Chapter 30 - A Real Hope
Jenia fidgeted with the blanket as she kept an eye on Amber’s expression. It was the only thing she could do after Amber earnestly requested her to stay in bed.
As she observed Jenia, Amber quietly contemplated the complicated feels in her mind.
In her previous life, Jenia had quit after just a little over a year following Amber’s arrival. As such, the Jenia in front of her now wasn’t particularly different from the Jenia she remembered.
But for Amber, it had been nine years since she last saw Jenia. The happiness and affection she felt were completely different from her first interactions with Kalix and Bella.
‘But I need to calm down. For Jenia, I’m a complete stranger.’ As she held herself back from being overly familiar…
“You don’t need to do this…” Jenia, who had been staring at the blanket in her hands, finally opened her mouth. “To go out of your way to treat a lowly maid like me with such kindness… Thank you, Madam.”
Amber smiled bitterly at Jenia’s use of ‘Madam.’
It was the norm for the lady of the castle to be referred to as ‘Mistress’ and the former lady to be referred to as ‘Madam.’ The people within the castle, however, still referred to Bella as ‘Mistress’ while using Kalix’s proper title of ‘Duke.’
Amber’s expression recognizably darkened her thoughts.
“Oh, I apologize. The servants all call you so and it became a habit…” Jenia quickly apologized and lowered her head. Knowing that it was no fault of Jenia’s, Amber gave a gentle smile and shook her head to ease her mind.
“Were there stories about me going around the servants?”
“Rather than going around… they were just curious.” Jenia’s eyes moved as she carefully answered.
“After the marriage documents were sent, everyone wondered what kind of person the new lady of the castle would be. It was the only talk of the castle for months.”
For a moment, Amber was surprised at the knowledge that word of her went around the castle so widely, but soon understood why. It was the marriage of the Duke. And on top of that, the wife was an outsider. It would have been strange if the topic didn’t garner any curiosity.
‘I wonder how many insults were directed at me.’ Amber knew that they wouldn’t be speaking kindly of her during that time.
Amber knew exactly what the people of the Eastern lands thought of her.
“A child raised in a rich family with no awareness or clue of what to do regarding the Eastern lands’ current condition.”
She heard such insults for ten years, there was no way she could forget.
Amber shook away the depressing thoughts was just about to change the subject when…
“I may be speaking out of line here but… I thought that it was a good thing that the madam was from the Western lands,” Jenia carefully spoke. “I apologize! I must have stepped over the line.”
She must have thought it was too much right as she spoke, as Jenia lowered her head in shame, but Amber didn’t reprimand her in the slightest.
Hearing only silence from Amber, Jenia peeked up from her lowered head and found Amber staring blankly at her with a surprised face.
“You say you are glad that I am from the West?” Amber asked as if she couldn’t believe what she heard. The fact that she was an outsider on top of coming from the West was something that Amber felt was a critical flaw.
“Yes, all of the maids working at the laundry area including myself believe so,” Jenia carefully nodded her head.
“May I ask why that’s the case?” Amber tried her best to ask in a gentle voice to make sure she didn’t scare Jenia.
“Because…” At Amber’s question, Jenia lowered her head to think as a dark shadow fell across her face. It seemed like she was wondering whether she should actually tell Amber the truth, telling her exactly how she felt about Amber.
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