6-1: Lily Is Summoned To The Castle
First published on Ainushi
It’s been ten days since Leonard’s gone. I wonder when he will be back.
I was in the living room, sipping on my tea with Jill. I suppose Jill was wondering the same thing too as she looked up at me and asked nervously,
「Okaa-san, when will Otou-san come home?」
「I was wondering about that as well, just now. I wonder when…」
Besides doing the laundry, since that day, I haven’t made any food for him for dinner so I’m concerned about his meals. Is he eating properly…
「I want to see Otou-san. Will he pat my head when I’m able to eat bell peppers?」
「I’m sure he’ll praise you.」
Yup, since I cooked Neapolitan two days ago, Jill has been trying to eat the bell peppers.
She’s managed to eat the well boiled ones in soup just fine, so she’s probably itching to tell Leonard-sama all about it.
「Lily, Jill-chan, am I bothering you?」
「Oh, Milis. What’s the matter?」
「Amdo just got in touch with me just now.」
Ah, that reminds me. Amdo-san went over to Leonard-sama’s today. Alright, so?
「It seems Master will be coming home tonight.」
「Really? Otou-san’s coming home?」
「Yup. It seems he’ll be back today.」
It’s been about ten days since Leonard-sama’s been away. I completely understand Jill’s elation. Just the thought of meeting him after so long makes me happy too.
「What should I cook for dinner tonight then?」
Since he’s coming home, I want to make something extravagant but he probably doesn’t care for that.
「Shall I make pot-au-feu again…?」
It’s filling and warms the body up.
Moreover, pot-au-feu is easy to reheat so there won’t be any issues serving it at any given time that Leonard-sama should return.
「It’s decided then. I’ll make pot-au-feu tonight along with a smoked salmon salad.」
「Pot-au-feu? Was that the first dish okaa-san cooked here? I loved it!」
「Ah? You’ve had it before, Jill?」
「Yes, she has. That’s the first dish I made when I came here. It’s really super easy to make so I’m sure you can make it too, Milis.」
Fundamentally speaking, the recipe only requires you to cut the ingredients up and stew them. However, it’s whether you skim the scum off the stew or not, that will alter the favour of the dish when it’s ready. Otherwise, it’s a fairly simple delicious dish to make.
「Oh, that reminds me. Spirits technically don’t need food, do they? Sid-san always seems to take the opportunity to eat as he taste tests the food but what about you, Milis?」
「That’s what Master desired. He said it’s lonely eating alone.」
Ah, that’s true. It’s definitely better to eat together with others than eating alone.
「Although Amdo wasn’t around most of the time and I only joined in when I had free time on my hands. Most of the time, Sid makes the meals so he teases me relentlessly because I’m only good at eating.」
「But the dishes he makes are delicious.」
「It’s because of that I feel vexed! Someday, I’ll stare down at him triumphantly!」
Oh dear. Looks like I’ve gone and stoke the fire. Milis has a serious complex about her inability to cook.
Of late, she has been helping me out in the kitchen so her skills have improved vastly compared to when she first started.
「I’ll help out too!」
Perhaps wanting to join in to our conversation, Jill chimed in abruptly.
「I want to help too! I want to surprise Otou-san!」
「Alright, all three of us will make it!」
As Jill giggled merrily, I exchanged a smile with Milis. Jill is so innocent and precious. If Leonard-sama were to know that Jill wanted to surprise her father, he would surely smile delightfully.
Just as the thought crossed my mind──
As soon as Milis muttered his name unexpectedly, the ground beneath my feet warped and felt mushy. Eh, what’s going on? Why is the dark shadow underneath me spreading out and my feet being dragged into it?
「Milis, what is this?」
「It’s Sid’s power, but why…」
「Master wants Lily to come over here.」
With an exhausted voice, Sid-san appeared underneath my feet. My… feet?
I hurriedly pressed down my skirt, trembling as I scowled at Skid-san.
「Don’t you think that’s a bit much showing up from there?」
Afterall, from that angle, it means he can see the insides of my skirt. When I said it with slight tears in my eyes, Sid-san was visibly flustered.
「Ah! Uh… I’m sorry.」
「Please don’t do it again next time.」
In fact, it’ll be better if you never do it again. The feeling beneath my feet was immensely terrifying.
「So, Leonard-sama summoned me?」
「Ah, yes. It seems there’s some fighting between the men over you.」
I haven’t the faintest idea of what’s happening. Paying no heed to my confusion, Sid-san grabbed me by the arm.
「The Crown Prince has permitted you to enter the castle, so let’s go first.」
「Wait, wait! Hold on a minut, Sid-san. Explain what is going on. Also, what about Jill?」
「Amdo will look after her. I can’t really take her to the castle. Can you wait?」
「… If Otou-san needs Okaa-san seriously, I will wait.」
Why are you agreeing to this? Nah, but even so, it’s cute.
