Unsurprisingly, the servant came back with an awkward look on their face.
“There’s a guest right now so I think you have to wait for a little bit. It shouldn’t take too long, would you like to wait in the parlor?”
I was about to nod at the servant’s recommendation.
And I would have if I didn’t hear the familiar voice in my ear right after.
“Elder, please calm down. It’s not good for your body if you get so excited.”(?)
“Aish, who do you think is the reason for that right now!”
My eyes flew in the direction the sound came from. I unconsciously stepped towards the corner of the hallway. And I saw the butler standing in front of the door I came out of earlier.
“Yes, I’m sorry. I know Sir doesn’t like me.”
This gentle, crystal-like voice was definitely Anne-Marie’s. Back then at the clinic, I remember her saying she would be taking care of this grandpa. Is that why she was here today? But why is the mood like this?
“But still, thank you for seeing me today. After you left the clinic like that, I was very worried, and I wasn’t able to see you yesterday. I’m glad you look healthy.”
Anne-Marie’s voice somehow gave off a feeling of sadness which stopped my feet. Perhaps the emotions in her voice stalled the old man’s anger because after a pause, his voice rang out much softer than before.
“Ehem. Now that you’ve seen my face, keep your promise! Don’t come back again.”
“Yes, I’m sorry for bothering you. I wish you the best, Elder.”
The door opened after that.
And Anne-Marie came out of the room just like I expected. She nodded to the butler before turning to where I stood. The next moment, our eyes met right away.
“Huh? Ms. Yuri?”
Anne-Marie’s eyes widened once she found me standing at a side of the hallway.
“Ms. Anne-Marie, I didn’t expect to see you here.”
I also acted like I didn’t know she was here. Thankfully, Anne-Marie looked okay. From her voice, I thought she was about to cry.
“Ms. Yuri, what are you doing here…?”
Just when Anne-Marie was about to walk up to me, the old man quickly walked out of the room, calling for Anne-Marie.
“Hold on, you have indeed worked for a few days so you should get your payme…”
Then he was startled to see me standing in the hallway since I was supposed to have left.
“Yu, Yuri?”(old man)
Anne-Marie’s gaze and mine turned to the old man at the same time.
“You haven’t left yet?”
He asked me, looking somehow flustered.
“Yes, I left my coat in the room.”
“Oh. Oh, I see. Sebastian, what are you doing? Go inside and get it quickly!”
The old man’s eyes shook as he looked at me then he turned to the butler and scolded him.
“Well…I’m going to go now.”
Sensing something weird about this situation, Anne-Marie opened her mouth with a puzzlement cast over her face.
Hearing that, I spoke to her.
“We’re going the same way anyways, let’s go together.”
Right then, the old man interrupted, looking more flustered than before.
“You…Do you two know each other?”
I guess he didn’t hear Anne-Marie calling my name when he and the butler were screaming ‘Selena’ last time, in front of the clinic. Well, it’s not like I couldn’t understand. It made sense considering it was quite chaotic then and the old man had even fainted right after.
My lips parted as I started to answer the old man’s question. Then I noticed that in front of me, Anne-Marie was looking at me with oddly sparking eyes. There was some faint expectation in her emerald-like eyes.
I couldn’t resist that silent pressure, so I replied:
“…She’s my friend.”
Instantly, Anne-Marie’s face flushed with a bright glow while the old man’s went dark.
“Ah, A-Ah, I see.”
Somehow, I felt like he was nervous that I had heard him yelling and giving Anne-Marie a hard time earlier.
“Here you go.”
In the midst of this, the butler came out of the room with my coat.
“Well, I’ll get going.”
Me and Anne-Marie greeted the old man in turn and turned around.
That very moment, the old man called out loudly behind us. His call seemed somewhat frantic that I couldn’t help but look back.
“I wasn’t able to be honest with you earlier. I don’t want you to quit being my caretaker.”
Upon hearing the old man’s words, the butler’s eyes went wide as he stood next to him. Anne-Marie was no different.
“I’ve gotten more stubborn as I’ve grown older. Even if I don’t feel that way, I was unnecessarily harsh on you.”
