I was Born the Unloved Twin
Good news, my sister is feeling much better. She's bouncing back to her regular self at an amazingly fast rate. Magical mana overload huh? Never thought that was a thing.
Bad news, we're attached at the hip and this little baby is more than happy to cling on to me when she awoke. No promoting needed, by evening she was up and happily burrowing herself into my skin.
"Rosa! Rosa back!"
"Yes I'm back, please let go Lilyanne, it's too hot"
"Rooooosssssaaaa, no fawe."
"Yes yes yes go back to sleep, I'll be riiiiight here."
It seems I've been gone too long. I don't know if it's the receding fever pain or her own natural crybaby that has her wetly crying through my precious sweater. Maybe I should have changed, if she let me that is. It's very inconvenient
To calm her down I fed her a 'soda' and then another. I shouldn't encourage this habit but hey she's sick and sticky.
The soda's mild healing effect for colds really do stack up, if anything it helped with some of the symptoms. That's what we're telling the household staff anyways. Rude, my 'sodas' are kinda effective.
SHe has no idea what's going on or the newfound magical abilities between us, she's just really happy to have me back. Kids are so pure.
Besides napping and waiting for her to fully recover, there's nothing to do cooped up in here. While I was prepared for it, the shift from being a semi-independent guest at Gable's with physical chores and freedoms to well, the little cooped up young miss again is dis-jarring.
I don't even mind milking that old goat so much.
Just when I figured out I brought my crafts with me in my space bag, grampa and Gable came back like Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant. Gable looked nice and neat as ever, a dark leather-bound book and ink set ready. Grampa was a packing mule carrying a bunch of stuff, including more rocks.
The experiments gave me something to do I suppose. It was also likely that they helped drain Lilyanne of her fever faster.
Rocks of all shapes and sizes lit up and charged for various duration and Gable faithfully scribbles his observations down. There was an incident with some fruit and a small rock exploding but other than that he looked satisfied.
It wasn't just rocks either, grampa pulled out rings, staffs, weapons, potted plants and even a boulder out of seemingly nowhere. I KNEW IT!
I knew grampa had more inter dimension space storage, yeah I'm definitely keeping my tiny bag.
"But that one actually has-"
"Nope! Mine now!"
"It's hers now Ronald, you know it would happen."
Case closed, I honestly should be getting more for what I've been through. Hey, how do I sue for monetary compensation?
The rest of the morning, or is it afternoon now, goes by just like that. Lilyanne sleeps easily, still in recovery while I light up any objects that Gable floats in front of me. I've come to figure out that the moment I even think I start to feel a tingle of magic then the thing has changed quite enough. Too much more and we'll have another explosion on our hands.
The closer my sister and I are to each other, the faster an item charges. I wish I could say how fast a rate but it really depends on the item. Even if they're the exact same size, two rocks can take vastly different charge times. I don't know if one holds more if it's just because they're different materials. Well, I'll leave the analysis to the professionals, aka Gable.
Grampa comes in and out carrying items and packages too small to be holding all the stuff they've used on their human battery experiments.
"Do you feel any fatigue at all Rosalia?"
"Any strain or side effects? Anything at all?"
"Nope, don't feel a thing."
My parents occasionally peek in but they look like they need the rest just as much as Lilyanne, especially mother. There's still work and household matters to attend to that they need to catch up on and since Lilyanne is in good hands, they can leave us in peace.
"Gable will you be staying here long?"
"Hmm, it depends but I don't think so, not more than a few days. Would it make you feel better if I did?"
"Well, I have some things to do at the camp anyways. Besides I should give Lukas time to transition before taking him back with me."
"Oh right, the boys! That's a smart idea but, where did grampa take them off to?"
A quick porthole window mirror circles itself into existence, showing the mentions two half playing around with the Ventrella household guards and half manually organizing some rocks. Despite the obvious labor they look like they're enjoying themselves falling over grampa.
But how many rocks are there? Wait wait wait how are they carrying that? WTF?! That must weigh a ton! Oi guards aren't you ashamed? A pair of puny brats are out lifting you!
Ah forget it, grampa only recruits monsters.
It's a little lonely in here when Gable leaves. I only have a sleeping baby here and my crafts from my bag for entertainment. I wonder if they're allowed to come up and hang out? Maybe if I throw notes from the window?
After two days of peaceful confinement with Dr. Gable and his packing mule grampa coming in with loads of items to charge, I have been given my freedom again. Which is great because I was going to sneak out anyway if they didn't.
I'm pretty sure I could survive jumping out the second-story window if I position the boys correctly. No need for notes, we just shout at each other, they're doing well. They've taken to either following grampa or Gable around if they're not back at the camp. By now the troops have returned.
I also don't have the heart to tell them that grampa's special 'training' for them is really just manual labor carrying around rocks, poor things.
Gable already gave the ok on Lilyanne, there's not much mass mana draining I can do by sticking with her any further. For now her body just needs to recover , just as if she had the flu or a severe cold. It's more than enough if we just share the same bed as always.
