You must be very shy (3)
* * *
“What do we do, Princess? These are the only clothes you can change into.”
Rosalyn said to Aristine, her red lips in a twisted smile.
Although she made it sound like it was such a shame, her eyes could not hide her delight. The other handmaids next to Rosalyn giggled and waved the dress at her like they were showing it off.
Rather than calling it a dress, it was more like a rag.
The maids grew more excited when they saw Aristine stay silent and chattered away.
“It’s so dirty, what can we ever do?”
“It’s not like we can’t give the high and noble princess my old and humble clothing.”
“Ah, but our dear princess likes wearing things like this, so I suppose it doesn’t matter.”
“I guess you’re right. I mean, look at the clothes she’s wearing now. I don’t think she knows it smells.”
“The princess has been wearing that the whole time, so she might just prefer this.”
Rosalyn remarked as she grabbed the dress from the other maid’s hands and threw it to the floor.
They trampled it with their shoes, but you couldn’t even see signs of it on the dress. Because it was already dirty with soil and dust.
Aristine looked down at the sight.
‘So this is all they could come up with.’
A chuckle escaped her lips.
‘I knew it, they are playing it safe.’
Aristine snatched the dress that the other maids were holding perfunctorily and turned around.
They had run their mouths, but they didn’t feel satisfied.
Aristine ended up wearing dirty clothing like they wanted but somehow, it felt like they were the ones who looked more ridiculous.
* * *
After getting into the carriage, Aristine pulled the curtains and took off her suffocating dress.
The only dress they had prepared for her for the sake of this arranged marriage, was the one she was taking off right now.
Because she had worn it throughout the rough carriage ride, it was now so scruffy that its original appearance was nowhere to be found. The sensitive and weak material had worn out very quickly. She wouldn’t be able to wear it again.
Aristine held up the dress the maid had trampled with her feet and threw it on. Both outfits were dirty anyway and this one was more comfortable than that suffocating dress.
The maids had sarcastically said she might prefer it, but they weren’t exactly wrong.
‘To think the worst they could do was step on the dress.’
They had definitely gotten scared. Although they wouldn’t admit it to themselves.
‘It was a good thing I retaliated.’
Initially, she planned on staying quiet till she arrived at Irugo. But when she saw them trying to pour hot water on her, she changed her mind.
She felt she needed to put a sort of brake on the maids’ harassment. If all she had done was avoid that water, things like that would have kept happening to her until she arrived.
‘The Monarch’s Sight doesn’t always work when I want it to, so if I left it like that, I might really get burned.’
So she responded by making sure the maid was completely scalded. And the psychological effect on her opponents was quite remarkable.
It’s not like the princess made the water spill on purpose, she just poured hot water on herself by mistake.
The princess cannot defy us.
She only made a few remarks, we can still treat her like nothing.
Even as they thought that to themselves, they were unconsciously being careful.
The maid who tried to pour hot water on Aristine had half of her face riddled with burns. The burn wasn’t that severe so she could be fully treated when they arrived at Irugo but right now, there was a huge blister on her face, and it was swollen like a red balloon.
The maids would see that face every day and shrivel subconsciously. They were people who had never considered that they themselves could be hurt while they were harassing others.
Then for the first time, they realized: ‘I could be hurt’. Naturally, they were more hesitant to bully Aristine than before.
‘And that’s why they could only do this safe act of spite.’
When you put ‘pouring boiling water’ next to ‘trampling on someone’s clothes’, the latter seemed cute in comparison.
Most of all, Aristine wasn’t affected by sort of thing. She had been locked up for far too long to care about something like her outfit.
‘That said, I really didn’t know I only brought the dress I was wearing.’
Aristine, who had been confined by herself, only had old and shabby clothing. Even if the maids didn’t step on that dress, her clothes were already inappropriate for a new bride to wear in a wedding carriage.
Plus it wasn’t just any marriage but a political marriage between two countries.
It was likely the emperor’s order to only prepare one dress for her.
‘I can tell what the emperor is thinking.’
He wanted to make her look as messy and pathetic as possible by the time she arrived at Irugo.
There would be a dazzling carriage, luxurious wedding gifts, guards in shiny armor, and beautiful maids. And in the midst of that, a princess who looked like a sewage rat.
‘Such trash is only fitting for you barbarians—that kind of message, I guess.’
Unlike the princess who looked like a sewage rat, the luxuriously arranged accompaniment and expensive wedding gifts were meant to show Silvanus’ national power and by extension, Aristine was meant to mock Irugo.
Unlike Irugo who truly wanted to war to end, the emperor only wanted to buy time before launching another war, so he had no qualms about being so rude.
Since he didn’t care how Aristine would be treated in Irugo, there was nothing to bother him.
‘No wonder I thought my marriage send-off was too fancy.’
She vaguely thought Irugo must have requested a lot of wedding gifts. Well, the things Irugo requested must be part of it too.
‘His Majesty the Emperor can be so naïve.’
Did he really think everything would go as he wished?
To him, his foolish daughter, who couldn’t get the Monarch’s Sight, was confined from a young age and was an idiot who knew nothing about the world so he could use her and kill her as he liked.
‘I’m sure I can get good clothes and wash up if I really want to.’
Aristine lay down with a plop.
‘But let’s play along with this farce until we arrive.’
Retaliating against such little things was no fun.
Only when it’s done at unexpected times was it entertaining.