Energy surged through my limp body like a tidal wave.
I wanted to hug Leo tightly and stroke his messy hair right now, but then I felt dizzy, held my forehead, and groaned.
I’ve turned into a twenty-year-old again, but with worse stamina.
I waited for the flash of light to fade before I looked at Leo again…….
‘What’s with the look on your face? ‘
Leo was shaking like a rabbit in the presence of a fierce beast.
I then realized that my brow was furrowed.
I’m not angry, so there’s no need to be scared…….
Now, if I hugged him, he’d think I was trying to squeeze him until he explodes.
Just as I was about to say thank you, at least verbally.
A bang, a thud.
The sound of something being cut and cracked made the hairs on my arms stand on end.
Alarmed, I look to the source and see that it’s a servant chopping firewood in the yard.
‘Oh man, what did I imagine.
I thought it was my own throat falling like in my dream.’
I rubbed the back of my neck, which was covered in a cold sweat, and opened my mouth.
But the words stuck in my throat, as if they’d been clamped shut.
……What if I said the wrong thing and Leo got hurt.
What if he thinks I’m abusing him, and I get my throat slit like in Ending #1.
I had to settle for timidly snatching the mop out of Leo’s hand.
I glanced at the still-unchanged synchronization display, lowered my eyes slightly, and opened my mouth.
Translator, please do me justice.
“Ratchet, you do nothing.”
There, that was mild for Belinda!
I thought it was …….
I’ll probably never forget it.
The look of shock on Leo’s face, like a child whose favorite candy had been taken away.
‘Why on earth would you…….’
I looked down at my hand.
Sure enough, it wasn’t candy I took, it was a mop.
Was there actually a setting where Leo was a cleaning fairy?
I felt like I had misunderstood something, but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything.
I ended up turning around with only the mop in my hand.
Even after that, Leo looked at me like he’d been robbed of candy for the umpteenth time.
“Do you mind if I wipe the dust off the table?”
“Why don’t you go sit in the corner over there and not do anything stupid.”
“Then what am I supposed to do today…….”
Why is he so depressed when he’s supposed to be resting and not working?
’Have I ever caught you fooling around?’
As the days went by, Leo’s face grew darker and darker, until he was desperate to avoid eye contact with me.
On the fifth day of Leo’s arrival.
I came to a realization.
“He is scared of me.”
That I was no different from Belinda, the bully who tormented the protagonist.
Yeah, no wonder.
I’ve got a mean stare, I always say mean things when I open my mouth, and I gave Leo a name that means something he should rather not know.
I’ve given Leo more reasons to be afraid of me than he has to like me.
I sat with my hands on my chin by the window and stared out gloomily.
The backyard of the mansion.
A small child with a rounded head was scurrying around like a squirrel collecting acorns, wedged between the maids.
It’s the liveliest Leo I’ve seen in a long time, but my heart was heavy.
“If you’ll…… let me shake the duvet…… ah, can´t I?”
Leo sounded so eager that I couldn’t say no to him.
As soon as I nodded, Leo hugged the quilt, which was bigger than him, and trotted off like a puppy going for a long walk.
“This is not the picture I envisioned for my life with Leo.”
The picture I had in mind was watching him nibble on a sweet treat or putting on a fashion show by dressing him up in a new outfit every day.
I let out a deep sigh.
Leo stood up on a chair to brush the duvet and tripped and fell off.
I was so startled that I pressed my face to the window to check on him, my forehead and the tip of my nose crushed.
Luckily, he was quickly brushing himself off, but I suspected he had fallen because his bangs were too long and obstructing his vision.
’Wouldn’t it be nice if I could tidy up his hair?’
Yes, I know it’s greedy of me.
But this is a matter of Leo’s safety.
So, I’m just going to tell him that I’ll fix his hair when he gets back.
I start running a simulation of how to say it so that Leo can hear me without misunderstanding.
* * *
“What? What it means to assist someone?”
Thoma’s face paled as he repeated the question.
He resented the little roommate who had suddenly appeared in his life.
His voice was blunt as he replied.
“You do what you’re told, and sometimes you defend your master.
What’s so hard about that?”
“That’s because…… Belinda only told me not to do anything.”
Leo replied, visibly sulking.
Leo’s eyes widened when he heard that, because it sounded like she was telling him that he didn’t need…… to do anything.
Thoma’s eyes narrowed at Leo’s words.
He had a point about Belinda’s sudden change in demeanor.
Now that the Marquis is dead and there’s no one to look out for her, she’s probably keeping a low profile for the time being.
He wouldn’t be surprised if she’s banished to the monastery as soon as the master decides to move on.
‘This orphan is lucky to be a nobleman’s personal servant at a time like this.’
As an elder, he was often tasked with helping newcomers settle in, but he was actually a very narrow-minded man.
‘In my old days, an apprentice servant had to sleep in the stables.’
And now this orphaned subject, with nothing but luck to his name, dares to share a room with a senior member of the staff!
What could be more unfair than that.
For the sake of fairness, it seemed necessary to give the newcomer a taste of the bitterness of social life.
Thoma’s voice instantly became generous.
Why doesn’t she make you do anything, is that what’s bothering you?”
If this idiot was going to screw up and make a mistake, there was no way the ill-tempered woman was going to let him get away with it, was there?
Thoma hid a mean smile and gave him a look of pity.
“My guess is, she doesn’t give you any work because you’re so useless.”
Leo’s face darkened, and he didn’t dare argue otherwise.
“Useless” was the word he’d heard most often when he was in nursery school.
Besides, Belinda would often watch him wordlessly with a cold stare.
As if sizing him up.
Thoma’s calloused hand patted Leo’s shoulder.
“Tsk, tsk, I feel sorry for you, so let me give you a few words of advice.
You do realize that I’m saying all this to wish you well, right?”
“Firstly, you need to know what your master is like.”
Leo’s face grew pale as he listened to what Thoma told him about Belinda, a mixture of truth and exaggeration.
* * *
Listening to other people’s gossip at night can create prejudice.
Toma’s stories about Belinda are so horrifying that Leo loses sleep every night and has nightmares.
The child now feels nervous and shaky in the presence of Belinda and is constantly intimidated by her.
No matter how he tried to behave and perform his duties as a servant, Belinda’s frosty warnings always followed.
“Ratchet, I thought I told you not to do anything.”
So, the mop was taken away, the broom was taken away, and finally the last cleaning tool, the duster, was taken away.
There was no retreat now.
Leo finally pleaded.
“If you’ll…… let me shake the duvet…… ah, can´t I?”
That’s why Leo’s feet were clicking rhythmically as he ran down the hall.
He ran to the back of the mansion, clutching the quilt in his arms as if it were a treasure chest.
‘Belinda has given me a job! I’m a useful servant now!’
All his worries seemed to melt away like snow.
I had to beg for it, but if I can prove myself useful, perhaps she’ll give me more work in the future?
‘Today I’m just going to unroll the quilt, but tomorrow I’m going to wash the quilt!’
I have to sweep, scrub, and clean the room.
He wanted to be a good servant like Thoma as soon as possible.
‘So, I must never, ever make a mistake.’
Leo balled his fists and stood up from his chair to lay the quilt out in the sun.
It was purely by accident that he looked up at the second floor of the mansion as he hung the duvet on the clothesline.
’What is that?’
A shadowy figure stood at the window of Belinda’s room.
The moment when he realized that she was staring at him.
Leo was so startled that his legs gave way and he fell out of his chair.
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