The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 10
Translator: Eonnicorn / Editor: Scarlet
“Thank you very much for today, Sir Ruth.”
After Eva got off the horse, she smiled shyly and bowed her head. Perhaps because she had so much close contact with him today, the awkwardness disappeared, and there was even a hint of friendliness.
“It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Eva,” a pleasant smile appeared as he faced Eva.
“Let me return your coat.”
“Keep it. I think you need it to cover yourself since your clothes are still not dry.”
When Eva tried to take off the coat, Ruth beat her by a heart-beat and pulled the opened collar together. She took a glance at her chest, showing skin in places where it was still wet.
‘Oh, no!’ Surprised, Eva hurriedly adjusted the collar and averted her head.
“T-then I’ll wash it well and give it back to you later.”
“Sure. I’ll see you this evening.” His glossy lips curled upwards. Climbing the horse once more, he locked eyes with her before veering his horse and heading off.
Only then did Eva look back and take in the back of the man leaving.
‘Strange. I don’t understand why I felt sad the farther away he got, why my heart was tickled by the smell of a man from his coat.’
* * *
Once she had washed and changed clothes, Eva stood in front of Cecil’s door, taking several deep breaths. She was worried that Cecil might pinpoint the excitement she couldn’t hide since Cecil was sharper than anyone else when it came to Eva.
Eva knocked carefully and opened the door.
“Nanny! Are you all right?”
As she peeked inside, she approached with a quick step and sat on the bedside. Somehow, Cecil, who was laying down, had managed to sit up. She quickly covered her mouth with a handkerchief and lifted her hand to prevent Eva from coming any closer.
“My lady, I told you to not move so frivolously. Cough. Did you study Latin hard–cough–while I was in bed? I also told you to learn Rheims, cough, cough.”
Although there was still some cough in between, her complexion seemed much better than it was in the morning. As usual, Cecil was nagging as soon as she had a little energy. She helped with the house and never neglected Eva’s education.
Matthew taught Eva lower arrangement when he sent flowers, while at night he went out for a walk with her and taught her social dance under the moonlight. As for Latin and Rheims, they were fundamental. Then, before going to bed, Eva studied foreign languages for two hours. Cecil devoted herself to Eva’s education, as if the goal of her life was only for Eva. Sometimes she didn’t understand what it was used for, but as long as she knew Cecil’s heart, Eva couldn’t neglect her study.
“Don’t worry, I’ve done all of that, nanny. But why are you up?”
Eva replied gently, staring into Cecil’s loving eyes. Her eyes bore endless affection, the nagging she uttered was so warm, Eva felt like crying. The events that had struck her like thunderstorms today softly faded as if it were a dream. ‘I am lucky to have a place to come back to. I was really, really lucky to have Cecil by my side.’
“I woke up because I could. How about you? Cough. Did the baronetess make you work all day?”
“No, I headed out with Pamela for a while today.”
“Where did… Did you go? Cough.”
“I happened to meet the new Lord of Bale Castle today. His name is Count Holland. He hoisted our family flag.”
“Count Holland… is here? Moreover the flag with the Massies’ crest on it?” Cecil’s pupils shook out of nowhere.
“Yeah. I met Count Holland and his friend, they helped me. His friend is a knight and he looked amazing.” As she was continuing her story, Eva hesitated for a moment. While she thought about the parts that would be okay to tell Cecil, excluding parts that might worry Cecil, Eva’s mind kept replaying Ruth’s actions and eyes. His low-pitched voice that asked if she was okay, his wet hair that dripped with droplets, the serious look on his face when massaging her hurt foot, and the lovely smile he showed when he bid her farewell.
“O-oh? T-that’s the reason why they’re coming to dinner tonight. Pamela invited them.”
Eva hurriedly said the next sentence as her face went beet red. She couldn’t wrap her head around why her heart was racing and her temperature escalated just thinking about Ruth. Why was keeping a secret like this so embarrassing?
“Hmm. What is–cough–the name of that knight?”
“Ruth. Though I don’t know if it’s his last or first name.”
“What did you say?”
Perhaps because she didn’t like Eva’s answer, or because it touched unspoken matters, Cecil stopped coughing and reaffirmed with a solemn face.