White Deer King’s Feelings (Part 3)
“A vacation?” I asked.
“Yes. Or do you not want to let me have a vacation?” asked Luna.
I nodded and then placed down my cup of tea. I touched my chin and said, “Yes, mm, you’re right… You should have a vacation to rest… You have one year and ten days’ worth of vacation time… But I don’t know why you chose to take a vacation now all of a sudden.”
It was fine for Luna to have a vacation. I didn’t think it’d be good for her health if she continued working all the time, either. It was just that I didn’t know why then, when it wasn’t a festival or her birthday.
My expression read, “Why does Luna want to take a vacation now? Could it be that she wants to go on a holiday or have I made a mistake somewhere and she’s angry?”
Luna softly giggled. She explained, “You do not need to worry, Your Majesty. I am not planning anything. I just want to have a break. It will not be for long. I will be back after three days. I just want to go to Troy City to soak in the hot springs and have a rest.”
Nier looked at Luna then turned away without saying anything. Nier seemed to be a little displeased. Lucia, on the other hand, was excited. She then looked to me and exclaimed, “Your Highness! I want to go the hot springs, too! I really want to go, too.”
I apologetically laughed: “You want to go with Luna, then? If you want to go with me, you’ll have to wait until winter.”
Lucia looked at Nier. Nier looked back at Lucia with eyes brimming with hope. Nier eagerly waved her hand: “Go, go. You really want to go to the hot springs, don’t you? Luna is going, as well, so you might as well go with her. It’s fine. I’ll take care of Nona and Vera for you. Go, go.”
“As if I’m going!” Lucia pulled a funny face at Nier. Lucia then said to me, “I’ll wait until winter, then. I wanted to go to the hot springs with you, Your Highness. Having you with me is the important part.”
Luna nodded with a smile then bowed: “Sorry, Your Majesty, but I shall be back in three days, then. I have already selected a maid to take care of you during this time. She is new, but she is diligent. She is also very reassuring. Is that all right with you?”
I nodded: “If you’re the one recommending her, then I’m fine. I don’t have many requirements for personal servants. I just need them to be absolutely loyal. And, since you’re recommending her, I don’t mind. That said, I’ve never seen this maid. Is she here right now? I want to see her.”
“It feels so strange in a human body… My heart is racing… He’s just an idiot I get to see every day. He’s just an elf. I’m a King just as he is. I’m of equal status. Normally, I wouldn’t need to be afraid of anything. He’s a radiant King to others, but to me, he’s just an ordinary elf.
Why, though, do I feel so weird in front of him? This is my first time looking at him straight in the face. Why is my heart beating so fast? Why? Why is my heart hurting so much? Why am I so scared? Why do I feel so embarrassed that I just want to run away?
This is not me. This is not how I normally am. Why am I shy? Why do I not even dare to raise my head? Why can’t I look him in the face? This isn’t me. This isn’t the real me. Why do I feel so shy and become so scared of meeting his eyes when I’m in my human form? Why…?” frantically pondered the maid standing in front of Troy.
I looked at the quivering maid before me and spaced out for a bit. I had never seen her before, and she looked as though she had a weak constitution. Her face was pale. She was so thin that she was akin to a coat hanger. Personal servants and maids had incredibly tiring jobs. They were busy from day till night. Under normal circumstances, maids and personal servants weren’t thin. I couldn’t help but feel that the maid wasn’t qualified.
“This maid is?” I asked.
The young girl with short hair was quivering ever so slightly. Her hair by her forehead covered her face that she had down. I couldn’t see her expression. She gripped her clothing tight as though she was going to rip it. She just made a few utterances that didn’t mean anything. I had no idea what she was trying to articulate. She just trembled with her head down. Her behaviour led to Nier revealing a mocking smile. Nier almost laughed.
Luna looked at the speechless maid. After some hesitation, she spoke up on her behalf: “Her name is, um… Bai Lu… Bai Lu…”
“Bai Lu, was it?” I repeated.
The name was indeed slightly weird. It wasn’t a name from this side of the world; it sounded more similar to a name from Ying and Xia’s side. Perhaps she was a maid from there. I nodded: “Bai Lu, was it? You don’t need to be nervous. You must’ve seen me before, since you’re a maid in the Imperial Palace. You don’t need to be nervous. I’m just an ordinary person at the end of the day. I don’t easily get angry, either, so you have no need to worry.”
