Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 08: Erin, The Apprentice Nurse
—Erin, a 16-year-old girl who came from a small church on the outskirts of the royal capital to work as an apprentice nurse. She was a very devout person with a bright and pure personality. She was also a bit of a klutz. Having no parents, she was found by a priest when she was abandoned in front of the church as a baby. She was an orphan, which was not unusual.
That was the setting. Well, I might improvise and add other elements… Be flexible.
“Are you okay?”
“Aah, I’m fine~.”
I was currently at the gatekeeper’s office after I had fallen spectacularly in front of the church gate. I had hit my face hard, and my forehead and nose were bleeding profusely. Incidentally, my clothes were stained with blood. One of the gatekeepers couldn’t bear to see me in such a state, so he brought me here.
“Here, missy. A first-aid kit… Uh, how does one use it again?”
“Oh-well, I’m an apprentice nurse. So, I can do it myself!”
“An apprentice nurse shouldn’t be getting herself hurt…”
“I’m sorry… but I’m used to it! Thank you for the first-aid kit!”
As soon as I received the kit, I quickly started treating myself. I washed the dirt off my forehead, used tweezers with a cotton ball dipped in disinfectant, and dabbed it.
“Whew… Ow… ah-ah-ah…”
“Be quiet while applying disinfectant, missy.”
A chuckle escaped from the gatekeeper as I squirmed and made strange noises while I was stung by the antiseptic solution. I applied some ointment to the disinfected area. I thought about applying a bandage or gauze but decided against it since the wound wasn’t that deep. Quickly putting away the medicines, I returned the first-aid kit to the gatekeeper – without forgetting to smile, of course.
“Thank you so much… even though you were in the middle of work!”
“No, not at all. You fell down so hard that your nose was bleeding.”
“I had been admiring this splendid church when I tripped… I wasn’t paying attention!”
I saluted him firmly.
“There was nothing in front of you! And I’m not a soldier. I’m a gatekeeper…”
I tilted my head. The gatekeeper looked at me like I was pitiful.
“Oh yeah, missy, what’s your name? I’m sure I’d remember a pretty miss like you…”
“Oh my! Are you hitting on me?”
“No, you’re not my type. Totally not my type. Don’t worry.”
“An immediate rejection!?”
I was played by him! I cried crocodile tears.
“It’s obvious you’re fake crying!… So, what’s your name, missy?
“My name is Erin. I’m going to be an apprentice nurse starting tomorrow! Ah, please remember my name, okay?
“Yes, yes, Miss Erin, right? It’s hard to forget when our first meeting was like that. Well, let me introduce myself. I’m Sam, the gatekeeper. By the way, I’m looking for a wife.”
“Pfft-haha, Mr. Sam, you don’t seem very popular!”
“Shut up, you little brat. If you’re so chipper, then you’re fine. Hurry up, go to the church, and take care of your business.”
“Okaaay~. Bye, Mr. Sam! Thank you so much for your help. As thanks, I’ll take care of you if you get hurt!”
“…No, I’ll pass. Feels kind of dangerous for my life if you’re the one who treats my injuries.”
I said goodbye to Sam and jogged a little faster, then opened the door to the office and stepped out. I strolled down the tree-lined walkway to the chapel.
As I was walking along in a good mood, I remembered my conversation with Sam earlier. I had fallen in front of the gate to find out more about the church’s gatekeepers… Apparently, the caliber of the gatekeepers here was quite good. The gatekeeper seemed to remember the faces and names of the people who worked at the church, as he said he didn’t recognize Erin (me) and asked for my name.
I expected a cowardly gatekeeper, but… Lord Edward’s spies were even discovered, so it would appear that security was tight, unfortunately. Those who enjoyed lining their pockets without working would want to be safe in the church too, no matter what.
At any rate, personally reconfirming the quality of the security and getting to know one of the gatekeepers was a big win. In addition, my current performance went off without a hitch.
A smile unconsciously crept onto my face.
The people I passed by on the tree-lined walkway glanced back at me. Some of them were looking at my bloody clothes, but the men seemed to be more interested in Erin’s appearance.
The puppy-like Erin is actually a vixen, you know? I internally muttered to myself as I turned my carefree smile to other people.
I was walking towards the chapel when I met a kind sister on the way. She was surprised to see my blood-stained clothes, but when I explained the situation to her, she smiled kindly and said, “You have to be mindful of your surroundings,” and took me to the dormitory. Now, I was waiting in front of the dormitory for the dorm head.
