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Visiting the Royal Castle
That morning after a light breakfast, Ann wrote a letter to let the orphanage know that they couldn’t come today. Luckily, they were volunteers, so delivering a notice for today in the morning wouldn’t be a problem. She heard that some of the volunteers just didn’t come without any notice. It was normal.
However, Ann and Faye were more like regulars there, and she would feel bad if she didn’t say anything to let them know.
A maid took the letter and immediately went out to let the delivery man send it to the Wings’ Heart Children’s Home.
Ann then changed into a formal dress that was suitable for an audience with the royal. She donned on a monochrome dress that was simple, yet elegant. For the accessories, she casually put on matching earrings and a collar.
Upon seeing her reflection on the mirror, she smiled.
“What do you think?” Ann turned around as she asked… the little furball sitting on the bed, Birdie.
“Chirp!” Birdie’s chirp sounded affirmative.
Still, she was afraid her common sense and Birdie’s taste was wrong, so she waited until Faye arrived back to ask her opinion. As of now, Faye was also preparing herself.
Soon, Faye arrived at Ann’s room as she fidgeted in her own dress.
She was not wearing simple maid clothes that she normally wore. Nor did she wear the plain casual outfit used to go during her volunteering days or during her off-time. Most of such outfits were either hands-down outfits or oversized outfits that were bought with the consideration that Faye would surely grow up quickly and also considering that Faye had a pair of wings on her back, so there should be enough room for them.
By now, Faye had grown quite well. The maids all asked her to eat a lot more and thus, she was taller and chubbier. At least, she no longer looked like an eight-year-old despite being ten. She now looked like a nine-year-old. Ann realized this when she looked at Faye who no longer wore oversized clothes.
This time, Faye wore a semi-maid dress that fit to her body. The dress was tailored not too long ago, after Simone deemed Ann as presentable, in preparation that she had to attend a noble’s social gathering. It was finally going to be used now.
As Faye moved, Ann finally noticed that Faye’s wings seemed to grow, too. Before, she saw how the wings were in such sorry state with feathers withering here and there, but now… It looked strong and tidy. The outfit was designed so that Faye’s wings could come out from the back, as they were folded. However, there was another layer of clothes that covered the part of the exposed back, enveloping Faye’s back and wings. It was like an outer robe.
From the front, you could slightly see Faye’s folded wings, but from the back, you could only see the outfit’s back.
MY CUTE ANGEL!!
The first thing that Ann did after coming back to her senses was to hug the cute Faye tightly.
“Ohhh my child, you’ve grown up so fast… So cute… You’re a perfect angel!!!” Ann rubbed her cheek against Faye’s.
Faye was so embarrassed hearing the excessive praises from her mistress, but a flood of warmth surged from her heart. She was truly, truly grateful she met this kind woman by chance.
“Does it look weird on me?” Faye asked, still afraid. She was unused to wearing such a tight-fit clothes and one that exposed her wings. She was so unconfident with her wings and posture, because it was so pathetic before.
“No, you’re perfect! Like an angel!!” Ann emphasized.
Faye smiled and thought, ‘As long as she said so, it’s enough.’
Ann then returned the question back at Faye. Faye blinked as she praised Ann’s appearance. Not too gaudy, yet still noble.
The two then went towards the carriage as the time indicated for them to be there. Obviously, Little Pinkie Birdie followed them, perched on Ann’s shoulder as usual.
In the carriage, Allen was already waiting. He didn’t bring any attendant with him because he was used to go to the royal castle alone. Second, he had hidden guards on standby, guarding him. And third, he was quite confident in his skills to survive from attacks.
In the game, Allen was also known as ‘the lone wolf’.
Ann sat down on a seat across Allen, while Faye sat next to Ann.
Noticing that she would face Allen directly and that the distance between the two of them wasn’t as far as it was usually in the dining table, Ann felt awkward.
Whatever, I’ll just turn my head around to the side to see the scenery outside…
Contrary to her expectations, Allen took the initiative to talk to her and thus, she was unable to pretend that she was enjoying the scenery.
