The first thing I did after crossing over to this world was, naturally, to survey around my own room that came with its private bathroom.
Hmm hang on!
Allen and Arlea were married but they didn’t share the same room as expected, huh?
And as for this room… How to say it?
It is surely elegant, but the taste is too heavy for me.
Is there anything I can write on?
I opened the study desk’s drawer and found several notebooks.
Did the original Arlea write anything notable in one of these notebooks?
Thinking so, I flipped the pages to each of the notebooks.
Everything was empty.
But there was one book with a lock. Yet, at this time, the lock was unlocked, so I quickly flipped through the pages to find more information written in it.
It detailed the events that happened after she got married.
On the day she got married, Arlea moved in with her personal belongings and trusted servants.
Hmm? Trusted servants? I can use them! I’d like to have a leisure life here, so I definitely can do that.
As I flipped through the pages, I found out that my expectations were quickly reduced to ashes.
After all, what followed the record on her wedding day was how her trusted servants got dismissed one by one.
It was due to several mistakes they or Arlea made.
The original Arlea wrote in such strong writing about her increasing hatred to Allen.
‘But I have to endure for now. Everything will be paid back in double soon…’
And the note ended there abruptly.
I closed the book and accidentally—or by reflex, locked it.
…Great, now I can no longer open it.
For you see, there was no keyhole to this lock and since I wasn’t the original Arlea, I didn’t know how to open the lock.
Anyway, being confused after something that one couldn’t do anything about was something bad, so I laid on the bed and tried to recall the details from the otome game.
The arrogant Arlea–after she got married, she’d only cause troubles to Allen and his servants. Arlea would bully the servants here, and she went as far and daring as to fire Allen’s trusted servants.
No wonder Allen paid her back for that.
It was emphasized on how unstoppable and stubborn Arlea was.
Even when Allen told the servants not to listen to Arlea, Arlea managed to threaten them to obey her. She sometimes would threaten the servants with the livelihood of their families…
Yikes, Arlea–I was surely seen as the most villainous woman ever, right?!
But Arlea saw nothing wrong with her conduct as she was raised in such a true noble way. Everything had always gone in accordance to her wishes, how could she endure obeying others’ arrangements?
She believed she was born to be the noblest out of them all, so…
Apparently, the fact that there was no personal maid of Arlea who had accompanied her for quite a time really worked in my favor.
There wouldn’t be any suspicion to my sudden change.
After all, no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t be able to act as villainous as the original Arlea!
Even if I wanted to act as I wanted in this world, I had gone through years of education in my original world. My parents had raised me right and taught me about morals and good conduct.
And since I came from a modern world with a more modern view of things, some of my moral views might be different from the people here.
For example, I was taught about equality and human rights. No matter if one’s status was lower than me in this world, I definitely would treat them the same as someone of equal status.
I didn’t want to do anything nasty here.
I just wanted to enjoy life for 365 days.
After I felt a little more refreshed, I stood up and picked an empty book plus an inked pen to write my to do list there.
- Re-decorate the room
Satisfied, I closed it.
Oops, nevermind my bad handwriting in comparison to Arlea’s. I could never write in such beautiful cursive like that. Moreover, the type of the pen here wasn’t the modern one that I was most comfortable with.
It would definitely take some time for me to be able to write well.
Then, I went to the mirror in the room and saw myself–my new body carefully.
Petite and slender body. Snow white skin. A pair of beautiful emerald eyes. Strong eyebrows that gave others impression of dominance. Long and wavy purple hair that reached my waist… WTF?!
THAT’S WAY TOO LONG, RIGHT?!
Just how long will it take for me to wash my hair?!
Moreover, this hairstyle… Made it seem like I was some noble princess…
Alright, I have decided.
I need to restyle myself!
Yes, that’s the first thing I’m gonna do!
I searched the whole room for something that I could use to cut my hair, but there was none.
Just right after I finished going through the make-up desk’s drawers, a knock could be heard.
