One month has passed since the Christmas party, and today Emily and Anna will come visiting the residence of Asahina family.
Since there are only two maids in the residence of Asahina family, the two had been busy since yesterday with the preparation in welcoming visitors.
But knowing the visitors was the blood relative of Kaoru, which mean people the maids already familiar with, the preparation was going rather fast and it was done in one night.
In her own room, Tsubaki was currently seated on a chair of the dresser, brushing her hair after done with changing her sleeping wear.
Before, at the time Tsubaki still lives with the Mizushima, there are one up to ten maids who would always help her with waking up, change her clothes and brush her hair. But because the number of the maid who works at her new home was only two people, her parents told her to do everything she can do by herself.
Of course, that was not a problem for Tsubaki at all as she can manage to take care of herself.
After making sure her appearance was tidy enough, Tsubaki washes her face in the washroom and heading to the dining room for breakfast.
Seeing her parents were in the middle of chatting while having their after meal coffee, Tsubaki presume they must have finished their breakfast.
“Good morning.” (Tsubaki)
Heard Tsubaki’s voice, the parents look at Tsubaki and then returned her morning greetings.
“Looks like we have a sleepy head today.” (Kaoru)
“Last night, I can’t get to sleep early because I was so excited when heard Anna-san will be coming today.” (Tsubaki)
“My, she is your first friend after all. Mother too is looking forward to meeting Emily-san, you know?” (Yuriko)
“Fufu, we are the same then.” (Tsubaki)
Tsubaki and Yuriko look at each other and smile together.
After the maid finished prepare the breakfast, Tsubaki then took the freshly baked Butter Roll, pluck it into a small piece and put it into her mouth after putting some fruit jam on the small piece of the Butter Roll.
The softness of the Butter Roll and the sweetness of the fruit jam was blended so well, Tsubaki felt she couldn’t get tired of the taste.
Also, the soft-looking scrambled eggs and the homemade fruit yogurt was superb.
Our cook’s skill is really something. Thought Tsubaki while enjoying the breakfast.
Done with her breakfast, Tsubaki stayed for a while to calm down her stomach, and then she headed for the washroom to brush her teeth.
Knowing that Anna and her mother will be coming in the afternoon, Tsubaki was planning to wait until then by reading a book.
Fortunately, there are books variated from picture books to western books in the library of the Asahina family residence.
In short, that was the perfect place for Tsubaki to kill time.
Arrived in the library, Tsubaki then began searching for the books for children. But when she was browsing around the bookshelves, Tsubaki realized that all the book she was looking for were arranged neatly within her hand reach. Whether it was her father or the maids who made this arrangement, Tsubaki was grateful with their consideration to her.
Tsubaki took all the picture books that were arranged in alphabetical order and began to read them one by one.
And by the time she finished reading the books, Tsubaki returned the book to the bookshelves.
While putting the book back, Tsubaki looks back at the title of the book on the book’s binding and realized that each of the books she returned wasn’t put in alphabetical order.
While feeling sorry for the maids, Tsubaki then began sorting the books back to alphabetical order.
Perhaps she was too focused on sorting the books, Tsubaki didn’t hear a sound of the door opened. She just realized there’s another person in the library when the person called to her.
“Ojou-sama, lunch is ready.”
Tsubaki then following the maid who had came to inform her. Once again, she’s back in the dining room.
The lunch today was a set of Chinese foods. Dim sum, soup, and fried rice.
Yesterday they had French, the day before yesterday was Italian, and before that again was Germany. They even had a Mediterranean-style lunch like Hawaii before.
Just what exactly our cook is? Tsubaki can’t help but wonder.
Done with her lunch, Tsubaki was taking her time resting in the living room on the first floor, where she began to noticed the maids was moving around in a quick pace “Ah, they’re here.” Tsubaki then understood that the visitors she had been waiting finally arrived.
Tsubaki stands up at once and move to the entrance hall and waiting for Anna and her mother to enter.
Seems like Yuriko got a notice from one of the maids about the arrival of the Yakumo mother and daughter, she had come to the entrance hall and standing beside Tsubaki.
