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Happy Birthday, Dear Husband!
16th September finally arrived.
Today would be Allen’s birthday, one that Ann was so eager on celebrating. She put a careful thought to his birthday celebration.
She had an option of surprising him in the morning or even the midnight—for they lived together and the maids were helping her, too!
But… It wouldn’t be so good to disturb the maids during their resting hours. To prepare for the surprise celebration would take time, and disturbing the maids’ work early in the morning or adding more to their morning task would be cruel. More importantly, she wasn’t a hardcore fangirl that she would be willing to wake up so early in the morning for her beloved game character (wait, he was finally ‘real’!).
Plus, Allen would be going to work as usual today, and celebrating in the morning would mean that they had a time limit and couldn’t really relax. She wanted Allen to relax for his own celebration. Therefore, the only timing that made sense would be in the evening, when Allen returns.
Ann had learned from Silas’ failed birthday surprise, so she promised to herself that she definitely wouldn’t commit the same mistake.
This morning, because the maids wished Allen a happy birthday, Ann couldn’t pretend she forgot about it and then surprise him later tonight. The maids told Ann that it was their habit all these years, so if Ann were to ask them to pretend to forget, Allen would be suspicious instead.
“Happy birthday, dearest husband! Would you like your special birthday gift from your wife tonight?” Ann said as she winked.
By this time, Ann already knew that this was their running ‘joke’. Ann would tease Allen like this, then Allen would reflexively show his embarrassment—an expression that she liked to see.
With the mindset of a ‘visiting’ or ‘temporary’ person of this world, she had little to no shame.
The maids who heard her words and understood what she meant immediately went red in embarrassment.
Ann was smiling as she anticipated Allen who usually would turn his head in embarrassment and said something out of it, however this time, Allen just looked at her with a straight face and said, “There’s no need to get me anything fancy.”
Ann was then stoned.
She thought Allen would catch what she was implying, since some maids caught her meaning and became embarrassed, but Allen…?
Geez, she should have been more explicit after all!
Just as Ann was about to open her mouth again to clarify what she meant, Allen beat her in terms of speed.
“Are you going to the orphanage again today?”
“…Yes,” Ann said, although she was planning on going to downtown to find a gift for him…
“Be careful,” Allen said.
“You too,” Ann automatically responded.
Then, her brain finished processing something.
This was the first time Allen said a casual word of care to her! Though it might just be a formality…
Still, this put her in a good mood. Obviously, Gwen was happy to see the improvement between Allen and Ann.
After their small interaction, Allen left for work, and Ann left to downtown not long after that.
Ann did the easiest thing first: buying the items needed for the surprise celebration later. After it was done, she moved on to finding the right birthday gift for Allen. Finding a gift for him was quite tricky, yet not that hard at the same time. It was because Allen had a similar personality or preference to her modern self.
They both liked meaningful items or items that were chosen with careful considerations rather than a half-assed yet luxurious gift. If that was the case, something handmade should be the best, but… Sadly, she wasn’t blessed with dexterity. She tried sewing a handkerchief, but the result didn’t come out good for a noble like Allen to bring. It would shame him instead. Moreover, she learned that most noble would just hire people to craft something for them to gift.
Thus, she could only bet on finding something unique that was to Allen’s liking. With her understanding of his character in game, she was half-confident she could give something good. Well, at least something that won’t make his mood go sour.
She finally settled on something after walking around the town for quite a while.
Upon returning to the residence, Ann washed up herself before going to the kitchen, the dining room, and the main hall to prepare for her small surprise.
Though she couldn’t take over the cooking all by herself, due to how bad it would be for a noble woman like her and how her skill wasn’t as good as the chefs there, Ann still took a part in cooking the dishes for tonight. Faye helped her, too. Birdie… helped by chirping in encouragement.
The preparation finished in time before a maid informed her that Allen would be arriving very soon. The maid knew that Allen’s workplace would insist that he went home earlier than usual for his birthday, so it was kind of a tradition.
That day, Allen spent his birthday as usual. There was nothing new or unusual, and he quite liked it. After going home earlier than usual, he could spend the rest of the day by resting and doing the things he liked.
During his journey back, his wife’s words this morning resounded in his mind.
“Happy birthday, dearest husband! Would you like your special birthday gift from your wife tonight?”
The corner of his mouth was slightly hooked up as anticipation grew in his heart. What would he get from his wife in his birthday?
Of course, Allen was still too dense to think of something not safe for work as his birthday gift. His mind never touched that area too.
He was also worrying about how he would react if Ann were to purposely give him something bad or if she spent too much to buy the luxurious stuff he didn’t like receiving for his birthday gift.
With such mixed feelings, Allen entered his home as a butler opened the door for him and he was surprised to see the main hall being kinda dark.
Then, he saw small magical balls lighting the ‘way’ for him in the main hall.
“What is this?” Allen frowned.
“This… Arlea-sama gave you a message. Please follow the trail she made,” the butler explained.
Allen looked at the butler with a questioning look, but since the butler didn’t show any sign of being forced, he knew that it shouldn’t be something bad. The butler was willing to cooperate.
Then, Allen obediently walked along the darkness with just the small magical balls as his guiding light. The path led to the dining hall.
He guessed what his wife was going to do with his birthday celebration—a special dinner? Well, this was better than wasting money for unnecessary and unused gifts. He just hoped the food wouldn’t be too much for them to finish…
The moment Allen opened the door, he was greeted by the light of the dining hall. Since his eyes were already used to darkness, Allen squinted his eyes reflexively upon seeing the bright light.
“Happy birthday, Allen! Here’s your gift, ta-da!”
His wife’s voice could be heard as Allen slowly opened his eyes. Right in front of him, stood his wife who was wearing casual dress with a high ponytail, holding a small gift box. Behind her was a table of food and the maids and other workers lining up.
“Thank you,” Allen said as he received the small gift box. Just as he was about to open it…
“Wait wait, don’t open it now! Open it after we finish eating, okay?” Ann suddenly said as her hands prevented Allen’s hand from touching the box. Incidentally, their hands touched. Allen was taken aback by it and quickly retracted his hand.
A second after that, Allen’s mind thought about how he would like to touch her hand longer…