The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 18
Translator: Eonnicorn / Editor: Scarlet
“Those gems have name and history. Where the gemstone came from, who processed it, and how it ended up in the hands of its owner.”
Her pupils trembled out of nervousness, reaffirming again because she didn’t know to that extent. The Baronetess’ face over Eva’s first attempt at the rail was priceless, which she thought was naive. Eva wanted to persist, but was scared. She wanted to pressure the Baronetess more, but she would rather hold back.
“Investigation will reveal the owner of that bracelet was my mother. Then it will be widely known that you stole my bracelet.”
“Y-you lunatic!” The Baronetess raised her hand in anger at Eva’s rebellion. Before her weak-like-a-grass hand could touch her cheek, Eva caught it.
“Madam, I am now taller and stronger than you. Do you think just because I accepted the hit, I couldn’t slap you?”
‘Because that’s something someone shouldn’t do.’ She didn’t do it because that was such a cowardly and dirty gesture to show dissatisfaction over some needs.
Eva looked right into the Baronetess’ eyes with fierceness. She never realized because she always avoided eye-contact, but now that she was her eye to eye, the Baronetess was much shorter from her. In addition, Eva’s grip was stronger than expected, maybe because she gained muscle due to tedious labor.
“Y-you’re not going to let go?” The seriousness in Eva’s eyes made the Baronetess’ eyes quiver. She wiggled her wrist and tried to pull it out, but it didn’t budge in Eva’s grip.
“Perhaps you forgot that I am still the daughter of Lord Massies, so it’s natural how big the gap between our status is. You’re aware that there’s a charge of defamation for aristocrats, right? It not only applies to the commoner who insults the aristocrat, but also to the lower status of the aristocrat who insults the upper status.”
“W-where did you–”
“If you use violence against me one more time, I won’t keep silent.” Eva pushed her wrist and let the Baronetess go. Pushed backward by the force, her buttocks unsightly bumped with the chest behind her.
“Give me back my bracelet. This instant.” Eva took a step closer and glared at the Baronetess with authority. She shuddered but dared not respond as she clutched onto the chest. Then aggressively untied the bracelet and threw it on the floor, perhaps indicating her last bit of pride.
“Take it. It’s very cheap anyway.”
The keepsake of Eva’s mother fell to the floor. No longer wanting to deal with the Baronetess, she picked up the bracelet and tucked it into her arm. Before she left the room, she jerked her head toward the Baronetess and shot a one last warning glare.
Back in her room, Eva leaned back on the door and stared down at the bracelet. The blue glint caught her eyes, her disarray rationality beginning to unjumble.
‘What did I do just now?’
A belated sense of recklessness engulfed her. This was the first time in her life in this residence that she ever been fuming and rebelled. It wasn’t because she couldn’t speak up, she chose to not say anything aloud. That was because Cecil did everything for her, and she also walked on eggshells because she was afraid she would be kicked out.
On the other hand, she mused if a devil had possessed and manipulated her a while ago. What was even more shocking was that she didn’t regret it. The surprised Baronetess who saw her stand on the ground, eventually gave her the bracelet. Otherwise, she would have trampled on her pride for some time, then gave up.
And there’s another thing. She now understood that it was not worth it to endure. She didn’t have to be angry, but she needed to be strong when injustice took place.
Loosened up, Eva slid down with her back against the door.
* * *
Tonight was a cool night. Two black figures stood facing each other under a neat row of tall garden trees. Those two men were Count Holland and Ruth, who came out for a while after dinner.
“You have to return, Your Highness. By now, the Imperial Family must’ve heard the news that you’ve left the front line. It’s dangerous to stay here any longer.” Count Holland spoke to Ruth in a worried tone. Publicly known as a knight, the true identity of Ruth was Edward Kane Butterfield. He was the Crown Prince of the Hamblin Empire and was appointed as Crown Prince since he was inside the womb of the first Empress. Count Holland was his palace aide and cousin.
Edward had been serving on the Western Front Line for three years as Deputy Commander of the Imperial Order. It was a dangerous area where it wasn’t strange anymore if war broke out with the neighbouring country. Once or twice a year, when he got a vacation, guards followed Edward from the day he left for vacation to the moment he returned. That was because there have been countless assassination attempts. The Emperor’s second wife, as well as the current Empress, Mary, and the nobles from her faction, were behind it. They wanted to take advantage of the Emperor’s fall and push Edward to the border while in the meantime make Leo the Crown Prince. However, the exceptional love of the Emperor for Edward, furthermore with the people trusting the courageous Crown Prince, they couldn’t touch him openly. That’s why the situation without obstacles like this was extremely dangerous for Edward.
“I’m not leaving. I’m just spending my rightful vacation however I want.” Edward answered with a frown as he stood with crossed arms. This time under the command of the Emperor who regained consciousness, Edward was given a month-long vacation. A little bored, he had left the palace and was resting at the Bale Castle after telling a different date to the Imperial Family. On the contrary, he wrote the correct date on the document, so without doubt he wasn’t violating the military law.
“Your Highness, do you realize that you’re pretty weird right now?” Count Holland narrowed his eyes and ran his eyes over Edward’s face, searching.
“What did I do?”
“Why on earth did you hang up the Massies household flag? Don’t you think that’s gonna get people’s attention?”
“It’s just being respectful to the Lord Massies. Is it a problem to do as I like to my own castle?”
“It’s officially under my name, though.” Count Holland gritted his teeth under a smiling face. Thinking about it again, he did nothing but suffer from the outcome. He bought the castle five years ago at the request of the Crown Prince and handed the document to him right away.
Sure, he bought that castle with his own money, and Edward robbed the castle documents by saying that he would pay them back after he succeeded the throne. Now that he thought about it, he was stupid. For one, he didn’t have proof of their agreement, and second, he wasn’t sure if Edward could ascend to the throne due to the circumstances of his return.
Let the past be the past. Now, the Crown Prince officially was still on the front line. Furthermore, Count Holland was also known to spend his vacation in his family castle, Avalon, not in Bale Castle. Although they should’ve played safe as much as they could in this kind of situation, he couldn’t help the gut-wrenching feeling because of Edward’s eccentric behavior.
“Then, why do you keep caring about her? I’m wondering why you accepted the invitation to dinner, and why you brought up the story of the breakup. Don’t tell me, did meeting your ex-fiancee ignite a feeling you didn’t have before?”