I tried to comfort Bai Lu. She maintained her head down position and continued shaking. Honestly, I was a little dissatisfied by then. How was she supposed to be my personal servant if she didn’t even dare to raise her head? If I urgently needed her, was I supposed to spend a long time try to get her to warm up to me? Moreover, I had never seen her before. Could she really fulfil the duties of a personal servant, I questioned.
“She is a new maid. Though she is very shy, there is no room for questioning her loyalty. However, I hope you can forgive her if she makes mistakes. She has always wished to see you, so she is really nervous right now.”
Luna’s expression looked as though she was somewhat dreading it, as well. I looked to Bai Lu. Indeed, I couldn’t sense any malicious will from her; but nonetheless, I never saw her eyes, so I was a tad suspicious. I walked up to her and grabbed her chin. She shuddered and let out a soft moan. I lifted her chin. Her shaky eyes that had fear written on them focused on my face. Her face virtually burnt up when she saw me. She stuttered as if she was going to cry. I wondered, “Is she that shy?”
I couldn’t see any schemes or malicious will from Bai Lu’s eyes. All I saw was overwhelming fear and nervousness. I let go and turned to Luna: “All right. Except, can she complete her duties as a maid? If I have to personally do things that my personal servant should be doing, I may as well not have one.”
Luna revealed an awkward expression. She did say Bai Lu was new; however, my impression told me that Bai Lu wasn’t new. I was quite certain Bai Lu suddenly appeared in the Imperial Palace. I’d never seen her before, and I hadn’t recruited maids recently.
I heard a weak voice. It was supposed to be strong, but it sounded timid when it came from the young girl. I looked at her with a blank look. Bai Lu raised her head up again. She had her fists tightly clenched. She nervously stammered, “I can! I can!! Your Majesty, I-I… c-cang…”
I smiled, and then touched her head. I turned around and said, “Good, then. Since you’re determined, I think you’ll do well. Luna, hand over your duties to her before you leave.”
“Understood.” Luna bowed then let out a breath of relief before dragging Bai Lu off with her.
I sat back down at the dining table, only to see Lucia’s odd gaze on me. She snorted: “Your Highness, you must certainly like this sort of meek looking girl, huh? She’s your cup of tea, isn’t she?”
“Says who?!” I exclaimed. I smiled helplessly: “I don’t have that sort of agenda. It’s my first time seeing her, too. I don’t have any sorts of ideas for her.”
“Exactly. His Majesty prefers women with relatively ample goods. How could he like a young girl who’s as thin as a sheet of paper? Don’t you agree, Lucia? How embarrassing, I bet Nona will have a more impressive body than yours when she grows up. Your daughter might surpass you.”
Nier proudly puffed her chest out, while Lucia gritted her teeth tightly, though she didn’t say anything. I smiled helplessly again: “I didn’t say anything. I can’t force Luna to stay if she wants a vacation, right? Also, it’s normal for her to want a break. I’ve never seen the girl before, but I don’t see a problem with her. I don’t really care if maids can’t do jobs. I just need them to be loyal.”
Lucia nodded: “True that. After all, you do lots of things yourself. Nonetheless, it is a little dangerous to have this maid we’ve never seen before be your personal servant. After all, we don’t know where she’s from. I think we need to ask Freya.”
I nodded: “I’ll go ask Freya a bit later.”
One hour later.
Freya looked through the roster and responded with a smile, “There has been, indeed. She is not new, either. To be correct, she has been with you since your time at Troy City. It sounds to me as though you do not pay attention to the maids around you. That is not good news to me. That means you would not notice if somebody sent a disguised maid to assassinate you.”
I chuckled: “I don’t think that’ll happen. I don’t sense any hostility from the maid. In any case, that’s reassuring to know.”
I turned to leave, while Freya revealed a strange smile from behind. She then shut the document and tossed it into the rubbish bin. It was fake, anyway, so it didn’t matter.
*C-Cang – That is a deliberate typo during the White Deer King’s stuttering.