The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 2
Translator: Eonnicorn / Editor: Vy
“Nanny, I… don’t want to go,” said Eva as she was sitting on the bed, watching Cecil pack with blank eyes. She had to leave the Bale Mansion she was fond of and move to Baronet Biti’s house. All of this didn’t feel real. Her position had plummeted overnight.
No one accepted her. All of her relatives, who were severely damaged from lending money to her father, turned a blind eye. Her uncle, who was originally not on good terms with her father, gave up the title of Count. The reason being that all the debts owed by the previous Count were handed over to him as soon as he received the title.
In the end, there was only the Baronet Biti household, the land manager of the Massies family, and a distant relative of her mother, who offered to take her in. It was hard to comprehend why the baronet had changed his mind when he treated Eva like a load of luggage. Lawrence said there was an explanation, one which Eva didn’t need to know now.
“My Lady, even though you’re sad, you have to stay strong. That way, His Lord in heaven will feel relieved.”
‘You wouldn’t be around… And Father can’t hug me whether I’m sad or things get difficult. There’s no point in watching me from heaven.’ Eva’s blue eyes brimmed with tears. She badly wanted to cling to Cecil but tried her best to hold it in. It was against the dignity of the nobility after all. Cecil, who secretly wept while watching her sleeping all night long, would be disappointed.
“Here, my lady, look at me. Hard times will pass, and another good day will come. Hang in there a bit longer and we can meet again.”
Eva nodded helplessly with eyes full of tears.
“My Lady, you’re born from a prestigious noble family. Never forget that fact and act poise. You know what I mean, right?”
She replied once again while stifling her tears.
“Be kind and grateful. Don’t forget my prayers will always be with you, my lady,” Cecil’s composed face was now twisted with a mixture of a forced smile and sorrow. After she traced the outline of the cross, she clasped Eva’s hands and prayed to God. ‘Dear God, please give my lady the courage to overcome this ordeal and let me meet her again with a smile someday. I beg you to protect her.’ While Cecil’s prayer to God was genuine, Eva was nothing but resentful towards God.
* * *
Outside the gate, there was a carriage and luggage cart from the baronet waiting side by side. Lawrence, Matthew, Paul, and Priest John of the Crocs Field Church stood not too far from Eva to see her off.
These were the only people who stayed even after they stopped getting paid, the rest of the servants had already left. They would also leave shortly after Eva leaves. Hired by the baronet, Paul, who was two years younger than Eva, was supposed to escort her. But since he was still young, the baronet tried to take him in at a low rate and raise him as a coachman.
“Why can’t you move faster? Do you think I have time for this?”
Upon seeing the two women, the short and plump Baronet Biti started getting irritated.
“Forgive us, Sir Biti.”
“Hmph. I haven’t been paid in months, and now I have to take in a handful of burden.”
He grumbled until the veins on his neck stuck out despite Cecil’s apology. Everyone was speechless at his choice of crude words. Throughout Count Massies’ life, the baronet had been busy bowing down to him. It was a wonder how a person can change so suddenly after not getting what he wanted. The first thing everyone felt was worry, about whether Eva could stand being in a house with him.
“Do you know how much money it takes to feed and clothe a person? If you had etiquette–”
“That’s enough, Sir Biti. Do I have to speak up in this situation?”
Lawrence stood upright and lowered his gaze toward the shorter baronet. The others could tell that he was controlling his anger, due to years of experience and how rational he was. Despite not having an aristocratic background, he could oppress his opponent’s rank with greater dignity.
“I-It’s only a figure of speech.”
As if he had committed a crime, the baronet took a step back after sensing Lawrence’s intention. His deep glare was long gone after he turned to look at Eva.
“I wish God’s blessing will always be with you, my lady. We’ll definitely see each other again someday…”
He couldn’t continue the sentence and pressed his lips tightly together. Calling his name, Eva hugged him tightly by the waist. The solemn expression he had been wearing all this time collapsed before her tears. He might have a heart of stone, but to Eva, he was always like a caring grandfather.
“Take care, Lawrence. You must come see me after your trip is over.”
“Of course, my lady. Without a doubt… I will visit you.”
Lawrence blinked his slightly wet eyes and patted her back. He was going to a neighboring country to see his son he hadn’t seen in a long time. Several days would be needed to reach it by boat. He said he would spend some time with his family thereafter, travel around, and finally return here.
After her farewell with Lawrence, she hugged the old man Matthew with a crying face. He also loved Eva and played with her often. For her sake, he created a delicate path and planted various beautiful flowers to entertain her eyes. It was Matthew who built the fantastic moonlight garden.
“Goodbye, Matthew. Thank you for decorating the moonlight garden so beautifully.”
“I’m more than delighted, my lady.”
He wiped her tears with his shabby sleeves, unintentionally smearing Eva’s face with dirt. As for him, he hadn’t set on where to go. There were numerous proposals from the aristocrats who coveted his ability, but all were rejected.
Lastly, she faced Priest John, who had the great dream of becoming a cardinal. A kind-hearted person who couldn’t overlook and alway stuck his nose into people’s affairs. Though he could get grumpy at just about anything. He had poured out all kinds of anger regarding the Massies’ bankruptcy, but came to wish Eva good luck nonetheless.
“Father, please pray for all of us.”
“But of course, Eva. Our Lord will look after and protect you and everyone here.”
He gently patted her shoulder before shifting his eyes to the others. As everyone was in tears, including him, he blessed each and every one of them with a prayer of farewell.
“Let’s move quickly. I’ve already stalled for too long.”
The baronet shouted from the carriage. “If you’re that fond of them, just live with them,” was what she heard from afar, but no one paid heed to it.
A realization dawned on her. She couldn’t delay any longer than this. Eva’s body trembled as she strode toward the carriage. However, every few steps she took, she would look back and cry, then continue walking while looking back.
The parting was so sad and heartbreaking that those standing behind also shed tears and held their breath. Just when one of Eva’s feet lifted into the open carriage, she ran back to them. She clutched Cecil and started to sob wildly.
“Nanny… I don’t want to be separated from nanny. I want to be with nanny, not Baronet Biti. Please take me with you…”
With tears running down her nose, Eva clung dearly to Cecil.