Even if I had broken off my engagement to the Crown Prince, there was no way I would have married them.
They were completely ignorant. There were people everywhere who liked to talk behind their backs, just like they were now. Even if I set an example and punish them, they would never disappear completely. Rather, it would only give people more excuses to speak ill of me.
Compared to what Roxana had been through, this was nothing.
If I can’t calm my emotions and manage my facial expressions after something like this, it will be difficult to adapt to the social world in the future.
Being criticized or gossiped about by people was of course something to bear if I decided to play a villain.
But that thought didn’t make the discomfort go away.
With a bitter heart, I forced myself to walk away.
Just then, my eyes caught sight of someone standing under a tree some distance away. Black hair, white face, it was that man I saw last time. He definitely made eye contact with me, but as I was struggling how to approach him, he silently walked away.
If I wasn’t mistaken, the way he was looking at me was somewhat pathetic.
I never thought I’d run into him when I was looking so shabby, of all times….
I felt miserable for some reason.
Would he have thought that I pretended to be strong in the front but had no pride in the back?
It wasn’t surprising if he thought that way about me since I looked good in the eyes of the world by standing beside the Crown Prince obediently, even after what happened last time. It was true. I thought I was pathetic too.
Thinking about it made me uncomfortable, and I frowned. It was a particularly lonely feeling, as it had been ever since I fell into this world.
I was on my way back to the banquet hall again.
I saw someone standing on the terrace in front of me in the distance.
It was the second Prince, with his mysterious silver hair and neat uniform. Not long after I saw him, the door to the terrace where he stood opened.
Someone came in. I looked at her face and saw that she was the very same Young Lady who danced with him earlier.
“Are the two having a secret meeting?”
The two of them exchanged a few words and then the Young Lady ran out, looking like she was about to cry.
The second Prince, who was left alone, swept his hair with a tired face.
As soon as I was about to take off my gaze and walk, thinking I should go back, I made eye contact with the second Prince who was leaning on the terrace railing.
He looked at me and frowned uncomfortably.
He then turned around and quickly exited the terrace.
From the 2nd prince’s reaction, it seemed that he had misunderstood me thinking I was deliberately trying to eavesdrop. After arriving at the banquet hall, I looked around, but the Crown Prince was nowhere to be seen.
I was frustrated.
“He told me he’ll come back soon…”
I went to the place where I was with the Crown Prince earlier, took a seat and had some drink.
Unlike what I expected, he did not return for a while, and after another hour, the servant sent by the Crown Prince said that he was sorry and he wouldn’t be able to come.
There was no need for me to stay here any longer since I had already completed what I had planned and had secured the promise of an unexpected gift from the Emperor.
I decided to return to the Duke’s residence, thinking that it had worked out in my favor.
Fortunately, the Crown Prince informed the servant in advance, so I was able to rest in the same spacious and luxurious carriage as I came in.
Roxana always kept her seat until the banquet was over, unless there was something special going on, and the servants looked at me strangely when I left early.
But I was exhausted and didn’t feel the need to explain anything to them, so I went straight back to my room and lied down.
Then Annie brought me a change of clothes.
After washing my face and changing my clothes, I went to bed immediately.
The second Prince’s victory banquet ended like that.
*TL: seriously, she met the black hair man who helped her before but there was no expression from her or even the mere thought that she would run after him to say thank you? She wasn’t even surprised? Didn’t she look for him desperately to say thank you?
The next day, I woke up in the late afternoon.
Even though it had been a day, I still felt very sick from the previous day.
I washed my face briefly with a tub of water brought by the servants, and then pulled the string beside my bed. Then the door opened and the nanny came in with a tray of food.
“Lady, did you sleep well?”
She greeted me with a smiling face and placed a tray of food on the table. This was originally supposed to be Annie’s job, but seeing that the nanny came in person, not anyone else, the situation seemed to be very urgent.
Perhaps her son, whom she loved so much, was still in prison.
In the meantime, her eyes were fixed on me, and with an air of displeasure that seemed to know no separation, I sent her away after finishing my meal roughly.
The nanny looked somewhat annoyed and reluctantly stepped out of the room. After a late breakfast, I was leisurely drinking tea brought by the maids when someone knocked on my room door.
“Miss, it’s Stephen.”
When my permission was granted, the door opened without hesitation.
I could see Stephen standing just in front of the door of my room.
I cast a glance behind him.
He wasn’t alone.
There were servants standing behind him with an uncomfortable faces.
Stephen walked in alone, leaving her at the door.
As soon as he closed the door, he began to speak.
“There’s something I’d like to discuss with Lady….”
Stephen slurred his words and glanced behind me.
My maids were standing behind me.
“I need to speak with Stephen alone for a while, everyone please leave.”
At my command, the maids came out with anxious faces and looked at Stephen in turn, but soon they left without complaining.
As they left and the door closed behind them, Stephen immediately spoke seriously.
“Do you remember the last time you asked me to investigate the nanny and Annie?”