“E… Excuse me, Arlea-sama. I’ve come to bring you some refreshment.”
A timid girl’s voice could be heard.
Good, having something to eat wouldn’t hurt!
I didn’t particularly feel hungry, but I would definitely love to try this world’s food. Hopefully, they’d suit my taste and be delicious.
I tried to hide my excitement and answered calmly, but somehow, it sounded like a cold answer.
The maid only muttered a small, “Excuse me,” before she entered the room to put the tray she held on the nearby desk.
“Uhm, I’ll put the refreshment on this desk as usual…”
The maid perfunctorily said as she seemed to want to escape as soon as possible.
I was still looking at the mirror, but the maid’s every movement was visible from the mirror.
I immediately stopped her from leaving.
The maid seemed like she wanted to jump in fright when she heard my voice. Perhaps she hadn’t expected it.
“Can you bring me a knife?”
I hated small talks so I immediately stated my business right away.
Yet the maid didn’t answer my request. She only restated the item I wanted her to bring, as if she was unsure she heard me right.
Was my voice too small or unclear?
“Yes. A sharp small knife. Bring one to me,” I calmly repeated myself so that my order would be clear. This time, I raised my voice, too.
The maid let out a muffled voice that seemed like a whimper… Was this her sign of assent?
As I looked at my own reflection in the mirror, I immediately added, “And a small scissor if you have something like that, too.”
I needed to trim my eyebrows to change this face’s haughty impression. I disliked having such a haughty expression on my own face.
I also noticed that Arlea seemed to have make up on her face. Time to wash my face to see how it naturally looked like, then.
“Small… scissors, too?” The maid asked with a trembling voice.
“Yes, bring them to me,” I said as I turned around to face the maid. I wanted to wash my face, so I had to part from this mirror.
But what surprised me the most was the maid’s reaction as soon as our eyes accidentally met.
I was still having my serious expression as I was thinking on how I should restyle myself first.
The maid oddly had a frightened look on her face as she trembled and prostrated herself on the ground.
She then kowtowed her head to the ground as she faced me.
…Why did she kowtow to me? Is it normal for maids in this world to worship their masters as well?
I was very confused and astonished at the same time that I couldn’t bring myself to quickly tell the poor maid to stop doing that, before her forehead bled…
“FORGIVE ME, ARLEA-SAMA! I will definitely do whatever you want me to do, I will change the refreshment if it doesn’t suit your taste, and I will even disappear from your face if you want me to! Please spare me from your punishment!!”
The maid said as she continued to kowtow.
Her frantic voice snapped me out of my astonishment.
“First, stop kowtowing.”
The maid was so obedient that she immediately stopped kowtowing.
“Second, stand up properly.”
And so she did.
“Third… what punishment?”
I asked in my puzzlement.
“Arlea-sama asked me to bring a knife and a small scissor here for my punishment… right?” The maid asked as her voice turned even more unsure near the end.
“…Wrong. Just… put them in my room and you can go,” I felt headache coming to my head.
“T-thank you for sparing my life!” The maid immediately ran away from my room.
…What kind of logic did that maid have?
I only asked for a knife and a scissor! What did they have to do with punishing her??
A moment ago, I thought of befriending the maid, but judging by the look of it…
The way our communication failed to go through, the way she was so scared when she faced me… Aaah, that would be hopeless.
I bet she’d die from a heart attack for trying to contain her fear of me before we could even be friends.
…It might be a little bit lonely, but in any case, I was someone who’d die in the next 365 years. Perhaps not getting too attached with anyone here would be the best.
Therefore, I crossed the objective of forming a close master-servant relationship with one of the maids here.
It was time for me to inspect the bathroom.
Hmm, the bathroom gave quite a similar vibe to my bedroom. Which was no surprise.
A wide bathtub!
My private onsen was here!!
I cheerfully washed my face clean from any make-up the previous owner of this body had applied. The warm water was so good, and the thick towel felt good to my skin.
Aah, this is one of life’s joys!
