Chapter 2

Chapter 2


"What wonderful friends I have. Friends ... who leave others to their own demise! Why did you guys just let me do something I shouldn't have done that night?! Do you know how much trouble I have to face just because?!" They were surprised to see me.

"Kat?! You're alive! Thank God! We were worried sick when you followed that stranger home! We did try to reason with you that night but you seem to know that man so we just let it go. Then we realised how anti-social you are and we got worried about your safety," wow. Just wow.

"So worried that you guys didn't even try to convince me to say no? We did something we aren't supposed to do! Did you know that?!" Their eyes widen.

"Like what? Tell us, all the details." I can't believe them. Don't they know how severe this is? Did they forget how close-minded my family are? How they believe that a maiden should be well 'intact' until marriage?!

I'm a disgrace in front of my family's eye now. What if my future husband as close-minded as they are? What if he looks down on me just because he's not my first? How would he react if I told him that my first was THE emperor of this empire who's actually a person who possessed two sets of genital?!

Oh, God ... What should I do? What should I say even?

"You know what, fuck this. I will never go out with you guys again." I turn around and walk towards my locker and get ready for my shift. I heard them apologising from afar but hell! If only I had said no in the first place. None of this would happen.

Anyway, I should be focusing on the task at hands. I can't screw up this job because ... this is my last resort. I'm pretty sure I can't nail a better job than what I have now. To even be a maid here in such establishment place is a dream come true for a person who came from my background.

Le Stella.

There are many places here in Gralia Empire that could match the taste of the nobility and all those rich wannabes but none says elegance and dignified like Le Stella. It has been established since the beginning of Gralia and it is known to be a place where the former Emperor Ferdinand asked for the former empress Violette hand in marriage.

Since then, it's a famous venue for young lovers to have their alone time together or to propose.

For me, all those things are bull. You don't need a perfect venue to express your love. All you need is love and why would you spend so much just to prove that you love your partner? I really don't get how nobility thinks.

"Kathryn! We have been summoned by the head maid!" My friend informed me since I was taking my sweet time preparing myself to look decent. I can't help it. I should've changed from my uniform before going out last night.

Now it's all wrinkle thanks to that emperor.

"You didn't go home after last night rendezvous? Please don't tell me you wore yesterday's uniform?" I didn't answer her.

"Kathryn! You know how perfectionist the head maid is." She helped to make me look presentable as we walk towards the head maid office. For her to summon us into her office the first thing in the morning must've meant something big.

We look at each other before knocking on the head maid's door. After we heard a soft 'come in' we open the door and bow our head.

"Kathryn, Levi. Just the people I want to see." The head maid smile from ear to ear when she saw us walking in.

"Good news! You have been selected to be serving a group of members from the imperial family for today. Just take it, it's not every day a rookie like you two have such an honour bestow upon you," our eyes widen. This is not a coincidence. This is His way to make fun of me!

"But, we have no real experience serving the royals yet. We just got out from the academy and I don't think it's wise for your part to simply choose us to be the face of your fine establishment," I counter.

"Exactly what she said. Why don't you sent Bellatine? She's the finest maid in Le Stella and she did served the royals before. Why us?" Levi asked the head maid.

"Trust me, if Bellatine is available, I would have just sent her but she's currently serving the president of the imperial council members. We have no one more capable than you two. Both of you graduated from the academy top of your class. There is no doubt you'll match Bellatine's skills at this moment." Did the head maid just praise us? That's rarely happened before.

"So there is no way for us to not accept this?" Levi asked while sighing hard. The head maid shakes her head no.

"If that's the case, brief us about our guests," I gave up. There is no way for us to turn this around.

"Splendid! This is the file you needed to go through before serving the ladies," Oh. Ladies. We're not serving the emperor? Too bad. I wish I could meet her again.

"Princess Madeline, also known as the sword princess by her enemies. The younger sister of the emperor who he loves so dearly. She's a kind-hearted princess but ... everyone has their own secret that you should know soon enough." The head maid just made me wonder so much about the emperor's younger sister.

"The emperor's cousins, grand duchess Annabelle and grand duke Joel. Knowing they won't be able to have any say about who's going to be the next heir for the throne, they both working hard on being the emperor's allies instead of enemies. From my point of view, that was quite a smart move because anyone who goes against the emperor never even sees the light of day," now she makes it sound like the emperor rule with an iron fist.

"It was proven when the incident happened. Everyone, including the council members, was having doubts when the former emperor appointed Emperor Alvia at such a young age. He became the youngest emperor Gralia ever have." That I know. It was all over the news when the current emperor rises to the throne.

"Please, read it thoroughly. If anything happened to them while they're here, it's the end for Le Stella. Whether we like it or not, the imperial family is our biggest benefactor. They're the one who found us, they won't hesitate to end us as well." That was a threat.

