Episode 16: Breaking the bed (1)
T/N: I was tempted to title this ‘Breaking Bed’.
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“What brings you here, Lady Rosalyn?”
Brodie ran a hand over her hair and sneered.
“I thought you were busy wagging your tail at the Princess.”
“Didn’t you not want to mix with us handmaids who can’t even serve their mistress properly?”
The other maids also joined, folding their arms, and raising their chin at her.
Rosalyn glanced at them, then she set down her coffee cup on the table where the maids were sitting.
The maids were startled and stared at her.
They thought she was going to turn around and leave because her pride was hurt but it seems she was thinking of fighting.
However, Rosalyn’s behavior was different from what they expected.
“Your Ladyships. Don’t tell me you believed that?”
Rosalyn chuckled and sat down.
“Do you think that I, Rosalyn Pristen, would be the dog of a crazy woman who isn’t even worth being called a princess?”
A twisted smile spread across her face.
The other maids, Brodie included, looked at her with wide eyes.
This was the Rosalyn they knew. But they couldn’t believe it.
It was already mind-blowing when Rosalyn knelt and barked in front of the princess, but she also fought them so fiercely all this time.
Rosalyn didn’t fret when faced with their suspicious gazes, rather she crossed her leg in a relaxed manner.
“Have you forgotten what I did to the Princess?”
How could they?
Rosalyn was the one who tormented Aristine the most among the maids. Even when the other maids did stuff, it was under Rosalyn’s influence.
There was the imperial order to consider and there was also a leader at the front. The mood heated up in an instant. Tormenting the princess on the tedious and tough carriage trip was like a game.
The caution in Brodie’s eyes deepened.
She found this distasteful because Rosalyn was the one who tormented Aristine the most and took the lead in the harassment yet slipped out by herself and stuck to the princess’ side.
Especially since the handmaids were feeling anxious right now.
Because of that, she couldn’t help but feel that Rosalyn used them as bait to make a path for herself to survive. Of course, she would never admit that it was a way to survive.
“Of course I remember. And I also remember that despite that, you shamelessly became the princess’ puppet.”
“You think I did that because I like that idiot? I only acted like a yes-man to get the Princess’ weakness.”
The eyes of the handmaids shook.
They felt like this was something that the clever and cunning Rosalyn was capable of doing. The maids were backed into a corner, so they wanted to believe that.
That Rosalyn had gotten Aristine’s weakness.
“And Lady Brodie’s face got this hurt.”
Rosalyn reached out and gently stroked Brodie’s cheek.
Brodie flinched and shrunk back. Although most of it had healed, there were still burn marks on Brodie’s face.
It was hard to see because it was covered with makeup, but you could feel the rough skin when you touched her. She thought she would be fully treated when they arrived at Irugo, but she was wrong.
The treatment was effective, but it couldn’t remove the scar completely. She tried to call for a wizard or a priest, but they asked her if she had money.
It was insulting.
How could they be asking her about money?
《 I am the handmaid to Princess Aristine, who will become the Princes of Irugo! Irugo should do their best to treat me.》
《 Well, you are not the princess herself, are you?》
《 If you truly desire it, you can ask the princess for a favor. If she orders it, we will follow.》
It hurt her pride to ask Aristine for a favor, but she couldn’t live with this face. However…
《 Oh my, you should have been careful.》
Aristine looked at Brodie with pity.
《 You made tea and even poured it into a teacup, yet you went to carry boiling water. Why did you even do that?》
Brodie flinched at those words.
Aristine pointed out that she brought hot water when she didn’t need to. Brodie’s heart thudded in her chest.
Aristine rested her arms on the table with her cheeks on her palm and tilted her head then she opened her mouth. And said in a lazy tone:
《 I almost thought you were coming to pour it on me, you know?》
Brodie couldn’t say anything.
A beat later, she yelled, “H-How can that be!” and had no choice but to run out of the room like she was escaping.
Since then, she hadn’t been able to bring up the burn to Aristine again.
Because the moment she brought it up, the boiling water would also get brought up.
“The debt has to be repaid.”
Her voice was soft and sweet. Like the temptation of a devil.
Even though Brodie knew she should be suspicious, she couldn’t help but be tempted. She wanted to pay back that arrogant princess.
If there were burn marks on that good-looking face of hers, could she be as confident as she was now?
“Look at how fast she got arrogant just because she came to Irugo, and they treated her like a Princess.”
Rosalyn spoke scathingly and gestured to Aristine’s room with her chin.
“But in Silvanus, forget being treated as a princess, she was treated worse that a street beggar.”
The maids silently listened to Rosalyn.
“She doesn’t even know her place; she must think she’s the 2nd Princess or something.”
Rosalyn grew more excited as she spoke and smacked the table with a bang. The coffee cup clattered against the saucer.
“How dare she—? What? A hunting dog? I’m speechless!”
Rosalyn snorted and glared at the door. Her heaving breath was filled with fury.
The handmaids who were quietly watching her exchanged glances.
‘Yeah, she looks serious, right?’
‘It’s hard to not be serious about this.’
This wasn’t acting. It couldn’t be.
“Seriously, do you know how much I hated you all this time, Lady Rosalyn?”
“Right? We were so hurt.”
The maids scowled and complained.
“I’m sorry. I thought that was the best way to get that annoying Princess’ weakness.”
“Still, you should have given us a hint.”
“I thought that in order to deceive her, I have to completely deceive the people on my side.”
The handmaids nodded as if they understood.
Frankly, they had fought with Rosalyn so many times and even grabbed each other by the hair so normally, it would have been difficult for them to forgive her so easily.
But these were unusual circumstances right now.
The knights had left and Aristine’s position was growing by the day. In such a situation, they were happy to hear someone with a strong fighting spirit like Rosalyn say ‘actually, we’re on the same side’.
Furthermore, it felt like they were being validated for deciding not to stick to the Princess’ side. It felt like they had made a good choice.
Feeling more relaxed, the maids then asked Rosalyn.
“So, did you find out her weakness?”
“Since you’re telling us now after hiding it all this time, you must have found out.”
“Tell us already.”
Rosalyn purposefully took a sip of her coffee and paused. When the maids had gotten anxious enough, she opened her mouth.