Chapter 33 - Ignorance is Bliss
“I instructed Rowell, don’t worry,” Eli replied in a clipped tone, carrying an empty tray.
As he closed the door and left, Edna groped her injured neck. When she first touched his sword, she knew it wasn’t a normal one. It was an unusual weapon that was far from being in the possession of someone of his identity. Maybe it was bequeathed to him by Cayden.
Edna had seen Cayden in the royal palace when she was six years old. At that time, he was a chubby eleven-year-old boy who always smiled. But who would have known that he would destroy the Ducaine dynasty? Perhaps he had already started preparing for it since then.
If that were so, then Cayden was a really scary person. If he’d known how to perfectly conceal his emotions since such a tender age, then Edna thought that maybe she couldn’t have stopped him even if she had stepped out back then. However that may have turned out, this world now belonged to Cayden. But who knew when he would go down the road of decline, just like his predecessor…
But, truth be told, she didn’t want that day to come. Her heart ached endlessly when she thought of her mother, but winds of blood were bound to strike the land should the royal family be shaken once more. Then this place would be stained with death again.
She sincerely hoped that Cayden would not turn into the second coming of her father. She had never considered losing the throne. Perhaps, even if it weren’t for dethronement, she wouldn’t have ascended the throne as Cecil hoped. Solely because she was born into that royal family.
In the afternoon, Edna became too restless to stay cooped up in her room. She had no idea where Eli had disappeared into. Edna slightly opened a door and observed the movement outside. She assumed that they were cleaning the dirty hall by the sound of water.
Self-conscious about her neck and attire, she hid in the corner of the stairs and looked at the lower floor. The new maids were cleaning following Rowell’s directions, but Eli was nowhere to be seen. In that case, wouldn’t it be okay for her to move a bit further? Edna returned to the room and began scanning it for clothes to wear instead of undergarments. After squatting for a long time, rummaging for any garments to cover her neck, she soon found a dark gray turtleneck dress and quickly changed into it.
Edna was completely ignorant of womanly affairs. Since she lived as a man for 16 years and a maid for the next two years, she didn’t know anything about dresses that suited her, nor how she would appear to others.
As Edna descended the stairs, Rowell was surprised and sprinted to her side. “Are you alright, Madam?”
“I was only lying down for a moment due to dizziness. I’m well now. Where did the lord go?”
“He said he was going to the village and that I was to inform you of his departure if you were to look for him.”
Rowell quickly glanced over Edna’s outfit. Truly, she had never seen a woman with such a nonexistent sense of fashion. She had guessed it upon seeing Edna’s clothes when Eli asked her to mend them in the morning, but she never thought it would be to this extent. If only she’d wear clothes that fit her figure and match her skin tone, then she would look beautiful enough to enrapture everyone’s attention.
Rowell clicked her tongue and looked at Edna’s eyes, recalling the blood on the lord’s hand. But Edna, pretending not to notice Rowell’s gaze, calmly said, “I must have caught a cold. It rained yesterday, and I felt a little tired and dizzy. By the way, are you preparing to welcome the lord’s servants?”
Unlike other nobles, Edna never put on airs when addressing Rowell, who had been a maid for over 40 years. She suffered all kinds of troubles from all the four previous lords of this castle, but she had never met anyone who treated her like this mistress. That fact made Rowell admire her heartily. “The Lord said we only have to clear the hall,” she said.
“He said that? So, are you saying that he’ll have all his subordinates and their family members stay in the hall?” Edna asked and was struck with guilt as soon as the words left her mouth. Only the lord and his children could enjoy the privilege of having a room in the castle. It was not uncommon for servants and maids to sleep in the kitchen or the stables, and the knights in halls covered with tablecloths.
Frowning, she looked around. There were still empty rooms in the castle now. If they were coming back with all their family members, then it would mean that they were special. Lost in contemplating silence for a moment, Edna then ordered, “Make sure rooms are ready for them to stay in. They will arrive in five days at the latest, so you will have to work diligently.”
“But will the Lord allow it? The knights will just have to stay in the hall.”
“Winter will be upon us in two months. The summer here will be terribly hot and the winter will be extremely cold, and it would be even worse if everyone stayed in the hall and got sick all at once. I’ll persuade the lord, so don’t worry and carry through with my instructions, Rowell.”
“It’s alright. You don’t have to be scared. The lord is not as cruel as he seems to be.”
“Huh? What does that…” Rowell cautiously asked, remembering the blood spots on Eli’s hand earlier. Edna then realized that Rowell had noticed the commotion which had taken place in the morning, but she ignored it.
“It is exactly as I said. He is a caring person; he even took care of me himself. Hurry along, Rowell.” Edna’s tone had been so soft that Rowell could no longer contradict her.