Home Post 689-chapter-22



“It’s amazing!”


Every time I marveled, Mister Marius puffed out his chest with pride. Sometimes, he even lifted his chin in triumph.

I couldn’t help but be amazed by the unfamiliar landscape of the empire outside the window. If Trovanza was naturally beautiful, then the empire was dazzling and magnificent.

From the six-story buildings, which were rare in my hometown, to the ornate architecture and the people in their strange attire, everything was a wonder to me, and I couldn’t stop staring out of the carriage window since we disembarked from the ship.

“Liliana, sit properly. It’s dangerous.”

“Okay, okay, I got it.”

I reluctantly sat down after Eldest Sister’s warning. But as soon as we passed a fountain, I jumped up and clung to the window again.

Eventually, Mister Marius made me sit on his lap and held my waist so I couldn’t move. His chin rested on the top of my head.

“Isn’t it wonderful?”

“Yeah, it’s so cool.”

“Good thing we came to the empire, right?”

“Well, that depends on how nice you are to me.”

“I’m hurt! You know how much I adore you.”

“You always tease me and call me ‘little one’.”

“That’s just stating the facts.”

“I’m not talking to you!”

As I turned my head away, Mister Marius chuckled behind me. Unlike the constantly chattering Mister Marius and me, Eldest Sister sitting opposite remained expressionless, gazing out the window.

She seemed to be in a bad mood the entire time we were on the ship, seeming more downcast than usual and extremely sensitive.

The change in environment was sudden, but it was undoubtedly because of older and youngest sisters. The twins and Eldest Sister had a special bond, having grown up together, always at odds yet close.

Just as I was about to get sullen while thinking about my sisters, Mister Marius tickled me on the side, making me burst into laughter.

“What do you want to eat first when we get to the palace?”

“Blueberry cheesecake!”

“So, blueberry cheesecake is your favorite?”

“Yeah, it’s so delicious.”

“Alright, tonight’s dessert is blueberry cheesecake.”

“Yay! Then I’ll have it with Cookie and Jelly!”

Of course, Cookie and Jelly were dolls, so they couldn’t really eat, but it was fun to pretend.

Excited again, I talked with Mister Marius about what we wanted for dinner until the carriage stopped.

I quickly pressed my face against the carriage window to look outside. We had arrived inside the splendid palace.

“Little one, when you’re outside the carriage, remember to call me ‘Your Highness’ or ‘Brother-in-law,’ okay? It’s ‘Brother-in-law.’”

“Oh, please. I know that already. Do you think Liliana wouldn’t know such a thing?”

I nodded to Mister Marius, who kept emphasizing “Brother-in-law.”

Only after hearing my confirmation did Mister Marius try to speak to Eldest Sister. However, she was quicker.

“Don’t worry.”

“…Right. There’s nothing to worry about if it’s Miss Alice.”

With a serious and mature expression, Mister Marius exchanged glances with Eldest Sister before stepping from the carriage.

Courtiers lined up outside to greet Mister Marius. His confident posture and decisive strides were the epitome of an emperor.

Eldest Sister stepped out first, followed by me, whom she helped down gently. Dressed in extravagant attire and adorned with jewelry, the courtiers eyed us with a mixture of arrogance and scrutiny.

Each one of them inspected us from head to toe. They sneered or snickered at the sight of my bare knees or Eldest Sister Alice in her suit.

‘…I’m scared.’

Their hostility and animosity were palpable, even to a child like me. Feeling scared, I quickly hid behind Eldest Sister.

“Welcome to the Baiderc Empire.”

A courtier bowed to my sister and me.

His accent was unfamiliar and difficult to understand.

It was then I realized how much Mister Marius and Mister Leopold had adjusted their language for us.

Despite the blatant coldness, Eldest Sister casually nodded in response and extended a polite greeting.

Soon after, my twin sisters stepped down from the following carriage and joined us.

“Thank you for the welcome. We look forward to our time here.”

Unlike the composed Eldest Sister, Older Sister and Youngest Sister seemed quite nervous, their faces pale.

But they stood protectively on either side of her, with only me hiding behind.

I clung to Eldest Sister’s skirt, peeking out from between them.

I didn’t want to be a burden, though I might already be one, but at least I wanted to lighten the load.

Mister Marius turned sharply. He had the demeanor of a true emperor, which suited the grandeur of the palace behind him.

“Lady Alice, and my sisters-in-law, welcome to the empire.”

Mister Marius greeted us with a smooth smile that felt quite foreign.

It was a stark reminder that Mister Marius Chemelhofen was indeed the emperor of the empire.

* * *

We stayed in a place called Lethe Palace, lined up with Eldest Sister, Older Sister, Youngest Sister, and me.

I was startled by the sudden appearance of maids while I was placing my dolls, Cookie and Jelly, in the room assigned to me.

“Ahhh! Who are you?”

