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Although she is more cautious at home than anywhere else in the world, her room is still the only place where Violette can exhale. It is a fragile place that would collapse if one of her family members were to visit.
“Are you studying?”
“Yeah, just a little review.”
Once dinner was over, the rest of the day was free. Violette was grateful for the absence of a family reunion over dinner. If not for having a family reunion, she may have never visit any of her ‘family’ members willingly. It was only recently that she realized that it would be easier to be left alone if she couldn’t even hold a shred of affection for them.
If she was not compared to Marijune and was being scorned, she could make the most use of this time without worrying or being sad.
“Speaking of which, you’re back late again today. ……”
“I have a test coming soon. I need to study and can concentrate better at school than at home.”
Their house is too large for the number of people who live here, and there is a also library with enough books to open a small bookstore. It’s a great place to study for tests, but the only and biggest drawback is that ……her father uses it frequently.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the best way to avoid her father is to not meet up with him at all. She is fed up with trying to hiding from her father but it’s the best way to avoid her father’s cold and indifferent attitude towards her that breaks her heart.
“Yulan is there, too, and I think we will be studying tomorrow or so for a while.”
“I’m sorry, Violette-sama. From tomorrow, I’ll prepare an evening meal for you to eat during your review.”
“Oh, thank you, but only a little, please, because I’m going to gain weight.”
“Please tell that to the chef, not me.”
All the servants of the Vahan family …… who have been aware of the Duke’s ex-wife thoughts of always looking for an opportunity to ‘spoil’ Violette.
It’s not that they are looking for opportunities to pamper Violette, but they can’t afford to offend their employer. They had to follow the command of their employer so it has became a habit for them to give priority to Violette over Marijune. But now Marijune and her mother lives here with the Duke. If it ever gets out that they are favoring Violette instead of Marijune, Violette will be the one to suffer the repercussions.
So the only way they could show their visible favoritism is in the food menu, which the chef and the servants cheat by making the food look more luxurious and the portions larger than the others.
If the chef makes a pastry for Violette, he makes one Marijune too, only Violette’s portion is bigger and tastier than Marijune. If a servant washes Violette’s dress, they would wash few of Marijune’s too. If they prepare a gift only for Violette, they have to disguise in a way so that no one will ever find out, especially Marijune or the Duke.
They are so careful that it seems overdone. Because they knows that their careful thoughts would be futile if they were to exposed. It would be Violette who would be punished, not them.
In the midst of such a tense day, her upcoming test is a good excuse to send her a gift of sweets. The chef only have to made one for Marijune, then it would be enough to cover it up.
Even if they made a set of Violette’s favorite foods, they would never know. Her father would never remember a single thing that Violette liked.
“I’m glad you all are so thoughtful, but …… please send it with a moderate portion, okay? Otherwise, I won’t be able to finish eating them.”
“Okay, I will inform them.”
“That will be appreciated. Thank you.”
With a sigh, Violette continues to speak “I always give you a hard time, don’t I?”
Marin opened her mouth to speak before closing it. She wanted to tell Violette that it’s her great pleasure to be able to do something for Violette. The other maids and servants think that, too. Because Violette moves their hearts in such a way that no one else of this house is capable of.
“….. Not really.”
Unless she really dislikes it and throws a tantrum, there is no need to worry that her kindness is not being conveyed.
“……I’ll fix you a glass of hot milk then.”
“I could see your pen stopped in the same place a few minutes ago and you were rubbing your eyes. I suggest you take the rest of the day off.”
“I was actually looking at …….”
“You must be tired. You seem to be working harder than usual this time,…… it’s not good for your health if you put in too much work.”
“Yes,…… you may be right.”
Violette is putting too much effort this time because she remembers the negative effects of Marijune’s arrival. Marin doesn’t know that so for her, her studying so much for the test is very different from last year. It must have been disconcerting for Marin to see her study so hard.