I know it too well.

How hard could it be right? They're like any other nobles. It's just they're the members of the imperial family. That's it. Yes ... we can do this!


We can't do this!

How on earth did I even manage to think that I could match up with Bellatine?! She served the emperor and other important guests of Le Stella while we just graduated from the academy! We can't beat her in terms of experience! We suck at this!

"Are you okay?" To make the princess worried about us, that's just unacceptable. I bow my head in front of the princess and her cousins.

"I'm sorry. Your highness shouldn't be worried about a person like me. Please enjoy your visit instead." The princess tilted her head and look straight through my soul.

Is it me or it's getting hot in here?

"That's quite a mark on you. Did you had fun last night?" The princess asked, giggled as she pointed at her neck. My neck? Suddenly yesterday's event came rushing to my mind. I forgot to cover yesterday's mark, am I?

"I'm sorry for such unsightly scene, your highnesses." The princess waved it off but something made her look at me from head to toe again.

"I can't help it but scent something familiar on you, Kathryn. Your scent ... it reminds me of someone I love dearly," huh? Please don't tell me that the princess possessed a hound-like nose. Did she really sense the emperor's scent on me? If I know I have to serve the members of the imperial family, I would've changed!

Maybe if I came to work slightly late I wouldn't be chosen to be here. I blame myself for being such a good maid.

"You smell like Alvia. But, the fragrance he used is sold widely in Gralia. So it's only normal for her boyfriend or husband to have the same product. Every man wanted to be like Alvia. To have such devilish good looks, manly build and to have such a gentleman attitude, he's a dream man for every woman." Duchess Annabelle said.

"What about me, sister? Am I not dreamy enough in your eyes?" The Duke asked.

"The only person who sees you differently is your wife, Joel." Both the Princess and the duchess chuckled when the duke seems to be offended.

"You have a boyfriend?! Why am I not informed about this?" Le I whispered. I can't believe this friend of mine. Did she forgot about the whole ordeal last night?!

"Anyway. We should be discussing the real reason why we're here early than expected. If Alvia knows that we are here now, he's going to plan something to escape again." The duke said while the ladies nodding their head.

"Actually, why are we so fixated to find him a bride? He's the emperor. It should be easy for him to find one if he really wants to." The Duchess does have a point.

She probably could just snap her fingers and all those nobility will line up for him. Only idiots don't want to be the next empress of this nation. I can't believe I'm actually listening to their conversation while serving them.

"Of course it's easy for him to find the next empress but as his family, I'm sure you both know why we should be a concern with it. What if he found a woman that only wants him for the things he has and not for love?" The Duchess and the duke look at each other.

"That is true. Gralia will be doom if he found another Tatiana. That woman is bad news and it's a good thing that Alvia saw her true self before they announce their engagement." The emperor had a lover before?

And she doesn't care about her physical flaw? If so why did the imperial family didn't just let them be together? Yes, the woman did something but isn't it more dangerous if the secret got out? I wonder what did they do to that woman.

Did they kill her? Or simply deported her to another country?

"This time lets make sure our plan work. He doesn't have enough time and if we don't succeed, the council will find him the perfect bride. And we all know they're going to choose the president's oldest daughter, Duchess Alexei. I don't want her to be my sister in law. I rather have that maid to be with my brother than that bitch." I can't believe the princess just swear!

I blushed when I realised she rather has me as her sister in law than the famous duchess Alexei. If only they knew about last night event. To be honest, the emperor seems like a good 'husband' material.

If only I can just remember what actually happened last night.

"Kathryn, may I ask you one important question?" I bow my head to the princess.

"You may, your highness," I smiled at them all.

"Where did you get that handkerchief?" Huh? A hanky? Where? I was looking around for it but there's nothing.

"It's sticking out from your side pocket. There is only one person who has that handkerchief and that is the emperor of Gralia. Are you two acquaintance?" The princess asked. A hanky that belongs to the emperor? Wait, why is it here?

"For you to possessed handkerchief, meaning you two had met with each other. Am I right?" The duke questioned.

I turned to Levi for help but to no avail. She looks away every time I mouth for help. What should I do? Or say at this moment.

Why didn't I notice the handkerchief before? Why is it inside my pocket to begin with?

"I ... well ... I don't ..." The Grand Duchess suddenly clear her throat.

"We all know how Alvia likes to disguise himself and walk around the city. Maybe they met and help her or something. Let's not go to the worst-case scenario," The Grand Duchess wink at me after convincing the princess and the duke.

I bow my head a little, thanking her for the help.

"Now, let's discuss how go forth with this matchmaking event." And just like that, they begin to discuss the emperor's future.

I can't help but notice that the Grand Duchess keep looking at me for no reason. I just look back at her with a smile on my face. What's going on actually? Why is she observing me?

Did I do something wrong?

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