Story: A touch of color in Grey
Livre 1 : Shade the Black.
Date: 25 octobre 2017
Author: Me -_-'
Translate girl: Lyra :)
Beta: Nouilleverte (you can see her wonderful draw on tumblr).
Fandom: D Gray Man
Avertissement: I don't own D Gray Man and I don't make money with this story.
Résumé : hum... maybe you can read the chapter, first?
French version: 13 chapters long :)
English version: Lyra try'll to translate one chapter a month, please, if you love this fic, thanked her :)
Fanart: You can see a draw of Eve and some fanart made by Kazemarune and Arya39 on my Tumblr (Ennael too)
WE NEED BETA!
Please, PM me if you can help. Even if Lyra do her best, she's always a school french-speaker girl :/
We hope you'll enjoy reading this :)
A Touch of Color in Gray
Book 1: Shade the black.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Kamelott Manor
My foot was tapping the ground to the rhythm of a random Celtic music. Yes, I was stressing out a bit. But in my defence, it was my first job interview.
Forcing myself to calm down, I timidly smiled at the man in front of me.
Seriously, I'd never have thought I'd look for a job as a maid one day. First, because I was more oriented towards the arts and secondly because, who still employs chambermaids nowadays?
But here was the problem: I wasn't in the good old 21st century anymore, with all its pollution and chemically treated fruits. No, I had found a way to land in the past.
Because otherwise it wouldn't be funny, of course. Who wants the normal life of a secondary school student?
Okay, maybe I did not seem to be very stressed out right now, but it was because I hadn't digested what happened to me yet.
You know, it's like when someone dies. You don't fully realize they aren't here anymore until the day of the funerals. Or the crematorium. Well, you get what I mean, right?
Anyway, I had only discovered my condition when I woke up that one morning at an old lady's house on the outskirts of the city. After briefly explaining that she had found me in a neighbouring village recently destroyed by some bandits, she felt pity for me and my apparent lack of memory. Moved, she had quickly sent me to her brother, who apparently worked in the house of a rich nobleman to find work there. She must have had pity on me. It seemed we were the 26th December 1888 (shit!). It was already snowing, and we could feel the cold.
I was amused by the name of the family, which was « Kamelott », just like Road and Sheryl in -man ! -Seriously though, I didn't believe people actually had such a name-. But I was also completely disoriented, so I followed the move… which led to the present time.
When he was done examining me, the old man began to question me.
"Eglantine let me know that you seemed to have memory problems", Eglantine was the old lady who had taken me in, "do you remember your name, at least?" the old man asked.
Fortunately, I was doing well in English, because given the archaic language...
Trying to form a grammatically correct sentence, I smiled again at the old man.
Well "old", maybe not so much. Perhaps for the time, with his 60 years well packed, the employee forced respect with his fellows, but for me, despite his frown furrowed like McGonagall, he only reminded me of my uncles.
« My name is ... Eve Campbell, sir. » I smiled hoping he could help me.
My name wasn't really Eve Campbell ... not at all in fact. My name is Ennaèl, but I thought it wouldn't fit in this era. And, when you arrive in a new place without knowing how, you must always find a new alias! Yes, I know, too many adventure movies and shonen mangas... but what can I say?
Or at least not often. And since it's been ten years since I didn't let go of mangas, it can be hard to stop. Although if I stay long enough in this time period ... that could happen.
By complete manga withdrawal. Urgh ...
Anyway, let's not digress any further, I chose the name Eve Campbell because Man was my favorite manga and that, you know, with people called Kamelott as my employers, it was a little private joke.
But if I wasn't hired, I would surely rethink my name, because I think it would quickly annoy me to be called "Eve" all the time. Even if between the two, I'd prefer to be hired, because how was I supposed to find a job in this nineteenth century when I literally did not exist?
Even if it hurt to admit, being hired through string-pullling was my only chance.
Determined to get this job, I did my best to meet the butler's expectations. Even though I did not really have the faith to be a maid. Seriously, have you ever watched "Gran Hotel" or "Downtown Abbey"? Employees get up at dawn, go to bed late, and are treated by most people like they're rubbish. And they never stop working! I'm not sure I could keep up with the rhythm when I need a vital minimum of 8 hours of sleep...
Anyway, I'll try and if it really doesn't work, I'm sure I could be a teacher in the countryside. Seen "Little House on the Prairie"? I clearly have the level…
Hell! Now that I think about it, I should be part of the educated group of society! I even know several formulas and aspects of Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Mathematics that haven't been found yet!
Wow. It feels good to feel intelligent from time to time...