So just like father and mother I have much work to catch up on. First stop, the kitchens!
"Georgey boy! You're looking much smoother."
"And you look like the little boy really you are. Welcome back Rosalia. "
"I shall take that as a compliment that my hair suits me very well."
"That it does."
While the entirety of the kitchen staff gives me a warm welcome home, it can't be helped that I'm closest to George. He's my precious guinea pig- uh I mean assistant. His skin isn't magically made over but his acne has improved a lot since I last saw him and his face looks very soft. I'd say the witch hazel toner and cold cream was a success.
What about the rest of my soap batches?
"Yeah, you were gone and no one knew what to do with Abigail since she was personally picked up by you, so we agreed to let her watch over and handle your things. "
"Oh...you left my soaps in her charge?."
"You forgot you picked up a maid now, didn't you?"
"I was busy! You saw that bird carry me off, it slipped my mind."
A decent outskirt room that must have once served as a cold storage, not too far from the kitchen, was where they set up all my little arts and craft projects, aka all batches of soap and the cold cream. A portion was left back in the capital to cure experimentally but the majority was brought back with us.
"Young Mistress, welcome back!!! Thank golly you're back safe and sound!"
"Just Rosalia is fine. I apologize for leaving you without setting you up properly. I hope you were able to adjust well here Abigail."
And the maid I picked up I suppose. She's in the awkward position of not being an official maid in training, and definitely not inner housemaid approved, but personally selected by me. Good thing the kitchen staff settled her in because I'm really not sure how this excitable little lamb would survive with my other maids.
Without any other orders, besides officially handling my curing soap, she's been helping out as a kitchen hand.
"Young Mistress Rosalia, I've cut and set the bars out to cry just like you spoke of before! Since you said they should air I also took the liberty to take out all the ones in the molds! If I have overstepped please punish this servant!"
"...No that's quite alright, really, please get off the floor Abigail...you were a big help taking care pf my soaps while I was gone. Thank you. "
True, the stone shelves are partly stocked and the once strange room is beginning to look like a plain soap shop. The molds and equipment are even lined up nice and neat, all cleaned up. I see no problem with the goods, some of the soaps have a dusty bubbling on it or the colors are off on inside but hey not bad for the first time. Just a little cosmetic issue.
My new little maid, however...
"Young Mistress Rosalia, not that I didn't try to keep busy but I've also taken the liberty of starting to gather oils and dried ingredients! I've labeled the amount at each package!"
"Oh, do you know how to read Abbey? I can call you Abby right?"
"Young Mistress Rosalia may call this servant whatever she likes! I can't read outside of some common food items and equipment but I know my numbers mistress!"
"Really do just call me Rosalia, you did really well Abby."
"Than ye' very much Young Mis-
"Er Miss Rosalia. IF there's anything else I can do to be of service, please allow me. I know I'm not as smart or well off as your other maids but I'll do my best!"
You're plenty fine Abigail. In fact, I have a new assignment for you!"
"Yes! Thank you very much Young Mistree--er Miss Rosalia!"
Her first task to take a damn break.
Ah, what is with this girl? She's more of a living human battery than I'm supposed to be. DId she really cut everything? They're so nice and perfectly even, did she do this without rulers or specialized equipment? I haven't commissioned any cutters yet?! Are those dried rose petal sprinkled into the soap?
I had the more motherly kitchen hands and cooks, *cough* Barbra *cough*, settle her in further.
It's not bad to be energetic but she's certainly too nervous. Can't deny what she said though, she's not the same sort as my usual maids. She doesn't come from a minor noble or such household training themselves up but I don't even like my usual maids so there's that.
From the staff, though I hear she's a very nice, if overly eager to please sort of girl. Lots of siblings in her household, lots of work to do at all times to support them. Good worker. Not a bad seed to try polishing up, besides I think I can trust her over my precious investments more than those inner maids of mine, or well Lilyanne.
Secondly, I wonder if Gable would be so kind as to help me out again? The basic soap is usable right now but it would work much better if it cured longer. What is that thing he uses to make his potions and things age faster!
The cooks asking me for clarification on the written crab recipes, and people who want me to test taste their new salad vinaigrette.
Oh and then there are the lessons! I mean it's not much use and I'm sure my parents took care of it in my absentee but I should at least correspond with my supposed tutors. Huh, I wonder if I should put them to use in teaching Abby to read instead of me. Wait can George read? What is the literacy rate of my staff? I mean we're already paying the tutors so...
More importantly, I need to find a way back to the training camp to correspond with Ms. Tamera and Vincent. That can be easily arranged right?
Oh there's just so much work to catch up on! It's not just father and mother juggling their affairs matter in order.
My relaxing countryside vacation is over, back to work!
"Frederick dear, I really don't think it's necessary to stare so much. They're just children."
