Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
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It was only natural that Jane would have this reaction to El’s appearance. She had worked at the palace for a long time, but this was the first time she had met or talked to her so closely.
Jane heard rumors about El, but seeing her in person, she could tell El was even more amazing than that, just by the atmosphere she gave off.
And there were many bad stories among the rumors.
Pointing fingers and ignoring her, saying El was a commoner. Suspicion that she had a backbone , and even stories that could not be said.
However, seeing her willing to help even though El didn’t know her, Jane felt like she was dreaming.
“Does this happen to you often?”
“Yes. Since I don’t have anything, and I have nothing to brag about, it’s no wonder they think I’m naive.”
Jane had never had anyone to talk to about these things before, and though it was the first time they met, she honestly confided her true feelings to El.
The fact that she didn’t have a single person on her side in the Imperial Palace made her very wary and lonely. She just had to comfort herself with the words that it would be okay.
It was then that Jane heard a determined voice from El, who was listening to her story.
“No one has the right to treat others so carelessly.”
“But this is the Imperial Palace…..”
“I know that feeling better than anyone. I had a similar experience.”
Jane couldn’t believe that someone so strong could have experienced something like what she had. Her atmosphere was enough to overwhelm people instead.
Recognizing the question in Jane’s eyes, El just smiled.
The reason El had helped Jane earlier was because she could see herself in Jane’s position.
“That’s who I became stronger so that they could not treat me recklessly.There were times when it was hard, but I gritted my teeth and worked hard, and that’s how I got to where I am now.”
“So Sir El had that kind of time, too.”
However, Jane could be sure that it was because of such efforts that El was where she was today.
At the same time, Jane had a small wish to be as strong as El.
“I was nothing, but I did it, so I’m sure you can do it too. Then you won’t be afraid anymore.” (El)
“Of course. I’m sure you’ve seen the proof.”
El gave Jane the courage she didn’t know she had before. In addition, she really wanted to do it.
“I’ll try to be like Sir El.”
“I think the maid and I will get along pretty well. We have many similarities.”
“Yes. Oh, and my name is …………….”
As Jane was about to say her name, a voice calling for El came from afar. El checked the person calling her and said with a smile.
“My colleague called me, I’ll get going now.”
El hurried away to her colleague, leaving only a greeting like that. Jane was very disappointed that she had not been able to say her name.
But Jane believed she would see El again since they both were at the Imperial Palace, so she decided to wait for the next time.
‘Next time we meet, I must be sure to say that I want to get to know you.’
But Jane didn’t realize it at the time that it was her first and last conversation with El.
‘And then it happened shortly after.’
When she heard the news that El was dead, she was in a state of shock. At first she could hardly believe it.
The knight she saw was not the kind of person who would do such a horrible thing. She was kind enough to listen to her troubles.
But there was nothing Jane could do. She was only a maidservant, and at that moment, the atmosphere at the Palace was heavy.
Instead, she remembered what El had said to her and worked even harder, which helped her to get the attention of the head maid Borence.
And so, the people who tormented her gradually decreased, and now they were completely gone.
‘It’s just a memory now.’
Jane also recalled fond memories of El for the first time in a long time when Princess Ellea said the same exact words as El back then.
She wanted to say that she was grateful to her, that she had helped her a lot back then and that she was still doing her best.
‘Though I can’t do that now.’
Jane couldn’t help but wonder as she compared the words of El and Ellea.
‘I didn’t know the Princess would say the same thing.’
But now Jane was more convinced that Princess Ellea was much nicer and more beautiful than she thought.
‘It’s okay. I’m going to work very hard from now on.’
With that, her will as a maid of honor flared up.
Meanwhile, as Ellea arrived at the dining hall and took her seat, the dishes were soon served. She started eating right away, the food was indeed very good, but something was missing.
She looked around and found herself sitting alone at this large table.
‘Did I get used to that life at home?’
After waking up as Ellea, her family was always eating together.
Maybe it was because she ate in that joyful atmosphere, this kind of quietness just felt unnatural now. Meanwhile, on the first day of the Princess’s arrival, the chef, who prepared the food with all his heart and soul, became increasingly anxious about her lukewarm response.
Eventually, he couldn’t bear his worries and approached Ellea.
“Could it be that the food doesn’t suit your palate?”
“No, the food is really good. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve eaten alone.”
Only then did the chef realize that Ellea was missing her home. Besides, she had come here alone, so it was natural that she couldn’t feel comfortable.
“I will be happy to prepare Zevenica’s meal next time.”
“Thank you for your concern.”
After a pleasant meal, Ellea returned to her room and sat down at her desk to sort out what she was going to do. It was to ensure that she could endure the remaining time in this place safely.
