Disguising Myself as a Man to Become a Knight! - Chapter 3
Translated by: ShinigamiTori
Personal Attendants at the New Home
Their ride to the capital was a carriage.
Sheila had assumed that they had to negotiate with a passing wagon to get a ride, but when they descended the mountain, the most luxurious carriage she had ever seen was waiting for them.
It was an artistic carriage with a shiny dark brown exterior and gold ornaments. The interior was also carved here and there, and the seat was richly covered with soft cushioning material.
“How did you get in touch with the person who owns this?”
The timing was so perfect that it would’ve been unnatural if Felix hadn’t scheduled it.
Her brother sweetly smiled as he soothed Sheila, who was too surprised to be suspicious.
“From the start, I had the means to contact them regularly.”
When asked for details, he said that he had exchanged letters with them from an early age, using birds that had been trained to always return to their owners. Sheila, who was unaware of anything, was stunned.
Over the next several days, the carriage headed for the royal capital.
Driving along the rich seashore, they encountered a lively morning market, and as they passed through areas with nothing but barren land, the tired-looking people stood out. Felix explained that the ease of living varied depending on the policies of the territory. It was intriguing to see how the atmosphere and lifestyle differed from one place to another.
The wheat fields were still green, and the horizon was endless. Despite her body’s fatigue from the daily carriage rides, her mind was constantly racing with the novelty of it all. She also enjoyed the meals with different flavors in each territory.
◇ ◆ ◇
Thirteen days after leaving the village, the carriage finally arrived at the royal capital.
The city was full of people even though there wasn’t a festival, and the central street was bustling with various stalls.
Vibrant draperies adorned the storefronts of cloth shops and cafes with an elegant atmosphere. Jewelry stores could also be seen here and there. Most of the stores she had seen in the towns she had passed through dealt with groceries, leather goods, and other daily necessities, so Sheila was busy asking questions about what was this and what was that. Felix looked on with a smile at his sister, who was out of her element.
The carriage continued to move, and soon the street became less and less crowded. The liveliness of the area had disappeared, and they entered a quiet residential area.
The streets were lined with glittering chalk-white mansions, and the carriage paths were also well-paved. She was somewhat afraid to even raise her voice, so she naturally began to talk less and less.
Finally, they stopped at a mansion so grand that they could look up at it.
“…. It’s a beautiful and magnificent building, isn’t it?”
“This is our new home, though you will live in the dormitory once you enter the academy.”
The carriage drove through the large main gate and a ridiculously large garden. The garden trees were trimmed in a spherical shape and the flowers bloomed in a multitude of colors. She wanted to take a closer look at the fountain with its beautiful splashing water, but while she was pondering, they passed it by.
“Who is Felix really?”
“You promised not to ask that.”
When the carriage stopped, men dressed in black and women in aprons lined up at the entranceway.
“Welcome back, Felix-sama.”
Sheila’s thoughts stopped as they all bowed their heads in unison. Felix responded with a composed nod as if it were natural.
“Thank you for welcoming us. She is an important person who has grown up with me like family, so please take care of her. Make sure that everyone is aware of this.”
The double door was reverently opened and they stepped inside. Underneath their feet was a crimson carpet that absorbed the sound of one’s shoes. The houses in the village of Denan also had carpets on the floor, but they were meant to hide the bare ground. In the first place, the length of the fur and the comfort of the carpet were different.
There were beautifully carved and exquisitely patterned vases, and paintings so large that they covered the front wall. The walls were filled with brightly colored tiles in various places, and the large columns that stood out were as pure as snow, absorbing the light. Sheila looked around the vaulted hall without a word.
It was so different from the houses in the village that she didn’t understand anything anymore.
And what puzzled Shayla more than anything else was the fact that her brother fit so comfortably in such a space.
There was no doubt that he was of noble birth, but if so, he must’ve been very uncomfortable in the village. Sitting directly on the ground to eat would’ve been unthinkable from Felix’s point of view.
“It’s your own home, so you can relax as you like.”
“Do you think I can relax here?”
“Oh my. Indeed, I guess Sheila is a little fussy about it.”
“What do you mean by “indeed”? My feelings are very common.”
Pouting and puffing her cheeks, Felix pinched them in amusement. As her anger flowed, Sheila sulked more and more.
“Don’t look so cute. Come on, I will introduce you to one of my servants.”
