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TINPFF – CH006

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It seems that the fruit of the World Tree was really a good medicine. After drinking the tea sent by Eustis, Philomel regained her strength. She felt that her body and head were lighter than before.

In the princess’s literature class, Philoman, who closed the book he was reading, said to the literature teacher.

“I read everything. What should I read next?”

“Have you read it already? If you’ve just turned over the bookshelf…”

“I really read it all. If you’re in doubt, ask questions from what I had read.”

Philomel got all the questions given by the teacher right. Her nursemaid and her teachers watched with wide eyes as the princess eagerly attended her class, almost as soon as she got up from her sick bed. It was completely different from before, when she showed no interest in the content of her class and just spent time doing something else. She said there was something Philomel didn’t understand, and when she voluntarily organized her questions and went to him, the elderly foreign language teacher even freaked out.

She also spent her free time quietly taking supplementary classes or reading books. And her time with Nazar was no exception.

“…ness… Her Highness the Princess.”

“Um, Nazar. I have a question, when was the Battle of Decilia?”

“It was in the 132nd year of the Imperial calendar.”

“Oh right. Thanks for letting me know. After all, Nazar is smart.”

Nazar glanced at his fiancé sitting across from him ,memorizing a history book.

“Shall we spend time doing our own homework today? Nazar, from now on, bring a pastime from your house. It’s once a week, but it’s a shame if you waste your precious time in vain.”

As soon as she met his face, Philomel said that, opened the book, and began to study without paying any attention to Nazar. Philomel’s gaze lingered on the book, even on the occasional question she did not know.

Permission was granted to borrow a book from the imperial library for his empty hand, but he didn’t feel like it. Nazar emptied only the teacup placed in front of him like a machine, feeling like a borrowed barley sack. It was the first time he had been so free since he entered the palace to play with the princess. Up until now, after Philomel had moved as she wanted, it was always time to go back in an instant.

‘Are you mad at me?’

Even though he knew it wasn’t polite, Nazar stared intently at the small face that was concentrated enough to bury in the book. Far from being angry, Philomel always smiled at Nazar, but he felt a strange sense of distance.

It was awkward. The sense of distance, as if blocked by a thin glass wall, and Philomel, who had no interest in Nazar. At that awkwardness, the young lord tilted his head. For some reason he was not in a good mood. In the past, there were times when he wished that the princess would become a little more mature… but for some reason, it wasn’t good at all.

* * *

The change wasn’t just that. The number of times the princess would lose her temper to those under her was markedly reduced.

Clink!

“Ah. Sorry! Princess!”

A teacup dropped by her maid shattered. The blue bird painted on the surface was split into three pieces. The teacup was a gift given to her by Prince Avrydon on her birthday last year, and was one of the princess’s most treasured possessions.

“So… sorry! I’m so sorry, ah!”

The maid trembled at the thought that she would be severely punished since it was her fault. In fact, even if the princess was angry, it wouldn’t be much of a problem if her nanny would stop her, but recently the nanny had fallen out of favor with her. She went back to her hometown on vacation because she forgot her souvenirs.

The maid tightened her heart, waiting for Philomel’s fierce roar. But…

“What are you doing? Won’t you clean it up right away?”

“Yes?”

“The carpet will get wet. Get rid of it and leave.”

“Oh, yes. I see!”

The maid hastily picked up the broken pieces and put them together. What Philomel said next was even more unexpected.

“Be careful not to cut your hands. Not only is this teacup important, people are important too.”

To think that the princess, who would have been on her way in the past, was even worried about her maid’s hands. She was a startled maid, and from that day on she recounted the strange experience she had had whenever she met her courtiers. At first, most people regarded the princess’ change as a fleeting whim.

“I think His Majesty was scolded by something during the founding festival.”

“If so, how far will she go? Anyway, the day after tomorrow, it will be back to normal.”

“Anyway, the palace will be quiet for a while.”

They remembered her princess’ usual character too well. She was a sensitive and stubborn child. She was a troublemaker who neglects her duties as a princess and only thinks of fun.

