“What’s with the big fuss?”
“It can’t be helped. It’s a renewal of the old order, even if it’s associated with a happy occasion.”
After the end of the coronation ceremony, His Highness and I… again His Majesty moved into a new palace.
The new palace, which has been renovated from part of the former rear palace, will be a living area for His Highness and me alone. From now on, the unused parts of the palace will be torn down in turn…or refurbished to renew the rear palace.
In the midst of all this, the personnel have also been renewed.
It was the latter part of the palace’s appointments that drew particular attention.
“What’s the buzz right now?”
No matter what time of year it is, the rear palace is a place of gossip.
“You mean about matters of personnel?”
Lilia presses her mouth down with a strange look on her face.
“You mean Anya?”
“Even though Anna Maria’s appointment as Chief lady-in-waiting is a selection, it is still unofficially announced. It’s not as much of a rumor as you might think. The question is, who will be the other lady-in-waiting?”
“Yes…What tricks did you pull?”
Lilia looks at me with sparkling eyes, as if asking me to tell her for a later study.
“I proposed nothing…I suggested it because Lady Elaine was feeling too guilty.”
“Yes. I said ‘If you feel so guilty, then please tell me things.’
“…With all due respect, the Duchess is famous for being boxed in, but…”
“But you know something I don’t. And then, Elzevert’s…one should have a firm grasp on the common sense and norms of being a princess of a great nobleman.”
“I said that I was wondering if one could provide some sort of tutor to help me with that kind of female etiquette…I told His Majesty that if he did that, one would be better served as the chief lady-in-waiting of the Queen’s palace. Of course, as a duchess, she cannot live at the palace and it is not possible for her to serve every day…”
“Well, I’m grateful.”
“His Highness, no…His Majesty said that Lady Elaine will be the head lady-in-waiting, if only by name, until the time Lilia becomes chief lady-in-waiting.”
That’s the most convenient.
“She is a duchess, right?…I don’t think you can go against it.”
“And besides, Lady Elaine would never do anything that you wouldn’t want her to do.”
It’s not that there hasn’t been an example of a great nobleman’s lady-in-waiting serving. But there is no example of a person as high ranking as Lady Elaine, even though she is the chief lady-in-waiting.
“…And I don’t dislike Madame Elaine. So I thought it would be nice if things changed for the better a bit.”
“…What do you have in mind?”
“Secrets…something you don’t know what will happen.”
From somewhere, a sweet smell wafted through the air.
“Is it about time to bake?”
“It smells good.”
The oven in the new kitchen was unfortunately the same as before, utilizing charcoal and wood.
However, the lighting is not only the same as before, but also uses gas light. Because the equipment is not yet so well developed, the gas light alone is not enough to provide enough light, but gas lamps are indeed used.
I’m sure we’ll be getting gas ovens in the near future.
That’s exactly what I’m going to beg His Highness for when I get the chance.
“…Rumors of Duke Alhane’s daughter being admitted to the rear palace have been put to rest for now.”
“His daughter has no intention of becoming a member of His Highness’s entourage…”
“Is that so?”
“Yes I’ve been speaking to someone who is close to his daughter’s handmaiden.”
Though that might be fine this time.
I don’t know when things will flare up again.
At that time, though…
But…I don’t think His Highness would do that. Not that I have any reason to believe that.
I suddenly felt a buzz in the air and looked towards the door.
“Your Highness? How can I help you?”
I put my index finger to my lips.
There is a light knocking sound. It’s a knock that’s typical of a lady-in-waiting.
Miredei, who stands ahead of me, bows and announces.
Lilia straightened up quickly.
I got up from my chair, too.
“…You can make yourself comfortable.”
It was Nigel-sama who came in.
“Welcome, Your Majesty.”
I still call him His Highness sometimes.
“Oh…I’m sorry for the suddenness.”
“No. I’m very pleased to see you, Nigel-sama.”
My cheeks naturally form a smile. When I look at Nigel-sama, a very natural smile comes to my face. This is already like a conditioned reflex.
“Do you have a moment? The pie is just about ready to finish.”
I have on a simple gown with an apron I had requested to be made.
Alice, who will be leaving the palace in less than a few days, recommended her own sister, Elise, who is five years younger, as my new maid. Elise is a much better at seamstresses than Alice, and has only just served three days ago, but already her skill has made her an indispensable part of my entourage.
“Oh…Can I have something to eat?”
“Do you feel like a little? Or a lot?”
“Okay. Please wait a moment.”
I bowed and exited from Nigel-sama’s presence.
“Thank you for your patience.”
When I returned to my seat, the tea was already set out on the table and a steamy teacup was placed in front of His Highness.
“I had gotten the tea first.”
“Yes. It’s a new blend, how do you like it? It’s a tea that refreshes your stomach.”
“Yes. It’s a blend of mint and camilure.”
In Dardinia, chamomile is called camilure.
This is a pretty good assessment for His Highness.
As I take my seat, Miredei comes in after just a few moments and makes me a cup of tea. I like to put a little honey in it. This seems to mellow out the overly intense mint flavor.
They all seem to be getting better at reading the air lately.
It’s not just a matter of bringing me a cup of tea right away. There is a proper pause. They’ve gotten better at reading it. Everyone goes about their business without disturbing the pleasant air.
I take a breath and sip my tea.
“…Would you listen to my ramblings?”
His Highness said, glancing out the window.
“…I lost my half-brother last month.”
It was heartbreaking.
