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The night after the ‘downtown party’, while Ann could sleep comfortably as her life seemed to be getting better and better, a certain ‘housemate’ of hers was unable to sleep and paced around in his room.
Ann’s beautiful smile played in his head over and over again, before it was replaced by the scene of her dancing with Silas and how they seemed to suit each other so much. Then, he remembered how Ann seemed to be really happy when she was back home. Without even having to ask, that woman told her wonderful experience to him.
He wanted to ask more about Silas, but he held back because Ann didn’t mention anything special about him. She mentioned him just like how she mentioned the other workers and the children at orphanage. How could he point Silas out without being suspicious about it?
He didn’t want Ann to know that he went out to watch her, for some reason. He felt like he would be admitting ‘defeat’ if he did so… but what ‘defeat’?
Allen found that he was unable to comprehend… himself.
Eventually, Allen could barely sleep. But when the time for him to work arrived, he felt refreshed and very eager to go instead. One, it was because he had another thing to focus on, so he would be liberated from this stuff he had no resolution to. Two, because he believed he’d receive a report about ‘Arlea and Silas’ soon.
Allen left in a hurry, leaving Ann tilting her head and wondering why he was in such a rush. But her mind quickly thought, ‘An urgent business might come up’, and she shrugged as she proceeded with her activities as if nothing happened.
Upon arriving in his office, Allen proceeded to work as if he was a working machine. His subordinated who had to keep up with him felt like crying because they dared not protesting… Some of them almost panicked because they thought a serious problem happened…
Then, Allen’s subordinate that was tasked with the investigation arrived, and Allen was so enthusiastic in welcoming him.
Looking at such alert Allen, the other workers were…
“Hey, hey, is it news about the crisis we’re having?”
“…We’re having a crisis?”
“Of course, you dummy! If not, why would Allen-sama act like this?”
“Oh no, I hope this is a good news…”
Thus, lots of people were praying that Allen would receive a good news from the subordinate—in other words, lots of people unknowingly were praying for their master’s love matter…
The workers’ misunderstanding was further increased by how Allen quickly stopped everything and closed the door to his room, leaving just him and the news-bringing subordinate.
The subordinate gave a paper filled with report and his findings, the one that Allen proceeded to read so intently.
In the report, it was stated that there was nothing suspicious about Silas and his relationship with Arlea. The two just had a ‘coworker’ and ‘friendly’ relationship at most.
Allen finished reading every single word in the report, put the paper down, and his eyes met with the news-bearing subordinate’s. The subordinate became tense in an instant.
“…How close are they?”
Noticing that his subordinate might not have an answer that could quell the storm that was still raging in his heart, Allen decided to just let it go, “Never mind.”
That was how, the office situation remained the same even after the news reached Allen’s ears. By this time, everyone in the office was convinced that they were under a serious problem, and nobody dared to protest anymore. They became much more hardworking, which left Allen wondering about the sudden change. But he digressed.
And thus, they were able to finish that day’s work earlier than usual. Allen could and would just take a look at another matter that was supposed to be for another day, but he decided to return home earlier that day.
Again, this left the office in controversy.
“Hey, why would Allen-sama return quickly if we’re in a serious trouble?”
“That’s odd… Does that mean the problem’s somehow resolved…?”
“Just what on earth is happening??”
If only they knew this was all caused by the feeling of jealousy that even Allen himself wasn’t aware of—they might have gone mad already.
The first thing that Allen did upon returning home was to head to Arlea’s room right away. When he was about to barge in, he remembered that he had to give a warning, so he stopped and knocked.
“…Arlea? You in there?”
…Still no response.
“I’m coming in,” Allen said as he just opened the door and furrowed his eyebrows when he saw no sign of life at all inside.
A nearby maid noticed Allen opening the door to Arlea’s room, so she quickly went over and said, “Allen-sama, you’re back early. If you’re looking for Arlea-sama, she is not yet home.”
Hearing that, Allen was stunned. He was so used to seeing Arlea being there when he arrived home. There was never an instance where he returned home earlier than Arlea—thus he never experienced not seeing her upon returning.
This left him speechless for a moment.
Still not saying any single word, he returned to his own room.
The maid was puzzled by Allen’s reaction, but she just took a note that Allen-sama was looking for Arlea-sama.
Long live the queen—for Ann returned home not long after that small event.
The same maid who witnessed Allen going to Ann’s empty room swiftly told Ann that Allen was looking for her earlier.
“Huh? Did he mention what’s the matter?” Ann tilted her head.
The maid just shrugged and shook her head cluelessly.
“Alright, I’ll go see him after I’m done washing up,” Ann said.
But not long after that, Ann heard a knock to her door. When the door was opened, it was none other than Allen.
