Lilyca whispered to Bryn.
“Is he late because of work”
“I’m going to send a servant to find out.”
Bryn beckoned as she said that, and the servant, standing at the end of the gazebo, quickly departed.
The servant who had returned after a while said with a grim expression,
“He told me to tell you that he was still in the Black Dragon Room and that he would be late.”
“Is that it”
To Bryn’s question, the servant answered, “Yes.” Bryn looked at Lilyca, and the little girl replied,
“There are no other options if he’s late, I will wait.”
Lilyca waited a long time.
It was hard for her to stand still, and it became harder and harder since she was a child.
She stood, shifting her centre of gravity from side to side.
Even when she sent the messenger again, the only response that came back was, “I’m late.”
Then, after two hours, the servant came back with a new answer and his head bowed.
“He told me to tell you that he can’t be with you today because he’s too busy.”
Bryn’s dark purple eyes shone coldly.
She quickly examined her master’s expression.
Lilyca looked surprised.
Bryn had to say something, but Lilyca spoke first.
“Is he that busy”
Startled, the servant looked up and then bowed again.
“Yes Yes, that’s right.”
Can you tell him not to be too sorry I’m sure he’s worried about making me wait.
Tell him I’m fine and not to worry about it.”
Bryn held back a laugh.
The servant nodded earnestly at Lilyca’s words.
Can I send her with the newly made tea Bryn, what do you think”
“I think it’s fine.”
“Really Then, bring me a basket.
I’m sure he would be regretful if he couldn’t taste the cookies made by the chef.”
After a while, the servant left with the basket and Bryn was happy to see that.
Lilyca sighed and said,
“If someone is too busy, they can break their promise.
However, I’m afraid they’ll feel apologetic for that.”
Bryn nodded joyfully at the good-natured innocence of her remark.
Her master thought that anyone who broke their promise would feel guilty.
“I’ve told you many times that you don’t have to be sorry.
You’ll be all right.”
He had done something so shameful; wouldn’t he be disrespectful if he didn’t apologise It’s a matter of making things right, but contrary to him, the princess had the virtue of speaking from the bottom of her heart without malice.
Bryn was truly pleased, and Lilyca said,
“Then shall we drink tea together It would be a waste to clean up everything now.”
“I would be grateful.”
Bryn curtsied gracefully.
Two hours had passed and now, the sun was setting.
The two were sitting down, watching the sunset and lanterns lit the garden peacefully.
Servants had prepared cold desserts, so they only had to bring back hot water from time to time.
She didn’t know if the Crown Prince would come, so she constantly asked for hot water from the kitchen, therefore, water always arrived right away.
Lilyca brewed the tea herself, her little hands moving skillfully.
It was because she had practised countless times for today with Bryn.
She moved on the step stool, brewed the tea, filled her cup first, and then, filled Bryn’s.
Lilyca raised her hand lightly, clenched her fist, and then opened it.
The servants quickly went far away so as to not hear their conversation.
Lilyca looked at her hand in wonder.
“It really works.”
Light hand signals work anytime, anywhere.”
“You said that if I clenched my fist, on the other hand, it meant that they could come closer”
Bryn answered slowly, touching the rim of her teacup.
“It’s better to be careful of hand signals when there are soldiers.
They might mistake it for an attack signal.”
“Yes, it has happened several times in history.”
At Bryn’s words, Lilyca nodded.
‘Even high-ranking people are struggling in their own way.’
Bryn asked anxiously,
“Princess, are you truly okay Aren’t you upset”
“Um, it’s all right.”
Then, she whispered softly,
“Yes, I feel sorry for you for helping me, but in a corner of my mind, I thought this might happen.”
It didn’t seem like the innocent princess in front of her was accustomed to hiding her intentions and scheming.
So, of course, the question was asked.
Lilyca raised her eyebrows and spoke with her signature serious expression.
“When I go to His Majesty’s office, he is always busy with work.
Then, when I ask Sir Lat he says, “I cannot go because I’m busy today.” Even though he had promised.
That’s what happens all the time.”
Surely, Lat had to grab his head later and push a sigh.
