Otome Game no Heroine de Saikyou Survival [WN] - Chapter 26.1
Maid Work and Cruz Boy
I muttered a word I had never heard before, and Sera, who had uttered it, nodded slowly to show that’s what she meant. A maid… I realized they knew I was a girl. Viro didn’t react to that either, so he must have noticed it too.
“Before I explain… What is your name? And how old are you now?”
“Aria… seven years old.”
When I said my age, Viro, who had not responded to my gender, now raised his voice.
“Aria, you’re only seven?”
Sera glanced coldly at Viro, who was surprised for some reason.
“Why are you surprised? If she is seven, isn’t that about the same age I started my apprenticeship as a maid, and normally, it’s also a good time to start helping your parents? Viro…how is it that you don’t know her age when you brought her here yourself?”
“No, no, no, as expected, I wouldn’t have let you kill goblins alone or take you out to fight bandits if I knew you were only seven years old. I thought he was a small ten-year-old boy, since he was so bold…”
I see…. No wonder they don’t treat me like a child.
“If she were an orphan from a slum, that would happen due to lack of nutrition, but if you look at her magical power value, you would understand that she is growing up fast.”
“I’m certain that’s true, but…”
“Is that definite?”
I called out to interrupt the conversation between the two adults, and Sera turned her gaze back to me.
“We were in the middle of a conversation, weren’t we? If it’s about whether you’ll take the job, I won’t force you if you refuse. I don’t want someone who’s half-baked.”
Sera says coldly in a slightly rebuking tone, then continues with a thin smile, “It’s just…”
“Are you satisfied with a strength that can barely beat a hobgoblin?”
The reason I decided to accept Viro’s invitation and came for the job here, knowing the risks involved with the nobles, was to gain the “strength” to overcome even those risks.
As an escort maid, I would have to deal with nobles and important people even more strongly. However, I felt that the strength of Sera in front of me and the strength I could gain through her training were close to what I was looking for.
“…I’ll take it.”
“Very well. Now, let me introduce myself. I am Sera Layton, and I am responsible for the maids in this mansion and the castle next door, as well as the security from the other side.”
“I’m called Aria. I’m just an adventurer with no relatives…”
From that day on, I was to work in the mansion as an apprentice maid.
I would have to leave Viro again, but anyway, that man was too neglectful to be of any use as a guardian.
The maids’ workplace was in the castle next door, but they couldn’t let a tramp who didn’t even know how to do her job out in the open to the eyes of the nobility with no prior training.
Ordinary apprentice maids were supposed to follow other maids and start helping them behind the scenes, but since I was an apprentice guard maid, I had to work right under Sera, my immediate superior.
Sera Layton…from her bearing and position, I thought she might be a noblewoman too, but she easily read my mind, as if she could see it clearly on my face.
“I’m the wife of a humble baron who doesn’t even have a fiefdom and rules a provincial town, you know.”
There was no way that a mere wife of a humble quasi-baron could have a fighting power of more than one thousand….
“In the case of ordinary maids, you may add ‘sama’ to those of noble birth, but in the case of the office manager in charge, you will add ‘san’, and in the case of ordinary colleagues, you will call them regardless of their origins. However, when you call them in front of a customer, even if it is me, you may call them by their name.”
“There, say Yes or Yes, Master.”
“And how about I let Minna show it to you?”
Sera called out for someone on her way down the hallway of the mansion, and I heard a pause from some room, and a woman in her late teens appeared, holding a cloth that looked like a sheet. Her eyes widened a bit when she saw me standing there with Sera.
“Are you… that girl, by any chance?”
“Yes, Minna, you are done with your work for the day, so wash her, pick out a work uniform that fits her size, and teach her how to wear it and about this mansion. This child’s room will be in the spare room near yours, and you will also be responsible for showing her around.”
“Yes! I understand!”
“Aria, your work will start tomorrow morning, so please learn at least a little common etiquette before then. Tomorrow, I want you to come to the backyard in your work clothes as soon as the sun comes up.”
The woman named Minna seemed to be the maid I had seen in that forest, and she seemed to have been told that it was thanks to me she was able to save herself, and she seemed a good-natured person as she was happy to tell me many different things.
“The attendants like Sera-san have access to a warm bath, but ordinary maids like us get the leftover water to cleanse our bodies. Even if you are tired, be careful because Sera-san will get angry with you if you don’t cleanse properly every day.”
I didn’t really know the difference between a maid and a lady-in-waiting, but I heard a maid was like a housekeeper, and her role was basically different from that of a lady-in-waiting who personally serves a nobleman.
I was poured leftover hot water just below human skin level over my head and washed entirely with what looked like Minna’s personal soap.
There still seemed to be some coagulated ash left on her head, and as she had already washed herself, her slightly elongated pink-blonde hair regained its original luster and fell over her cheeks.
“Yes, you look beautiful. Now let’s pick out a maid’s outfit.”
Sera’s maid outfit was a barely revealing, all-black long one-piece that covered her neck and wrists, but the maid outfit that Minna and I would be wearing would be a long one-piece with open chest over a white blouse, plus an apron dress, apparently.
I wondered if there was such a thing as a maid’s uniform for children like me, but it seemed that the maids who helped out were supplemented, and they had most things ready for them, from maid’s uniforms for ten-year-olds to large sizes.
“Aria, you can’t wear your shoes straight on. First, wear the socks over here.”
I’d been barefooted or in leather sandals all this time, and this was the first time in my life I was wearing shoes, but it’s a lot more trouble than I had thought.
The maid’s outfit for ten-year-olds was a little big for me now, and Minna told me it was cute, but I guessed that her behavior was more like dressing a beloved pet in clothes than a maid.
She then took me on a tour of the house, showing me where things were kept and what kind of work the maids did, albeit in broad strokes.
Meals were cooked in the dining room from early morning until late at night, and it looked like she took the stews and bread there to eat in her spare time.
“I’m from a commoner merchant family, but be careful, some of the maids are related to the nobility or something. Some of them get grumpy if a commoner uses the bath before them or eats their food.”
I guess I’d better keep my weapon on me in case something were to happen.
Then Minna gave me a quick lesson in language and behavior.
The basic rules were no running, no fussing. When walking, keep your back straight, look straight ahead, and don’t bob your head carelessly. Maids did not speak directly to the nobles. When they had something to do, they needed to go through the maidservants, but if a nobleman or a guest asked them to do something, that would take precedence.
I felt that I would be able to handle it because I had some information about it in my knowledge.
For example, until now, I had only used a spoon or ate manually, but now that I had the knowledge, I was never at a loss for how to use a knife and fork.
When the sun set completely at night, the maid’s work came to an end. Some maids worked later in the day, but it seemed to be inevitable, as they could not continue their work by the light of a lamp.
“Well then, good night, Aria, and good luck tomorrow.”
“Yeah. Thanks, Minna.”
My room was next to Minna’s, a 4 x 3 meter room with a bed, closet, and a small table and chair.
It looked like they provided candles if you needed them to, but I didn’t need them.
I took off my maid’s uniform and changed into a simple nightgown, rolled up the blankets on the bed into a human shape, and ended the day placing my black knife on my lap as I sat in the room’s corner, quietly falling asleep while erasing any sign of my presence.
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