‘I will manage to get through the banquet first. Then see some familiar faces.’
Ellea sighed and closed her eyes as she leaned back in her chair. More than anything else, the presence of the nobles was annoying.
In Zevenica, she avoided such a position as much as possible, even with all sorts of excuses. Because there may be people who would be suspicious of the Princess’s change.
‘Actually, I’m lucky that my family didn’t suspect me.’
At that moment when her mind was getting complicated, Ellea remembered one important fact that she had forgotten.
‘Ah, yes. I have to go there at least once, too. He hadn’t heard from me until now, and I’m sure he’s worried about me.’
Originally she was going to stop by before she sorted out the whole situation, but she couldn’t contact him because he was suddenly imprisoned. She was more worried that there was surely something he needed help with.
(*I think she talked about the doctor Wontil)
‘I will have to go there as soon as the banquet is over.’
After sorting out what she needed to do and lying down in bed early, Ellea closed her eyes in the darkness.
The first day in a strange, but not unfamiliar place ended like that.
Just around dawn, Ellea, who opened her eyes at that early time, raised herself at once.
Then, after changing into her comfortable clothes she had brought with her from Zevenica, she tied her hair into a single bun and went outside.
The place she headed to was a large clearing behind the palace.
It had been a few days since she had arrived in Rubain, and it was still an absolutely essential part of her daily routine. Her stamina had improved significantly after the training in Zevenica, but it was still not as good as when she was El.
‘It’s not good enough.’
Coming here was a good thing in its own way. It was easier to train here than in Zevenica.
In Zevenica, she was always worried, even though she kept telling herself it would be okay, but there were a lot of eyes watching her, and she was restricted in what she could do.
But here, there was no one to worry about, no one would visit, so she felt much more comfortable.
‘Let’s look at it this way. Think I’m here for expeditionary training.’
Ellea, who warmed up enough, immediately began to run across the vacant lot. She had reached the point where she didn’t get tired from running anymore.
‘By the way, was this body always this light?’
At first, it was so painful to train with the body of the Princess, but strangely, as time passed, it was so light as usual.
As if what she had when she was El was absorbed into this body.
After running until the sun came up, Ellea stopped and took a break when she thought that this was enough.
And as soon as she returned to her room, she ran into Jane.
“Jane, good morning.”
“Yes, good morning. Did you come running again in the morning?”
“Yes, I did. It’s become a habit.”
It didn’t seem like a big deal to Jane now, since it was a sight she had seen every morning since Ellea’s arrival, but she was a bit surprised when she first saw her.
Anticipating Jane’s reaction, Ellea had a plausible excuse.
“It’s something I do every day, so you don’t have to worry about it. As you know, my health has not been good. So I’ve been doing it since I woke up.”
Jane knew that the Princess wasn’t feeling well, so she accepted without question that it was for her health.
“But you seem to have come back earlier than usual today.”
“Of course. You haven’t forgotten what day it is, have you?”
“Of course I remember. I’ve been waiting for today very much.”
Today was the day of welcoming. A very special day where a banquet would be held to welcome Ellea to Rubain.
It was fortunate that she hadn’t encountered Terban ever since she came to Rubain, because she only spent her time in the palace assigned to her.
During that time, she got along well with all the servants besides Borence and Jane.
It was enough to make her think that if she could keep spending time like this, she would be fine until she left Rubain and returned home.
However, it was impossible to tell how things would change once it formally announced her arrival at the banquet.
‘I just want you to leave me alone so I can live.’
It had been a peaceful few days since she arrived here, and Ellea had been very busy lately preparing for the banquet.
When she was El, she didn’t have to worry too much about it since she just wore her knight uniform, but now she had to attend as the Princess and the main character, there were more than one or two things she had to prepare for.
The first thing she did was to invite the boutique to the palace and prepare everything she needed, including dresses and accessories for the banquet, but in fact her training as a knight was a hundred times better.
At that moment, the only ones who seemed happy were the palace maids.
Ellea was not interested in social trends and had no idea what was pretty when she saw several types of dresses.
It didn’t help at all when Ellea, tired from trying on countless dresses.
Eventually, she finished all the preparations, completely exhausted.
As the day of the banquet approached, she decided to take it easy, since it was inevitable anyway.
‘I’m attending as the Princess of Zevenica. I just have to do it my way.’
While Ellea was encouraging herself, several maids of honor came in and started to scurry about.
Normally, Jane alone was enough, but today was the important day, they needed to prepare more carefully.
In the bathtub filled with bath salts and surrounded by the maids, Ellea began to prepare for the banquet in earnest.