Chapter 1. Prologue
Apparently, the bushes of the garden were all messed up.
Leav looked Eryte up and down with a tired expression, for his expensive fabric clothes were covered in leaves and dust. Not only that but even his hair, which shone like the sun, was covered in leaves.
I reached out and tried to get the leaves off his head. But Bernique and Leav immediately grabbed my wrists.
“Rosie, you shouldn’t touch filthy things.”
“Sister, if your hands touch anything filthy, you will get into trouble.”
I had no choice but to put my outstretched hand back down.
“They are just leaves.”
Eryte huffed and stood up. Leav looked at him and spoke in a calm voice.
“Brother, if you have something called a brain in your head, think about it. Your sister just woke up, and her body is also weak. If she touches a lump of germs, she will get sick.”
“Yeah, I see.”
Since then, I hadn’t had a seizure and my body was normal, but I didn’t know where I was weak, but Eryte, who looked at me once, seemed convinced enough.
“Well then, I’m going to wash up and go play!”
“She can’t play. Your sister needs to rest now.”
“Huh? Then when will I play with Rosie?”
“In a hundred years?” said Leav.
“A hundred years? I think my bones would turn to dust by then, don’t you?”
Leaving Leav and Eryte behind as they began to fight, Bernique tugged on my hand.
“Leave them, I’ll take you back.”
It was so natural for him to say something meaningful while smiling that I didn’t even notice that we were walking away.
Exactly ten minutes after Bernique walked me to my room, Leav came to visit me with a book. He seemed to be in a bad mood for arguing with Eryte after Bernique and I left.
“It’s terrible, sister.”
Leav’s cheeks puffed up as he handed me the book he was holding.
The heavy book fell on my arm. I immediately put the book on the table and looked at Leav.
“Would you like a cup of tea?”
Leav, who had his head turned to the other side, looked back at me, and when our eyes met, he hurriedly dropped his gaze again.
“Yes. I’ll have some tea.”
It wasn’t intentional, but I was sorry to have left him behind. I couldn’t stand seeing him like that, who had even brought me a book, so I approached him and took his hand. Then Leav lowered his head and scuttled off to the sofa.
“…… If that’s what you want, sister, we can do that.”
The maids quickly set the table with refreshments. I drew on a piece of paper while sipping the tea.
“What are you doing, sister?”
“I’m working on a design for passementerie. But it’s harder than I thought.”
I should have borrowed a design book at the library.
The passementerie is the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings of applied braids, gold or silver cord, embroidery, colored silk, or beads for clothing or furnishings. I was going to attach an ornamental to it and give it to Bernique as a gift.
He loved swords, and I followed Melissa’s suggestion that a decorative cord to attach to the hilt of the sword would make a good gift.
Although I was glad that Melissa, who had experience in making them, agreed to help me, but for me, they were actually quite difficult to make.
If I didn’t know how to do needlework, I wouldn’t have tried to make this gift in the first place, but before I came here I did a lot of sewing, so I figured it’d be okay, so I started.
The problem was that I was not very good at drawing. Leav, looking at my design, reached out to me.
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to give you my hand.”
“Yes, thank you.”
I turned over the paper and pen, and Leav quickly began to draw something. What was a mess of a drawing came alive in Leav’s hands.
“This is what you want the design to look like, right?”
I nodded absentmindedly at the drawing Leav presented to me. It was indeed the same design I had in mind. The problem, though, was that his drawing skills were so heavenly that it looked completely different.
Come to think of it, the one with the reputation of being knowledgeable about art was Bernique, but the one with the innate sense was Leav. He would sketch on his own, but the results were always magnificent.
“By the way, why do you draw the passementerie designs?”
“I’m going to give it to Bernique as a birthday present.”
The paper in Leav’s hand was crumpled. When I looked at the paper and Leav alternately with a confused expression, Leav finally remembered that he had the paper in his hand and began to open the crumpled paper as hard as he could.
Making passementerie was more complicated than I thought. I had a lot of trouble at first because I didn’t know what raw thread or seed thread was, but with Melissa’s help, it now looked quite like the design.
Next to me, Melissa, who had a heartwarming smile on her face, was fiddling around with the passementerie with a feeling of satisfaction. She opened her mouth.
“It seems the princess has a talent for sewing, you’re very good at it.”
“It’s all thanks to you, Melissa.”
Really, if it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be able to decide on a birthday present or make one like this.
“I only gave you directions, it was the Princess who made it. From the looks of it, it will be finished by the end of the day.”
“Thank you, Melissa.”
Melissa’s face turned red. It was quite cute to see her shy away from my gratitude, and I naturally laughed.
“Oh, by the way, it’s almost time for Lady Dorta to arrive.”
“Is it that time already?”
I glanced at the clock and put the passementerie I was making into the drawer before getting up from my seat.
