“Where is the Young Lady of Duphort”
Madame Rochester became puzzled at her sudden question.
That is because Anastasia had never been interested in any of her court ladies.
In fact, she had no interest in anyone at all.
Madame Rochester remained silent for a moment.
“The wound on her cheek has healed, and she’s currently resting in her room.”
“Can I go and see her now”
The Duchess of Rochester opened her mouth with a serious expression on her face.
“I understand that the Duphort’s daughter dared to make the mistake of serving you the same tea that Her Majesty had already drunk this morning.”
‘….Does that mean I slapped someone in the face, for something simple as that’ Anastasia is at a loss for words at the moment because of embarrassment.
“I just think that the punishment has already been enough.
It hasn’t been long since she entered the palace.
Could you please forgive her generously Tomorrow is the anniversary of His Majesty the Sun Emperor’s death, so there is nothing wrong with you being careful.
You should also consider the position of Count Duphort.
In fact, it’s not common for a court lady to be slapped….”
“I think you’re misunderstanding something.”
Anastasia gently interrupted Madame Rochester.
“You don’t have to worry about anything.
I’m not gonna scold her.”
The Duchess of Rochester looked at Anastasia with a blank expression again.
‘….She’s really not gonna scold her Then why would the Empress have to go all the way to her room just to meet her maid
‘Still, even if the purpose was to give punishment, it’s still strange for the Empress to go to her room herself without even calling her.
It was because the Empress usually regarded such things as a great shame.’
While Madame Rochester was bewildered by the situation since she had no idea what the Empress’ intentions were, Anastasia continued to say.
“Can you please guide me I don’t know where the Duphort’s room is.”
“Yes Ah yes, of course.”
Madame Rochester, who answered foolishly, quickly led Anastasia directly to the room of the Young Lady of Duphort.
‘What the hell are you thinking’
As they got closer to their destination, doubts and apprehensions about this out of the ordinary situation haunted Madame Rochester.
-ˏˋ ━━━━━━ ʚɞ ━━━━━━ ˊˎ-
“Her Majesty is just way too mean.”
“I mean just because you brought in the same tea that she had drunk in the morning, to the point of throwing a teacup just because of that….”
“I’m really glad you weren’t seriously hurt, Lady Duphort.”
“I am so scared to the point that I can’t stand it.
Now I understand why it’s rare for a court lady to stay in the Empress’ palace.”
After they had tended to her cheek, Lady Duphort was now surrounded and comforted by Anastasia’s maids.
“Don’t be too heartbroken.
The Empress is always like that.”
In fact, what happened today is something on the normal side.”
“Other people even said that the Empress used curse words towards the parents of one of the court ladies.
If that had happened to me I would definitely quit right away.”
“But still there are a lot of advantages in working as a court lady in the Empress’ palace and one of them is for having a good marriage arrangement and……”
“….I’m still quitting.”
Young Lady Duphort, who had been listening quietly, suddenly opened her mouth.
Everyone looked at her with surprised eyes.
“Are you really going to quit”
“But it hasn’t been that long since you entered the palace.”
“It doesn’t matter.
I don’t think I can last long here.”
Lady Duphort responded with a melancholy voice.
“I, too, have heard of Her Majesty’s notoriety.
Some maids were even beaten to death and kicked out of the empress’s palace”
“After what happened today, I don’t know if I will be the same as them.”
“That would never happen to us, Lady Duphort.”
“That’s right, because we have our own statuses.”
“I’m not really sure, since we all know that the Empress is not afraid of anyone.
Since she was a princess before and now that she became the Empress.
It’s because she was the woman mentioned in the oracle.
That’s why everyone is letting her do what she wants.”
Nobody responded since all of the words spoken were all true.
“But I came here, because my father said that it would help me a lot for my future plans.”
After her speech, Lady Duphort jumped up from her seat and went over to her desk.
Then she pulled out something from her drawer.
It was a resignation letter.
“I am going to give this now to Madame Rochester.”
“Think about it first, Lady Duphort.”
Once you go out voluntarily, you will never be able to go back.”
“It doesn’t matter.
I don’t care anymore even if it would help me a lot in my future.
I’m going to quit now.”
It was at that moment when Lady Duphort, who had already decided to hand in her resignation letter, headed towards the door in a dignified manner.
“Lady Duphort, Her Majesty the Empress is here.”
Everyone then doubted their ears.
“Did I hear it wrong”
“No, they really said that Her Majesty the Empress is here.”
“Nonsense! There is no reason for the Empress to come here and when did she ever decide to visit her maid herself”
“Lady Duphort, can we come in”
However, they had no choice but to accept it since the next words that they heard came from none other than Madame Rochester herself.
Everyone stood still and watched the door open.
“Oh, everyone is here.”
Soon after the Empress appeared.
Everyone couldn’t believe their eyes.
After being quiet for a while, they hurriedly came to their senses and greeted Anastasia.
There was an order issued that stated that if the greeting was late, it was considered disrespectful because how dare you ignore her majesty
“We greet you, the mother of the Empire, Her Majesty the Empress.”
“May the protection of the goddess Rosenia be with the Empress forever.”
“I have something to say to Lady Duphort, can you all spare us a moment”
“Yes, of course, Your Majesty.”
“I want to talk to her about what happened earlier.”
“Speak at ease, Your Majesty!”
Anastasia’s maids immediately went out on the spot, as if they were ordered to do so.
It was because something bad could happen if they continued to stay in the room.
Lady Duphort, who was suddenly left alone with Anastasia, was looking deathly pale.
