[tl/n: I will be switching to third person point of view from this chapter onwards.
The author actually switches between first person and third person pov in some section breaks to show other characters perspectives, but I feel like that would be too confusing, so well be sticking to third person pov even with Rosettas perspective from here on out.]
Beyond the windows of the long hallway, the downcast sky could be seen.
How long had it been Raindrops quickly began to pour down from the heavy clouds.
The sound of rain filled the quiet hallway and muted down the sound of footsteps.
It was the perfect weather for something to happen.
Rosetta paused for a moment, then stared at the cascading rain over the landscape.
“Are you sure youll be alright, Milady” Marie asked nervously as she was walking behind Rosetta.
Ever since this morning, the maid looked as if she had an upset stomach.
But of course, theres something she should be worrying about.
Because it finally hit her that the person she was serving for seven years was indeed her master.
Just a few days ago, she was still hesitant to show her loyalty.
Even so, thats not Rosettas problem.
“Why If Im not fine, will you go back and stick to Katie” she asked with a benevolent smile.
“No, not at all.
Thats not the case, Milady,” the maid replied, waving her hands fiercely at first, but setting them down politely to bow her head.
After that, there was silence.
The rain pounded down onto the pavement noisily, and amidst this, were quiet footsteps.
The knife had already been unsheathed.
* * *
“Its like a dream for me that youre in my room.”
It was at Alicias room that the two peoples footsteps led.
As she was drinking tea in her room, Alicia welcomed the two with enthusiasm despite their sudden visit.
More particularly, it was because of her older sister.
Just before this during class, it was always a painful time for her.
The tension was far too much for her to endure, and she always feared what would happen in the future.
She couldnt breathe without tea.
And today was no different.
Her heart was about to leap out of her chest from the way it was pounding because of stress.
But strangely, the moment she saw Rosettas face, her heart became calm…
“Why have you come to my room, Sister”
Rosetta looked at Alicia silently, then soon asked a question out of nowhere instead of answering her.
“You dont like dark places, right”
Alicia gawked at me, her eyes opening widely.
“What Yes, I dont like them, but…”
“Are you frightened of narrow and dark places”
“No, not to that degree…”
Rosetta quietly listened to Alicias answer and stood by a door.
Alicias room was of a similar structure to hers, so she had a hunch about what was behind the door.
‘It could be her walk-in closet.
And her hunch was right.
Clothes that lined the walls to the brim caught her eye through the gap.
And it looked like the closet was the size of about one or two rooms.
The window wasnt that big, but its on the second floor.
Alicia, who followed her sister into the closet, glanced furtively at her.
She was wondering why Rosetta had been asking weird questions ever since coming to her room, then looking into her closet right away.
It was completely unpredictable.
As she tried to guess her sisters incomprehensible behavior, Alicias eyes glimmered with realization briefly.
“Sister,” she said with a small voice as she looked up.
When her eyes met with Rosettas gaze, her face flushed immediately.
Clenching her fist as she hesitated, Alicia then opened her mouth.
“Sister, do you… Do you want to borrow clothes from me”
To be honest, just the thought of that was ridiculous.
The height difference between them was significant.
There couldnt be any clothes that would fit Rosetta here.
However, Alicia didnt seem to be thinking about the feasibility of it and instead went ahead to ask, with blushing cheeks and sparkling eyes.
“…Sure, Ill borrow some clo—”
Rosetta decided to play along, but before she could even finish her sentence, Alicia answered back already.
With much enthusiasm, Alicia opened the walk-in closets door wide open and ran inside.
Meanwhile, Rosetta stood by the door as she stared at Alicias fluttering golden tresses.
“Ill pick the prettiest clothes for you, Sister!”
She didnt seem to notice that nobody followed her inside, but she was excited nonetheless.
Until—behind her, the door closed.
Surprised by the sudden noise, Alicia closed her eyes and screamed.
With her whole body trembling, she only glanced at the door when the echo of her scream died down.
She called out in a hushed voice, but there was no reply.
All she could see were the clothes hanging on the walls.
Only then did Alicia run hurriedly to the door and grab the knob.
No matter how many times she tried to turn the knob, it wouldnt budge.
Alicia was extremely frightened.
She didnt know what was going on, but why was she locked in the closet
And, was this her sisters doing
It wasnt the thought that she was trapped that really disturbed her.
She could only think of the sound of a teacup rolling on the floor.
‘Ill take her place.
It was a calm voice.
Then, a smile on her face, her older sister stroking her cheek, saying that she cried too much.
