Chapter 22 - It Seems a Bit Short Today
However, the longer Anna continued to avoid Dylan the more lazy she seemed. It began to look more and more like she was making up excuses to avoid work, so she ended up getting reprimanded by Samantha with increasing frequency.
“I know I definitely told you to come to the dining room, so why are you here mopping instead?” Samantha scolded.
Today was one of those days.
Samantha had spotted another worker in Anna’s place in the dining room, so she had sought Anna out in anger, finding the latter in the midst of cleaning stairs on the second floor.
“Are my orders just a joke to you? Huh?” Samantha asked, raising her voice and pointing a finger at Anna. “You’re completely ignoring me just because Master David’s protecting you a little!”
“No, not at all. That’s not the reason at all,” Anna said. It looked like Samantha wasn’t going to let her get off easy today.
“If that’s not it, then tell me why. Why aren’t you following my orders?”
“Don’t just say sorry! Explain to me your reasoning!”
Samantha smacked the mop away from Anna’s grip and tossed it to the floor. Anna wasn’t surprised by Samantha’s hostility, but, nevertheless, she squirmed with indecision, uncertain as to what she should do.
“It’s because I told her to,” came a man’s voice.
It started Samantha. ‘Did Master David come back?’ she wondered fearfully. However, the man who spoke ascended the spiral staircase, revealing himself to be not David, but Dylan.
“I told her to behave like this. Do you need any further explanation?” he continued.
Anna couldn’t bring herself to lift her head. She could feel his gaze locked onto her.
“Ah, i-is that so? Then you should have told me, Anna… I didn’t know that was the case and…” Samantha trailed off, shrinking away by the force of Dylan’s glare. It felt as if the tables had turned and she had suddenly become the guilty party. If one really thought about it, however, this whole misunderstanding was Anna’s fault in the first place for not speaking up and telling Samantha the truth.
The hatred Samantha already bore toward Anna began to grow. She became suspicious, convinced that Anna had intentionally withheld the truth to tease and trick her.
“Then, it’s fine now that you know,” Dylan said, walking past the two women and continuing his way up the stairs.
As soon as his footsteps were no longer audible, Samantha turned to Anna with fury still blazing vividly through her, looking even angrier than before. She took a few deep breaths before glaring at Anna one final time as if to convey precisely how much she wanted to rip the younger woman into pieces.
Without saying a word, she stomped loudly down the stairs a moment later.
Dylan rubbed his chin, a serious expression upon his face. He looked so serious that anyone watching could’ve assumed he was in the midst of making one of the most important decisions in his life.
“These are our shop’s best sellers,” the owner of the shoe store said, holding up a pair of sharp-tipped manilla shoes. Dylan had been ruminating on what pair to buy for ten straight minutes now.
However, he shook his head firmly in rejection, disregarding the owner’s suggestion. “I’m looking for a shoe without a heel that can be worn comfortably.”
“Ah, is that so? Then, how about this? The heel is low, but its design nevertheless maintains a sense of style. This shoe is quite popular as well.”
Unfortunately, this design didn’t satisfy Dylan either. “The red coloring is way too flashy,” he said.
The owner threw both his hands in the air, giving up on trying to satisfy Dylan’s fickle tastes. Instead, he shifted his attention over to shooing away the flies that had drifted over from the fishmongering shop next door with a folding fan.
After a long while of arduous contemplation, Dylan finally found a shoe he liked. “This seems good,” he said, indicating a simple black, low-heeled shoe devoid of any embellishments or adornments. It was the cheapest of the store’s most frequently sold designs.
The store owner had assumed that Dylan would buy something expensive due to his high-quality attire, therefore, seeing as Dylan ended up picking something cheap, the store owner couldn’t prevent the disappointment from showing on his face. “If you’re willing to buy it, then we need to know the size of the person who’ll be wearing it,” he eventually supplied. “Do you perhaps know their foot’s length or width?”
It was probably the width of a hand’s palm…
Dylan had finally managed to find a good shoe to buy after much deliberation, but now he was faced with another problem. As he struggled to answer, someone from behind him tapped his back.
“Looks like you’re here to buy some shoes,” Dylan heard them say. He turned, discovering that it had been Rin. She wore white gloves and held a flashy parasol in her grasp. About a foot behind her stood a young girl who seemed to serve Rin as a handmaid.
“Yes, well…” he trailed off.
Rin wanted to figure him out. “Is that the pair you chose?” she asked. “They look like women’s shoes. Are they a present for your mother?”
“No. Among those that work in my family’s mansion, there is a girl who had been injured because the soles of her shoes had worn out. These are for her.”
“Oh my, is that so? How kind of you.” Rin’s suspicions ebbed away and she smiled happily. “Is there something wrong, though? You have the shoes, yet you don’t look so good.”
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