T/N: I’m still stocking up, so the releases will be once every few days. Once I reach my quota on stock, I’ll switch to a more regular schedule. Just a heads-up.
As I was walking down the corridor, off to a good start, I suddenly ran into that man. However, I decided that it didn’t happen, or in short, I ignored his existence.
For some reason he didn’t seem overly pleased with that, though. Up until now he never even tried to call out to me whenever we met like this, but now he planted himself in my way.
“Oi. …Don’t keep pretending to be bedridden over some feigned illness. It’s disgraceful. Meals are to be taken at the dining table in the dining hall. If you can’t follow that rule, you’ll go without food.”
“…Are you you planning to starve me to death by using the abuse of 『No food for you』?”
It looks like he hasn’t heard the words I instinctively murmured because of his age-driven poor hearing.
When I looked up at him in suspicion, I saw surprise written on his face with his mouth left half-open.
However, he then apparently pulled himself together.
“…Didn’t you hear the 『Take your meals at the dining table』?”
“I did catch you saying 『No food for you』. Also…what was it? Feigned illness? Why would you think that a person, who has remained asleep for a week, would fake her illness? I must praise you for coming up with such a diabolic assumption that puts even a devil to shame.”
When I answered him, he was surprised…again.
“Moreover, to dine at the same table with a person who just recovered from her illness…nothing less of you, Earl Springcoat. You love lashing out at the sick and dead.”
Him becoming flabbergasted must mean that my words have gotten through his deteriorated hearing…or so I thought, but…
“……What did you say just now?”
Unfortunately, he didn’t hear anything I said in the end.
“I” “want” “to” “enjoy” “my” “food” “at” “least” “so” “I” “will” “take” “it” “in” “my” “room”
I put a break after each word, speaking clearly, loudly and accentuated.
“…It must be quite hard on you to have such a bad hearing because of your old age. I think it’d be better for you to consider retirement since you’re surely troubling your surroundings with that condition. …Well then, please excuse me, Earl Springcoat.”
I bowed in passing, noticing how even the butler behind that man looked dumbfounded.
The butler and Earl Springcoat ended up watching her leave just like that, unable to react out of sheer amazement.
Up until Indra became bedridden, the family head evaluated his daughter as gloomy, menial, and flattering depending on the mood of the person she was dealing with. Her sole redeeming point over her mother, whom she resembled in anything else, was the lack of being hysterical.
The butler believed that she rather resembled her father. She had inherited the color of her mother’s hair and eyes, but father and daughter’s looks, and above all, their facial expressions as they stared at each other just now were as identical as the reflections in a mirror.
Master, you carelessly remarked, “That girl is as helpless and dependent as her mother was,” a while ago. I’m sorry to tell you, but she resembles you in that aspect, the butler muttered in his mind.
When the earl came back to his senses, he flew into a rage, becoming bright red.
“…Don’t feed her any longer.”
Hearing that, the butler asked after a short moment, “Do you wish to draw heavy criticism to yourself?”
The family head looked at his butler in irritation.
“If you make the young lady starve by not feeding her any longer, it will cast a very bad light on the Earl Springcoat House.” The butler advised with an unusually sharp glint dwelling in his eyes.
“It’s no mistreatment.” The family head snarled, but the butler still continued to stab him with his look. The earl averted his eyes, and added with a softer voice, “…It’s just the family head’s punishment for his disobedient daughter.”
“I believe that to be no more than sophistry. ―Besides, Master, would you not be able to enjoy your time if you were allowed to dine with just Lady Primrose?”
The earl reluctantly nodded, and only now after all this time, asked, “…So, what the hell was the name of the illness that girl pretended to have anyway?”
“I should have informed you that the doctor diagnosed her to have lost consciousness as a result of a mental breakdown and physical degradation through malnutrition. He also mentioned that her life might be in danger if her current condition were to continue.”
The earl pretended to not have heard his butler’s words.
I expected that man to start something or starve me to death for real, but unexpectedly, the meals were brought to my room without anything in particular happening.
――In the worst case, starvation would have been inevitable. In the first place, survival in this house is challenging at best.
My personal other world experience allowed me to open my eyes again, but if not for that, I might have died then and there. Something like being cruelly mistreated and abused by your parents from birth, and as a finisher, having to witness how the other daughter is being dotted on, would doubtlessly crush any normal child.
I’m currently continuing to live on because of my wish to enjoy this different world for a bit longer while also becoming capable of using magic arts, and because of my positive outlook that I’m going to reform this world with my cheat knowledge.
However, although it’s better now that she’s dead, that woman had the habit of terribly abusing me, and that man seems to share the same trait.
“…Oh well, what will be, will be, I guess. For starters, I really want to do something about soap, though.”
As might be expected, or rather, as it’s a standard template, this world doesn’t know soap. I wonder, what are they doing about washing? What about the broth left over after boiling veggies and similar?
When I was doing my muscle training in the evening, someone knocked on my door, and opened it before I could even answer.