Alicias fingers were numb, and there were goosebumps all over her body.
Recently, her sister had prevented her from being hit.
But today was another day when they had class, and there was only about ten minutes left before it started.
Alicia wasnt sure if this was all just coincidence.
‘Sister… what are you trying to do again this time
Then, she thought that maybe her sister was doing this for her again.
It may sound like a conceited delusion, but this thought stirred anxiously in her mind like a storm.
She could feel a forgotten excitement bubbling within her.
Bang, bang, bang.
Alicia knocked on the door with the back of her fist.
On the other side, Rosetta had the doorknob in her hand and barred it from being opened.
“Sister, please open it! Sister!”
“Ill open it for you after class.
Stay quiet until then.”
“What do you mean… Please open the door.
That was the end of their conversation.
Inside, Alicia was still knocking persistently on the door, but what responded to her was only silence.
A long time passed.
Eventually, Alicia stopped hitting the door.
Even after the other side became quiet, Rosetta stood by the door for a moment.
Then, there was a strange feeling.
Maybe today was the last day that Alicia would greet Rosetta happily.
Once the family found out that Alicia was being abused, just like they did in the novel, they would start paying attention to her more.
And in turn, Alicias attention would be focused on them.
Not on Rosetta.
There was a weird ache on her back.
No, maybe its another place thats aching.
How stupid of her to think that, though.
Finally, shed be able to separate herself from this family and live alone as she wished.
She was staring at the floor for a while, but then she slowly removed her back from the door and tucked the chair that Marie fetched for her under the doorknob.
“Do you remember what I told you, Marie”
“…Of course, Milady.”
Rosetta looked briefly at the closed door and soon, without a hint of remorse, turned her back.
* * *
Raindrops from the cloudy sky hit the window.
The raindrops had gotten thicker, the clouds bigger, as if saying that they didnt want to stop pouring.
Would thunder arrive as well
Rosetta leaned back on the couch and looked out the window.
Steam rose from the teacup filled with black tea.
It was quiet, exactly like the calm before a storm.
‘How long has it been
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
By the time the seconds hand of the clock moved a hundred times, the sound of footsteps could be heard amidst the downpour.
Then, the door opened with a deafening click.
The person who entered scoured the room with her eyes and immediately noticed the absence of one person when there were supposed to be two.
Gradually, anger flickered behind her eyes.
Then, her cold gaze turned towards the only other person in the room.
Unbothered, Rosetta lifted the teacup.
Of course, Rosetta knew that Katie wouldnt like this.
As she entered the room, Katie reached for the cane hidden in the case by the door.
She did this naturally, surely because shes done this several times before.
As if to warm up her wrist, she flicked the whip through the air several times.
“…Where is Lady Alicia”
“Alicia is sick, so she wont be able to come.”
“I didnt hear about that.”
“Well, you heard it now.
That should be enough.”
Rosetta smiled slightly, as if to saywhat are you going to do about it Then, Katies forehead wrinkled.
Blood vessels could be seen rising from the hand holding the whip.
If Alicia had seen this, she would have cowered.
Katie spat out the name.
As a response, Rosetta set down her teacup on the table and placed another one in front of the seat opposite hers.
When she poured tea into the empty cup, the sweet smell of floral tea quickly permeated the air.
She did so as if she couldnt read the room.
“Sit down, Nanny.
Alicia wont be here, so… Lets have a chat.”
When the final drop of tea fell into the cup, the two women met gazes.
Thunder rumbled in the background.
Without even looking at each others eyes, nor opening their lips to initiate conversation, they drank tea in silence.
Perhaps Katie was also contemplating what was going on today.
Or she might be thinking about how to knock Rosetta down a peg after having humiliated her the other day.
She was a worm who thinks shes a snake.
The incident last time must have been quite a shock to her.
So, thinking that she was a snake, she assumed that shed be able to break the young woman in front of her easily.
It was Katie who broke the silence.
With her chin raised haughtily, she looked down at Rosetta at a subtle angle.
Rosetta removed her hand over her teacup and straightened her back.
“I dont know what kind of wind blew the other day, but its futile.
Stop this useless rebellion now.”
Oh, that was more direct than Rosetta thought.
Inwardly, Rosetta was slightly impressed.
She didnt expect Katie to be so straightforward, so she was a little shocked.
At that moment, Katie was about to lift her teacup to drink, but she set it down sharply and said—
“No matter how much you try to stick close to Lady Alicia, you will never be her real family.”