「Okay, I’ll buy you some sweets later. Amdo, I’ll leave her in your hands.」
「Eh, hold on a minute! In that case, I’ll can look after Ji–」
「He requested for your presence too, Milis. Anyway, let’s go.」
「I told you to wait!」
Geez, seriously! Why won’t you listen at all? Sid-san, you jerk!
Shortly after I resisted, Sid-san held onto me tightly as we were sucked into a dark world. I shut my eyes tightly from the fear of the strange sensation when my ears picked up the sounds of two voices – it was Sid-san and Leonard-sama.
「Master, I’ve brought her.」
「Thank you, Sid.」
When I opened my eyes, there was Leonard-sama seated on a table surrounded by documents.
You know, upon a closer look, isn’t this the waiting room outside the crown prince’s office? I remembered in the past I had used it quite often.
「I’m sorry for calling you so suddenly but I couldn’t sit still and just accept it.」
Putting down his pen, Leonard-sama fixed his eyes on me. As if he was entreating me, his eyes were filled with uneasiness when he stood up from his seat, approached me and took my hand.
「Lily, I want you to stay with me from here on.」
「Lily. I’d like to form a formal contract. Please be mine exclusively.」
I stared in wonder at the unexpected offer. In other words, he basically wants me to quit serving the crown prince and princess as their maid. Various things flashed across my mind such as the reduction of my income, losing privileges that came with the position but…
「You can’t simply return me afterwards, but if you’re fine with that…」
「Yes. I wouldn’t have to leave Jill’s side for another job like this, and I’ve come to like working for you. In any case, I’m not really attached to the title of “royal maid”.」
Wow… What’s with that expression? Did it make you so happy that you’re showing off such a joyful smile… I-I’m starting to feel embarrassed.
「… Is it going to rain tomorrow?」
「It’s probably going to snow. Anyway, that doesn’t surprise me anymore.」
Wha-! Sid-san and Milis! Don’t act so sneakily like that, the both of you! I can hear you, I can!
「Now then, Milis and I will go do our jobs. Let’s go.」
「Hey, wait for me!」
Sid-san and Milis disappeared in the blink of an eye. I was wondering why he had Milis brought over, but it seems there was work for her to do.
「Then, I’ll go report on this and finalize the paperwork.」
「… That was fast?」
「The Crown Prince said to me earlier that he’ll eventually take you back since he only dispatched you to work for me.」
As Leonard-sama frowned, I picked up on the hint.
「So you wanted me to tell him myself that I’m quitting?」
「Because he said that if I didn’t like it, I have to show him that you feel the same way too.」
「… Don’t let him incite you with such childish words.」
Though I am happy that he wants me that much.
「There are a lot of issues with me entering the castle in this outfit. At least give me time to change my clothes!」
Whoops? That voice just now… Spinning around, I saw a man appearing at the door leading to the adjoining office.
「You’re lively as always, Lily.」
How could I have predicted the crown prince to make an appearance? Eh, at least, announce your presence before stepping into the room.
The Crown Prince, whose blue eyes looked like a clear sky with a joyful light, smiled with fascination. It’s been a while since I’ve seen his face but, uh-huh, yup, he was an Adonis too. Not only his face, his body too was perfect.
Tied behind his neck was his glossy, soft brown hair. A looker, he had the masculine and sweet look pat down. Although he is not as eye-catching as Leonard-sama, the Crown Prince’s most attractive feature is his charisma.
Also, although I have a number of complaints, I am grateful and indebted to him for scouting and employing me from the house when ojou-sama entered the castle.
However, whenever he picks a fight with ojou-sama, I’m well-informed about how much of a disappointment he’s become that I sometimes regret it.
「Why are you here?」
「A certain someone provoke my employer, who then forcibly summoned me here in my everyday clothes.」
I deliberately displayed a sweet smile which the Crown Prince returned. Unfortunately for him, his smile was rather stiff.
「That’s rather alarming as I don’t recall calling you here.」
「Didn’t I say that my employer had me brought here?」
Implied in my words was my intention to part ways. He probably understood its significance correctly. The smile on the Crown Prince’s face disappeared.
「You’re the royal family’s maid. Lily Ruzsa.」
「So? I will decide who I work for myself. Just as I did before.」
Even though I’m called the Royal Maid, the reality is I will only work for the Crown Prince and Ojou-sama because originally I was registered in the castle as a maid accompanying the Crown Princess. And since I’m the Crown Princess’s maid and aide, it was decided that I would be managed under the authority of the Crown Prince.
This happened because in the past, the Queen had refused to recognize the Crown Princess who had came from another country. She embroiled the help to assist her repeatedly in bullying the young bride until her death. Therefore, even if it was by the orders of the King, I will not be punished for ignoring it if it runs against the Crown Prince’s intentions.
