Chapter 12

 

The banquet’s preparation began the next day. This meant that there were more issues to deal with. In fact, Erdos was so busy that he even had dinner in his office these days.

 

I’ve been busy in my own way. I had to pretend to study the languages, and I had to deal with Eryte, Bernique, and Leav, who came from time to time.

 

A nine-year-old’s life was busier than a twenty-five-year-old’s life.

 

The most tedious task of them all was dress fitting.

 

Today, Dortha de Piachere, the designer of the most famous dress store in the empire, Apiachere, came to visit me.

 

She was the one who made the dresses for the princes and princesses in the original story. Therefore, she was obviously talented.

 

I just hoped that the task would go as quickly as possible because it was really scary to meet her.

 

With her lightly pigmented brown hair curled and held tightly in place, and a green dress of a similar tone to her emerald green eyes, she was, frankly, beautiful.

 

The only problem was that her personality was very unique and it destroyed the impression of her appearance.

 

“Oh, you really are perfect! You’ve become even more beautiful, Your Imperial Highness! I’m about to cry. How I must be blessed to be making a dress for such a lovely person!”

 

Her mouth, which was moving without a break as if it had a motor on it, the whole time she was talking. 

 

I was naturally a quiet person, so it was so hard to deal with someone who talked endlessly like this.

 

“The Moon goddess would be jealous of Her Imperial Highness’s integrity. It is obvious. I can assure you. Once Your Highness reaches adulthood, everyone will kneel under your feet and court you. Oh, how beautiful.”

 

Dortha’s fingers ran through my hair for a moment. I wanted to sew her mouth shut because she had nothing but praise for Rosiane’s appearance.

 

“When are you done?”

 

“Oh, I didn’t tell you? I’m all done for the day.”

 

“Then go.”

 

“Oh, my God, even that coy tone is so lovely! I want to be a footman for Your Imperial Highness! I’m okay with that. I’m happy just thinking about it!”

 

Foot…what…? Her ridiculous voice made me leave her behind and flee the room.

 

“Oh, I must have made you angry! Please curse this Dortha, Your Imperial Highness..!”

 

My ears seemed to rot at the shouting behind my back.

 

I stepped into the garden of the Lapinus Palace. I didn’t notice it when I went there at dawn with Nanuk, but I thought long and hard and remembered that it was a maze garden.

 

I remembered that the huge maze garden, which consisted of only Lelandi trees without a single flower, was always a meeting place in the original story.

 

It was really nice to come to the maze garden with the thought that it would be a good way to pass the time.

 

It was good…but I didn’t expect to be stuck there for an hour.

 

I got sore and ended up sitting down on the ground in the middle of the garden. If Melissa saw it, she would freak out, but it didn’t matter because I was alone there.

 

It was a little dark and cool, with the towering Lelandi trees casting dark shadows. Since the weather had warmed up I didn’t bring my shawl, so it would be the perfect situation to catch a cold.

 

I sat still and nuzzled my face into my knees. I heard the sound of the wind rustling the leaves on the trees.

 

‘Not bad…’ 

 

The cool breeze, the suitably dark corners, and the quiet surroundings finally succeeded in drawing out my desire to sleep. Before I knew it, I dozed off and seemed to have completely fallen asleep.

 

When I woke up, it was early evening, the sun was setting. I wondered how many hours I had slept.

 

My legs were in pain from being immobilized for so long.

 

I sat up again on my infinitely numb legs and tapped my feet faintly, then I heard footsteps coming from somewhere.

 

It was not only the royal family that could come to this garden, and I looked in the direction of the sound without a second thought.

 

His blond hair was dyed brightly by the color of the sunset.

 

“Rosie!”

 

He rushed over and hugged me.

 

“Nanuk….”

 

I gripped his sleeves tightly as I called out his name. He looked down at me with a very pale face.

 

“Did you get hurt?”

 

“My legs are numb.”

 

I shook my head and said so, and Nanuk sighed with relief.

 

“It is time for dinner and we couldn’t find you, so everyone is looking for you. Let’s go to your room first. You need to get changed.”

 

He said as he sat down on the floor and brushed off my dirt-covered clothes. I felt embarrassed at my shameful behavior, making everyone worry about me.

 

“The maze garden is very complicated and if it’s your first time here, you can always get lost.”

 

I was so sullen that he offered me words of consolation. Nevertheless, I couldn’t shake off my depression. However, before I knew it, we arrived at my room and Melissa was seen restlessly walking back and forth as if she was really worried. Nanuk then handed me to Melissa and looked at me in the eyes and said,

 

“Let’s go for a walk with brother next time. I’m sure you’ll get used to it after we go around a few times.”

 

“Together?”

 

“Yes, together. Then you’ll be able to walk alone.”

 

I nodded, and Nanuk left the room. Somehow I felt a tickling in a corner of my heart.

 

When Nanuk was out of sight, Melissa finally said in a voice that sounded like she was about to cry.

