He held me for a long time and only let me go when the sun went down.
Energy drained from my body, and every time I took a step, I trembled and needed support.
However, because it was impossible for commoner maids to touch the Empress’ body, I had to wait until the maids of noble status to come. I felt like I was about to cry, so I sat down and waited as I tried to organize my thoughts. It was only after about thirty minutes that I was able to return to the Empress’s Palace with the help of the maids.
‘Isn’t there any kiln here?’
No matter how high of a status a person was, it felt like I was about to burst into tears at the reality of needing someone noble to help me walk. Seriously, what would be wrong with commoners touching the Empress’s body, as long as it’s not in strange places?!
…It was terribly embarrassing.
Since only women who were widely known for their modesty and character were eligible to become the Empress’s handmaidens, there were foreign exemptions like Marquis Jacques’ esteemed Madam. Therefore, the reliability of that standard was rather questionable…
Doesn’t that mean that at least the external image of these people is exceptional?
Because of that, I couldn’t find myself showing those people myself in this condition. Unlike Raniero, I’m shy because I’m just a normal person. With my face blushing, I lowered my head and went back to the Empress Palace. Even though I was embarrassed like this, I already knew that Raniero must not be feeling anything at all.
I decided to curse something that I couldn’t openly say to myself.
Every time I found traces of his touch while receiving a bath, my face burned with embarrassment even more. It was only after relaxing in the warm water mixed with herbs and sitting on the bed wearing only a silk robe, did the feeling of sleepiness immediately flooded me. I couldn’t even bring myself to dry my hair, and of course, I didn’t want to ask the maids.
In the end, I fell asleep just like that.
ﾟ· : * ✧ * :· ﾟ
The next day, there was a significant change in the Empress’ Palace. This was because the esteemed Madam was forced to step down from the lady’s maid position when she became a ‘prey’ in the hunting game I suggested before.
Consequently, I had to choose a new lady-in-waiting.
However, when I brought the topic up, a look of burden appeared on all the maids’ faces. As everyone followed the instructions of the esteemed Madam and ignored me until now, they must have come to the conclusion that they wouldn’t be able to face me. When I asked who would like to be the head maid, no one offered to do it.
In the end, among the maids from the Actilus Empire, Cisen stepped forward with a smile of determination.
“I’ll take care of Your Majesty the Empress since I’m the closest to you.”
I widened my eyes.
If I had been in a position where Cisen was, I would’ve been discouraged. It was surprising that she was able to stand up so proudly in this situation. On the other hand, I was happy at the same time. If Cisen were the lady’s maid, at least, I wouldn’t have to go through the stress of isolation like that again.
Trying not to show my actual feelings, I smiled and glanced at the other maids.
“I didn’t have any other applicants, though fortunately, Cisen took the courage to take on a heavy position. In addition, she knows me best as well so this would make her job easier.”
In short, I made Cisen the lady’s maid without asking for the opinions of the other maids.
Cisen, who was now the lady’s maid, told me that the other maids seemed a little bewildered after I fell asleep yesterday.
Of course, the story of the Empress, who had only recently arrived from a faraway foreign kingdom, knew the Emperor’s intentions better than the Vice Minister was like a mysterious ghost story to them. Obviously, they chatted with each other. However, when they saw Cisen approaching, they immediately shut their mouths.
Meanwhile, Cisen was proud of me, who wisely passed the crisis.
“Princess—no, they now know that they shouldn’t dare touch the Empress recklessly. Finally.”
Saying so, she took my hand and smiled warmly. Seeing her unwavering loyalty to me, I felt a little sorry for her.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t take care of you sooner.”
She spoke firmly and patted the back of my hand.
“I was guessing that even Your Majesty couldn’t use your power easily. Rather, I’m only sorry that I could not stay by your side while they territorialize the precious Empress.”
Hearing that, I gazed at Cisen quietly.
She couldn’t have guessed that the Princess she had been loyal to had changed. Well, that was understandable. How could she imagine that her soul had changed to someone else instead? Thankfully, the degree of my change could be passed off with an environmental excuse.
‘…I’m sorry for pretending to be your master, Cisen.’
I uttered quietly to myself, gazing into her eyes.
‘It might not be enough in return, but I’ll make sure she doesn’t lose her master.’
…Now that I think about it, did Cisen in the original die with Angelica? Or did she end up living alone? Either way, it seemed she couldn’t have been very happy.
I sighed and glanced around.
The most striking change that occurred when the esteemed Madam was overthrown and Cisen took the place of lady’s maid would be that the maids of my age started talking to me first—even with their trembling, awkward smiles.
“W-what color does Your Highness prefer the flowers to be…?”
Their eyes, which tried to understand and worried about my intentions, now contained not exclusion but nervousness and fear. If I had been a more courageous person, I would have had a casual smile seeing that, but unfortunately, I’m the weak type.
‘I’m not that scary…’
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Comments for chapter "Chapter 17"
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