FOR A PERFECT YOUNG MISS
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Before long, Beth had arrived at the residence of the Head Maid. When the Head Maid saw Beth enter, she wriggled her eyebrows. It was because of the flamboyant guy who stood alongside Beth.
I didn’t call that guy, Beth wanted to say to the Head Maid. “The guy” was the topic of conversation from yesterday – even the Lady’s Maid who served the Countess wanted information about that guy – whether he was any newly hired servant, an attendant or a butler.
It felt that even the Countess also had interest in him. Her Lady’s Maid and other maidservants made a ruckus saying it was their first time meeting such a handsome guy. But fortunately, everything calmed down faster than she had thought. The head maid also put the matter behind her mind soon, but the moment she saw him, she was sure that Kedrick was the main character of yesterday’s intense round of conversation.
When she finally saw him up close, the head maid also agreed with what they all said yesterday. He really was very handsome and was a person who made her reminisce about her late husband.
The head maid watched his face absentmindedly for a while and after she heard Beth’s calls, the Head Maid cleared her throat awkwardly and said, “Yes Beth, sorry to call you out during your breakfast time.”
“The reason I called for you is for the party organized for Claire.”
Already? She thought. Time does fly by. Was it not? If not, was it because of those who prepared the event faster? Whether it was the former or latter, both were faster than she thought.
“As you know…. Because of the young miss’s weak body, there were not many chances for her to learn liberal arts or etiquette.”
Though what she said was not true, she couldn’t deny it. She could just bow her head and answer with acquiescence. Maybe if Kedrick was not there, it would have been possible for her to say something else.
“So it was decided that a teacher, from now on, would temporarily teach the young miss.”
“It was informed that the person would arrive by 10 am. Get the young miss ready by then.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“You should do well.”
The head maid finished what she ought to say and gave her permission to retire. Beth bowed to her and went out as she should get started to ready Claire’s breakfast. She headed towards the main house rather than the annex. The kitchen was busily preparing breakfast for the Earl Couple who would be getting up soon and she snooped around the kitchen and called out for the Chef.
“I came to get the breakfast of the young miss.”
“Ah, that basket over there, you can take it.”
Basket, ahh, no one is going for a picnic. When she put away the cloth that covered the basket, a potato and black bread, a can of water were inside. She felt the piercing gaze of Kedrick who looked into it.
With a dry cough Beth turned towards the Chef and asked, “Chef, I came to get food for the young miss, Claire.”
The people who resided in the Mansion had known for a long time a black room resident who was referred to as ‘young miss’. Though she entered the main house recently, the majority of the employees of the mansion still considered her even underneath them – even the Chef.
“Don’t you see that I am busy? I am busy preparing food for the Master. To even prepare that food costs me time. If you are not satisfied, do it on your own!”
“Yes, Since I am dissatisfied, I will do it on my own.”
Beth looked at the basket with a deep gaze and directly shoved it into the trash can and left the kitchen. A loud wailing sound was heard as the chef cried loudly and he held the back side of his neck, but with a snap, everything was silent.
Kedrick followed Beth a little late, went side by side with Beth to the same direction.
“What are you planning to do, Beth?”
“I need to prepare breakfast for the young miss.”
“But there is no kitchen here.”
“Yes, I know that.”
She went along the route and went out of the Earl Mansion through the back door. Kedrick with a surprised expression accompanied Beth.
They reached a restaurant which was not far away from the mansion. The staff were preparing the ingredients, as it was near their opening hour.
“Please excuse my rudeness. Is the Head Chef here?.”
“.… you are?”
The man, who looked like a kitchen assistant, looked Beth from top to bottom with doubtful eyes. She seemed like a maid who worked at a good place.
Beth took out a piece of paper from the pocket of her apron and showed it to the man. The paper was the same letter of guardianship document that the Earl attested personally.
“I know that you are busy, but I still ask for your cooperation. I need a breakfast set.”
