My Mother Got Married By Contract Chapter 3
Lilyca was startled but quickly regained her composure. Because this story made more sense than a mother falling in love with the emperor and marrying him the following days.
Lilyca then asked with a serious face,
“So that means you have a job?”
Lydia brushed the crumbs from her daughter’s lips and nodded.
She did have a job.
It was hard to just admit it, but there was no reason not to say anything at all either.
Whatever the conditions, whatever the method, a transaction was a transaction, and a contract was a contract.
Lilyca was relieved by her mother’s words. It was easier to accept that it was a job or a contract.
Who was Lilyca Vans?
Wasn’t she the number one worker in the slums with a “work is a credit” mindset? Lilyca snapped out of her initial embarrassment and picked up another piece of bread.
But her mother was going to marry His Majesty the Emperor. So, wouldn’t she become the empress?
Her smiling mother was extremely beautiful. She could very well play the wife’s role of such a man.
Lilyca made her decision as her cheeks puffed up from the bread shoved into her mouth. Then, she swallowed the food with the orange juice.
She figured she was going to have to help her mother with her work.
“What about me?”
When Lilyca asked, Lydia had a rather sulky face.
“I thought my Lily would be more surprised than that.”
“I was amply surprised.”
“It has been decided that you will be taken as the emperor’s adopted daughter. So, from the day after tomorrow, Lilyca will be a princess.”
Regarding her future work, her mind went completely blank for a second. However, the little girl quickly regained her senses.
The day after tomorrow, Lilyca will be a contracted princess. A daughter under contract.
‘Either way, it was going to be quite a lot of work.’
Lilyca thought, slightly embarrassed by herself as she recognized the difficulty of the task ahead of her.
But what the hell did a princess even have to do?
Still puzzled, Lilyca asked about the contract. She looked around her and asked in a low voice,
“If it’s a contract, how long will it last?”
Her mother replied,
“Until the crown prince becomes an adult as well as the new emperor. So, it will be about eight years.”
It’s a very, very long time. She was already 8 years old and she couldn’t understand so many things. Her mother continued,
“When the contract is over, let’s both buy a house on the outskirts of the capital and live happily together. We will also have a small garden, what do you think?”
A small house with a little garden meant more to her than an imperial palace or being a princess.
“Yes. You would play in the garden comfortably and go build your own life afterwards. The money I’ll earn will be huge after all. But be careful,” Lydia said seriously. “Never tell a soul. This is strictly secret. This contract must never be revealed.”
“Yes. I will never reveal this secret. Even if I die.”
For a moment, her mother’s lips quivered. Lydia hugged Lilyca.
“I know, Lily. I know you will keep it secret.”
Her voice was shaking slightly and Lilyca patted her mother’s back to let her know that everything was fine. She must have been afraid to do something so daunting.
Lilyca took a deep breath in a confident voice,
“Don’t worry, Mother. I will work hard to help you.”
At that, her mother smiled slightly and stood up.
“To begin, I will help you with the first thing you have to do.”
“Your contractual wedding which will take place the day after tomorrow.”
Her mother chuckled.
* * *
After that, two days passed without a hitch. Lilyca tried to adapt to the situation, but it was a difficult task since everything happened so quickly.
Of course, it wasn’t just Lilyca. The imperial family, except the emperor… No, not only the imperial family, but the entire Empire was in shock.
People were, in addition to the sudden news of the emperor’s marriage, surprised by the fact that he had a lover to begin with, and that she was a woman with a child. It became the trending topic of conversation.
“I’m going to get married the next day.”
The emperor only had to say a word, but his subordinates had much more to say than him.
Fortunately, it was during the spring ball, so the nobles were already gathered in the capital, otherwise, the ceremony would have taken place in an empty temple.
The hastily prepared wedding dress was also ready for use.
Seeing the pure white dress, the bride said, “Gather the whole hem of the dress and puff up the buttocks.”
Time was running out so no one bothered to contradict her. So, the maids desperately mended and altered the dress according to Lydia’s instructions.
It looked like current fashion trends were moving towards another style, but Lilyca hadn’t realised it at the time.
The emperor’s wedding usually followed a series of steps for at least a year. However, it was currently taking place in just two days.
In fact, everything was a melting pot of confusion.
The ceremony was over before rumours about Lydia could even spread.
The day after the wedding, there was another small ceremony to make Lilyca the emperor’s adopted daughter, and it went like clockwork.
