Right then, she snapped her fingers.
And the broken vase became whole again. I watched this unexpected scene while holding my breath.
The vase was placed back onto the table and the princess sighed. I scoured my memory for knowledge of the princess being a magician, but there was no such information.
Her brother was a magician as well, so I didn’t think it was that strange but…a part of me felt weird.
I felt uncomfortable for some reason.
“This place makes me uncomfortable every time I come,” the princess uttered.
I guess she was thinking the exact same thing I was. I pricked up my ears to try and understand this situation.
Right then, the princess said my name, “Emilone.”
Not Lady Emilone, but Emilone. This was the first time she had ever addressed me that way and I felt a chill run down my spine.
Although it was called a greenhouse, the interior was full of flowerpots. So, I was able to fully hide myself behind those pots.
I probably wasn’t supposed to use my God-given excellent hearing to do this, but I strained my ears to listened closely. Unfortunately, the princess did not say anything else.
Meanwhile, I was feeling antsy because I couldn’t find the right timing to come out without Ronella noticing. I wriggled my toes and leaned my forehead against the flowerpot.
Although, I still wanted to know what the princess was thinking a little more…
The princess gently ran her fingers across the exterior of the vase that she just broke and restored.
“I wonder when our saintess will be back.”
Goosebumps arose on my skin at her icy tone. I swallowed at her demeanor which was clearly vigilant against me. I never thought the heroine would be so guarded against me.
I got up from my spot and made my presence known before walking over to the table.
The princess’s face instantly changed. Showing surprising instantaneous transformation, she smiled brightly at me.
Honestly, the princess’s innocent look suited her a lot but, in my eyes, her decadent and aloof demeanor was brighter.
“Did I keep you waiting too long?”
As I sat down, I pushed aside the vase that the princess had been touching.
I did it on purpose, but she didn’t react. Instead, she smiled and replied in a bubbly voice, “Of course not. It’s so beautiful here; just looking around makes me happy.”
When she was looking around earlier after breaking the vase, her eyes were filled with displeasure.
“The greenhouse garden is the pride of the temple. It is also where the previous saints attended the most,” I added a friendly explanation.
I could guess from her previous comment that she felt dissatisfied with the crown prince and Duke Cassian lately. I was curious as to why, but I didn’t know much since I hadn’t seen the Duke or the Crown Prince with the princess as of late.
As I continued my empty conversation with the princess, I racked my brain for information. While my imagination was running wild, a priest entered the garden, interrupting our time.
This had never happened before, so I asked what the matter was, and the priest began to sweat profusely.
“Miss Emilone, His Highness, the Crown Prince has arrived in front of the temple.”
With puzzlement on my face, I asked, “Why is the crown prince here?” and at that, the princess covered her mouth and sighed, “Oh…Saintess, sorry for not mentioning this but…actually His Highness said he wanted to visit the temple and I said he could do as he wished…I didn’t know he’d actually come.”
So she’s intentionally playing games with me. Then again, the princess was always this type of person. And I was the saintess who easily tolerated the princess’s cute charms.
Ronella was convinced that I would look the other way even if she crossed the line somewhat or was a little mischievous.
Well, it was true; I didn’t want my relationship with the princess to end just yet. She was my fun entertainment.
I was using her to have some fun and she was also using me. We had quite the interesting relationship.
Right on cue, the Crown Prince walked into the greenhouse garden. His steps were fluid, showing off his outstanding stature, then he stopped to looked at me, rather than the princess.
“Your Highness, you came?”
The princess rose from her seat, grabbed the crown prince’s arm without any greeting, and looked up at him. If the crown prince refused, I would have hugged the princess instead since she had such a lovely expression.
The crown prince patted the princess’ back and guided her back to her seat.
An ordinary person would have gotten up to offer formal greeting, but I wasn’t ordinary, so I figured it was fine. I tilted my teacup and gave him a slight nod. After that greeting, I didn’t give him a second look.
The crown prince stared at me intently. He wasn’t even looking at the princess. Did he have something to say to me?
The servants following the prince, came in with a chair for him to sit on. The chair was set down between me and the princess, the Crown Prince sat down.
I suppose it wouldn’t be polite to ignore him as the head of the temple.
“Your Highness. You came without sending any notice, is something the matter?”
