The Unbound World’s “Normal” is Difficult - Vol 2 Chapter: 7.2
Deborah was surprised when Elma told her that she would be able to accomplish a vast amount of work without even having to consult her notes. She opened her prominent eyes wide in surprise.
“No, don’t worry about it. I don’t think it will take much time, and repaying the favor of lodging with labor is a very common thing, as portrayed in classical literatures and fairy tales.”
Deborah was perplexed by the matter-of-fact explanation. However, she took it as mere bravado or eventually let out a sigh.
“I see. As expected of a maid from the capital. I’m looking forward to seeing how much you can get done today.”
She added spitefully.
“By the way, today is the opening of the market and there’s a famous street performance troupe scheduled to come. But I’m sure they’ll be finished before noon, so it’s not something that concerns you.”
And with that, she turned on her heel and left. The maid who came with Deborah also shrugged her shoulders and left.
Only Elma and Irene, who was still furious, remained behind.
Irene raised her cat-like gaze and spread her arms wide.
“I can’t believe that’s the Margrave’s daughter! Really, Elma! How can you accept such an unreasonable order! Surely you must know that this is just harassment, right?!”
It seems like she was not just angry at Deborah, but also at Elma for complying so easily.
Elma tilted her head a bit, looking at her irritated colleague.
“Well, Irene was like that when we first met.”
“Besides, the request is too insignificant to be called unfair, or rather, not worth getting angry about. I think I can handle it alone in just a few minutes.”
Irene’s face became tense as she thought about her past deeds. She seemed a bit hesitant as she told Elma.
“…Hey, I think it’s amazing how capable you are and how unexpectedly tolerant you are, but it worries me a bit.”
“That’s right. Even if it’s not a problem for you, objectively speaking, if it’s unfair, you should be angry. If you let it slide, the other person will get away with it, and while it may be easy for you, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re being exploited. In situations like that, you have to be angry, and resist.”
As Elma repeated the words questioningly, Irene squeezed Elma’s cheeks and continued.
“What good is it for you to buy the fight that’s being sold to me? I’m happy that you’re trying to protect me, but if you are, then we should do it together, be angry properly. Come on, quickly repeat after me! Punpun!”
As Elma obediently repeated the words with her cheeks being pulled, Irene finally let go.
“Let’s call it a day today…Thank you, Elma.”
It was characteristic of her to add that last sentence while looking away.
Irene breathed out a short breath, switching her mood and changed her clothes into her maid uniform from her street wear.
“Elma, sorry but can you really help me? Let’s divide the work between us two.”
As she said that, she looked around the room and found a flower vase on the window.
“First, let’s change the flowers.” she said, and reached for it, and her eyes sparkled mischievously.
She picked out a few fall flowers from the vase, and skillfully wove them into two flower wreaths.
“Flower wreaths that girls wear during the harvest festival. There are supposed to be specific flowers used but these will do.”
As Irene cheerfully told her, Elma looked at the flower wreaths intently.
“These don’t seem to be items that improve defense or anything like that. Are they tools to clarify the winner of the festival? Or do they have a psychological effect that excites the wearer?”
“Well, that’s one aspect of it. By putting the flowers that symbolize the goddess of abundance in your hair or wearing them as a crown, it helps to get in the festive mood.”
Even though Elma nodded, she showed little interest.
“When good friends make flower wreaths together like this, it’s like a symbol of friendship.”
Irene added, and Elma raised her head slightly.
“Oh, is that so?”
With unexpected care, Elma touched the flower wreath that Irene held out, and smelled it hesitantly, before muttering a bit embarrassed,
“It smells nice.”
“Well, we can’t wear flower wreaths while working, so I’ll put them here on this shelf for now.”
Feeling a bit self-conscious, Irene quickly put the flower wreaths on the shelf, and turned around to face Elma.
“Okay, let’s work hard. We’re leaving before noon! Let’s start with cleaning the floor of this room — kyaa!”
As Irene declared this with enthusiasm, a gust of wind blew and she let out a scream, as she quickly covered her face. Irene’s arms dropped after a short while and a sparkling clean floor appeared in front of her.
“How about something like this?”
The perpetrator of the wind, somehow, held a mop in one hand and pushed up the bridge of her glasses.
The thick glass and the smoothly polished floor shone brightly in the bright sunlight.
“I put some effort into it and applied varnish coating.”
From the beginning, Irene was surprised by the work that exceeded the expected speed and quality.
Even though their shifts didn’t often overlap, because Elma usually works alone, the speed of work of her colleague was rumored everywhere.
Irene, who had heard about it a lot, recognized that the shock was different from hearing about it to seeing it in person.
“Well, well done… then, I will put the linen in the wash… ”
“Oh, I finished it already. Which is better, outdoor drying or indoor drying?”
“When!? Well, then, I will help peel the skin…”
“I secretly made a chip fry using the remaining skin. How do you like it?”
“When!? Hya! And yum!”
All kinds of work were done in a perfect way.
While she was in a daze, Elma casually said.
“Actually, I woke up a little early and secretly did some voluntary help while Irene was sleeping.”
Irene quickly followed the memo left by Deborah and somehow secured a mission that she could do.
“Come on, let me do something too!”
With that, Irene jumped out of the room and went on with the flower replacement in the mansion. When next she crossed paths with Elma in the hallway, she had already completed nearly ten tasks.
“The flower replacement is done here. What about you, Elma?”
“Thanks to you, I was able to finish picking up beans, making beds, refilling the cosmetics bottles, cleaning the lamps, polishing the silverwares and organizing the closets.”
“Wow, you’re like a goddess…!”
“By the way, I noticed there were bugs in the pond, so I cleared them out.”
“I said you’re like a goddess!”
Irene was so surprised that her tone of voice wavered.
When she looked around the mansion, which had been gloomy like the rest of the lord’s family, it was now beautifully shining everywhere, even the pond in the garden.
Elma remained calm. With this, their sudden work was completed without incident.
‘What kind of miracle would it take to complete this much work so quickly?’ Irene wanted to ask her colleague with all her might, but she realized that even if she were told how to do it, she would not be able to replicate it.
Irene consciously changed her mind again and returned to the room with Elma.
“Thank you, Elma. If we can finish this much, even Deborah won’t be able to complain about us going out.”
With a victorious smile, Irene reached for the doorknob, but…
But Irene was at a loss for words because the flower vase that should have been arranged at the window was overturned and shattered on the floor.”