Albert Ke no Reijou wa Botsuraku wo go Shomou desu 54
Volume 2 Chapter 14
Mary is a rather peculiar lady.
She does not have much interest in luxuries nor flaunt her family background like most of the gentlemen or ladies of the same age; having said that, it doesn’t mean she leads life like a commoner. Ladies of her age would have designers make dresses, but she’d have vegetables peeled in the cafeteria for staffs.
Mary does not lead life like a noble, but she’s not a commoner either; she does not fall under both categories and in the first place, since she’s the lady of the Albert family, she has a sense of duty to perform her duties when needed, making her a role model to many.
She’s more of a lady than anyone else and more unlike a lady than everyone else.
This ambivalence in Mary’s nature exists and she could switch between them easily, depending on the situation.
As a result, Mary’s often called the “peculiar Lady” behind her back, and there were many people around her, who were in the debts of the Albert family’s good deeds. Whenever she heads for parties, countless of people would greet her; and whenever she’d happily chat with Addie or her maids, people would laugh remarking that “it’s so like her to make small talks with her servants.”
After saying that, Addie said “but still…” and sighed.
”But still, by normal circumstances, she’d be able to make one or two close friends with the ladies. Putting aside the fact that the lady is a little peculiar, she’d probably be able to make close friends who sees her not as the lady of the Albert family but as herself… but…”
Addie peeked at Patrick when he said that.
His eyes looked good-natured as usual, and being looked at like that by Addie, he tilted his head in a prince-like manner as though he’s asking “What about me?” As he does that gesture, his blue hair waved ever so slightly with eyes of deep shades; he’s the perfect epitome of the dreams the ladies have.
Looking at that, Addie once again covered his face with both hands.
“Normally, she’d probably be able to get along well with ladies of the same age, but all the ladies around her were captivated by Sir Patrick…”
At the end of his words, there was an unfitting period of silence for a tea party, which loomed in the air.
Patrick did not expect his name to be brought up and when he finished hearing the story, he was taken aback and apologized with a sorry look/
“Therefore, the lady was mistaken to be the fiancée of Sir Patrick, and was being the object of jealousy to the point of being called a peculiar lady in the academy. Even so, with the name of the Albert family, there are plenty of followers; under such complicated circumstances, the lady’s relationship with the others have become warped.”
“Warped… you don’t have to say it that harshly…”
“No, to be frank, it’s warped! I mean, the lady still thinks of us as followers till now!”
Addie claimed; Patrick and Alicia looked at each other without realizing.
It was clear to everyone that Addie’s in love with Mary. On top of that, sometimes he’d carelessly say that “he’s been completely beaten” when even the most aloof person would have realized his direct approach.
Therefore, Patrick and Alicia thought that Mary must have been making her decision in silence.
“…I see, so you don’t get it huh.”
“The lady would be able to gather a lot of people around her as the ‘lady of the Albert family’, but nobody cares for ‘Mary Albert’; right now, she’s only known as ‘the lady of the Albert family’ and… that resulted in this warped mindset of hers.”
“Don’t just repeat after what I’ve just said.”
“Well, I just have to summarize it.”
Addie sighed deeply and Patrick patted on his shoulder.
Looking at the both of them, Alicia took a gulp of the black tea and tilted her head with a confused look.
“Mr Addie, are you not going to confess?
“Well, I’d like to do that if I can, but I’m the son of the family who have served the Albert family for generations; if I were to confess to the lady with my status, it might cause harm to my entire family.”
Addie sighed again as though he’s reminded of his status again. It’s difficult for a commoner and noble to be together, what’s more between the servant and the nation’s most prestigious Albert family’s lady. For now, everyone’s vying for Mary in the noble world and it’s the best bargaining card for the Albert family.
As for the approaches made by Addie all these while, he’d probably be condemned for not “knowing his own place.”
“If only I’m of a court rank at least…”
Addie sighed repeatedly that if that’s the case, he’d be able to propose to her officially; Patrick and Alicia frowned as they tried thinking of alternatives.
The first thing that came to mind was the heir adoption system. However, this is not practiced much by the nobles and it mostly takes place among the nobles. No matter how good Addie is; would there be a family who’d adopt him in?
“No, but, if one adopts Addie as a family, it would mean a link with Mary, so that might be a viable option.”
“That is under the condition that things will go well. However, I might get rejected and if things go awry, my elder brother and father might lose their jobs…”
Addie said that’s why he could not confess; Patrick, who was patting his shoulder, and Alicia, who was pouring black tea, looked at each other with troubled looks.
Patrick and Alicia recollected the past when they were troubled about status differences like what Addie is mulling over now; in fact that happened to them a few years back. However, it’s not possible for Addie to abandon his status easily as his family members would be affected too, so it was more serious.
He ought to have given up; the Albert family is just too big and there’s the risk of Addie’s family members being affected.
However, despite knowing that, they still wanted to support him, because it was Addie who helped to solve the status difference issue between Patrick and Alicia.