 

“Oh, Princess… How scared you must be. I was so worried that someone might have taken such a pretty princess away, or that Princess might have gone along with the offer of sweets.”

 

“I’m sorry, Melissa.”

 

I patted the sobbing Melissa’s head. Then I made eye contact with another group of maids standing behind me. They were the ones who had taken care of me before I woke up. They followed Melissa and helped me get dressed. It took them a short time to do it, and we arrived at the dining room not too long after meeting Nanuk.

 

It was quite noisy inside. A bell signaled my arrival, and when I opened the door, the commotion that leaked to the outside quieted.

 

“Rosie, you’re here.”

 

Erdos held out his hand toward me. I haven’t seen him at dinner for days, but it looked like he would be with us today.

 

He gently held me and put me on his lap.

 

“I’m going to hold your birthday banquet for a month.”

 

“Yes, what…..?” I shuddered inwardly at the news.

 

Normally, you need a huge amount of money just to hold a banquet for one day, but a month?

 

“That’s too long, you will have a hard time.”

 

“Rosie only needs to show her face on the first day.”

 

“Since we’re going to do it anyway, why not do it for two months? We have to show our sister Rosie to the whole world!”

 

At Eryte’s words, Nanuk sighed and said,

 

“The national festival is in June, so if we make it that long, the time will be conflicted. I also think that a month would be appropriate.”

 

“Then let’s make it a month-long event….”

 

“No.”

 

I stopped Erdos as he was about to give his confirmation. He asked in an urgent voice.

 

“Rosie, what do you mean? You don’t like it?”

 

“I’m not good enough….. I’m sure I’ll do the imperial family a disservice.”

 

It was half pretentious. Actually, I didn’t want to stand in front of many people and do something. It was both embarrassing and troublesome.

 

Besides, I hadn’t learned any etiquette yet. I didn’t know how to address people, how to dance, or even how to greet people. But I couldn’t be honest with people who were planning to do something nice like this for me.

 

They all said noisily. The one who reacted the most violently was Eryte. 

 

“If someone thinks like that, I’ll break his neck… no, I’ll scold him.”

 

Eryte shouted stoutly, hastily changing his words, as Erdos steely stared at him every time he said or did something rough.

 

 I shook my head.

 

“A week is enough.”

 

Actually, a week was excessive. But knowing how much they cared for and loved Rosiane, I couldn’t ask them to shorten the time any more.

 

They had waited eight years to meet her, and they would have given anything for her. I didn’t want to break that expectation. 

 

“Umm… if you say so.”

 

“You said you would do anything I want.”

 

Erdos, who swallowed a spiteful sound at my sharp glare, finally decided to drop the argument and do as I said. 

 

“Okay, then let it be a week’s feast, “ concluded Erdos, very sorrowfully. 

 

“It’ll be nice, Rosie,” Bernique smiled at me. 

 

* * ***

 

The banquet would be held in the famous Bijou Hall, the most glamorous part of the Esteria Palace. As the name suggested, it was a hall of “bijou,” or jewels, with all kinds of rare gems inlaid on the top of the white-colored walls.

 

When the lights of the crystal chandeliers on the ceiling were turned on, the jewels reflect the colorful lights and filled the hall with sparkling light. It was said that every nobleman in Esteria wished to come here.

 

In the novel, the hall was only open for very important events such as the Crown Prince’s crowning ceremony and wedding, so it seemed like a burden to celebrate my birthday here.

 

On the other hand, Bernique was smiling from ear to ear, looking at me. I wondered what on earth this boy was thinking as he was in my room early in the morning.

 

“Rosie.”

 

He suddenly called out to me. As I sipped the cocoa and raised my head, Bernique’s face came straight in, looking at me with eyes full of anticipation.

 

 

“Is there anything you want?”

 

“Something I want?”

 

I tilted my head.

 

“Why do you ask?”

 

“Because it’s almost your birthday.”

 

He wanted to prepare birthday gifts for me.

 

“It’s your birthday too, isn’t it, Bernique?”

 

Oddly enough, Rosiane and Bernique were twins, but they had different birthdays. This was because the dates changed by only a minute. So, his birthday was a minute earlier than mine, and a day earlier than mine.

 

“It’s good enough for me that you’re awake, Rosie.”

 

There was no lie in his eyes, and I felt a little awkward. Maybe it was because we were twins, but being the only one with him made my heart ache.

 

I should give him something too, but I didn’t know what to give him as a gift. I had never given anyone a birthday present before. I had no idea what they usually gave him, and I decided to ask Timofey and Melissa, who came to see me later when Bernique left for class.

 

“Melissa, what do people usually give for the Prince’s birthday? 

 

She widened her eyes for a moment.

 

 “Isn’t it usually jewelry?”

 

“Jewelry….?” 

 

Of course, I didn’t have any money. Should I take some jewels from the Bijou Hall?

 

***