Chapter 1. Prologue
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“Ah, do you mind if I sit down?”
Then, he glanced at me and asked. I tilted my chin and answered.
“Aren’t you going to sit down even if I say no?”
It was like that on that day too.
“Well, if it’s an Imperial Order then there’s nothing I can do.”
He laughed softly. It felt like an extension of the birthday banquet.
Even so, he was a duke’s son, so to chase him away without any justification with an Imperial Order was a bit, so I decided to ignore him and opened the book.
… But how do I find it in this illustrated book of plants? All I know is that the flower is white and similar to a lily.
After reading the table of contents, it seems that it is sorted by its place of origin, but since I had no information about that flower, the conclusion was to search one by one starting from the first page.
When my mood suddenly went down and I slumped down on the desk, the gaze of Young Master Vanitas, which was focused on the turning pages of the book after our conversation earlier, focused on me.
“Is there a plant you’re looking for?”
I had decided to ignore him, but it’s hard to hold back my curiosity. I should’ve just looked for Mill and asked.
“It’s a white flower that’s similar to a lily except that the tips of the petals are rounded.”
“Is it alright if I read the book for a moment?”
I nodded my head and pushed the book towards him.
Young Master Vanitas, who turned the book over to take a good look himself, flipped through the pages, took a quick glance at them, then returned it to me.
What? Young Master Vanitas was a beat faster when I opened my mouth to say something.
“Pages 17, 32, 49, 70-75, 101, 176, 222, 227, and 300-302 seem to be similar to an extent. There are no other white flowers.”
[tn– similar to the flower she described]
Without realizing it, I opened my mouth half wide and looked at Young Master Vanitas. What? What just happened?
“17. 32… What?
When I asked again because I couldn’t remember, he smiled slightly and opened the book.
“First of all, page 17.”
At his words, I looked down, and saw a white flower as he said.
He turned a few more pages and there were white flowers, too. I should’ve known it when he said that he wrote the book, “Psychology of Human Relations”, but isn’t Young Master Vanitas a genius?
I suddenly remembered his book that I put in a drawer and hadn’t read yet. I’ll have to read a bit.
“Young Master is impressive…”
“I just have a slightly better memory than others.”
The way he said that, as if it really wasn’t a big deal, was a bit annoying, as I checked all the pages he gave, I sighed.
“You didn’t find the flower you were looking for?”
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s here.”
I’ll just go ask Mill.
“Anyway, thank you. I’ll go now.”
As I quietly dragged my chair and got up, I said goodbye. Young Master Vanitas rose from his seat and gave a graceful farewell that did not deviate even an inch from etiquette.
* * *
Eventually, Sir Boyd and I had to return to Hegatheon Palace without meeting Mill. Because before I knew it, the sun was setting.
After a brief dinner, I took out Young Master Vanitas’ book.
After reading one or two chapters, I read the whole book in one sitting. It’s level was so high to the point that I wouldn’t understand it at all, if I was really nine and not twenty-five.
According to the book “Psychology of Human Relations”, it is said that forming human relationships is a wise way to grow and develop as a human being through that experience.
I briefly remembered my narrow human relationships. Parents whose faces I don’t even remember, died when I was four, my grandmother who abused me, died when I was eighteen, and classmates who only passed by to the point where I couldn’t even remember their names, and Jiwoo, my only friend.
“How poor… ”
Anyway, I wonder how Jiwoo is doing. If I had one little desire, I sincerely hoped that even if I left her with the worst memories and I can’t be called her friend anymore, she would forget about me and spend her time in good company.
When I thought of Jiwoo’s face for a moment, I remembered the fate I met here.
This body’s father, Erdos, older brothers Nanuk, Eryte, Bernique, younger brother Leav, Melissa, Jean, Amanda, Randy, who are always looking after me, Sir Boyd, who’s protecting me even if it’s for a short time, Mill the gardener, either way, also Young Master Vanitas.
Am I growing up wisely through these encounters?
It seems that ever since I tried to live to repay her for receiving this overflowing love, I’ve been trying not to think of death.
[tn– ‘her’ here must be referring to real Rosiane, basically she’s living rn as payment for the overflowing love she receiving w Rosiane’s body]
I looked down for a moment and looked at the wrist I had cut half a year ago.
The white wrist, which had no traces left because of the power of holy water, was so clean that no one would have imagined that there was a scar there.
I know it won’t disappear as clean as this, but will the wounds in my heart also heal a little?
* * *
The only memories I had of that day, was the white ceiling when I opened my eyes, my painful insides, and that I saw the face of my friend crying with a distorted face after losing the smile I had always seen.
I dreamed of Jiwoo for the first time ever since I came here. I opened my eyes in the dark dawn before sunrise, and with my fumbling hands, I found the glass of water on the side table.
Thud, at the back of my hand, the glass filled with water fell and was emptied. As a result, the side table, the flower basket, and the carpet underneath it were dampened.
Drops of water dripped down from the white petals on the side table. It was at that moment that I roughly wiped the water off the petals by hand and thought about what to do with the bedside table and carpet.