The old man seemed interested in my knowledge of French. He explained that they often received guests from other countries and that it was interesting for them to have bilingual employees. Something I assume was rare at the time, given his approval. He was even more pleased when I told him that I have some rudimentary knowledge of Spanish and cheerfully informs me that his master speaks Portuguese. I failed to see the link... Perhaps he thought I could learn the language more easily? In any case, he seemed happy so I didn't say anything.
Finally, to my great relief, he welcomed me.
Good or bad thing, I was hired in the Kaamelott mansion.
The first days were... difficult. No, actually downright awful. Seriously, I was even surprised to have been able to do half of what I did: I never thought I had the necessary stamina.
Quite frankly, life as a maid at the end of the nineteenth century was as I thought: tiring to the possible.
I couldn't even open a book in a week! Not that I have any books now... wow depression.
Every day, it was necessary to be operational at six in the morning, meaning, to get up at five and a half maximum. Because, to wash yourself with cold water, you needed to have faith ... But not having much choice, I gritted my teeth and went with it.
We can say that I was lucky though... there were toilets! I almost cried of joy when I found them near the bathroom. Another maid told me they had just been installed so they could use them. Apparently, it was quite a recent and revolutionary thing.
I could only agree.
After eating in the large kitchen along with the butlers, we met at six o'clock with our supervisors, so they could assign us tasks. There followed a frenzy of cleaning, since everything had to be completed by eight o'clock at the latest. At this point, some employees would wake up the family while others, including myself, would help in the kitchens and set the table.
As our employers were having breakfast, we would clean up their rooms. Then we would get a longer or shorter break, depending on the work that needed to be done for the day.
At this point, it would be nine and a half, and I'd already be exhausted.
I was then assigned to the kitchens, to peel the vegetables or potatoes for lunch.
After the meal, I'd help my superiors with any task I was assigned to until dinner, where I was sent to clean the library or any other room that was used during the day. Just after eating, we'd finally get a break, and I'd collapse in my bed until the next day. It was so exhausting, that even on New Year's Eve, I couldn't keep up until midnight.
But, believe it or not, even after a week, even after examining every corner of the house, I had never seen one of my employers! You'd think they were doing it on purpose.
Sure, they weren't present during my first three days of work but still...
Anyway, that afternoon, the brother of Eglantine, who happened to be the head of the butlers, came to see me. After several questions about my life at the mansion, he handed me an envelope containing my weekly earnings (my first pay!) And told me that I could take a break until dinner, to visit the city for example.
Ecstatic, I was eager to join my room and change my maid outfit to one of those old dresses that Mother Eglantine had given me, before I left and headed outside.
On January 3, 1885, the weather was particularly mild. Despite the snow covering the ground and the very cold weather of the last days, the sun had finally showed itself.
Calmly, I began to walk along the path leading to the big door. Quite frankly, I did not really know what to do with my spare time. Usually when I have a little time, I take a computer and I read fanfic, or I write and draw, but I couldn't really do that here.
I quickened the pace and left the beaten track hoping to get to the city faster. I needed a distraction. Throughout the week... I haven't had much time to think about what had happened to me.
Everything went so fast! I didn't even remember how I got here...
Lost in my thoughts, it took me a moment to notice the footsteps in the snow in front of me.
Jumping at the opportunity to change my mind, I eagerly followed the clues, and reached a small clearing.
In the middle of it, a blonde woman wrapped in a white cape that looked very comfortable was breathing with difficulty, sitting on a fallen tree trunk.
Rushing to her side with anxiety, I helped her regulate her breathing as best as I could. After a few minutes and a final fit of coughing, the woman raised her head in my direction and smiled shyly.
"Are you feeling better ?" I asked, removing my hands from her shoulders, still sitting at her side.
"Yes, thank you," she said, straightening up. "I apologize, I seem to have had a seizure, I thought I could have made it to the entrance." She sighed, saddened.
"No problem. Do you want me to accompany you to the mansion?" I was hoping for a positive answer. I really did not want to be alone with myself.
She seemed surprised for a moment, then nodded, smiling. I helped her to get back on her feet and I took hold of her arm, offering my support.
"So," she began after a few moments, "What are you doing in the forest in the middle of the afternoon?"
Moving aside a branch from our path, I replied awkwardly. Even after a week immersed in the English language, I still had trouble forming my sentences. "I work at the mansion, and the ... um, our supervisor gave me my afternoon. I didn't know what to do, so I thought why not going to town..."
"Oh, you've been working at the mansion for a long time?" She asked nonchalantly, examining me.