Despite Maria's gentle coaxing her husband would still not look away from the window, though he did at least finally sit down. Still she could feel the rather intense heat from his glare, as hot as his hair color.
From behind the drawn back curtain was a portion of the garden that her papa had taken up and was currently looking more like a rock quarry. Besides the scenery, the most noticeable things were not the amount of med going to and fro, nor her own papa pulling things in and out of his spaces. It was the little boys tagging along, carrying things about that children should not be carrying.
Their enhanced strength was of no surprise to her of all people but she did marvel on their stamina. What wonderful little talents papa has found.
Of course, she recognized a few other things in the piles besides rocks, mostly the ridiculous amount of weapons and amulet charms. Maria was no fool, while she knew the drainage of magical mana could speed up her daughter's recovery it would also benefit the owner of all these items that have been enchantingly charged.
Magically enhanced weapons, while typically have no need of recharge like power stones do, wouldn't not benefit from the polish and boost that magic could provide, especially if her daughters were producing as pure of a source as her dearest Gable claimed.
Either way, they would only benefit. Lilyanne gets better faster while Papa and the guards get a boost in power. It would save them a lot money too, Frederick had remarked earlier. They wouldn't need to be refueling the household's water, heating, and other power sources for a good while. He always had a better sense of such things. Business and logistics were never her strong suits.
"Exactly! Far too young to be running around after Father on his matters. They should be somewhere appropriate, far far away."
"Hmm if you're that concerned perhaps I should call for a few more helping hands from the camp? Maybe go in and help myself?"
"Dear god of course not Maria, no you stay there and rest. Not a finger of your fair hand is to be lifted."
Maria felts herself blush, it's odd how her husband could still make her swoon at the oddest moments. They've been married for years but now and things still felt as fresh as when they were young.
"That's a ridiculous thought, we're still plenty young."
Remarked her husband, biting down a bit too harshly on his meal. Oh did she say that out loud again? How silly of her.
"Really darling, it's nothing new, papa takes in young talents all the time. Though they are awfully young."
"Yes but he doesn't necessarily take them here! "
"Frederick...are you feeling petty again? Oh dear, I know your hero worship side flares up and it's been a tense few weeks but..."
"I am not being petty my love I am being careful, and no it's not about that!"
"You were always a fanboy over papa, many men are, it's nothing to be ashamed of dear. I still married you despite that and I'm his daughter you know. I'm very used to that sort of thing."
"Maria that was years ago and it not about that! "
"If you say so darling if it makes you feel better you're still the only son in law fanboy papa has."
For some reason her normally gentle, though crass, husband lets out a hint of a growl at that. Unfortunately for her, as worried as she is, she quite likes it when he simmers and growls like a feral cat. Ah, there she goes again with the blushing.
"They very well could be scheming for the same thing."
"Darling! Are you saying that those adorable little things, young enough to be our children, are 'scheming' for my hand? Why Frederick, I've never thought it in you to be so jealous let alone ridiculous."
Frederick tries to explain through his beloved wife's giggling. He tries but it's been so long since she's laughed like this, so long since his youngest fell ill, that he allows his awkward humiliation for a little while longer. Because his Maria deserves all the good things and feelings in the world, even if she's laughing at him.
"Maria you simply don't understand the wicked minds of men."
"Of course not, especially little fanboys! Oh but you have the authority on that don't you, my darling?"
She burst out into such unladylike laughter that it hurts her sides, and if it were anyone else watching but her husband she would surely be embarrassed to be witnessed. Ah, when was the last time she laughed like this?
"That's the point, Maria, those little boys are far from simple,"
"Few people around Papa are dear."
"We have daughters now, lovely little daughters. You know most painfully what that's like to be followed and courted by such of these so called 'fanboys."
And that, that does bring back some not so pleasant memories for Maria. But the past is the past and her present is more than enough to make up for it, no need to dwell. Not when she has this.
"Frederick dear, are you saying our little babies are already being courted because I highly doubt that."
"You didn't see them when they first arrived! Rosalia was sleeping right on top of them! Right in one of their chest, clutched!!"
"Ah yes, sleeping children how worrisome. "
" And they keep talking, don't tell me you don't see them giggling about from her window. She doesn't even get near her fiance!"
"Our Rosalia's a social girl! I was one too you know, plenty of playmates growing up. Besides to be fair they are certainly more charming, especially that little brunette with the sweet dimples, oh they're adorable. "
"See! Even you're beginning to fall for their schemes!"
"Oh yes you're quite right, I'm thinking of leaving you for a 5 year old! No need for them to scheme to be grandsons-in-law!"
And so peace finally returns to the Ventrella house household. Despite Frederick's awkward concerns, Lilyanne's steady recovery, and Rosalia's not so secret business juggling peace returns and settles into their bones once more.
Outside, Ronald smiles at the sound of his daughter's cheerful laughter.
Author: whooooo for bonuses, they're like behind the scenes as Rosa takes her toddler naps.