When the maid opened the entrance door, a beautiful woman with a strong will in her eyes was standing there.
Behind the woman, Tsubaki found Anna and gave a smile to her. Seeing that, Anna also smiling to Tsubaki.
Right at the moment Tsubaki wanted to open her mouth and saying “Anna-san, long time no see.”, the quiet space suddenly filled with a shrill voice.
“KYAAA–! Yuririn, it’s been so long—!” (Emily)
“Eh!? Yuririn!?” (Tsubaki)
“I’ve been waiting for you, Emilin!” (Yuriko)
“HAH!? Emilin!?” (Tsubaki)
Surprised at hearing their pet names, Tsubaki was looking between her mother and Emily.
Their tension was high, the two was going “KYAAA—! KYAAA—!” while holding each other hands.
You two have met each other at the Christmas party, you know. It’s only one month passed since then, you know— That was what Tsubaki wanted to say but she didn’t have the courage to do it.
Looking at Tsubaki who was dumbfounded with the current development, Anna pated Tsubaki’s shoulder and told her that the two have been always like this.
I see, they always like this huh. Tsubaki then looking at Anna, who had been seeing this spectacle every day, with a gaze full of pity.
The maid then recommended the group to change place, and they move toward the living room.
In the living room, the other maid had already prepared a tea set.
Tsubaki and the others then began to take a seat, then Yuriko and Emily continue their conversation.
“Yuriko, I was really happy when I heard that you are going to marry with Kaoru-niisan because you will become my sister-in-law after all. You know what, that brother of mine has been always, always, asking me everything about you. It’s really a relief to know he still thinking about you even until now.” (Emily)
“Is he really ask that much?” (Yuriko)
“You bet! From the food you like, movie, color, and even the flower you like. Though it should have been much better if he hearing all of those directly from you… Sigh, he’s really pathetic.” (Emily)
“Is, is that so—” (Yuriko)
Yuriko’s face suddenly goes red as she was smiling in delight.
Yes yes, thanks for the treat. Thought Tsubaki while looking at her mother.
Seeing that everything she said just going to make Yuriko happy, Emily then began to change her focus on Tsubaki.
“But still, her eyes really resemble Aunty. Tsubaki-chan, it’s great that the Mizushima’s blood is really thick in you, right? There’s no doubt you will become a beauty in the future, I guarantee you.” (Emily)
Emily then gave a wink and thumbs up at Tsubaki.
Tsubaki could only let out a dry laugh.
“Ah right, Tsubaki-chan I heard you punched that Leon at the Christmas party. Way to go girl!” (Emily)
“Emily-san! Please don’t praise her for that.” (Yuriko)
“His parents didn’t mind, you know? Of course, it would be a different matter if she raised her hand without a reason, but at that time it was obviously Leon was at fault.” (Emily)
“But still–” (Yuriko)
Seems like for a girl to raise their hands toward someone, it was an intolerable act for Yuriko.
Seeing Yuriko who still disagreed with what she thinks, Emily gave up in convincing her and tell what she had heard after that commotion at the Christmas party.
“But, it looks like his parents were grateful for what Tsubaki-chan did though.” (Emily)
“You see, his mother rarely returns home because of her job. The people who have been taking care of him are his grandparents from his father and mother’s families, and it seems like they had spoiled him a lot. Before they know it he’s started to grow arrogant and have a tendency to looking down on people, until Tsubaki-chan gave him a nice hook on his face, that is. Thanks to that it looks like that has become an eye-opener for him. Anyway, his parents are relieved to see he had started to put a lot more consideration into other people.” (Emily)
So there’s a circumstance like that around him, I suppose it was wrong of me to suddenly hit him like that. Thought Tsubaki in regret.
Sensing Tsubaki and Yuriko’s mood turned gloomy, Emily then changes the topic to lift up their mood.
