She just got caught up in a long conversation and realized she couldn’t wait any longer.
She didn’t want to argue with Heint or waste her time on pointless matters.
It was her only opportunity to stop any misunderstandings brought on by her father’s impatience.
But Heint wasn’t as compliant as she thought either.
It was shown by the fact that he left her in the care of his most trusted henchman, Vincent.
Vincent frowned when he heard Ravia.
“I’m sorry, milady. I can’t let you go.”
“Is that so? Then I’ll ask you why you’re blocking me.”
“Isn’t that something you already know? I am required to assist milady here as per my master’s order.”
“I like how eloquent you are. I know that he didn’t specify it, but as far as I heard he said…”
“May I first ask why you want to return to the residence?”
“My outfit is uncomfortable. I want to change, but I don’t have any clothes here. There’s no place to buy more right now.”
“I’m sure you’ll be able to bear that much.”
As expected, things would turn out this way.
Ravia remained calm despite Vincent’s obstinacy.
Above all, she had expected that her father’s careful nature would prevent her from being left unsupervised.
Vincent, a henchman her father trusted, would probably be the guard dog.
That fact was a great relief for Ravia.
Because Ravia knew Vincent’s weakness.
“Vincent, I’m not completely disobeying my father’s order. It won’t matter if I return before my father, right?”
“Why…does it sound impossible?”
“Why do you think it’s impossible?”
“Once you enter the residence, it’ll be hard to leave without being caught.”
“Only if you use the front door,”
But Ravia knew of the side door that was unknown to anyone.
A side door that was very close to the annex, and was often used by Ravia for her secret outings.
“All you have to do is just park the carriage next to the wall I tell you. The wall is close to the annex, so we can call Clovia, the maid of the annex, and ask her to bring some of my clothes.”
Vincent’s face subtly stiffened when she mentioned Clovia. And that was just as Ravia intended.
Vincent harbored feelings for Clovia.
She happened to know it as time went by.
As they spent time together in the annex, talking about unimportant things, Ravia learned a lot about Clovia.
The fact that Clovia was never included in the role-choosing process when playing tag because, if she was selected as a tagger, no one could catch her.
The fact that maids become haughtier the higher the floors they were responsible for. And Clovia was thankful to the maid who managed the fourth floor for being nice to her. Because Clovia was very sociable, Ravia would just sit back and gather information about Clovia’s private life.
But one day, Clovia went silent.
Not only was she silent, but it seemed she mulled over something seriously.
It was very rare for Clovia to stay silent for an hour, so Ravia asked in a concerned tone.
-Are you sick? You don’t talk much today.
-Ah, no. I’m not sick.
-Then I guess something is weighing on your mind.
Hearing Ravia, Clovia looked as if she had seen a mind reader. Seeing Clovia’s round eyes become much rounder, Ravia decided to keep silent about one thing.
The fact that a person was either sick or worried when he or she was silent.
In any case, Clovia was very easy to read, and she confessed in no time.
-Actually, I need to respond to a letter I received, but I can’t write…
It wasn’t surprising for a commoner girl from the countryside to be illiterate.
However, those people would usually learn to read and write while working at the residence, but Clovia was stuck in the annex all the time, so she didn’t have time to learn.
In other words, these books stored in the annex were nothing more than a decoration to Clovia.
That fact pulled at her heartstrings, so Ravia asked.
-So how do you communicate to your family back home?
-I didn’t write a letter, but when I mailed my salary, I requested that the sender’s name be “Clovia who is doing well.”
It was a wise move on her part.
If she asked other maids for help, they might help her, but Clovia didn’t want to be underestimated by others.
Ravia chose to help her out as the book she was reading had just come to an end.
-Then how about I help you?
-M-My lady wants to help me? F-For someone like me…?
-I just feel that you’re in trouble because you can’t seek help anywhere, but you can refuse if you feel uncomfortable.
-No! I’m thankful! I’m really thankful!
As expected, she didn’t want to get caught by the other maids either.
But Ravia was shocked to discover the content of the letter.
-….The person writing this letter must be really interested in you.
A date invitation. In short, a subtle love letter. The person seemed to be not familiar with writing as there was misspelling in some parts, but they were pretty standard mistakes. The sentence ‘I found a headdress that would go well with your hair’ was quite direct.
Ravia wondered who the main character of a cute love story in this monotonous residence was.
-Who gave you this letter, Clovia?
-Ah, it’s Vincent! Do you know him? A male servant who always carries the master’s coat.
Of course she knew him.
She was so familiar with him that she was aware of his weakness.
Looking at Vincent’s restless expression when Clovia’s name was mentioned, Ravia decided to throw more bait.
“Oh, now that I think about it, did you know that Clovia put in a lot of effort to write you a letter?”
“…A-Are you talking about Clovia?”
“That child doesn’t know how to write. So I lent her my notebook. Although there is a lot of trial and error, she’s working hard to write you a letter. Now she’s pretty good at writing.”
Vincent looked disappointed, perhaps because he just learned that Clovia wasn’t good at reading and writing.
Ravia didn’t miss this chance to ask him.
“Don’t you want to see how Clovia wrote it? I’m sure her writing is still in my notebook. If you take me home, I’ll bring my notebook as well.”
Vincent’s countenance was filled with a dilemma. It didn’t take long to get to the residence, and Ravia knew how to sneak in anyway.
On top of that, the notebook contained his crush’s poor writing attempt.
Vincent was divided between temptation and loyalty and received a final blow from Ravia.
“By the way, Clovia filled a page just to practice writing your name.”
Shortly after, the carriage left the villa.
* * *
She felt sorry for Vincent, but Ravia lied again this time.
She had no intention of returning to the villa.
‘First, it’s important to not make Tidwell misunderstand.’
Ravia felt sorry she had tricked Vincent, but she didn’t feel guilty about it.
Vincent didn’t say anything to Ravia either when he kidnapped Ravia to the villa.
Heint was the mastermind behind it, but it should not be forgotten that Vincent was also an accomplice.
So, after arriving at the mansion, Ravia sent Clovia out first.
“Vincent is waiting outside. It’s cold, so why don’t you let him wait in the annex with you?”
Clovia thought of Vincent as a good friend although she had no feelings for him and nodded quickly to Ravia’s suggestion and ran out to invite him.
Just like someone who was banned from playing tag, Clovia ran to the side door in a blink of an eye.
With Clovia around, Vincent wouldn’t have time to care about Ravia for a while.
While Vincent was so out of his mind, Ravia hurried to the main mansion. There was only one reason she came back to the residence in the first place.
The only person that Ravia couldn’t let go at all risks.
She was called by a voice that sounded like a deep abyss.