Winston Hawkyard; The Attendant
“Please excuse me.”
Eileen and I looked at each other, then held our breath. It was a strange reaction, since we hadn’t done anything wrong, but it seemed we both had a mysterious sense of shared complicity.
But, the person who had entered the room threw back the curtains that surrounded the bed we were on without any hesitation, as if he knew we were there.
And that person’s appearance was…
Black haired with black eyes, and a handsome well-groomed face. He didn’t look old, in fact, he must’ve been around our age. But, there was something about that expensive-looking the dark grey suit, black tie and white gloves that he wore that gave off a professional atmosphere.
What’s more, I recognized him. Because I had seen him in the game’s instruction manual.
But, instead of a capture target, he’s more of a…
Eileen’s eyes opened wide as she jumped up from the bed incredibly quickly… knocking me aside in the process. I wasn’t able to react fast enough this time, and I paid for it with a knock to the head.
Eileen didn’t seem to care much as she raised her voice.
“Win, it’s me! Since you’re my attendant, surely you’ll know that it’s me!?”
Winston Hawkyard. His nickname was ‘Win’. He was a member of the Valett family, who were vassals to the Aldington family, and he also took care of Eileen’s day to day needs. If I remember right, he was nineteen?
Typically, it would be unthinkable for a faithful attendant like him to forget about the lady he was duty-bound to care for. However…
Right now, she’s…
“If I am not mistaken, you’re my Lady’s classmate, Miss Oliver, are you not? Thank you for always taking care of her.”
Eileen… Was speechless.
The unthinkable seemingly really had happened, as something began to swim in Eileen’s eyes… However… I couldn’t stop myself asking. Even I was surprised by the words that came from my mouth.
“You know what’s happening, don’t you?”
“No, not at all. Only…”
It didn’t seem like he was trying to make a fool out of me. Hawkyard’s face was calm and collected as he looked straight at me.
“I don’t quite understand why, but somehow I know that you aren’t really Eileen… the Lady that I serve.”
The light returned to Eileen’s eyes as they widened in surprise.
“If you were really my Lady, you would have flown into a rage the moment that Miss Oliver dashed up from the bed and hit you with the covers. My Lady isn’t so kind-hearted as to forgive a slight like that.”
“You did it, Eileen! Thanks to your cruel heart, we were able to avoid a misunderstanding.”
“Watch your tongue!”
When I clapped my hand on her shoulder encouragingly, she slapped it away as hard as she could. That’s twice now.
“The truth is,”
I filled Hawkyard in on everything that had happened so far. Making sure to tell him in no uncertain terms that she was the real Eileen.
He kept standing straight and still, but he often rubbed his chin with those white glove cl at some of the more interesting points.
“So, what you mean to say is that Lady Eileen entered Miss Oliver’s body, and now someone else has occupied Lady Eileen’s body? Respectfully… this is all somewhat hard to believe.”
“Mister Hawkyard, do you not actually believe we’re telling the truth about what happened?”
“Although I’m certain that something strange is definitely happening here, as far as I can see, there’s no proof.”
“But just earlier, Win, you yourself said…”
“Earlier, what I meant was the person who looks like Lady Eileen isn’t truly Lady Eileen. I didn’t say that Lady Eileen and Miss Oliver have swapped bodies.”
Eileen chewed her lips as he elaborated. Then, she looked up at him with the expression of a puppy left abandoned out in the rain.
“But, then, what should I do…?”
“Basically, all you have to do is prove that you’re really Eileen.
Is there anything you can think of?”
Looking over at me as I provided her a hint, Eileen rubbed her temples. Suddenly, a blush spread across her cheeks.
“I don’t have a choice…” she muttered to herself, as she chewed on her thumbnail.
“…Uu… Listen closely!”
She whispered something in Hawkyard’s ear.
Just what exactly did she say?
In stark contrast to Eileen, whose face was bright red, Hawkyard bent down gracefully to listen to what she had to whisper to him.
“The only person who could possibly know that is Lady Eileen. Therefore, I believe you.”
“What’d she say?”
“I w-w-w-w-w-will never let you know!”
I couldn’t help but wonder just what had made Hawkyard trust her so much. I prodded Eileen to tell me a few more times but had to give up because she was unbelievably stubborn in refusing me.
Well, I guess the most important thing right now is that he believes us.
“Even if the two of you are simply conspiring together, then that would mean that my Lady actually has a good enough friend that she would plan a prank like this together with her… my Lady… with a friend… My apologies… there’s something in my eye.”
“Look at that, Eileen, you really are a bad sort.”
“Be silent, would you!?”
Hawkyard silently dabbed at his eyes with a handkerchief he took from his pocket. When Eileen turned back to speak with him, her face didn’t look like a demure young lady’s at all, in fact it was twisted in anger.
“In the first place, Win, if you are supposed to be my attendant, then it’s your duty to recognize me at once. My goodness, and you call yourself a servant of the Aldington famil-”
“Now then, let us be going home, my Lady.”
Hawkyard spoke over Eileen as if ignoring her, then held out his hand to Eileen… or, rather, to me who was in her body.
Compare to Hawkyard, whose expression didn’t change at all, Eileen and I were stunned. We must look very similar.
“Just what do you think you’re doing!?”
“Today is my Lady’s piano lesson. We can’t afford to waste time on anything superfluous.”
“Eh, no, wait, hold on, Mister Hawkyard…”
“Come, my Lady.”
Taking my hand, he brought me to my feet.
“W-Win! Konomi, you stop right there!”
Even if we both called out to him, Hawkyard didn’t stop at all.
“Tough love is important sometimes. Even if you’re left at the school for a single night, I’m sure that you will not die. What’s more… if I don’t keep ‘my Lady’ safe, then the Master will be sure to scold me.”
“Now, come along, my Lady.”
Eileen’s trembling voice, was it filled with rage or despair? But, despite that, it seemed like Hawkyard wasn’t concerned, as he brought me along with him out of the infirmary.
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