I looked at the spoonful of gruel in my hand and winced as I brought it to my mouth.

I hate this.

The slushy gruel was made of oats, water, milk and onion. It is extremely bland and would not have any flavour at all without the onion.

I side-eyed Bessie, the Marchionesss maid, who was digging in as if it was the most delicious food in the world. It probably was, for her. Before arriving in the marquessate, I worked in a house that had hired Asian cooks. Hence the food was extremely flavorful. And now, the food here always seems bland.

A loud burp sounded in front of me. I glanced at Louis who had finished his breakfast.

Seeing my eyes on him, he made a disgusted expression. He had been treating me differently ever since that incident. His behaviour had been strange since then.

His eyes were colder, even more hostile than before. It was unfortunate that she had to sit in front of him during dinner. But rules cannot be avoided.

We, the upper servants: the steward, wine butler, under butler, groom of chambers, the valet, housekeeper, head maid and ladies maids, had our food in the stewards dining room. Seated according to hierarchy, the males occupied one side of the table and the females the other.

And I did not understand why the lady needed a butler of her own. Was I not enough?

Finishing my breakfast, I headed outside with a basin to fetch water, passing through the servants hall. I looked at the table full of people who were chatting away. Everyones faces were cheerful and happy.

Its such a contrast compared to the solemn atmosphere in the stewards dining hall. I shook my head and continued with my work.

I went up to the young ladys room and found Louis already stationed in front of the door. I didn look at him and opened the door and quickly closed it after getting in. Setting the basin aside, opened the blinds and windows, letting sunlight and fresh air in.

I headed toward the young lady and brushed her hair, fixing her fringe. She stirred a little but didn wake up. I pulled my hand away from her face. Her lips twitched slightly and a small whine escaped from her mouth.

Hmm? Whats wrong?

I walked closer and crouched down in front of her.

She mumbled incoherently and reached out to touch me. Her hand touched my forehead, causing me to jerk back. Her hand was burning hot.

Oh. She has a fever.

I grabbed the cloth from the basin and wiped the sweat from her skin. After a moment, the fever seemed to fade away and she fell back into her sleep. She was breathing normally now but her fever should go down soon.

She needs rest.

I stood and picked up the basin. Keeping the basin back, I went to the head maid.

”Mrs Benny, Im afraid the young lady has caught a fever. ”

Mrs Benny rushed to check on the young lady. I followed closely behind her, ready to help her if needed. I helped her adjust the young ladys blankets and tucked her securely. I watched as she fell asleep again. I turned around to find Mrs Benny staring at me.

”Myra, stay by the ladys side. Someone else can inform the Marchioness. ”

”Yes, Mrs Benny. ”

I wiped her face with the wet towel and stared at her face. Her cheeks were red, her rosy lips slightly parted. She was beautiful. Too bad that her sickness made her beautiful.

I traced my fingers along her face. I wonder how easy it will be to slice her? The skin is so soft. I bet it will feel good to feel her warm flesh beneath my knife. I leaned closer, lowering my gaze to her neck. It was as smooth as silk.

I retreated.

No. Do not continue, now is not the time.

The Marchioness barged into the room and rushed to the young ladys side.

”Oh, my heavens, Charlotte! ”

She said softly, caressing the young ladys face and wiping the sweat from her forehead.

Then she turned back to me. ”Why are you standing there? ” She demanded.

”To cleanse her face… ” I trailed off, not meeting her eyes.

The Marchioness scowled and snapped, ”Well get to it then. ”

”Yes, your ladyship ” I nodded and continued wiping her.

The marchioness snatched the cloth from me. ”I will do it. You begin packing her clothes. We are going to London. ”

My eyes widened. This early?

I bowed and went to the dressing room. Surprisingly, the room was empty.

Where are the maids? I frowned.

After a moment, I shook my head and began packing the young ladys best clothes. It was the capital after all. They could afford to travel a few hours or even days ahead of schedule.

In about three hours, I was done packing and left the dressing room. I noticed that Mrs Benny had gone too, probably to help the Marchioness. I decided not to disturb her and instead headed straight for the kitchen.

I frowned along the way. Louis was missing, there were far fewer maids compared to the usual. I went to the kitchen and observed the same thing.

”Mrs Smith, is there any food left from the dinner. Im afraid I missed it. ”

”Oh Miss Allen, yes there is. Ill ask someone to get it for you. ”

”Thank you, Mrs Smith. ”

I chomped on the boiled meat given to me. After finishing, I went to Mrs Amelia.

”Mrs Smith, I noticed the absence of some servants. What happened to them? ”

”Oh, they were fired. ”

”What? So many of them? ”

”Yes. Mrs Benny walked in with a list and told everyone to get lost. They weren even given recommendation letters. Poor dears. ”

This is bad.

I have to leave.

I have to resign.

They are really on the road to ruin.

I-

”Myra! The Marchioness asked if you have packed your belongings. We leave in three hours! ” Bessie hollered from the entrance of the kitchen.

Well, Bollocks. Looks like I cannot leave.

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