Though impolite, Lynette’s first impression of Fii was ‘un-princess-like’.
She was wearing a dress, but it was clearly an unfashionable one.
It was common sense for a Princess to wear a dress made in accordance with the latest trends.
From the King and the Queen, as well as the nobles and royalty of the neighbouring countries, Fiiru-sama received dozens of dresses.
But the princess in front of her was wearing a dress, with wear and tear here and there. Perhaps it had been worn by somebody else in their childhood.
Even the way it was treated was bad. Normally, the clothing of royalty was carefully washed. Even the laziest maids would take care.
But the dress that this princess was wearing seemed to have been washed together with maids’ clothing. That was how bad it looked.
Not only that, but the way she wore the clothing couldn’t ever be called graceful.
If Fiiru-sama wore the same dress as other nobles, she would wear it so gracefully that it would seem to be completely different, but this girl was…
Since Lynette seemed to be staring at her, Fii tilted her head in wonder.
Lynette’s hands seemed to move by themselves to fix the wrinkles in Fii’s dress sleeves.
“Please wear your dress properly. You are a princess too, after all.”
This other princess simply stared blankly before bursting into laughter.
“Thanks. I’ll take care.”
Good advice could sometimes upset others, but in the end it was for their sake. This was something Lynette understood, even as a child.
Although Fiiru-sama needed no warnings to begin with, she was the type to heed it with a smile. On the other hand, the King and Queen would visibly frown if it ever happened to them. It would fall to Fiiru-sama to mediate.
People like Fiiru-sama were rare. Because of that, Lynette had been sure that this other princess would surely have been offended too.
She didn’t even know when she had gained this impression.
When contrary to expectations, Fii actually thanked her with a smile, her cheeks burnt with shame at her misunderstanding.
“As long as you understand. Please excuse me.”
In the end, Lynette couldn’t be honest and apologise, and instead took the tie and then left with brisk steps.
With complicated emotions, Lynette headed down the hallway towards Fiiru-sama.
But suddenly, a man called out to her.
“Heya, Lynette. You’re working hard huh. What a good girl you are,” called out an almost slimy voice.
It caused revulsion, and a little fear, to well up inside her.
“Thank you very much for your praise, Count Jalousie,” she bowed mechanically after forcefully suppressing her emotions.
“My maid’s put on some tea. How about you have some with me?”
“I apologise, but I must head to Fiiru-sama.”
“Just a little break is fine, right? Don’t you need a breather too?”
“My apologies. I must serve Fiiru-sama, and so…”
“I see… What a busy girl you are. If you find some time, can you make me some tea too? Let’s have a bit of refined fun.”
“Yes, if I find the time.”
With that, Lynette bowed once more before leaving.
Count Jalousie was a relative of Her Highness the Queen, and ignoring his fief, he spent his days loitering about the palace.
And as for his reputation amongst the servants, you would be hard-pressed to call it good. He would order servants about like it was his place, and cause them trouble. But because he was a relative of the Queen, nobody could caution him.
But the reason for Lynette’s disgust and fear was different.
It felt like his gaze for her was indecent. And not only that, he was over 30 years older than her…
Lynette wanted to believe that it was just her imagination, but she found it impossible to believe.
“I’ll be looking forward to it.”
Lynette’s hairs stood on end.
He had touched her below the hips.
Her voice seemed to have withered away.
After that, she told herself that she needed to head to Fiiru-sama and urged herself forward.
She asked her mother for advice before.
But instead, these were the words she was met with.
“It’s just your imagination. It was so hard to become Fiiru-sama’s attendant. You can’t start any problems. Just endure a little.”
(I have to endure…)
Lynette felt the tears welling up as she walked, but she tried her best to stop them. It wouldn’t do to appear in front of Fiiru-sama like that. She would surely worry for her, after all.
She couldn’t talk to Fiiru-sama about this either…
(It’s fine. It’s true that I’m busy as Fiiru-sama’s maid. As long as I refuse all his invitations, it’ll be fine. It has to be…)
And like that, Lynette continued to convince herself.