His arm went around her waist and naturally escorted her. She then met a middle-aged man who had just had a conversation with Felix. He had a well-groomed mustache, and his eyes had a thoughtful look. He looked different from the hearty old man in the village just from his physique.
“This is Richard. He is in charge of this house. I’ve just had the whole place set up, so there may be some inconvenience. If you have any problems, you can talk to him.”
“I am Richard, the butler. Miss, I hope to make your acquaintance hereafter.”
Her mind couldn’t accept words that diverged too much from her own. Sheila was so stunned that she forgot to even said her name back.
“And this girl was assigned to be your personal maid.”
“My name is Lulu, the maid. I’m honored to work at your side, Miss. Please take care of me.”
A petite girl, looking a little frightened, stepped forward with her head lowered. Her olive brown hair was pulled back tightly. Perhaps she was younger than her, but Sheila could sense her hard work and liked her very much.
“Lulu is not yet capable of handling the exclusive duties of the young lady, but we’re short on staff. I’m sure there are many things that she is not fully capable of doing, but I would appreciate your kind cooperation.”
Richard’s words finally brought Sheila back to her senses, and she shook her head with all her might.
“Umm… I’m not a lady at all. Oh, my name’s Sheila Danau. Please take care of me too.”
When she managed to finish introducing herself, struggling with the unfamiliar honorifics, Felix tapped her lowered head.
“You shouldn’t bow to the servants, because it is rather embarrassing for them. Also, you should practice honorifics, but you don’t need to use them in your daily life.”
After saying this, he quickly gave instructions to the gathered servants. It was hard to believe that he had been living in the countryside just a few days before, seeing how accustomed he was to ordering people.
“…. Felix is really something, huh?”
“I will tell you about it eventually. When everything’s ready.”
It was a question that she expected to be brushed off, so Sheila didn’t seek further answers.
Lulu casually carried the luggage that she brought. Sheila felt apologetic and tried to decline her help, but Felix reminded her that it was their job to do so. It was a way of thinking that Sheila didn’t understand.
Something suddenly tumbled out of her packing bag.
It was a beautiful button that Felix had given her. From the center, where a blue stone was buried, there were layers and layers of golden petals. Countless jade-colored stones were decorated to fill the gaps between the petals.
Although she was often said to lack femininity, Sheila liked sparkly things as much as anyone else. When she was a child, Felix had a button that was so delicate and beautiful that when she stared at it, her kind brother gave it to her with a smile. Since then, this button had been Sheila’s treasure.
She hurriedly chased after the button that kept rolling away, but it slipped under a chest as high as her waist.
“Oh no, my brother’s button is…”
“Ah, the one I had no choice but to give you because you insisted on wanting it. I didn’t realize you still had it.”
Although there was a slight difference in her recollection, she pretended not to hear it. Leaving that aside, as she rolled up her sleeves to somehow pick up the buttons, Lulu moved quickly.
“Please leave it to me, Miss. I’ll pick it up.”
As soon as she said that, she lifted the chest in a single motion. It was as if it weighed nothing. Lulu, despite her appearance, seemed to have tremendous strength.
Sheila’s cheeks flushed as she held out the button with a smile.
“Lulu is amazing! I should learn from you and build up my arm strength.”
Lulu’s eyes blinked in surprise at Sheila’s excitement.
“…. I think Miss Sheila is the first person I have ever met who wasn’t frightened by my ability.”
“What? It’s not scary at all, you know? As someone who aspires to be a knight, I envy Lulu.”
Lulu, who was shy, looked somewhat happy. Sheila was happy as well and laughed along with her because she had very few like-minded female friends.
“…. She is a very unique young lady.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Richard, who had somehow tried and failed to express himself euphemistically, was slightly perturbed by the reply, even though he must’ve muttered it in his mouth. Moreover, it was Felix, the owner of the house, who listened to his mistake. Richard turned his head down in shame.
Felix was unconcerned and chuckled.
“For me, I don’t want that part of Sheila to change, so Richard and the others will have to get used to it.”
Felix gave his instructions with a mixture of laughter, but then he pondered. He looked to the old butler and whispered to him hesitantly.
“――However, it’s very troublesome for a cute little sister to become muscular. If Sheila is trying to over-exercise, I want Richard to do everything in his power to stop her.”
“…. Miss would do that, wouldn’t she? I will keep that in mind.”
Richard accepted the secret order from the Lord in a very serious tone.
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