Life As A Tower Maid: Locked Up With The Prince - Chapter 7
After taking in a deep breath, I opened the door to the bedroom. Then, as I descended the attic ladder’s steps, I saw Albert, who was reading a book.
He had been concentrating on his book with his monocle on his eye, but he turned to me.
“What’s wrong, Rosé?”
“I need to sew.”
I laughed nervously as I picked up the sewing basket inside the room.
Looking at me closely, Albert Rosé from his seat.
“Your face is pale.”
I tried to smile, but I had one hand clutched over my stomach. Oh, it hurts so much.
“Well, you look like you have a stomachache.”
“…I’ll be honest. I think what I ate earlier isn’t sitting right with me, Your Highness. It hurts.”
“You did eat in a hurry. What are you trying to do, though? Why do you need that basket?”
“I need… to prick my finger. Prince, may I talk to you after this?”
Smiling awkwardly, I slowly moved to the attic ladder with the basket in my hands.
With a stiff jaw as though he couldn’t understand what I was doing, Albert asked me again.
“You’ll… prick your finger?”
“Yes, please let me do that first.”
Albert didn’t seem to understand the purpose of pricking one’s finger, but I couldn’t worry about explaining to him first.
I’m dying, okay? Dying. Anyway, I decided not to hide anymore because I really needed to get rid of the pain.
I groaned and took out a needle. It was a needle for sewing clothes—well, it was perfect for the job.
Disinfection is a must. I hovered the tip over a candle flame first that Albert had left on next to the bed.
He was just looking at me without saying a word.
That’s understandable. I don’t think it’s common in this time and place to prick fingers.
“If Your Highness feels sick later, you can do the same thing. It’s very effective, so it’s a good remedy.”
“What the hell are you going to do with that needle…”
I raised my hand and pricked my finger with it.
At that moment, black blood flowed out as I felt a slight sting.
Wow, so I guess that stomachache was really bad.
Albert had been standing behind me, but he instantly moved closer to me. He held me from behind, reached out for the needle I used to prick myself, and took it away from me.
It looked like he was giving me a back hug.
Albert muttered with a low voice.
“Rosé, what are you doing?”
The air sank coldly even though I couldn’t see his face.
With him holding me, I felt goosebumps running up my spine.
“I-I just pricked my finger… because I wasn’t feeling well…”
“And what does that have to do with injuring yourself with a needle?”
Albert grabbed my wrist lightly, focusing on my index finger.
Blood was still trickling down from the top.
His cold voice made me nervous as he continued to stare while holding onto my wrist.
I blanked out as I realized I’m being interrogated for a mistake I didn’t even realize I made.
“It’s a folk remedy…”
“So you don’t mean to do anything more?”
“What else would I do? Your Highness, my life is precious to me.”
I was feeling quite unfair because Albert’s tone was accusing me.
He moved away from my side and went in front of me. He was still holding my wrist.
Then, he sat in front of me and made an order with a clear voice.
“Rosé, look at me.”
It was only then that I realized he was someone who was truly going to be a king. What he’d shown so far was only a fraction of his presence.
He knew how to control people with just the tone of his voice. My heart pounded heavily.
“Look at me.”
I couldn’t avoid looking at him anymore. I finally lifted my gaze and faced him.
The face I once thought had gotten softer was as cold as a glacier. His severe expression was so scary, and no matter how handsome he still was, I wanted to run away.
Those red eyes were more terrifying than they were beautiful.
The vicious gaze made me recall that he was someone who knew how to kill people.
He was the man who would kill Rosteratu and all of the king’s allies just so he could rise to the throne.
Even if those killings were justified, it’s not something that could be understood by someone who thought with a modern perspective. I never imagined killing anyone in my life.
“You’re not lying.”
Albert’s voice reached my ears.
Pretending to be calm even as my hands trembled so much, I replied.
I stammered anyway. At this rate, Albert would know what I was thinking.
And indeed, he went straight to the point.
“Are you afraid of me, Rosé?”
I didn’t want to say I was frightened of him, but it was difficult to avoid answering. I was too flustered to think of a good excuse.
When a person gets driven into a corner like this, it’s difficult to keep up pretenses like the usual.
“S-Some people are n-naturally like that, Your Highness. I understand.”
But what I said didn’t work.
Albert narrowed his eyes.
“So you are scared of me.”
Was it so important to verify if I was or not? My lips quivered as I replied.
“I think Y-Your Highness already knows the answer.”
“But you didn’t answer me directly. This is your chance to answer well.”
I was usually good at catching onto these things. Only then did I realize why Albert asked me again one last time.
He didn’t want to hear the truth.
He didn’t want to hear that I was afraid of him.
Why did he want to hear a lie when the truth was so obvious?
He called my name in a hurry.
And I finally opened my lips.
“I’m not scared. The Prince is so handsome after all. It’s okay since you’re handsome.”