“What’s the matter?” Ann said as she dropped what she was doing and let Allen sit on a sofa, before she sat on the opposite end of him.
Allen furrowed his eyebrows while closing his eyes. His hands were crossed, and his fingers were tapping on his shoulder.
“Earth to Allen? Is something the matter?” Ann was really impatient and also anxious about what could be the matter. As time passed by and as her will to live only increased, she became wary of the others’ actions.
“……How’s work?” Allen finally opened his mouth, but that wasn’t quite what Ann expected to hear.
“Huh? Uhm, fine, I guess? Nothing new, just the same stuff,” Ann said truthfully as she had told Allen everything she wanted to say. Allen should also know from his subordinate that became her free bodyguard anyway.
Ann unconsciously furrowed her eyebrows as well because she was puzzled by Allen’s questioning. The two of them had the same expressions on their faces, and only Faye and Birdie who were standing in the middle of them noticed.
‘Aah, so that’s why people say that couples look so similar to each other,’ Faye lightly nodded in enlightenment.
“……I heard that you’re getting along well with others there,” Allen said.
“Yes…?” Ann’s eyebrows furrowed even further.
‘Isn’t that a good thing?’ She thought to herself.
“…Say, I heard that you’re close to someone named Silas. He’s at the same age as you, too,” Allen suddenly dropped a bomb.
Two people were surprised the moment they heard Allen’s words—but under a different reason.
‘I-i-is this what the other older sister maids were talking about? J-j-jealousy…? Allen-sama is jealous?!’ Faye somehow could understand why the other older maids (well, she was the youngest) were all excited when they were talking about their favorite ‘shippings’ in the stories they read.
Meanwhile, the other person’s reason of getting surprised was…
‘Oh shit, shit, shit! Is he suspicious of me cheating on him?! Is this another death flag that I unconsciously triggered when I tried to create a safe path for me? Is he thinking of speeding up my death scenario, now?! This doesn’t look too good!’ Ann sweated bullets.
Right now, her mind was so occupied by the thought of ‘wanting to evade death’ that the word ‘jealousy’ didn’t even cross her mind at all…
“H-huh? Y-yes, but we’re just friends! I swear there’s nothing happening at all!” Ann quickly denied, but she was tongue-tied.
Faye freaked out inside her heart, ‘Arlea-sama, that kind of reaction…! It’s as if you’re getting caught cheating, you know?!’
Looking at Allen’s expression turning uglier, Ann frantically added, “H-h-he’s just like a little brother to me! He’s so young, how can I go after him?!”
Faye widened her eyes even further, and so did Allen.
You two are eighteen, why are you speaking like that, as if he’s way younger than you?!
“A-anyway! Why would I be enticed with such a young puppy like him when I have such a fine speci—when I have such an amazing husband by my side already?” Ann quickly added.
Faye heaved a sigh of relief. Bravo, Mistress!
Hearing that, Allen’s expression softened, “Really?”
“Yes, yes! In my eyes, you’re much more superb and handsome than him!” Ann nodded enthusiastically. Her eyes were looking straight at Allen, her words were clear and didn’t waver. She looked very sincere and serious when she said that.
…Because it was the truth. Allen was undoubtedly, her #1 choice of male target in this game.
Faye quickly put her hands to cover her face. Her mistress was declaring her love towards her husband so bluntly like this, this is just a public display of affection, right? I-is it alright for her to just be standing over there, or should she just go…?
Yet Ann failed to notice this.
Hearing Ann’s words, Allen’s mood elevated from -50 to +50 in one go. The corner of his mouth was slightly raised up.
Allen could tell that Ann was telling the truth. Since his objective was reached, he simply left after it. Ann noticed that Allen left in a good mood, so she heaved a very big sigh of relief as she patted herself in the chest.
Looking at how Allen went away without exchanging any sweet words with Ann and how—instead of begging Allen not to go—Ann was sitting there and heaved a long sigh, Faye tilted her head.
Why does it turn out to be like this? Shouldn’t they then become lovey dovey, like how the other senior maids told me about? Why is it that Master and Mistress seem so… odd? Or is it that I’m too young to comprehend romance?
It seems that I still have a lot to learn about…
Ann was even more relieved when her interaction with Allen went by as usual that night, when it was time for dinner.
Truth to be told, their ‘usual’ interaction at this time was far better and far warmer than when it was with the original villainess, Arlea, and from when Ann first woke up in this world.
But the involved party—Allen and Ann—didn’t even notice that.
Gwen looked at Allen and Ann’s interaction and smiled. She knew Allen for a long time already, so she didn’t fail to notice how gentle Allen was looking at his wife at this time.
Perhaps spring would soon come to their residence…