What puzzled her more was that Allen’s attitude was warm. It was as if that incident on his birthday night never happened at all. It was as if they were continuing where they were left before their attitude changed.
Even though that puzzled Ann, since Allen didn’t mention it at all, she didn’t dare to bring it up, too.
When they arrived in the royal castle, a maid was already there, waiting to escort them.
Though it wasn’t necessary to have a maid escorting them, Allen knew that his friend purposely tasked the maid to do so in order to observe Ann. Sure enough, Allen recognized the maid’s face. She was one of the royal family’s loyal and trusted maids. She also had a pair of discerning eyes and was professional at reading people.
Right from the beginning, Allen saw how the maid’s gaze was focused at Ann, observing her from head to toe.
But the person in question, Ann… She was looking here and there around the castle. Her eyes were sparkling in curiosity.
Looking at such innocent her, Allen’s heart tightened.
She was so captivating this way.
Next to Ann, Faye had the same expression and attitude as Ann.
The maid found it amusing that the two people with a vast different in age would display the same behavior.
Still, she wasn’t tasked here for nothing. She still had doubts in her heart that the girl was an expert at pretending.
The maid cleared her throat, catching Ann and Faye’s attention at the same time, before she said, “Please, follow me.”
During the way, the maid acted like a tour guide to Ann and Faye. Both of them were busy looking here and there as the maid introduced the places they came across during the way to meet the prince, so they didn’t really notice how the maid’s gaze was always on them, judging.
The maid noticed how the two girls—especially Ann—were truly looking around with curiosity, without any trace of envy, coveting, and any malicious intent.
She took a longer route on purpose and not even once did she see Ann’s expression falter. She was really innocent. It didn’t seem like she was pretending…
Allen noticed everything that was unfolding, but he stayed silent and followed.
Eventually, they arrived at a room where the prince was waiting.
Upon entering the room, the maid approached the prince and said in a low voice that only the two of them could hear, “Your highness, from my observation, she was looking around in curiosity as if it was her first time coming here. There wasn’t any trace of envy, coveting, or malice. I don’t think she’s pretending, but if she is indeed pretending, then she is a terrifying expert at it.”
The prince slightly nodded before dismissing the maid.
Allen greeted the prince, followed by Ann and Faye who awkwardly curtseyed.
Prince Kiehl tried to refrain from frowning, as Ann’s curtsy was really… stiff. Acceptable, but it was clear that she wasn’t used to do that. He remembered the woman’s attitude when he met her before. Her mannerism was really fluid and flawless, showing that she was a high noble. Her aura too… The woman before him was like a completely different person.
“Arlea, this is Prince Kiehl. Your highness—,” Allen’s words were cut off.
“I know. We’ve met before after all,” Kiehl said.
Ann was about to bow and say, ‘Nice to meet you, Prince Kiehl. I’m Arlea.’ But she awkwardly froze hearing his words.
That’s right, obviously they have met each other at least once…
And Ann more or less knew him, from the game… Being the crown prince, his route was quite popular and many people said that his route was the true route.
“Is it true that you knocked your head and forgot everything?” Prince Kiehl said in a cold tone.
Ann nodded awkwardly, “That’s right, your highness…”
She slightly shuddered. This person played an important role in her character’s demise, so how could she not fear him?
The original Arlea wouldn’t even flinch upon seeing the prince, nor would she show a slightest hint of fear. But the girl in front of him was similar to the people who met him in person for the first time, exhibiting nervousness…
“And the person behind you would be…?” Prince Kiehl suddenly asked.
“Ah, she is Faye, my personal maid,” Ann said as Faye quickly bowed.
As Faye made her movements, Prince Kiehl noticed that Faye was a bird halfling from the wings that moved. Then, his eyes caught a sight of the little furball that moved slightly on Ann’s shoulder.
Kiehl tried so hard not to let his mouth twitch upon looking at this weird lineup of people.
He then gestured Allen to come closer to him, and Allen did so.
Then, Kiehl asked in a tone of disbelief.
“Are you sure you didn’t swap your wife with some crazy bird lady???”