That day, Lilyca had met her mother. However, the little girl was worried because her mother looked exhausted as if she had not slept all night.
From that day on, Lilyca was no longer a “Vans”. She took the name “Lilyca Nara Takar”.
“Thus, there are only three people that Princess Lilyca will have to bow to; His Majesty the Emperor, Her Majesty the Empress and His Highness the Crown Prince.”
Lilyca listened to her lesson seriously. Her thin face wasn’t as chubby as it should be for her age, but her large eyes sparkled with interest.
Mrs Glenderin, Lilyca’s new teacher, looked at the little girl with fresh eyes.
When she had first been asked to teach Lilyca, she had hesitated. Indeed, knowing that the girl came from the slums, she wondered if she should teach such a child.
But the right to be able to have access to the Sun Palace won her heart.
The nobility of the Empire is divided into two categories: those who have access to the Sun Palace and those who do not.
As for the Sky Palace, any noble could enter and exit it, but the Sun Palace, where the emperor resided, was different.
It was one of the rights granted by the emperor, and most high-ranking nobles had it. Of course, if the emperor did not like a person, their right could be taken away from them.
Thus, nobles who had access to the court of the Sun Palace were called “aristocrats”, half-jokingly and half-seriously, and not simply “nobles”.
It was an opportunity that would never come again for Mrs Glenderin, a noblewoman who had no access to this court.
So, the lady had sworn to tolerate all the children she taught in the hope of having this right, but the little girl she had met was completely different from the one she had imagined.
She wasn’t distracted or fidgety, she wasn’t running around and saying vulgar words. Rather than spoiled aristocratic children, her attitude was much more pleasant.
There was no better partner for a teacher than someone trying to learn. It was a happy relationship.
So, Mrs Glenderin was teaching Lilyca more comfortably and happily than expected. Sure, it was still unfriendly, but it would get better with time.
“Well, let’s practise your curtsy again to say hello.”
Lilyca got down from her seat. The purpose of the practice was to polish her bow as she bent her knees too much. Unfortunately, Lilyca was struggling to improve her curtsey.
The little one descended from her seat, curtsied and climbed back to the seat immediately afterwards.
After some more practice, Mrs Glenderin moved on to the next exercise because there was too much to teach in such a short period of time.
Having spent most of her time in class, Lilyca was beginning to get worried.
Since Mrs Glenderin used to come to the palace in the afternoon, she could only see her mother in the morning.
However, when she went to see her mother in the morning, the servants often told her that she was sleeping because she was tired.
Annoyance was evident in the demeanour of the maid talking to her, but Lilyca persisted because of her growing concern.
‘What in the world happened last night? Mother continues to sleep because she is tired.’
After several visits, Lilyca was finally able to meet her mother. Lydia, who welcomed her in a dressing gown on her bed, looked exhausted.
“Mother, are you okay?”
When Lilyca asked that, Lydia, a little surprised, nodded.
“But you seem so weak… Do you sleep well at night?”
“At night…” Lydia mumbled. Then she added, gritting her teeth. “I can’t sleep well.”
“It’s important to get a good night’s sleep.”
Lydia laughed at her daughter’s worried remarks and said,
“Don’t worry. Everything is fine.”
She answered her daughter’s other questions and asked some as well.
They were trivial questions to find out if life at the palace was going well. Then Lilyca left early because she didn’t want to keep bothering her exhausted mother. But actually, Lilyca wanted to stay longer because she was still full of energy, not having had her etiquette lesson yet.
Besides, Lilyca was a little worried that the maids weren’t taking good care of her mother.
The little girl sighed deeply and asked,
“Why is my mother so exhausted?”
At that, the maid who had opened the door for Lilyca chuckled.
“It’s because His Majesty torments her every night.”
There was definitely some sarcasm in her voice, but it still came as a shock to Lilyca.
Dumbfounded, Lilyca turned to the maid, and the woman confirmed,
“Yes, that’s right.” with a frank smile.
“So… What I asked should be kept secret?” Lilyca wondered aloud, still in shock.
‘His Majesty torments my mother every night?’
But why the hell was he doing that? Just thinking about it, the little one started to sweat.
Lilyca knew the dreadful rumours about the emperor.
Maybe he abused her mother, beat her or made her scream every night?
When she thought of her mother’s exhausted face today, her anxiety turned to determination.
‘This cannot happen again. However, I must follow the rules of the palace to stop him. What can I do as Lilyca Nara Takar?’