I couldn’t imagine how happy I would be when I bathed here later…
When I left the bathroom in a happy mood, I saw a small knife and scissor on the desk, next to the tray the maid brought me before.
On top of the tray, there was a cup of tea that emitted a fragrant and calming scent. Next to it was a small cake.
I touched the cup and felt that the temperature was still a bit too hot.
Therefore, I decided to take the knife and scissor to the mirror.
I had always wanted to try doing this—chopping off such a long hair with a knife.
While I could trim my eyebrows just fine, I doubted that I could cut my hair into a neat and beautiful model as I was no hairstylist. But at least I could adjust its length and cut it decently. I intended on going to a hairstylist in this world after this, or perhaps summon one here.
My heart thumped in anticipation as I felt my hand slightly trembling as I took the knife in one hand and had my other hand grasp my long hair.
I adjusted my position a few times to make sure I would get the right length and a comfortable position.
I slashed the knife to my hair.
Since I already prepared my other hand on the hair, the hair that I cut didn’t fall to the floor and make a mess.
I successfully grasped most of the hair that I cut in my other hand. A few strands still ended up falling on the ground, though.
After engrossing myself in amazement over the hair in my hand, I decided to bundle it and put it on top of the make-up desk. Then, I turned to look at myself in the mirror.
My purple hair was still long compared to my hair when I was still Ann. I kept my hair short back then due to practicality, but I’d love to try a longer hair now.
So, I decided to cut my hair until its length was around my chest. The result was pretty good, but perhaps I’d need to get my hair modeled by a proper hairstylist after this. Reducing the length a bit to remodel it would be good, too. That was why I didn’t cut it more than necessary.
Satisfied, I decided to eat the cake and drink the fragrant tea first, as trimming my eyebrows would surely take quite the time. I wouldn’t want the tea to go completely cold.
I sipped the tea that quickly warmed my mouth, throat, and stomach. I felt that I became slightly more relaxed at the same time. Then, I took the fork to eat the cake.
Mmmm, so soft, so delicate, so refreshing, and sweet-yet-not-too-sweet!
As expected of a noble’s refreshment, huh?
Moreover, I was in a duke’s house. No wonder the food here would be exquisite.
In no time, I finished devouring the tasty refreshment brought for me.
Alright, next… I sat down on a chair next to the make-up desk and took the small scissor. My attention was wholly focused on the mirror that came as a pack with the make-up desk. Time to change my eyebrows’ style so that I would have a neutral impression.
As I focused myself on trimming my eyebrows neatly, time passed by just like that.
When I finished trimming my eyebrows and tidying things up, it was already evening.
Just when I was thinking that I needed to take a bath before dinner time, I faintly heard the sound of footsteps rushing. Since I heard the footsteps getting louder, I could tell that someone was probably coming to my room, or perhaps anywhere near my room.
And my guess was correct.
Plus, this guest was quite rude, for he didn’t even take time to announce himself, nor did he knock the door. He just opened my room’s door.
I was standing between the bathroom’s door and the make-up desk as I stared at the uninvited guest dumbfoundedly.
In turn, the uninvited guest was also staring at me dumbfoundedly.
The uninvited guest who was none other than Allen, my husband-in-name, asked, as if he doubted that the person standing before his eyes was really Arlea.
Well, I wasn’t Arlea, but I was technically Arlea since this body was hers. I only restyled myself.
The haughty look caused by Arlea’s eyebrows, hair, and make-up styles was no longer there. While I was trimming my eyebrows, I decided to cut my bangs short as well as I thought having bangs would give me a better impression and style. When I looked at my new self in the mirror, I only saw a noble and pretty girl with no haughty impression. If I didn’t have any expression on my face, I would give off the vibe of a normal noble lady.
“Oh, it’s you, Allen! Perfect timing. Can I go to a hairstylist tomorrow or can I get one summoned here?” I decided not to pay any attention to his earlier reaction and immediately asked.
Hearing my question, Allen seemed to have snapped out of his wandering thoughts, but his expression soon showed disdain.
