Chapter 1. Prologue
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Raha smiled bitterly.
If it was something to be proud of, it would be something Karzen could be proud of. A great tyrant who presented a man with great skills as a mere doll of a Princess.
“I’ll think about it if there’s a great reward.”
“I am sure His Majesty will give your doll an award.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, or I can offer you some luck
Raha did not answer. She whirled around to the rhythm and then took the Marquis’s hand again and said.
“Will the Marquis participate?”
“Of course. Princess. The Dukes have been a warrior family for generations.”
“But it would be a shame if it were known that the Duke Knight Commander was defeated by my slave.”
(*The name Duke here is a family name, not a title. The guy’s name is Marquis Duke.)
Instantly, the Marquis’ eyes stiffened.
“I don’t go out much, but lately I’ve had someone to talk to.”
There was no way that the Marquis could have known that Jamela Winston had been granted free access to the Imperial Palace as the Emperor’s fiancée.
This was a gentle threat by the imperial Princess. The Duke of Winston and Marquis Duke were not that close. It was only a matter of time before rumors spread through the social circles, even if the Princess had only lightly called out to Jamela.
Raha asked in a calm tone.
“What do you think, Marquis?”
“I understand perfectly what you said, Your Royal Highness.”
‘Don’t think that you will be the first to speak to Karzen’, the Marquis’s face reddened a little as he fully understood the meaning of Raha’s words. The strong hand holding her waist tightened, but Raha’s expression remained the same.
“It was a pleasant time. Princess”.
Raha faced the Marquis and greeted him. It was very cold the way they turned around without looking at each other.
Raha did not mind in the slightest.
Apparently, the Marquis Duke was extremely angry with Shed. His intention to have Shed participate in the combat competition was clear.
One was to get a perfect grasp of Shed’s abilities by watching a few battles.
The other was to make Karzen recognize Shed as a distraction.
At the very least, the Marquis could not do anything to the Princess’s slave, but in this empire, there was a young tyrant who could control anyone’s life as he pleased.
That was why the Marquis suggested that Shed should participate in the competition.
Or perhaps it really was a genuine suggestion. The Duke Knight Commander will be out again, and he may try to regain his honor this time.
Raha looked at Jamela, who was surrounded by a group of young ladies.
But for a while. Soon the ladies noticed that Raha was approaching and immediately turned their bodies and smiled politely and kindly.
“I watched you dance with the Marquis.”
“Today’s banquet is really beautiful. How good you were ….”
Raha naturally approached Jamela with a similar smile.
One was an imperial Princess, the other a future empress.
It was only natural that they had to be together.
04. A sword without a handle
It was the last day of a New Year’s party that lasted three days.
The ladies-in-waiting at Raha’s palace were in a hurry. This was because they had to take out all the dresses that Raha would wear at the New Year’s banquet, and now that the party was over, they had to reorganize the closet again.
The scale was even larger because they were the winter clothes of the twin who was favored by the emperor: a direct imperial family usually has thousands of dresses alone in her closet. It was only after calling all the attendants and even the servants and working for several days that they were finally able to finish sorting through the dresses.
It was that afternoon that an unexpected commotion occurred.
The maid servant who had put away the last dress suddenly opened her mouth. It was a red-haired maid.
“Um, I think we need more blue gems.”
Then another maid tilted her head.
“The Princess said there was enough.”
There was no way the maids of Raha’s palace could not have known what “blue jewels” meant. The imperial Princess was quite attentive to the one slave in the inner palace, and it was only recently that the chambermaids had been struggling to find a blue gemstone that would suit him.
“There are no suitable blue gems. They are mostly for women.
“Well…… That’s right.”
Anyway, more than 70% of the budget for Raha’s Palace was returned every month. As master of the palace, Raha had no hobbies and no collecting. Jewelry was so plentiful that even the imperial vaults were overflowing, and Raha was the only imperial Princess to wear these gorgeous treasures.
The maids, who at first spared the budget, had long since lost interest after years of doing so.
However, now they had something similar to a hobby…
The first maid, who brought up the subject of blue jewelry, pondered.