Your leg must hurt.”
“Yes, thank you, Your Majesty.”
‘You just pushed me down, slapped me, and now you’re worried about my legs…!’
At that absurd moment, she suddenly raised her head up to look, but the fear came back to her and she quickly bowed her head.
Lady Duphort hurriedly sat down while facing Anastasia.
However, her gaze remained on the table and not to the Empress herself.
‘Just what is the reason that she came here’
As everyone said, the Empress herself had never made a move before.
That is why she felt nervous about the situation.
As she slowly recalls all of the bad rumors that were related to the Empress, it made Lady Duphort even more terrified.
“Have you had your cheek treated yet”
‘No way…did you come here because you’re going to slap my other cheek!’
Because of the plausible hypothesis, Lady Duphort’s heart rate beat faster as if it was about to explode.
‘Are you saying that you had beat me lightly That’s why you came here to hit me again!”
Lady Duphort was so nervous because she was afraid that she would be hit again.
At the same time because of the anxiety, it was causing her to have a hard time breathing.
“I’m really sorry.”
But what happened next was completely unexpected.
Lady Duphort thought that she must have heard it wrong.
In addition to that, it was hard to believe the next set of words came from the mouth of the Empress that she knew.
“I won’t make any excuses and I’m seriously reflecting on my actions.”
“I came here to apologize.
I’m not forcing you to accept it because I know for a fact that what I did was really wrong.”
Lady Duphort’s complexion was now getting much paler than before.
It is clear that Her Majesty is doing this to tease her.
Otherwise, she should be angry with her right now.
“Am I really going to be beaten to death”’
In the end, Lady Duphort could not overcome the pressure and jumped up from her chair and knelt down in front of the bewildered Anastasia.
Anastasia stopped Lady Duphort with a puzzled face.
“Lady Duphort, what are you doing Come on, please get up.”
“Your Majesty, I was really wrong! I wouldn’t even dare to ask for forgiveness, so please just spare me!”
Lady Duphort trembled and begged Anastasia relentlessly.
Anastasia’s expression hardened as she watched it.
‘Of course you must have been so surprised that the infamous tyrant Empress just suddenly apologized, but still….’
‘I didn’t know I’d be this scary.’
It was a clear indication of how her actions had been in the past year.
Anastasia briefly sighed and then stood up.
As she did, she also personally brought the Young Lady to stand up as well, who was still trembling with fear.
“Please stand up Lady Duphort.”
“Huh, Your Majesty….”
“I understand that you had misunderstood my apology.
I didn’t even figure it out until now but it really is my fault.”
Even at Anastasia’s constant pouring of apologies, Lady Duphort was still trembling with fear.
She couldn’t tell if this was a dream or her birthday.
(TN/N: seriously lady Duphort xD)
“I will leave for now.
Don’t tend to my needs until the wound on your cheek heals.
Once you have calmed down, I’ll come back again to apologize.
‘You’re coming back again to apologize!‘
Surprised by those words, Lady Duphort shuddered once more.
The motion caused her to drop the resignation letter that she placed on her chest.
Lady Duphort was startled and tried to pick it up, but Anastasia was faster.
She narrowed her eyebrows slightly and picked up the resignation letter that had fallen to the floor.
“What is this”
Anastasia had confirmed the content of the letter that she picked up at the same time as she noticed the restless Young Lady.
The moment she confirmed that it was a letter of resignation, Anastasia’s expression changed to bewilderment.
Lady Duphort wanted to bite her tongue and die right away.
‘Oh no, what am I going to do! Am I going to be severely punished now!’
It felt as if the silence of the room had turned into chains and was slowly choking her.
“Are you submitting your resignation letter”
“Your Majesty, t-that, that….”
This was really unexpected.
The letter of resignation was supposed to go to Madame Rochester.
Lady Duphort broke her silence as she tried to explain her reasons for writing the letter.
“I’m so sorry Your Majesty.
While I’m receiving my treatment earlier, I thought that I’m not worthy to serve Her Majesty the Empress.
That’s why I…”
“…I decided that it would be better to leave early rather than openly disturb Her Majesty’s heart with things like what had happened earlier today.”
“Well it’s not strange at all if you’ve decided to resign today.”
Anastasia opened her mouth in a soft voice.
Upon hearing her voice, Lady Duphort was startled.
‘Has the Empress ever spoken with such a gentle voice’
Although her stay at the Empress’s Palace was short, it was something that she had never experienced nor even heard a rumor.
“If Lady Duphort feels insulted by today’s incident and resigns, I won’t hold you back.
But, I just hope, if you can give me one more chance”
“Yes, a chance for me to repay for today’s negligence.”
Lady Duphort’s eyes widened.
“But of course, it is also your freedom to choose whatever you want, it’s not obligatory for you to accept.”
“I’ve already taken much of your time.
I’ll let you rest now.”
After saying what she wanted to say, Anastasia left the room.
Lady Duphort, who was left alone, was standing still for a long time with a puzzled look on her face.
“What should I do”
When she belatedly realized that she hadn’t said goodbye to Her Majesty when she left, her face turned blue.
‘…But she didn’t reprimand me.’
It was really weird.
Originally, she would have been slapped on the other cheek while being asked if she had brain damage to have the guts of not saying goodbye.
‘What the heck is going on Is that a dream or reality’
As Lady Duphort, still with a puzzled look on her face, pinched her uninjured cheek.
As she felt the pain, it didn’t seem like a dream anymore but she still couldn’t believe it.
But these incredible things were only just the beginning.