Chapter 2: The Rewrite in which I Become the Ultimate Overpowered Maid

I had multiple plans to improve Katrina’s character.

The first, and the easiest was her personality. I wasn’t very outgoing by nature, so keeping my head down and doing my work properly without mocking others or causing a scene was simple.

The first day after I had appeared in this world, I tried smiling and greeting everyone I worked with. The reaction was a little overdone, one butler literally backed away from me until he fell down a flight of stairs. I had never really specified in the book how awful Katrina was in her day to day life, but considering the astonishment and relief shown by the other house staff members at my changed personality, she must have been dreadful to work with. Now that I wasn’t acting like an idiot bully, I naturally made friends with most of the people who worked there.

Second, I decided that if I was going to be a maid character, I wanted to be the super, cool type that could do anything. For that, I was going to need teachers, this turned out to be more difficult than I expected.

“Why?” Gertia, the head maid, stared at me with a stony face.

I took a deep breath to calm myself, it wouldn’t do to bite the hand that could feed. “I am sorry that I have been lazy and useless before now. I wish to learn everything I need to know to be the best lady’s maid.” I looked up at her, but if anything, her gaze became more stern than before.

“You’re not smart enough.”

GRRR! I really want to punch her!

Burying my inner monologue deep inside me, I summoned a calm, polite smile.

“Please judge me after giving me a chance.”

She seemed startled at my response, but in the end gave me a slow nod. “Very well. But if you waste my time, I’ll kick you out without hesitation.” Finally she smiled, “I should warn you, very few people have ever gained my approval.”

Despite my poor first impression, I couldn’t help but like her straightforward manner. I grinned at her. “Bring it on!”

She hadn’t been lying, what followed was the maid training course from hell. Etiquette, fashion, household management, every second of my free time was taken with learning what she had to offer. Despite her grim appearance, she was a good teacher, easily explaining even complex subjects, but she definitely didn’t hold back. The one time I had forgotten her lesson on cutlery placement will forever scar me.

I worked hard, and over time, she seemed to loosen up a bit. I swear I even caught her looking at my work with a half smile once. Of course, it might have just been a hallucination.

I branched out, learning from the chef how to cook, basic first aid from the local healer, different plants and poisons from the gardener. I never had enough time in the day, but as I continued to work hard, I started gaining a wide variety of useful skills.  

Once I got a grasp on the behind the scenes work of high society, I moved on to fighting skills. Thinking back to all the fight scenes that would have to survive once the plot got going, I would definitely need to know how to protect myself. Why had I wanted this to be an action packed story?

I approached the captain of the Duke’s personal guard, Alexander, a young man in his twenties with a serious expression, and asked to learn combat and weaponry. To his credit, he simply declined politely and didn’t laugh in my face. I didn’t give up though, I began the daily food campaign. Each day I brought the treats and snacks that I made for my cooking training, hoping to butter up the captain and his men. Although I was greeted with suspicion at first, the food was delicious, if I do say so myself, and soon the guards began to look forward to my visits. Of course, as they ate I made sure to talk up the benefits of having the lady’s maid being trained in combat.

“Think about it!” I explained once, waving around a cookie, “If Lady Autumn gets attacked in the bath or some other delicate place, then are you going to barge in and see her naked? Isn’t it better if I can help protect her?”

Alexander choked on his own cookie as I spoke, his face turning red.

“Umm, Miss Katrina,” One of his men spoke up with a grin, “You may want to phrase your arguments more… delicately. I think it’s a bit much for our poor innocent captain.”

“Shut up.” Alexander glared at his subordinate, who fell silent but kept smiling. He then turned to me with a thoughtful expression. “You really want to learn?”

I nodded my head excitedly, and let out a cheer when he sighed and nodded back.

“Fine.” He patted me on the back. “Run around the grounds five times.”

My smile fell. “Pardon?” The estate wasn’t small. That distance had to be at least a mile. I hated running.

“Fighting requires endurance.” His smile was grim. “Prove to me you’re serious, and I’ll teach you how to fight.”

“Deal!” I jumped up, and headed towards the grounds. As I ran I heard the cheers of the rest of the guards.

“Good luck, Miss Katrina!”

“You can do it!”

“Please don’t stop bringing us cookies even if the Captain bullies you!”

It was difficult. Painfully so. Katrina had done little in her life beyond gentle walks and lifting tea cups. Suddenly starting to run… needless to say I collapsed long before the 5th lap.

Someone save me! I’m just an author, I want to nap!

I knew if I wanted to learn how to fight, however, I would have to persevere. So pushing away the despair in my heart, I trudged onward and completed the course at a literal crawl.

The Captain watched me finish, giving me a solemn nod before walking away.

Jerk! At least praise my hard work!

Every day I ran. It took time, but eventually I could complete it without passing out, puking or crying. I reported this cheerfully to Alexander, but his poker face didn’t change, he simply doubled the distance. Finally I conquered even that, and he allowed me to begin training.

I learned hand-to-hand combat, and fighting with a dagger. When I had protested, seeing my dream of sword fighting disappearing into nothingness, he argued back that as a lady’s maid I would have to work with weapons I could keep concealed. Unable to refute his sound logic, I reluctantly agreed.

By the end of my two years of preparation, I was able to run quite a distance without becoming tired. I could quickly flip and subdue opponents that were even twice my size, and my knife throwing/fighting skills were at the level where I could hold my own against most of the Duke’s guards. One day, I arrived with my usual box of cookies to find the Captain and all the guards waiting patiently for me, excited looks on their faces.

“What’s going on?” I asked, looking at them one by one. “Did I miss a party or something?”

The guard closest to Alexander elbowed him. “Give it to her already, Captain!”

Alexander stepped forward, hesitant for the first time since I met him. He held out a plainly wrapped gift. “This is from all of us.

I opened it. It was a beautifully crafted blade, easily concealable and weighted appropriately for throwing. I held it up to look at it closely, startled. “Is this really for me?”

“You’ve worked really hard. If you had been a man, we would have just let you join the guard, but as it is…” He trailed off. “Good job.”

I smiled, tearing up a little. “Thank you so much!” Without thinking, I grabbed his hands with my own, shaking them.

Alexander’s eyes widened and he pulled his hands gently away before clearing his throat and staring off into the distance. Had I offended him? When I looked closer, however, I noticed his face and ears turning bright red with embarrassment. Briefly, I remembered that I wrote the Captain as a side character. He saves the protagonist Autumn from an attack in the second book, and as a result of that interaction develops a little bit of a crush on her. I had liked his character a lot, however, and not wanting him to waste his life pining after Autumn, I wrote for him to meet and marry a beautiful kind woman. Now, having met him in person, I was even more glad that he got his happy ending. Grinning, I patted him on the shoulder.

“Hang in there buddy; just a couple more years.”

“What was that?”

“Oh nothing.” I chuckled, thinking of the wonderful girl he would meet later on. I would have to make it to their wedding!

Within a blink of an eye, two years had passed. I had grown accustomed to living in this world, as well as my new persona as Katrina. I was no longer the spoiled arrogant woman who plotted against others. I had friends, I had skills, and if all else failed, thanks to Captain Alexander I could run away really fast and keep running for miles!

Autumn’s sixteenth birthday was tomorrow. The plot had arrived.

I was ready.

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