“Hello, it’s our first time meeting. We are Mary and Jo, and we’ve been assigned to serve Miss Liliana.”

I was not used to having maids or servants since we only had housekeepers in Trovanza.

Surprised by their bowing and greeting, I stood there dumbfounded, clutching Cookie, before belatedly greeting them back.

“Hi! I’m Liliana, and I’m seven years old! This is my younger sibling, Cookie!”

“What a cute doll. Miss, please let us know if there’s anything you need, like unpacking or organizing.”


My head started spinning.

They were here to do tasks for me? Why? Shouldn’t I unpack my own things?

“I don’t think I need anything. You can go to Eldest Sister!”

“Other maids are already assisting Lady Alice.”

“Oh… still…”

As I stood there feeling helpless, the two maids exchanged glances and began unpacking the luggage that had arrived in my room.

I watched them, restless and unsure, as they organized my belongings.

“I can do it myself…”

“No need, Miss. This is our job. Please sit back and relax. You must be tired from the journey.”

“Oh… Can I go to my sisters then?”

“Of course. This palace is now your home. Feel free to make yourself comfortable.”

With their reassuring nod, I grabbed Cookie and hurried to the next room.

Eldest Sister was busy unpacking with the maids and was too busy for me to interrupt. So, I went to Older Sister.

“Older Sister, do you need help?”

I peeked in through the slightly opened door.

She was happily chatting and laughing with her assigned maids. It seemed there was no room for me there, either.

Reluctantly, I turned to my Youngest Sister.

“Do not touch the books or documents. I’ll organize them. I won’t be here long, anyway.”

“Are you returning home soon?”

“No. I’m looking for a place to live. I can’t commute to and from the palace every day for work. I just need some basic clothes taken out, which I can handle myself.”

“You’re… working?”

“Yes, I have to work.”

The maids were startled by her statement and exchanged glances among themselves.

Ignoring their uneasy atmosphere, Youngest Sister added coldly.

“It seems there’s nothing for you to do here, so there’s no need to come to my room. Oh, and don’t touch anything while cleaning. Got it?”

It was clear I wouldn’t fit in here either, so I quietly closed the door.

Sigh. Is Cookie the only one who’ll play with me? What should we do, Cookie?”

There probably wasn’t a playground in the palace.

‘I wish I could swing.’

A seesaw or just a sandbox would be nice, too.

Back in Trovanza, I used to go to the white sandy beach with my friends and build sandcastles under the watch of some adult.

But there’s no way there’s a beach here in the palace.

Sigh, I can’t just sit around. Let’s go on an adventure in the palace!”

I decided to explore within the area visible from my sisters’ rooms to avoid causing any commotion.

There was a flower bed near the window.

I squatted down in front of it and patted the unnamed flower.

I could see caterpillars and ants in the soil, and the mystery flower smelled sweet.

“Ah, if only Jelly could see this. Right, Cookie?”

After observing the flower bed for a while, I sat down and looked behind it.

The area was a neatly paved open space, perfect for drawing on the ground or playing hopscotch.

I was wondering if I could draw without Mister Marius’ permission when a large shadow loomed over me.


When I turned around, Mister Leopold was there. Delighted to see him, I jumped up and clung to his leg.

“Mister Leo! I missed you! Did you miss Liliana?”

“Of course, I did.”

“Hehe. Mister, you came just in time! What’s this flower?”

“That’s a tulip. You don’t have these in Trovanza.”

“Ah, so this is a tulip.”

“You must be bored.”

“Yeah. My sisters are all busy. They can’t play with me.”

“Is that so? Well, it’s a good thing then. My brother is also quite bored. You two can play together.”

“Brother? Is your brother a baby?”

“No, he’s about your age, so you can be friends.”

“A friend?”

My eyes lit up at the word ‘friend.’

Mister Leopold straightened me up and gestured toward someone behind him. A boy a little taller than me and about my age was scowling in our direction.

‘Wow, he’s pretty.’

He was the prettiest boy I’d seen, even more so than Antonio.

He looked like a beautiful cherub from a painting, capturing my undivided attention.

The boy shook his head in displeasure.

Mister Leopold gestured again, and he reluctantly approached us.

“Edgar, come and say hello. This is Liliana. Liliana Verchio.”

Up close, Edgar’s eyes were a beautiful green.

It was brighter and more vibrant than olive, and they reminded me of fresh, green leaves, making my heart flutter.

“Edgar. Liliana is your age, so be friends.”

“Hello, I’m Liliana.”

Edgar’s beautiful green eyes shifted from Mister Leopold to my hand held out to him, then back. He scowled and raised his voice sharply.

“How dare you?! I won’t be friends with someone like you!”

With that, Edgar forcefully shook off my hand from Mister Leopold.


Cookie fell to the ground.

Stumbling back from the force of his push, I looked at Edgar in shock.

Tears welled up in my eyes — I had never been rejected like this before.