Why The King Needs A Secretary - Chapter 9
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
The Emperor continued after a long pause.
“It’ll be quite hard to give you permission if you want to go.”
Amazed at his words, she looked at him.
Don’t people act generously when they feel sick? This Emperor was certainly an exception. He was a very calculative person who always noted what was worth as much as needed. Or did he feel something special towards Celestia?
“Was he in an Academy?”
“They quite had the difficulty in it. Rumors circulated about what he did in the palace in such a short period of time, and he seemed to have believed that the servant who came in that gave such a poor assessment was listening to him.”
All of a sudden, Selena was very excited…..
“Were you happy when he was being sent to the Academy?”
“It was a rare case that people like him could be easily accepted…..but no thank you. I was overwhelmed with my work and taking care of my brother….and now I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders.”
“You’re talking about me.”
“If you can understand, Your Majesty, you should use your magic cautiously. Or else you’re really going to be in a greater problem.”
Annoyed because of her words, the Emperor suddenly shook his upper body as if he didn’t like her moving her hands over his shoulders.
There was quite a difference in their heights. But while he was sitting on his bed, his face was much closer to her.
He looked over at her for a long time with an unseemly look of anguish before opening his mouth slowly.
“I asked you the other day if I would get better if I hugged you. Did you answer me back then? I don’t think so.”
‘You have a pretty good memory.’
“Do you mind if I touch your arm just once? I keep on thinking that if I touch you, the pain may go away. You did mention that skin contact was a necessity.”
‘We’ve been talking a lot since a while ago. When did you have the time to think about that?’
Celestia was unsure of her words. She also couldn’t refuse, so she nodded.
Immediately, he wrapped his palms around one of her arms. Each of his palms was big enough to hold two of hers. She could feel his hot palms slowly cooling off along her skin.
‘Oh no…… Is he thinking of sleeping like this? No, I can’t become his pillow.’
“It seems as though it has no effect at all. Was it only an illusion of mine?”
“…..But the one in which my will was involved was much faster.”
Letting go of her arm, whether he wanted to or if he believed her, it seemed like he wanted to tell her something. But suddenly, he fell down on his bed, burying his face into his pillow and closing his eyes.
She wiped away her tears thoroughly and then got back into the process of massaging his back. After a while, she heard him speak again.
“From now on…..”
“From now on, don’t be in the wrong place when I need you.”
He muttered wearily and fell asleep without waiting for her answer.
Two weeks have passed since Celestia had cried in the Emperor’s room shamelessly.
In the meantime, she had been treating him every day in his bedroom. He seemed extremely reluctant to show his wounds to others. Maybe that’s why he didn’t allow anyone else into the room except her. They always had a face-to-face conversation.
At first, the Emperor was in such a terrible state that Celestia couldn’t even pay any attention to the people around her because she was struggling to cure him. But gradually, she became aware of how people were looking at her.
Especially today, when she was being interrogated for quite a while.
As a servant to the Emperor, whose affiliation was still unclear, she was assigned to the task of renewing the pillows and white laundry used in the palace today. The amount of laundry was also very high due to the number of people living in the palace. Besides, a banquet was also going to be held within a few days. All the towels for the guests’ rooms and the tablecloths for the banquet were needed to be washed.
The harder portion of the work, such as cleaning with grease and tapping the laundry with a bat, was assigned to the male servants, while the female servants had to step on the laundry to soak them in warm water and then spread the sheets on large grass fields for drying them.
She excitedly flapped and teased her feet on a huge basin. When she saw the dirt coming out of her laundry, it was worthwhile. The maids, who accompanied her on rolling up their skirts and stepping on laundry, were tapping their feet together to the song that Celestia was humming.
Well, there was a limit to trying new things. The more time she spent on it, the more her legs were hurting. As she felt tired, she stopped before stretching out her shoulders.
“If there is a place called hell, wouldn’t it be the laundry of the Imperial City?”
“Celestia, you’re talking nonsense again.”
The maids burst out into laughter.
“Where else is a better workplace than this? You’re getting a decent salary, and this is how you react?”
“But there is so much to finish!”
“Hahaha, that’s true.”
The female servants washed the laundry and sat side by side, while the male servants gathered them into a ball before starting their work.
Among them, a woman of the same age as Celestia, who seemed to be a bit playful and had become quite close to her, approached her and sat next to her. After some time, as if she was going to share a secret, she leaned herself towards her.
“What’s wrong, Luana?”
“So, why does the Emperor call you every day? Don’t you think it’s a rare chance for you to make a breakthrough?”