「Royal Maid isn’t even a position to begin with. That title is not legally binding. Am I right?」
When I put it that way, he clicked his tongues as if he had been provoked. It never occurred to him that I would leave on my own initiative – the exceedingly sullen expression as he wrestled to find something to say made me smile slightly.
「… Why are you making that face?」
「It’s just a commonplace face. What about it?」
「That’s not what I was…」
「In the first place, this situation only occurred because of how talkative you were. As the culprit, take responsibility for your actions. I ended up coming to the palace dressed like this, which I certainly didn’t want.」
Leonard-sama spoke after having remained silent throughout the exchange earlier. Turning around, I caught Leonard-sama looking slightly uneasy at me. Ah, seriously. Someone knock some sense into this magician please.
「I don’t. If anyone at the royal palace were to see me dressed like this, I will most certainly be drowning in sneers and insults. By not being properly attired, others will take advantage of me. As such, in future, please give me time to dressed appropriately before sending for me.」
In the Royal Palace, there is an unspoken dress code. In my case, I’m required to wear the royal maid uniform.
「… I’m sorry…」
Leonard-sama lowered his head despondently. Despite being taller than me, it’s a mystery how he seems so small in front of me. I could only envision a puppy when I see his eyes glancing at me repeatedly.
「… Seems you’ve got it tough.」
「It is tough but as long as I explain what the issue is, it won’t happen again. It’s just a test of my patience. Besides, I quite enjoy working for Leonard-sama.」
Hence, no hard feelings. I mean you don’t have to look at me with such sympathy.
This is the first time I’ve been sympathized by the Crown Prince. Normally, as soon as he catches sight of my shortcoming, he would insult me thoroughly. Is it that bad?
「… Well, anyway, good luck.」
The Crown Prince coughed a little, his expression returning to its former appearance as he pulled himself together.
「So, Leonard. I’ll ask you again. Do you still feel that way?」
「Yes. I want you to transfer Lily’s contract to me.」
「Lily is the crown princess’s maid. I can’t just simply hand her over like that.」
In response to the Crown Prince’s reply, Leonard-sama replied in a cold voice,
「I’m prepared to stop serving this country then.」
「Are you serious? Why are you so fixated on a single maid?」
「I’m not fixated on a maid. I’m fixated on my daughter’s mother.」
Glancing fleetingly at me with a bemused expression, the Crown Prince laughed slightly. Ah, I have a bad feeling about this.
「Then, how about I introduce you to a woman who is more suited to being a mother? It’s not like it has to be Lily.」
Leonard-sama smiled provocatively upon hearing that. No, even as a joke, your opponent is the crown prince. You don’t have to go to such exte-…. No, never mind.
Something even more ridiculous is bound to happen if I interfere. Until they settle down, I’ll just meekly watch as a spectator.
「I just need Lily. I don’t need other women.」
「I’ll admit that Lily is an excellent maid and would make a great mother. But would that truly make her happy? Imposing on her one sidedly isn’t good, Leonard.」
「I’ll return the same words back to you, Crown Prince. Why are you deciding on what would make Lily happy?」
Well, that’s for sure. It is not in others to decide my happiness. If they had, I would be troubled by it.
「In that case I will ask you, Lily Ruzsa. Where would you find your happiness and prospect?」
「As I had said before, by Leonard-sama’s side. I intend to stay by his side for as long as I need to.」
「Therefore, I wish to make an announcement. I will be quitting my job as the royal maid.」
「You’re prepared to quit?」
The Crown Prince grinned at me wickedly. He truly takes enjoyment in disliking me, doesn’t he?
「And you’re going to be Leonard’s maid? Not only will your pay be reduced, you won’t be able to make full use of your talents.」
「No, Your Highness. That is where my happiness lies… The happiness I had given up on ever finding.」
Upon my words, the Crown Prince looked at me with a chewed up expression and let out a small sigh.
「… Very well. But you must get permission from my wife, Lydi.」
「Thank you, Your Highness.」
Alright, for now I’ve got his consent.
However, it seems quite troublesome changing contracts. Is it usually like this?
This is an unedited release. I just thought I’ll get it out there since fans have been waiting for a while for a new update.
In the past year of my absence, I was mourning my grandmother, was diagnosed with PCOS and subclinical hyperthyroid, had a foot injury and just spent many months trying to piece my life together. It got so bad that I finally submitted my resignation at work. (Sucks for me because no cash after this but well, I’m too stressed up right now that I can barely relax.) This chapter was something I could finally work on last week as I had a long extended CNY break.
Sorry for taking so long. I wished I had more time or was in a less depressive state from work.
I’ll try to push more chapters out as soon as I’m freed up in April.
If you’ll like to help me whilst I slowly get things back together, please consider donating to me via the group’s Patreon or PayPal link. Until then, you can always reach out to me on Twitter via https://twitter.com/ainushi