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Aiming to be the Top Maids?!
At that time, I thought that the next day, I’d definitely be able to start gathering more significant information after getting used to things yesterday.
I thought so…
I guess I was being too optimistic.
“Oyyy, newbies over there! You haven’t cleaned this corner!”
“Why are you two hired if you two can’t do this right?!”
“You two, do this!!”
Endless work… endless work everywhere.
Their standard of a work was high but I guess that was to be expected from the royal castle.
Obviously, Carbuncle was triggered and wanted to fight it out several times but thankfully I managed to hold her back…
But if this continued for a long time, I bet I’d be tired to hell and Carbuncle would go on a rampage!
This couldn’t go on…
That was what I thought, but we were still doing the maid jobs obediently…
I wonder if I made the wrong decision?
At this rate, we won’t be able to accomplish what we came here for…
Do we have to aim to become the top maids before we can accomplish our mission?
Gah, that’d be way too long!!
“Newbies over there! Pay more attention to your surroundings! Stop working and pay your respects now!”
Suddenly, the supervising senior maid called out to us.
“…?” I turned around to wonder what was it with paying respects as we were never required to do this to the senior workers… The seniority in this place wasn’t as toxic as that, thankfully…
And that was when I widened my eyes in surprise.
The people coming this way were too eye-catching for me not to notice them now that I had my gaze on their direction.
A majestic male elf with greenish yellow hair tied neatly in a low ponytail led the group. His lavender eyes looked straight ahead as he walked. He was donned in royal robes adorned with intricate patterns of vines. With a glance I could already guess who he was: Amadeus Uriel le Kiel, the king of Cielle.
Walking by his side was an elegant female elf with long and wavy bright golden hair that resembled the sun. Her eyes were of light grey colour, reminding me of the crown princess of Cielle that was sent as a delegate to Riviera that I’ve met before going here. However, this person exuded a more mature and calm air as opposed to Phoebe. Her silk dress adorned with delicate floral patterns amplified her elegance even further. This should be none other than the queen of Cielle, Queen Tabitha.
Then, there was a small young elf following behind them. He had greenish yellow hair and lavender eyes that mirrored his father’s. However, the way he moved and his gaze told me that he was timid. Exactly like what I had heard from Phoebe. Based on the information I had gathered too, he should be Manasye, Phoebe’s younger brother and the young prince of Cielle.
Walking next to him was a female elf who was more blended to the surroundings instead of drawing attention to her unlike the royal family. She was clad in a more modest outfit with robes and elven styled veil that made it hard to really see her hair, but several locks of her hair were visible. It was blonde, the hair colour that was often seen in Cielle. Based from her gesture and get-ups, she should be some kind of maid if not… Right. I had heard from Phoebe that her little brother had a nanny who was still by his side. This person should be this nanny.
Another person walked amidst them, conversing with each member of the royalty.
That person had different appearance than the rest of the royalty, yet she stood out just like the rest of them, as if she was blending with them.
Her elegant black hair flowed down to her waist with some of them being stylized into the shape of the rose at the side of her head, the black rose with its hair decoration only amplified her elegance.
Her lemon yellow eyes had familiar sharp gazes that I wouldn’t mistake for anyone else.
She was none other than Celeste, who was currently going incognito as one of the delegation from Riviera, named Fumitsuna Michiyo.
I knew that Alt-nii mentioned about how Celeste had betrayed them and went to the elven royal family’s side, but how could she brazenly walk with the royal family of Cielle with her disguise? None of the other delegation from Riviera was with her… Wouldn’t that make it seem odd?
The group of people walked closer to my side, and just when Celeste seemed to notice my staring at her, I quickly lowered my head to bow just like the rest of the workers around who halted their jobs to make way and to politely greet the group of people coming.
After they had gone to a certain distance, I suddenly heard whisperings among the workers who were left to continue their work, including me and Carbuncle.
“To think that we’d get to see the royal family so soon and so close up! I’m so lucky!” One of the new workers commented.
“Why is there an Oni among them?” One of the new workers suddenly asked.
“You’re new so you didn’t know. Hear me out,” One of the more senior maid said in a gossiping tone, “She shouldn’t be a full-blooded Oni. She’s of mixed blood, I think. She’s one of the delegation sent from Riviera.”
“Gasp! What were they thinking, sending an Oni mix to our sacred kingdom of Cielle…!?” The new worker who commented first asked in surprise.
“Huh? What’s wrong with that?” The other worker was puzzled by her colleague’s response.
“For goodness’ sake, they’re an Oni mix!! We’re like oil and water with them! We can never get along with them!”
“Ah… Is that so?” It seemed like the other worker didn’t seem to be convinced but decided to drop the topic.
“Their main purpose is mediation, so I think that’s why she was sent,” The other senior worker commented.
“But why would she be walking along with the royal family?” The new worker asked.
“Well… I think it’s because the king, the queen, and the prince have been missing the crown princess who’s currently in Riviera. That girl happened to be the only young female sent as part of Riviera’s delegation that’s closest to the princess’ age, although she’s definitely older than the crown princess…”
“Still, to think that the royal family is welcoming to her to such an extent…?!”
