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Meanwhile, in the afternoon before Allen went home to have a good, good dinner together with his wife, Arlea/Ann spent her time together with her beloved child/maid, Faye.
“Faye, how’s the maid training going on? Are you done with it?” Ann asked.
Faye nodded as she tended to Ann’s hair, “Done, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it all well.”
Ann smiled before turning around and saying, “No worries, I am used to tend to myself alone, so you just have to accompany me, actually.”
“Will that be okay?” Faye asked with her head tilted.
My cute little baby!
Ann couldn’t hold her endearment towards such cute creature as Faye. She immediately hugged Faye in her arms, patting her head before answering, “Of course. If you’re worried about appearances, we can always put on a show. In private, don’t be too reserved to me, or I will be sad…”
As a modern person, Ann was more accustomed to equality. Although seniority existed in her life, the extend of seniority displayed here and in modern time varied quite a lot. Seniority here was displayed greatly, to the point that the servant shouldn’t really oppose or talk before their master let them. Even in terms of punishment…well, lucky that she was married to Allen, who was kind to others lower than him.
In a sense, Allen and Ann were more likely to be a match rather than the old Arlea.
Hmm, yes. He and I will make a good match in this sense. Do I have a chance before that event happens?…Will I be able to shoulder the attitude change though? Ah, never mind, I should do what my heart tells me for now.
By this time, Faye had really opened up to Ann. With Ann’s frequent warm hugs and pats, Faye’s mind completely ignored the fact that Ann was sometimes weird. What’s important is that she is kind. At least to her.
“Oh right, Faye. Now that you’re done with the maid training, do you want to study?” Ann reluctantly let go of her hug as she had to see Faye’s expressions to study what she thought.
“Yes. You don’t know how to read and write, right? I’ll teach you that first,” Ann grabbed Faye’s hands and swung it as she said that.
“Is it okay for me?” Faye’s pupils shrunk. She knew that all nobles and some of their servants could read and write, while not all commoners could. Sure, they all knew how to count money as necessities, but that wasn’t the case with reading and writing. She was formerly a slum dweller, the lowest in the society. Not even in her dreams did she dare to think that she would be able to learn how to read and write.
“Why not?” Ann asked, completely oblivious to the fact that not everyone in this world had the chance to study how to read and write. The game didn’t tell her anything about it, and since all the characters portrayed there seemed to be able to read and write, she never thought of the possibility that the equality in this world was so cruel. She always thought that reading and writing were just basic skills.
Faye only gulped, unsure on how she could tell her mistress. She was a bit afraid to break the news to her, only to have her mistress change her mind. She really, really wanted to be able to read and write. She wanted to learn a lot more songs that were written in the books. She wanted to know more words in order to compose a song on her own. She wanted to be a songstress. That was a dream she had buried the moment her family was no longer in this world. Even when they were alive, this dream of hers was a bit too far-fetched, but the young her still thought that perhaps, she would be able to fulfill it.
Even if she was ridiculed by others for her dreams…
Could she realize this buried dream of hers after fate was so kind to let her be with her current mistress?
Ann tilted her head this time as she saw Faye’s mind not focused on the present time. She wondered what could be the matter…
“Faye? You don’t want to?” Ann asked as she thought that perhaps Faye was someone who didn’t like to study. At this moment, she was already thinking of ways to force Faye to—at least—learn how to read and write. Just that would be good enough.
Faye’s nostalgia was broken by Ann’s words as she immediately shook her head.
“No…no! I’d love to!” Excitement was apparent on Faye’s face.
“Good! Then let’s start right away~,” Ann happily took out several papers and the inked pen she found—a dipped quill pen and its ink—before she thought of something and turned to look at Faye in horror.
Crap, the dipped pens of this world still use birds’ feathers on its end for some reason! It’s the standard thing to use to write…The charcoal tool that’s like pencils isn’t good enough to use when one starts to write, but…
“What’s the matt–,” Faye was about to ask her mistress what could be wrong, when her eyes caught a glimpse of the dipped quill pen in her hand.
