Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
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Ellea felt awkward as she spoke in front of Terban.
“Of course, I have to study for that, too.”
“So you still wanted to use the library?”
“That’s part of the reason. Even though I’m a teacher, I thought it would be more of a menace if I knew it better than the children…”
At this point, the image of Terban teaching the children well came more surprisingly close.
“But it was a little surprising to see Your Majesty teaching them.”
“You thought I was going to make the children cry, didn’t you?”
“I can’t say that I didn’t. But for your first time, you were very good.”
“Even though they complained, they were willing to learn. So I taught them in my own way, and the children just followed along. It seems that what the Princess did was not a complete waste of time.”
Ellea was sometimes impressed by the way he concentrated on not letting her words get away. She was also surprised that she wasn’t afraid, or that she didn’t hesitate to ask questions.
It was a special experience in its own way, especially being with someone who didn’t really know her. She didn’t hate it.
She thought it resonated with her more than it did when she first came here, as to why Ellea had so much love for this place.
As they were having this conversation, a group of children came up and grabbed Terban’s hand, making him get up from his seat.
Then they dragged him and pushed him to go outside with them.
“Let’s play now.”
“Yes. You said you’d play with us.”
“That’s not what I said…………”
Ellea couldn’t help but watch as the children carried Terban off in a daze.
Who would have thought that that man was the Emperor of this Empire?
So she turned to the children, deliberately ignoring the look in his eyes as he called for help.
“Play carefully. Don’t get hurt, there is something else I have to do. Now, please take care of the children.”
Terban had no choice but to go outside with the children, as Ellea seemed to have no intention of helping him at all.
The children were left to Terban, and Ellea was going to take the opportunity to take care of the accumulated work at the nursery.
She rolled up her sleeves and immediately began to move, full of determination.
Shanil made her way to the palace where Ellea lived. After a short walk, the palace of the Imperial Princess within the Imperial Palace appeared.
She naturally approached the front of the building.
“Is anyone here?”
There was nothing special about the Princess’s palace. It was quieter than she thought.
While looking around carefully, Jane was the first to spot Shanil, but then she realized it was Shanil, and quickly rushed to inform Borence.
“Who’s here now?”
“Lady Shanil is here.”
Jane’s words startled Borence and she went outside.
She immediately approached Shanil, who was standing in front of the palace, and bowed her head in greeting.
“I am the head maid of this palace, Borence.”
At the mention of the head maid, Shanil glanced at Borence and informed her of her purpose for being here.
“I’m here to see the Princess.”
Borence looked troubled, Shanil asked suspiciously.
“The Princess is currently out. I’m sorry. You came all the way here.”
‘’I see. It’s alright then, since I came to visit without an appointment.”
Shanil didn’t like the fact that she had wasted her time, but she couldn’t reveal it in public.
The fact that she had come here would surely be delivered to Ellea.
“Then, could you tell the Princess about this? I’m going to hold a small tea party at my palace, and I’d be happy to have her there.”
She even invited Heris, who seemed to be close to the Princess.
Borence bowed her head as she accepted Shanil’s invitation.
“Yes, I will inform the Princess as soon as she returns.”
“Yes. Please tell her I am waiting with great joy.”
After expressing her desire for the Princess to attend to the end, Shanil left.
The maids raised their heads after she had moved away. Jane drew her attention to the envelope in Borence’s hand.
“Wow, an invitation for the Princess. Lady Shanil has personally invited her.”
“Don’t get carried away. We haven’t heard the Princess’s decision yet.”
For some reason, Borence didn’t look happy when she saw the invitation Shanil had given her.
Meanwhile, as Shenil turned to leave Ellea’s palace, two voices in conversation stopped her in her tracks.
“She’s gone out again?”
Yes. Only by herself this time.”
“How many times has she done this? This is the first time she’s gone out without letting anyone know.”
“I’m a little curious, too. Because she asked Jane to pack a whole bunch of stuff for her, but I didn’t know where she was going.”
Shanil hid herself, and from what she could hear of the conversation, it seemed to be the maids working in the imperial palace.
What was more important, however, was the content of the conversation.
‘Did the Princess go out in secret?’
Instinctively sensing that something was going on, Shanil focused more on the conversation between the maids. The two maids had been talking all the while, not knowing that someone was eavesdropping.
“Isn’t that really strange? Why didn’t she say anything about where she was going? Is it possible that she is doing something strange and doesn’t want anyone to know….?”
“Marie! I’m not sure what you’re going to do if the head maid hears about it. I’ve told you many times not to bring up such things recklessly.”
Despite being stopped by her colleague, the maid named Marie did not hide her frustration. It was as if she didn’t like it.
