Author: Cristal Editor: Cristal

At dawn, the Crown Prince’s party struck the palace like a thunderbolt. Atil, who harshly opened the Black Dragon Room’s door, froze.

“…What’s this?”

Said a boy of a similar age with light beige hair standing behind him.

“Wow, is this your taste? So cute.”

“Pai, shut up.”

[Cristal’s NB: His name is “파이” which sounds like “Pa”+ “e”]

Atil, who pushed him roughly, opened the waiting room door and stopped immediately. The living room wasn’t dark.

Candles were lit here and there, thanks to Lilyca’s insistence that lights should be lit at night, and the fireplace was blazing, driving away the early morning chill.

The decorations on the walls glistened, reflecting the light of the fireplace.

Welcome back.

Atil looked at the letters from the coloured paper, cut and pasted.

“It smells good too. They brought a lot of flowers. Since we’re coming down from the north, I didn’t even know it was spring.”

The beige-haired boy, Pai, who had followed him in, burst into admiration.

“Who did this?”

“Wow, this is really cute.”

Pai lifted a teddy bear, clad in a butler uniform, from the living room’s table and waved its arms.

“Welcome back, Your Highness. Judging from this letter, it seems that this is from your new cousin.”

“Give it to me.”

Atil snatched the invitation from his hand. After reading it, he smiled coldly.

“Tell me you’re going.”

Pai looked up expectantly. Bran, who followed, looked around.

“This is the first time we have been so welcomed. Would you like me to prepare a meal? Or would you like to wash up first?”

“Both are done.”

Atil waved his hand.

“Will you accept the invitation?”

Pai asked again.


Atil answered, throwing the invitation to Pai.

“Say you’re going. Play house alone as much as you want. Standing in the scorching sun for three or four hours will make you feel better.”

“Wow, the villain.”

Pai frowned. He didn’t even know what kind of person the girl was, but right now, as an aid, it was very tempting for him to act like the prince’s enemy.

He knew why the Crown prince was so edgy, but still.

Before Pai could say anything, Atil waved his hand.

“I’m going to sleep now. Don’t touch me until I wake up.”

As the prince went inside, Pai looked at the invitation and said, “what the heck.” Then, he sighed.

Bran tilted his head.

“You must be hungry.”

“Yeah. To the point of my belly skin sticking to me. But Bran, rather than that.”


Pai grinned and turned to Bran. Pai, a direct descendant of the Sandar Family, was a close friend and aide to Atil.

He asked, pointing his finger at the decorations and welcome letters.

“Did you know about this?”

“I told her that he might arrive around this time. That as food, he likes sweets. But that’s all.”


Pai picked up a cookie from the table. The crunchy and crumbly taste in the mouth was wonderful.

It felt like the tiredness of riding a horse for a long time melted into the sweet.

‘It didn’t get soggy, it’s a well-made snack.’

Even Bran didn’t know the exact date of their arrival. It was up to Atil.

Nevertheless, the flowers were vivid and the snacks crispy.

The teapot was still warm when he slightly touched it.

They must have been changing the flowers, snacks, and tea from time to time. They had been very attentive.

‘I wonder what that princess is thinking. No, it would be better to think this was the empress’s doing, and not the princess’. I’ll need to collect some rumours, too. I left the Imperial Palace empty for too long.’

Because of that, he was not able to partake in an unprecedented event called His Majesty’s Wedding.

Pai tasted all the sweets on the plate one by one.

There was nothing poisonous, nothing strange in taste.

He looked at the teddy bear and placed the invitation on the doll’s leg.

‘I’m sleepy too.’

He drove the horses all night long until dawn.

It’s not that he wasn’t aware of Atil’s paranoid anxiety, but he had hoped he would bear with it and not overwork his aides.

“I’m not as strong as a wolf.”

Pai grumbled before heading to his room.




Lilyca woke up at dawn. She scrambled out of bed.

‘Um. Has His Highness arrived? Is the tea still cold? Should I change the snacks?’

These days, she was paying attention to the Crown Prince’s room, so the first thing that comes to her mind in the morning was worrying about the snacks.

Lilyca got out of bed and put on a dressing gown.

‘Let’s just go and check if the snacks or tea are cold.’

She had the maids do it, but it was necessary to confirm for herself as well.

If the master didn’t care, the subordinates won’t either.

