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    Translated by Tam
    Edited by Genie


     

    “—I’m fine now, so let me know whenever you need any help.” 

     

    “Huh? Are you okay? Aren’t you busier because of the party preparation?”

     

    “It’s okay.”

     

    “That’s a relief.”

     

    Amelie smiled. Watching that smile, Serwin realized. He doesn’t want Amelie to do something secretly, but rather to speak straightforwardly.

     

    ******

     

    ‘Didn’t the Regent King know that the disaster is dangerous?’

     

    Even after returning to her palace, Amelie was reflecting on what Serwin said. It was because the story she heard from him was very shocking. And she had a hunch that an important clue would remain in those days. 

     

    “Mrs Enard. How long have you been working at the Imperial Palace?” 

     

    “Well, I became a training maid at the age of 15— so it’s been about 22 years.”

     

    “You’ve worked for a long time.” 

     

    “Yes. It has been a long time since I got married and had children in the meantime.” 

     

    “Have you seen the regent king?” 

     

    “Albert? Yes. I’ve seen him come and go several times.”

     

    Mrs Enard traced her memory of the regent king. It was a long time ago, but she could think of it clearly.

     

    “He was a very nice person. He was kind and remembered my name as a training maid. Not only for me, but for everyone, so everyone liked him.” 

     

    “Really? His Majesty— said something different.”

     

    Serwin remembered the regent king as a depressed and gloomy hypocrite. 

     

    “What did His Majesty say?”

     

    “When the Regent King appeared, it was gloomy like a cloud of rain.”

     

    “His Majesty must have been afraid of Albert.”

     

    “Huh. Why?”

     

    “Children often mistakenly think they’ve seen their feelings or their imaginations. My kids do too sometimes. By the way, I remember that Amelie was gorgeous, shining like a princess.” 

     

    Mrs Enard smiled softly. In the past, when she thought of her child, she felt guilty first and her heart became heavy. However, thanks to Amelie, as the daughter’s condition improved, she naturally smiled first. Mrs Enard was very grateful to Amelie. 

     

    “Um— Then, there was, nothing special happened, or anything unusual like that? After His Majesty became emperor.” 

     

    “Uhm—”

     

    Mrs Enard raised her eyebrows. As much as she wanted to answer Amelie’s question honestly she didn’t want to just say ‘I can’t remember because it was a long time ago’. 

     

    “There seems to be nothing like that—. Oh, there was a time when the Imperial Palace was very noisy because of a relationship problem.”

     

    Once she remembered it, she remembered what happened at that time. 

     

    “There was an incident where the former Marchioness Lewin grabbed the maid of the Imperial Palace by the hair. At that time, it was revealed that Sir Albert had an affair with the Marchioness, and had an affair with the maid.” 

     

    “Yes—?”

     

    “But it wasn’t a bad thing. The previous Emperor did more than that, so the level of Sir Albert’s flirtations were just a bit of a joke?” 

     

    The more she heard, the more she didn’t know who the Regent King really was. 

     

    “Have you ever seen a witch in the Imperial Palace at that time? Or rumors like that—” 

     

    “There wasn’t, but I don’t know. When I see Miss Amelie, I don’t think anyone would have known even if you had sneaked into the imperial palace.” 

     

    Amelie nodded. She was confident in breaking into the imperial palace without being caught by anyone if she was determined. The witch from twenty years ago must have done the same and sealed the disaster in His Majesty’s body.

     

    ‘As expected, it’s best to ask the witch about themselves. I have to hurry up and finish the party—.’

     

    Amelie sighed.

     

    ******

     

    A letter arrived from Renia inviting her to a tea party. Opinions were divided whether she was serious about saying she wanted to be close or whether she had other plans. Amelie hoped it was the former, but everyone stood up, saying it was clear that it was the latter.

     

    “Next week is the party. How could she invite you at a time like this? I’m sure she has an ulterior motive!”

     

    Especially Mrs Enard who strongly opposed it. 

     

    However, Amelie, who couldn’t refuse because a promise was a promise, headed to the Manvers mansion with Milena. When she arrived at the mansion, the butler came to meet her. Milena frowned. 

     

    “Where’s Manvers Young Lady?”

     

    “The Lady is in the greenhouse right now. Let me guide you.”

     

    Where will the person who is invited go? Milena stopped by and held back. This was because there could be misunderstandings about trying to establish authority over trivial things. 

     

    The greenhouse was located a little away from the mansion’s corridor. The sunlight reflected off the large glass wall, dazzling her eyes. 

     

    As they entered the greenhouse, the warm air wrapped their chilled body. Not far away, Renia and the Young Ladies were chatting happily. The only vacant seat was Amelie’s. 

     

    “Am I late?”

     

    “You’re here, Miss Amelie! No, it’s been a while since I’ve seen everyone, so I started a little early.”

     

    Renia approached Amelie, folded her arms naturally, and led her to the table.  

     

    “This is Amelie, who is living in the Imperial Palace as a guest of His Majesty. You all know who she is, right?”

     

    “Of course. She’s the most famous person in the capital city these days, isn’t she?”

     

    The Young Ladies burst into laughter. Amelie sat down in her own seat, smiling at the ladies at the table. Milena walked towards where the maids were standing. 

     

    “What have you all been talking about?” 

     

    “We’re talking about my summer cottage.”

