Helena Rochester was a person who had helped the previous Empress since the time of the Emperor Seon in the affairs of the palace, due to her fast and accurate work.
Therefore it was clear that Wilhelm made a wise choice to appoint Madame Rochester as the head of the court ladies who would take care of Anastasia’s needs.
It was because Anastasia, who lived as a fool until she came of age and later received an oracle and became the Empress, knew nothing about the palace affairs.
Anastasia not only lacked the abilities but also the will and in the end, most of the internal palace affairs were left to Madame Rochester to be taken care of.
While taking charge of the housekeeping duties of the Imperial Palace on the outside and trying to control the behavior of the Empress on the inside, Madame Rochester had been so busy that she hadn’t slept properly for the past two years.
In addition to that, Anastasia had never once acted her role as an Empress for the past two years after she was appointed.
Luxury, pleasure, negligence, tyranny, etc… If they had to list them all, there’s really no end to it since the result would be the same.
As the Empress chosen by the goddess Rosenia, everyone had high hopes and expectations of her at some point.
But now it has become a very distant story.
She had kept this position purely because of her courtesy to Emperor Wilhelm and her concern for the Empire’s future.
Madame Rochester thought to herself that if she was away even for a day, the palace wouldn’t work properly at all.
However, that sense of duty had already reached its limits because of recent events that had taken place this week and Madame Rochester is now seriously considering her resignation.
Seeing Anastasia running wild like a crazy tyrant every day, she was deeply skeptical of what the Empress was thinking to act this way.
Then she heard something truly shocking.
“In the future, I would like to participate in the palace internal affairs.”
‘Oh, since I’m sleep deprived I must be hearing nonsense words right now….”
“Let’s start first with the preparations for His Majesty the Emperor’s upcoming birthday party.”
‘I wasn’t hallucinating…!’
When Madame Rochester looked at Anastasia with a puzzled expression, Anastasia shyly said .
“You seem quite surprised.”
Madame Rochester swallowed a dry saliva and said.
“It is something to congratulate you for having the motivation, but the work of the inner palace is not based solely on the will alone.”
The Empress doesn’t know anything about the affairs of the palace.
Madame Rochester didn’t have any idea on what kind of wind was blowing to change the mind of the Empress.
It was as if everything was just a dream, because no one would ever believe the words that are coming out of the Empress’s mouth.
‘Did she think it’s easy to handle palace affairs’
‘But If I told her this, I know that she would quit right away.’
‘Because once the Empress said that she would now participate in the internal affairs of the palace, I will have to teach everything to her from start to finish.
I wonder if the Empress’ patience would remain until she has learned it all.
Not to mention my patience as well…’
‘Most importantly, it would be worse if she were to ever help.
Knowing how clumsy her work etiquette is, I just hope that she won’t get in the way.’
However, the following words were quite unexpected.
“…Are you saying that you want me to teach you about palace affairs”
There is nothing that you can teach me.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand… If I don’t teach you, how in the world can Her Majesty participate in the housekeeping work It really is not that easy to prepare for His Majesty’s birthday party.”
“I know what you’re worried about.”
And with the following words, Madame Rochester was once again dumbfounded.
“Actually, I’ve been studying little by little about the inner workings of the palace business.”
Madame Rochester’s eyes widened at the sudden confession.
However, no matter how much she looked back in her memories, there’s nothing that she can remember of her seeing the Empress open a textbook at all.
‘Didn’t she just play all day long But even if she did study…..’
“I know that the duties of the palace are not as simple as studying a few words in a textbook.”
Surprised to hear Anastasia’s words that penetrated her heart, Madame Rochester unknowingly bit her tongue inside her mouth without realizing it.
‘… Did she also learn mind-reading!’
“I won’t say much but please trust me this once.
If what I do is not enough to pass your standards, then I would humbly ask to learn by your side.”
Madame Rochester, who had been listening to Anastasia words, opened her mouth with a trembling voice.
“Am I dreaming right now Because I so desperately wanted Her Majesty to be like this… Am I really hallucinating”
“If it was a dream, then it was definitely a good dream.
But I think I will wake up now because If I stay here any longer, I don’t think I would be able to adjust back to reality once I wake up.”
Anastasia felt bitter after hearing Madame Rochester’s words but it was not unreasonable for her to think that way now.
She now needs to uplift herself from the pit of shame.
