felt much lighter after she had removed her corset.
“I’m sorry. I only have simple garments.”
After she had change into the casual clothes and laid down on the prepared bed, she could barely stay awake.
I’m truly exhausted.
As Lorona was about to fall into a slumber, someone abruptly rushed into the room.
“Ugh! Why do we have to stay a place like this!?”
“Milady, what’s wrong with you!? Sleeping in this kind of place… let’s just return to the mansion!”
“I, I can’t move anymore…”
Chille’s attitude clouded the expression of the sister who stood beside her.
Unable to stand her, Lorona exhaled a long, hot, sigh.
“…Then, you may return on your own. I hope you will come pick me up again tomorrow…”
“If I return alone, everyone will get angry at me!”
“Then you should stay overnight.”
The notion didn’t seem to sit well with Chille as she gnawed on her lips.
“It’s alright. You won’t be scolded. Just tell them that I wanted to be alone because a lot happened…”
“Please bring my dress and corset home. When you come to pick me up, do bring some light garments.”
She could barely speak.
Lorona’s body and mind were probably at their limit from all the various events that happened all at once.
As soon as she closed her eyes, Lorona sank into darkness.
***T/N: When your maid acts like she’s more of a stereotypical b*tchy noble lady than you, an actual noble lady… God, the audacity…
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