“Wouldn’t it be better to call the jeweler a palace in order to make the jewelry suitable for that person?”
Isn’t that a bit much? If it was for the Princess, it was understandable, but a jeweler for a slave? But that slave was the Princess’s beloved doll…
It was when the maids tilted their heads and still tried to concur.
“If you’re going to call, invite a craftsman from the kingdom of Panode..”
A voice dropped and the maids jumped up in a panic.
“When did you return…….”
The maids, noticing one step too late, hurried to Raha’s side. She took off her heavy earrings today and handed them to the maids.
The weather was still winter.
The imperial Princess’s body was cold as she traveled from the grand banquet hall to the palace. Her frozen cheeks were slightly red.
“Panode is the producer of blue gems. To make the finest gems to put on my slave, I must at least call people in the kingdom of Panode.”
“Yes, Princess. I will take care of it right away tomorrow.”
The maid of honor, the highest-ranking of them all, answered carefully.
Raha glanced at her. She turned her attention to the red-haired maid who was the first to mention the blue jewelry that suited Shed earlier.
“You are very good at your job.”
The red-haired maid bowed her head hurriedly.
“Thank you, Princess.”
“There’s only money in my palace. Give my slave plenty of material support.”
Raha raised her head and said.
“But that doesn’t mean you should get too close. That man is my bedroom slave.”
“Yes, of course. Princess.”
“It means I don’t like it when other women are attached to my bedroom slave.”
The red-haired maid’s face turned pale. The other maids’ mouths froze as well. In the bedroom, which had become so quiet that even the sound of a needle falling could be heard, Raha was served clothes silently, and then went to her inner palace where Shed was.
* * *
Late at night.
The red-haired maid was depressed.
“Don’t worry so much. The Princess isn’t one to give you a hard time.”
“Yes, of course I know…..”
“Just be careful from now on. We have to follow the orders of Her Imperial Highness.”
“Yes, I understand. I will be careful.”
“Go to sleep quickly.”
The high ranking chambermaid left, and the red haired maid barely held her trembling hands.
She couldn’t get the cold voice of the imperial Princess out of my head.
Those words of the imperial Princess sounded like a warning to stay away from her doll.
It was a chilly feeling.
Since the Princess said that in front of everyone, the attendants would definitely not go near the bedroom slave for a while. Naturally, the slave will spend more time alone. Therefore, a good time to decorate something.
That wasn’t all that was tightening her chest.
“If you’re going to call, invite a craftsman from the kingdom of Panode.”
Since it was a royal order, a jeweler should naturally be summoned from the kingdom of Panode.
The problem was……
She herself (the maid) would have to invite a craftsman from the Kingdom of Panode.
Because the Kingdom of Panode was famous for producing blue gems, but it was also famous for other things.
It was a kingdom very close to the Holy Land.
The other day, a priest approached the red-headed maid with an urgent look on his face.
“If possible, please create an opportunity to invite a jeweler to the Imperial Palace. I can assign a person from the Holy Land to the Panode.”
In order to create that opportunity, she deliberately brought up the subject of the lack of blue gems.
“In order to make the best gems to put on my slave, I must at least call people in the Kingdom of Panode.”
The maid was scared.
Because today, the Princess agreed with what she said. Thanks to her, she was able to call an artisan from the Kingdom of Panode without anyone doubting.
So, in fact……
‘Did the Princess know everything?’
But to say it was a coincidence….
Her body suddenly began to tremble with fear. The red-haired maid couldn’t help but to be afraid. She had a gut feeling that she must surely tell this story to the jeweler entering the Imperial Palace, or rather to the spy of the Holy Land.
* * *
“A jeweler, all of a sudden?”
A maid visiting the Shed bowed her head.
“Her Imperial Highness had especially invited a jeweler from Panode. He will arrive in a few moments.”
“Am I to see him alone?”
“Yes. The jeweler will give you his own estimate. If there is anything you like, just let him know.”
“Yes, then …….”
The maid bowed her head lightly and retreated.
It was a polite attitude. But her words were especially respectful today. Shed wondered if the maids here were aware that he was just a slave.