"No, a week I think ..." I said, feeling uncomfortable under her gaze. "The work is difficult, but all the staff I met were kind to me and I have a bed and food ..." I stammered.
Her eyes softened and she offered me a new smile. "Yes, the mansion staff is very nice. "
Not knowing what to say, I let the conversation die and focused on the path. Slowed down by the snow, we had just reached the main road. Soon we would see the mansion.
Fortunately, the awkward silence did not last, and I was soon engaged in a very interesting conversation about the job as a maid with the blonde woman. I didn't have much knowledge on the subject other than my week working as one, and the few movies and series I had seen on this theme, but the conversation was interesting and nurtured by anecdotes from both sides.
For the first time in a week, I laughed heartily to what the woman said, and was almost disappointed when I saw the main door of the mansion.
"By the way, I did not ask you what you wanted to do at the mansion. I inquired curiously.
"Well, I'm going home." She said, amused. "I wanted to go to the back door to greet my husband and daughter, but it would seem that it was too difficult for me." She explained as she gracefully climbed the steps leading to the manor. "What is your name?"
Still shaken by the implication that she was, in fact, my phantom employer, I took a few moments to answer her. Meanwhile, the doors of the manor had opened, and two chamber women ran out of it, hastening to bring their mistress to the warmth.
Shrugging my shoulders, I decided to go and help in the kitchens, attracted by the promises of a hot soup.
"Miss Campbell, Master Kaamelot is waiting for you in his office." Said a butler before leaving the kitchen.
A potato in one hand, a knife in the other, I blinked in surprise. A week without seeing anyone and then bim! The day after my meeting with the mistress, the master called me to his office? If that's not sketchy...
Giving an unfortunate look at my pile of potatoes to peel, I handed the knife to another Maid present in the kitchen and went to the upper floors.
Stopping for a few moments to wash my hands and put back a rebellious wick in place (I may as well make good impression...) I smoothed my skirt nervously and knocked at the office door.
To the sound of a tired "come in!", I pushed the door open and entered the comfortable study. There was no one inside the room, but I could clearly hear the sound of paper sheets in the library next to the study.
Waiting calmly for the master to honour me with his presence -because seriously he was the one who had asked me to come, was it a tactic of intimidation or what?- I let my eyes slip on the decor with a bored air ... before I stop sharp, mouth open.
"Oh my Go ... uh, I mean.. hum... Merlin? "
Yes, Merlin. Because frankly, it was better not to invoke God in this room ... or even in this house. No, not even in this universe!
Dull from the shock, I closed my mouth I did a remix of "poker face" by Kaito Kid. A remix because despite all my efforts, I probably still looked shocked.
It was confirmed to me when "Master Kaamelott" gave me a strange look as he entered the room.
Sweating, I watched him sit down in his comfortable chair with a tired sigh. In his turn, he looked at me for a few moments before showing me the chair before him with a wave of his hand.
Doing everything I could to avoid falling into the seat indicated, I put a fake smile on my lips and waited for him to speak.
"Miss Campbell ... Mr. Clark told me you knew how to speak French, right? He said removing his monocle.
I nodded, not trusting my voice for now.
« Comment vous plaisez-vous au manoir ? » He said suddenly in a clearly accented French.
« Tout va très bien »I calmly articulated. Wow, more than a week without hearing a single taste of my native language, I missed it.
He looked at me a few moments before asking me if I wanted a promotion:"My wife ...", he started with a serious tone, "has very important health problems. I would like to assign someone to look after her at any time, and as she seemed to appreciate your company yesterday, I would like you to fulfill that role. "
Still a little shocked by my earlier discovery, I replied that I would be very honoured to do what I was asked.
He then explained my role to me in detail, my duties, as well as my advantages, and half an hour later I left the office, still in a daze.
Walking up to my room, I collapsed on my bed, vaguely noting that Amelie, my chambermate was not there.
Clapping my face in the pillow, I shouted as hard as I dared, stifling the noise while trying to choke myself.
Urgh, seriously, I had played enough The Legend of Zelda to find out that ... coincidences do not exist. Even Yuko said it herself: everything is "ineluctable."
I who had fought so hard on the subject, I had to go to the obvious.
Because in all seriousness, what were the chances that I found myself in the Man universe?
I hope you like it :) If yes, please thank Lyra and Nouilleverte!
Unfortunatelly, Nouilleverte don't have the time to betaed each chapters so we need a Beta! If you can, send me a PM! I think this will be a lot of work...
Don't hesitate to leave a review to help Lyra improve the translation and I, the story!
I hope to see you again on November the 25th for the chapter two!