There were times when the little girl had said, “You should go out even if you’re busy.”
They had answered, “Um, yes.”
His Majesty’s promise-breaking patting was famous.
“The Crown Prince is just below His Majesty, right Isn’t he very busy then So, I was prepared that he might not be able to come even if we made an appointment.”
“You understand the situation of those who work,” Bryn replied with a big smile, patting her back.
“After all, you are a princess.”
Lilyca’s cheeks, not accustomed to compliments, turned red.
But on the inside, she praised herself for her quick wit.
She then quickly told Bryn again that she hadn’t been offended.
“But thanks to that, I was able to enjoy drinking tea with Bryn like this, right If I had drank with His Highness, I’m sure I wouldn’t have enjoyed it all.”
She would have been too nervous and wouldn’t have been able to even recognise what the tea tasted like, Lilyca added, shaking her head.
“If the Princess is okay with a maid.”
Lilyca and Bryn had tea until twilight.
The sky was dyed like their red tea.
As the light of the lamp seemed to be getting brighter and brighter, the sound of footsteps was heard.
A large figure suddenly popped up from the bushes.
Lilyca jumped out from her seat to welcome him.
Bryn also got up quickly and followed suit before curtseying.
“I was looking forward to seeing you, Tan.”
I heard your voice in the garden, so I was wondering what you were doing.”
“You were having tea with your personal maid.
It’s rare to have a tea party at this hour.”
“Because the sunset is pretty.
Why don’t we drink tea together There are enough snacks and tea.”
“If you invite me, I will join you without hesitation.”
Bryn quickly cleared her seat and brought out a new teacup.
Perfectly back in the maid’s position, Bryn began to attend to them.
Tan commented that the tea was very good, and Lilyca replied modestly.
“It’s the tea leaves that Lat gave me as a present.
I heard that Sandar’s tea leaves are a speciality.”
I’d like to give you the specialities of Wolf’s estate, but it’s still too much for the princess.”
“What’s the speciality”
“It’s distilled liquor.”
With a grin, Tan explained.
Lilyca replied as she shared Tan’s smile, “I see.”
“The snacks are new, too.”
“My mother brought in a new cook.”
“They are delicious.”
Tan shoved some cookies into his mouth.
The cookies were very small for him, so it was unlikely that he would be satisfied with just one or two.
Lilyca ordered more refreshments.
Refreshments brought quickly by the servants piled up one after another.
Tan opened his eyes wide after tasting the whipped cream.
“This is wonderful.”
“My mother told the cook to make it, it’s called whipped cream.
She said to use it instead of buttercream.”
The whipped cream on top of the heavy pound cake was lighter and fresher than the buttercream.
In the north, milk and butter were difficult to obtain, so this rich sweetness was a pleasure to taste only in the capital.
It’s not that the people of the Wolf family are weak to sweets or something.
Even though, they ate sugar cubes in their distilled liquor.
It’s hard to get cream in our estate because of the cold.”
“Isn’t the cream better when it’s cold”
Tan smiled at Lilyca’s question and replied, “When it’s cold, milk doesn’t come out well.”
Having learned a new piece of knowledge, Lilyca stored it in her head.
As they talked, the garden darkened.
So, Tan asked to escort Lilyca back.
Lilyca looked at Tan and asked,
“Can I take a look around the garden for a second”
“Then, Bryn will be the only one to accompany us.
When there’s a lot of people, we cannot walk in silence.”
Bryn grinned at Lilyca’s words and replied, “Very well.”
Tan started walking with a glass lantern, and Lilyca stood alongside him.
Bryn followed a step behind them.
At night, the garden was quiet and the air was drenched with the roses’ scent.
When she inhaled deeply, the little girl felt the scent of flowers permeate deep into her body.
The silence could have been scary, but it wasn’t since Tan was next to her.
It was fun just to walk quietly, but Lilyca opened her mouth.
“Thank you for coming today.”
Tan laughed softly.
Knowing his origins, it really seemed like a wolf laugh to her.
“I also ate something delicious thanks to you.
Thank you for your hospitality.”
Lilyca smiled and he continued,
“Are you sure you’re okay”
“You should have had a special guest today, didn’t you I was wondering if you were upset.”
