Empress of Otherverse - Chapter 64
Chapter 64: <Chapter 64>
The next morning, a new face arrived. Except for Lisbeth, all the other maids welcomed her with genuine excitement.
Yulia bowed deeply and greeted me, “It is my honor to serve you, your highness.”
I felt unhappy at seeing her, but I smiled smoothly anyway and replied, “Welcome, Lady Yulia.”
After all the formalities, Yulia left with the other maids to chat.
She was clearly an intelligent young girl. Samantha and Agnes seemed to approve of her instantly.
Elza and Luis also treated her with respect and kindness.
Lisbeth, however, was the only one who continued to glare at Yulia with distrust. She most likely saw Yulia as a new competition for the emperor’s affection.
Finally, it was time for Yulia and Lisbeth to introduce themselves to each other.
Yulia said to her, “You are the daughter of Duke Aeal, right? May I call you Lisbeth? Please call me Yulia.”
Lisbeth responded sharply, “… You are the daughter of Viscount Morian?”
Everyone could hear the rudeness in her voice.
Yulia’s face became rigid for a second, but she quickly put on a calm face and replied, “That’s right.”
Lisbeth yelled at her offensively, “How rude!”
“I am a proud daughter of the Duke of Aeal. The Bonafit family is one of the most influential and powerful families in the empire. On top of that, her highness herself owes a huge debt to my family. It is unacceptable for a mere daughter of a viscount to call me by my given name!”
The room tensed as if someone threw a bucket of ice water on everyone present.
Everyone, including Samantha, Agnes, Elza, Luis, and I, remained quiet.
We all stared at Yulia, who was gravely insulted by Lisbeth. Everything that will unfold henceforth depended on how she reacted.
After a long cold silence, Yulia suddenly put on a beautiful smile and replied, “Oh my, I see that I made a mistake.”
“Today is my first day at the castle, so I am ignorant of the proper etiquette expected of me. I didn’t mean you any offense. Please teach me from now on about proper manners, Lady Aeal.”
It was a perfect apology and it made Lisbeth look childish and petty.
I was impressed. The other maids didn’t say anything, but it was obvious they felt the same way.
Yulia quickly became part of the group, while Lisbeth continued to remain as an unwanted outsider.
“Wow! You’re amazing. Your organization skill is perfect. It’s better than my own work, Yulia.” Luis exclaimed excitedly. Her reaction was exaggerated. I could hear her voice was louder than usual.
Elza agreed with her sister in the same grand manner, “It’s true! So much better than me!”
Yulia responded humbly, “I am flattered. It is all thanks to your excellent lessons, lady Luis and lady Elza.”
Luis treated Yulia with a surprisingly friendly manner. She was usually very reserved.
She said to Yulia, “Please let’s be friends, Yulia. Just call me Luis.”
“Me too, Yulia!”
They quickly became close. The three worked very well together too. The Loventis sisters seemed thrilled to have such a useful worker.
I knew why the sisters acted this way. They praised Yulia openly and loudly because they wanted Lisbeth to see it.
Lisbeth was sitting apart from them. She bit her pretty pink lips and watched enviously. She was still working on a simple task Luis gave two hours ago.
After a while, she couldn’t take it anymore. She finally stood up and approached them.
No one paid any attention to her.
“L, Luis…” This was the first time Lisbeth tried to call her by her given name.
Luis’ eyes narrowed as she said to her, “Lady Lisbeth, I never gave you permission to call me by my first name.”
Lisbeth flinched. “B, but… You just allowed Lady Morian to call you…!”
“That’s because we became close very quickly. Besides, don’t you remember?”
Luis reminded Lisbeth coldly, “When we first met, you told me to show you the respect you deserve as the daughter of a duke.”
The room grew tense once again.
It was true. When Lisbeth first came to work as my maid, she made sure to flaunt her status and demanded respect. She expected everyone to serve her.
Everyone laughed at her and ignored her from then on. This was the biggest reason why no one liked her or tried to befriend her.
Lisbeth stammered, “B, but that was…!”
Luis interrupted, “As you said to me before, I am only a daughter of an earl, so I don’t deserve your friendship. So go back there and continue with your work. I don’t want to bother you.”
The other maids also didn’t look kindly at how Lisbeth tried to catch the emperor’s attention. Luis turned around with a bloodshot gaze and ignored her. Elza and Yulia also turned away from her.
Lisbeth looked around like she was lost. Her big eyes filled with tears.
She looked like she expected someone to help her, but we were all sick of her tears by now. We all turned away from her and ignored her.
Lisbeth complained of a headache and returned to her room before dinner time. No one stopped her.
In her spot was still the work she didn’t finish. Even Yulia, who was new to this place, would have been able to finish such a simple task in an hour. Luis sighed deeply and asked Yulia to take care of it.
Agnes informed me quietly.
“The Duke and Duchess of Aeal have arrived yesterday for the ball.”
I was surprised.
“Really? So soon?”
“Yes, they arrived much earlier than necessary, and…”
I could guess why. I grinned at her and stood up.
Samantha turned to me questioningly.
I yawned loudly and explained, “I didn’t get a good sleep last night so I’m tired. I think… I will go take a nap. Please take a break while I rest.”
I started to walk toward the door as I asked Agnes, “Agnes, do we still have the Lihi tea? It helps me sleep.”
“Yes, your highness. I will bring you a cup right away.”
“I will wait in my bedroom.”
Agnes bowed deeply and left.
As I walked to my room, I wondered what information Agnes wanted to give me.
What Agnes told me in private was unexpected.
“So… The dowager empress is showing no interest at all?”
“That’s correct, your highness.” Agnes bowed apologetically. She then explained, “I have someone watching lady Lisbeth and her servant, Orlean, at all times.”
When I ordered this recently, Agnes wasn’t surprised. It seemed that she knew already why I hired Lisbeth in the first place.
However, unfortunately, things were not working out as I hoped.
Agnes continued, “We have not noticed any form of contact or even interest from the dowager empress.”
Then I realized something odd. There was no need for Agnes to tell me this.
Why then did she want a private meeting?
I asked, “Is there something else?”
Agnes nodded. Her eyes burned with anger.
“There is a strange rumor going around among the servants in the castle.”
By the look on her face, it was obvious this wasn’t an ordinary rumor. I got a bad feeling about it.
Agnes continued, “It… it’s about the former emperor.”
“The former emperor?”
I didn’t expect this.
Agnes explained, “There is a rumor that your highness murdered the former emperor.”