Time passed quickly, and it was a month since Shada came to the Count’s estate.
Meanwhile, Shada worked hard.
She wiped, swept, changed sheets, and made tea.
Her skill at making tea was mediocre, but Count Kirchner wasn’t picky in that respect and always drank the tea she boiled.
Shada gradually got used to this quiet, stable life; dedicated to serving the Count well.
It was a great place to adapt and live as a maid without undue stress.
There wasn’t much work, and the few servant-maids all spoke sparingly and were shy. It wasn’t easy even to run into each other, nevermind get close.
This was mainly because the Count disliked people coming on the second floor, and Shada’s duties were primarily on the second floor. It was where the Count lived and spent most of his time.
Above all, the biggest perk to her job is that her Master was kind and generous.
There were moments where Shada felt inexplicably embarrassed, caught up in some strange, thick atmosphere with the Count, but if asked, she couldn’t pinpoint precisely why her heart pounded or her cheeks reddened.
Maybe it was because his consideration for her felt too sweet; Shada had never met a master that respected her—a mere maid— before.
In most cases, he was lenient and understanding.
But one thing he hated was his maid silently leaving the room or changing charge for a while.
One day I felt weak and decided to take a break. I asked Molly, a nearby maid, to cover my duties while I took a rest.
I was resting when suddenly a loud call came to my room. I jumped up and ran out, grabbing the hem of my skirt.
When I arrived in a hurry, panting, I saw the Count sitting in an empty room with a cold teacup in front.
He slowly unfolded his arms while he watched me gasp for air.
I, who barely managed to catch my breath, asked politely,
“Master, did you call?”
“… … .”
I asked one more time, in wonderment.
After a moment, he opened his mouth.
“You have a bad work ethic. It’s been less than two months, but you already have an absence.”
“What is the reason?”
I had told the butler.
Shady replied with a slight cringe.
“I don’t feel well. Sorry, Master.”
He raised his eyebrows as if surprised.
“Are you sick?”
“No, it’s not very painful… … .”
Shada closed her mouth when his index finger crackled while trying to talk. As he approached, he held her hand without hesitation.
Shada was surprised. Her Master had no qualms about touching her. But it doesn’t seem creepy or dirty, or for ridicule, but it looks straightforward and ordinary at first glance.
As if there a kind of equity and pure favor.
I couldn’t face him and felt the warmth on my forehead, avoiding his eyes.
He measured my temperature and spoke calmly.
“Do you have a headache?”
And Shada was surprised at herself, who was becoming more and more honest and forthright than needed.
The Count was strangely comfortable and calm; perhaps it didn’t matter how she answered.
However, it is natural to feel shy if one side was holding her and not saying anything.
‘My heart is going to fail.’
At his soft command, Shada’s eyes fluttered back and forth in confusion while nailing her sight to the ground.
But when he headed to his bed with her in tow, Shada’s heart thumped again like a fish in a boiling pot.
In a short moment, all sorts of thoughts ran through her head.
Shada was dazed, and when the Count laid her on the bed like a dignified gentleman, she blinked—stunned, as she saw the Count cover her with a blanket.
What the hell is going on?
Leaving her to her sheepish turmoil, the Count casually pulled out his pocket watch from his fitted vest and checked the time.
“First, get some rest. Did you take any medicine?”
“Yes, in the morning. Excuse me, Master. Thank you very much, but this is too much—”
“I think I said it before.”
The look in his eyes cut her off; they turned to the light damp nape of her neck down to her slightly sweaty chest. He adjusted the quilt on her chest and legs.
His fingertips rubbed against the skin of her slightly exposed legs as if by chance.
The Count continued in a low voice.
“I want to do it.”