Because of Beth’s words, as they needed to make breakfast for the Earl mansion, a red light was lit in the restaurant. Because if they could enter the Earl’s eyes with this opportunity, then not only money, they would also gain a high reputation.
Beth sat in that large restaurant and accepted their good reception and herbal tea. Kedrick looked at her with an awe filled eyes.
“Can we do this?”
“It’s not something that can’t be done.”
In truth, she came out on whim. Beth stared at Kedrick conspicuously as she was not sure if she could trust him. She had to conciliate him, by any means.
“Kedrick, didn’t you say that today’s breakfast was not tasty?”
A beautiful arc bloomed on her lips and she said to Kedrick, “If you can agree with two of my requests , I will let you have a good breakfast.”
* * *
After some time, both met at the back door of the mansion. Beth held two baskets in her hand and Kedrick stood there in a tilted position with both hands on his pockets and a light expression on his face.
“I did everything that you requested me to do.”
Beth handed one of the 2 baskets she held towards Kedric.
“Can you bring this up to the top floor of the main mansion without catching others’ eyes?”
“Without catching others’ eyes? Do you think it’s possible?”
“You are the escort knight of the young miss of the Earl Mansion, you should be able to do at least that much.”
Beth selected him without even screening his abilities yet she said that. Kedrick didn’t look to be in an embarrassing state either.
Soon that time will arrive.
It was nearing the time when the countess will have breakfast. Beth nodded towards Kedrick and went to the back door of the main house.
She could hear the voices of employees entering through lightly. In order not to be seen by others she moved her body and snuggled onto herself.
With that sound, the Earl couple arrived at the dine. How much time had passed? It must not be that long. Sound of glass breaking and a loud shout came from inside.
Hearing the rampant without any shock or surprise, Beth nodded her head. Slowly she stood up and wrinkled the already crumpled dress and disheveled her bangs intentionally.
As she passed the gate, the sound became more loud. She opened the door to the dining room and went in.
Panic stricken maids and the chef were dazed because of the Earl’s enormous rage. Beth looked at them with a calm gaze. She bowed her head and said, “I apologize in advance to barge in when the sire was having his breakfast.”
Saying that she opened the basket which was held in her hands and showed it to him.
“With all due respect, can I put down breakfast?”
The Earl, who was gasping after shouting, looked at Beth with a red face. Her disheveled hair and the crumbled dress out all pointed out that she went somewhere in a hurry. The Earl asked, “Where did you go?”
“I went to get breakfast for Sire and Madame.”
Beth stayed silent and only glanced at the chef. The Earl, who realized Beth’s gaze, asked everyone to get out, including the Chef.
At last, the Earl, countess and Beth remained in the room, “Now you are the only one left, give me an answer.”
“Earlier, I went to the Kitchen to fetch breakfast for Young Miss Claire.”
She raised her bowed head and continued,“The food assigned for young miss Claire was similar to what she used to eat before. Just a black bread, a potato and a can of water – that’s all.”
“I never thought anything about it, but after seeing Chef’s action I felt a sense of deja-vu. So I acted like I was looking into the basket to observe the Chef’s actions attentively.”
Beth looked at the salad bowl fallen on the floor. “And I found an apple.” The apple was a commonly seen fruit, nothing special. In the future, it would be like that for Beth. But the apple prepared for breakfast that day was a bit different.
Beth’s request for Kedrick was quite simple. Just take some apples assigned for the employees from the annex and put it in the place of apples prepared to make breakfast for the main house.
Apples change their colour when they are exposed to the air for some time. So they are to be cut into pieces and plated before they change their colour. Because she accurately remembered Anne saying about the hand speed of the maid who was assigned to cut apples for the main house.
From the outer appearance, they don’t have much of a difference and couldn’t be observed for long until they are peeled, cut and plated. This time, the apples were really, very much disgusting in taste.
Beth and the other maids ate them because it was their only food and endured the taste. They were used to eating that sour fruit and were always given apples without an ounce of sweetness.