Lilyca put on her slippers and paused for a moment before opening the secret door. She didn’t want to wake Bryn for nothing.

Coming out through the hallways used by the servants, Lilyca also went inside the Black Dragon Room using the servants’ door.


When she opened the door slightly and entered the living room, Lilyca froze.

Because someone was sitting at the living room’s table, eagerly eating snacks and tea.

They met each other’s eyes.

Lilyca immediately recognised who the other person was.

Because she had asked Bryn several times what the Crown Prince was like.

She couldn’t believe she ran into His Highness dressed like that.


Screaming inwardly, Lilyca lowered her head. She had to figure out an excuse somehow.

Lilyca said softly,

“I came here to see if His Highness needed more tea or sweets.”

She was a maid. She was a maid.


She hoped he didn’t notice.

Contrary to Lilyca’s desperate wish, Atil also recognised who she was at once.

If it weren’t for the imperial princess who walked around the palace in that outfit, he could have vomited all the snacks he had so far.

Looking down at the bowed brown-haired head, Atil blocked the curses that were about to come out.

‘Why is she coming out of there?’

He couldn’t believe he showed her he was eating in a hurry the snacks she had prepared. He was hungry because he had travelled all night, and was only drawn to the thought that there was something to eat in the living room.

The sweets he ate were great, and the tea was lukewarm, but not bad.

After eating one, it was easy to eat the next cookie.

Atil felt even worse because it seemed like he had been caught eating the table the enemy had prepared for him.

‘Was she here to sneak a peek?’

He jumped up from his seat with a plate of cookies and walked over to Lilyca.

It was with the intention to pour snacks into her head and say something.

Standing in front of her, he lifted the plate of cookies but stopped moving.

Only then did he notice that Lilyca was trembling and her ears were dyed bright red.

And that she was much smaller than him.

He bit his lip.

“Ha, really.”

Something that he didn’t know whether it was a laugh or a sigh flowed out of his mouth.

Seeing her flinch even at that small reaction made him less inclined to bully her. More than that, he wanted to see her face.

How red could her face be when her ears were ever so scarlet?

He also wondered why she came out of the servants’ hallway and was wearing a dressing gown.

He held out the plate to her.


“Yes? Oh no. I’m fine.”

His voice crept in.


He could see her fumbling and picking up a cookie before putting it in her mouth. But he still couldn’t see her face.

All he could see was her munching cheeks.

“Wow, His Highness the Crown Prince is tormenting a little girl.”

Surprised, Lilyca turned her head, and there was a boy with soft beige hair standing there.

“Don’t bother me.”

Atil said sharply. Pai came over with a soft smile and held out a piece of paper.

“Now, this is a reply to the invitation sent by the princess. His Highness the Crown Prince said he will attend.”

Leaping forward, Lilyca received the reply. She lifted her head and looked at him, then lowered her head back in surprise.

Pai chuckled and looked at Atil. Just for an instant, Atil saw Lilyca’s face, and the desire to be angry with her disappeared. It was a sparkling face, full of joy.

He sighed and said,

“Go now.”

“Yes, Yes!”

Lilyca hurried back into the secret hallway and closed the door.

Pai suppressed his laughter, and Atil said sarcastically,

“Why did you do that?”

“Isn’t it because she’s a cute maid?”

“Don’t tell me you think I’ve been deceived.”

“I do not know more daring than that. Infiltrating through the passageway for the servants alone and without an attendant.”

“If that was an infiltration, it would mean that I have lived my entire life without even knowing what a life-threatening situation is.”

Atil, who answered sarcastically, looked back at Pai.


“Aren’t I a diligent aide to His Highness? I carefully wrote a reply. Ah, the princess is very cute, so I hope she is not our enemy.”

The Imperial Empress’ daughter.

At Pai’s words, Atil held out a plate of cookies to him and said,

“She’s not cute at all.”




‘I-I was really surprised.’

Lilyca pressed tightly her hand on her pounding chest. Did she get caught?

‘What should I do? If he thought I was a poor maid, he might not have noticed.’

She had raised her head just for a second, so she might not have been caught.

Then, someone tapped Lilyca’s shoulder and she jumped. She was about to scream, but His Highness was still inside.

When she turned around, a tall man was standing. Even in the dark, Lilyca could see he was wearing a shiny brooch.


The man put a finger on his lips, smiled softly, and pointed the way out. Lilyca covered her mouth with both hands and nodded.