“Since when are we so close so that you’re allowed to call me by my name only?” He asked with an unmasked disgust.
“…You just called me by my name, so why can’t I do the same?” I quickly came up with a reply.
To be honest, I didn’t know how the original Arlea had called Allen before, nor did I know how Allen usually called Arlea. In the only conversation we had, he addressed me—Arlea—by my full name.
“Are you trying to annoy me?” He asked coldly.
“It’s just a name, don’t be stingy with it. Not like Allen is your name only,” I waved my hand as I nonchalantly said.
But after I finished talking, his expressions turned uglier.
“We’re married, although in name only, so I don’t see anything wrong with this. I don’t mind you calling me Arlea, too, so we’re even,” I quickly added.
But his expression didn’t turn any better.
“What are you scheming this time?”
Perhaps already resigning his fate with regards to our names, he asked.
“…Nothing? As you can see, I just cut my hair but it’s not neat at all. I want to—”
“You asked for a knife and a scissor from a maid. Though you managed to come up with the excuse of cutting your hair, do you think I’m dumb enough to believe that you’re not planning anything with those sharp objects?” He asked as he quickly approached me and confiscated both the knife and the scissor.
“You can take them. That saves me the trouble of returning them myself anyway,” I immediately waved my hand at him again, disregarding his cold look.
“Ar-le-a!!” He said, full of force. It seemed as if he was angry at me. But hey, I really wasn’t scheming anything. Shouldn’t you be happy?
“Anyway, about the hairstylist—,” I immediately shifted the topic. I needed to have an answer on this crucial thing.
I saw Allen gritting his teeth before he finally said, “I won’t summon one for you. Like I said before, you are to take care of yourself aside from cleaning the room and cooking. And you won’t be going anywhere alone for this whole month!”
I was surprised.
Not able to leave this residence for a month? Nooo!
My brain racked things up in order to have my freedom back.
“I need to go. I won’t do anything, I will behave myself. I’ll be good.”
What came out of my mouth was nothing but weak… promises.
“You think I will believe you? The last time you said that, you almost killed someone,” Allen said with a very cold gaze.
Yikes, I didn’t know! Arlea was very vicious, indeed.
“…I don’t want to go with this bad hairstyle. And I want to enjoy the city, too. I will behave, so please let me go. If not…”
Allen sarcastically smiled when he heard my last words.
“I will come barging to your room with sexy lingerie.”
I said with a smile.
Then, Allen froze.
“I said, I will bother you in your room until you agree to let me go to wherever I want or do what I want as long as I don’t bother anyone else. It’s that simple,” I said with a smug look on my face.
“…You…!!” Allen gritted his teeth again.
“Sexy lingerie. What color do you prefer? Black?” I shamelessly asked.
Allen quickly turned around to hide himself from me, but I could see the tip of his ears turning red.
Oh-ho-ho, what a cute little one!
Perhaps if the previous owner of this body wasn’t such a bad lady, this man wouldn’t have to be so cruel to her in response, too. He was a character known for his considerate mind towards others (and he also cared towards commoners), true to himself and others… In other words, he was a virtuous man.
From what I remembered from the otome game I played and from Arlea’s record, Allen didn’t do anything and even treated Arlea well despite Arlea’s haughty attitude and her coldness towards him… until Arlea started to scheme and make troubles. It was something that Allen couldn’t tolerate, and to be honest, even I couldn’t agree with Arlea’s actions no matter what.
Making people lose their jobs over small accidental mistakes, punishing them just because they disagreed with her, wanting to hire people to kidnap others to threaten their relatives…
I sighed, but when I remembered this otome game’s background story and how it shaped everything to this current situation, I thought that it couldn’t be helped.
“If you want to go, go by yourself. I won’t order a carriage, go walk. Don’t try to threaten the servants again. I’ve told them not to assist you with anything other than what I stated before. That is your punishment for harming the maids I appointed for you before, and for trying to harm their families, too.”
I blinked when I heard Allen’s words that broke my thoughts.
