Camilla decided to make Nicole her personal maid for the time being.
Meanwhile, all the maids that had instructed Nicole to hurt Camilla in such a way had been fired by Alois.
One of those maids was a legitimate daughter of the Ende family, so complications with the House of Ende might arise in the future. Due to this possibility, the mansion was shrouded with a somewhat tense atmosphere.
Up until now, no girl from a noble house had ever been dismissed from their position. Since Alois was usually quite lenient, he wouldn’t dismiss a servant even if they made several mistakes. Furthermore, it didn’t seem like those maids had been fired for not performing up to his standards.
So, just why were they dismissed from the mansion?
Of course, the servants all had their own ideas. ‘Camilla is the one pulling the strings behind this’, ‘Alois has been caught in Camilla’s snare’ and ‘She really is just as evil as the rumours say’, those kinds of rumours were beginning to catch fire.
Otherwise, the days passed relatively quietly.
Regarding the problem with the Ende family, Camilla wasn’t really in a position to be able to do anything. Of course she wasn’t comfortable with the false rumours about her, but that was nothing new.
For Camilla, there was only one true worry on her mind.
Alois’ diet had been reduced to six meals a day: breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. And of course, his midnight snack.
Finally, she had brought it down to only double the normal amount of meals.
Although she was satisfied with the progress, she still couldn’t see any real changes in his physical appearance.
It had already been close to three months since Camilla had arrived in Mohnton (is this supposed to be Montchat?).
Two months ago, Alois had earnestly told her that he would lose weight. Cutting two meals out of his diet in two months felt like a good start. Although there had been a short relapse to his regular diet because of an incident, she had managed to get him back on track. In fact, she was already considering reducing his meals by one once again.
If she managed to achieve that, Alois would only be eating five meals. The month after that, four meals. Then, finally, she could bring him down to the standard number.
That being said, he still eats far too much for one meal as it is. The food is piled high and covered in exorbitant amounts of grease, sugar, and seasoning. He didn’t seem to care for exercise at all, spending his time either working or reading in his study.
To put it bluntly, the toad was as huge as ever. The servants whispered amongst themselves that Alois had lost weight, but Camilla couldn’t see the difference.
– I should move on to the next phase soon.
Judging by how little his body seemed to have changed to her, he would definitely melt into a puddle of sweat and fat if he started exercising now.
Thus, her next aim was to change the contents of his meals.
“Hmm,” as Camilla stood crossed armed in her room, a smile came to her face.
A nefariously evil smile.
The Montchat mansion’s kitchen was located in the basement.
The stairs leading down to it are directly accessed from a catering area where the food is set on trays with napkins, condiments and utensils. After passing through a set of double doors from there was the dining room where residents and guests alike would have their meals.
The room where the servants had their meals was also in the basement, adjacent to the kitchen. They would only eat after the Master had finished his own meal. It was customary for the junior servants to eat after the senior servants as well.
That being said, it wasn’t a rule that was strictly abided to. Because of differing work schedules, it was impossible for everyone to eat all at once. Alois was also not that strict as a Master when it came to things like that. The senior servants would try to keep the old tradition, but the junior servants were often late to this customary meal time.
The kitchen lay beyond that room. Some of the servants were still finishing breakfast while the scullery maids had just finished their work. The cooks were also free until the next mealtime, so the place looked deserted.
In that empty room, the sound of a boiling pot being stirred could be heard.
Over a big furnace that took up an entire corner of the room, a pot full of leftover bones was being broiled. It still simmered and bubbled even though the heat had been turned down. In the centre of the room, there were two long benches. There was a single man in the room, standing on the bench close to the pot. He folded his arms whilst staring at the pot as if he was transfixed, seemingly not noticing that there was an intruder in the kitchen.
He seemed to be all alone and that lonely man frowned as if he was perturbed by something.
His face looked stern as he quietly said, “The Young Master is eating less.”
He looked to be in his mid-forties. His straight chef uniform didn’t match well with his hard appearance. Strong muscles sinewed his forearms, uncovered by his rolled-up sleeves. He struck an image more like some kind of miner or woodworker, rather than a chef.
“No, no, he has just been eating too much up until now. So, this is actually a good thing, right?”
The man restlessly fidgeted with the chef’s knife in his hand as he paced in front of the oven, not paying much attention to anything else.
“But, I wonder why he decided to do this so suddenly? Did he really come to hate my food?”
He scratched at his head anxiously. As he mussed up his hair in his absentminded worry, the person looking on couldn’t help but cringe seeing him barely notice how the knife he held was swinging close to his face.
“No, it may be a little salty, but that doesn’t make it bad, right?”
He murmured bitterly as he shook his head. It looked like he was having a confidence crisis.
“But even if it was a bit oversalted, the Young Master always understood the delicacy of its taste. But what if he doesn’t want to eat my food anymore…?”
Surprised by the sudden appearance of that voice, the man yelped. The voice sounded like it was right next to him, as if they said it right in his ear.
He raised the knife in self-defense reflexively, but after seeing just who he was pointing it at, he brought it back down.
“Are you the chef here?”
Before he could question her, the girl had asked him a question. That proud looking young woman who was many years younger than him didn’t flinch at the sight of the knife, as if she hadn’t been there at all.
She was taller than other girls her age, but still stood shorter than the man. She looked quite slender in her simple yet clean dress, with her black hair pulled back into a ponytail. With that dress and haughty attitude, it was clear that she was some kind of nobleman’s daughter.
“…Hey you, are you some kind of maid? Don’t surprise me like that.”
Nobleman’s daughters often served as senior maids for the Montchat family. If they only had distant relations or there were some sort of circumstances, they would serve as lower ranking maids. Simply put, the Montchat family always aimed to maintain good relationships with their vassal houses. It was customary that any daughters from these houses would be given good positions in the manor.
As the man called her a ‘senior maid’, the young lady in front of her widened her eyes in surprise.
But, after a moment of hesitation, she nodded.
“Yes, I am a senior maid. I have a few things that I would like to ask you.”
“Fu fu,” that’s what the woman, Camilla, said with a smile.
The food served in the Montchat manor was delicious.
So long as you put the food served to Alois aside, Camilla’s personal meals were always delectable and she never had any complaints.
Therefore, it didn’t seem like there was an issue with the chef’s skills.
In that case, just why had Alois’ meals turned into those violent monstrosities?
It was Gerda who seemed to hold great influence on Alois’ life. But, if she ever asked that woman to change, she would only be met by the cold shoulder. Things would likely end up even worse between her and the house’s servants as a result.
Then, all she could do was go directly to the chef in charge of the meals. What exactly had gone wrong? Why was it that only Alois’ meals were awful? Just what was the reason behind it all?
– I will find out, even if I have to threaten him!
Simply put, that was the only way.
Edited by: ApoPie