“The maids will clean it up.”
Saying that, Sir Boyd approached (me) and poured water in a new glass before handing it to me. Well, even if they don’t clean it up, it’ll dry quickly because it’s water.
I emptied the glass of water and left the bed to shake off my disturbing dream.
“I’ll go for a walk.”
Sir Boyd followed me without a word. When we arrived at the garden, the thick dawn air awakened my dizzy mind.
“The air is nice, isn’t it?”
“Sir Boyd, what subject do you think ducks like?”
He glanced at me with a look of ‘She’s starting again’.
“I don’t know.”
“Because they cry ‘Quack, Quack’.”
[tn– Science in Korean is ‘Gwahak’ and a duck sound is ‘Gwaek, Gwaek’ both sound similar in a way]
As his lips twisted, he looked away. Then he paused, stared at something and said to me.
“Your Highness, over there.”
From where he pointed, was Mill, who was in the middle of gardening. So he’s been working this early.
I glanced up at the sky, where the sun had just begun to rise, and approached him.
“Mill, it’s still early yet you’re already awake?”
“I see the Glory of the Empire. Your Highness the Princess. It’s become a habit. Hoho.”
Mill, who was wearing a straw hat in preparation for the sun, took off his hat and greeted me politely.
“How diligent. Oh, I’ve been looking for Mill since yesterday, the flower that Jean brought, what is it?”
I didn’t want to keep Mill who was busy working, so I went straight to the point.
“Oh, you mean the white flower? I heard that it’s a flower from a foreign country, but I don’t know the exact name, hoho. Do you want me to find out?”
I nodded my head.
“It’s not urgent, so just ask if you have time. Don’t throw everything aside to find out.”
Somehow, I thought that would be the case, so I strongly urged him like that, and I started taking a walk again. As I walked, I arrived in front of the old tree where I squatted down half a year ago, when I opened my eyes.
I was about to take a seat, but Sir Boyd’s dissuasion followed. It was because my clothes would get dirty and the ground was cold.
Still, I couldn’t take my eyes off it in regret, so he took off his outerwear uniform and laid it on the ground.
“You don’t have to do that.”
Sir Boyd made a determined face when I picked up the clothes on the ground and tried to give them back.
“It’s okay because I have an extra.”
Then, he took back his outerwear from me and laid it out on the ground. After hesitating, I eventually sat on it and leaned against the tree.
A gentle wind blew and the sound of the rustling leaves was vivid in my ears. It feels good. It was as if the sleep that ran away came back.
“I see the Glory of the Empire.”
As I quietly closed my eyes and enjoyed the languor, I heard Sir Boyd’s greeting.
It was Nanuk. Come to think of it, he enjoyed taking a walk around sunrise. We first met around this time.
As he came closer and stared at me, he reached out and put my disheveled hair behind my ears.
“Did you perhaps have another nightmare?”
I paused and looked at him. It wasn’t a nightmare, but it was true that I had a dream that didn’t feel very good.
As I gave him a puzzled look without an answer, he gently held me in his arms.
“If you have a bad dream, come see me.”
He took me to his palace with a steady walk. Nanuk hugged me so that I could comfortably lean on his shoulder because I was nodding my head in drowsiness.
I ended up sleeping in Nanuk’s room. When I woke up, he was nowhere to be seen as he had already left the room. Perhaps because his schedule, as the next emperor, is packed.
Nanuk even prepared breakfast in advance, so I was only able to return to my palace after finishing the meal.
Today is the day where I have a dance class with Marchioness Foseinta, so I got ready and headed to where she was waiting. She played the role of the man and stepped on the steps.
After the scheduled class, I returned to my room and slumped down on the sofa, lowering my gaze to the floor.
“I don’t think I have any talent for dancing.”
“I saw it too. It was as if you had a grudge against the Marchioness’ feet.”
“Right? That’s why.”
At my glance, he quickly turned his gaze away as if he felt something.
“Be my practice partner.”
I sipped the lemon tea Melissa poured, and hinted at the silent man.
“You don’t want to embarrass your Master, do you?”
Even if the after-party banquet of the Founding Festival is held in a light atmosphere, my terrible dance skills will be made fun of by the people from all over the world.
And it was clear that it would affect not only me, but also the royal family.
How embarrassing would it be if someone behind my back says, ‘The Princess of Esteria will unify the Central Continent through her dance. By stepping on it.’
“Ask His Highness the Prince for help.”
[tn– he means any of the Princes]
“Everyone’s busy preparing for the National Founding Festival of the country.”
They stop by from time to time to show their faces briefly, but they all quickly disappear because there is so much to do.
In the end, Sir Boyd, who had abandoned the idea of beating me, sighed and took my hand to teach me to dance.
He was so tall that it was kind of funny, but it’ll be fine since it’s just step practice.
“Left foot, no it’s right foot now. No, it’s the left foot now. Ah, you should’ve gone backwards now.”
As expected, it was a mess.