A walking cliche. She was the stereotypical self-centered rich girl.
While I stood there in shock, the maid had returned, breathless. She passed by me, a pitcher and a glass in her hands.
"Miss Flora, I have lemon water!"
Round slices of lemon floated in the pitcher full of water. The sailor near me frowned when he saw it.
It goes without saying that fresh water is very valuable on a sea voyage. Naturally, fruits are also important. That isn't to say the water shouldn't be drunk, but it might be desirable to ration it.
This time, it might not be a large-scale voyage, but that didn't mean resources could be wasted. You can never be too prepared—anything can happen at anytime.
However, even though the sailor looked disgruntled, he didn't say anything to her directly. "If she wasn't the Goddess," he muttered under his breath. His words made me sweat uncomfortably.
W-What should I do?
Even though I was fretting, there was nothing I could do. It was impossible for me to suddenly come forth and claim, I'm the goddess (LOL) who created it. Perish the thought! I'm no glutton for punishment!
"That took rather long, and all for lemon water? I am not amused."
"I beg your pardon, milady."
"Very well, then. Get on with it," Miss Flora said imperiously. She closed the fan with a snap.
Flustered, the maid handed over the glass and poured. Without a word of thanks, Miss Flora brought it to her lips, when her brows scrunched up.
"What is this? It's tepid!"
Well, duh, I retorted silently as I observed, on pins and needles. She already said there's no ice house.
Miss Flora shoved her glass at the maid.
"I don't need something like this!"
Hold on. Just, wait a moment.
How can you act as if you don't sense all the eyes on you? If it was me, I'd be drenched in sweat by now.
"Huh? T-Then, what shall I do with this?"
"Throw it away!"
Her words caused the area to seethe with anger.
The sailors clicked their tongues, their eyes cold. Klaus, who was next to me, dropped his mask. Even the man who stood apart and looked like a passenger had a serious expression on his face.
"I'm telling you to throw it away! Are you deaf?!"
Stooop! I'm begging you, just shut up already!
I couldn't take it anymore.
Miss Flora's attention turned to me as I rushed up. Her blue-grey eyes were filled with displeasure.
"And you are?"
"Um, I am…"
I had acted on impulse, but then realized it was a mistake: all eyes were on me.
Miss Flora scrutinized me as I stammered.
"A commoner, from the looks of you. Don't you think it's rude to address me?"
"My apologies… However, water is valuable. If you're going to throw it away, may I please have it instead?"
"My! How vulgar. You want another's discards? Have some shame."
She opened the fan and covered her mouth, and looked at me as if at something filthy.
Every word out of her mouth was foul…
Even though my mouth seemed like it was cramping up, I tried to keep smiling.
Someone pulled my hand from behind, and the back of my head lightly bumped into something solid.
"Enough. We're leaving, Marie," Klaus said, his low voice full of suppressed feelings.
Filled with misgivings, I looked up at his smiling face and met his eyes. Even though his lips were curved, his eyes were as cold as ice.
Ouhh. I want to run away.
"Don't be so reckless. My heart can't take it."
He patted my head, still holding me.
Wasn't this too close?!
Very casually, I elbowed him in the stomach so that the people around us couldn't see, and gave him a look that told him to move. Klaus, smiling the entire time, continued to hold onto my shoulders firmly.
So, he was doing this to harass me for running out by myself? Was that what this was about?
While we were stealthily duking it out, she called out to him.
"Um… And you are?"
I looked in her direction and saw Miss Flora getting up from her deck chair. Her nasty glare from earlier was gone, and there was a faint layer of blush on her cheeks.
This sudden change threw me for a loop, but no, she wasn’t looking at me. She only had eyes for Klaus.
Why is she looking at him so eagerly?
I pondered the matter, head tilted. After a while, I finally remembered. If we're going by appearances only, Klaus had top-notch looks. He was the maiden's ideal of a handsome, fine young man.
But even his good looks could not remedy the disappointing guy inside, so I'd almost forgotten about it.
"Pay me no heed. After all, I am only a commoner," he said, smiling.
I was surprised by the poison in his words.
His sarcasm was blunt as a hammer, and she stiffened instantly, flushing once more at his words. This time, it was with shame and anger.
"Are you now! You seemed a man of good breeding, so I spoke to you, but I misjudged."
"Yes, so it seems. I apologize for wasting your time."
Why is he fanning the flames?!
He must have noticed how pale I turned, but Klaus had no intention of letting his attitude soften. It seems like he was very pissed off.
"Quickly, begone from my sight!"
"Of course, you needn't tell us. Oh, yes. Before we do, may I have that water? You don't want it, do you?"
With fair brows arched, she said in irritation, "Do as you please!"
The maid, who had been confused by the turn of events, looked from Miss Flora to us before she handed the pitcher and glass to me.
"Thank you. Well then, let's go."
As soon as he confirmed I had received them, Klaus forced me to turn around. I could tell from the strength of the hand he used on my back that he didn't want to let me stay there any longer.
"What's wrong with him! Just because he's slightly good-looking. In the end, Sir Georg is much better!"
I heard what seemed like the mutterings of a sore loser from behind and instinctively turned my head, but Klaus didn't let me stop walking. I couldn't shake off the hand gripping my shoulder, so I was semi-forced to leave.
"Wait, Klaus! The name she just mentioned…"
"Nevermind. It has nothing to do with you."
"Er, well, um. True, it might not be directly related to me, but…"
"It has nothing to do with you."
"Why’d you say that twice?"
I glanced at Klaus, who was stubbornly trying to prevent me from turning around, and sighed. Pushed from behind, I fell into my habit of thinking while walking.
Was Miss Flora perhaps aiming for Georg?
Holy shit. It’s been this many months since an update. I’m sorry, everyone. To be honest, I really have no excuse. This release may not have even been possible if not for the help of a mysterious Miss Anon, who likes to style herself the Representative of Readers’ Union (self-proclaimed). She’s been encouraging me to work on TO for a long time, and she even helped me to translate and edit this chapter. I hope that she’ll continue to work with me in the future, and maybe with the two of us here I’ll be more motivated.
Thanks everyone. I’m sorry I haven’t been responsive to your comments, but thank you for your support and continued love for Rose (best girl).
P.S. Arian Rose (the imprint for TO) has started their own web comic section and TO is supposed to have its own series, so we’ll be getting a manga version soon!