Eugene arrived at the Arse manor a little early to attend the tea party at noon. She was greeted by the butler who had descended all the way down the stairs to meet her at the door.
The butler’s expression has evidently softened over the course of several days. Of course, he was impeccably polite when she first met him, but she got the feeling that he was only exuding a formality that is rooted in good manners.
But today, she could clearly sense the subtle difference in his manners, although she made no other efforts but to greet him whenever she came across him in the manor. Eugene surmised that as a hired servant, he couldn’t help but to be more cautious now that his master shows a great affection towards her daughter all suddenly.
“Bring it over here.” Eugene commanded the handmaid standing behind her. And at her command, the handmaid handed a big basket from her hand to the butler, who received it with a perplexed look on his face.
“The pie was baked gloriously sweet and golden today, so I brought some. These aren’t for my mother. So please share them with other employees.”
“I beg your pardon?” The butler dumbfoundedly stared at the basket in his hands with surprise.
Eugene recalled the memory she saw in her last visit that regarded the butler. It was a scene where her imposter was throwing something at the butler, indignantly. But it didn’t surprise Eugene in the least, knowing that the imposter had done pretty much the same to her handmaids in the palace.
However, she could only hope to repair relations with him from here onwards as it would sound absurd to explain that it wasn’t her doing after all nor she wanted to apologize for something she didn’t do.
“It’s nothing much.”
“No. I mean, thank you, Anika. I’ll make sure to share with everyone.” He was trying his best to hide his surprise.
“Is mother awake?”
“Yes, the lady is getting ready to go out.”
“I’m fine by myself. I know where my mother’s room is.” Eugene quickly told the butler when he turned around to give her an escort.
The butler bowed his head as Eugene walked past him. In a moment, when he lifted his head again, he managed to catch a glimpse of Eugene’s back before she disappeared behind a wall on the second floor.
Still looking puzzled, the butler lifted the cover of the basket and found that it was full of carefully packed pies inside the basket.
Indeed, the butler has been working for the Arses long enough to see the only daughter of the Arse family growing up to be a lady. And despite his great regard for his two masters, he never quite grew to like their daughter. In fact, it was one of his important duties to pacify the employees who had fallen victim to her ill-temper.
Three years may be long, but he still couldn’t believe how she has changed into a completely new person in just a few years of time.
He couldn’t quite put his finger on it still, but there was something different about her on the first day she returned. However, he hadn’t got the time nor the mind to give it much thought, since the whole manor was turned upside down followed by the Lady Arses’s sudden collapse on that day.
It was during yesterday’s dinner that he became assured of his supposition, when she surprisingly showed generosity to the mistake of a handmaid without making any fuss, as if she wasn’t bothered by it in the least.
And today, she even brought snacks for the employees. ‘The pie was baked gloriously sweet and golden today, so I brought some.’ Her such remark kept echoing around his ears as never in his wildest dreams had he thought she was capable of saying such words.
The butler picked out a slice from the basket and took a bite. The taste of a slice of pie during the peak hour of his duty, couldn’t be more divine. He casted a smile on his face while happily munching on the pie in his mouth by the stairs.