The pain she must have suffered in the past could be felt through their conversation, and Anastasia felt very sorry for her.
She was her most cherished servant before her regression.
“I’ve been studying little by little and I intend to do the things that Madame would approve.”
Anastasia spoke calmly.
“It was because I thought I had to change.
I didn’t say it because I didn’t care….
It’s because I’ve already been putting too much burden on you.”
As soon as she heard those words, Madame Rochester felt as if she had been hit hard in the back of the head.
This is because she would never have imagined that she would hear those words coming from the mouth of the Empress herself.
Anastasia always took Madame Rochester’s hardships for granted and made her sacrifices worthless.
That was one of the main reasons why Madame Rochester had decided to quit.
Although Anastasia did not work and her personality was the worst, she would never have thought of leaving the palace if she had just received even just some empty recognition for her hard work to keep her motivation alive.
It was just as simple as that.
‘…Is the Empress going crazy now’
Madame Rochester already thought that was it, otherwise what else could be the explanation People cannot change that easily.
She would not have believed those words before because of how the Empress previously talked and her insincerity towards another person.
However, Anastasia’s voice now had a gentle and affectionate tone that was not felt before.
Madame Rochester felt the sincerity of the words she heard.
‘Still, there is no way that the Empress could truly have said something like this.
Did she by any chance forget her true nature’
‘It might be just some empty words.
It’s possible that she noticed that I was about to quit, and decided to do this so she could stop me.’
She tried to convince herself to not be deceived by her cunning tricks, but it was too late now.
‘But still… She said “Thank you” with genuine sincerity on her face.’
Madame Rochester’s heart was moved, as if the other side of her chest had tightened from the gesture.
Not only because of her motivation to now work, Madame Rochester also recalled what had happened the previous evening.
Anastasia suddenly summoned all the members of the Imperial Palace, had reflected on her past mistakes, and apologized to them.
“I know that it’s already too late for my past actions but from now on, I will try to set an example as the Empress and show you a different side of me than witnessed before.
There have been many disappointments in the past, but I just hope that all of you can give me another chance.”
As usual, all the courtiers of the Imperial Palace were trembling as to whether they were being threatened under the pretext of discipline, and fell into a panic.
“Now this…is this just a dream Is it true that Her Majesty the Empress just apologized to us!”
“This is nonsense! Could it be that Her Majesty has finally gone crazy!”
“Don’t be fooled, everyone.
Maybe she’s just doing this to see how we would react.”
The courtiers could not easily accept Anastasia’s apology so easily, but Madame Rochester thought otherwise.
Her throat began to tingle with unknown feelings.
“Again, I’m really sorry for everything and thank you for always being by my side.”
“Will you continue to help me to become a better person in the future”
“Of course, Your Majesty.”
Eventually, tears welled up in her eyes and then Madame Rochester made a stern promise.
“I am Her Majesty’s handmaiden.”
As soon as Madame Rochester left the room, she thought of ripping up her resignation letter, which had been laying in her drawer for a long time.
She was skeptical at first, but now she knows for certain.
That those eyes had repented of the past and expressed its gratitude to her were not lies.
Although the actions of the past two years were extremely inappropriate for her to be called the Empress, it felt as if the sorrows of the past had melted away like snow.
Most important of all, didn’t she mention that she wanted to change now
A prodigal son who returned from his rebellion was given another chance, so why not an Empress who was chosen by the goddess herself.
“I would gladly dedicate my life to you, Your Majesty.”
“…Please don’t give your life.”
Anastasia, who remembered Madame Rochester’s last words before her regression, smiled faintly and felt like her heart was being cut out.
“Thank you for trusting me again and…..”
Anastasia ended the conversation with her eyes moistened.
“Thank you for staying with me, Madame Rochester.”
Upon hearing this, Madame Rochester felt so sad rather than happy or proud.
“That’s my job.”
Maybe it was just her mood, that’s what she thought.
-ˏˋ ━━━━━━ ʚɞ ━━━━━━ ˊˎ-
It was already late at night, but the Emperor did not intend to leave his office.
After hesitating for a long time, Colton Nervion opened the door after he made up his mind and stepped inside.
It was not long before he heard a crackling sound and caught the eye of Emperor Wilhelm, who was concentrating on paperworks with his glasses on.
Seeing the Emperor’s mood, Colton suddenly held his breath without him realizing it.