“I don’t like the fact that I’m suddenly assigned to this deserted palace where no one would come to visit. Maybe the Princess was abandoned in Zenvenica….”
“All right, why don’t you just stop? We’re the only ones here, what are you so afraid of?”
Marie stopped speaking when her colleague stopped her and she quickly left with her work. As they were gone, Shanil made her appearance.
‘It’s an unexpected harvest.’
Shanil couldn’t believe she happened to hear about Ellea. Now, she was especially interested in the Princess’s secret outings.
Shanil remembered the maid named Marie, who complained about Elle, and left the palace.
Ellea tidied up the messy interior and carefully examined the children’s rooms.
However, the children’s individual rooms were neatly organized and cleaned, so they were cleaner than the rest of the house.
Most importantly, she knew that Ramil usually helped the children when they were unsure. They had to hold back the desire to play sometimes.
‘So I guess that’s why they want to be spoiled when I come.’
After cleaning around the areas that were out of reach for the kids, Ellea decided to solve the accumulated laundry.
There was a water well behind the building, and Ellea went there and started to get water and do the laundry.
This much was very easy. However, it might be a little hard on the body.
But she was glad the volume was low today.
As she was starting the laundry, her eyes caught sight of some old, worn out clothes.
‘Come to think of it, I bought these clothes a long time ago.’
Looking at the clothes with multiple sewing stitches and holes, she had a lot of thoughts.
In the past, she couldn’t afford to buy them new clothes often even though she sponsored them.
The reality was that even if the nursery wanted to buy the kids new clothes, they couldn’t.
There was a lot of money that went into other places and a lot of children that needed to be taken care of. But now that she was an Imperial Princess, things had changed.
Now she could do as much as she wanted to do for them.
‘I’ll bring them new clothes next time.’
“After studying, laundry seems to be next.”
Ellea tried to control her feelings and just focus on the laundry, but the voice she suddenly heard startled her and she lifted her head.
Terban was looking at her with his arms folded. Startled by his appearance, Ellea immediately stood up.
“Why are you here, Your Majesty?”
“There was no one inside, so I heard a noise and came here.”
Ellea hastened to ask, realizing from Terban’s story that the children were alone.
“What about the kids if Your Majesty is here?”
‘’I can’t believe you only think about the children even at a time like this.”
When she worried about the children, Terban said as if to reassure her.
“They’ll be fine there. They’re working hard together. They don’t even know that I’m gone.”
However, Terban’s words didn’t reassure Ellea easily. She knew from years of experience that she shouldn’t let her eyes wander, even for a moment.
‘Something always happens when I’m off guard. I shouldn’t leave it to His Majesty.’
Anyway, Ellea, disturbed by the words about leaving the children alone, decided to take care of the job for now in a hurry. All she had to do was squeeze out the water before hanging it up to dry.
Terban seemed to realize immediately what she was thinking when he saw her hurrying.
“It seems that I’m very unreliable. I see that your hands are suddenly very fast.”
Terban’s words were correct with what she thought, but she pretended to be unconcerned.
“It’s just that I have a lot to do so I’m in a hurry. Your Majesty should go to the children. When I’m done….”
She awkwardly avoided Terban’s gaze and squeezed the water out of the children’s clothes forcefully with both hands.
The clothes were small because they were children’s clothes, but after a few repetitions, in addition to the heaviness from the water, her arms gradually began to get tired.
‘If it was before, I would finish this in no time… After all, this body is still weak.’
Terban found Ellea struggling to get the laundry done quickly to be with the children.
And not being able to pretend not to know, he sat down next to Ellea.
“If you do that, it’s going to take all day.”
While Ellea was surprised by the sudden action, Terban took the wet clothes and squeezed out the water with just one force.
She watched him absentmindedly and hastily stopped him.
“It’s all right. I’ll do it myself.”
“It’s alright. I didn’t come here to play anyway. It’s not difficult.”
When Terban picked up the laundry again, Ellea couldn’t help but laugh.
It was an awkwardness that seemed unavoidable.
“Why are you laughing?”
“I understand you, Your Majesty, and I can see that you are truly doing things for the first time.”
“Then is there a special way to do it? It’s over as long as we squeeze out the water, right?”
“There is a trick to all this.”
Ellea showed Terban how she twisted the laundry in the opposite direction to get rid of the water.
“It’s much easier to get rid of the water this way. See, there’s no water at all, is there?”
Terban wondered if it was an illusion that the way Ellea spoke with such pride and enthusiasm overlapped with the children.
‘She’s like a child in these moments.’
However, her innocent appearance suited her best.