Baby Princess Through the Status Window - Chapter 7
“Come in now, Princess.”
The Empress smiled at Siervian, even as the child stumbled to a halt at the door. It was the benevolent grace that Siervian knew well.
“I gweet Your Majesty the Empwess.”
It took a while before Siervian regained her senses, so she hurriedly greeted her stepmother. Still, it wasn’t a pretty sight because she stumbled when she entered.
“It would be prudent to accelerate your etiquette lessons, Princess.”
“I apwologize . . .”
The Empress sipped her tea elegantly, displaying textbook posture and manners.
Siervian’s apologies flowed out of her lips automatically, just as before, and her five-year-old body followed suit naturally.
“Even so, you have nothing to worry about, Princess. I’ll take care of everything so that you won’t have to make any more blunders again.”
“Come closer, over here.”
The Empress, who always said that Siervian had nothing to fret, remained the same. Always trust her, she’d say, and everything would be fine.
But the persistent status window left Siervian confused.
As she approached where the Empress sat, the number didn’t change no matter how long Siervian stared at it.
“. . . You’re very pretty today, too, Princess.”
[ Cybelle Erveldotte ]
Thoughts: What an unpleasant resemblance. F*cking wench.
As Siervian walked closer, the Empress would croon softly to the princess as she scrutinized her from head to toe. Siervian was nervous because she kept thinking about all the macarons she ate yesterday.
Then, the Empress’ gaze stopped on the blue ribbon.
[ Cybelle Erveldotte ]
Thoughts: Ha. Blue?
Was there something wrong with the ribbon?
“Come and sit here.”
“Yes, Your Majwesty.”
Siervian had to answer well no matter what. She was absolutely tense with nervousness. She didn’t know what would happen because it’s the first time she saw negative favorability.
She was definitely excited when she was on her way here, but now that she had arrived . . .
“I heard that something unfortunate happened at the Princess’ Palace.”
“Yes . . .”
Siervian felt sad every time she remembered what happened with Sarah that day.
The Empress seemed to think that Siervian’s reaction was within her expectations, so she didn’t question this.
Whenever Siervian came to this palace after something bad happened, the Empress would always ask Siervian.
What made you so sad?
What has made our Princess so heartbroken?
‘How come it’s like this . . .’
Siervian looked at the Empress’ status window.
[ Cybelle Erveldotte ]
Thoughts: Such an eyesore. Annoying wench.
Even though she couldn’t control her expressions, it was a relief for Siervian that what she was feeling matched what she should be showing.
“It’s my fault, Empwess.”
Even at the child’s hasty apology, the Empress’ expression stayed benevolent. It was uncanny.
“Sarah was a maid I trusted . . . Don’t tell me. Has she been lazy?”
“. . .”
As far as Siervian could remember, the Princess’ Palace was entirely under the Empress’ jurisdiction. But when she was young, Siervian didn’t know this.
“But I am to blame for failing to notice it all. Will you forgive me?”
[ Cybelle Erveldotte ]
Thoughts: I thought Sarah would be enough for such a stupid girl, so I just let her be. Sarah, that fool. This is why vagrants will always be vagrants . . . Before that imbecile opens her mouth, I’ll need to deal with her swiftly.
As Siervian continued reading the status window, she felt her throat tighten up at the blatant difference between the Empress’ caring tone and her inner thoughts.
“Yees . . .”
On the way here, at the back of her mind, she thought that there might be a chance that the Empress and Sarah were the same case, that they only appeared benign.
She struggled to push her doubts away. Among everyone she knew, the Empress was someone she could wholeheartedly trust.
But now, Siervian didn’t know what to think.
“How kind of you, Princess.”
The Empress raised her hand to pat the Princess’ head. As she did, one of her rings got caught in the ribbon. She pulled her hand away gently, but in the process, the ribbon that Ellie carefully chose was left crushed and dishevelled.
“By the way, Princess. Did you visit His Majesty yesterday, too? Where did you go?”
Siervian always looked forward to the Empress’ caring touch, but why was it that her hand felt cold today?
“To His Majwesty’s garden.”
“. . . His Majesty’s private garden.”
[ Cybelle Erveldotte ]
Thoughts: How dare you go to that place?!
The Empress’ expression briefly stiffened at the mention of the private garden. The favorability, which was already negative, became even lower. It was something that happened in a quarter of a second, and Siervian only saw this because she’d been looking at the status window.
“It must have been very scary.”
Schooling her features back to her usual benevolence, the Empress took Siervian’s hand. She consoled the child, thinking that she was still afraid of her father.
The truth was that Siervian made a lot of good memories yesterday. Her father gave her a sugar fork that he personally crafted with magic. But when she felt the big rings on the Empress’ hand scratching her little hand, she forced herself to lie.
Somehow, she felt that she needed to lie.
“You can always be candid with me, Princess. You know that, right?”
Sure enough, the Empress was wearing a pleased smile.
Siervian used to take comfort in hearing her say this . . . but she wasn’t sure anymore.
“Thank you vewy much.”
“His Majesty must have been undoubtedly scary for you, Princess. He is the pillar of the Empire, always straight-laced and strict. It’s natural that you’re frightened.”
It was subtle, how the Empress teetered between praising and antagonizing the Emperor. Siervian could only nod, wanting to remove her hand from the Empress’ grasp.
Fortunately, the Empress soon let go of her and lifted the teacup from the table.
“You’re so kind-hearted, Princess.”
She always did her best so she could be praised like this, to be called a good child. Now, she wondered why it didn’t feel right when she heard this.
‘I want to leave.’
