As I walked through the hallway with a guide, I suddenly realized that I was really in the palace.
The entire palace building was like art, not merely displaying some luxury goods and artworks.
He stole a glance at me who was looking around, then he stopped before a large door.
“It would be nice if you tidied your dress up a bit.”
I straightened my posture, then checked my dress.
“Only answer when His Majesty asks you, and please do not start the conversation first if possible.
In particular, you should avoid asking him back and rejecting him.”
“For the greetings, instead of splitting your words into a few lines, do your best to do it in one line, and you can stand five steps away from where His Majesty is.”
Only then did I realize he was telling me about palace etiquette.
“Please don’t be nervous and act with fortitude if possible.”
Along with his last line, the door was opened and I heard a shout, “Miss Marianne Miller entering”.
As I slowly took my steps, my heart began beating hard.
I saw the owner of the throne in the distance and some people who were aiding him on his side.
I drew breath as I walked, trying to relax.
Soon after, I stopped five steps in front of the person with gray hair and a more warm impression than I thought.
Then, I bent my knees to greet him.
“I am Marianne Miller.”
Duke Miller who was on the side gave me a nod.
When I gathered both my hands and bowed my head a bit, a solemn voice rang.
“Raise your head.”
As I raised my head slowly, His Majesty asked me while smiling.
“This must be your first time in the palace, right, Miss Miller”
“What do you feel”
“The palace is .
Lord Chamberlain only told me to not start the conversation first, but he didn’t tell me how to answer the question.
I decided to answer as sincerely as possible.
“Everyone in the palace has a great sensibility.”
Duke Miller and His Majesty looked like they were thrown off guard.
Perhaps this was not the anticipated answer.
Then, I quickly added.
“And they have excellent professional spirit.”
It looked like this sentence was wrong too.
I shall stop talking now.
At the end of this short silence, His Majesty opened his mouth.
“I see you see different things in this palace, Young Lady.”
I was told to not ask back, though
I asked back without realizing it.
But fortunately, His Majesty didn’t look like he was too displeased.
It was just, he looked at me with an odd gaze.
“Normally, the first thing people praised when they come to the palace were the pillars decorated with jewels or the beautiful building with arch construction.”
“Sometimes, they talked about how majestic this place is, how great and how special this palace is compared to other places.”
“I think you’re the first to talk about people in this vast palace.
I am also surprised with how you talk about the maids’ sensibility and professionalism.”
Then, His Majesty propped his chin and began to chuckle.
I shifted my gaze a bit to Lord Duke.
He nodded his head with a soft smile.
Somehow, it seemed like the atmosphere wasn’t bad.
Although I was a little confused because I didn’t know what was fun while taking a breather.
The brief warm atmosphere turned back to serious.
“The people in charge of screening students were highly responsible in the current academy incident for not doing their work properly.
And I’m the one who gave them the authority to appoint them.”
“I owed you much, Young Lady.”
“It’s nothing, Your Majesty.”
Even the principal of the academy was in the situation where he tried his best to escape from this case so he wouldn’t get responsible for it.
It was novelty that the emperor, who had no knowledge as of how the academy’s structure worked, to say that all of it was his responsibility.
“Although there are other academies in other regions, through this incident, I think Young Lady is a talent needed in this empire.”
“I’m flattered, Your Majesty.”
“I wonder what you think about entering Imperial Academy”
Actually, since the situation had gotten like this, I was planning to quickly graduate from a local academy and enter apprenticeship, or prepare for employment from home.
If I entered the Imperial Academy, I would at least need 4 more years before graduating.
When I stared at Duke with a flustered face, he nodded once again.
“Your Majesty, I think it is a bit burdening for her to suddenly enter the Imperial Academy.”
“You think so”
“Because it might be difficult for her to adapt when her environment suddenly changes.”
She became a Lady of the Duchy overnight, and now the academy she attended is changing too.”
I was a bit touched by Lord Duke’s cooperativeness.
As expected, rather than a new brother who was hard to predict, a step father with dignity would be able to do a rational judge—
“So, she would need a friend for her to adapt.”
It seemed like this conversation was going in another direction.
“I heard that she has a trustworthy relationship with Young Lady Rocke where they even entrusted each other with their backs and fought together.”
We never entrusted each other with our backs and fought together.
“How about sending them together”
The Emperor nodded and gestured at the Lord Chamberlain.
Lord Chamberlain then began to quickly put it in memo.
Inside my blank head, I remembered his warning from before.
“Please avoid asking him back and rejecting him.”
But my future would quickly go wrong if I don’t ask him back and reject him right now.