As she was used to walking through this hallway, Lilyca relaxed and sighed heavily. Then, the man who had come out asked,

“Princess Lilyca, what are you doing here?”

The fact he realised that she was the princess made her lose strength and drop her shoulders. However, she soon perked up.

If he was Bryn’s older brother, it was natural for him to recognise her.

“I didn’t know you had already arrived. I just went to see if the sweets and tea were not soggy or cold…”

“What about Bryn?”

“I didn’t want to wake her up because I was only going to check for a moment…”

Lilyca sighed again upon looking at his expression.

“I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Yes, you shouldn’t have. Bryn will be worried.”

“Did the Crown Prince recognise me? I hope he thought I was just a weird maid…”


Bran looked as if he was wondering what to say. His face was so similar to Bryn’s that Lilyca felt close to him.

“His Highness may not know. I will talk to him after escorting you back.”

“Really? Thank you!”

Lilyca smiled broadly and waved her hand in reply.

“Then I’ll go back now. I’ll see you another time.”


Bran smiled brightly and saw her off. As Bryn said, she was a rare type of princess in the Imperial Palace.

‘If the empress has no intention of using her.’

In the Imperial Palace, children should be vigilant. Behind every noble child, there’s a family.

It was more convenient to use them because no child had innate malice.

Parents could tell their young sons and daughters, “let’s play hide and seek here.” Or, “deliver this cookie to His Highness.” They could also say “there’s a place to explore in the forest, why don’t you go explore with His Highness?” That’s all they had to say.

It is enough to fall into such a trap once.

Before entering the room at the end of the corridor, Bran greeted the princess, who looked his way and pleasantly waved her hand.


Lilyca was nagged by Bryn.

“Even if you have a secret meeting, you have to take your maid with you.”

“Then it’s not a secret meeting, is it?”

Lilyca, who had become accustomed to difficult words thanks to the dictionary, asked back. Bryn shook her head.

“The princess must be accompanied by a maid even if she has a secret meeting. That’s how important a maid is.”

“All right.”

Lilyca nodded. Being a princess was more difficult than she thought.

Actually, there was something she wanted to brag about to Bryn. So, Lilyca added,

“The Crown Prince is coming to the tea party.”

“Oh, my goodness. Good for you, Princess.”

“Yes. And he was eating a lot of snacks. My mother said that he only ate sweets brought by his aids. It seems he likes sweets very much.”

Bryn asked and imagined how the teenage boy had reacted when he was caught eating snacks that he said he didn’t want.

“Are you okay? You didn’t get in trouble?”

“Yes, I think he thought I was a maid. Well, maybe.”

She added the last word quietly because she was not confidently.

“But Bran said he would talk to him.”

“You met Bran?”

“Yes, he looked like you, Bryn.”

“Hmm, I see.”

“Of course, Bryn is more beautiful.”

“That’s right.”

Bryn smiled softly. Although it was true that she resembled her brother, it was not a compliment.

“Then we should prepare for the tea party.”

Lilyca pondered those words over and over again.

Tea party.

Tea party.

The word had a sweet and enchanting ring to it.

It was the first time she hosted one herself. Tension rose to her throat, but Bryn stood by and encouraged her.

She had practised several times so far, so it will work out well. It was an exercise to seat with a rabbit doll and bear doll, greet them gracefully, and offer tea to them.

It was also the most enjoyable house play in the world.

His Majesty told her to use the ice in the underground ice storage, so she even got a large chunk of ice.

Lilyca was shocked to find out that there was ice in this kind of weather, but she tried to show a calm face like a princess.

Noble princesses wouldn’t be surprised by ice.

Late May.

The garden was colourful with light green shoots and dark leaves.

Early blooming roses were bursting with their burgeons, adding colour to them.

The tufts on the large parasol glistened and swayed in the sunlight. Branches from the trees were bent and tied tightly with ribbons to cast shade.

The wind blew moderately, and the spring breeze was gentle.

Sunlight splattered through the branches and scattered on the ground like gold ornaments.

It was the perfect weather and setting, just like plucked from an illustration.

After all the preparations were completed, Lilyca waited for the Crown Prince. Time went by slowly.

When there was even a rustling sound, Lilyca pricked up her ears and turned her gaze to it.

It was quite late and Atil still did not appear. The faces of the waiting servants began to harden.

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