His Highness Errol was publicly announced to have died of illness.
The funeral was considered a private part of the royal family and was conducted in the Royal Palace Cathedral by His Eminence Shion.
But we know that it was the result of death.
As long as he was officially declared to have died of illness, there was no other record of his death anywhere.
But we all knew what the truth was, since his close associate and foster brother, Viscount Farsad, was executed for high treason.
He ordered the death of his own brother, albeit a half-brother…
Thinking of His Highness Nigel’s will made me ache as if my heart was squeezed in my chest.
“A new friar has entered one of the orphanages in Royal Capital…”
What are you talking about? I thought.
“It’s an orphanage you know well.”
My cheeks loosened at Nigel-sama’s words.
It’s great to hear stories about Ragg and the others.
“…What kind of person is this new friar?”
Are they the ones who are going to help them?
“…He looks a lot like my half-brother who died. They say he’s a distant relative of Alhane.”
I was surprised.
“…I won’t have a chance to meet him, but you might.”
Yes, I thought.
“…Can I talk to Nadi?”
The loss of one of her twins has left Nadi still in a state of depression. To say she is in mourning sounds fine, but she has not recovered at all.
Nadi’s grief is not simply over the loss of His Highness Errol.
The fact that she was completely unaware of the one half of the twins that she thought she understood more than anyone else…it probably made the shock even greater.
Nadi was completely unaware that His Highness Errol had been thinking of replacing Nigel-sama.
She apologized many times while crying, and was pitifully upset. She seemed to have lost her fire.
“…I don’t mind. But he has already been abandoned. I can’t allow you to go to see him.”
He tells me he can’t allow me to go see him, yet says that I might see him again…
I mean, all I have to do is stay in the royal palace.
I need to figure out a way for Nadi to walk underground…Oh, let’s ask Phil.
“The new friar has finally gotten around to making this with all sorts of squeezing by the children who know the recipe you dedicated to the Mother Goddess so well.”
Nigel-sama pulled out of his pocket a bittersweet cookie wrapped in soft paper. It was spread out on the table, looking a little awkward.
“They say these are the best baked ones.”
I was about to pick it up and stopped with a gasp.
“It’s okay. I tested it for poison.”
“…I don’t think that’s okay at all.”
“Don’t worry about the details.”
I don’t think it’s normal for His Majesty the King to be testing for poison.
I pick up the cookie in my hand and gently bite into it.
It crumbles in my mouth, and a buttery, soft sweetness that spreads in my mouth.
They taste the same as I made them without a single change.
“…Can I deliver these to Nadi?”
“I don’t mind.”
Nigel-sama gave a small nod.
When I looked up, I saw that Lilia and Miredei had just brought in the pie.
My pie was a miniature size, Nigel-sama’s was a larger size.
They are accompanied by a knife and fork.
“…If you like those cookies, you can get them from the orphanage.”
Mr. Nigel tells me in a matter-of-fact manner.
Putting down the knife and fork with the pie nearly cut, I called Nigel-sama’s name.
“Would it matter if I went to visit the orphanage?”
“…If you don’t care about that one, then it doesn’t really matter.”
“Then I will visit the four great cathedrals of the Royal Capital and the workhouses and orphanages attached to them.”
I tell him with a smile.
The clumsy kindness of the person in front of me made me happy. Even if it was for someone other than me, this feeling of joy is the same.
“All right. I’ll tell Rada.”
“Yes…Do you mind if I invited Nadi to do some charity work with me?”
“I don’t mind.”
Nigel-sama nodded quietly.
I call that name with great care.
‘What is it?’ Nigel-sama, with a mouthful of stew pie gave a small nod of his head as if to say so.
“……I love you.”
The pent-up feelings spilled from my lips.
It didn’t matter if it was sudden or not.
It was just a feeling that had flooded out of me in this moment, that I put into words.
Nigel-sama stopped moving for a moment, his eyes went black and white, and then he coughed violently.
I didn’t mean to startle him that much, but it seems I had given him quite a shock.
After drinking a glass of water in one go, Nigel-sama coughed softly and caught his breath.
Then he stood up with a roughness that was uncharacteristic of Nigel-sama.
I look up into those eyes that gazed down at me.
Nigel-sama fell to his knees in a smooth motion.
I admired the color of those matching eyes.
The color of frozen water…or the color of the winter wind—There is a soft heat behind those ice-blue eyes that are tinged with silver.
Looking straight at me, Nigel-sama shook his gaze as if troubled, and then reached out his hand to me.
The words whispered in my ears break my face.
I’m probably showing the most beautiful smile I’ve ever had.
And I put all my strength into my arms as I hug him back.
What a Cinderella story kind of ending.
—End of Part 2—
T/N: It’s finally finished! That was so cute, and it’s great for Nadia that her brother is still alive. It’s been a long time coming, but I really appreciate the growth in the relationship between Nigel and Arthirea (Nigeria). ❤
This is the end of the story arcs, thank you so much for keeping with this story! Part 3, which I will also be uploading, is not exactly a sequel (although many parts take place after part 2), but more like a series of extra stories that can take place throughout and after the main story arcs. I hope you enjoy them!
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2 thoughts on “Chapter 45: Epilogue”
What did he tell her? That he lives her too?
And good job translating the whole story! Thank you for sharing your hard work with us
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I’m guessing that’s what it was, (I wish they showed it!).
Thank you for reading! I’m happy you liked the translation. ^_^