The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 4
Translator: Eonnicorn / Editor: Vy
5 years later.
“You have to swallow it, nanny. And drink lots of water.” Eva held out a glass of warm water after helping Cecil sit and giving her the medicine.
Cecil had been sick for several days. It was clear that her body was getting weak. At first, she thought it was merely a slight cold, but it didn’t show any signs of recovery. She asked the baronetess to take Cecil to a large hospital, but she refused to do so, saying that she didn’t have enough money.
“Thanks to my lady–cough–I’ll get better tomorrow. You don’t have to worry about me–cough cough–so you can stop visiting me, my lady.”
Although Cecil was coughing nonstop, she was more concerned about Eva. She helped her nanny back onto the bed and covered her with a blanket. Cecil closed her eyes, grasping Eva’s hand tightly. Her frail figure was buried in Eva’s heart and it pierced it.
It’s been five years since they came to the baronet’s house. As Eva grew up, Cecil grew older. Back when they were still living in Bale Castle, Cecil never had a single drop of water on her fingertips. It must have been hard for such a person to do exhausting housework at the same time as educating Eva and Pamela. Her heart was aching, terrified that it seemed like it was her fault Cecil fell ill. She kept convincing herself that it was just a cold and that she would get better soon, but at this rate, Cecil might really be gone.
“Eva! Where are you, Eva?”
She heard the voice of the baronetess looking for her from afar. Eva immediately stood up and left the room, afraid that Cecil might hear it.
As she went downstairs, she saw the baronetess screaming at the top of her lungs at her maid. She was probably asking about Eva’s whereabouts. ‘Why does she have such a temper in the morning again? I finished cleaning the parlor this morning, I also ironed out the dresses and undergarments she threw at me.’ Eva stood in front of the baronetess after she braced herself.
“Were you looking for me, madam?”
“So you aren’t working at all and wandered off to God knows where. This is your doing, right?”
A dress tossed by the baronetess fell roughly at Eva’s feet. Not understanding why, Eva looked closely at the dress and saw a huge burnt hole. It seemed like a mark from ironing. However, Eva still couldn’t fathom why it involved her.
“I didn’t do that, madam.”
“Stop lying. Everyone said they saw you ironing this morning.”
“I did, but it wasn’t my doing.”
‘This is driving me crazy and it’s so absurd.’ This dress belongs to Pamela, which she hung in Pamela’s room after ironing it, more or less intact. If anything, the culprit would be the person who ironed it afterward, not her.
“I give you food and clothes for free and now you’re lying?”
“I’m not lying.”
A loud sound emanated at the same time that Eva’s face turned sideways. The baronetess couldn’t contain her anger any longer and she’d slapped Eva.
‘I see, she’s been drinking.’
There was a faint smell of alcohol reeking out from the baronetess. Only then did Eva realize that she was just a target for venting anger. Baronet Biti, who played around with women despite their financial crisis, Todd, a son who was addicted to gambling and denuded their wealth, Pamela, a beautiful, unmarried, and profligate daughter. All of the stress from them drove the baronetess to the edge and made her indulge in alcohol.
It was unfair, but Eva felt relieved. Because her nanny didn’t have to see this.
This was the third time. The first time Eva got hit, Cecil stepped in and had an argument with the furious baronetess. The baronetess, who couldn’t win their argument, demanded that Cecil leave the house right away. Ultimately, Cecil apologized as she didn’t want that happening. Only after that did the baronetess turn back to her room, curses still on her tongue.
That day when she saw her nanny crying, more upset than herself, Eva steeled her heart. She wouldn’t talk about anything that would hurt her nanny again and be caught like this.
“Mom, what are you doing?”
Pamela, who had just come in from outside, found the scene and barged in.
“Stay out of this, Pam.”
“Did you hit Eva again? Mom, what’s wrong?”
“Just be quiet if you don’t know. She burned your dress.”
“Still, you shouldn’t hit her, that’s horrible. Come with me, Eva.”
Pamela dragged Eva outside, leaving the angry baronetess behind. There were shouts and curses from her, but neither of them looked back.
“I really don’t know why she’s like that. I’ll talk to her later. I’m so sorry, Eva.”
“It’s all right, Pam.”
Eva smiled bitterly, placing her hand on her reddened cheek. The area where she got slapped was swollen and still burning on her face. However, what wounded her pride and humiliated her was more painful than the pain itself.
Pamela’s solace was also not very helpful. She always did as she liked, and the only time she was willing to help was when it benefited her or there was an interior motive.
“Anyway, Eva, can you look over there?”
Pamela took Eva by the shoulder and turned her around as if she had forgotten what had happened.
“Look what–” Her suspicious eyes from before were wide open with shock after turning around.
“That…” Pamela pointed her fingers to the top of the Bale Castle that had always been visible even from afar. Unlike any other day, today was different. A flag fluttered on Bale Castle, which had been empty for years. Even if the emblem wasn’t palpable, she immediately recognized its shape. The crest of the roaring red lion. It belonged to Eva’s family, Count Massies.
“The new owner of the castle has come. He’s called Lord Holland, not to mention he’s from a fine lineage and is very rich.”
The new owner of Bale Castle. Her heart began to beat erratically the moment she heard that. All this time, she had been curious about the new owner. Why did he appear after a few years and set up another family crest?
“What’s even more amazing is that Lord Holland is close with the Crown Prince. So you see… I need a companion, would you like to accompany me?”
Pamela’s whispers were like a dangerous temptation. It felt like she became a child who was in big trouble for being too hungry and touching someone else’s food, even though she knew she shouldn’t do it.
“Whenever I go… You’ll come, right?”
* * *
 idiom: 손에 물 한 방울 안 묻히고 살다 (lit. Live without a drop of water on the hands) means ‘someone who doesn’t do any housework and lives comfortably’.
Another note: I’m so terribly very sorry I mistranslated ‘castle’ for ‘mansion’.