Sophie made a significant decision. She combed Elisha’s hair through, adorned it with her new pin, and uttered the practiced phrases,
“Madam, please overlook my frankness and be gracious with me. What will happen to me?”
“What do you mean, Sophie?”
Elisha looking in the mirror detachedly, frowned slightly.
“I heard the madam is taking in a child named Lulu! Rumor has it she is from a top-notch clothing store, so she’ll be able to take care of my lady’s clothes… … . She could very well replace me. Will I be dismissed?”
Elisha almost laughed. It was because she could guess how worried and brooding Sophie must have been before she asked this question.
Yesterday she had sent her out on an errand, so she seemed to have heard rumors from the maids of other houses.
“Where have I hidden that child named Lulu?”
“Uh, that… … .”
Sophie’s eyes sheepishly searched the ground for an answer.
“People are saying that the madam will help the pitiful Lulu.”
Elisha’s words were as dispassionate as her face.
“Who is pitiful? She must have done something to get hit.”
“… … .”
“Uh, then… … . what about the lawsuit… … .”
“I’ve said it before. It’s not a good thing to meddle too much in other people’s affairs.”
She didn’t know if Lulu was actually in a pitiful situation. The child had been very spiteful towards Elisha in her previous life. She was a child who looked down on those inferior to her, so it was inevitable that those above her trampled on her.
Besides, Lulu was beaten, but she wasn’t crippled. All of it was just laying the groundwork for a scheme Elisha was developing.
“Then why did you say that at tea time?”
Elisha took a sip of her tea.
“I want the guilty person to feel uncomfortable.”
“It’s odd, isn’t it? A person at a crossroads, not knowing if they will be punished.”
“… … .”
“Because of the tale of guilt, the story about the victim’s misery, they’ll be uneasy and think of these things. How shameless. They’ve committed at least a hundred similar sins before and after. But among them, they’ll only think about and be afraid of what’s likely to be punished.”
Anyway, she was glad she felt that way.
Sophie tilted her head. Elisha’s layered and implied connotations had purposes she could not easily understand.
“It’s quite a commotion, isn’t it?”
It was a big commotion trying to placate one of the lowest chess pieces. But Elisha thought it was worth it.
“What? Uh, hmm, yes, indeed.”
Sophie nodded unconsciously. Elisha’s tone grew warmer.
“Anyway, don’t worry. One lady-in-waiting is enough for me. Problems always arise when there are three people, so I would like to decline adding one more lady-in-waiting.”
Regardless of era, age, and gender, there will always be a dispute if there are three people. This was because the person at the center of the relationship tended to favor one person over the other.
Sophie was relieved by her remarks, not knowing what she meant.
“Right? I alone, am enough!”
Elisha gave a tiny smile, adding another word to Sophie’s relief.
“Everybody really likes gossip.”
“… … .”
Elisha checked the mirror one last time and left the room. It was time for her to go to see Lucerne off to work.
“Mimosa, what are you doing? Should Carola wait for you?”
“Ah. sorry. Miss Carola, I’ll brush your hair right away.”
Mimosa has been thinking a lot lately. While waiting for Carola, she remembered what had happened a few days ago.
A few days ago, she ran into Elisha by chance at a store where she went for an errand. She had no idea how she had found out about the place. Carola had different shops for her hair ornaments, ribbons, and even a shop that matched small accessories. Elisha was waiting at the spot where her gloves were matched.
‘Oh, what a coincidence, Mimosa.’
‘Did you come to seduce me to betray my master? It’s no use… … .’
‘Do you know what it means to be overly self-conscious?’
‘… … .’
‘Mimosa, I know that you didn’t study hard at the girls’ school affiliated with the temple when you were young. So I don’t know if you know about this,’
Elisha whispered softly.
‘The word’ class.”
‘… … .’
‘Do I look like I am of a class that will come here because of you?’
Mimosa’s face burned like fire.
Elisha was wearing her delicate sky blue dress and accessorized and decked out with gold bracelets and diamond necklaces. She looked like she was a princess from another world.
At one time, Elisha was of the lowest rank in the world of a particular class under the rule of the Cartier family. If it was before, when she was a laundromat slave Mimosa could kick her out of her way. Elisha had been of the ‘collateral’ caste.
But now her status and Mimosa’s standing were as remote as the vast distance between the heavens and earth.
‘Then I’ll go, if I’m seen talking to the lady… … .’
‘But since I haven’t seen you in a while, let me give you a piece of advice. People usually take care of what they cherish in times of crisis. Let’s see who Carola favors.’
From the day Elisha said that Mimosa couldn’t shake off the creeping sense of an encroaching ominousness.