Eyes to the floor, eyes to the floor, the blonde girl muttered in her head as she quickened her pace past the main hall to her assigned quarters. How could she have slept in, today of all days? She couldn’t believe that Tusbaki had just let her sleep in like that. She quietly pushed open the large heavy wooden doors that lead into the right wing of the house. She hurried to the servant’s room to collect her equipment before rushing into the first room of the day. She placed her stuff on the small table, grabbing a table cloth; she began to dust the surfaces of the tables and windows.
Her body, having been rudely awakened only moments ago by sheer panic, settled into the familiar routine as if like clockwork. Unfortunately, because her work needed hardly any thought, that left way too much space for her mind to wonder. She mostly thought about how, if her father wasn’t such a cheating, gambling pig she wouldn’t have to be working yet but instead studying for a better future. She remembered when she heard of her fathers debts and that she would have to take the burden of paying it back onto herself, otherwise it would never be paid off. It’s never going to be paid off anyway, the way he keeps adding to the damn thing, she glares at her reflection in the floor to roof window she was cleaning. Emerald green eyes peered back at her, taunting her with her past.
“Dad?” a little girl called out into the darkness. “Daddy?”
Voices echoed down the hall loud enough to follow the conversation but only when the little girl was old enough she could actually understand the passing’s between the voices.
“You have no more money. What else can you offer?”
“I-I… I can make more. I have a great job, you already know that.”
“But you don’t get enough to sustain me or your habits- Oh!” The voice gave a sound like it remembered something. “You have a daughter, don’t you?”
“Yes… No! No, you can’t be thinking that I- no!”
“Oh… So you no longer need my services?” The voice slurred, the sound full of something the little girl didn’t understand but the hidden venom underneath was very clear to her. A child’s intuition was after all one of most perceptive abilities a human possesses at the beginning on its life.
A groan of restraint echoed to the little girl. “What… What will happen to-?”
“Shhh, leave it all up to me,” the voice purred.
Silence stretched out for so long that when a sudden cry came it made the girl jump and squeak in surprise. She carefully picked her steps down the small corridor towards the strange noises. “D-daddy?” she whispered. Why was there a woman in daddy’s room? Was she in pain, moaning like that? The little girl gasped. Was mommy back?! She prang into the door where the noises were emitting from, her hopes soaring. The sight she saw made her halt in her steps. She must have made a startled noise because her fathers head popped up from under the bed covers that had been moving strangely, along with a woman she didn’t recognised. She began to back away shaking her head. What… what’s going on?
“M-Maka! Maka, it’s not what you think!” Her father fumbled out of the bed, the bed cover clutched in his hand covering himself. “Maka-Maka! Daddy loves you! Maka-”
The little girl, Maka, was already running away from the room tears streaming down her pink cheeks. She heard feet stumble into the hallway behind her but she didn’t pause even when she heard a desperate scream. “Maka!”
It was later that day that the men came for her. It seemed like Maka’s father also owed a large sum of money to some regular gamblers’ and this women was willing to pay it off for her father but in exchange he had to hand over his only daughter. If Maka’s mother hadn’t left because of her fathers women obsession this would never have happened.
So here she was, many years later, Maka Albran the maid of one of the main families in Death city. Maybe that woman had done Maka a favour, offering her an opportunity to get away from her father and his endless women. She huffed and put more effort than necessary in changing the one of many spare beds’ mattress cover, slamming down the corner she was pulling the sheet over. Maka finished cleaning the room and was about to walk into the next room on her floor when she spotted Tsubaki sneaking through the corridor, most likely coming from the servant window in the storage room. Her jet black hair was slightly tousled and her clothes crusted with mud. Not again, Maka sighed as she abandoned her cleaning utensils and quietly ran after her. “Tsubaki?” she whispered. She watched her friends shoulders stiffen as she turned slowly to face the undoubted rant she was about to receive.
“Maka, please don’t,” her shoulders dropped in defeat.
“But Tsubaki,” Maka began.
“I know. I just can’t abandon him. Something’s wrong with him Maka, he was never like that before…”
“I know, but you promised me the next time you decided to go you’d take me.”
Tsubaki nodded her eyes on the floor that Maka had still to clean. “Sorry.”
Maka wrapped her arms around Tsubaki, “Its okay.” She pulled back to hold her at arms length, “You better hurry and get cleaned up. You have to get the breakfasts ready.” Tsubaki rolled her eyes.
“You treat me like a child sometimes.”
“Someone has to,” Maka joked as she walked back to her next room.
She turned back to Tsubaki curiously, “Yeah?”
“I forgot to tell you, Rini asked me to ask you if you could take on the second floor main bedroom. Would you?”
