A Day in the Life of a Highly Competent Maid
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
After breezing through all she had to do in the kitchen, Leila poked her head into what everyone but Yuki called the living room and counted the number of individuals present. Upon confirming that there were exactly three, as she had anticipated, she entered. One of her hands held a stand with a pre-cut cake on top, while the other carried all the plates and utensils she would be using to serve it.
“Good afternoon, everyone. I’ve brought your afternoon snacks.”
“So it is finally snack time! I have been eagerly awaiting this very moment,” Lefi’s head shot up the moment the maid announced her presence. “What is it that we are having today? Is that… a pound cake!?”
“It is.” The dragon’s childlike response prompted the demon maid to giggle as she set the table.
“Wow, looks good. Thanks Leila,” said Yuki.
The lord she served had hid himself in one of the room’s corners in order to fiddle with his newest creation atop his workbench. It was incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint the identity of what he was working on. There was far too much clutter on his desk to allow her to see it. Under normal circumstances, Leila would have been able to speculate based on the materials strewn around his workshop, but as he had yet to clean up after the many other things he had made as of late, she couldn’t.
The odd-eyed demon lord put what he was working on down, got to his feet, and started to make his way towards the table, but the dragon that was his bride immediately placed herself between him and his destination, halting his advance.
“I will not allow you to take another step, Yuki,” she said. “As one who has expressed nothing but contempt for sweet treats and even teased me for my sweet tooth, you have no right to consume them. But worry not, your portion shan’t go to waste. I will do you a great favour and consume it in your place.”
“What the hell are you going on about now?” He rolled his eyes. “First of all, I didn’t even really talk shit about your sweet tooth. All I said was that I was surprised you could have so many goddamn sweets without getting sick of them. I didn’t say jack shit about not liking them myself.”
“You have failed to recount the event in its entirety. Do you not recall how disinterested you remained when I lectured you on the wonders of sugar!? It was an act of benevolence, one that I sacrificed my own free time to perform, and yet, you brushed it off and ignored me. You have no respect for sweets and thereby no right to consume them!”
“Oh, please. Respect for sweets? Now you’re just being silly.”
“If you two keep arguing, I’ll finish all the cake,” said Nell. “Could I please have a slice, Leila?”
The hero was clearly adjusted to handling the pair’s antics, as one line from her was all that was needed to bring the argument, which had devolved into a back and forth from which neither party was willing to relent, to an end.
“Thanks, Leila.” As if to hammer the nail into the coffin, the brunette picked up a fork and took a bite out of the slice she was given.
“Y-you must not, Nell,” said Lefi, in a panic. “Curses! I have no time to be wasting on the likes of you, Yuki! It cannot be helped, I will remain magnanimous and allow you a single slice even in spite of your lack of appreciation for sugar!”
“Pfffft. Stop acting like you own the damn thing. You and I both know that Leila’s the one who baked it. How about you get off your high horse and thank her instead of ranting and being all entitled and shit?”
“Fool,” the dragon scoffed. “You know as well as I that I would never pay Leila any disrespect. She is the only one of us capable of crafting such a delectable dish. In my mind, she is at the top of this dungeon’s hierarchy, while you remain at the bottom.”
“You say that, but i’m the one who taught Leila how to make sweets in the first place.”
“You were only able to forge them through the use of the dungeon’s power. You were never capable of it on your own. It was Leila herself that worked out the intricacies of the recipes you gave her.”
“Eh. Yeah, true.” Yuki shrugged.
“But I am merciful. Be honoured to know that I will at least acknowledge that it was you who brought them to her attention. It is true that she would not have ever heard of them without your intervention.”
“Oh boy… thanks…” The demon lord rolled his eyes. “Being acknowledged by you is suuuch an honour. I tooootally care.”
With their bickering finally at an end, the two joined Nell at the table and began chewing away at their afternoon snack. Neither said much more, but seeing the satisfied looks on their faces—and thereby knowing that of their enjoyment—was more than enough to put a smile on Leila’s face.
“Should I be bringin’ the second cake out too, Leila?” Lyuu poked her head out of the kitchen in much the same manner the other maid had earlier as she posed the question.
“Yes. Could you please serve that one to the girls? They should be playing outside,” said Leila. “And could you make sure they wash their hands before they dig in?”
“You got it!”
Lyuu responded energetically as she grabbed the cake and all the utensils needed to consume it and headed towards the nearest door that led outside the castle.
The first task Leila set off to accomplish upon cleaning up after the midday snack was retrieving the laundry she’d hung out to dry in the morning. Basket in hand, she left the castle’s confines and ventured into the grassy field that contained it. As the dungeon was home to more than just a small handful of people, there was inevitably an incredible amount of laundry to be done, but Leila remained undiscouraged. She began sorting through the laundry with highly efficient, practiced movements.