“However, Lady Mary might accept you without even caring about your social status.”
Alicia was considerate about the despondent Addie and followed up. Patrick too continued that it might be possible because they’re talking about Mary here.
-There’s a little difference in the nuances between the words of Alicia and Patrick, but it was just something very Patrick-like.
Perhaps, being a little cheered up by the two, Addie lifted his head up and said that’s right.
“That’s right. The opposite party is the lady after all.”
“That’s right! Lady Mary is a little strange, so there might not be a need to worry about this!”
“That’s right, that’s right; it’s impossible for the friendless Mary to suddenly have a fiancé; it also seems like she has been rejecting all the proposals so if this continues on, she might find it difficult to marry off and become left alone in the Albert family.”
“Indeed, the lady is warped like that so there’s no way she would obediently accept a marriage proposal.”
“Alright, I’m going to take revenge on all of you!”
The sudden forceful voice made the tea party silent in a moment.
Addie turned behind awkwardly to look at the source that broke the atmosphere; his face was not pale but considering the situation, he might become soon.
“L-Lady… why are you here…?”
“Why? Isn’t it natural for the lady of the Albert family to be in the gardens of the Albert Family? Or rather, you guys are the weird ones here for having a tea party in someone else’s house.”
“W-W-When… when did you start hearing us…?”
Alicia and Patrick also looked at Mary seriously; the situation will change largely based on which part she has heard.
If she overheard Addie’s troubles about his proposal towards her, then his worries might be alleviated soon. They don’t know how Mary would respond to that, but that would mean that his feelings would reach her. However, it’s also possible that the risk which Addie has mentioned before would come true.
The atmosphere was so heavy with the tension that Mary laughed when everyone looked at her.
“From which part? Of course it’s obvious.”
“Lady, could it be…”
“Ever since the part where you said ‘that’s right. The opposite party is the lady after all’!”
“Why is it at the part where it’d bring the most misunderstanding?! It’s always the case like that with you!”
Addie muttered and Mary widened her eyes.
When she just arrived, all she heard were phrases like ‘that Mary’, ‘difficult to marry off’ and to add on to that ‘no way she would obediently accept a marriage proposal’. She intended to complain about that, but for some reasons, Addie was muttering and Patrick and Alicia were consoling him with sighs. Adding on, both of their gazes were kind of cold.
Mary has no idea what’s going on and she raised her voice saying “What’s going on!?”
Right after that, Mary too sat down and asked once again “so, what were you guys talking about?” to the three.
Every single one of them had their gazes wandering around and they clearly looked suspicious as though they were hiding something.
In the middle of which, Patrick cleared his throat and swept away the heavy and painful atmosphere.
“Addie wanted the court rank, so we were talking about that.”
Mary looked at Addie and wondered why.
“Apparently, there’s something he cannot do anything without the court rank, and that’s why he wanted it.”
Patrick sipped on the black tea and asked Addie if that’s right by looking at him, Mary also followed his lead and looked at Addie. Addie’s face has turned red and when he received the gaze he gave a small nod and said that it’s true.
“Something you cannot do anything without the court rank?”
“That’s right… rather than saying that I cannot do it, it’s something that’s not forgiven for my current social status…”
“You have to stop that one-sided view; it’s not going to be easy.”
Mary declared that bluntly and Addie sighed. Alicia, who heard about his story, and Patrick, who was encouraging him, looked at her with cold glares.
From Mary’s viewpoint, she felt uncomfortable with the groundless attitudes.
She muttered “W-What’s with everyone…” with her voice shaking; everyone would have behaved like that when they felt alienated within their own homes.
Addie might have sensed about Mary’s feeling as he told her not to mind.
“It’s just that I was being too selfish… however, I just wouldn’t give up on that…”
Addie stared at Mary when he said that; Mary replied in a bad attitude saying that “so you are greedy for statuses too.” –in turn, Patrick also secretly thought in his heart, “yeah he’s greedy with a bad taste”, but as expected of Patrick Dice, he managed to keep those words within himself.
However, Mary seems to be willing to cooperate and help him out as she seriously pondered about the court rank; though it seems like a problem that’s even too hard for Mary to resolve as creases form in between her eyebrows.
“There’s the adopted child system, but that’s mostly within noble families. In the first place, I wonder what father would say if Addie were to leave for other family…”
“U-Um lady, please do not force yourself.”
Mary was troubled about it so much that Addie felt bad about it; it’s probably not right to make the person whom he wanted to propose to, worry about how he could propose to her.
However, Mary replied with a bright expression and told Addie not to worry.
“If you want a court rank, I’m going to fulfill that for you!”
“Lady, thank you very much… that feeling alone is enough for me…”
“Also, if there’s no other way, you could just marry me and be part of the Albert family!”
Mary said with a bright smile that she’s going to persuade her father; of course Addie, Alicia and Patrick were at a loss for words when they heard that.