Chapter 31 - The Fifth Floor
“I don’t know who gave these to you for free, but please thank them for me.”
Suddenly, Dylan’s joy fled him and irritation took its place. “Although someone else gave them to me, it was I who gave them to you.”
“So what you mean by that is that if someone hadn’t handed them to you for free, I wouldn’t be wearing them right now, huh?”
“No, I mean…!”
“Pfft!” Anna grabbed her stomach, laughing from deep within her belly.
Dylan understood, then, that he had played right into her hand. Nevertheless, seeing her laugh in such a way made him laugh too, and he forgot his anger.
“Samantha,” Dylan called.
“I’m planning to make use of the fifth floor loft.”
Samantha waited patiently for Dylan to continue speaking, expecting more to the sentence, but then she realized what he was actually asking for. She nodded vigorously. “Oh, I understand,” she said. “I’ll make sure to clean up the loft for you immediately.”
She promptly turned around, intending to carry out the task, but then Dylan quickly intervened. “Wait!” he cried.
He objected so fast it looked suspicious.
“The loft has tons of dust. Numerous cobwebs in every corner. And, in any case, you’ll need things to fill up the room with as well, and…”
Samantha couldn’t understand what Dylan was trying to say in the slightest. It didn’t befit him. He was usually the type to converse without any hesitation in his voice. However, the way he spoke now was hesitant and his sentences ran awkwardly long. He kept delaying what he truly intended to convey. It was making Samantha annoyed.
“So what I’m saying is… since it’ll be tough work, you should try sending someone in particular. A servant that keeps making excuses and always messes up on the job.”
Aware that all he needed to say in the first place was ‘send Anna up there,’ Dylan was peeved at himself for hesitating so much.
“That’s a great idea,” Samantha said, smiling brightly after finally picking up on what Dylan was trying to say. “I know a girl that’ll be perfect for this.”
As soon as she heard Dylan’s description, Anna came to mind, popping up instantly. After Samantha started hating her, every little thing she did seemed to grate on Samantha’s mind. Master David, who usually protected Anna, wasn’t present in the mansion. However, Master Dylan, who shared Samantha’s sentiments and actively hated Anna, would be with her in the loft, so Samantha had no reason to object to the command. “I’ll send that child to the loft immediately,” she said.
“No!” Once again, Dylan stopped her. “First, I need to pick out some things to put up there.”
“Ah, I see.” Samantha’s expression conveyed a sense of understanding. She fixed up her dress. “Then, I’ll aid you as you pick them out.”
‘Why is she being so slow? Why isn’t she getting my hints?’ Dylan wondered, exasperated. He couldn’t help frowning, his forehead creasing. “No, I’ll be going with the girl for this as well. Because… because there’ll be tons of things to bring.”
The mansion’s giant front doors began to open, revealing Anna as she stepped past them. Dylan exhaled a relieved sigh, allowing himself a small smile.
“Walk beside me,” he said.
They left the area and walked toward a place where people working inside the mansion couldn’t see them. It was only then that Dylan turned back around to face her.
“I’m more comfortable walking behind you, Master,” Anna said.
“Is that so? Then maybe I’ll try walking behind you this time.”
Stopping his stride, Dylan waited for Anna to pass him. She looked around and shook her head, but he continued to request it of her, eventually driving her to relent. She walked in front of him and he trailed after her.
Her hair was bundled up into a cute bun. Her long, slender neckline and the gentle slope of her shoulders looked beautiful. Even the way her skirt swayed gently up and down with the rhythm of her footsteps seduced him. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
“Didn’t you say there were things that you needed?” Anna asked. “If you mean to visit the shops, we’re going in the opposite direction right now.”
“I know,” Dylan replied.
“Then where are we going right now?”
“Well, I’m not really sure about that, either.”
She stared at Dylan, and her eyes seemed to ask, ‘If you don’t know either, then why are we doing this?’
Before she could register it, however, Dylan came up to her and took her hand in his, interlocking their fingers. “It’s not like we can only ever take walks when we have a clear goal,” he said.
The two of them matched their strides, traveling across a dense forest together. Eventually, they reached the forest’s end, a place where the shade began to dwindle and the land gave way to a field of short grass. Amongst the field was a calm lake whose depth remained indecipherable.
“So there was a lake here!” Anna exclaimed.
“You’re right. There really is.”
“The way the setting sun scatters its beams across the waters of the lake is gorgeous.”
Anna couldn’t look away from the lake’s sparkling colors. Dylan, meanwhile, couldn’t look away from Anna. Her eyes sparkled even more wondrously than the lake which captured her gaze.
“Yes, it really is.”
They walked around the lake in silence for a long time. Dylan was jealous of the lake and how it stole Anna’s attention away from him, but since he didn’t want to ruin all the fun she was having, he kept his mouth shut, staying quietly by her side.
However, despite his considerate efforts, the clouds took to covering the sun. They prevented it from shining down upon the lake any further as if intentionally denying Anna her enjoyment.
“The clouds look ominous,” Dylan said, squinting as he looked to the sky.