At that time, Anastasia’s maids were dragging Melina through the hallway of the Central Palace.
The courtiers of the Central Palace, who were there, looked at Melina with curious eyes.
But no one stopped Anastasia’s maids.
Seeing Mrs. Rochester at the forefront, they seemed to have noticed roughly what was going on.
Melina arrived in her room with an indescribable sense of shame, and was thrown on the bed as if she were being thrown away.
“If you promise to be quiet, I’ll let you go.”
Mrs. Rochester hung the conditions without loosening the gag that she had placed until then. Melina nodded hastily.
Mrs. Rochester beckoned, and only then did Anastasia’s maidens release the gag that had been bitten in Melina’s mouth.
Anastasia’s maids were worried that Melina would break her promise and go on a rampage, but fortunately Melina was not that stupid.
Instead, she glared at Mrs. Rochester with her bloodshot eyes and hands on her face as if she was falsely accused.
“You can’t treat me like this. How dare you! I’m the Emperor’s maid…!”
“I guess you still don’t understand the situation because you’re talking nonsense.”
Mrs. Rochester scolded Melina with a cold look.
“As a court lady, it is impossible for anyone to dare spread slander against Her Majesty.”
“It’s not slander, it’s a fact!”
“It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. Even if the empress can’t revive the goddess’s garden, you’ll have to be prepared for punishment.”
“I am the daughter of the Marquis of Lutent.”
Melina clenched her teeth and chewed out spiteful words.
“You can’t mess with me. No one can!”
“Well, I know that the Marquis of Lutent has two grown sons, and there’s no father anywhere who wants to stand in the way of his children.”
“The Marquis is a person who calculates profit and loss quickly. You should know that, Lady.”
Mrs. Rochester, who concluded her remarks with a sneer, led the ladies out of Melina’s room.
And Melina, left alone, began to grind her teeth in anxiety, reflecting on Mrs. Rochester’s last words.
Mrs. Rochester was right.
Her father was a quick worker. The reason why he tried to organize the anti-Emperor forces and turn her into an Emperor’s paramour was because he thought there was a possibility.
If things showed signs of going wrong, he would cut himself off before he prevented further damage. Even for his own nefarious acts.
‘It will never happen.’
Melina gritted her teeth and revealed her anxiety.
‘Honestly, I don’t think Anastasia will save the goddess’s garden.’
How many bugs did she pour into it, it was impossible.
However, there was something else that made Melina unbearably nervous.
“I have to hurry up and capture the Emperor’s heart…”
Wilhelm rarely opened his heart to her.
In fact, it was the same for not only herself but also the other four maids.
She tried to seduce the emperor by wearing a thin dress close to a slip where he often walked every night, but it was a failure every time.
No matter how hard she tried, he just passed her like a statue.
‘Is it true he wanted to get rid of us on the first day?’
Melina bit her thumb nail and recalled the memory of the first day.
She was slapped by Anastasia on the first day of her entrance, but Melina decided to take the beggar situation positively.
As she had told the Marquis of Lutent, she decided to use the wound on my cheek as a weapon to induce sympathy.
So she went to Wilhelm on purpose without proper treatment.
“Your Majesty, I have brought you a tea that is good for relieving fatigue.”
“Leave it there.”
Without giving a proper glance her way, Wilhelm focused only on the paperwork.
Melina was saddened by Wilhelm’s attitude, and she puckered her mouth and looked at him.
Then, soon after, her face turned red.
‘… You’re handsome.’
The way he wore glasses looked intelligent and made his high nose look sharper.
Above all, the dark lights of the night made Melina feel strange.
Melina was looking at Wilhelm unconsciously, and he suddenly raised his head.
Naturally, the eyes of the two met.
“…are you not going out?”
When Wilhelm asked in a strangely displeased voice, Melina belatedly came to her senses and opened her mouth.
“What? Oh…… Yes.”
However, she soon changed her answer because she thought she shouldn’t miss the opportunity.
“It’s… I thought you’d better have your tea before it gets cold.”
“All right, get out of here.”
“Come on, take a sip.”
Melina tried to erase her nervousness and persuade him.
