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Chapter 40 part 1
When Mary was directed by Jean to leave the room, she excused herself and stepped out into the hallway. She pondered whether she should go back to her room for a while. The fact was that her head had been aching all morning and her body felt heavier than usual, so she thought she might have a fever. As it was, she was now stumbling through the halls, placing her right hand on the wall to keep her feet steady.
'If I really have a fever, it would be better not to infect Clarisse-sama. I should tell the butler too....'
Perhaps this was due to the fact that she no longer had to maintain the tension required to serve Clarisse, but her body was getting more and more sluggish, and she crouched down in the corner of the corridor to rest for a bit. She curled up in a small ball, placing her forehead firmly against her knees, and took a deep breath.
'Ahh, I used to sit in this position a lot in the past...'
When the baron's family was about to be ruined, her parents were such good-natured people that they hoped that the culprits who defrauded them would be happy with the money, even though they themselves were on the verge of ruin because the culprits made off with so much. She was also truly grateful for the help of the people around her, including Cedric's parents and Clarisse's parents.
Mary loved her parents, and she loved that they were like that.
When Clarisse mentioned Cedric's name earlier, she had felt a dull ache in her chest.
It reminded her of those days—of course, she knew full well that it was a bad thing to be saying. Still, just a short while ago, Mary was dressed in beautiful clothes and talked with Clarisse and Cedric as equals, but now she was a servant and had to step back and just watch over them, which was a pain that no one could ever describe. Both Clarisse and Cedric remained friendly and smiled at her the same way as they did before she was stripped of her noble status, and they were very kind to her, but the kinder they were to her, the more miserable and painful it was for Mary.
As she had told Clarisse, being taken in by Viscount Farenheit as her personal maid was the best arrangement she could have possibly had. Her parents and brother were hesitant to bring her with them to the countryside where they were not certain they would even be able to maintain a decent life for her, and she was so grateful to Clarisse, who was so kindhearted and gentle. If it had not been Clarisse whom she served, she might have been crushed.
Still, when she became a maid and was taken in by the Viscount Farenheit estate, at night she would often crouch down in the servants' quarters while hugging her knees, just like this.
The truth was that Mary had wanted to be with her family, even, she had thought, if everything went wrong and they all just ended up dead, unable to make their way in their new lives. As long as they were all together. After all, she had been just a 12-year-old girl.
Then, one day, she thought that if she became a cheerful Mary, no one would notice that she missed her family or say anything about how the baron's family had been ruined. Since that day, she was always extraordinarily cheerful in public. She reminded herself that it was weak to show her pain to others and that she could always hug herself like this at night when she was having a hard time.
Mary felt her vision distorting even more, and keeping her eyes open was difficult, so she slowly closed them to rest them for a bit before returning to her room.
'Oh, this is really not good...'
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