“… Somehow I could do it.”
Chrono was walking through the living quarter area, feeling satisfied with his work. All he has to do was to wait for Elaine to contact him. As he was walking with that in mind, a girl passed in front of him
A girl who sells flowers. She tries to sell flowers with an uncertain step, but the passerby didn’t even notice her. Speaking of which, it was natural huh? The flowers the girl sell were shabby, and the people who being imposed by heavy taxes have not much income to waste. The girl heads to the center of the road as if being tempted by something.
The wagon is approaching with a rattling noise. Neither the girl nor the wagon seems to be willing to stop.
A box carriage approaches the girl—…
“This is bad!”
It was almost the same time that Chrono pulled the girl in and the box carriage passed by.
Had he was late just by a second, the girl would turn into minced meat.
It was the last second thing.
“Are you alright?”
When Chrono called her out, the girl’s body shook in astonishment.
The girl stared at the road and screamed. There were crushed flowers and a broken basket on the road. The girl tried to unravel Chrono’s hand, but her slender arm had no power.
“Flowers, I have to sell flowers.”
“I will buy flowers…”
The girl then stop moving and looked up at Chrono. As expected, her eyes were shining.
She might be happy because she could fill the loss.
And feel relieved that she could escape from the pressure of ruining the flowers and basket.
But, the girl’s expression suddenly turns cloudy.
“Pardon me, master.”
The girl bowed as if she was truly sorry.
“There’s no reason for me to receive this kindness…”
He opened his eyes wide at how solid this child was.
“What about my duty as an aristocrat?”
“I have never heard of it.”
Chrono slumped his shoulders.
“How about this? I will pay for the flowers and baskets. Your name…”
“My name is Alice.”
The Girl— Alice murmured.
“Alice can return the money little by little. Of course, I won’t take an interest, and I won’t urge you to pay…”
“I like you to accept to protect my appearance then…”
“I understand, master. For your heart and soul—…”
As Alice’s body leaned, Chrono put a lot of effort to hold her.
“I’m sorry. Somehow I feel not right since morning…”
“I’ll send you home…”
“I can’t let you do that far…”
“Sorry for repeatedly saying that…”
Alice’s house was on the outer edge of Hachel. Maybe due to the outer edge had blocked the sunlight by the wall, it was colder than usual. It was damp. The building had been eaten by dark browning mold. A flock of buildings waiting for decaying— Arisa’s house was one of them.
Alice opened the door in an exhausted state. Inside was a small room. A woman similar to Alice was lying in bed and doing needlework. Her skin was very pale.
“… I’m back.”
“What’s wrong, Alice?”
The woman jumped out of bed with a painful face.
Still, I followed Alice.
“She seems to be not feeling too well, so I sent her home…”
I explained interrupting Alice’s words.
“Go and take some sleep.”
Alice nodded a little and headed for the back room.
“I don’t know who you are but, thank you. It is unsafe here, so I believe you should return home before dark…”
“Can you listen to my little story?”
Chrono looked around. There isn’t even the minimum furniture, such a thin soiled wall, and traces of rain leaks. Turn out the two were in dire needs. Only a fool thinks they don’t need it…
“What are you want to talk about?”
Alice’s mother said as she holds her lower abdomen.
“If you have a hard time, you can use the bed.”
“… No, that is rude to the guest.”
Alice’s mother replied after some silence.
Perhaps, she was wondering whether she should prioritize comfort or decency.
“I’m Chrono Crawford.”
I immediately regret it, I might should’ve introduced myself as Erakis.
“My name is Alyssa…”
“Excuse me, but have you ever worked in aristocrats mansion?”
“… I’ve been a servant for about fifteen years under Marquis Erakis.”
Alice’s mother-Alyssa bite her lips and pressed her lower abdomen.
“What kind of work?”
“Just a maid. My body… Due to poor health, I decided to take a break.”
“Is that so…”
Chrono wondered if he could hire her as a maid. He does feel sympathy but, the reason why he thinks he needs her was because he needs someone who was familiar with the castle.
“Just the other day, I become Marquis Erakis.”
Alyssia looked up.
“He was accused of embezzlement, and committed suicide before being escorted to the capital.”
“Is that so…”
Alyssa muttered as if sounding lonely…
“Well, I was the one who charges him.”
“Why do you tell me that?”
“A little confirmation…”
He thought she would scream “The Marquis is an enemy!” but, turn out she was unhappy instead…
“Since I need to hire people to take care of Marquis’ residence, so I’m looking for people right now. If you have worked for 15 years, why not make use of it?”
“… Thank you very much, but my body…”
“I know that. That is what I mean. I will take care of your illness, and I won’t ask for money return…”
“Why? Is there something in me?”
“Because you’re the one who raised Alice to be someone that polite. You might be able to work as a maid chief.
“Emm, I, with this…”
“Here you go…”
Chrono took off his coat and presented it to Alyssa.
“… Thank you for your kindness, master.”
With that said, Alyssa bowed deeply.