“By the way, this might take a while so can I go just home after stopping by?”
“Yes, of course!”
It was about two and a half hours before she usually got off work, but Gilbert happily allowed it. He even said, ‘take care’ and brought Yuri’s coat for her personally.
And so, with Gilbert’s warm send-off, Yuri left the coffeehouse.
* * *
I took a carriage and finally arrived at the designated location on the map.
As the carriage left, it blew a gust of wind my way, causing my hair and dress to flutter in the wind.
I was a little surprised to see the imposing grand mansion standing in front of me.
‘This house looks like a palace. I guess that grandpa is really a high noble?’
Even though I was just looking at it from the front door, I could tell the mansion was huge.
‘Well, I’m just here to deliver his stuff.’
I approached the towering door.
Then as if it was waiting, the massive door in front of me slid open. And beyond the door was the older butler I met last time.
He smiled at me and greeted me politely.
“Welcome. I’ve been expecting you.”
I took a step closer before responding to his greeting.
“Hello. The sir left something at our coffeehouse the other day so I’m here to return it.”
“Yes, please come in.”
At the butler’s words, I titled my head slightly.
“I would like you to hand it over for me, butler-nim.”
“I am only a butler, so I do not have such authority.”
The butler shook his head at my words. Then he gestured inside the mansion again and spoke.
“Please come in. My master is waiting.”
It was a somewhat obvious development, but I decided to just let it go.
After deciding, I began walking forward again. And in doing so, I stepped into the grand mansion before me. The inside of the mansion was just as luxurious and antique as its exterior. It looked like it was endless.
While doing requests as Arachne, I’d visited several aristocratic families, but I don’t think I saw any house as majestic as this one. It wasn’t just about its size. It felt like there was class and dignity flowing throughout the mansion.
It wouldn’t have such an atmosphere unless it was a fairly historic family. Even the servants I saw as I followed the butler exuded elegance.
I began to get a little curious about the identity of the old man who was also the owner of this house.
“Sir. Yuri-nim from the coffeehouse is here to see you.”
“Let her in!”
We finally stopped in front of a certain room and the butler knocked on the door. And as if they were waiting, a swift answer came from the door.
“You may enter.”
The butler said with another harmless-looking smile. I went through the door he held open.
The old man sat in an armchair by the window. As soon as he saw me, his face brightened, and he stood up to welcome me. He looked like he had been looking forward to my visit for quite a while.
“Hello. You left something behind at the coffeehouse, do you remember?”
“You mean my cane. Thank you for bringing it personally, really. Thank you.”
I walked up to him and handed over the cane I was holding.
“Was it hard to get here?”
“No. It was easy to find because you kindly left directions.”
“Eh, Ehem. I wonder how a map fell down there.”
Maybe he was pricked by my blunt words because the old man faked a cough and acted like he knew nothing.
“I’ll get going then.”
“What? You’re leaving already?”
“Well, I only came to give you your things.”
“I can’t just leave it like that! You came here from such a long way, I should at least give you a cup of tea.”
He was startled by what I said and approached me on his cane.
“I wanted to treat you to some delicious tea today, can’t I?”
Seeing the forlorn light in the old man’s eyes, I fell silent for a moment. He seemed to want to hold me back if it was possible. Did I resemble his late youngest daughter that much?
I didn’t think he did all this to harm me in any way and seeing the pitiful look on his face made my heart weaken. So I eventually nodded.
“Okay. I’ll have a cup of tea before leaving.”
“Yes! Thank you, dear.”
The old man’s face lit up once I gave my permission. He immediately called for butler outside the door in a loud voice. Then he asked for refreshments to be brought in as soon as possible. He seemed to want them to hurry up before I changed my mind or something.
At the old man’s invitation, I sat down with him at the table. In the meantime, the servants set out the refreshments.
“Do you like the tea?”
“Yes, it smells nice.”
