I shook my head at my sisters concerned voice.
“No, Im not tired.”
“Okay, but lets get up now, you need to go to bed early.”
My sister, who got up from her seat, held out her hand to me.
I raised my body, holding her hand.
“Oh my God, Lize,” a nasty voice called my name.
‘Ugh, no way I frowned at the voice.
“Youre only cleaning the hall, why are you making so much noise”
Beckys figure walked in from the shadow of the entrance.
I looked back at incoming Becky, trying to hide my wary eyes.
“A palace maid shouldnt be playing around.
I think I need to teach you more lessons,” Becky laughed menacingly.
I closed my eyes instinctively at her sinister tone.
“Oh, my God, Ive never seen such a brazen, pathetic girl,” cried a languid voice.
Rose, who had risen, was staring at Becky.
Im okay! Dont fight!”
I pulled my sisters skirt, but Rose kept her firm posture.
“To pass your job to a child, are you even an adult”
“I dont know how such an incompetent person managed to get hired in the palace as a maid-in-training.”
Roses hand held mine, reassuring me while asking me to stay out of the argument.
I was worried about how this fight would implicate her.
Still, I was also happy that someone was standing up for me.
‘Its the first time someone has taken my side.
Nonetheless, I finally came to my senses.
‘Im not supposed to be impressed here.
What if my sister gets into a fight for me, and she gets hurt!
I tugged my sisters skirt once more.
“Well, who are you to just cut in the conversation!”
Just in time, Becky asked fiercely.
Becky carefully examined my sister.
“Ive never seen you before, but I dont think youre a high-ranking maid.”
I bit my lips.
Usually, maids prove their identity by wearing crystal brooches on their chests.
Ordinary maids would adorn rose crystal, senior maid wore white crystal, while a court lady carried a yellow one.
‘But… she isnt wearing her brooches right now.
She must have left hers because she didnt want me to know her identity.
I couldnt overcome my worries and look up at my sister.
Rose was very mysterious.
Instead of nervousness, all I could see was a face full of composure with a bit of…
How should I express that look Is it that pity
Well, I think shes pitying Becky.
Its like how a hawk would pity a sparrow…
“Who are you to order me as a maid-in-training”
Rose has such a fierce look on her face.
Her eyes fixed on Becky that she didnt even notice my nervous tug on her dress sleeves.
But Becky just snickered[a], “You are just like Lize.
I think you need some education, too.”
Rose tilted her head gently.
‘Becky must be planning an evil plan.
I have to protect my sister!
I stood on my heels, ready to spring into action when I saw Beckys eyes landed on the bucket in front of my sister.
The bucket was full of dirty water.
The moment she saw it, Beckys lip went up into a sneer.
Becky raised her foot.
‘Hey, dont bother, my sister!
‘How dare you badmouth my sister!
I ran forward desperately, as Becky kicked the bucket.
As a result …
My sister called me a fright.
I shook my shoulders, expelling the cold away.
The bucket was now empty.
Its dirty water was drenching my clothes.
If I were taller, Id only be wet until my belly button.
But that wasnt the case right now.
The water already soaked my undergarment and shoes.
I looked back at my sister.
Did she get any of the dirty water
“Sister, are you ok”
“Oh my God, Lize!”
The startled Rose bent down hurriedly.
I looked down at my damp clothes.
There was a lot of water in my shoes.
It felt very uncomfortable.
Still, it was worse seeing Sister Roses worried face.
I grinned broadly, trying to relieve her anxiety.
“Dont worry, Sister! Im ok!”
“What do you meanokay At this rate, youre going to catch a cold!”
My sister exclaimed as she tried to dry the water with her handkerchief to no avail as I backed away, avoiding her extending hand.
“No, what if your handkerchief gets dirty”
“Dont say that! You are more important than my handkerchief.”
My sister wiped my stained cheeks.
‘Well, thank you very much, sister.
I believe theres a bigger problem than my drenched body.
With tired eyes, I looked down at the bottom of the spilled water.
“Ah… I need to clean this mess again.”
The hallway that we spent seven hours to clean up, it got dirty again!
‘Ugh, the dirty water even splashed the wall.
Why was Becky so mean to Rose
I glared at Becky.
“Youll improve your skills if you keep cleaning, so you need to clean more,” Becky snarled, her words filled with malice.
She stepped forward and added, “I had worked so hard in the launderette, the head maid even praised me for doing such a great job.”
“Let me give you a little advice.
Its better if you stay away from Lize.
You havent seen her true nature.
Thats why youre still sticking up for her,” Becky said with a pointed look at Rose.
‘What nonsense is she spouting
I stared at Becky.
She was so unreasonable that it was getting absurd.
But Becky didnt stop.
“Even though Lize is younger, she said she would take on difficult tasks because she wanted to claim the head maids favor….”
Becky glared at me, her eyes filled with fury and rage.
“Thats why she wanted to clean this hallway up.”
‘… what is she trying to say Wasnt she the one who asked me to do it because she didnt want to do all the hard work
The other maids were messing around and skipped their work.
Thats why they forced me to do their dirty job.
“You just have to show the head maid how good you are, dont you” said Becky, looking at me with a wistful look.
‘Is she holding a grudge for what happened back then
‘Why are you doing this to me!
I couldnt hide my astonishment.
Becky clucked her tongue impatiently.
“Are you doing this all, so the head maid assigned you to the Emperors Palace or the Empresss Palace” she said before ending her speech.
‘No! Who wants to go to the Imperial Palace or the Empress Palace
I was dumbfounded.
However, Becky seems to have misinterpreted my silence as a silent affirmation.
Becky looked alternately at Rose and me, crossing her arm.
She looked at me, trying to compel me into admitting thetruth.
But suddenly from outside the hall.
“Your Majesty!” a hurried cry was heard, and with it, the sound of footsteps closed in, crossing the corridor.
I doubted my ears.
…Your Majesty The Empress!
Beckys face became puzzled.
I looked up at Rose reflexively.
My sister faced away from me at my astonished stare.
“… Sister Rose,” I called her cautiously.
My sister only bit her lips in response.
Before us, an old maid who arrived.
She adorned a yellow brooch on her chest.
In other words, she was a maid whos responsible for the whole palace.
The court lady gasped and bowed down.
“Your Majesty, I finally find you.”
Sister Rose glanced back at the maid.
“Hello, Maid Hayden.”
I searched the words in the back of my head.[b]
I knew that name.
Because I wanted to avoid the Empress, I remembered all the maids names in the Empresss palace and stayed away.
I tried to, but…
I clenched my fist.
After all my effort, the reality had instead gone beyond my imagination, rendering them into nothing.
“Your Majesty, you didnt come back, therefore this maid came to look for you.”
Hayden looked at Becky with a fierce glare at her discourteous pose.
Yet, instead of responding to the maids displeasure, she looked at Rose in puzzlement as if she couldnt grasp the situation.
After a while, my sister gave a sign and raised her head.
My sister, who always had a soft and carefree attitude around me, gave off a regal bearing.
Her expression was so unfamiliar and distant.
“So you are Becky, the maid-in-training”
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Beckys voice quivered as she asked in shock.2
Rose corners of her mouth went up a bit.
And on her face was a bone-chilling smile.