She had struggled in her own way when she was expected to have the same academic ability as her father, but her fake life had already come to an end when she entered high school.
The reason why she is studying so feverishly like this because she have a lot of people lending their support to her. So she wanted to do as much as she could.
In the past, whenever she ran into a hole, she couldn’t get out of it without Yulan’s help. But this time, she is blessed beyond words compare to those days where no one supported her except for Yulan.
This time, however, she is feeling much better than her suffocating time back then in her previous life.
That is why she waned to repay their favor. Because she is afraid that if she doesn’t show her gratitude properly, she wouldn’t get the chance of repaying them ever and it would crush her heart.
She is grateful to them for their help, but she is afraid that she is not doing her best.
The most frightening thing to her is when she sits back and take advantage of their kindness. She fears that everyone who is kind to her would be taken away from her.
She is in distrust of herself, fearing that she may fall again.
“I can assure you that you are doing your best…… Violette-sama. You are trying so hard that you are overdoing it.”
Yes, she tried so hard to be what her mother wanted, she tried so hard to be best to her father’s expectations, she tried so hard to be chosen by the prince.
She tried, and tried, and tried …… hard, and it only got more distorted the more she tried.
And the last time she did it, she ended up making it more distorted than she thought it would be.
To Marin, the Violette of today looks just like she did before her mind was distorted. It is hard to believe that she came back to the time when everything started after failing once, but still, Violette is happy that she is stil alive. To Marin, she is just as she was before, she is just Violette.
Her inside is whispering to her that it’s not too late to show her gratefulness to her. That she could still show her gratitude to Marin who was always with her.
“It’s my job to remind you to take a break from working too hard. Sometimes I have to pull you to a halt and show you you’re overdoing it.”
“You’re welcome. So could please appreciate my advice and take a break before I force you?”
“Okay, okay, I’m stopping. That’s enough for today.”
“Good. Now, let’s get you dressed.”
“I’m fine on my own. But I’d like a …… hot milk with lots of honey, please.”
“…… yes, one moment, please.”
Violette let Marin back down and headed for the bedroom. After changing into her nightgown, she undid her hair. Her hair must have look like a mess , but she could have Marin fix them later.
As she sat down on the soft comforter, she could feel her brain urging her to go to sleep. She was feeling a little lonely, but that’s okay because no one is home right now.
She feels as if the soil, which was drying up, has suddenly filled up with beautiful flowers. Her inside feels fluffy and sweet, the feeling is similar to sleepiness.
Violette knew, she was aware of her hard work. She even claimed that she was doing her best. But since her parents never appreciated her, she thought she wasn’t doing enough.
But when Marin told her, she realized for the first time that she had been more than working hard. She felt as if she knew had been doing her best, always.
“I see,……, I’m doing my best.”
It was a great relief to her. Her whole body relaxed and her back sank into the bed as she let herself lying down on the bed.
She feels like crying.
It may be silly, it may be an exaggeration, but the relief that spreads through her heart is so great.
It was good. …… was good. …… was very good.
Because no one praised her. Because no one gave her affirmation. Because her parents only denied her.
She thought she wasn’t trying hard enough. She was screaming inside that she was doing her best, but somewhere inside of her, she felt like she knew she wasn’t doing enough. She thought that what she was doing was just trying.
Maybe she was afraid. But she didn’t want to admit it, so she yelled at them that she was trying her best, trying to force them to appreciate her effort.
She just wanted someone to praise her.
She just wanted someone to tell her once, “You did a great job.”
Just tell her that she can take a break now, and that would have been enough for Violette to relax.
“I did my best,……, I did my best.”
Please, Just tell me I can take a break now…..
Violette couldn’t know if it was tears, sleepiness, or a haze in her head, she doesn’t even know what she was saying anymore. She just kept muttering the same thing, like a broken radio.
It was only when Marin came to greet her in the morning that she realized she had fallen asleep before she knew it and that she had fallen asleep because she was …… tired.
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