Shada woke up with the morning sun.
After sitting absentmindedly for a while, I blinked blankly at my surroundings, which were familiar and unfamiliar.
At least I knew it was not a place where I usually woke up.
Why am I here? What happened?
I wondered, perplexed, scratched my head, and tore through my messy hair.
Then, the memory floated into my mind like a piece of a hazy dream.
Shada touched her lips with trembling hands.
The colorful afterglow of the kiss he had left, the traces of his touch, made my whole body feel numb at the moment.
Oh my god, what the hell…?!
I tried to organize my thoughts by holding my red-faced forehead.
Did I dream? ….Yeah.
Isn’t that right?
I was half asleep because of the medicine, so it’s possible.
Otherwise… Why all of a sudden… … .
But at the word ‘sudden’ my internal voice choked a little on my subconscious.
Was it really out of the blue? Was it really sudden?
The Count’s strange behavior and words have often been… ambiguous.
I just thought it wasn’t or outright ignored it.
Because… Because I didn’t believe I could handle it.
Was I just a one-time plaything taken away from the Princess that he resented?
Noblemen often coveted pretty commoner women and no qualms about enjoying a night with them.
If a nobleman was infatuated with one, they often took her in as a concubine.
Recalling such, a corner of my heart started to throb.
For a short period, I was curious about why I received kindness and care, and now I saw it as a tempting spiteful affection that the Count gave me.
Aristocrats were a completely different creature, meant to be protected and worshipped.
Without even knowing… Well, Kirchner was a very charming man, too sweet and too attractive… for me to be utterly insensitive to him as a woman.
*I* was a woman.
As a woman, I couldn’t help but be swayed by such a man.
Shada helplessly buried her face in her knees.
Oh gosh, what should I do?
I pondered over the question… but the answer was obvious.
I had to pretend that nothing ever happened and make sure nothing would happen in the future. I had to destroy this seductive ambiguous atmosphere.
It didn’t matter if the Master saw her as a plaything or was sincere towards her.
The only certain thing was that he was a noble, and I was nothing but a commoner maid.
And I had foolishly forgotten that the Count had a dangerous fiancee.
In the end, no matter how much love and sincerity there might be, the best she could hope for was being a concubine alongside the terrifying Princess.
I hated even entertaining the thought.
Shada realized she had nothing to hope for other than just getting a decent salary and spending her days peacefully.
The Count… Wasn’t he too excellent of a man anyway?
Yes, I had a brief dream.
And it might come true— Realistically, it’s possib—Wait! No, time to wake up!
She shook her head and hurried up from the bed.
I checked my black and white uniform, put the apron, and my cap back on.
An image of him releasing my braided hair overtook my mind for a moment—I shook my head and erased it.
Looking out a window, I noted that the sun was high in the sky, but the Count was nowhere to be seen.
He probably had an errand and went out. Or went for a horse ride.
Lucky for me.
Shada couldn’t figure out how to treat her master when she did see him.
A heavy sigh came out of her.
First of all, I have to go down to have breakfast and lunch.
Still, at least she got to avoid the Count and sleep in—that was good news.
‘Eventually, you’ll have to face the Count today.’
Shada walked the mansion’s halls, belatedly realizing that her inner turmoil distracted her from discovering the atmosphere was strange.
But she was already too late.
“Are you still here?”
Shada walked in a trance, raised her head, and became pale.
A familiar and frightening click of shoes and a beautiful woman in a gorgeous dress walked in, twisting her lips.