My inner voice was screaming something different from what I just said, but after saying this, I visibly calmed down and seemed to be less frightened. And I think the atmosphere around Albert became more relaxed than earlier—or am I mistaken?
‘Because you said what I needed to hear.’
I think I could hear those words from him even as he didn’t say them directly. I gulped and nodded.
Albert looked down at my finger. It was still bleeding after all this time, but I immediately said something about it.
“Ah, it’s fine even if it’s still bleeding. It’ll stop soon…”
“I’ll help you.”
Albert pulled my wrist up gently, and my body naturally leaned forward and went into his arms.
Being in his wide embrace was so warm. I couldn’t believe he was giving off such a cold atmosphere just now.
I placed a hand over his chest to push him away. No, it was more to push myself away from him.
“Ahaha, I lost my balance—sorry.”
“It’s bleeding, so we need to stop it.”
“We can just use a piece of cloth for that or something.”
But then Albert put my finger in his mouth.
It felt as though all my nerves on that finger came alive.
And this time, I was rendered speechless in a different sense.
Forgetting that I had to push him away, I stared blankly at Albert, who was sucking my finger.
With his head leaned forward, his gray hair cascaded over and touched my shoulder.
He was way too close. I could even see his individual lashes.
The eyes under those lashes slowly looked up. Now, he was staring right into my eyes.
“The blood has stopped now.”
Albert’s eyes curved as he smiled seductively. In a moment’s rapture, I could only stare.
It was clear that his specialty was to seduce people unknowingly.
My stomach got better, but because of a different reason, I still couldn’t sleep. There’s a big problem here.
What the hell is that prince thinking…?
He kissed my lips and my forehead, saying that those were rewards for my hard work. Now, he sucked my finger because it was bleeding. He was being so weird that I think other people would misunderstand his actions as well.
Doesn’t it all point towards liking me?
But considering the situation, that doesn’t make any sense at all.
The only time I’m with him is whenever we’re eating together or whenever I’m not here in the attic.
The conversations we had were usually just me one-sidedly babbling because he rarely answered.
Rosé in the book would have received far saucier actions than this, but I never asked for any of it.
It’s not good to get too close with each other anyway. In the long run, unnecessary contact would only make us uncomfortable with each other.
I realized this yesterday when Albert’s ferocious gaze was on me. As expected, people had to stay within their lanes.
The only man I should have in my life is a modest, common man.
Aristocrats weren’t all that bad, but… Anyway, I’ll continue to feed him, so please just do handsome and nice things.
But still though… What’s wrong with Albert? Isn’t it that he doesn’t like me?
Are we following the flow of the narrative? Was this a cliché case of no matter how much I struggle, the novel’s scenes would still happen? Was he just doing this because he was meant to do this with Rosé?
Even so, it was hard to read Albert’s intentions.
After a long time of agonizing, I finally came to a conclusion.
I’m hungry, so let’s just eat.
Albert didn’t say anything to me, and it wouldn’t make a difference if I just mulled over it alone, so it was better to just feed myself. I’ve been using my head too long, and that wasn’t like me at all.
What difference would it make if Albert likes me? I don’t like him anyway.
In this situation, it’s better to just ignore emotions.
If it’s a feeling that won’t continue in the future anyway, it’s much wiser to pretend to be tactless and clueless.
I stayed up all night thinking about it.
The night before this, I slept very well, so I wasn’t so fatigued after not sleeping this time. But my belly clock was ringing.
The current time is 7:50 AM.
It was almost time for the knights to come with food and other necessities, and this was the only moment that the gate of the tower opened. It’s hard to get all the ingredients through the small window, but I had no other choice because, of course, I couldn’t go outside.
King Rosteratu had been worried that Rosé would change her mind, so he had cast a spell on this body as well.
“Yeah, I should ask about pets, too.”
Our handsome Albert is a feast for the eyes, but my quality of living was just as important.
I descended the ladder.
Concentrated on his exercise, Albert was currently sweating. Wind blew in from the window he had left open.
Working out without a shirt on, Albert wiped his face with the towel around his neck. He stared at me.
“The knights will arrive soon.”
An awkward silence stretched between us after I replied curtly.
I thought he was just going to return to exercising, but Albert kept staring at me as though he was waiting for me to say something more.
I’m good at smiling. And I think I know what it was he’s expecting.
“Your Highness is handsome today as well!”
I winked and made some silly comments. Alright. Okay. That was perfect.
Albert smirked. He looked so much different from yesterday now that he’s smiling.
“Then I’ll be on my way.”
After this conversation, I went down to the kitchen.
Obviously, I got used to Albert’s godly face after living with him thus far.
The problem was that now… everyone else looked like squids because I was so used to looking at him.
And I was one of those squids. What would happen if my eyes would only keep wanting more?
I approached the door with these worries at the back of my mind.
Two knights could be seen through the window. They looked like they were bickering.
“It followed you!”
“No, it’s you! Why did you give it a sausage earlier?!”
What’s following them? My ears prickled at their squabbling.