     

    “Yeah. That’s right. I loved the place we went together last summer.”

     

    “Do you remember that time? Young Lady Serina’s  sister fell into the water.”

     

    “Of course!”

     

    Even if it was a grand party, a harmonious atmosphere continued because it was only a gathering of close people and drinking tea. In the meantime, Amelie sat down as if she were a barley. She couldn’t put a word in the conversation.

     

    It was partly because they had been friends since they were young, but it was because they were deliberately telling unfamiliar things so as to tell Amelie not to be part of the conversation. 

     

    “I can’t believe Young Lady Serina’s sister got to work in the imperial palace. Time flies.” 

     

    “Did you say that it was the Ministry of Internal Affairs? It’s the official department of the Imperial Palace. You should be proud of it.” 

     

    Amelie sighed inside. No matter how tactless she was, she couldn’t help but know that she was being bullied in this atmosphere. 

     

    ‘—I was wondering if you would do such a childish thing.’

     

    She wondered how great it would be to be the daughters of nobles, but wherever people lived, they all looked similar.

     

    At that moment, Amelie made eye contact with Renia. She smiled brightly at Amelie. Seeing that smile, she couldn’t help but admit it. That she hates herself extremely. It was clear that the words to get along with each other were also lies. 

     

    ‘I thought we’d be able to get close—’

     

    Renia’s behavior was childish, but the effect was very good. Frustrated, Amelie couldn’t raise her head easily.

     

    ‘I knew it!’

     

    Milena, standing behind her, was angry. That’s right. There was no way Renia Manvers had called Amelie with good intentions. She expected it to some extent, but when it actually happened, she was angry. She was even more upset because Amelie was looking forward to today.

     

    ‘The people here, I’m going to remember everything. I’m not going to let you go.’

     

    Gathering information was Milena’s specialty. They say that there is no one who does not live without a single grain of dirt. Nobility would have more, not less. She will take revenge instead of Amelie. Milena vowed to herself and bothered only the sleeves of her clothes.

     

    ‘Should I say I’ll go back first? I think it’s a waste of time.’

     

    While Amelie was agonizing, Young Lady Serina’s voice came to her ears.

     

    “I think it’s a big deal because the Imperial Palace is not maintained. A tree that used to be in good shape suddenly rots—it’s probably because there is no hostess to properly manage all of this.” 

     

    “A tree that used to be healthy rots? Suddenly?”

     

    “Yes?”

     

    “Isn’t the grass around the tree also rotten? Is there something like a bird or insect carcass nearby?” 

     

    Amelie gently waited for Serina’s answer. Her big eyes sparkled with interest. As if attracted by her, Serena opened her mouth.

     

    “How did you know? There were dead birds everywhere—”

     

    “As expected—”

     

    Amelie recalled the first moment she faced disaster in the Fidelia forest. All the places where the energy of disaster reached were rotten and corrupt. 

     

    “Is that something that happened recently?” 

     

    “Probably. I don’t think it’s supposed to be that kind of place in the first place—”

     

    “Young Lady Serena.”

     

    Renia interrupted Serena’s words. Serena sighed and bit her lip. They had completely ignore Amelie today. Then, suddenly, they mixed up her words. It was because Amelie, who was quiet, asked an unexpected question. 

     

    “Shall we take a look around the greenhouse?”

     

    Renia naturally changed the subject.

     

    “Yes.”

     

    “Of course!”

     

    The Young Ladies get up busily. They paired up and began to look around the greenhouse. Amelie was left alone, but she was lost in thought and didn’t notice. 

     

    ‘There must have been no disaster since I left Dellaheim, but what happened? Did the energy of disaster leak out as the seal weakened? Like Serwin’s room in the Dellaheim mansion.’ 

     

    Amelie suddenly recalled a time when she helped Renia. At that time, she definitely remembered seeing something black. 

     

    ‘At the time, I thought I was mistaken for a shadow— but what if it wasn’t a shadow? But can the energy of disaster move at its own will? When I saw it before, it just looked like smoke.’

     

    Amelie tilted her head. Just like gas leaking, the energy of disaster was also blown away by the wind.

     

    ‘Is Renia okay? Huh, no way, didn’t she almost collapse because of the disaster that day? Then it’s dangerous.’ 

     

    Amelie observed Renia the entire time she toured the greenhouse. The exotic plants and the Young Ladies who whispered at each other did not catch her eye at all. 

     

    ‘There is no sign of disaster. Was it because of the fact that she was embraced in the state of being transformed into an animal at that time? But in case I don’t know, should I try to make a contact her again as a human?’ 

     

    But, under what pretext could she come into contact with Renia? She hates her. Amelie began to find an excuse to make direct contact with Renia.

     

    When the greenhouse tour was over, everyone returned to the tea table, and the atmosphere quickly flowed. This was because when Amelie did not show any significant reaction, the harassment also waned. 

     

    The Young Ladies said goodbye one by one and left. Amelie kept her seat and sought opportunities. 

     

    “Amelie, aren’t you going?”

     

    Milena whispered quietly in her ear. 

     

    “Wait a minute.”

     

    Finally, the opportunity has come. The Young Ladies who were leaving gave Renia a light hug. She’d come close to it, say goodbye, and hug her naturally. Amelie quickly got up from her seat. 

     

    Then someone entered the greenhouse. It was a man with curly red hair and very poor and disorganized clothes. 

     


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