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In the morning, Ann woke up earlier than usual, feeling refreshed. It had been so long since she felt this fresh in the morning. Stretching her body, Ann walked to see the calendar.
After the fun show that she was looking forward to, what else was incoming…?
Ann spent a few minutes thinking while looking blankly at the calendar. She knew there was something really important coming soon, but what could it be?
She didn’t even remember the specific dates that the events in the game happened—heck she thought there wasn’t such a specific timeline in the first place…
Ann’s eyes drifted to the date ‘16’ under the month ‘9’.
Allen’s face floated in her mind, along with the ‘important event’ that she was trying to recall.
Ann clapped her hand in enlightenment.
That’s right! Allen’s birthday is coming soon!
In the modern world, lots of fangirls and fanboys would be celebrating their favorite characters’ birthdays by making them cakes, setting up their photos there, and pretend they were celebrating with said characters.
Ann would never do that, no matter how she thought about it.
But now, her favorite character was breathing, alive, and was very much real—so close to her! She would be able to celebrate his birthday… with him.
Regardless on how Allen might feel about celebrating his birthday with her—the hated villainess, she still wanted to at least celebrate his birthday together… Just once would be enough. Most fangirls would kill to have such a chance!
With that in mind, Ann quickly detected Faye and explained her plan to Faye. Birdie was nodding alongside Faye when Ann was talking, and Faye who saw Birdie’s gesture due to Birdie being on top of Ann’s shoulder right in front of her, felt like she wanted to punch Birdie for ‘mocking’ her like that. For some reason, it irritated her. What’s worse was how Birdie seemed to notice Faye’s pent up intention and ‘chuckled’ silently, causing Faye to look more upset, and Ann wondering what was going on.
On the very same day, Ann went to Grace and said, “Grace, actually… My family—I mean, father has something which requires me and Faye. Is it alright for us to cut our time here for the next few days?”
Ann almost forgot that her ‘family’ consisted of herself, Faye, and ‘father’ Allen.
Grace turned to look at Ann and Faye before saying in concern, “That’s alright, but are you and your family alright?”
Seeing Grace’s genuinely concerned face made Ann realize a thing.
“It’s not like my family is having difficulty! It’s just, there’s something that we need to do in the next few days, so… I’m—we’re fine,” Ann said.
Grace heaved a sigh of relief and said, “Thank goodness. But if you two ever have any difficulty at home, please tell me, okay? I will try to help.”
Ann’s heart was touched. She came here not with the purpose of seeking help, but more like spending the time and be useful. However, she gained more ally who cared about her.
“Thank you, Grace, I will,” Ann said with a gentle smile.
I know I won’t be able to take your offer, Grace. I don’t want to get you and the others in trouble just because of me. But… Thank you for your genuine concern and care over me… I…
Ann became more reluctant to leave this world, to leave the people who came to care about her, genuinely.
Is there any way I can stay?
Luckily, Ann had a lot to do in the orphanage that day, that she could set aside the painful thoughts that popped in her mind before.
And when she left the orphanage earlier than usual, her mind was already occupied with how she should celebrate Allen’s birthday.
Ann and Faye went around the city that day, with Ann stopping by here and there and purchasing stuff. She sometimes asked Faye for her opinion, afraid that her sense of things as a person-not-from-this-world would be weird in Faye and the others’ mind.
Ann never really spent a lot to purchase a lot of things—at least after her soul took over Arlea’s body—and this time, when Ann and Faye returned with a bunch of stuff, the maids became curious and alarmed. Yet, they didn’t dare to act or pry.
As Allen’s birthday approached, Ann and Faye’s time at the orphanage was reduced even further. It was now very noticeable, and even Silas couldn’t help but be bothered.
That day, Ann was about to leave the orphanage after helping out a bit. Silas quickly grabbed her hand, preventing her from leaving.
“Huh?!” Ann was surprised as she turned around to see who was holding her back.
“Eekh?!” She was shocked upon seeing that it was Silas. Not wanting to have people (especially Allen’s subordinates) misunderstand her and Silas’ relationship, Ann quickly pulled her hand back as she faced Silas.
