Chapter 68 - Rahel Han
They started trading with one another and exchanging services for alcohol. When that stopped working, they began threatening the women and children.
“Isn’t this enough? Why do you need alcohol?”
“Give it to us!”
From that day onward, there was a divide within the camp that wasn’t there before: those who gambled with alcohol and those who didn’t.
“The saintess…hic…is amazing!” They were always drunk. A dark shadow approached the group of drunkards who were praising the saintess.
“You’re all pathetic.”
The first man to ask for alcohol looked up at the dark-robed man with teary eyes, “Who are you?”
The man lowered his hood.
“You’re… the paladin…!” The drunk man was so shocked that he sobered up instantly, “…Why are you here?”
The paladin covered the drunkard’s mouth, “If you do as I say, you’ll be able to drink for the rest of your life.”
* * *
The gifts didn’t stop rolling in. “Who’s this present from?” I asked.
“This is from the count you saved.”
‘Ah, the count who had to write those reflections.’ “Throw it away,” I said. Seeing my resolve, a troubled smile appeared on Luciana’s face.
“Fine, I’ll throw it away. But I’ll take a look at what he sent,” I immediately ripped open the wrapping paper to find a fountain pen.
“That’s from Sigrache. It’s a very precious fountain pen. And it’s very difficult to get…” Luciana informed me. It was a bit of a waste to throw away something so precious. That left only one option…
“Let’s give it to Daddy!” I beamed. It would also give me an excuse to see him! Luciana seemed to realize my true feelings. She looked at me pointedly, but I brushed it off.
“The palace has been rowdy these days. Please come back safely,” Margaret warned as she dressed me.
“The palace is rowdy?”
“There’s nothing for you to worry about.”
“…?” Confused, I tilted my head at her words.
* * *
Contrary to what Margaret had warned me about, the road leading to the palace was actually quite peaceful. “Why did Margaret say the palace is rowdy?” I asked.
“Don’t pay too much attention to what she said.”
“But I’m curious!” I walked over to the garden where a large crowd was gathered to find out what was going on. “Ack!”
“Oof!” my head bumped against someone’s stomach.
I felt dizzy. Luciana rushed over to my side, “Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not. My head hurts,” I replied. Luciana did a double-take as I looked at the person I had bumped into. She had beautiful golden hair that sparkled in the sunlight. ‘Wow, she’s so pretty.’ As I gaped at her beauty, we happened to make eye contact. Her blue eyes narrowed into crescents as she smiled at me.
“Be careful when you’re dragging a child around!” the pretty lady’s maid scolded Luciana.
But the lady stopped her maid and then greeted me, “I’m sorry, Your Highness. I didn’t see you just now. Please forgive me and my maid for our rudeness.”
“You know me?”
The lady grinned, “There isn’t anyone in this palace who doesn’t know you.”
“Who are you?”
Helene…I’ve heard that name somewhere before. I tilted my head at the familiar face. There was no way that a fangirl like me could have forgotten such a beautiful woman.
“I’ve always wanted to meet you. It’s an honor.”
I frowned, trying to recall where I had seen her, when Helene coughed, “I’m sorry, my body is frail…”
“That’s fine, it happens.”
“You’re so sweet.”
“Of course! I’m sweet and kind and cute and lovely.” I replied. Luciana gaped at me as if to ask if it was okay for me to speak about myself like that, but I wasn’t the least bit embarrassed.
But Helene just laughed and nodded, “I can see why His Majesty is smitten with you.”
“Fate has led me to run into you like this, so I’ll say one thing: You’ll have to make a huge decision soon. So many ladies have entered the palace. Please be careful.”
“Huh?” I stared after Helene, as she said goodbye and excused herself gracefully.
“What do I need to watch out for?” failing to understand her warning, Luciana and I tilted our heads in confusion. And then we realized what she meant. It seemed that my popularity had suddenly skyrocketed.
“Hello, Your Highness! I’m from Dampierre…”
“Your Highness, I’m from Borsele…”
“Princess, I’m Himenelos…”
‘What’s gotten into everyone? Somebody save me!’
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