There weren’t any refreshments on the Empress’ tea table. Just bitter black tea for a child, the same as what the Empress was having. She could only stare at the black tea’s smooth surface, its color close to an abyss.
“In a few months, the Princess may also drink Harmin tea.”
Every child in the Empire was required to drink Harmin tea. This was to prevent mana from pervading the body because the entire Empire was surrounded by a mana circle.
Harmin tea meant that she was about to have her sixth birthday. She couldn’t remember any happy memories about any of her birthdays, nor about the tea.
‘Especially my sixth birthday . . .’
Siervian stayed quiet as she remembered the past.
Fortunately, the prolonged silence was naturally smoothed over because the chief attendant made a reluctant announcement.
“Your Majesty, His Highness the Crown Prince has arrived.”
“Oh, come in, come in.”
Damian, the Crown Prince, suddenly appeared. The Empress rose from her seat in delight and elegantly rushed to welcome him.
Siervian didn’t find the occurence strange because she’d seen this countless times.
“For our Crown Prince to come here without any notice, is something the matter?”
Remembering how her brother acted towards her during dinner that time, Siervian also got up from her seat.
Was she allowed to greet him, too?
“I only wanted to see you, Mother . . . I didn’t know someone was here.”
But even before making eye contact, the Crown Prince’s cold, harsh tone was already barbed at her. It was the austere way of speaking he reserved only for her that she knew well, as if she were some stranger to him, not a family member.
Naturally, Siervian’s shoulders slumped as she lowered her head.
“The Princess rose to greet you enthusiastically.”
Siervian followed the Empress’ example, posing to curtsy as quickly as she could because she didn’t want to be hated.
The favorability points on the status windows were already telling her if she was hated or not, but old habits die hard, so she did her best to appease the people around her.
“We meet again, Princess.”
Unlike her older brother, she was very clumsy with her greeting.
The Crown Prince and the Imperial Princess were only three years apart, so they were constantly being compared, from their magical powers and down to the smallest of details like with etiquette.
The Crown Prince was a genius of the century. He’d already gone through his awakening at the age of six.
Because he persisted and awakened as a mage so young, he was already being trained to manage state affairs one step at a time at such an early age.
He was an excellent member of the Imperial Family, and it was almost laughable to compare him with Siervian, who couldn’t even speak clearly.
What she saw last time must have been a mistake.
She felt a bit hopeful after having dinner with her father and brother last time, but now that she was faced with reality once more, Siervian realized that she was just deluding herself.
‘I have to leave right away.’
With her eyes downcast, she passed by the Crown Prince to exit the room. As expected, he didn’t even look at her.
But there was something that caught her eye.
[ Damian Erveldotte ]
Thoughts: I came here as fast as I could, but is Siervian alright?
Furtively glancing at the status window, Siervian thought again that it was all too strange. Why did he need to rush to the Empress’ Palace?
* * *
“Princess, are you feeling alright?”
To be honest, she wasn’t, but she answered the worried Ellie with a white lie. Any member of the Imperial Family could always speak their mind and say that they weren’t fine when they weren’t, but she wanted to look strong.
“Do you not like the doll, Your Highness?”
“I like it!”
The sight of Siervian hugging the doll tightly sent an arrow straight to Ellie’s heart.
[ Ellie ]
Siervian’s eyes widened in delight when she saw the sudden rise in favorability.
[ Ellie ]
Mood: Holding back from breaking the wall due to overwhelming cuteness
Thoughts: Our princess who’s more adorable than a doll . . . ! I’ll make a collection commemorating our cute princess’s daily life . . . ! ★
It was a doll that Ellie made for Siervian. The white bunny’s long ears gently brushed against Siervian’s small palm, and she was amazed because it was something she never ever had in her previous life.
‘Hugging a doll strangely relaxes me.’
Originally, it was Sarah who remained as the head maid until Siervian was fifteen years old.
She never gave her a doll.
That’s why Siervian was so happy to receive one from Ellie. It was enough for her to forget about the Empress’ negative favorability for a moment.
“Hmm. Our Princess isn’t as lively as usual. Are you hungry, Your Highness?”
“If I eat too much, I’ll be pwunished.”
She already ate a lot when she was with her father yesterday, so she habitually thought that she had to hold back.
“There you go again, Princess. I’ve already told you that children have to eat well.”
“But . . .”
Siervian tried to disagree with Ellie, but she stopped herself. It was the Empress who always told her to watch her figure.
“Your Highness has to forget everything that Sarah said, okay?”
It was true that Sarah was a head maid who acted under the orders of the Empress, however, it turned out that Sarah had been acting like that on purpose all on her own.
The Empress had asked for forgiveness from Siervian though, even if it wasn’t her fault. The Siervian from her previous life would have been swept to tears by this, moved by the Empress’ sincerity. She’d think that the Empress truly cared for her.
‘But that’s not the case.’
After seeing the Empress’ status window, Siervian realized that not everything the Empress said was the truth.
In her previous life and in this life, this was what shocked Siervian the most.
“Hmm, well. How should I cheer up our Princess?”
[ Ellie ]
Thoughts: Our cute hydrangea-like Princess doesn’t look so good. I wonder if she’s sick. I’m worried.
With her darkening expression, Ellie showed more signs of her worry for Siervian, but because Siervian didn’t want her to worry too much, she forced herself to straighten her back and puff out her chest.
“I should have found something better for Your Highness, but I have something special just for you.”
“Nutritious meals are very important, and I know that Your Highness is doing your best to control yourself. But here, just for today.”
Then, Ellie brought out a tray.
It was a small cake.
As soon as she saw it, Siervian turned pale because of what Ellie said just now.
‘I’ll be hated.’
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