“Sorry,” Silas said after realizing he should’ve just called out to her instead of pulling her arm and scaring her like that.
“Did it hurt?” Silas asked.
“No, I’m just surprised. What’s up?” Ann asked.
“You… seem to be spending less and less time here. Are you going to eventually leave? Did something happen?”
“I…,” Ann was about to say, ‘I won’t leave, silly!’ but then she remembered that she eventually had to. So, she decided to not answer that question and move on to the next one that Silas said.
“I told you, right? We have something we need to do at home, so we can’t really spend much time here…”
“What is it? Is it that serious?” Silas asked in concern.
‘Like sister, like brother,’ Ann thought to herself.
“Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious. I can’t tell you what exactly it is, but it’s just going to last a few more days… I guess,” Ann said.
“Yeah. Do you guys need more volunteers? I mean, I also feel guilty for not being able to help out as much as before… I can help looking for more volunteers,” Ann offered.
Ann’s offer made Silas realize.
Why was he concerned about this girl quitting her voluntary work here? The volunteers here come and go, they’re just volunteers after all. He can’t possibly hold her back, right?
“No, it’s fine. Never mind me,” Silas dropped the matter so suddenly as he left Ann.
Ann tilted her head, wondering what just happened—but her mind didn’t really linger too long on that matter, as she was already busy with the preparation for Allen’s birthday. She took Faye’s hand and returned home.
Tomorrow would be the last day of preparation she had before it is Allen’s birthday. She had to make sure everything was ready.
With that in mind, she disturbed the kitchen several times today. The workers in the residence was more alarmed by this time, and one of them decided to ask Gwen to ask Ann on their behalf. They were getting worried…
Thus, Gwen finally went to confront Ann about her ‘odd’ conduct these past few days.
Ann was surprised when Gwen suddenly went to have a serious talk with her.
“Ah, Gwen. That’s nice. I was about to tell you tomorrow. Actually, I’m planning on doing something to celebrate Allen’s birthday the day after tomorrow…”
Gwen was surprised, “I thought you didn’t remember… or you simply didn’t know. I wanted to tell you tomorrow, too, and ask you to at least get him something…”
“That’s very thoughtful of you,” Ann said, “But anyway…”
Then, Ann proceeded to lay out her plan to Gwen. She also consulted several matters to her.
“Is Allen going to be home all day during his birthday?” Ann asked. She knew that Allen wouldn’t celebrate his birthday by holding a noble social party, but she wasn’t sure if he would be going to work or not.
“No. He will just go to work as usual.”
“I see. That means, this plan can be commenced just fine, and we don’t have to be in a hurry,” Ann said in relief.
“Worry not, Arlea-sama. This Gwen will tell everyone of this plan and make sure that all of them are cooperating. We will help you as much as we can.”
Since Gwen already declared that with seriousness on her face, Ann could feel more at ease.
With Silas’ botched ‘surprise’, Ann felt a little more nervous, for she wanted to properly surprise Allen…
By the next day, everyone in the residence (save for Allen) knew of Ann’s plan on Allen’s birthday, and everyone was in a good mood.
One, it wasn’t a bad omen like they initially thought. Two, they were happy because they also wanted to do something for Allen on his birthday. And three, they were happy that their master’s wife seemed to care in him, enough to plan for a surprise celebration for his birthday!
Allen noticed that the atmosphere was quite different and some of the workers seemed to be busy with something that he didn’t know of. But no matter how much he tried to ask them, nobody gave him any answer. They all would just brush it off as ‘nothing’ and ‘it’s just your feeling, Allen-sama?’
Allen also tried asking his subordinates that he tasked to monitor Ann, but the subordinates who found out about Ann’s plan for Allen decided they would not help their true master this one time—and so, they also kept their mouth perfectly shut.
Thus, Allen was left wondering alone. Was it true that there was nothing, and he was only thinking too much? Or was there something everyone else was hiding from him?
But it wouldn’t be that long until he learns what’s going on…