𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟖: (𝐊𝐲𝐥𝐞)
“What’s the sudden rush?”
“Just be quiet and listen.”
I was in training when I was suddenly summoned and taken to the ceiling of the audience chamber.
Looking down from the ceiling to see what had happened, I saw a little girl.
Wearing a loose-fitting dress, arms thin as bones, eyes sunken in.
Her hair was dry and lifeless, her face devoid of vitality.
A little girl who looked like she could die at any moment was there.
“. . .What is that?”
“It’s Princess Sofia-sama. We will be monitoring her constantly now.
Kyle, Chris, and Dana will be with her until we switch.”
Is that. . .is that the princess? No way?
Looking at Chris, he too was wide-eyed and astonished.
Where does she look like a spoiled princess? Acting selfishly?
No way. She looks like she might collapse at any moment.
Wondering where she’s were going, I followed along the ceiling,
And arrived at a room at the end of the west palace.
Wondering what could be the purpose of this place,
The little girl entered the small room, rolled onto the bed, and fell asleep.
What is happening?
While the princess was sleeping here, I was informed by Dana-san of what had occurred in the audience.
A body emaciated from malnutrition, covered in bruises from abuse.
The princess, confined to a room in the west palace, was not eating properly.
Only one dress to wear when meeting His Majesty.
Doing the laundry, cleaning, and even drawing water all by herself.
I couldn’t believe it.
Thinking that, “That’s why we have to verify the evidence.”
Could a seven-year-old girl think that way? Isn’t that suspicious?
I immediately regretted thinking so.
I had seen a servant kick the sleeping Princess Sofia to wake her.
Unbelievable. Wanting to die, treating the princess like that?
And Princess Sofia herself, accepting it without getting angry.
Could she have gotten used to such a situation?
From then on, it was one surprise after another.
A dinner with His Majesty, all made from rotten ingredients.
Being forced to eat by the Duke’s family.
Miss Eliza, who followed and abused the princess, even throwing water at her.
Is that really the Duke’s daughter?
Where did the reputation of a kind Duke’s daughter, loving the people, come from?
Having seen her scold the princess with a twisted, ugly face, I didn’t doubt anymore.
The Duke’s family had created the princess’ bad reputation.
Watching her undress the wet dress without anger,
looking at the princess going to bed without eating anything, my heart ached.
I was. . .regarded as absent from the borderlands, but
I never went to sleep without eating anything.
Such a small princess, enduring all this with her tiny body, all alone.
I was more ashamed than ever before, deceived by lies, thinking she was the Ineligible Princess.
Thinking that being her exclusive escort was a hassle.
I. . .I was on the side tormenting the princess.
I can’t think it was unavoidable because I didn’t know.
The next day, seeing the rotten food that had finally arrived being thrown away without a word,
I couldn’t bear it. I couldn’t just watch.
I put some baked sweets and a bottle of milk in a small basket and placed it in her room.
I thought I might get scolded for doing it without permission,
but my body moved before I could think.
Chris and Il, who were watching with me, said nothing.
The princess found the basket, and when she saw the food inside, her face was surprised.
She looked up at the ceiling and looked around,
“I don’t know who you are, but thank you. It looks delicious.”
I was thanked.
I was also surprised, but I couldn’t stay silent, and I knocked on the ceiling once. Thump.
The princess heard the noise and smiled.
Her smile was weak, but I was happy to see her smile,
and I decided to continue giving her food, even if I got scolded for it.
The princess picked up a baked sweet and hesitantly crunched on it.
It must have tasted good, as she smiled weakly,
and I decided to protect the princess properly as her escort knight.
This country is stable thanks to the King.
Even commoners live prosperously enough to buy and eat sweets.
The reaction of the Princess, who is the granddaughter of that King, was as if she had eaten sweets for the first time.
From then on, the surveillance was a continuous test of patience.
If she went to do laundry, she would get splashed with water, pushed away, and return soaked.
Her casual clothes are in tatters, even commoners wouldn’t wear something like this.
“Having two meals a day might be a first for me.”
The princess, who was eating the leftover baked goods from lunch with a look of delight
I heard her mutter that in a soft voice, and I couldn’t hold back my tears
It wasn’t just me; Chris, who was with me, also covered his eyes with his hand.
My feelings were determined.
I will never let Princess Sofia get hurt again.
I won’t forgive those who put Princess Sofia through this.
I didn’t want to leave the tiny, lonely princess sleeping all alone.
From above the ceiling, I cast magic, healing her chapped hands, and made a vow in my heart.