< — The founding party — > (2)
After changing her appearance, Anita came out of the break room, wearing the handmaid’s clothing. The knights who were called away by David, had returned to guarding the door, and when they saw the familiar handmaid coming out, their eyes widened. Seizing the initiative, Anita lowered her voice and spoke to the knights with a grave look on her face.
“Why in the world did you two leave your posts? The princess is inside right now. She asked where the knights went and was very angry to find you gone.”
The complexion of the knights turned ashen. Where was their luck and fortune? They didn’t expect that the princess would come in during the short while that they were gone.
They didn’t know what the Count of Ramis had against them to do what he did. He said he needed help, but he only took them along while talking about strange nonsense, then he told them to leave. If they were to use the Count of Ramis as an explanation and Count Ramis feigned innocence, they would be accused of making up an excuse and would be punished more.
The knights felt mortified. They were well aware of Princess Katherine’s difficult personality when she was angry. She would definitely call the Captain of the Royal Guards and explode at him, after which, the Captain would call on them and vent out his anger on them. Their future looked bleak.
“And that’s why I roughly made up something.”
“What do you mean by that?”
The knights who looked like they had fallen into hell were instantly revived.
“She might hear us from the inside, so let’s go this way.”
The knights followed Anita without hesitation. As the knights stepped away from the door and looked away, David, who was hiding, took that chance and quickly entered the break room.
“I told the Princess that you seem to have been called by the Captain of the Royal Guard.”
“Did the princess understand?”
“She was a little less angry. I don’t think she will call the Captain of the Guard to verify the authenticity of what I said. Later, you must apologize to the princess and ask for forgiveness.”
“Phew. We’re really thankful. I’m just seeing you for the first time, when did you start working here?”
“It hasn’t been long since I started serving the princess. Please look after me in the future.”
They happily exchanged pleasantries with each other. After overcoming a crisis, the knights’ eyes were drawn to the beauty of the handmaid. Even though they were utter strangers, not only did she help them, she was also pretty. The knights held a considerable amount of goodwill towards Anita.
Anita adequately responded to the knight making a pass at her and fluttered her eyes. Then she went back into the break room and chuckled insipidly with a frosty look in her eyes. The beings known as men are just…
David was walking around the break room and upon seeing the Anita that came in, he flinched.
“Are you…really the Countess?”
“Yes. It is me.”
“Huh. You really look like a different person. It might be my family’s magical tool, but this is my first time seeing it in action.”
“I am also amazed by the mysterious power of the Ramis family’s magical tool.”
“So, what do you plan to do now?”
“I will act as a handmaid and bring the Duchess here.”
“What if someone else comes here in that interval? If the princess comes…”
“I’ll take care of everything. Don’t worry and please wait. It will not take long.”
Anita asked David to never leave the break room. Then she packed up her clothes that she had taken off and left the break room. She spoke to the knights standing in front of the door.
“I’m going to escort the Duchess here on orders of the princess. The princess told me to tell you that she’ll be having an important discussion with the Duchess, and so no one should come inside.”
There was no one that saw the handmaid and thought it was weird for her to be carrying a dress under her arm. Sometimes, a noblewoman’s dress would be dirtied with food and couldn’t be worn as it was, so the dress would be urgently transported.
Anita walked along the hallway, looking around and avoiding people’s eyes, then she threw the dress in a room that was used as a storage.
* * *
Anita approached Princess Katherine’s handmaid.
“His Majesty is looking for the princess and wishes to speak with her privately. I was told it is very urgent. I have to quickly meet with Her Highness the Queen, so I will take my leave.”
“I got it. But you, where are you from…”
The handmaid tried to identify the maid she had never seen before, but right after speaking, the maid turned away and disappeared with quick steps. Katherine’s handmaid was offended by the attitude of the unfamiliar maid who only said what she wanted to say before leaving. But she couldn’t ignore the message that the king was looking for Princess Katherine and urgently at that.
Anita hid in an inconspicuous place and watched Katherine. She confirmed the handmaid approaching Katherine to whisper the message, and Katherine leaving the hall afterwards.
She followed behind from a distance and watched until Katherine’s carriage left for the Inner Palace, then she returned to the party hall.
This time, she approached the Duchess’ maidservant.
“The princess says she has something to talk about with the Duchess in private. Please inform the Duchess that the princess is waiting for her in the break room.”
Hearing what the maid whispered into her ear, Lucia broke away from the crowd of noblewomen. As she stepped out into the hallway leading to the princess’ break room, a handmaid stood there, waiting for her.
Anita glanced at Roy, who was following behind the Duchess, and bowed her head.
“The princess stepped out for a moment due to an urgent matter. Is the order you were given correct?”
“Before the princess left to see His Majesty, she said that there was something she had to urgently tell the Duchess. She said it is related to the reason why His Majesty is looking for her.”
Before Katherine left for the Inner Palace, she slightly hinted to Lucia that she was going to see the King. Seeing as the maid knew about that, Lucia believed the handmaid’s words. Rather than growing suspicious, she grew worried and urgent. All sorts of thoughts filled her head, like the idea that maybe the King was calling the princess, because of news of her husband who was currently on the battlefield.
Anita began to walk ahead of them. They walked along the desolate hallway, scarce with people. They were already quite a distance away from the boisterous clamoring of the party hall.
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