A Visitor (POV: The Family of Count Allingham)
By Antoinette Vanessa January 2, 2023
Not too long ago, at the residence of the Count of Allingham…
With her plan to sneak into the house of the Duke of Lancester and switch places with Avril foiled, Corinna had to return home.
“Mother—! Father—! I’m back—!”
“Corinna—! Where have you been! The Count of Lindberg family… no, Lady Alexandra herself sent a letter inquiring of your whereabouts! Even after the appointed day had passed, you still hadn’t arrive at the royal capital…!”
Her mother was fuming at entrance of the mansion, but Corinna merely shrugged.
“So what As my plan has gone somewhat awry, I have no time to visit the Lindberg family.”
“Corinna, what are you saying… What happened to switching places with Avril Even if you don’t want to go, you should’ve at least sent Avril instead!”
“Well, it didn’t go as planned.
But it’s alright, there’s always next time.”
“Next time… But, this house…”
Corinna’s bewitching smile disrupted the stuttering of her mother.
“More importantly, the townscape of the royal capital where the Duke of Lancester resides sure is amazing.
He has a whole castle to himself! For Avril to live there, what a waste… This time, the plan went awry because Carol didn’t appear.
Still, I’ll definitely take her place!”
However, her mother remained in a trance.
The only reason the family of Count Allingham had been able to avoid paying their debt was because Corinna would be serving as Alexandra’s maid.
But even after Corinna’s mother explained that to her, she didn’t even bat an eye.
As she removed her travel hat, rocking her pink-blonde hair, she selfishly spoke.
“So what if we can’t repay the debt Just pay it as soon as we receive the wedding fund”
Having heard the commotion, her father trudged to the entrance.
“Father, I’ve just got back from the royal capital.”
“What are you doing here…”
“This again You’re just like mother! As if I’d serve someone as mediocre as Alexandra.
I want to go to a more glamorous place—for example, like the house of the Duke of Lancester…!”
Corinna’s father bitterly stared at his daughter while she sported a dreamy gaze.
Then, a bell rang to announce a visitor, and a carriage was stationed in the garden of the Count of Allingham.
“Greeting to the Count of Allingham.
My name is Cyril Brandner.”
A young man around the same age as Avril and Corinna alighted from the carriage.
His blond, brick-colored hair was loosely drawn into a ponytail, while a pair of amethyst eyes peeked out from behind his glasses.
Considering that he was in the presence of a guest, Corinna’s father maintained his composure.
I was asked to assist you here via the academy.”
“—! Oh, you finally came.
I’ve been waiting for you.”
After the departure of Avril, Count Allingham posted a job offer via the academy to fill in the void left by his daughter.
However, because the proposed salary was extremely low, no excellent human resources came his way.
But at last, an arrangement had been made.
Thinking that, Corinna’s father decided to escort the man named Cyril Brandner to the study, leaving behind his daughter who had just returned from the royal capital and was spouting some wistful stories.
“Was that person earlier the young lady”
“Oh, that’s right.
I intended to sent her to work somewhere, but as you can see…”
At Cyril’s question, the corners of Count Allingham’s mouth contorted.
…If Corinna refuses to serve Lady Alexandra, we’ll be in deep water.
Corinna was under the impression that she had the final say to everything, even though in reality, her family was in a major pinch.
Moreover, if they accidentally offended the Count of Lindberg, all of the houses and the land in their territory might be confiscated as a result.
After accepting Lady Alexandra’s proposal, I thought that we’d be safe for a while…
…But in the first place, if Corinna hadn’t messed around with Lady Alexandra’s fiancé, none of this would’ve happened—!
Alas, regret always came too late.
While the count was busy in a pity-party of his own, it wasn’t like he could do anything.
After all, he was at his wife’s mercy.
The count used to have a mistress outside the house, but after the financial situation of his family became apparent, she had cut him off.
As such, he had to prevent his affair from ever coming to light.
Living alone would just be too lonely.
As he contemplated that, a heavy thud could be heard from behind the desk.
“…This must be the most recent ledger.”
“Don’t behave as you please—!”
Cyril Brandner, who had just been shown to the study, flipped through the ledger.
With Avril no longer present, the study had grown unkempt and messy.
The count’s face flushed in anger as he tried to snatch it back, but Cyril only raised an eyebrow in disdain.
“Oh, right, I forgot to tell you.
I didn’t come here to be your employee.”
“The academy especially employed me, and I’ll be receiving my salary from them.”
“W, what do you mean…”
“What I’m saying is, you’ve gotten yourself an employee without having to pay a dime.
Considering the circumstances of this house, how lucky of you.”
At the count’s nervous smile, Cyril proceeded to read the ledger.
“…Even so, how terrible.
Everything went downhill starting half a year ago.
Of course, I’m not talking about the formatting, as the contents are also as terrible.”
…Six months ago, that was around the time Avril had left.
As Count of Allingham rolled his eyes, one of the few remaining maids of the house emerged at the door of the study.
“…Uh, pardon the intrusion, but if I may…”
It was Avril’s fellow servant—Keira.