Hayden wasn't very smart, but he had the ability to figure out his priorities.
He said in a subdued voice.
“Have a seat, Nils.”
Though Iona wasn't sure whether it was because of broken teeth or the boiling anger clearly visible on his face.
“Be quiet! How much more are you going to disappoint me!”
Hayden threatened as if to vent his anger.
He couldn't bear to say anything to Iona, so he blamed the son next to her instead.
It was a completely opposite situation from usual, so Iona felt a strange feeling inside.
“As an elder, you should also know how to behave.
But wherever you are, you always try to raise your voice first in everything! Was that the right thing to do now?”
“… I’m sorry.”
“Yes, now is it okay to say that you haven't changed your mind to reconcile with your sister?”
Nils groaned in response.
The short skit had come to an end, and it was time to leave.
Iona stood up from her seat and said as if she was cursing.
“Stop it, Father. Nils must have understood now. Seeing your sincerity, I will move on and forget this topic.”
It occurred to her that Nils might really burst into tears if she pushed him any further.
Such an unsightly spectacle was unacceptable even for free.
Iona, who was about to leave, looked back at Hayden as if she had just remembered.
“Ah, Father. You don't have to worry about my subordinates anymore.”
Iona's words startled Hayden who half jumped at his place.
“What? I'm sure you said you are going to hire the maids again…!”
“Of course, I will. But I will choose myself who will work under me.”
Iona put a hand on Hayden's shoulder as if to calm him down.
Hayden kept wanting to express his disapproval, but the fearful pressure he felt from his daughter forced him to stop.
Hayden's lips, which had been slightly swollen, closed helplessly, and Iona finally loosened her stiff face.
“Because of others' interventions, useless misunderstandings keep arising between father and daughter.”
“Now that you've understood my concerns and there seem to be no more issues, I will take my leave.”
Iona left the office without looking back.
She didn't want to deal with those unpleasant people for longer than necessary.
After closing the door, Iona stopped and thought for a moment.
'A dedicated maid.
It was a part that she hadn't paid attention to earlier because she was trying to figure out the situation. This was because while she was busy organizing the immediate affairs, she could not take care of other things.
However, as Hayden said, a daughter from an aristocratic family couldn't live like this.
It was also a time when she needed someone she could properly trust.
'Who would be better?'
Iona climbed the stairs to the upper floor, remembering the various people that came to her mind.
As the head of the household, she once led the county, so she had many subordinates she could trust.
If any of them fit this situation…
Iona stopped the butler who was standing in front of her room as if waiting for her. Then she briefly asked the reason.
“What is going on?”
“Ah, I heard that young lady had come home. So I was waiting here because I had to discuss about hiring the next dedicated maid.”
Following Hayden, the butler came looking for her.
It seemed that she was not the only one suffering from this situation. She could feel the butler's anxious gaze on her.
“Good. I was also looking for you because I had a favor to ask of you.”
“Didn’t I fire three maids last time? Maybe that's why there seems to be quite a bit of vacancy in the mansion… I'm sorry for taking away servants and increasing your work.”
“Yes? Young lady, you don't need to worry about that…”
“By the way, there was a maid who moved to a distant villa when the countess died a few years ago, right?”
Ignoring the butler's words, Iona immediately got to the point.
The butler was taken aback when the topic suddenly changed to an unexpected person.
Iona smiled lightly as she looked into the eyes of her opponent.
“Bring her to me.”
“If you sympathize with me, you better not.”
A rather young Iona blurted out.
Marsha, who was sweeping the broken glass pieces a few steps away from her, hesitated and looked up.
“On what subject can I sympathize with the young lady? I am just doing what I have to do.” Said Marsha as if it were not possible.
“No one cares if my room is like this. It also means that you are doing something no one will ever know.”
Iona said, pointing roughly at the messy interior.
Having formally registered with the count's family, Iona started living in the mansion with her half-siblings.
Once Yvonne found no one cared about Iona, she would visit Iona whenever she wanted to mess with her, like today.
This was a daily routine that often occurred in the Count's family, and like all recurring events, it did not attract much attention from everyone.
Marsha was silent for a moment as if she couldn't refute Iona's words.
Then she asked a random question.
“Young lady, have you ever thought of leaving this place?”
But what next?'
Iona thought it was her home.
So leaving it didn't make any sense.
“Then don't say anything. If it’s a room you’ll be staying in, you should at least keep it like a place where people live.”
Marsha reproached in a firm voice.
Every time she behaved like this, Iona got the impression that she was acting like a mother. Even though the age difference was only nine years between them.
As Iona stared blankly at her, Marsha slowly relaxed from her raised eyes.
She turned to the other side and spoke calmly.
“But, lady. There are definitely things in the world that no one else can sort out.”
Iona suddenly became desperate for alcohol. She looked around for an intact glass, but everything around her was a mess.
How old was she at this time?
Come to think of it, she seemed a bit too young to know the taste of alcohol.
As soon as she realized that fact, Iona shuddered and woke up.
It's just a dream.”
Iona muttered, rubbing her dry mouth.
When she stood up with her stiff back, fortunately, her body matured enough to enjoy drinking caught her eye.
'Was there an external reason for the sudden awakening?'
As if to validate her thought, a heavy knock echoed from beyond the door.
Iona raised her voice and said.
“What is it?”
“My lady, this is the butler. The maid you called arrived at dawn.
Should I make arrangements and bring her to you?”
After lightly checking her body condition, Iona made a decision.
“I'm not ready yet, so let her come in half an hour.”
It was only after that amount of time had passed that Iona finished preparing to greet the guest.
Around the time Iona finished washing her face and buttoned up all the buttons of her gown, a knock sounded again from the door.
“I heard you called, young lady. This is Marsha.”
Iona allowed entry without delay.
Soon a familiar face appeared.
She must have been surprised by the call after a long time, but Marsha, as always, had an expressionless face. Even in the voice that followed, she had no ups and downs.
“long time no see. How have you been, young lady?”
After folding up her sleeves and adjusting her clothes, Iona sat down and invited the other person to take a seat.
“I am fine as you can see. Were you okay with living abroad?”
“Thanks for your concern.”
To Iona's customary question, Marsha also responded in a courtesy way.
It seemed that there was no need to procrastinate further.
“I don’t know if you were taken aback when I suddenly summoned you back to the mansion. But due to an unfortunate incident, all of my dedicated maid positions are vacant.
Hence I had to borrow your hand even though you were afar.”
“…Are you saying that I will work for the lady in the future?”
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