Punishment of Ondine (Questioned)
“W-What happened?” Lakshmi said.
“What’s with that screaming?” Indra asked.
“What’s going on?” Sumara asked.
Lakshmi and Indra came rushing up the stairs. Sumara opened her door and walked out. They turned and looked towards the bathroom. Lying on his back with his eyes closed was Lakshman.
“Lakshman!” Lakshmi exclaimed and her eyes widened in shock.
She rushed over to his unconscious body and gingerly lifted him and placed him on her lap. Indra and Mariana followed and knelt beside her and looked at the unconscious Lakshman. Sumara walked over to them and stood while observing the situation.
“How is he, Lakshmi?” Indra asked in concern.
Lakshmi did not respond while she continuously caressed his head with a worried expression on her face. Mariana moved over and checked on Lakshman. A moment later, she looked at Indra and nodded.
“Young master is fine, but he is unconscious.”
Indra closed his eyes and let out a sigh of relief. Then he turned to look at Lakshmi who seemed to have become frozen. Chuckling to himself, he placed a hand on her shoulder and shook her lightly.
“Lakshmi… Hello…? Anyone home…?”
“Ah… Hm…? W-Who is home?” Lakshman asked, blinking confusedly.
“I take that as a yes,” Indra said and he laughed.
She turned and looked at him with furrowed eyebrows. In the space of a few seconds, she returned to the present situation.
“Why are you laughing as if this doesn’t concern you? Your son was attacked!”
Lakshmi looked cross as she stared seriously at Indra. Indra raised his hands at her and made gestures intending to calm her.
“Of-Of course I am!” he said, but he did not sound very convincing. “Anyway, how did he get attacked? I didn’t feel any presence of evil intentions in the house.”
“Ah yes… I did hear someone screaming a moment ago,” Sumara said, finally speaking up.
They looked up at Sumara upon hearing her words. Then they concentrated their stares at the closed bathroom door. As if in response to their stares, the door suddenly opened. To their surprise, Ondine poked her face out.
“Sorry… I ah… sort of… um… uh… kicked him for seeing me… ah… naked… haha.”
Indra, Lakshmi, Mariana and Sumara blinked their eyes several times before shouting “WHAT?!”
Several hours later, Lakshman tentatively opened his eyes. Upon opening his eyes, he found himself staring at the ceiling. Beneath him, he felt a familiar soft sensation of a bed. He realised he must be in his room.
“What the…?” he muttered.
As he sat upright, he clutched his chest with his hand. A pained expression crossed his face and he stared down at his chest.
“Why… does it hurt?”
“Ah! You’re awake, master!”
While examining himself, Ondine enter his room. He looked up and his eyes suddenly widened in surprise. Ondine was wearing a maid’s outfit. Upon closer inspection, he realised it was the same uniform worn by Mariana. Seeing her in a maid outfit suddenly made his heart skip a beat.
“What’s wrong, master?” she asked when she reached his bed side and saw his red face. “Are you feeling unwell?”
“Ah…?! No! I-I’m fine!” Lakshman said as he quickly and he shook his head to shake away the feeling. “More importantly… Why am I in bed?”
“Last I remember, I was on my way to the bathroom to have shower before breakfast,”
Lakshman clutched his head trying hard to remember the events leading to him being in bed.
“So… What happened next, master?” Ondine asked and she sounded nervous.
“Next… um… I’m not sure actually,” he said and he sounded confused.
“Pardon?” she asked. “You mean, you don’t remember?”
“Oh, I remember opening the door, but… I feel as though I saw something unbelievable,” he said hesitantly. “Next thing I knew, I was hit painfully in the chest and that was it. That’s as far as I can remember before finding myself in bed.”
“Oh…” Ondine said and she had a complicated expression on her face. “I’m sorry, master.”
“Sorry? What are you sorry for?” he asked, surprised by her attitude.
“Well… you see… I was about to have shower when you opened the bathroom door,” she said. “I reflexively hit you hard in the chest thinking you were peeping on me. I am really sorry!”
She bowed deeply while apologizing to him. He was surprised by this and he made vague movements with his hands.
“Ah! Now I remember!” he said and his face brightened. “You definitely kicked me in the chest. That explains why it hurts so much.”
“I am really sorry,” she said and she hung her head.
“Ah, don’t be!” Lakshman said. “My chest doesn’t hurt much. Besides, I’ll accept this as my punishment for forcing you to do stuff against your will.”
