Chapter 7: How to Spend a Meaningful Holiday
“… I’m bored.”
I sit idly in my chair, alone in a room in the royal castle, and stare out.
Clouds drift lazily across the blue sky outside the window.
I idly went about my day with nothing in particular to do as time passed.
“I was hoping for a relaxing break, but it’s surprisingly dull.”
I’m not going to tell anyone about it, though.
I mutter to myself and sigh deeply.
A grantmaker’s unusual career path?
I’ve become the wife of a neighboring prince and now a princess of a country.
I still can’t believe it, but living on the castle town’s highest point, I know it’s real.
The first few days in the Kingdom of Istonia have been tumultuous.
Finally, after all of the greetings and the wedding ceremony, I’ve settled down, finished the work I’d been assigned, and gotten the break I’d been looking forward to…
“If you don’t work, you won’t feel comfortable… I think I’m ill.”
That’s not how I’m supposed to be.
I understand that working too much is unhealthy.
Working every day, from early morning until late at night.
It’s natural for me to feel restless in such a beautiful and tranquil setting.
I’m the one who asked for a break, and now I’m turning around to see if there’s any suitable job.
“I wonder if His Highness would be shocked to hear it.”
I recall what His Highness said to me.
I don’t mind a hard worker.
Work hard in moderation and get plenty of rest.
I recall his hand resting on my cheek.
That was a man’s hand.
Big, slightly hard, strong hands hold me up.
This is merely a political marriage.
It’s set up this way for our mutual benefit.
And yet… I’m a little optimistic.
I get out of my chair.
I leave my room and walk down the corridor.
I don’t have a specific destination in mind.
I just wanted to go for a walk.
I was afraid that if I stayed in my room, I would spend the rest of the day just thinking unanswerable thoughts.
I think a change of scenery is one of those breaks.
However, I’m not sure if that’s the proper way to take a break because I’ve never had the time for it.
“It’s better than sitting still.”
I think to myself as I walk down the corridor.
Soon I pass a servant, an old man in a butler’s uniform, who bows politely.
“Where are you going, Phyllis-sama?”
“Um, I’m just going for a stroll.”
“I see. Please let us know if you need to leave the castle. We’ll have someone accompany you.”
“Y-Yes, of course. Thank you.”
I ran away as if to escape.
It was just a casual conversation.
He is courteous and respectful.
But I cringed and was at a loss for words, and I don’t blame him.
It can’t be helped, can it?
Because not long ago, I was only a court official.
My nobility was merely a garnish…
一一You must live with the awareness of your actions as a princess of a country.
That is not the same as work pressures.
I am under the impression that I am in a position to be seen.
Everyone in the castle looks at me and becomes humble when I enter.
There were chamberlains, maids, knights, and even nobles.
Royalty is the highest rank in the land.
This is not surprising given that they are the ones in charge of running and governing the country.
I was an outsider just a few days ago, but now I am a member of the royal family.
My past is irrelevant to them.
Because I am currently the wife of Istonia’s first prince.
“Sigh… I’m tired.”
I had rushed out of the castle and was now in the castle grounds’ gardens.
I hide in the shade of a tree and sit down.
There are more eyes on me than I expected.
I am referred to as Phyllis-sama or Madam wherever I go.
I even felt a little depressed, even if they were just trying to be nice to me because I had just arrived and didn’t know what to expect.
I originally planned to go for a leisurely walk.
“I can’t relax like this…”
In a tearful voice, I look up at the sky.
Today is a beautiful day.
The sun is shining, and the trees provide welcome shade.
This mild weather makes me feel sleepier than a soft bed.
My awareness is fading.
“――lis. Phyllis! “
“Y-Yes! It’s almost done!”
When I hear my name, I immediately wake up.
The line that came to mind was one that I used to say at the last minute before the deadline.
“This is not the court, remember?”
That’s right. I was strolling through the gardens.
I recall falling asleep.
His Highness Rayne, the man who became my husband, was the one who woke me up.
“It’s starting to get late. Were you dozing off? “
“I’m sorry, I fell asleep and then realized…”
“You’re being careless even in the castle. You’re the princess of this kingdom now, my wife, and you should have a sense of danger.”
The warning jolted me out of my drowsy state.
I can’t even talk back because I’m being told what I deserve.
To begin with, I lack the courage to fight back.
“Why is His Highness here?”
“I went to check on you in your room, but you weren’t there; I was looking for you to see where you’d gone when I found you.”
“You were looking for me?”
“I knew you wouldn’t sit still, and I was right.”
His Highness also considered the possibility of my being outside the royal castle.
The bottom line, he was worried.
He was worried that I wouldn’t know my way around the castle and wouldn’t have anywhere to go to relieve stress.
“I apologize for taking up so much of your time, Your Highness. I’m going back to my room now.”
He walks up beside me and sits down slowly.
“I’d like to get some rest as well, so come sit next to me.”
We sit side by side in the garden at dusk.