“What? She wants me to take some of her work again? What’s she doing this time?”
Tsubaki smirked, “Shouldn’t you be asking who she’s doing?”
Maka almost swallowed her tongue. “Bye!” Tsubaki ran off through the heavy wooden doors leaving Maka opened mouthed. And left with no other choice but to take on the work Rini was bound to leave for Maka assuming that she was going to do it. Thankfully this was her second from last room, Maka thought as she slowly walked back to the spare rooms. Maka hadn’t really worked on the second floor, having been working for the family for only a couple of years. She had started off with small cleaning jobs then working for small families. Luckily for her when her friend Rini, who had looked after her once or twice when she was younger, heard that Maka had been in the area looking for work she put in a good word for her.
Maka still remembers when she first met Tsubaki who joined the household and how she had been surprised to see how young she was though she was one of the cooks. Of cause, she had to work her way up the ranks too but even that young she had an amazing gift for cooking. Tsubaki would also occasionally slip an extra roll or even a small chunk of the delicious stuff called chocolate. Maka wiped her hand across her forehead as she closed the door to her last room from her quarters. She looked down at the floor she still had to do and sighed. Rini was going to get an ear full tonight.
Footsteps caught Maka’s attention and when she glanced up she saw one of the newbie’s in the housekeeping staff. The little kid skidded to a stop before Maka, bowing respectfully and keeping her eyes to the floor as she addressed her, “Miss Albran, I was sent by Miss Nakatsukasa to assist with the floor.” Maka blinked. It was still strange to be addressed as someone superior, even if it was only slightly superior to someone else.
Maka smiled warmly at the little girl, “You can call me Maka.” The child looked up surprised before remembering herself and quickly directing her gaze down again.
“Thank you Miss Albr- I mean. Miss Maka.”
Maka shook her head at the child’s manners. It was lovely that the child had such manners but to her new ‘family’, as the rest of the staff liked to think of each other, she needn’t use such formal language. Maka leaned down to be on eye level with the child, “Okay, sweetie. Can you clean this hallway? Just wipe it over with the mop and light the lamps in advance for any special guests’ arrival.” Maka smiled at the girl who looked curiously up at her with a small smile tugging at her own lips but it soon turned into a full grin. She looked even younger when she smiled.
“I can do that.”
“Well, I got to go, see you tonight,” Maka ruffled the little girls shoulder length brown hair as she past her. She heard the girl groan as she tried to fix her hair.
The second floor was quiet and filled with light. Maka pushed open the heavy wooden doors to what was meant to be Rini’s assignment. The room was surprisingly dark and it was huge. It was more than double the servant’s quarters and that was for fourteen people alone. Maka saw that the room had two sets of doors on either side, one open to reveal a large bathroom the other closed. Resisting her curiosity about the closed door Maka began to change the bed sheets and open the half closed blinds.
Maka then noticed the large pile of albums in the corner of the room. She grabbed a cloth and began to wipe down the album cases before neatly putting them away in a storage unit. The owner of this room sure liked music. Maybe it was the eldest master of the house. He was, going by the maids that were allowed out of the house to do chores like going to the markets, a famous violinist among the higher class. Though she had worked there for some years she still didn't know much about the family she served.
Maka took her cleaning things into the bathroom and began to clean the sink and mirror. She sighed at her reflection, adjusted her pigtails, before turning to clean down the shower glass walls. She stepped inside the spacious shower, giving a quick wipe over the small seat block inside then the glass inside.
A sudden creak echoed to Maka and she froze, hand stopped mid-stroke, her hot breath frosting up the glass. Someone had came into the room? Her eyes widened as she thought, was it the famous violinist? She pleaded for it not to be true, while stilling her fluttering heart afraid that the person who came in could hear it. What would happen if she was found? They are bound to know their regular maid for one of the main rooms wasn't her. What would happen to her? What would happen to Rini?
Footsteps strode close to the still slightly open door to the bathroom, and Maka thanked the house designers for placing the shower in the far corner behind the door, and for a moment they paused. Maka clutched her chest, holding her breath, as she felt the presence of the male in the room. Male? How did she know that? She ignored the question as the assumed male began to move again. This time, thankfully, he was moving away from Maka in her frozen position. Instead of exiting through the large heavy doors into the corridor she heard another door open and realised he had went into the mystery room opposite.
Once she heard the door close she waited. And waited. What should she do? She still wasn't done but she couldn't exactly carry on, though nether could she leave unfinished. Either way, Rini and Maka would be in big trouble. What should I do...?