“I think the royal family is closely monitoring her at the same time, don’t you think so?”
“Eeeh, I doubt about it… They seem close to her…”
“Well, we never know the royalty’s mind, but I believe they shouldn’t be too blind,” the new worker who seemed to be very prejudiced towards the Oni commented.
“What about the rest of the delegation, though? Why is it that only one of them is here? Isn’t there the crown prince of Riviera too?” I decided to chime into their conversation at that time.
This is what I’ve been looking forward to!
The gossipy nature of the maids or workers at a place!
I am so lucky to have encountered this so early in my time working here!
My chance to gather information has come!
I was a little bit in despair before, thinking how I would be destined to work hard as a maid with nothing as a reward… They got free labour, I got nothing!!!
“See? Like I said, the royal family’s keeping tabs on that mix Oni girl! I mean, that’s why the other delegation are sent elsewhere while she remains,” the most prejudiced new worker said.
“Huh, where are they sent to?” I asked again.
“The young crown prince and his aide as well as that duke’s son went on a diplomatic meeting. The others who were older than them consisted of various experts working for the royal family of Riviera, and they’re currently visiting various departments in the royal castle to study them as well as share their side of departments’ ways,” the most informed senior maid said.
Diplomatic meeting and a kind of tour study, huh?
It sounded nice in front, but they were indeed under strict monitoring.
But Celeste… I wasn’t sure about her being closely monitored as well, since she seemed to be on friendly terms with the royal family of Cielle as of now… Technically, they were her relatives, but hmm…
[Is it a tactic of getting close to the royal family to gather more information from them?]
‘Hmm, if that’s the case, she should’ve told Alt-nii and the rest, no?’
[To deceive the enemies, you must deceive your allies first.]
‘There’s that too, but… I don’t get it.’
She snitched on the royal family to gain their trust? Must she go to that extent?
Celeste… I don’t get you at all…
“Heee… It seems like you guys are so free to chat like that, huh?”
Suddenly, a stern voice of the older senior maid snapped me out of my train of thoughts.
With that, the gossiping workers quickly dispersed, but…
Because I was too immersed in my own thoughts, I was too late to act and run away.
The same went for Carbuncle, who wasn’t really afraid of anything to even notice that we should’ve run away…
“Uhmm…,” I nervously looked at the older senior maid who was intently observing Carbuncle and I.
“Oh well, I’ll leave the two of them to you, Syl,” the most senior maid turned around, leaving behind a younger maid who was looking at us with sharp eyes.
This was one of the higher-ranked maids who followed the most senior maid that was our number one supervisor all the time.
It seemed that she was the right-hand of the supervisor, huh?
What would she be doing with us, I wonder?
Needless to say, I didn’t even need to wonder for so long.
“You two should clean the hall and when I’m back, the hall should be spotless… Oh wait,” Syl suddenly thought of something.
Then, her expression turned somewhat mischievous and I had a bad premonition…
“No, I’ll clean the hall. You guys do my job, it’s simpler. Just deliver some food to the Tower of Exile and you’re done,” she said.
Eh, isn’t that… power abuse?!
Is that fine?!!
“Of course, if you tell anyone about it…,” Syl suddenly turned around and looked at me in the eyes, making me wonder if she could actually read my mind?!
“Nobody would believe you anyway, it’s still your loss,” she turned around and waved her hand nonchalantly.
Thus, we were sent to the Tower of Exile that was located at the most secluded part of the royal castle, with not many people even going there. It was quite far that walking alone took a bit of time and obviously tired me already.
To think that we still needed to go up the tower, hmmm…
But when I arrived in front of the Tower of Exile, I swallowed my saliva.
“K-Kuu-chan, this should be the place… right? But how come… There’s such an eerie place in the elven kingdom’s royal castle premises?!” I pointed at the tall tower right before us, the tower was crafted from aged stones that had already gone through a lot as they were quite worn, yet the building seemed to be standing strong, despite the exterior walls showing cracks, mosses, and ivies surrounding it.
The air around us suddenly grew heavy as we approached the tower, and there didn’t seem to be a single soul lurking around the tower. Not even any chirping bird or singing insects could be heard. It seemed as if we had just gone to a whole different dimension, as the royal castle was brimming with life and its liveliness, safe for this place.
“Eh, yup. The name’s Tower of Exile, so this tower suits its name so much, don’t you think, Lyr?” Carbuncle chuckled instead of showing the same horror as I had on my face.
No wonder the senior maid avoided this place and shoved her duty to us… She would rather clean a whole hall alone than go here…
“Hmmm, who’s exiled here, though? Is there even a person here?” I asked.
“Dunno, prisoners or criminals, maybe?” Carbuncle shrugged.
“Well, what kind of criminals are exiled here, even?” I shuddered at the thought.
It should be the most dangerous of the criminals that needed to be detained here. Or… I had read in the fictions that such places existed in the royal castles to keep the secrets that they couldn’t reveal to the world…
At that thought, I stopped.
…Could Oriel be here?!