DON’T REMEMBER ME
~ 4. 44 ~
The head maid opened her mouth half a beat late as she watched Flitta hidden behind Rosé. Flitta hesitated and buried her head in the hem of Rosé’s skirt.
Rosé was taken aback by that and had no choice but to answer instead.
“Please, the bath water first.”
She needed to wash up and change clothes first. In any case, this place was unfamiliar, and there would be many people who would evaluate the child, no, the ‘Princess’.
“Then, let’s do that.”
The head maid looked at Rosé with bright eyes and nodded her head. And once again she paid her respects to Flitta and left the room.
After the head maid headed out and the two of them were left alone, Rosé quietly called Flitta. Then Flitta, who was hiding her face in the hem of her skirt, flinched.
Rosé waited patiently until the child raised her head on her own.
“… Was I stupid?”
Flitta slowly raised her head and asked, staring up at her. Rosé shook her head from side to side. But she muttered with a somber expression, Flitta sticking pouting her mouth.
“But… Earlier, in front of the Countess. Why did you do that?”
Rosé asked in a soft tone towards her. She spoke in a sweeter voice than usual so that the child would not feel scolded. Was it because of that? Or was it because of her affection and trust in Rosé? Flitta seemed to hesitate, but then she confessed.
“I was scared.”
“Were you afraid of the Countess?”
“But she welcomed the Princess.”
“… But she was looking at me with the same gaze.”
Flitta was undecisive, puffing out her cheeks, she replied. Rosé did not understand the meaning of the words and made a puzzled expression.
“She looked at me with the same eyes as nanny did when she called me ‘low blood.’”
“The Countess and the Head Maid earlier. She said I looked lovely, but the eyes looking at me were scary. Really.”
Flitta looked at Rosé and added. Rosé was speechless and unable to reply, but then forced a smile and nodded her head.
“I believe you, Princess.”
“Do you, really?”
“Without doubt. There’s no way the princess would lie to me.”
Rosé sincerely believed Flitta’s words. She did not think that Flitta was lying, and she didn’t think she was mistaken. A child is sometimes more sensitive than adults to her feelings of others toward her own. Which means she can say who truly dislikes and likes her.
Flitta, who grew up hearing that she inherited her mother’s humble blood, must have been more sensitive to such gazes.
Rosé bit the tender flesh inside her mouth and swallowed her anger. Then she smiled softly and spoke.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. … So was I stupid?”
She looked at Rosé as she handed over the question Flitta had just asked her a little while ago. Rosé shook her head more vigorously.
“Not at all. Rather, you are very smart.”
“Surely. No one noticed that, only the Princess did. You are so amazing.”
My princess, you are really smart. How did you figure that out? I’m really proud of you, Princess.
Rosé repeatedly praised the child to the extent that it seemed excessive. Then, Flitta’s expression, which had been slightly intimidated, slowly began to relax, and soon her child’s shoulders began to shrug.
“Wow, here and there, I see a garden! Rosé! There’s a bird’s nest in the tree over there!”
Then, as if she had been frightened and depressed, the child walked around her room brightly, and she soon chattered, clinging to the window sill, watching the scenery outside her. Rosé looked at her child for a while with pitying eyes, then opened the bag and began to organize her belongings.
At that time, Flitta, who was looking out the window, cried out again, ran and clung to Rosé’s arms.
“Have you finished looking outside?”
Flitta nodded her head as she clung to Rosé. Then, as she thought of something, she rolled her eyes and opened her mouth.
Rosé replied while arranging Flitta’s dress. Flitta looked at it and continued her words.
“Just now… I thought not coming with the nanny was better.”
“Am I a bad kid if I think like this?”
The child was honest. At least she did for me. Rosé looked at Flitta while she was unpacking her belongings. Then she met her light green eyes and she laughed and shook her head.
“Actually, I thought so, too.”
“Rosé think the same, too?”
“Yes, it’s nice not to come with nanny… Does that make me bad, too?”
Flitta mumbled and blinked at Rosé’s question. And it happened almost at the same time that the two began to giggle.
As if the child had assumed that she had the same thoughts as her, with her face more comfortable, she went to explore every nook and cranny of the room again. She must be feeling guilty because she didn’t come with her nanny, who was irritated right before they leave.