Celestia scratched her head. It certainly stood out. But was it really something to be so curious about? Every time she was asked this question, she had no choice but to refuse to answer them. She was also afraid of the circulation of the worst rumors.
She could see the other maids, who were pretending to look at different places, straining their ears to their conversation.
But the problem with the Emperor’s visit was that there was no other good excuse that she could make. What on earth could she say? Why would an Emperor need a slave like her?
Even though she knew that Luana wouldn’t fall for it, she seemed a little dissatisfied.
“You know, His Majesty is quite handsome.”
‘Why are you suddenly complimenting him?’
“His Highness, the Emperor, is the one who had refused to be courted by many aristocratic women…..So, why does he only keep looking for you? …..What’s your secret? If he ever, even just once, sleeps with me, holds my cheek with that big hand and says ‘Luana’, it’ll be enough to melt my heart.”
‘Ugh, this woman.’
“What do you mean? It’s not like…..”
“I’m just doing my chores! Like you said, how can I be next to the Emperor, who is tall, handsome, has large hands, has muscles, has a lot of charisma, and is popular? I’m just doing chores, nothing else.”
“Isn’t that so? See, I knew it.”
Luana understood, but the maids next to her were still staring at Celestia suspiciously.
“But why only you?”
“Am I not a good worker?”
“……You are, but you are attractive too.”
“Why does that matter? Do you think the Emperor would be interested in a mere slave, huh?”
It wasn’t that the other servants were not good looking but they had one bad habit. They would pause their work and find something funny to gossip about. Celestia flapped her apron before she rose from her seat.
‘Let’s get over this hot topic over with.’
“Ha, when are we going to finish if we work so slowly! Come on, get back to it! There’s still so much left, come on ladies!”
The maids raised themselves with regretful faces as they expected to hear something more interesting. Celestia sighed, preparing herself for those who might bring up the same topic in the future.
‘I’m so tired.’
In the evening, when she was resting in her room, Serena came in.
Serena, the first lady in charge of her education, would often visit her to talk to her and guide her. She greeted her.
“Hello, Miss Serena.”
“What’s the matter?”
Serena sighed before sitting on the chair. Celestia went to sit on her straw bed as there wasn’t any other chair in the room.
“As you may have heard….a large banquet has been organized in honor of the Emperor defeating the bandits.”
“Ah, yes, I’ve heard.”
‘That’s the reason I was cleaning his tablecloth.’
“It’s going to be hosted by the Empress herself, so many guests would be arriving not only from within the Empire but also from neighboring kingdoms. We, ourselves, don’t know how long the invitation list is going to be.”
Empress Dowager. Apparently, she remembered herself hearing that she was the highest-ranking woman in the Imperial Family as the Emperor wasn’t married.
“Is there anything I can help you with?”
Serena nodded as if she was waiting to hear these words from Celestia.
“Please, as one of the servants suddenly had to leave because of her household matters….”
But was it really fine for a servant like her to walk around such a large banquet? Even though she was chosen as a substitute.
“I wouldn’t mind….but….”
“I’d love to ask you a favor if you don’t mind. It’s not like any other day, so I’m only going to pick the ones who are very frugal with their work. Otherwise, they’d be in big trouble if they make a mistake.”
“You’ve got some great talents at memorizing those things that I taught you the very first day you arrived here.”
It seemed that Serena was very worried about the preparations for the sudden banquet.
Celestia was bound by the Imperial family anyway, so there was nothing she couldn’t do.
She nodded in agreement.
“Thanks to you, I’ve learned all about the rules and regulations. Please take good care of me.”
Serena went out of her room with a grin. It’s been a while since she felt awkward with her smile, but she let it go, thinking it might be her fault.
That night, she was not summoned by the Emperor, but the next day, she had to continue his treatment.
Lately, what she had learned was that the Emperor was a person who would never let go of his work, even when he was in his bedroom. She would sit on his bed treating his burn pains, while he would rummage through his documents.
Today was not that different. Him, rummaging through the files and her, treating him.
“How are you today, Your Majesty?”
He glanced at her through his red eyes. Then he casually pulled off his shirt as if it was his usual routine before returning to his files. As she approached him from behind, he muttered.
‘Do you want to recover or not? Or are you discontent with the treatment?’
‘Besides, it’s not like he would have to fight a war in a few days.’
But somehow, it pricked her heart when he replied so softly.
“…..I came as soon as you called me, Your Majesty.”
“I think it’d be better if I set up your room right next to mine.”
“The next room?”
Out of this room, there was this spooky hallway. It’s absolutely no good to have a room right next to the corridor lined with guards. Who, in their right mind, would live right next to the Emperor’s bedroom? Even more so if that person was a servant.