Yay, that meant he agreed!
But when I digested his words, I rapidly blinked.
This was exactly as what I read in Arlea’s record, but her record was full of reasons to justify her actions.
But Arlea forgot to mention that this was the punishment she got. Perhaps she was way too upset with this kind of punishment.
Sure, for a pampered noble girl, this type of punishment was akin to hell, but for a modern person like me who was so used to take care of everything by myself… this was nothing bad.
Oh well, as long as he wouldn’t hinder me from going out and doing what I wanted~
I believed with the kind of personality Allen had—as the game’s second male lead—he would definitely have someone monitor me, but so what?
I didn’t have the slightest bit intention of continuing what Arlea had been doing, nor did I share the same goal as her. So, let his subordinates monitor me and waste their time, hahaha!
Jokes on you, Allen!
But hey, it wasn’t your fault!
If I were in your position, I’d do the same thing.
“Do you understand?”
Allen asked again after he didn’t hear any answer from me.
“Ah? Oh, yes, I get it,” I snapped out of my contemplation and nodded.
“…,” Allen didn’t say any other words as he walked out of my room.
After that, a servant appeared to prepare the bath for me. But nobody would be in charge of helping me bath, as Allen stated. It was good as I wouldn’t need to bother myself with preparing the bathwater and cleaning it afterwards, though.
I took a very relaxing bath in my private spacious bathtub for the first time ever.
At this time, I genuinely felt that life actually had this kind of simple joys. And I would definitely cherish this simple joy for the rest of my days.
Thankfully, I didn’t forget that I could pass out if I were to stay in the bath for too long.
I took a simple dress and dried my hair with the comfortable towel.
When it was time for dinner, I headed towards the dining room. I took the time to observe the house I’d be living in from now on.
Contrary to Arlea’s room that was too heavy for my taste, the rest of the rooms were decorated in a simple yet elegant manner.
As I expected, Allen really treated Arlea well at first, letting her bring her personal maids and redecorate the room as per her wishes.
Sadly, I’d redecorate the room to adopt a more simplistic elegant way, though.
Unexpectedly, I had to eat the dinner alone. I was expecting Allen to appear and was wondering on how I should behave when I faced him again.
One of the trembling maids informed me that Allen took his dinner in his study room, as he still had some businesses to take care of.
…As the young king’s close aide, it was no wonder for him to be very busy.
Before my mind wandered off to think about the characters’ complex relationships, I decided to wholeheartedly taste the delicacy before my eyes.
I didn’t know why they would put so many forks, knives, and spoons around, but I ignored them all and just picked the utensils that I thought would be the most practical to eat with.
As I enjoyed eating, I seemed to see the servants’ surprised and terrified faces as they whispered things I couldn’t hear…
Oh well, I couldn’t eat exactly like the old Arlea. The game didn’t even tell her favorite and disliked food. The servants were probably terrified that I ate things Arlea normally wouldn’t eat or anything.
In any case, after my stomach was full, it was time to sleep.
My first night sleeping on such a comfy bed. I definitely would have a nice dream… I hope so.
And tomorrow, I would be able to see this world from outside of this house!!
The servants, around this time.
“A-Arlea-sama has really changed, huh?”
“Yeah, I was surprised when her appearance changed quite a lot!”
“Not only that, she didn’t seem like a noble lady we once knew!”
“Eh, what do you mean?”
“The way she ate… oh god, she has no table manners at all!!”
“…You gotta be kidding me?!”
“Should we report this to Allen-sama? That nasty lady is planning to shame him with that way of eating, huh?”
“Sssh, watch your mouth! And let’s observe for a while. Let’s see how long she can keep eating shamelessly like that. When Master eats together with her, he’d know and he will surely think of the same thing.”
“Well, if she continues to eat like that, I’d be wondering if she hit her head or something.”
“…She did hit her head before, remember? It’s one of her schemes, but thankfully, our master didn’t fall for it.”
“…Oh, so she really hit her head before she started to act weird…”