After all, she saw the nanny who was irritated right before she left the Grand Duke’s residence, so she must have been.
「 “I’m not a housekeeper.…. How could HIs Highness bring me this sense of contempt? Rosé, you didn’t set this for you or you did?” 」
Nanny blamed everything on Rosé and got angry. She didn’t hesitate to even slap Rosé in front of Flitta’s eyes, so she could see how angry she was.
It was clear that she would be harassed by her nanny for a while after she returned. Thinking of that made her head throb already.
… And in fact, although the reason for the headache was not the nanny alone.
「 “See you again.” 」
Rosé remembered the look in the eyes of the former queen who was looking at her. While all the employees were standing in a line outside the mansion to see off the late queen and the duchess, she came up to her and greeted.
As a result, she received jealous stares from other employees.
In their eyes, they thought she garnered the attention of the former Queen. The words of someone who had been sarcastic saying that she was so amazing that she attracted the attention of the Grand Duke and even the late queen passed by in her ears.
‘I’ll have to return the bracelet.’
It was a very uncomfortable attention. Besides, since she had things she shouldn’t have received, she couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable in the bottom of her heart even when the Grand Duke’s mansion.
She swallowed her sigh as she recalled the bracelet she had stored deep in the chest of drawers in her room.
In any case, it must be forgotten. Wasn’t it the first and last trip she had with her child?
‘Right… the first and last.’
“Okay, that’s all done.”
Rosé looked at Flitta with a bright smile once again, driving her complex mind into a corner of her heart. The way she looked at her child was affectionate and sad at the same time.
* * *
“… Thank you for the invitation.”
Flitta greeted the Countess with an awkward tone. The Countess quickly gazed at her up and down.
It was a very familiar sight. It was also a mocking sight.
The eyes that always tried to evaluate her because she had a commoner mother who she didn’t even know who she was.
The child kept her mouth tightly shut and held Rosé’s hand without realizing it. Then, as if Rosé was relaxing Flitta, she held her hand affectionately.
It’s okay, Princess.
It was as if she could hear Rosé’s soft voice in her ears. When she woke up from a scary dream and sobbed, or when she felt depressed after being scolded by her nanny, Rosé hugged her kindly and said that. It is alright.
Even if Rosé doesn’t say it out loud, just a hold of her hand felt like she heard it.
Flitta smiled slightly at Rosé, then straightened her shoulders and headed to the table. Rosé smiled at the child who had grown stronger than before, and stood right behind her.
“This is my daughter. Adela, say hello to the Princess.”
The Countess introduced the girl who was by her side to Flitta. When she got out of the carriage and greeted her for the first time, she remembered a glimpse. Flitta looked at the girl who looked a few years older than her with round eyes. The girl lifted her chin slightly, took both of her hands by the hem of her skirt, and bent her knees.
“Hello, Princess. My name is Adela Burel.”
“… Uh, I’m Flitta.”
Flitta couldn’t take her eyes off Adela, the daughter of the countess. She’s older than her, but she was still a kid like her anyway. To Flitta, who always lived among adults, Adela’s existence was unfamiliar and mysterious, but on the other hand, she was a person she wanted to get close to.
But Adela turned to the Countess with a sullen look on her face, seemingly sad. Seeing her like that, Flitta’s face turned very slightly somber. At that moment, the Countess smiled and opened her mouth.
“Sit over here, Princess.”
Flitta sat down, guided by the Countess. Rosé stood behind her and inspected the refreshments on the table. She looked ahead to see if there was anything the child couldn’t eat, but fortunately there were no problems.
The teatime that began like that went smoothly. Flitta was young, but she acted according to etiquette, and the Countess raised her eyebrows slightly, but did not say much, perhaps unexpected to see such a child.
Rather, the problem came from Adela. She dropped a spoonful of the pudding that Adela had placed in front of her, but she dropped it.
The Countess picked up the silver kettle and poured the tea herself, and when she saw the scene, she called Adela in a low voice as if warning.
“Even if the Princess was young, she didn’t make any mistake, so why did you make such a mistake? I want you to apologize right away.”
“Uh, I’m fine…”
“I’m sorry, Princess.”