“By the way, do you know why I feel as if I saw something unbelievably shocking before getting knocked out?”
Lakshman made a curious expression as he looked at Ondine. Ondine’s eyes widened and she blushed before turning away from him.
“I don’t think you saw anything, master,” she said hastily.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“I am certain master!” she said, but her face blushed ever deeper.
“Okay then since you are so certain,” he said and shrugged his shoulders. “It must’ve been the shock of getting kicked by you I guess.”
“Yes! That must be it!” she quickly said.
While he continued to pat himself, she sighed with a complicated expression
“I don’t know if I should feel relieved or upset that he forgot what he saw,” she muttered.
“Did you say something?” he asked, turning back to her.
“Oh, no!” she said quickly. “It’s nothing, nothing at all.”
She then laughed half-heartedly. Lakshman looked at with his eyebrows raised, but he made no comment about her strange behaviour. Instead, he had something else to question her about.
“Ondine, why are you wearing a maid uniform?”
“Eh?” she said and looked down at her clothes. “Oh… this… It was something that Mariana lent me to wear.”
“Oh, I see… Wait! That’s not what I meant!” Lakshman said and he narrowed his eyes. “I am asking you… why are you wearing it in the first place? What happened to your other clothes?”
Ondine made a sad face and said “This is my punishment for hurting you.”
“Punishment?” he asked in surprise.
“Yes. A few hours ago, your mother was furious about me hurting you. She wanted to punish me severely, but your father intervened.”
“That’s right,” she said with a nod of her head. “He said the perfect way to punish me would be to make me wear the maid uniform.”
“Huh?” he said in disbelief. “He said that?”
“Yes, and he also said it would cheer you up.”
Saying so, she swished her skirt and twirled in a circle.
“So… Are you feeling better now, master?” she asked in a worried voice.
Lakshman’s face slightly turned red and he felt a flutter in him that he couldn’t explain. At her asking him, he decided to reply honestly.
“I am happy; those clothes look good on you.”
“They… they do?” she said uncertainly.
“Yes… In them you are suddenly cute.”
“C-cu-cute?! Me?!” she stammered with wide eyes.
“Yes, you,” he said. “Who else would I be talking about?”
Ondine did not reply. She simply turned red in the face and fidgeted with her clothes. A few seconds later, she said “AH!” and suddenly became serious and turned to stare at him with a serious expression on her face.
“You…! Seriously! I thought you were a nice person, but I see now. You are sweet talking to me, weren’t you?!”
“What do you mean ‘sweet talking to you’?”
“Don’t play dumb with me,” she said.
Ondine looked serious as she placed her hands on her hips.
“Men are always like this! They sweet talk girls and then, when the right time arrives, they become beasts on instinct!”
Lakshman blinked at her several times before he said “… What?”
“What?” she said, looking at him with an annoyed expression on her face.
“Um… Ondine. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said honestly.
Her eyes widened at his words.
Then she brought her face closer to him and asked “Master, please tell me. How do you view girls?”
“How I view… girls?”
“Yes! Please answer truthfully!”
Lakshman was taken aback at her serious attitude.
“Well… I treat the boys and girls around me like brothers and sisters. I don’t have siblings after all, not yet anyway,” he said and suddenly smiled.
“Oh… my… god…” Ondine muttered as she stared at him with wide eyes.
“Is there something the matter?” Lakshman asked her nervously.
“No… No there isn’t…” she said, but she was astonished by what she heard. “Anyway, in the future remember this! Never sweet talk a girl! If anything goes wrong, they will kill you for it!”
“T-They will?!” he said in disbelief. “But… girls are gentle and nice though.”
“Yes, but girls do not like it if someone tricks them by sweet talking to them!” she said in a serious voice. “So, you better not trick anyone by sweet talking to them! Got it?”
“I-I got it!” he said and nodded several times. “I’ll be nice to girls, but I won’t trick them.”
“Good boy!” she said and made a wicked smile before realising what she said. “I mean, that’s good master!”
“Okay…” Lakshman said and he looked at her with a puzzled expression.
“Anyway, I’ve accepted to wearing these clothes as my punishment,” she said.
“I don’t like it,” he said. “Why must you pay the penalty for my mistake?”
“I’ll go speak to mum and dad.”
With that, Lakshman got off the bed and walked out of his room. Ondine stared after him in surprise. Then she closed her eyes and muttered “You are such an innocent bumpkin.”
Then she followed him out of the room and closed the door shut behind her.