Chapter 38 Apple Pie and Lady Attendant (4)
The next morning, I visited Count Anderson’s house on the way to Baron Hanson’s house with Nonna. To apologize.
“Nonna sneaked out of the Baron’s house late last night and came back. I’m sure they’re worried about her, so I’m going to apologize to Baron Hanson. I came here to contact you first.”
When I bowed my head, Nonna also imitated me and bowed. But Mrs. Eva shook her head sideways.
“No, the two of you should not show up. I will contact them. That time I was unable to properly refuse, and I caused trouble for both you and Nonna.”
While talking, she wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to her attendant. The attendant quickly left the room. She will probably contact Baron Hanson. After seeing her off, Mrs. Eva told me about her past.
“It was four years ago. A cold with a high fever broke out in the royal capital. Clark also caught a cold and had a high fever for five days. Thankfully, his fever retreated after five days and he got over the cold safely. But many children and the elderly died from that high fever.”
A bad cold circulates once every few years.
It’s a battle of stamina, so, naturally, those with weaker physiques lose their lives.
“However, my husband is the Minister of Foreign Affairs. There were rumors that he used good medicine from another country. Previously I bought medicine for burns that worked well from another country and gave it to other people because I thought it would be good for them. That’s why they misunderstood. No matter how much I denied it, the rumors persisted. At that time, Baron Hanson came to my house. He seemed to have taken the rumors seriously and tearfully asked me to give him the medicine. His daughter was going to die at that rate, so he offered to give as much money as he had. I repeatedly told him I didn’t use any medicine but …”
Ah, I see.
Baron and Baroness Hanson were still resentful of that time, or was Mrs. Eva still feeling guilty about it? That’s why she couldn’t strongly refuse the offer to adopt Nonna, who resembles their child named Dolores.
“Mrs. Eva, that’s something the Anderson family holds no responsibility for.”
“Logically. But sentiments generally don’t follow logic. That’s what got us into trouble. They probably knew in their minds that we didn’t have any medicine. But that really has nothing to do with the two of you. I’m sorry for getting the two of you involved in our and the Hanson family matters.”
I went to Mr. Bernard’s mansion with Nonna. Mr. Bernard had resumed his research and was doing even better than before.
“Eva took good care of me, but I still prefer my own house.”
“Mr. Bernard seems to be doing well, so I’m happy too.”
Nonna handed over a small yellow flower that was blooming by the roadside.
“Here! Mr. Bernard!”
“Oh. This is the first time I’ve received flowers from such a beautiful lady.”
Even I was so lonely when I thought I would lose Nonna, who had only lived with me for a few months. How much the Baron and Baroness must have grieved for the loss of their daughter at the age of three. Even I could understand that pain.
When I got home, while stewing the meat, I wiped everything and polished the windows. Just imagining Nonna leaving this world brought tears to my eyes. I received a message from Mrs. Eva saying, “You can rest assured that everything has been cleared up.”
The next day, a lot of parcels were delivered from the Hanson Baron family along with letters that seemed to be in the Baron’s handwriting.
‘We decided to return to the territory and concentrate on the management of the territory. Thank you for letting us live a little while with Dolores back in our hands. William Hanson.’
The many boxes contained expensive-looking dresses, shoes, accessories, underwear, nightwear, slippers, and delicate bags. Nonna didn’t show much interest, but I looked at them and my chest tightened.
They went too far when they locked her up, but I wonder how they felt when they found out that Nonna had run away and had no intention of coming back, and when they parted with these items. Had they realized that there was no substitute for their child?
I suddenly wondered if my parents felt lonely after they let me go at the age of eight. I can’t ask anymore, but I wanted to ask. If they had lived, would they have said, ‘Of course we were lonely’? I hoped that was the case, and thought that there was nothing more I could do about it now.
I reported to Mrs. Yorana and Commander that Nonna had returned and that the Baron was apparently leaving the royal capital, and this matter ended.
Night. It was dark all around.
Nonna and I finished our baths and had a leisurely dinner.
Then there was a knock on the door and Susan and the Commander came.
“Oh, it’s rare to see Susan and Commander together.”
“I’ll be leaving soon. Actually, I asked Mrs. Yorana to write a letter to Baron Hanson, even though I knew it would be unnecessary meddling.”
“Mrs. Yorana? What letter was it?”
Susan cleared her throat and explained while looking away from me.
“Mrs. Yorana wrote ‘Don’t worry, Count Haynes will take care of Nonna if something happens to Victoria.’”
Susan blushed when I stared at her in surprise.
“Thank you, Susan. I’m very happy.”
“No need, I couldn’t sit still and do nothing. But Mrs. Yorana said, ‘I was going to do it even if you didn’t ask me to.’”
After saying that, Susan left in a hurry. When I thought that there were people other than me who cared for Nonna, the back of my nose became stuffy. I invited Commander in and served tea.
“Ah, Victoria. Actually, I have a report as well.”
“What is it?”
“I don’t think Eva said anything to you, but Count Anderson came to consult with my brother with fine liquor. ‘Until both sides consent and officially conclude the procedures, don’t forget that Victoria is Nonna’s guardian.’ He urged my brother to warn the Baron Hanson family with a letter. Also, as an aside, he added that I’m your guarantor.”
“That’s… I am thankful. Even Count Asher was worried about me.”
“At first, I was going to tell him that, but since I wanted to mention the name of my house, my brother rejected it. He said ‘It would be better for me, who have a relationship with them, to say it, rather than you.’”
Baron Hanson must have been very surprised at the fact that two Count families intervened.
“Baron Hanson’s wife went through a period of instability after her daughter died. It seems that she once forced a blond commoner girl into the mansion saying, ‘I found our lost daughter.’”
“It seems that the child’s family and the servants of the Baron household were sworn to strict secrecy because it was a matter of honor for the Hanson family. But my brother found out from rumors. And I heard from my brother. I don’t think even Eva knows.”
I thought that the Baroness was a person with a lot of emotional ups and downs. Really. Did that happen?
“Count Anderson was worried that ‘If Nonna looks so much like her lost child, perhaps the Baroness won’t let her go even if Nonna doesn’t like it there.’ He was concerned that Eva didn’t refuse on the spot.”
A lot of people were making moves in places I didn’t know. Was that why the Baron and his wife returned to their territory?
“Commander, could you please tell Count Asher that I am truly grateful to him? I will visit soon to thank him.”
“You don’t need to. My brother is very grateful to you for Uncle Bernard. If you really must thank him, I’m sure he’ll be happy if you make him something to drink with. I’ll deliver it.”
The Commander laughed and left.
“Nonna, did something scary happen to you during your stay?”
“No. But I didn’t like it when it was just the wife alone.”
“She called me Dolores the whole time. Also, she said many times that the family was complete. She cried and hugged me tightly.”
I see. How sad.
“But I don’t hate her for it anymore.”
“You are strong. And kind.”
“Can’t we live with Jeff?”
I wonder if she came up with such a thing because she was about to be a family member of another house. Unable to answer anything, I stroked Nonna’s head.
(I wish I could. It’s impossible.)
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