The old man asked a while later when I tasted the tea that was put in front of me. And when I nodded and replied, he looked at me with a nostalgic look in his eyes before saying.
“My daughter also liked this tea a lot.”
Hearing that, I wondered if I should ask or not then decided to just go for it.
“Do I resemble your daughter that much?”
“Oh, I was shocked enough to think my daughter came back alive! I have her portraits in the gallery. If you’re curious, shall I show you?”
“I’m not that curious.”
I understood what the old man was feeling but I didn’t really want to go to the gallery to see the portrait, so I refused. To that, the old man sullenly lowered his gaze.
“How long have you been working at the coffee house?”
But he quickly regained his spirit and began to ask questions in a secretive tone like he did at the coffeehouse last time.
“About two years.”
“Is the work hard?”
“It’s not hard, my boss is very considerate of me.”
But unlike his words, the old man looked oddly disappointed. Did he want me to say it was difficult? Still, he quickly managed his expression and continued speaking.
“K-hm. Now that I’m at this age, I know that your health is the most important thing. If you have any issues, don’t overdo it. Just take care of yourself.”
“Right, are both of your parents in the east?”
“No. My parents aren’t around.”
“Oh-Oh no. I shouldn’t have asked that.”
“No, it’s fine. It was a long time ago.”
The old seemed sorry for his blunder but I didn’t really care. I had been an orphan for so long that I didn’t even remember my parents at all.
“I see…if you were a child then it must have been difficult for you for so long.”
Then he looked like he was thinking of something for a moment. Meanwhile, I drained the remaining tea in the cup. After a while, the old man looked like he had decided something and opened his mouth again.
Right then, the sound of someone knocking on the door stopped his words.
“Sir. May I interrupt for a moment?”
“What is it?”
It was the older butler’s voice.
The old man’s face crumpled with dissatisfaction, but he allowed his entry. The butler opened the door and stepped inside then he whispered something in the old man’s ear.
“What? That persistent thing came again?”
“Today they’re holding out saying they won’t go back until they see your face, Sir…”
The butler looked awkward while the old man looked like he was at loss for words. It seemed like a guest had come and from the look of things, the old man had to go see them now.
Sure enough, like I expected, the old man turned to me and spoke apologetically.
“I think I need to step out for a bit. Please wait here for a little bit.”
I shook my head to that.
“No. I’ll go back now. You can take your time with what you need to do.”
“Yes. I’ve already finished my tea.”
At my words, the old man quickly looked at the table. Since I kept drinking while he was talking, my teacup had gotten empty at some point.
“I really enjoyed the tea, thank you. I’ll see you later then.”
With that, I got up and left the room, leaving behind the old man whose lips were still opening and closing.
* * *
‘Ah, I left my coat.’
As soon as I stepped out and turned the corner of the hallway, I remembered what I had left in the room. Before we drank tea, I took off my coat and placed it on the chair next to me at the old man’s recommendation.
“Is something the matter?”
When I stopped walking, the servant who was acting as my guide turned around and asked me.
“I left something in the room, so I need to go back and get it.”
“I’ll bring it for you. What did you leave?”
“My coat. It should be on the chair.”
“Okay, please wait a moment.”
The servant said they would go in my stead. And they quickly left the scene.
I stood in the hallway, waiting for the servant to return.
“I said don’t come here, yet you came again!”
Right then, the sound of the old man losing his temper at someone rang out in the hallway. Maybe it’s because the hallway wasn’t too far from the room I was just in? I could hear the old man’s voice quite clearly and loud too.
I could already tell from the atmosphere earlier but the guest who came seemed to be an unwelcome visitor for the old man.
 She’s either wearing a dress or a skirt. The word used here usually refers to the ‘skirt’ of a dress.
 I can’t think of any other way to describe the sound of a door opening but it’s not exactly creaking.
 The term she uses here for [aren’t around] is what people usually say when someone passes away or they literally are not around. E.g. My mom [isn’t around], she went to buy something. You can usually tell which one it is from context cues.