Vanstein Copyright - Chapter 12
Chapter 12 – Unexpected Visitor
“Good morning, Angela. You have that terrible look on your face, more than any other time I’ve seen you.”
Ms. Jacquelyn wrinkled her brow at the distinct dark circles under Angela’s eyes. It was self-evident that she was sleep-deprived.
After last night’s binge and further late piano playing, Angela had missed the last ride of the horse-drawn omnibus.
Eventually, she made it home before sunrise on the early morning carriage, which was practically a miracle that she could even rise up like this.
“Good morning, I’m just a little sleep-deprived～”
“Have you been reading that new romance novel again? Oh well. Since your lesson for this morning is cancelled, you should get some sleep while you can.”
“Is that true!? I’ll take your word for it and sleep a bit in the morning.”
Although she answered with a yawn, Angela felt an incongruity regarding this gratifying suggestion.
After all usually, she would have fallen into complaining mode, yet today, her patron was being uncharacteristically magnanimous.
“In return, Angela, do not complain if you can’t fall asleep from the noise. I’ve arranged for a tuner to come over.”
At that keyword, Angela let out a jolt.
“That tuner is also a piano teacher and will provide you with piano lessons after the tuning is completed. Since your progress hasn’t been great recently, it might be a welcoming change of pace to have a different tutor watch your performance.”
Angela stared at Ms. Jacquelyn as she brought her breakfast to her mouth with a flowing movement.
In her sleepiness, it had escaped her attention that Ms. Jacquelyn, a woman with low blood pressure, was wearing her favorite dress in the morning and had her make-up applied perfectly.
“Ah～Um… is that tuner a handsome man with blonde hair?”
“What… Angela!? I am not that flippant, engage in your lessons diligently! This is for your own benefit too!”
That plainly agitated reaction from Ms. Jacquelyn made everything clear to Angela.
She had learned from Adonis himself that he made the rounds tuning pianos for wealthy clients. She had also figured that a young, attractive piano tuner would be a temptation to the network of wives who had nothing better to do in their spare time.
Nonetheless, witnessing the widow with her maidenly heart in full bloom taking advantage of the situation like this, made Angela feel dispirited from the morning even though it was nice to know.
However, it was only yesterday that he promised to teach her “Piano Solo for the Right Hand”. Coming to the Jacquelyn residence, where Angela lived, to teach piano the very next day seemed too good to be true even though she was happy about it.
Ms. Jacquelyn finished her breakfast more briskly than usual and called the maid vociferously.
“Sarah, tell me the schedule for today.”
“Yes. There will be an inspection of the Seventh Plantation this afternoon… but nothing in particular is scheduled for the morning.”
When Ms. Jacquelyn heard Sarah’s report, she displayed an exaggerated sense of astonishment as though she was unaware of it,
“Oh dear, oh dear! Well then, I suppose I’ll spend my free time and have a look at what the tuner has to offer. Carla! Have some pastries and tea ready, the finest one!”
Carla, who was standing by in the kitchen, replied in a languid tone, “Yes, ma’am.”
“Sarah, the tuner will show up at 11:00 a.m., so please do a brief cleaning of the room. It’s fine if it’s only the piano room. Angela, you can go back to sleep, it’s inappropriate to have your face looking like that. Ah, today is another beautiful morning with birds chirping!”
Ms. Jacquelyn, who promptly gave instructions, seemed to be 50% more vibrant and lively than ordinary.
On a rare occasion, she stepped out onto the balcony and into the garden, where she hummed and admired the carnation she had never touched before.
Let’s not mention that we know each other. Angela made up her mind as she sipped a cup of tea.
＊ ＊ ＊
“What!? It’s more like birdsong, or something akin to luscious clarity! Yes… it’s like the sound of a piano rippling through the ocean, bouncing and soothing on the surface, tenderly enveloping my ears!!”
“I am in awe of such undeserved compliments. I think the luscious voice of Ms. Jacquelyn is more likely to melt my ears into sweetness.”
“Aah! Oh no, you are so adept! You say that to everyone, don’t you?”
“No way! I am sensitive to sound and voice because of my profession. I would love to guide you through that angelic singing with my accompaniment.”
“Then, how about Brahms’s…”
“Liebeslieder Waltzes is it then!”
Suddenly, Ms. Jacquelyn started singing, to the accompaniment of Adonis.
Ah, I get it. It’s a theater troupe. Ms. Jacquelyn who is part of a theater troupe. After all, I can see the pink peony on her back.
Later that afternoon, Angela had woken up and descended downstairs only to be greeted by a passionate performance of a little drama by two familiar faces in the piano room.
As she peeked in through the hallway window to figure out the right timing to enter, she was startled to discover that an opera was being enacted. This was an atmosphere that she would never be able to enter until the end of the first act.
Angela stopped peeking and seated herself in the hallway, holding her knees. Their opera concert, which can be heard even if she had no interest, has reached a boiling point and was finally on the edge of its final act.
Whatever she thought about Ms. Jacquelyn’s vocal performance, Adonis was after all a fine performer.
The piece that he was playing right now was Brahms’s “Liebeslieder Waltzes,” a series of Brahms’ pieces.
When a soloist performs a piece designed for a duet, the melody usually loses its depth, yet there was no sense of shortcomings in Adonis’ accompaniment. The reason was that this piece was arranged in a very advanced way, incorporating the score for two players to the utmost limit.
Naturally, the level of difficulty of execution has risen dramatically in this arrangement, and even for Angela, it would take a considerable amount of time to master it.
When she peeked into the room again with only half of her face exposed, she found that the two were exchanging smiles and pleasantly enjoying the opera.
Yet once Ms. Jacquelyn tore her eyes away from Adonis, the tuner instantly assumed a straight face. And when she turned to face him again, a smile was plastered on his face.
Witnessing the work of a professional tuner in the grown-up world, the 17-year-old girl remarked to herself trivially, “Working is indeed demanding.”
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