The Princess's Doll Shop - Chapter 23
“You were raised well— Cough —Your looks and personality cannot be compared to those aristocratic children.”
“Oh my, you are too kind.”
To his Imperial Majesty who delegated his imperial duty to others, spending time with his favorite consort and stepdaughter seemed to be his most enjoyable pastime for the remainder of his life.
Keeping up with his expectations, Kathia offered some cake to His Majesty and beamed in an endearing manner.
Of course, that did not mean she was smiling inside as well.
From having lessons with Madam Murphy, doing embroidery, and enjoying peaceful times with Hannah, spending time with him was by far the toughest and the worst.
His Majesty, who had no idea what Kathia was thinking, smiled wisely and suddenly tossed a suggestion out.
“Yes, that’s right. Let’s host a grand party this time.”
Turning pale, Hannah held his arm, the absolute power who had no need to be aware of others’ judgment and continued talking in vain.
“What do you think, dear? For all these years, we always had such measly celebrations for our only princess’s birthday— Cough… Ahem. I cannot imagine anything more appropriate for her coming-of-age. I would order a grand debutante ball for the Imperial Princess— Cough cough…”
Her coming of age. A debutante. The first party that can be only attended by those dashing 18-years-olds.
It was around that time when Kathia forgot about her dim present for a moment and fell into a shimmering imaginary world.
“Please retract your words. It’s too much for our status. Isn’t that right, Kathia?”
Hannah’s solid voice brought Kathia back to reality. She slowly nodded, unable to fully get rid of the shiny light of her dream world.
No, she almost nodded.
All of a sudden, His Majesty coughed up blood.
There was an outburst of screams and His Majesty’s body stiffened suddenly and fell over. At that moment, Kathia thought about many things.
Why? Why did this happen? Is he sick? Did his illness take a turn for the worse? Or did he eat something bad?
Could he have been poisoned? If so, who would dare to do that? The first or second consorts? The Imperial Princes? Or perhaps someone else completely?
No, if his Majesty were unable to wake up— were to die— if he were to die like this in front of my mother and me, then wouldn’t we be scrutinized as suspicious? It can’t be. No one’s going to believe us. They’re not going to help us.
Even if there were no misunderstandings, if his Majesty were to die, would we be exiled from the imperial palace? Would we be set free?
No, it wouldn’t happen. I learned about the history of the imperial family from Madam Murphy. We will NEVER be left alone.
What should I do? What will happen to mom? And what would happen to me?
‘How are we going to live from now on?’
Thud, with the noise, His Majesty fell to the ground. The knights and attendants rushed to him.
It was chaos. The noise was deafening. In the midst of the screams calling for the palace physician, she heard her mother’s frantic voice.
Fortunately, His Majesty woke up about two hours later.
The physician explained that his fainting spell was due to his health conditions, not poison. He then suggested a good rest.
He also carefully noted that we need to be prepared for this to happen again.
Just like that, it was over.
But Kathia couldn’t shake the implications of the incident.
‘If his Majesty dies, so do we.’
She couldn’t allow this to happen, it can’t end like this.
For the longest time, she hoped for His Majesty’s death the most out of anybody. However, he wouldn’t die. Now, she wishes that he wouldn’t die at all. How could there be a wish more contradictory than this?
Instead of holding on to her foolish wish, Kathia needed to think about a better, more realistic method in the meanwhile. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy.
She thought. And thought. And thought some more.
And now, she couldn’t sleep well, couldn’t eat well, became more sensitive. Truthfully, she became awfully sensitive.
In the meantime, His Majesty started coming over constantly.
And she nervously wondered when he would faint again.
Hannah’s sleepwalking persisted.
But still there was no answer to be found.
Every single day, she got more and more tired.
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