“Why do you think I wanted to make you leave as soon as I saw you at door? Isn’t it because I felt uncomfortable just sending you away like this?”
The old man said with a downcast expression, as if he was trying to attack Anne-Marie’s weak heart.
However, what I heard from his mouth earlier was definitely not him cancelling the firing of his caretaker. Instead he seemed like he was telling her to take her daily wages. Of course, seeing as the old man personally followed her to take care of her payment, he wasn’t as cold as he seemed on the outside.
And I remembered what the old man said to the butler in front of the clinic last time.
‘Do you really have to be like this? She seems like a nice young lady, why don’t you just accept it this time…’
‘You conscienceless bastard! She’s a nice kid so the more reason not to keep her! Ah, hurry up and get inside!’
Then the person they were talking about back then was really Anne-Marie. Was he trying to chase her away because he thought keeping her would trouble her for no reason? But he changed his mind now and was trying to hire her again?
“Elder, are you really okay with me?”
As expected, the kind-hearted Anne-Marie was swayed by his words and asked, looking slightly tearful. To that, the old man yelled in a determined voice.
“What are you talking about? It has to be you.”
The scene unfolding before my eyes deserved to be called touching. The butler standing beside the old man took out his handkerchief and dabbed at his eyes.
The old man took Anne-Marie’s hand and hammered the last nail.
“So please look after me from now on, dear.”
Somehow, I felt like right then the old man’s eyes twinkled as though it was saying ‘just as planned!’. But a second glance showed his eyes still surging with emotion so I thought I might have seen wrong.
Either ways, like this, Anne-Marie was hired as a caretaker for the old man living in the grand mansion.
* * *
After a while, Anne-Marie and I left the mansion.
And as soon as I walked through the front door, I met Gilbert who was wandering around like a stray dog.
“Mr. Gilbert, what are you doing here?”
He was anxiously walking back and forth outside the front door and once he saw me, he ran over at lightning speed.
“I was worried, so I came of course! Is everything okay inside?”
“Yeah. Nothing happened.”
I was a little surprised by Gilbert’s words. To think someone with an aristocratic phobia would come all the way here because he was worried about me.
“What about the store?”
“I closed it before I came. Forget the store, Ms. Yuri is more important.”
And he even closed the store. Like I thought, Mr. Gilbert was a good person.
He only looked relieved after hearing my reply. After that, Mr. Gilbert looked at Anne-Marie beside me and opened his mouth.
“By the way, Ms. Anne-Marie is here too? Did you come together?”
“No, I’m here as the caretaker for the elder who lives here.”
“Oh, really? Hmm, then I guess he’s not a weird noble.”
When Anne-Marie said she was working as a caretaker, Gilbert seemed completely relived.
Of course, the fact that Anne-Marie worked here as a caretaker did not prove the character of the people in this house. However, it seems he was strangely relieved to know that at least someone he knew was involved.
And with that, the three of us harmoniously took a carriage back to Ferret Street.
* * *
“Bye-bye, Ms. Yuri.”
“Be careful too, Ms. Anne-Marie.”
As they approached the house, Yuri and Anne-Marie said goodbye and went their separate ways. Yuri opened the door and went into the house. Because she went to the old man’s house and came right after, she got home earlier than usual.
So maybe that was why.
Lakis wasn’t at home.
Yuri walked inside the house and looked around. But doing that didn’t mean that someone who was not at home would suddenly appear.
It seems Lakis went out today as always. But because Yuri left work early, she unfortunately came back to an empty house.
Yuri pondered for a moment.
‘Should I go out again till Lakis comes back?’
But just as she took one step towards the door, a different thought suddenly flashed through her mind.
‘…Maybe it’s not that he went out?’
 I’m not sure if ‘Anne-Marie and I’ is more grammatically correct but Yuri is the one that spoke first, so I wanted to keep that order.
 What I’m translating as ‘dear’ is like a title a grandma would call you when she wants to give you cookies.
Note: I previously translated ‘Elder’ to ‘Sir’ in chapter 73 and I think I’ll use both depending on which fits better.