“By the way, how is the house? Are there any inconveniences? You know, with how vintage all of the furniture here, there must be one or two.” (Emily)
“No, not at all. Every furniture here have a good sense, I like them a lot in fact.” (Yuriko)
“My mother would be really happy if she hears that. What about the servants here? I mean, the servant of the Asahina house was fundamentally small in number so I’m worried if there’s something they can’t help you with.” (Emily)
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. They do a really great job, or rather every one of them can do tasks that outside their field of expertise. I have heard the rumor about how versatile the servants of the Asahina house are but, it was way above my expectation.” (Yuriko)
Yuriko praised the work efficiency of the servants.
In this house, there is no steward. Besides driving and cooking, everything was done by the two maids.
However, at the time they would have to welcome a visitor where they would need more hands, the main house of the Asahina household would send in more helper, but fundamentally it was only these two.
“But, since the servants of the Mizushima house are only excelling in one field, the servants of the Asahina house have a strong impression of their versatility.” (Yuriko)
“Originally, the Asahina house was just a pot maker since Edo period you see. The servants who have work for our family until now was the family member of the pupils who had been following us since that time. I don’t really know the number but from what I hear there are a lot of pupils from young to old one who was close with the head of Asahina house at that time, and it was thanks to them that our Asahina house has become one of the biggest company in the ceramic industry now. But there’s a time when my grandpa had to discharge some of them because of that great war, we took a serious blow from the war and the company assets where go downhill fast, he couldn’t even pay the servants wages at that time. I heard that my grandpa was crying when he fired them. You have heard the rumor about the family member of the Asahina house is filled with a lot of people who were uselessly naïve, right? Well, that’s true in fact. Anyway, since then the remaining servants wanted to become the strength of my grandpa with increasing their working scope, and here we are.” (Emily) (TN: Edo period is around 1603 – 1868 AD)
“I see, they have a deep mutual trust huh.”(Yuriko)
“Maa, you could also say that my grandpa was more or less a man of character himself. He had re-employed the family of the pupils he had fired and established a private security company and merging them with our main company you see.” (Emily)
Far from begrudging the Asahina house for discharged them, they even wanted to become a strength for the Asahina house by their own will, the predecessor of the head of the Asahina house must be a man of character.
I wish I can meet him at least once. Thought Tsubaki with sadness.
“About that grandpa, just the other day he sent me a picture of his holiday in Dubai, it’s really a relief to know he’s still energic as usual.” (Emily)
Hearing what Emily said, Tsubaki was magnificently slipped down on the floor.
Tsubaki thought the person was already passed away because of the tone Emily used when reciting the story about her grandfather was sounded so serious and solemn.
“Tsubaki, there are only two kinds of people in the Asahina house, either you are a loser or an oddball.” (Anna)
“Why are those two options sounded like the only choices!?” (Tsubaki)
There’s no other option in between those two!? Like “Normal” or something!? That was what Tsubaki asked, but the Yakumo duo just shaking their heads at the same time.
At that time, there’s someone who knocking the door of the living room moderately, the maid opens the door and there was the representative of the losers in the Asahina house, Kaoru, comes in into the room.
“Are you girls done with your girl-meeting?” (Kaoru)
“Oh my Kaoru-niisan, you there?” (Emily)
“I am! I was in the atelier painting the whole time you know!” (Kaoru)
At the time Emily and Anna have arrived, Kaoru was too immersed in his painting that he didn’t realize they already here.
After reaching a point where he can take a break, he finally realized this when he looked at the clock and came to the living room to welcome their arrival.
“Yuriko. As you can see Kaoru-niisan is an unreliable person, but just for one woman, he has been persistently— did his best to hold his feeling toward her for these fifteen years. I can assure you he is a very faithful person.” (Emily)
“Could you please rephrase your words before finishing them!?” (Kaoru)
“Mou, Nii-san you’re annoying.” (Emily)
Hearing that, Tsubaki could make a guess about the Asahina house’s siblings hierarchy from the sibling’s banter.
Author note: The servants who work in the Asahina family are one big family in fact. The cook and the maid #1 are husband and wife and the maid #2 is the eldest daughter (Older sister), the chauffeur-slash-guard is the eldest son (Younger brother), this is the setting I made. The Fuwa family and one of the other servant family’s members were working in the main house of the Asahina house.