Lilyca shook her head as she tried to get used to her full name again, which still seemed unfamiliar to her.
But her concern prevailed over her thoughts.
Lilyca, who had returned to her room after walking down the long corridor, swallowed her saliva and asked the maid,
“Can you give His Majesty a request for an audience?”
The maid looked at Lilyca in bewilderment.
“Are you asking for an audience?”
“Yeah, no, yes.”
The maid called the attendant and repeated Lilyca’s request. The servant looked surprised, but soon left and returned shortly after.
“His Majesty says if it’s just a moment, you can see him.”
“All right, I’m coming.”
Lilyca jumped up from her seat.
When the audience was accepted, the maids showed faces half puzzled and half as if they were expecting it.
One of them should have changed the little girl’s clothes, but the servants did not move. Instead, a maid stopped Lilyca in her tracks, and then said,
“It will only be for a moment. We don’t have time to change your clothes.”
Lilyca nodded and the maid bowed politely in return.
“Follow me to meet His Majesty.”
Lilyca felt embarrassed to impose herself like this on these people, but it was something only a princess could do, so she had to go see the emperor. Lilyca felt her hand shake as she followed the maid.
‘It’s okay, Lilyca. Everything’s going to be alright.’
While she was paying attention to her appearance, the little girl walked down the long corridor which seemed to be much shorter this time. Lilyca arrived in front of the emperor’s office in an instant.
It was her first time here, so she felt the need to take a deep breath.
The maid opened her mouth.
“Princess Lilyca has arrived.”
The office door opened without a word from inside. The servant bowed and Lilyca entered alone.
She was so nervous that she forgot not to look straight ahead.
No one was to be seen standing in His Majesty’s office. He was sitting at his big desk, and she was looking at him straight in the eye. He didn’t take his eyes off his papers, but Lilyca bent her knees hastily.
“What is going on?”
A low, crushing voice rang out. Lilyca, feeling a cold sweat running down her back, explained,
“I came to make a request.”
“Uh, M-my mother…”
Inhaling for a moment, Lilyca gave strength to her voice.
“Stop tormenting my mother every night!”
She raised her voice as loud as she could, but it wasn’t resounding either. However, the office became silent as if time had stopped.
And the next moment, she heard an ‘Oh’, and a ‘Wow’. Small sounds of exclamation echoed in the office.
Surprised, Lilyca added, without realizing it, something close to an excuse.
“M-mother doesn’t seem to be getting a good n-night’s sleep so she can’t even w-wake up in the morning… Since it’s too hard… So… Please stop h-harassing her…”
His Majesty stared blankly at Lilyca and opened his mouth as if embarrassed.
“Wait, of course, your mother likes…”
Lilyca’s eyes widened at the sudden coughs blooming everywhere in the room. His Majesty frowned and closed his mouth.
She hadn’t learned it yet, but maybe it was polite to cough when His Majesty speaks?
Looking at him directly in the eye, Lilyca opened her mouth slightly.
“Poa ha ha ha.”
A burst of explosive laughter was heard. Taken aback, Lilyca turned her head.
A tall man with papers in his hands stood in front of the emperor’s desk. He had crouched down and tried to silence the laughter in the room, but Lilyca noticed that his back was still shaking uncontrollably.
Annoyance could be read in His Majesty’s eyes.
It was then that Lilyca realised that there were two other people in the office besides His Majesty.
No, she had already noticed them, but she hadn’t yet analysed their presence in detail.
The tall, smiling guy seemed to be a knight, and the other man…an assistant perhaps?
Seeing Lilyca all embarrassed without even being able to understand the situation, the man who was standing behind His Majesty approached her. He was a gentle-faced man with brown hair and hazel eyes.
He had caught her attention because he wore a monocle over one eye.
The dark circles under his eyes were also impressive.
He knelt on one knee to make eye contact with Lilyca.
“Do not worry, that idiot isn’t laughing at you. You are a very brave princess.” He added with a smile.
“His Majesty will no longer harass the Empress every night from now on.”
His Majesty refuted, but the man answered him, much to his surprise, looking back at the most powerful man in the land without raising even an eyebrow.
“Will you not?”
Hearing those words made His Majesty look like he had chewed on a shell filled with mud. Then, he looked at Lilyca and he sighed, his face pale and white.
“T-thank you so much!”
Lilyca smiled broadly as she thanked him.