“Princess,” the girl, who was crying, forced herself to smile when the maid said this.
Standing in front of the maids and servants who looked unbothered by this, the plain maid… Julia bowed gracefully.
“Cry as freely as you would like. No one will be allowed in this room today, so please don’t worry.”
“… Thank you, Julia. And everyone else.”
“I’ll bring you some lemon water.”
“Yes. Everyone except for Julia can leave.”
The Princess lightly waved her white hands, and the servants attached to her all bowed together.
Julia, the only person told to remain behind, did not change her expression, took the lemon and water from the maid, who had brought it, and walked while looking as if she was glaring at the window. She approached the crying Princess, who had been waiting patiently.
Julia is now 21 years old, and Primera is ten.
The prodigy Princess, never got fat like in the game, she doesn’t seek a ‘father’ in the King, and she continued to grow into a graceful and brilliant lady.
Only the servants who served the Princess knew that this was all thanks to Julia for being by her side.
“Would you like it hot or cold?”
A beautifully crafted cup floating gently with one of Julia’s fingertips and fit in her hand.
Then, Julia cut the lemon into a few slices, added water, wrapped the cup with both her hands and closed her eyes.
Then, the water inside the cup immediately started steaming.
This is the type of magic that Julia is good at.
Her magic wasn’t especially strong, and you can say that she was doing her best for Primera.
She is a noble and a famous maid who looks like she can’t make cake even though she could.
Anyway, Primera smiled a little when she received the cup from Julia.
Primera is never suspicious of the food and drinks that Julia gives her.
It was normal for royalty to have poison tasters, but Primera didn’t care if the food or drink was served by Julia.
That was to be expected.
This was because whenever Julia served her something, she carefully selected reliable maids and chefs to exclusively prepare food for Primera.
Occasionally, when Primera ate with the King and his wife, the poison taster would test the food… but Primera usually ate alone with Julia.
This was because of the Queen.
The Queen gave birth to the Prince, so her position was secure, but she was afraid of the brilliant Princess.
Prince Aralbert Daum is in the top three and was already brilliant enough, but the Queen was annoyed at Primera who was rumoured to be as beautiful as a fairy and reminded the King of the late concubine.
Today, the tutor praised Primera while she was studying the history of this kingdom, and the Queen put her down plainly, “It’s only natural that you know this,” “Don’t think that you’ll be pampered by the King’s mercy just because you’re a woman,” “It’s not something that needs to be praised since she is a Princess of this kingdom,” “Rather than being taught, she should progress a step or two further,” and “It’s shameful for you to be happy just because you were praised.”
Prince Aralbert Daum, who had finished his sword training, was also there, and the Queen said these things before leaving, “The Prince doesn’t even say thanks when he’s complimented,” “The King is very proud of him,” “He doesn’t neglect his studies so that he could protect this kingdom someday,” “The younger sister doesn’t have any responsibilities, so she could be spoilt as much as she wants. A mother’s education… ah, education is a difficult word for someone of social status like the concubine.”
She was going on a little rant, but the Queen’s attitude didn’t change towards the concubine even after she died, and it became harsher as she directed this towards Primera.
Prince Aralbert Daum thought his little sister was a bit pitiful, and he made a comment as he passed Primera so that the Queen wouldn’t notice, “Don’t worry about her,” but this provided no consolation to Primera.
Julia, who naturally remained by Primera’s side, was annoyed at the Queen and felt as if she wanted to murder her, but of course, she didn’t let this show on her expression.
However, she immediately brought Primera, who had stood frozen on the spot, back to her room, and readjusted the rest of the schedule for the day and now back to the beginning1).
Julia quietly called Primera’s name because no one was around. Primera placed the cup on the table, hugged Julia and started sobbing.
The King often spoke lovingly of the concubine to Primera when she was younger.
The family who the concubine brought with her to the royal palace had low status and served Primera after the concubine had passed away, so the Queen didn’t like them, and Primera couldn’t meet her grandparents even though they were still around.
Incidentally, the concubine is the daughter of a wealthy merchant family.
Her crying figure looked appropriate for her age, and even though the Queen had said Primera had no heavy responsibilities, she was doing her best so that she wouldn’t bring shame to the royal family when she is married off to another kingdom or to a powerful noble within the kingdom.
Julia encouraged her so that it wouldn’t all go to waste, but it was vexing to be told those things, and it was vexing to hear her mother being spoken ill of.
Even more so for an upright girl who is sometimes soft, sharp and extremely sensitive that it also hurts her.
Primera couldn’t shout even though she was filled with anger, and she thought it was her own fault.
“Princess Primera, you did nothing wrong. You’re doing your best. This might sound arrogant of me, but I’m proud of you for doing your best. You are regarded as the Princess who everyone dreams of more than anyone else, and you are lovely and adorable. I will always be your ally, no matter if you fail or succeed. Let’s be sad together and grieve together.”
“But, stepmother… the Queen won’t recognise me!”
“Is it no good if I, who you recognise as your mother, do?”
“… That’s not true. Julia, don’t you feel disillusioned with me when I feel down and cry?”
Julia softly held Primera to her while laughing, and gently combed Primera’s shiny hair which was like gold threads.
“Encouraging a child’s failure, scold them sometimes and rejoice at their success. That is the role of the parents. It’s normal for parents to look after their child, and when their child becomes an adult, they, too, will become parents. And they will pass onto their children what they learnt from their parents… I’ve never given birth before though.”
“Julia… Julia, am I a good girl to you?”
Primera finally smiled after Julia smiled energetically.
She tried to wipe the tears away from her face and then used the handkerchief that Julia had offered her.
“You can’t rub it. It’ll get red.”
“… Julia, you’re the eldest daughter of Viscount Vandeid, right? As far as I can tell, he doesn’t seem like a good parent… I’m sorry, even though I don’t know much.”
“It’s fine. I just stated my idealistic thoughts. My parents aren’t bad people, and my little brother is cute. But, if, if there is a man out there who would love me regardless of how old I am, and I do have a child, then that’s the kind of parent I want to be.”
“… You’ll definitely become a good mother. Even if you do, will you still be my maid?”
Primera became a little worried for Julia who had answered without pause.
Is it really alright? Primera thought, but didn’t dare speak it.
Because there was the threat that her ‘mother’ might go somewhere else.