Empress of Otherverse - Chapter 33
It was a horrifying scream. It sounded sad and raw. I was deep in sleep, so when I first woke up, I couldn’t tell if it was real or if I was just dreaming.
However, another scream made me jump, confirming this was really happening.
“… your highness! Your highness!”
I could hear the maids and the servants hurrying around outside my room. The scream continued. At some point, I realized it was someone screaming a name.
I couldn’t quite catch the name. I could hear people running around outside in confusion.
“… to get her hig…!”
“…rry up… to get to the roo…!”
Four or five different voices mingled together that I couldn’t understand anything. This made it even scarier for me.
I quickly realized this wasn’t about a ghost. Someone, a real live person, was creating this havoc, not a ghost.
My fear lessened. I put on my coat and opened the door that led to the maids’ room. In the next room weren’t the maids that were supposed to be waiting in case I needed something. It was empty and the door to the hallway was wide opened.
I had a clear view of the hall and what I saw there was something unexpected.
A white-haired woman was on the floor being restrained by my maids and the guards. One of the maids was covering the old woman’s mouth. I realized it was this woman who was screaming.
When I approached them, they seemed embarrassed and tried to greet me properly.
“Greetings, your highness!”
The maids and the guards looked uncomfortable at my appearance. I ignored them and turned to the elderly woman.
She was thin and weak. Her long white hair was knotted badly. The maids were the ones holding her down. If the guards pushed her, it looked like her bones would break.
Despite her feeble state, she continued to fight wildly and desperately.
I became curious.
Why was this elderly woman here? What was she doing?
A familiar face called me from behind. When I turned around, Samantha was running towards me. She looked disheveled. She probably just woke up now like me.
She approached me and looked around. When she saw the elderly woman, she became pale.
Samantha quickly put on her poker face and bowed to me deeply.
“I apologize for allowing them to disturb your sleep, your highness. In the morning, I will accept any punishment you deem appropriate. For now, I will take care of this situation, so please return to your bedroom to rest.”
The maids agreed I should return to my bed and tried to take the old woman away. However, I had no intention of doing what they ask.
At my order, the maids paused. The guards and the maids turned to Samantha for an order. They weren’t going to do my bidding until Samantha approved it.
So clearly, Samantha was in charge. It looked as though she knew already who this elderly woman was. it was obvious she didn’t want me to find out about her.
I asked, “Samantha, who is this woman?”
Samantha looked at me with unease
I knew I couldn’t stand down. If I did, I was letting Samantha win. I would truly become the emperor’s puppet.
I didn’t dislike Samantha. In fact, I needed her help desperately if I wanted to survive in the castle. In the last month, I saw her skills and her kindness, and I liked what I saw.
What I really needed was for Samantha to become my person, not the emperor’s. I knew she was trying to protect me, but if I let her, I would become a powerless person.
“Who is this person? Why is she here?” I asked her firmly so there was no doubt I was giving her an order, not a request.
Just then, another voice yelled from afar.
A middle-aged woman ran towards us. She was a voluptuous brunet. When she saw the white-haired woman, she screamed. She reached the elderly woman and checked to make sure she was unhurt. She relaxed a little when she realized her mother was fine but became pale when she noticed me. She bowed deeply to me.
“Greetings, your highness.”
I remembered her face. She was the woman who was responsible for maintaining this wing. Her name was Agnes. When I first arrived here, she was the first one to welcome me.
I asked Agnes and Samantha calmly, “Is this Agnes’s mother?”
This was very strange. Agnes may have been the director of this wing, but it was still the royal family’s property. Having one’s sick elderly mother, who may have been also mentally ill, probably wasn’t allowed.
There could be only two explanations for her situation. Either Agnes was keeping this a secret, or someone higher up was allowing her mother to stay.
Agnes explained, “Yes. This is my mother, and…”
Samantha interrupted Agnes, “The emperor allowed it.”
I couldn’t understand. The emperor I knew was a cold killer who murdered his own father and was feuding against his stepmother, the dowager empress. Being kind to an elderly woman didn’t seem like something Lucretius would do.
I would have expected Samantha to be the one who allowed it, but the emperor?
Samantha must have read my mind.
She explained, “Dame Dotrya was also Empress Beatrice’s nanny.”
Oh! I finally understood. The ghost the maids were talking about must have been this woman.
The elderly lady continued to cry as she called out a name.
“Bea, my baby Bea…”
I knew who she was crying for her.
It wasn’t a ghost of Empress Beatrice that roamed this place. It was her nanny who had gone mad after losing her empress.