Ah okay, there’s only one person in this mansion who would do something like that ― Primrose Springcoat, the daughter of that man’s mistress.
Seeing what I was doing, she became surprised, but still entered my room on her own accord. Though you could say that it already was an improvement for her having knocked at all. I mean, at first, when she arrived in this mansion, she simply stormed into every room without even bothering to knock!
Dumbfounded by that behavior, the butler and head maid frankly advised her to stop it, which then resulted in me getting scolded by that man. Under the pretext that I didn’t teach her how to knock.
Anyway, back to the reality in front of me.
“Elder Sister, you have recovered…have you?”
Ah yeah, it’s only natural for her to react like that when watching me doing push-ups like this, I suppose.
“You might be disappointed, but as you can see I didn’t croak.”
Primrose was lost for words.
“N-…No way…! S-Something so terrible…!”
I’d like her to not start bawling here since it’d be re-interpreted into me having approached her to bully her, despite her having entered my room.
“So? What do you want from me? …Also, it’s quite rude to selfishly open a door and enter a room without waiting for permission. It’s an effective method if you want to make your father scold me, though.”
She was lost for words once again.
“…I’m sorry. I…”
“It’s meaningless to apologize to me. …So? I’m repeating myself, but what do you want from me?”
Primrose was looking at me in a daze.
“…I’ve heard that you’ve recovered… Umm…you’re not coming to the dining hall these days, are you? That’s why I came to invite you! I’ll come to pick you up tomorrow, so let’s eat together at the dining ha…”
Oops, I somewhat ended up interrupting her. No good, no good. That’s bad manners. Tehe.
“Let me say it once more, 『I refuse』.”
After remaining stupefied for a short while, Primrose nervously asked, “…Why? Elder Sister, you eating your meals in your room all by yourself is too lonely and saddening. Isn’t it a lot more fun, livelier, and far tastier to eat together!?”
――What’s this girl blathering about?
“…I don’t quite remember what happened before I fell ill, but I feel like eating together with you was never lively or fun?”
I directed a cold look at her, “And, eating with you people is…far tastier than eating by myself? …I think I might have misheard you, but don’t you remember the words you and your father said to me during our meals?”
And then I counted down the slander I had to endure, using my fingers.
『Don’t eat while looking down, it’s depressing and gloomy』
『It looks like you still haven’t taught her manners. Just what the hell are you doing?』
『For heaven’s sake, this is why dullards are so…』
『An eccentric woman just like her mother』
I stopped for a moment, tilted my head to the side, and looked at Primrose.
“…What else was there again? Oh well, me eating my meal while being abused, despised, and condemned for everything being my fault to such an extent might be very enjoyable for your father, the one doing the abuse, and you, the one watching it, but for me, the one on the receiving end, it felt so bad that it made the food taste bland and that it killed my appetite, even after eating almost nothing for days. It went so far that I collapsed and didn’t wake up over a span of several days.”
Primrose was about to talk back, but then remained silent. And cast her eyes down.
After not saying anything for a while, she muttered, “…I…want to become friends with you, Elder Sister.”
“Oh my, I’m happy to hear that.”
I smiled sweetly. And lured in by that, she also burst into a smile.
I’d call this a convenient development. It’s the perfect opportunity to cajole her to my advantage.
“Would you listen to my request then?”
“Of course! Anything you wish, Elder Sister!”
“I’d like you and your father to stay away from me. Also, I’d love for you two to not get in my way.”
In response to me telling her this with a smile, Primrose’s face froze.
“That would be a very big help to me. Since your father has the strong tendency to abuse me, I’d be quite troubled to be insistently told to dine at the same table as him after he’s been repeatedly spouting that his food tastes bad if he has to look at me. It seems like he has realized that he can’t slander me when I’m not nearby. For this reason he’s even been considering starving me to death by not feeding me as long as I don’t dine at the same table as him.”
Primrose became dumbstruck.
Maybe she doesn’t grasp the meaning behind the words I’m telling her.
“However, if his darling daughter pleads, 『I want to have my meals with just you, Daddy』, he might stop blathering such nonsense altogether. If I could have you tell him, 『Let’s leave big sister to her own devices. I wanna enjoy my conversations with you, Daddy』, I think you could get him to leave me alone. Therefore, please cooperate with me on this endeavor by all means. ―Would you be so kind as to heed my request?”
Once again I smiled sweetly. Primrose’s eyes restlessly wandered about.
It kinda looks like she hadn’t expected me to make such a request? Well, it’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Doesn’t she just have to stay true to her own words?
“…Or do you possibly also have the habit of abusing others? Do you like watching me getting slandered…?”
“As if that could be true…!”
Given that she got angry, I smiled sweetly while giving it the finishing blow, “Oh, then you’ll answer my request, right?”
Primrose nodded unwillingly
Alright, then I’m done with her.
Immediately after that, I shooed her out of my room.
Now then, I really wonder how things are going to pan out, starting with tomorrow.