“Do you need any help?”
Upon putting one of her lord’s shirts in the laundry basket, she found herself greeted by a familiar, high-pitched voice. Turning her head led her to spot its source, a young vampire whose hair shone with a golden radiance under the light of the artificial sun above.
“Thank you, Illuna, but I’ll be fine,” said Leila. “Are you playing hide and seek?”
The question stemmed from the younger girl’s position. She had crouched near one of the laundry racks in order to make herself as small and unnoticeable as she could, but that wasn’t why Leila had failed to spot her immediately. Neither of them had actually noticed the other right off the bat, as they were on opposite sides of a large sheet.
“Yup yup! We normally play in the courtyard, but everyone already remembers all the good hiding spots, so it isn’t really as fun anymore. Now that Iryll’s here, we decided to try doing it out here instead!”
“I think this area is a little too big for hide and seek,” said Leila with a giggle.
“Me too. We decided where we could and couldn’t go before we started, but I’m starting to think that this isn’t such a good idea after all.” Illuna sighed. “We have two seekers, but neither of them have come this way at all.”
“Maybe you can try shrinking the boundaries a little more next time,” suggested the maid with a smile. Though she was looking at Illuna, her hands didn’t stop—or even slow down. She continued working through the laundry at the exact same pace as before. “I’m sure all the others are thinking the exact same thing.”
Her words almost seemed to serve as a cue; Illuna heard her name called almost immediately after she finished saying them.
“Illunaaaaa!” shouted Shii.
“Where are yooouuu?” echoed Iryll.
“Oh! There they are!” said the vampire, cheerfully. “Thanks Leila! We’ll try doing what you said. Good luck with the laundry!”
She waved goodbye as she pitter-pattered off to join her friends.
Seeing the group run off led Leila, who had put the last bit of laundry in her basket, to think to herself that they were sure to come back covered in mud. That was what led her to decide on her next task: readying the bath for use later in the evening.
As the sun set, Leila found herself alone in the kitchen. It was a rare occurrence. Nell and Lyuu were almost always around to help make just about every meal. The other girls would also occasionally pop in and contribute in whatever way they could, but none of them were present today. All of the other female residents were all off bathing with the guest. Leila had also been extended an invitation to the event, but she had refused out of the concern of overcrowding. While the bath her lord had constructed was certainly on the larger side, the sheep-horned demon suspected that her presence would have put the tub over capacity, and that not everyone could have comfortably entered at once lest she refrained.
“Hey Leila, need a hand with anything?” The dungeon’s ruler casually waved at the maid to grab her attention as he stepped into the kitchen.
“Weren’t you busy, My Lord?” she asked. “I was under the impression that you were in the middle of making something.”
“I was doing some ring stuff, yeah, but I’m basically done now,” he said. “It didn’t look like anyone else was actually here to help you, so I figured I might as well.”
Cooking was a simple task. Leila didn’t particularly feel as if she needed any assistance, but she felt no reason to turn him down given that he had gone out of his way to make the offer.
“If you don’t mind, then by all means, please do,” she said, with a nod.
“I don’t mind. Wouldn’t have signed myself up for it if I did,” said Yuki. “Let’s see…” He scanned the ingredients strewn across the counter. “I’m guessing we’re having curry tonight?”
“I thought it might be a good idea, as it’s sure to be something Iryll has never had before.”
“Good call. All kids love curry.”
“That certainly does seem to be the case. All of the children that live here adore it.”
“Right?” The demon lord paused as he grabbed a knife and several ingredients. “Alright, I’ll get started on cubing up the veggies.”
“Please and thank you,” said Leila.
After figuring out their respective roles, the maid and her lord began to work side by side. It was an event that was unthinkable under any normal circumstances, as maidservants were typically considered to be of far lower status than those they served. Social interaction between the two was supposed to be rare. And yet, there they were, shoulder to shoulder, side by side.
The oddness of the situation was only emphasized by the characters’ precise identity. The master was a demon lord, a monumental threat feared by all, while the maid was by all means more of a scholar than she was a servant. Even with the world as vast as it was, Leila doubted that such a peculiar setting would ever take place anywhere else.
Her doubt fueled a sense of appreciation. For the world, which was so full of mysteries. And for the unlikely set of circumstances that had allowed her to be a part of one such enigma.
“Something happen?” asked Yuki, who had caught onto the change in her mood.
“Nothing, My Lord. Nothing at all.”
Her master gave her a puzzled look, but Leila remained unaffected. She ignored his gaze and continued to work, a big smile on her face all the while.