As many of you lovely weeaboos may know, Japanese has a bunch of personal pronouns that change depending on speaker and context.
For informal occasions, the polite term for ‘I’ is ‘boku’ for males, and ‘watashi’ for females.
For formal occasions, it is ‘watashi’ for both.
After entering the villa building, Fii pulled out the dress in her room, and put it on in a fluster.
But Lynette didn’t come for a while, and it was only after two hours did Fii hear somebody enter the building.
“Fii-sama, are you here? It’s Lynette.”
Lynette’s voice resounded through the villa.
“You’ve come, Lynette. It’s been a while.”
Fii left her room, and welcomed Lynette with an innocent expression.
The moment she saw Fii’s face, Lynette ran over with teary eyes.
Then, she noticed the rest of Fii, causing her eyes to widen.
“Fii-sama… Your hair…”
“Aah, yeah. It was getting annoying, so I cut it. Ahaha.”
Having her hair pointed out so quickly, Fii’s heart began to pound a little.
(She hasn’t suspected anything, right…?)
Fii didn’t plan on keeping it from Lynette forever.
She had been close to Lynette in Déman and felt that she needed to tell her one day.
But not right now.
If Lynette knew what she was doing, she would be opposed. Because it’s dangerous, she would say.
Thus far, Fii had only failed again and again, and couldn’t proudly say that she was a splendid knight. She wanted to tell Lynette after she was confident that she had grown. She had confidence that she could persuade Lynette if she did that.
And also, Lynette was supposed to be busy with Fiiru now that she had become Queen.
Fii wouldn’t allow her to burden herself with more worries.
Lynette simply staaaared at Fii with a frown.
(Is… Is she suspicious of me…?)
Fii could feel the sweat at her brow.
After watching her for a while, Lynette’s frown deepened, and she began asking Fii about her lifestyle.
“Have you felt any unhappiness living here, or have they mistreated you in any way…?”
“Not at all. Each day is super-! …is kind of fun, in its own way!” persuaded Fii with clenched fists.
She very nearly brought more suspicion on herself by exclaiming that each day was ‘super fun!’.
The truth was that Fii was immensely satisfied with her life in Orstoll. Her life as a knight, that is.
She had met somebody who needed her and she loved everybody in the 18th. She had made friends, and was having fun in the dorms with them. All the lessons and new experiences gave her a sense of fulfilment as well.
Fii even felt glad that she had come to this country.
“Truly…? If there is anything that you’re unhappy with, I will complain to His Majesty Roy and―――”
“It’s fine! I’m really fine!”
Lynette once again sent Fii into a panic.
If Lynette really did that, then she might lose the lifestyle she had worked so hard for.
And also, Lynette was supposed to be working as Fiiru’s maid, so it would be horrible if she fell into the bad graces of Fiiru’s husband.
“Everything’s fine for me, so don’t worry!” [boku]
She almost jumped from her slip-up.
“Ehehe, I mean, things are fine for me.” [watashi]
Fii corrected herself as she prayed that Lynette wouldn’t grow suspicious.
Lynette looked at her a little doubtfully before approaching her to stroke her face, and look deeply at her.
“It looks… like you’ve been eating well, at least.”
Of course. She even got seconds at the dining hall.
“And your complexion… is also good.”
Yep, because she was training hard each day.
When Lynette moved on from Fii’s face to her clothing, she frowned again.
“Your dress is wrinkled, you know. Don’t I always tell you that you shouldn’t rush to change?” she said, as she straightened Fii’s clothing.
Fii couldn’t help but giggle.
“It’s kinda nostalgic. You always did warn me, back in Déman.”
Hearing this, Lynette puffed her cheeks a little.
“If you say it like that, doesn’t it sound like I’m always nagging you?”
Fii knew that Lynette only cautioned her like this because she was always caring for her.
And she also knew that Lynette worried about seeming like a nag.
“I’m grateful to you, you know? Not very many people would even bother with me.”
The maids looked after her minimum needs――truly just the bare minimum――but they never bothered telling her anything.
How to put on her dress properly, or even tables manners… thinking about it, perhaps it was Lynette who had taught her all of this.
“Thanks for everything,” she replied with another smile.
Lynette’s face dyed red.
“It… It isn’t anything to be so thankful for. I-I’m going to go make some tea, all right? There isn’t much time.”
“If you’re busy, then don’t push yourself, okay?”
“I’m not pushing myself at all!”
Perhaps to hide her embarrassment, Lynette sped off towards the kitchen.
Relieved that she somehow managed to fool her, Fii looked forward to the first tea brewed by Lynette in quite a while.
In the past, she would often brew tea when Fii was with Fiiru, or when she had free time from her maid duties.
The fact that she was able to serve the royal family was testament to Lynette’s variety of skills, but her tea brewing was outstanding even amongst those.
After the tea was done, the two of them drank it together.
Lynette tried to decline the seat opposite her, but Fii said that it was lonely, and got her to sit down.
“Maids really aren’t allowed to do this kind of thing, you know,” Lynette said, but in the end she obliged.
As Fii had expected, Lynette’s tea was especially delicious.
“Has Fiiru been well?”
Since Lynette was here, Fii decided to ask about her sister too.
“Y-Yes. She wanted to come meet you too, you know!”
“I see… But she’s probably busy, which is why she can’t come, right?”
Lynette’s expression sank.
Fii was sure that the Queen of a huge country like Orstoll had plenty of important duties.