“As a result of the investigation, Annie is innocent. She was just doing her job. The question is rather……”
“You mean the nanny did it?”
I said, cutting Stephen off mid-sentence.
As expected that was what happened.
“Who came with you?”
I asked, remembering the servants Stephen had placed outside the door.
“Tell them to come in.”
When I said that, Stephen brought them into the room. They walked in quickly, fidgeting as they looked at me.
They stood in front of me with awkward faces as if they were about to be punished.
What happened next was obvious.
When Stephen asked, they each told me what they had seen.
Then Stephen finally opened his mouth.
He put in front of me a list of items that had disappeared from my room and how they had been disposed of.
All the missing items were sold at auction, and the person who received the money from the sale of the items was the nanny.
With these, the whole situation became clear. However, my mood remained rather somber.
Annie, who kept her mouth shut when she was framed by the nanny, certainly seemed to have given up. Just now, the servants seemed to rely on Stephen, looking at me. I felt complicated when I personally felt that I was not trusted by them.
“Everyone leaves, except for Stephen.”
The servants took note of my expression and quickly stepped out of the room.
“What should I do?”
Stephen hesitated for a moment, and then answered in a clear voice.
“If you know the truth, you should let her go.”
Stephen gave me a clear answer. In my head I knew it was the right thing to do.
Unlike the maids, the nanny had been taking care of Roxana since she was a baby, but I was still hesitant.
Roxana truly cared for her nanny and thought of her as family.
By the way, is it okay for me, who is not a real princess, to treat someone important to Roxana like that while pretending to be her?
Ifit was Roxana, how would she have handled this situation now?
“Baroness Willis has already messed with her master’s things on several occasions, framing innocent people for her crimes. A few days ago, she almost caused one innocent maid to be beaten and thrown out of the house.”
After hesitating for a while, Stephen’s sharp words awakened me. Obviously, I slept enough and felt very tired even though I just woke up.
“All right, now leave. Good job.”
As he left, the maids came inside carefully, looking at me. I went into the bedroom to collect my thoughts and pondered for a while. After a while, I finally came to a decision. Actually, I knew the answer from the beginning.
I just needed time to collect my thoughts.
When I opened the door and came out, the maids looked nervous.
I gave them my instructions with a nonchalant expression.
“Bring the nanny.”
Around the time when the maids cleared the table and made some new tea, the nanny came in. As soon as she came in, she sensed an unusual air current and signaled the maidservants with her eyes.
“What’s going on?”
“Come here and sit down.”
The nanny sat down across from me and took a sip of the tea that was placed in front of her, as if she was thirsty. I stared at her. Only a few days passed, but the nanny’s complexion was getting worse. Although she was barely able to keep a smile on her face, there was a hint of irritation on her face, and she seemed to have more gray hair.
I sighed and took out what I prepared beforehand.
The nanny looked at me with suspicion.
“Miss, what is this?”
“That would be enough to pay off the debt that the nanny owed even after paying your son’s bail.”
The nanny’s complexion lit up instantly.
When I pushed the pouch in front of her, the nanny quickly took it and opened it. For a moment, her brown eyes, which had been black and dead, took on a different color. From the looks of it, she liked the gold coin in the pouch very much.
“Thank you, but why all of a sudden……….”
The nanny later asked curiously.
The look on her face showed that she was suspicious of my sudden fickleness. But she couldn’t seem to refuse, and held the pouch in her hand tightly and didn’t let go.
“You don’t have to say no. That’s your severance pay. Thank you for all your hard work.”
My words froze in a flash. The nanny had a dazed look in her eyes.
The servants also looked at us in surprise.
“I would like to speak with the nanny alone, everyone please leave.”
“Why are you telling me this, young lady? I don’t know what’s wrong with you all of a sudden. I just can’t understand it.”
“You really don’t understand?”
The nanny flinched.
She immediately stood up from her seat with her face twisted in frustration. The chair she was sitting on fell back with a thump.
The maids were on their way out when they heard a loud voice and looked at me in surprise.
“Yes! I really don’t know.”
The nanny said with an attitude of not the slightest hesitation.
I forced the maid to leave because I didn’t want anyone else to hear what I had to say.
Her face would fall to the ground if people found out that she had messed with her master’s things and covered her sins with others.
This was the least I could do for my nanny. However, since she was digging her own grave before the servants could leave the table, I had no reason to consider her situation any further.
*TL: Okay guys, I’m officially dropping this novel. I’m getting so frustrated about the progress of this novel. It has so much potential and is interesting but the dragging plot made me lose my interest. I no longer care if she meets the ML or not. Also she did meet him at the banquet earlier but nothing happened, not a single thing. Just why seriously. It doesn’t make any sense. At least be surprised or something, not just a robotic reaction. Ahhh, I could just go one with my frustration…anyway…Tell me a reason I should continue because I completely lost my interest. We are at chapter 30 already for goodness’ sake