TWB (Novel) Chapter 27

Partially corrected MTL Novel
C27

In the end, Bianca dismissed all her maids as useless and prohibited any interference except for her own orders. With no one by her side, even the maids who cleaned her room or served meals were replaced periodically. Years passed, and Bianca didn't feel familiar with Yvonne's care. But it wasn't a bad feeling. Contrary to her expectation that it would be cumbersome, it was even pleasant.

Under Yvonne's meticulous touch, Bianca's outfit was adjusted, and in her mink-lined leather gloves, she held a hand warmer. The warmth spread, and the body that had been as cold as ice gently relaxed. Bianca sighed in satisfaction of the warmth, and only then did she notice Yvonne.

The protruding wool skirt looked thin, and the cotton piece that seemed to be worn inside was also thin. When she looked closely, she saw that there were no more than one or two layers of fabric inside. It seemed like she was wearing all the clothes she could put on. It must have been a desperate measure, but it didn't seem so effective and looked ugly. Bianca, who belatedly noticed Yvonne's outfit, asked with a furrowed brow.

"Now that I think about it, what's with your clothes?"

"Everyone dresses like this. Unlike you, Madam, I'm strong."

Yvonne smiled as she revealed this. She hit her forearm with her palm, saying she was strong, but the skin on her fingertips was swollen from the cold. Bianca unconsciously grabbed Yvonne's hand. Yvonne was surprised, as was Bianca, who held her hand.

Bianca hid her embarrassment and asked as if nothing had happened.

"Isn't the tip of your nose red too? And the other maids don't dress like you. The maid who was impudent with me yesterday was wearing much better clothes. Isn't the money you receive not enough?"

"It's not like that."

Bianca, who is half a palm shorter than Yvonne, worried about Yvonne like a child concerned about an adult. Bianca was sixteen years old, and Yvonne was twenty-one, so the age difference wasn't significant.

Yvonne hesitated for a moment. She wants to show her best image to Bianca, who is like her younger sister, but she was afraid it would feel like she was getting close to Bianca to gain an unfair advantage if she talks about her family situation.

Moreover, the person standing beside her is Sir Gaspard, known as "the iron wall." One of Count Arno's three commanders. It was embarrassing to reveal her family situation in front of him, as he was one of the men all the castle servants envied.

But it was only embarrassing for her. As much as it was a really insignificant reason, it was absurd to hide it as if it was something else. Her ears turned red with embarrassment, but Yvonne stammered and spoke bravely.

"I often send money because I have many relatives back home. But I heard there wasn't enough firewood this winter, so I sent more."

"I don't think it was just a little more."

"Actually, this time it was money to buy new winter clothes. Still, I have my original winter clothes, so I thought it would be fine for this year."

"The clothes you're wearing now aren't winter clothes. Come to think of it, the clothes you were wearing yesterday weren't as thin as today's. Where did your clothes from yesterday go?"

...

Upon Bianca's words, probing into every detail, Yvonne couldn't continue speaking and kept her mouth shut. Yvonne wasn't lying. She was just silently hiding the shameful facts. Yvonne bit her lip.

Ante, who was expelled for her inappropriate comments against Bianca, had quite a few friends among the maids. Her pretty face and frank attitude made her an idol among her peers, and men pursued the beautiful Ante.

Some of the nobles who came to Arno Castle even flirted with Ante. They didn't touch her out of respect for Count Arno, but they sweetly whispered, "Why don't you come to my castle?", boosting Ante's pride.

The reason she raised her voice in public claiming that she could win the Count's heart was probably because she felt encouraged by the kindness that was always poured onto her.

Ante had many friends. After Ante was expelled, all the maids complained that Yvonne had betrayed Ante and clung to the lady.

"Sly girl. Do you think you'll gain anything by flattering the lady? Have you ever seen the lady have someone by her side? It's useless. You sold out your colleague out of greed. Traitor!"

Yvonne didn't betray Ante, but as a maid, it was only natural. It was the lady who struck Ante, and the lord who ordered her expulsion. And the cause of all that was Ante's loose tongue.

But the maids didn't even think about it. They weren't close to the lady and the lord, and Ante was their friend. Closing their eyes pretending not to know their friend's flaws, they burned her only winter coat with the poker.

"Why don't you tell the lady about it? The lady is the person who hates being influenced the most. If she ever feels like you're trying to do something to use her, you'll be expelled like Ante, so why don't you follow in Ante's footsteps?"

The poker touched Ante's clothes, and the fabric burned and wrinkled, leaving a large hole in it. Once again, they threatened to make a big scandal about selling out their colleague, and then they disappeared.

If Bianca had had great control, this wouldn't have happened. However, it was Vincent who had the power to oversee the maids, so they knew Bianca couldn't do anything about it.

Yvonne thought she was lucky that it ended there. There would have been no way out if the clothes had been hidden, thrown in a place where dirt would accumulate, or torn with a knife. If there's only a hole, you can fix it by sewing a different fabric. Yvonne sighed in relief.

However, she didn't have enough time or fabric scraps to use that clothing today. The candles given to the maids were very few, and the room was too dark to rely on moonlight for sewing.

Bianca only hesitated for a moment but looked at Yvonne, who couldn't easily respond. Bianca was only curious; she didn't want to reprimand Yvonne. Realizing that it made no sense to ask further, Bianca shrugged and stroked her sable fur coat.

"Come to think of it, since I bought the sable fur coat, I haven't worn the gray squirrel coat at all."

"The gray squirrel fur is nice, but it doesn't compare to sable or fox fur. This one suits you better."

Gray squirrel fur had a good cost-performance ratio, but it was definitely a cheap product compared to sable fur. It was something Bianca had never seen before when she was in Blanchefort. At the time of her marriage to Arno, she had brought furs, but as the years passed and Bianca grew, the furs she had were insufficient.

However, the Arno family at that time didn't have money due to the long war. White fox fur is also widely available now, but the Arno family's financial situation at that time limited the amount of gray squirrel fur.

Bianca now had plenty of high-quality fur. She no longer needed to wear gray squirrel fur. The fur would probably rot in the chest for the rest of its life. Bianca continued speaking softly as if nothing had happened.

"That's right. So I don't think I'll ever wear a gray squirrel coat. Get rid of it."

"What?"

"Because I don't wear it. How would I wear something like that? I also bought a white fox fur this year, so I don't think I'll wear it anymore. Either you wear it or you throw it away. Still, I prefer you to wear it. Wouldn't it be a big problem if you catch a cold even before starting to take care of me? You're my maid."

Bianca spoke bluntly on purpose, and then she turned around. Her small back, as she walked proudly with her chin up, was determined not to listen to any objections.

"Now, did the lady think of me?"

Yvonne closed her eyes. The gray squirrel fur was only cheap from Bianca's perspective, but from the perspective of a commoner like Yvonne, it was a precious item that couldn't even be obtained with a year's salary. But what truly moved Yvonne were Bianca's words, which seemed to imply that she would keep her by her side, more than the fact that she would get a precious fur.

Unlike a servant who does chores from a distance, it was a place where she could assist her master by her side. Bianca definitely called Yvonne "my maid"....

"Let's go."

Yvonne, who had been following Bianca in confusion, looked up at Gaspard's sudden words, startled by the surprise.

Gaspard looked at Yvonne with eyes like the dark night sky, then stepped forward and followed Bianca.

Yvonne, who came to her senses at that moment, grabbed her skirt and ran after them. The cold that seeped into her skin was soon forgotten.

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