Chapter 15 - A Glass of Champagne
“No!” Anna cried in protest, just as the handkerchief gently floated to the ground. She moved to cover her eyes right away, but it was too late; she caught sight of the reveal. However, as soon as her gaze settled upon his crotch, unbelievable fury descended upon her.
He had underwear on the entire time.
Anna’s eyes shot wide open. “You’re wearing something!” she yelled, enraged.
Bewilderingly, Dylan was nowhere to be found. Instead, she was staring up at a familiar dilapidated ceiling, the likes of which seemed ready to collapse at any moment.
Suddenly, she heard someone hiccup beside her. Anna turned her head, finding her four-year-old younger sibling staring at her with the large, frightened eyes of a rabbit.
“No,” Anna rushed to demure, “I wasn’t yelling at you…”
Thud. The potato her sibling held in hand fell onto the floor and began to roll away. The child’s big, beautiful eyes quickly began to well up with tears. Panicking, Anna got up with the intent to calm and comfort the child, but her efforts proved fruitless. Her sibling cried aloud at the sight of her face, sobbing profusely. Anna knew that if she came any nearer the child would only cry louder.
In the end, all Anna could do was escape the house and leave the child be.
Anna was beside Samantha, helping the older woman as she ironed some clothes. Whenever Samantha would request some water, Anna would reply with an affirmation and spray the clothing. Then, Samantha would smooth out the creases with a heated iron.
There was going to be a large party in the village under the name of Sir Tilda. The two were working on the suit Young Master Dylan would be wearing to the party.
“Okay, this is all done,” Samantha said to Anna. “Clean up and then bring this to Master Dylan before coming back. Make sure to take care not to crease it.” She handed the gentleman’s suit to Anna.
All of a sudden, Catherine, another maid, jumped between them and snatched the suit before Anna could grab it. Shrugging her shoulders, Anna just opted to concentrate on cleaning up.
In the afternoon, some workers were charged with heading over to Sir Tilda’s residence to aid the household in their preparations for the party. “Let’s go. Quickly, before we’re late,” Samantha commanded, and six servants in total joined her as she left for Sir Tilda’s residence.
Sir Tilda’s household possessed an overwhelming amount of capital, so they would often throw parties simply for amusement. Every time they did so, they wouldn’t have enough employees to execute the preparations, so they would recruit workers from other households to make up for it. Although they had enough money to throw all these lavish parties, they were too stingy to employ enough workers so they could handle the workload themselves. The servants never got any extra pay for their efforts, but they opted not to complain too much because they were allowed the privilege of participating in the parties and taking home the leftover food.
“You two go to the kitchen. As for the rest of you, change your clothes and go to the main hall. Help out with the serving,” said an older man addressing the visiting servants. He worked in Sir Tilda’s household, and he looked to be in a position of equal prestige as that of Samantha in the Kilner household.
“May I go to the kitchen to help out as well?” Anna asked.
Of course, simply working at the party didn’t guarantee getting any food. Not everyone could be so fortunate. If given the task of working in the kitchen, however, those chances would improve.
Unfortunately, the older man leveled Anna with an austere expression and simply pointed to the main hall, looking as if he would kick her in the bum if she dared to ask to work in the kitchen again.
“The guests will arrive soon,” he continued, “so pour the champagne and place the glasses on the trays.”
All the female workers wore a black dress with a feather on their necks and a white apron across their fronts. The dress was plain and cumbersome, long enough to cover the length of their entire bodies, and designed in such a way that the party’s main guests would stand out more in comparison.
Abruptly, the sound of glass shattering resounded through the air. When Anna lifted her head to the source, she found a girl who looked much younger than her, bowing deeply in apology. “I’m sorry,” she kept saying.
“Get your head on straight!” someone yelled out. “They’re coming!”
The shout seemed to Anna like the heralding cry of imminent war.
Wearing a black suit, Dylan stood next to a friend of his, sipping on some champagne. The area was filled with laughter and cheerful conversation. Alcohol seemed to filter the world around the crowd, making even the worst jokes sound like the funniest thing anyone’s ever heard.
“Hey, Dylan,” said Chess, Dylan’s childhood friend. “Where were you and what’ve you been doing this whole time?”
“You do know you’re asking me the same exact question as you did when we met several days ago, right?” Dylan replied, uninterested. His eyes kept chasing after a certain someone.
“Is that so.”
“Who have you been staring at so intently?”
Dylan was leaning against a wall, watching something off in the distance. Chess followed Dylan’s gaze and then broke out into a grin, smiling like an idiot as soon as soon as he realized who was occupying all of Dylan’s attention.
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