Only then did Lilyca realise that Tan did not come by accident.
“I wasn’t offended.
And about His Highness the Crown Prince, I think he’s a kind person.”
When asked by the astonished Tan, Lilyca grinned,
“He has been trying to come and see me.
He had tried to finish his work somehow that’s why he kept saying, “it’ll be over in a little while.”
But then, obviously, time had passed.
That’s why he told her that he wouldn’t be able to come anymore.
She thought it was sweet that he said multiple times, “a little more and it’ll be over.” Just to see her somehow.
Tan seemed to be wondering what to say because of Lilyca’s unconventional logic.
Lilyca continued, not caring much about how it looked on the outside,
“You came here because you didn’t want my feelings to get hurt, right Thank you, Tan.
I’m sure I would have been hurt if I were alone.
However, it wasn’t the case since I had Bryn and Tan.”
Tan stopped and looked at Lilyca.
Her face was smiling with a serious expression like an adult, but her eyes contained a resolve that prevented her smile to reach her eyes.
A belief that no one did really hurt her and never will.
It was confidence and faith that couldn’t be dismissed just because she was a child.
If someone is not wicked enough to knock over a kitten that’s leaning on them, or kick a puppy that happily approaches, they might as well break as a human being.
[Cristal’s NB: like if they aren’t tough enough, life will break them.]
It was the kind of look he didn’t like to see.
So, Tan was impressed.
Lilyca did not lead a smooth life.
Through the report, Alteos, Lat, and himself knew what kind of life she had.
And yet, even when she was hurt and desperate for affection, she didn’t become a slave to these feelings nor did she sharpen her sword.
[Cristal’s NB: Lilyca didn’t become mean, even when her emotional needs weren’t met.]
It was a difficult thing to do, even for adults.
“You don’t have to thank me.
As I said before, I ate something delicious thanks to you.
Besides, I missed the rest of my work.”
Tan laughed out loud.
“I won against Lat at the rock paper scissors game.”
“Really Against Lat”
“Yes, we were wondering which of the two of us should go, and we decided with rock paper scissors.”
Lilyca said, “it was okay for both of you to come.” Tan nodded in regret,
“But then, who will do the work”
“If I had known, I would have sent a basket to Lat as well.”
“Yes, I actually sent one to the Crown Prince.
Since he was busy, I asked him to eat what was inside while working.”
At that, Tan’s shoulders shook again and he burst into laughter.
Giving food is usually a top-down job.
[Cristal’s NB: Someone does not order their superior to eat, it would rather be the hierarchically superior person who would give the order.
I guess that by doing this, Lilyca sorta subtly insulted the crown prince.]
Of course, his younger cousin’s freshly made sweets were delicious, so, it didn’t matter how many she sent.
At least that’s what Tan hoped the Crown Prince would think.
Tan chuckled, wondering if it would be taken that way.
Maybe next time, he would need to talk to His Highness.
This innocent princess didn’t seem to be just naive.
She was considerate and affectionate, and she had the will to protect herself.
‘This is getting interesting.’
When Alteos had said, “I’m getting married.” Tan was concerned in many ways, but now that he looked at it, he didn’t think he had to worry at all.
After going around the garden, Lilyca sighed and spoke softly in front of her residence.
Quiet enough that he had to bend his big body.
“Actually, there’s one thing I’m anxious about.”
“What is it”
“I’m worried that my mother will be upset.”
She had helped prepare the Crown Prince’s invitation and the tea party.
Lilyca thought she will be very upset to hear that her daughter waited for two hours and that the Crown Prince unilaterally broke his promise.
She’ll be very upset when she will hear the news that her daughter had been abandoned.
“I’m okay, but…”
Tan nodded at Lilyca’s words.
“If the Princess says it’s okay, I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
“Is that so”
Lilyca’s expression brightened at Tan’s reassuring promise.
“Thank you, Tan.”
Saying goodbye again, Lilyca entered the room.
Bryn smiled brightly and greeted Tan before closing the door.
Tan sighed and said in front of this door.
“I really hope the Empress will be fine with it.