Fiiru would probably be completely busy for the first year, at least.
Actually, considering how closely she served Fiiru, Fii was shocked that Lynette could even be here.
Not only that, but Fii had the feeling that Lynette’s expression clouded over after her question.
“Did something happen? If you’ve been having any problems, why not talk to me about it? I probably won’t be able to help much, but I’ll listen, okay?”
But Lynette shook her head.
“No, things are fine on our end. I should be telling you to speak to me about any problems you might have, instead.”
Again, Lynette was worrying about Fii.
(She’s such a good girl.)
Lynette had always worried about Fii like this since their days in Déman.
Because of that, to begin with, Fii had never intended to tell the two how she had lived in this villa.
Things were fine now that she was a knight apprentice, but to those two, just the thought that she might have continued living like that was…
Fiiru and the King of this nation were lovers, and Lynette was Fiiru’s closest maid. Fii wouldn’t allow herself to get in the way of things, even a little.
Plus, things were better now.
One day she would become a fine knight, and once things calmed down on Fiiru and Lynette’s ends as well, at that time she would tell the two of them how she was living now.
Time passed as they enjoyed their peaceful teatime.
Apparently she really was quite busy, because as soon as they finished their tea, Lynette began preparing to leave.
“I really wish I could stay longer, but…”
“It’s fine. Don’t worry about me and just go help Fiiru.”
“When I have time, I will come again, Fii-sama.”
Again, Fii’s brow was wet with sweat.
(I-, If possible, I’d reaally prefer to know about your visits in advance…)
She definitely didn’t hate being with Lynette, and she was happy that Lynette was worried about her.
But speaking realistically, it was a real problem for her to deal with Lynette’s visits, now that she was an apprentice knight.
“In that case, on days before you visit, could you maybe hang a scarf on a castle balcony that you can see from here?”
“As scarf? Why on earth would…”
Even Fii felt that Lynette’s doubts couldn’t be helped.
“Just knowing that you’re going to visit makes me excited, and if I know a whole day earlier, won’t I get to enjoy the excitement for longer?”
For a moment Fii thought that she had failed, but after a long moment of Silence, Lynette nodded in agreement.
(Thank gooodnesss. Looks like I somehow managed to trick her.)
Now that she had a method of infiltrating this place, Fii could just pretend that she was living here on days that Lynette was coming. Since Lynette seemed to be quite busy, Fii doubted it would be often.
She was confident that she could make do as long as she feigned illness like today.
“Well then, Fii-sama. I will definitely come again, all right?”
“Mn. See you, Lynette!”
As Lynette left, glancing backwards regretfully, Fii waved her hand. After she said goodbye to Fii, Lynette left for the door with a fast pace.
Fii was sure that she had pushed herself just to come here today.
While feeling thankful that Lynette had visited despite her own circumstances, she breathed a sigh of relief at somehow making it through this first visit.
After leaving the villa, Lynette quickly headed to Fiiru-sama.
But even while her body moved, her mind was filled with Fii-sama.
(She was pretending to be happy, but that promise about the scarf… I knew that she was lonely…!)
She seemed to be eating well enough, but there were no servants in sight, and the villa was worn down and spartan. Even the room had been dusty, and the guards were all unmotivated. They were unmistakably mistreating Fii-sama.
But despite that, Fii-sama was worried about her instead, and put up a show of being happy for her.
(If at least… If at least that lot were serving Fii-sama, then at least Fii-sama would have a little support, but they…!)
Lynette’s nails dug into her palms as she gritted her teeth, as she thought back to those maids who had outright refused to serve Fii-sama.
Even though they were free today, they hated the very notion of serving Fii-sama and instead just wasted time in the palace, pretending to be busy.
(No… I can’t leave Fii-sama to that lot to begin with… They’re maids from Orstoll and all badmouth Fii-sama without knowing a thing… If only I were there, Fii-sama wouldn’t have to feel this way… If only I could serve Fii-sama instead…)
Lynette stopped her feet for a moment, and then hung her head in self-ridicule.
(But I suppose to Fii-sama, I’m the same as those other maids… In the end, I left her too…)
In the end, Lynette had chosen to stay with Fiiru-sama as well.
Lynette thought back to the face of the man who was this nation’s King. The rumours that he was cold to his Second Queen had spread through the nation. Lynette felt this was natural.
(I’m grateful to that man for sheltering Fiiru-sama… But I can’t accept his treatment of Fii-sama.)
That King had misunderstood Fii-sama.
He hadn’t even met her once, and didn’t even intend to. Nobody in this country knew the real Fii-sama.
But Lynette soon shook her head to deny her thoughts.
(No. I can’t accept his treatment of Fii-sama, but I should be thankful enough that he’s helping with Fiiru-sama’s problem. It would be unreasonable to want anything more from him.
I can’t rely on that King.
I need to do something myself. If I let everybody know what Fii-sama is really like, everybody will realise how wonderful she is.
But right now I don’t have the time to move freely…
I have to… I have to find the time, and then let the people of this country understand her appeal. And once they know, there’s no way they’ll treat her in this way.)
As determination burned in her heart, Lynette left the walls of Fii-sama’s villa.
TL Note: If anybody is angry, and asking why Lynette ‘can’t’ serve Fii, there is an explanation in the below link,
I don’t exactly recommend it though, so try not to click it unless you hate Lynette, or are considering dropping the story. Either that, or you don’t mind spoilers.