Daughter of the Emperor
I do say that I’m all grown up. I’m still 18.
No one would deny that I was still young, even if I did pass the standard adult age-17. Even if I started playing an adult’s role, people would probably ignore my actions for being a young one in the elder’s eyes.
However, those things wouldn’t apply to me.
As if it wasn’t enough to be the resident of the Imperial palace, I stood above the social world.
Well, that was it.
“I was sure that I said it was nice to see.”
There was a gift given to me, an accessory set carved out of blue spirit stones.
It was a set containing a tiara, necklace, earrings, ring, and anklets; even if it were a highly attainable stone, it would have looked impressive to my eyes, but a rare spirit stone made this one in front of me. Oval cut, one of the well-known ones, that shape always signified the elegance of the person. The elegantly cut spirit stone was less shiny than the others, but it had a brilliant color made up for its backdrops; it just left me enchanted.
Pretty things are always lovely, but why was this thing given to me?
Unlike me, who was confused, the maids seemed relatively happy.
“He said he brought it because you would like it.”
I seriously pondered.
“Did I ever ask anyone to bring such a thing?”
I couldn’t remember. Rather than that, was this really precious?
Even in typical situations, the spirit stones were sold for high prices, and if it was as rare as this one before me, it must have been expensive. Considering that spirit stones were ten times more valuable than diamonds, it made it difficult for me to value this jewellery set.
I thought of giving a standard answer that it was pretty; one must describe the magnificence of pretty things, but why was such a specialty dedicated to me?
Of course, when given, I accepted things. Refusing gifts, bribes, or anything of that sort wasn’t my thing.
Even then, if I did receive this thing, there was nothing I could give back to the sender, and I felt terrible for the nobles who would send gifts without expecting anything in return. Besides, it was difficult to remember each noble who gave me a thing or two.
Did I turn into a person who couldn’t even remember those who send gifts to me?
Uh, maybe this was my popularity? My fame?
“What can I do? Everyone is nervous and expectant to see the princess.”
What Libby said was the obvious truth, but I could only laugh in vain.
Yep, all this was because I was an adorable person, sucks. Why was I born this way?
Right, I was this way since birth. I was always lovely and pretty.
Why did I have to be so lovable and pretty? And smart too! I mean, I was born to be loved… bullshit.
Realizing the shit I was telling myself, I sighed.
It was time for dinner.
Ha, I hated eating dinner.
In the evening hell called dinner, I swallowed back my tears. Although I succeeded in recovering from the situation I had with Havel, I couldn’t solve it. Most of all, our relationship seemed fine, but for some reason, it felt uncomfortable for me.
Why so? Why was I feeling like that?
“Why is it so difficult to treat him like Cito or the twins?”
I met the twins and Cito when I was young; there was no way I would see them differently now, but it felt challenging to treat Havel like any other noble. Even if I did try to be a perfect princess who moved with grace, I couldn’t get a single task done because of Havel, who kept laughing.
Ugh, to make a woman suffer!
Thanks to that, I got close enough to him to greet or ask a few things, but that didn’t make us close.
Every time I asked such things, he would tilt his head a little, as if he didn’t understand why I was asking such things.
Ugh, such a difficult human to deal with.
I already lived with Caitel, my dad!
The maids sighed as they sorted out all the gifts; then, Brenda asked me.
“Are you acting like this because of that southern Emperor?”
“Uh, who else would make me feel like this?”
As I sighed with drooping shoulders, the maids chuckled to themselves.
Anger flushed into me. Those would die for sure. Their master was in trouble, and they were laughing about it? I was sure to gather them and give them some education, but I quit right away; I didn’t have time.
Ha, what was I doing!?
“But, he really is a cool person. Are all men of the south that cool?”
“Right. He looks great with the princess.”
“I wish I could marry a man like that someday!”
“Oh my, you? Wake up from those dreams!”
Listening to the maids’ fuss was annoying since they only made snarky remarks. If such a man was the ideal type for the maids, it looked like my empire would fall for him.
“But it is a bit scary.”
“Right. Did you hear the rumor? Not a single noble who opposed the Emperor of the south was left alive.”
“Even after they surrendered at a later time, he didn’t accept it and killed them all.”
“There were women and children too.”
“Aren’t all the countries the same when in war?”
As I listened to the bothersome chatter of the maids, I went silent. It wasn’t as if their stories were lies. Such things always happened; although the rumors were exaggerated, it was still the truth.
Of course, my dad was great in war, so we wouldn’t be destroyed so easily. There was no war Caitel hadn’t played and won, from civil wars to aggression wars to riots.
… I couldn’t let myself be proud of it.
Although it was frustrating, I was proud of my dad, which made me think of how fucked up I was.
Apart from that, Havel’s actions reminded me of Caitel’s younger days. There was no particular reason for it, but it reminded me of the days when Caitel was a tyrant. If it were someone I didn’t know, I would avoid them at all costs, but I knew this guy, which made it even more complicated to avoid, hmm.
“What is that one?”
I pointed at an unusually white little box. It was about the size of a palm.
“I don’t know. Was it sent from the palace? For the princess?”
“Huh? Open it.”
I ordered without even thinking, but the little hairpin which came out of the box was enough to grab my attention.
It wasn’t flashy, probably why I liked it a lot. A rose made of coral, and small diamonds embedded on it.
Without delay, I put it on my hair.
I had to try out something like this!
“It looks like it was made for the princess!”
“I know. It fits so well.”
The maids admired and nodded at each other. It had been so long since I found something I liked. Who could have sent it?
“Did dad send it? Or Assisi?”
“Probably not either of them.”
The maids shook their heads.
“If it isn’t by those two, we’ll never know who sent it.”
That’s right. Even if those two did try to send me gifts anonymously, they would have gotten exposed.
The maids chuckled among themselves as they looked at the way I touched the hairpin. My appearance, something I saw often, looked weird because of the hairpin. I just shrugged.
Hmm, so what? I was a woman; I get to decorate myself!
I was trying to change my hairstyle to see the hairpin shine more, but I forgot something important.
“Princess, it is dinner time.”
… damn it.