The Empress’s gentle voice made me tear up inside.
Why are you making me do this!
The Empress spoke again with a tender voice.
“There’s no need to feel pressured.
Just say what day you want it to be.”
…..no, how can I not be pressured in this situation The two people I cherish the most want me to pick between them…
I-I am a maid of the Empress’s palace, should I side with the Empress or Damian
I was plunged into deep agony.
Damian however nudged me and spoke with a sullen tone.
‘I still haven’t received a proper birthday present from you yet.”
“If your birthday becomes the day we first met, I’d be very happw….”
Damian glanced at me with a wistful look, his speech blurring near the end.
The Empress watched what transpired, her face contorting slightly.
W-well you can’t say no to that!
I then averted my attention to the Empress with my mind made up, giving her a long awaited answer.
“I’ll make my birthday on the date set by the crown prince….”
The Empress widened her eyes upon hearing my answer, directing her gaze to Damian.
“Prince, that was a dirty move!”
The Empress protested but my choice was made and the smile on Damian’s face was definitely one of a winner’s.
I’m sorry, Empress.
But today is Damian’s birthday, isn’t it He should have at least one proper gift from me.
The Empress, who protested for some time, suddenly pushed the tip of her lips.
It was a wicked smile.
“Your highness, you know what The world can be very cold.”
“…….What do you mean by that”
“If it’s to win Charlize’s heart, I’ll try my very best.”
The Empress raised her nose at Damian and declared proudly.
……Hey, are you two still not done yet How long are you both going to argue
On a side note, the Duke seemed to have given up all hope in correcting his sister’s actions.
Nevertheless, he continued to watch the competition between the Empress and Damian.
I guess it’s not his problem
The Empress bowed down to meet me at eye-level, asking a question in a voice as sweet as honey.
“You know Lize.
Is there anything you want”
I’m thinking of getting you a present for your birthday.”
Huh, is this her attack strategy!
At the generosity the Empress showed me, I unknowingly blushed.
But, apart from that…..
“I’m sorry but it’s not my birthday yet” I replied with embarrassed laughter.
However the Empress responded by shaking her head firmly.
“Your birthday’s been uncelebrated five times so far, hasn’t it
“Even if it’s unlikely to celebrate all five, I’d like to celebrate your birthday at least once.”
The Empress was determined to not let this go.
I quietly read the room.
Then if the Empress insists….
“Well, there is something I want.”
Just tell me anything! If you want, I’ll even pick a star from the sky for you!”
The Empress spoke with great enthusiasm.
Even if the male protagonist of a romance novel were to appear before me, nothing can be as exciting as this.
“I too…..I want to study like the crown prince.”
Her eyes widened in surprise upon hearing my answer.
I nodded my head slightly.
“I want to be a maid who the Empress is not ashamed of.”
My inability could burden the Empress.
On top of that, I’m taking care of Damian, the crown prince of the empire who will someday rule.
Compared to the nobility of the people I served, my rank was that of an ordinary woman.
And the general recommended knowledge for women in the palace is being able to read and write.
Of course, it’ll be a little different when you reach the level of senior maid…..
‘Would it mean that I couldn’t be a high-ranking maid’
No, it just means that I have to start studying if I want to be more than just a normal woman.
Still lost in thought, I slowly raised my head.
The voice of the Empress, as she called to me, was full of emotions.
“You want to be a maid I’m not ashamed of…..”
“Hwa, your Majesty, the Empress”
“It’s really touching that my Charlize thinks of me so much.”
“Charlize, you think of me so much, I’m really touched.
Your birthday present is supposed to be for your benefit but you want to better yourself for me…”
The Empress couldn’t withhold her emotions and embraced me tightly, lifting me up a bit.
As long as the Empress is happy…..
I quietly embraced the Empress for what seemed like forever.
“I’ll see that you get a teacher.”
Just don’t forget, you’re perfect Lize.”
Having said that, the Empress placed me down, acted playfully, winking one of her eyes mischievously.
I reciprocated with a broad smile, that is until I felt a cold energy emanating behind me that sent chills up my spine.