“I’ve been working really hard.…”
Melina approached Wilhelm with a teacup of tea, timidly trailing the end of her words.
As she got closer to him, her heart beat deepened, and Melina tightened her hand with the teacup so that he wouldn’t notice the tremor.
“Well, then I’m going to leave… Ah!”
Before turning around after giving her dismissal, Melina deliberately moaned and touched her left cheek.
Yet she never covered the wound with the palm of her hand so that Wilhelm could see her well.
‘If this happens, even His Majesty can’t ignore it.’
As expected, Wilhelm stared at Melina’s injured cheek.
‘What’s wrong with my cheek? He’ll probably ask, right?’
It was when Melina was putting on a pathetic look, hiding her pounding heart.
“There’s something you should be aware of.”
A cold voice completely different from what was expected came from Wilhelm’s mouth.
Melina forgot to act and looked at Wilhelm with a curious look.
“It should be obvious of course, but don’t you dare stand up to the empress.”
“It means not to disgrace the prestige of the Central Palace by walking around with a slap on your face.”
When the unexpected warning came out, Melina had no choice but to be dazed.
She was so embarrassed that she couldn’t say anything, followed by Wilhelm’s arsenic voice.
“Especially Miss Lutent, you have to be more careful.”
“What do you mean…”
“I was surprised. Even if all the girls in the world wanted to be my lady-in-waiting, but I never expected Miss Lutent.”
“…Your Majesty, I.”
“Get out of here. And don’t come into my room without my instructions.”
That was it. Wilhelm no longer looked at Melina, and Melina had no choice but to bite her lips and leave as she was.
‘Since when have you two been so special?’
It was amazing. It was a fact that the society knew that the two rarely had even mandatory marital relations.
Besides, it was only yesterday that they growled whenever they met.
‘Did you change your mind because she’s changed recently? Really?’
Melina bit her teeth in anxiety. But she couldn’t give up there.
‘Even if that were the case, it would be temporary. Was there a tree that didn’t fall over after taking another ten shots?’*
*TN: Anastasia was bound to fall with Melina fighting against her
Melina made up her mind and moved to her room.
In fact, Anastasia knew what Melina had experienced that day through Mrs. Rochester.
She planted her eyes and ears in her opponent’s palace under tacit agreement.
“As expected, the male lead is different.”’
The way from the Central Palace to the Goddess’s Garden. Anastasia was impressed again.
How could the five maidens have blatantly seduced him?
Nevertheless, it will not be easy to not bat an eye.
But now Wilhelm doesn’t even have a girl he loves.
Even she became a little bitter when she thought that Avelin would quickly disarm him if she appeared.
“Oh, it’s here.”
At that time, Anastasia stopped walking at Selene’s words.
Anastasia was greatly embarrassed at the sight of the garden which was soon revealed.
The condition of the garden was worse than she thought.
The red roses, which would have been beautifully displayed, were being eaten alive, covered in disgusting swarms of bugs.
“I heard that they went to the temple, too… It’s in such bad condition for that.’
Seeing it about to turn into the site of death made her feel more complicated than she expected.
“What should I do? It’s almost withered.”
Selene also approached the flowers with a tearful expression and examined the condition.
“Your Majesty, what brings you here…!”
“Greetings to the Empire Moon. Goddess, may you have endless blessings.”
Then the gardeners found Anastasia and approached her and greeted her.
Anastasia asked the gardeners with a dark look.
“Since when has the garden been like this?”
“It’s… It’s been almost three weeks now.”
“I’ve been catching them for a while, but there are so many… Even if the priests come from the temple, it’s only for a moment*.”
*TN: it only helps briefly
“What should I do with this… Please kill me, Your Majesty!
Anastasia stared at the gardeners kneeling in front of her.
Whether or not it was true that he caught bugs without a break, his eyes became dark because he couldn’t sleep well for a long time.
Anastasia turned her head this time and stared at the insects that ate the flowers.
There was silence for a long time, and the gardeners waited for Anastasia’s disposal, trembling at the thought that the Empress might strike them on the head at that moment.
But after a while, the words that came out of Anastasia’s mouth were completely different from their concerns.
“No need to worry. There is a way to fix it.”