“By the way, why did you dismiss the chief court lady?”
“Ah. . .I think you’ll understand if you also monitor it,
But the chief court lady is the one directly instructing the harassment against me.”
Since regaining my memory, I had been thinking about who created this situation.
Even if there was a mastermind, someone within the palace with power must be an accomplice.
I recalled what had been done so far and realized it must be the chief court lady.
“It would be strange if it weren’t so.
I am the only princess after all, yet I live in a room at the end of the western palace.
I should be living in the main palace, shouldn’t I?”
“Ah, yes! Why in the western palace of all places?
That’s no place for you to live.”
I know that well.
The almost-unused western palace, and a room at its end.
No one would think a princess would be in such a place.
Moreover, it seems that only a few servants can come near me.
Only the long-serving, ill-tempered servants. . .and that too, those who obediently follow the instructions of the chief court lady.
“It’s impossible unless one has the authority to move my room.
And. . .for mere servants to harass me. . .isn’t that risking their lives?
Doing such a thing to a princess could be a capital offense.
It wouldn’t happen unless someone with great power were instructing them.”
“So it’s all the work of the chief court lady?”
“No, my uncle Edgar is commanding the chief court lady.
It’s him and Eliza who are putting me in this situation.
The chief court lady is one of my uncle’s lovers, so she is probably following his orders…”
“How. . .How do you know that?”
I wonder if he knew that the chief court lady is my uncle’s lover.
My grandfather’s reaction seemed like that.
He might be surprised that a child like me knows about it.
“I hear it when I wash the sheets and clothes.
The servants’ gossip. . .as if they are seeing everything.
I know of over twenty maids and attendants that my uncle has been involved with?”
“Haaaa. . .I see.”
The laundry workers are among the lower-ranking servants in the palace.
Their mouths are loose, and they’re always gossiping.
Cleaning rooms and doing laundry means they see traces of affairs.
Stories of who was touched, lovers quarreling, were common topics.
They think I’m just a servant’s child when I go to do the laundry in my ragged clothing.
I’m sometimes bothered and harassed when they’re in a bad mood,
But usually, they don’t mind me being there, so it’s not hard to hear rumors.
Maybe that’s why I can see this situation objectively.
“I understand. I’m convinced that we cannot punish without proof.
But I really don’t want you to overdo it.
I’ll assign not only surveillance but also protection right away.
Call for help if you’re in trouble. I’ll tell them to reveal themselves.”
“Understood. Thank you.
Ah, I think the chief court lady will probably question me insistently when she comes back.
Please just say that you took me into your arms because I looked sleepy and returned me to my room.
We didn’t have a proper conversation.”
“. . .Understood. Then, take care and return.”
I bow and leave the audience chamber.
I feel a presence around me that wasn’t there before. Is this surveillance and protection?
I’m grateful that it seems several people have been assigned to me.
I could see from a distance that the chief court lady was just returning, so
I changed direction and headed back, making sure not to cross paths.
I thought I could deal with being scolded by the chief court lady now that I had surveillance,
But arguing right away would be bothersome.
My body is really getting tired. . .I’m exhausted and want to go home and sleep.
I’ll probably be summoned to a dinner party in the evening, so I want to rest a little.