My tone was soft. A placid voice without a hint of emotion towards him.
The Crown Prince paused, then he bit his inner mouth and said, “I am sorry to have come without any notice.”
“It is quite alright. A one-time occurrence does not offend me.”
I replied with a tone that said, ‘I’m not sure how I’ll feel if it happens next time though,’ and I continued, “I will call for some tea. Do you have a preference?”
“I recommend the espol tea, Your Highness. I heard it’s made from plants grown only in the temple and it tastes wonderful.” the princess said.
Espol tea was a precious tea that was only made and distributed within the temple.
The Princess always asked for Espol tea whenever she came to the temple.
I figured the Crown Prince would be the same, so I beckoned the priest over and asked him to prepare tea, but the Crown Prince stopped me.
“I shall have what the Saintess is having.”
“Pardon…? Will you be okay with that?”
Even though I was having herbal tea?
He didn’t seem to know since the scent wasn’t very strong right now. It probably looked good since it was a pretty mint color right now, but I doubt herbal-scented tea would suit the palate of a royal.
Of course, I was just calling it herbal tea to myself, it wasn’t actually called herbal tea. It had a different name, but I felt more comfortable calling it herbal tea. Because it smelled just like herbs.
However, the prince refused to reconsider even after myself and the princess tried to stop him.
“I want to have the tea that the Saintess is having.”
“Then, let’s do that…”
Instead of a servant, the priest personally brought out the herbal tea. After placing the cup in front of the crown prince, the priest took a step back.
After watching these series of events, I finally turned to the crown prince.
The prince suddenly turned as if he wanted to say something to me and his forehead creased. I stared at him, as if to say, ‘hurry up and speak,’ but he didn’t avoid my gaze and massaged his forehead.
“That day, about that day.”
The prince kept repeating something then he shook his hand and shut his mouth again. I didn’t know what it was, but he seemed very dissatisfied.
The herbal scent from the prince’s tea was very strong, probably because it was freshly brewed. The faint scent of herbs spread throughout the greenhouse.
The princess covered her nose with her sleeve and whined, “Your Highness…it smells so strange, are you really going to drink that?”
At her words, the crown prince looked down at the teacup with a slightly strange gaze and picked it up.
“It certainly does not smell goo…”
“I didn’t think Your Highness would like this tea too. If you don’t mind, I’d like to offer this as well.
At my words, the handmaid brought over a sparkling glass bottle. It was a brand new, unopened candy jar.
It was the candy that Reneben and Jessie complained about after eating, and when I handed it to the crown prince, he froze.
He was in the middle of lifting up his teacup, but he put it down and took the candy jar to look at it.
“It tastes just like the tea in your hands. It helps clear the mind and improve your concentration. You can eat one at a time when you’re tired.”
The crown prince’s face distorted at my description.
He took the glass jar from me and carelessly handed it to one of the servants that followed him.
It was expensive, though. Well, that didn’t matter. From the crown prince’s reaction, I was pretty sure that glass jar was going to be thrown away.
I wondered if I should show concern over his cold tea again.
The prince placed the teacup down again without even tasting it, and the princess smiled brightly.
“I guess Your Highness don’t like it either? I think this tea is just for the Saintess. I have never seen anyone, but the Saintess drink it.”
Hearing that, the crown prince stopped Ronella, “Saintess, you like things like this?”
“I do. Does it not suit your taste, Your Highness? I thought you liked it because you asked for the same tea as me. That’s unfortunate.”
I shrugged and took a sip of my tea as if showing off. With this kind of tea, you had to enjoy the fragrance, rather than the taste. They didn’t understand how addicting such a refreshing scent was.
The prince spun the teacup around, then he placed his elbow on the table, lifted the cup, and met my eyes. The mint-hued tea sloshed inside the cup.
The crown prince always valued etiquette, but in a manner unlike himself, he held out the cold teacup to a servant.
“I might like it after a taste.”
…Isn’t he trying too hard just to drink herbal-scented tea?
But for the people in this world, it was a little difficult so I kind of understood.
The crown prince, who had safely gotten rid of the teacup, looked into my eyes as if he had something to say.
**The crown prince speaks like he is from a really old era. I have no way to convey that through translation but just keeping this here as a footnote.
***There should be another chapter coming this friday.