Maybe if I'm quiet I can quickly finish the bathroom and scrub the floor of the bedroom and leave? Rini didn't say anything to Tsubaki about the other room so was it necessary to clean? Of cause it was. How could she think of leaving her job like that? Maka finished the bathroom and quicker than she thought she was about to start scrubbing the floor clean when she heard a quiet noise. A very gloomy sound coming from the mysterious room. Maka, already on her knees about to scrub at the floor, crawled curiously towards the door.
What did she think she was doing? This wasn't her place to go snooping around, she was only a maid after all, and she couldn't afford to loose such a good job. But the sounds coming from the room... The music she was hearing was so sad, so tragically beautiful she was curious of its composer. Pressing her hand against the wooden door frame to steady herself she used her spare hand to slowly reach up and turn the handle. The door opened silently and she gave it a small nudge so she could see inside.
The room was dark. Very dark. She couldn't tell if there were curtains that were cutting off the light or if the room had been created without windows at all. In the centre of the room was a grand black piano and its hood hid the composer from her sight. She sat there listening to the cold melody, a song as if from her own soul, and unconsciously tried to remember her mother. She was an amazing woman, her father would say when she was young, and she has such ambitions! And she will achieve them. She always does... The sadness in her fathers voice wouldn't go unnoticed but all Maka could do was hug him and hope for her mothers return. She was an amazing woman, Maka thought. She made something of her pathetic father after all and that must have taken some doing. She was something special... Something unique. So was her father now that Maka thought about it. He had an important job but she couldn't grasp what it was anymore.
The music stopped abruptly. Maka heard a frustrated sigh and began to see the tips of white hair but she sprang back, scared she was noticed. Her heart leapt into her throat as she scrambled back, hearing footsteps coming towards the door. She tried to get onto her knee’s while still shuffling backwards to get onto her feet but when she neared her cleaning utensils’ her foot slip from under her causing her to sprawl out onto the floor on her side. The door opened behind her and she turned in horror to see a young man standing surprised in the doorway. He looked down at her, in a slightly dirty maid’s uniform, her wide emerald eyes wide with sometime close to fear and surprise. A smirk played at the man’s lips as he leaned against the door frame she had earlier been clutching for balance. “You’re new. Why are you lounging on the floor in this manner?”
Maka took in the man’s appearance. His un-ruling silver hair defied gravity, spiking up as the perfect angle, his eyes a bloody scarlet, and his teeth were extremely sharp, almost shark like. He was dressed finely, in a matching blood red shirt and black suit with a silk black tie handing securely around his neck, and for an absurd moment Maka felt the urge to smack him on the head for the way he was looking at her now. He was acting like he was raised, to be superior over those beneath him. So why on earth did she think she had the right even to think that? Maka licked her dry lips searching for a reasonable answer. “I-I… I…”
The man before her broke into a fully blown arrogant grin as he waited for her excuse. This brought a surge of defiant courage within Maka from a place she wasn’t awe of. “I’m filling in for a preoccupied associate. I apologise for the inconvenience and I can assure you this is a one off in our strict routine.” She stood up, collecting her equipment and bowed respectfully to the young man, “If you will excuse me I have other chores to finish.” She walked quickly to the door and was about to open it when he spoke from behind her.
“Why aren’t you afraid?”
Maka turned at the strange question. “Pardon me?”
The man had a sudden serious expression and Maka had a feeling this was a change of pace for him. “Why do you not flinch from my eyes? Scream at the sight of my teeth?” Maka frowned.
“Is there a need to feel such fear towards you?”
The man stayed silent as he gazed at her, eyes too sharp Maka was becoming uncomfortable as it felt like he was reaching inside of her. She dropped her gaze as she spoke quietly, “May I leave Sir? Or is there something you require?” She looked up and the man held a smile, no sign of his serious mood from moments ago.
“Don’t you even know my name?”
Maka kept her eyes to the floor. She heard the man huff before he pulled open the door for her to leave. Maka, keeping her eyes to the floor as expected by her because of her position she had momentarily forgot, respectively curtsied. Maka took her opportunity to slip out and hurry down the corridor.
“My name is Soul Evans.” Maka turned in surprise. The young man, Soul, looked down after her, flashing her a sharp-toothed smirk, “For future reference.”
Maka blinked before nodding and turning to rush towards the staircase, taking the steps two at a time. She reached the ground floor and flew down to the servants’ room to put away the cleaning stuff. Maka clenched her fists as she leaned against the wall, her face flushed. What was that? He… He is the youngest master of the house? That arrogant… She shook her head angrily. Maka ignored her shaking hands, her hot face, and walked out of the storage room heading for the kitchens. She wanted to see how Tsubaki was getting on.