However, as the change lasted for a day, two days, and several days, everyone had no choice but to think differently. The mischievous princess had finally come of age. Philomel’s desperate struggle for her survival was nothing more than an irony in the eyes of others.

“It’s worthwhile to teach the princess with all my heart. If I had just retired because of a little back pain, I would have regretted it.”

The nanny pretended to be the great educator who rectified Philomel, as if all credit was hers.

“You are such a great nanny.”

“You are wonderful.”

Philomel let her nanny’s arrogance and her maids’ flattery go in one ear. But their words concerning Philomel reached the Emperor’s ears, and after a few days Philomel was called by him. It was a lunch spot. In front of the two people who were seated at either end of the long table, rare dishes were set one after another.

Philomel was so nervous that she didn’t even know where the food was going under the Emperor’s sharp gaze, but she tried to stay calm.

‘Why did he call me?’

He couldn’t possibly have wanted to come and dine with her daughter now.

The emperor opened his heavy mouth.

“I heard the story. You’re dedicated to her studies. That’s a good attitude.”

It took her a while to realize that it was a compliment because it was a nonchalant tone. A meal with her father, a compliment from his mouth, it was all a first. It was only when the things she wanted so much lost their meaning that they came into her hands.

Philomel responded politely.

“…thank you. But there’s still a long way to go.”

“Your masters praised you until their mouths were dry.”

“It’s all thanks to His Majesty’s appointment of great teachers.”

‘Your majesty?’

Eustis raised his eyebrows at the strangeness of the words. Everyone referred to him as that, but didn’t Philomel always call him ‘Father’?

“…You have grown in a very mature way while I couldn’t see you.”

“Now, as a member of the imperial family, I have to work hard to have the dignity appropriate for that.”

Philomel laughed. It was a smile that did not open her mouth enough to show her teeth, but only slightly raised the corners of her mouth.The emperor gazed at Philomel’s ‘aristocratic smile’. Had he known his daughter a little better, he would have been keenly aware of the unnaturalness of the recent change. However, Eustis did not feel anything other than a slight discomfort.

“I get it. Keep working hard like that.”

“Yeah. I will keep that in mind.”

“Come to think of it, are you feeling better now? Is your cold completely cured?”

Philomel’s fork, which was moving on the plate, stopped for a moment. She didn’t expect Eustis to ask after her.

“…I have finished taking the medicine Your Majesty sent me.”

She felt strange because he seemed to be genuinely concerned.

‘No. I can’t be weak at the goodwill he throws at me.’

Philomel had her heart sealed once more. He was the man who would one day kill her once it were found she was a fake, if she did not act obediently.

“That’s good. Your mother was also very weak.”

“…Yeah.”

Just as the emperor was not her father, the empress whom she had thought of as her mother for nearly ten years was not Philomel’s mother.

Eustis, who had been staring at the air for a short time, looked at Philomel again.

“In the sense of praising hard work, if there is anything you want, tell me and listen to it if I can.”

‘Praise, worry, reward next?’

Philo Mel swallowed her saliva. What she had been waiting for came. The emperor made a clear distinction between reward and punishment when dealing with everyone. Severe punishment for those who were sluggish. Rewards for those who performed well. For that reason he expected to say the same to Philomel.

But she shouldn’t tell him what she wanted right away when he asked her. Philomel hid her true feelings for the time being.

“There is nothing. It is an honor just for His Majesty to know.”

The emperor said slowly, bringing his wine glass to his mouth.

“You are humble. However, it is better to be moderately greedy to be on the throne.”

‘I wasn’t going to say that, but I guess I can just leave it out.’

Philo Mel pretended to be troubled, then brought it out.

“Actually, I should have said that I wanted it… There is something I want to ask of Your Majesty.”

“What?”

Philomel conveyed the wish she had been waiting for to the emperor. She hoped that the acting looked as natural and sincere as possible.

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Translator Note:

Hello there! This is RJR. Thank you very much for reading.

Normally I won’t be posting this story on weekend but because chapter 3 was so long it took me one more day to translate this week scheduled chapters so… Here it is!

Next post will be released tomorrow.

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