“At first I thought that, since it was for the elder master to eat, obviously it would be of the best quality, but I saw some deformations on them. I wanted to believe that I was just mistaken since I was looking at them from a distance, but what if I was not mistaken? Leaving the probability, I went out in a hurry to buy breakfast for sir and madam.”
Saying so she took out the food items from the basket. Soft white bread and freshly baked sausages were mouth watering – there was also fresh salad.
She divided and placed the food in front of Earl and his wife respectively. After that, she once again bowed her head and said.
“With all due respect, I want to add one more thing.”The Earl, who liked this smart maid, nodded his head to show his permission. “Please allow Young Miss to have the same food as Sire and Madame.”
As he heard her words, his face bloomed with a confused expression. He didn’t understand at all why she would put forward such a proposal.
“Even if I found something strange with the apples, I couldn’t confront it with the Chef. It was because I lack the required authority or justification to counter him.”
After taking an intentional deep breath, in order to attract their concentration to her words, she continued, “From today’s apple incident I realized….. that among the ingredients used to prepare food for Sir and Madam, there is a possibility that the quality of some ingredients will be bad.”
They couldn’t believe the words of an ordinary maid. But seeing the apple pieces on the ground, he felt her words were correct.
If people get a seed of doubt in them, then the things that are perfectly fine become suspicious in their eyes. There really was no problem.. just the taste was bad…. but he looked at everything with a new lens.
The steak he ate, now that he thought about it, felt a little tough, and the vegetables also seemed a little withered. Earlier the expression on the Chef was also not right.
Though the Chef stood with his head bowed, his eyes were unsettled. The Earl thought about whether the Chef was squandering the ingredients of the Earl mansion.
Beth, as if she didn’t see the doubtful face of Earl, continued, “So if the young miss is to eat the same food as the elder master, I can do some checking with the reason of fetching the food. Please consider that I am thinking this for the sake of the masters and this mansion.”
In truth, these people’s health was never of any concern to her. Rather she thought the Earl really needed to taste starvation.
“Do it like that. I will talk about it with the new Chef.”
Beth held the empty basket, greeted them with a bow and left the dining room. From tomorrow onwards, the new chef will be in the Kitchen and she will be able to bring good and tasty food to her young miss. She wouldn’t allow anyone to give Claire those hard bread.
Beth went up to the top floor as she swung the empty basket. As she neared the top, from somewhere, a crunching sound was heard.
“Kedrick.” The said man ate an apple with a happy expression.
“This apple is really tasty. There is some more, want to eat?”
She was curious how he got the apple from the kitchen of the main house and now she understood that it was because he took it with him. Different from when he ate at the annex, now seeing Kedric eating with relish, Beth shook her head and said,“I have to set up food for the young miss.”
Beth held out her hand with a meaning to give her the basket held in Kedrick’s hands. Kedrick tilted his head and held out the apple in his hand.
“Not that, the basket.”
“Ah, you wanted this?”
He got rid of his teasing expression, which clearly showed that he was acting and gave the basket to Beth. Beth handed over the empty basket gesturing for him to hold on to it for a while.
“What did you bring?”
“The food which is worthy of the young miss of this family.”
Kedrick recalled that the food held in the other basket. Though the bread was common rye bread, the contents were quite good.
“At the same time, it also has food for you. I promised to let you eat a tasty breakfast.”
Beth, after she ordered food from the restaurant, went to a food stall on the busy main street. Since it was mainly aimed for the workers it was cheap and the taste was not that bad.
From there she bought two shares of bread, sausage and cheese. After that, she switched it with the food from the kitchen. In other words, the three shares of food ordered from the restaurant went to the top floor and the Earl was served with the commoner’s food that he hated to death.
It just tastes good.
Beth put the two shares of food into the empty basket held in Kedrick’s hand, “Think of it as a memento for your first day of work. We usually won’t get to eat this kind of food.”
With an expression of don’t be so obvious in front of Claire, Beth knocked at the door.
“Young Miss, it’s Beth. I brought you breakfast.” It was the time to start another busy day.
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