“…I don’t mind, it’s just feather,” Faye smiled. At least it was better than seeing a roasted bird…
Ann sighed in relief. She misunderstood that Faye’s initial delay in response was because she knew she would have to use dipped quill pens to write…
“Okay, I’ll introduce you to the alphabets then,” Ann said as she put the quills, ink, and papers on top of the desk inside her room.
Faye was a quick-witted child, so she immediately helped Ann to sit down first before she went to sit right next to Ann.
“Here is your pen. Rather than separately learning how to read the alphabet and then learning how to write it, it’s better to learn it by writing several times. So, first…,” Ann gave the pen to Faye, ready to write the first alphabet when she noticed Faye’s confusion.
“Oh right…! Here is how you grab the pen…,” Ann grabbed Faye’s right hand gently as she helped Faye adjust the position of her grasp.
“Right, try making circles using the pen first, then?” Ann asked Faye.
Faye nodded and tried to make a few circles on the paper.
“Ah…,” Faye was disappointed to see that the circles that she drew weren’t as good as she imagined them to be.
“Aww, don’t worry, it’s good enough for your first time using the pen. I’m not that good, too, but as long as it’s readable and clear, it’s fine,” Ann cheered on Faye. She was lucky that she transmigrated into this world that used dipped quill pens instead of brushes. Though her writing couldn’t be said as beautiful, well, at least she could write something readable and clear after a few tries.
“Okay, then let me introduce you to the alphabets. Here is how you write A in capital, this is a…,” Ann began teaching Faye the alphabets.
Ann was ready to take a break from this study session if she were to catch a glimpse of Faye being tired, but Faye seemed to be so focused and dedicated to learning alphabets that they ended up spending the rest of the afternoon to study.
They didn’t really notice that it was already evening until the door to their room was knocked.
“Yes, just open the door,” Ann said out of habit, without thinking about it.
Faye was surprised as she was supposed to be the one opening the door to check out who it was and greet the guest. But before she could even react, the door to the room was opened and…an icy man was standing in front of it.
Ann blinked several times. Faye was frozen on the spot.
Meanwhile, Allen’s hawk eyes studied the room very quickly and noticed the piles of written papers on the desk where Faye and Ann were in.
“What are you doing?” Allen had his suspicions inside his heart, but he couldn’t believe in that suspicion. How could a woman like Arlea be teaching a mere maid how to read and write? What is she plotting?
Ann blinked again and looked at Allen with a ‘are you an idiot?’ gaze before she finally answered, “Can’t you see? Faye is learning alphabets.”
Ann’s expression and her ‘Can’t you see?’ irritated Allen as he seemed to be an idiot in Arlea’s eyes.
Perhaps noticing the colder temperature around them, Ann decided to add, “You’re back early, that’s rare.”
Again, Ann didn’t mean to criticize Allen, but somehow her words sounded offensive in Allen’s ears, especially the ‘that’s rare’ part…
“Why? This is my home, can’t I go home?” Allen asked, feeling a little bit irritated.
“Uh…No, of course you can…,” Ann couldn’t fathom why Allen was so snappy around her. The image of the cool and mellow Allen in-game seemed to be distant from the actual Allen before her…Well, he was still cool, but not too mellow—it was snappy instead. Was it because some events hadn’t happened yet, or was it because Allen wanted to incite her anger as well?
“Tidy up, dinner’s soon,” Allen decided to end their interaction here with these words.
“Oh…you’re going to join the dinner?” Ann asked, but she expected the answer ‘no’ as always.
“Yes,” Allen said before he left.
“Oh, okay…Wait, what?!” Ann was surprised to hear Allen agreeing to eat dinner together with her.
Is this God’s sign so I can be closer to Allen? Well, I won’t let this chance go to waste, then!
At this time, Ann totally didn’t realize that Allen wanted to evaluate her non-existent table manner…
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