Its exterior was made of old brown bricks, with ivy crawling up its walls. It was simple but elegant; I liked it very much.
After a while, a woman appeared from the massive door. She was probably in her mid-twenties and wore a white nun’s uniform and a nurse’s cap. She was more than likely the head of the dormitory.
“I’m sorry for being late. I was talking to the matron, Ms. Catharia, for a while— What’s with these bloody clothes!? Are you injured!?”
“I fell in front of the gate and got a nosebleed… The gatekeeper was kind enough to help me, so I’m all patched up!”
“Is that so? That’s fine then. My name is Martha, I’m the head of the White Dormitory, and I oversee the apprentice nurses.”
“I’m Erin. I’ll be in your care from today. Um, the White Dormitory you’re referring to, is it this building?”
“Hahaha, yes. Isn’t it funny to see that it’s an old-fashioned brown building? It’s called that because it’s inhabited by angels in white! I always say that the white color just refers to the clothes, and not get their hopes up about our girls! Or the like.”
Martha laughed heartily. She seemed to have a rather refreshing personality.
“Well, since we’re standing here chatting, I’ll show you around the dorm. Come on in!”
“Yes! Pardon the intrusion.”
“This will be your home from now on, so you can just say ‘I’m home.'”
The interior of the dormitory was as old as its exterior. However, it seemed to have been well cleaned and had a sense of spotlessness.
I stopped in front of a large room just past the foyer.
“This is the dining room. Breakfast is served at 7:00 a.m. and dinner is served between 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. In the morning, we eat when everyone has gathered, but in the evening, you can eat at any time during those hours.”
“Why doesn’t everyone eat together for dinner?”
“Because we, the nurses, finish our work at different times~. And, more often than not, a patient’s condition may suddenly change.”
“I see. Also, you don’t eat with the sisters, do you?”
“We have to fast for purification ceremonies, and there are some things we can’t eat, so doctors and servants also eat in their own dormitories.”
“Oh, I see~.”
“The one who makes the meals is the matron, Ms. Catharia. She’s a good cook, but she’s very punctual! Be careful.”
Afterwards, we finished our tour of the first floor. It also had the dorm head’s office, a shared restroom, and a bathing area. The second floor seemed to consist entirely of dormitory rooms. We went upstairs and headed for the innermost room.
“This is your room, Erin~.”
When I opened the door, I found myself in a small room of about five square meters. There was only a wooden bed and a desk.
“Is this a one-person room?”
“We have a big room that accommodates eight people. But we don’t have many nurses at the moment, so even the apprentices get to have single rooms, although they’re the smallest ones.”
“That’s plenty! I’ve never had a single room before, so I’m very happy!”
“I’m glad you like it. Ms. Catharia handles the cleaning of the dormitory, but you need to clean your room by yourself.”
“Fufu, I’ve helped with cleaning before, so no problem!”
“How reliable~! Also, we have a roll call at 9:00 p.m., so don’t go out at night without permission.”
“Nightlife… The so-called ‘adult activities’!”
“Are you stupid!?… Well, one gets tired from all the work and has no energy to do such things.”
“Is it really that tough…?”
“You look healthy, Erin, so don’t worry. Well then, I’ll provide you with a uniform after dinner. You must be exhausted, so rest up till then!”
“If you insist~.”
“Don’t be late for dinner! Make sure you greet your dorm mates in person. I’ve got to get back to work already.”
“Yes! Thank you very much. I’ll be in your care, Ms. Martha.”
“Yeah, see you later~.”
With a fluttering wave, Martha went back to work. I closed the door and locked it. Then, I put my ear against the wall and tapped it. I checked the room’s security system to see if there were any hidden rooms.
Hmm, no hidden rooms or passages, it seems. The keyhole was a type that was easy to pick… The window was blocked by a large tree, and sunlight was terrible, but it made it hard to see what was going on in the room from the outside… Plus, it’s a corner room, so it was decent for espionage.
“First things first… I’d better get used to living here.”
I took out a vase, then some artificial salmon-pink roses from my luggage, and placed them by the window.
“It’s a little more colorful now. I’m exhausted. I think I’ll do as Martha says and get some rest… Fuh~.”
I yawned as I lay down on my bed. It was hard and uncomfortable to sleep on, but that was a problem I could remedy in the future.
A few seconds later, I fell into a deep sleep.
Commoners are basically set up without last names. The next one should be about the angels in white and the clumsy Erin-chan.