Dorta was a very punctual woman, and if I didn’t go to the parlor now, she would be waiting for me.
Sure enough, when I arrived at the parlor with Melissa, she was already there and was sipping her tea.
Dorta and her assistant stood up and tugged at the hem of her dress and greeted me gracefully. Dorta’s manners were ladylike but her personality did not match.
We greeted each other, and as soon as they were positioned across from me, the chatter began.
“Your Imperial Highness is becoming more beautiful every time I see her. I feel like I’m blinded by your brilliant silver hair! Huh, this Dorta was so nervous that Your Highness is going to wear my clothes and I couldn’t sleep a wink last night.”
She covered my mouth softly and said theatrically. Her eyes were wide open, I wondered if those words were just lies.
“Thank you for your hard work, Dorta.”
I thanked her with great joy and gratitude, thinking that I wouldn’t have to see her for a while, since the dress was finally finished.
“It’s my pleasure! Is there anything more fun than dressing someone so beautiful? I assure you that no one will be able to take their eyes off Her Imperial Highness the moment they see her appear in the dress!”
I told her I wanted to try on the dress.
“Of course. Please come this way.”
She stood up and placed a clear light blue dress and a green dress on my body. I wrinkled my brows as she was doing this. Then, she shouted when she saw my expression.
“Oh, Your Highness, you don’t like it?”
As I stared at her with my wide eyes, Dorta put down the dresses, suddenly hugged me, wondering if there was something wrong.
“Does it not look good on you? Oh, I feel like dying from worrying. Please tell me what’s wrong, Your Highness!”
Her assistant, Lilith, tried to pull her away from me but Dorta continued sobbing and holding me tightly. Then, Lilith grabbed Dorta’s hair and screamed.
“Miss Dorta, please pull yourself together! Don’t be disrespectful to Her Highness!”
Somehow it looked funny to see Lilith’s red cheeks as she stood next to Dorta and continued shouting.
“You’ll be beheaded at this rate!”
I thought that beheading was a bit much, but Dorta seemed to come back to her senses and took a couple of steps back from me. Then she took a deep breath and bowed her head deeply.
“Please forgive me for this insolence, Your Imperial Highness. I’m blinded when it comes to beautiful things. I made a mistake because Your Imperial Highness is so pretty!”
“Really, Lady Dorta!” Lilith shouted again.
Tired of the never-ending war of words, I turned around and said,
“Let’s continue quickly.”
Only then did Dorta’s excitement subsided, she lifted the light blue dress.
“As expected, this dress would be perfect for the jeweled bijou hall.”
It was a pale blue dress that seemed to go very well with Rosiane’s silvery hair. I stood in front of the mirror after she helped me get dressed.
“It’s coated with beautiful pearl dust that projects a different light depending on the angle. It will certainly shine even brighter in the bijou hall!”
The pretty puffy hem was delicately embroidered with flowers, and the embroidery without a single error accentuated Dorta’s meticulousness.
The most prominent of these was gorgeous ruffles made of thin lace, under short sleeves down to the elbows.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, it’s beautiful.”
It was very pretty. The dress accentuated the innocence matched with Rosiane’s appearance, and as Dorta confidently said, she couldn’t take her eyes off it.
How could I stand in front of people wearing a dress like this? My heart somehow swelled in my chest. I didn’t know if I would be okay.
“It’s perfect! I could die right now! Can I be this happy?”
Ignoring Dorta’s chatter, I couldn’t shake off my worry and only clenched my fists. The faint worry in my head that I should not tarnish Rosiane’s reputation.
“You are very respectable, Your Highness.”
Marchioness Fossetta, who was now in charge of my etiquette class, said with a gentle laugh.
With hair and eyes as blue as the seawater, she was someone from Fossetta estate, the first trading city in the east. She had rushed to the city on the order of the emperor.
She was the epitome of a noblewoman, her every move lean and graceful, which proved she had experienced the social life in her youth.
“Your Highness, you learn very fast with whatever I teach you.”
She watched and praised me as I gently grasped the hem of my skirt to greet her, but I wasn’t sure if she meant what she said.
I was a little embarrassed, so I gave a small smile and set about practicing how to walk.
Since I was wearing a dress, if I walked the wrong way, I would look funny. I gritted my teeth and practiced with all my might, and the marchioness continued complimenting me.
At that moment, without knocking, the door opened and Erdos appeared.
“It is an honor to meet you, Your Majesty.”
Erdos, who answered the Marchioness’ greeting roughly, suddenly hugged me and asked,
“How are you doing in class, Rosie?”
“Yes, I’m in the middle of practicing how to walk.”
His brows furrowed faintly, then he said in a tone as if he didn’t like something.
“Father will carry you around anyway.”
What’s he talking about…..?