Its afternoon, Haruru and I, work in the palace, by moving things from one place to another.
After lunch, Ru was still sad about her senpai, about how she must be forced by someone to make us go through labor today, but to assure her, I tell her I will be looking into it.
Hearing my assurance, she seemed in a better mood, but she still felt quiet from time to time.
My self-cursing, vulnerability, misfortune, carelessness all hit me telling me, I was in the mud due to my feebleness, I lowered my guard for the second time, and my Ru got hurt again, that I should have paid more attention.
I could hug her million times, but all of them would go in vain if she wouldn’t be happy, and she was always there, giving her best for me.[Is this my worth?]
Taking a sigh, I look right at Ru. We were walking towards our next destination. I feel fatigue form all the nerve-racking things, my shoulder slumps, and she looks up at the gloomy face of mine, she smiles.[What kind of a husband am I?]
Stopping mid-tracks, I spread my arms and hug the solemn of mine. Her fragrance soothes my mind; mine hers.
Within some time, it would be evening, and both of us would have to welcome back Mari too.
“*Huff* Today’s a very tiring day, why don’t we take another break?”
“Jan, the number of times we have taken a break, is equivalent to the number of times I take in a week. *Humph* You keep on telling me I should train my body, but it looks like it’s not me who needs training.”
“Come on, Ru. Don’t be so harsh to your weak Husband.”
She suddenly laughs, that laughter sounds like a melody to me. I once again hug her, but this time tight, only leaving her when I feel relief from all of my burden.
“Let’s get this work completed, and head back to the room.”
Grabbing her hand, we head to our destination.
As I pick up the stone chairs and move it from the gate to the bench, I see many eyes on me. When I directly look at them, they avert their gazes, I tried it two-three times, and every time, I did it, they would look away, so I stopped paying them any attention.
Haruru, on the other hand, was covering the chair and a table with clothes.
We were in the garden, getting the area ready for the visitors. While arranging the garden, I stop mid-way and think of the past.[There used to a time, where I would be the main guest, and as the heir, I would be given the most importance, and now I am giving the same attention, to arrange the tables.*Huh* How funny is life.]
I get near my allotted row, I start keeping the tables down, then place them properly on both sides, and finish my work within 20 minutes.[That makes it 80. Who said I didn’t have any stamina?]
Placing the chair on both sides of the tables is a pain in the back, and that too, when the chair is the traditional stone chair.
Looking towards Haruru, I see her finishing her work too.[Well, even after I told her she won’t be working today.]
Stretching my back, I head towards her, when I hear some of the mummers from the maids.
“Hey, do you know why Haruru’s Master is here?”
“Yeah-yeah, I know, he is not earning anything, so that’s why he’s here.”
“No, he’s here because he wants to find another maid for himself.”
“What? Who would want to be his Maid? If I remember correctly, isn’t he living off Haruru’s earning?”
“Yes, it’s like he is the slave and Haruru’s the master.”
“Isn’t he the prince? Doesn’t the King give them an allowance?”
“Well, from what I know, he spends them on booze and prostitutes.”
“Even though he has such a beauty like Haruru?”
“Yes.”[Hmm… I have a quite positive reputation.]
I look at the three maids talking between themselves, smiling at them, and move away.
“Did he hear us?”
Haruru was also looking at the three maids; she must have heard them badmouthing me.
“Ru, all done?”
Ignoring them, she smilingly talks with me,
“Yes, Jan, I’m just waiting for Senpai to come, and disenthral us.”
“Yeah, where is she?”
“Senpai, went to the head maid to get the permission.”
Hearing that Farahe went to the Head-maid, my mind travels back to Unor. I get a sore mouth, not wanting to get Ru’s mood sore too, I shake the thought off my mind, till Farahe came back, we talked about what Mari would need when she arrives back.
After about 10 minutes, Farahe comes to us.
“Senpai, can we leave now?”
“Ahh…ahem…Haruru….the head-maid said, ‘No one is allowed to leave.’”
“She said we are low in number, so we can’t have you leaving us. And that if we let-let you go, then the others will ask for leave too. Sorry Haruru, I tried my best, but couldn’t convince her.”
I speak before Ru could respond.
“But I see a lot of people working, how can you be low on numbers, with these many people?”
“Master Janvas, I don’t know the exact reason, but the Head-Maid hasn’t approved of anyone’s leave, she also told me if Haruru were to leave, then she won’t be getting this month’s wage.”
“Isn’t that straight out blackmail? How can she do it?”
“Master Janvas, not so loud; I’m extremely sorry about it. I tried to reason with her, but she didn’t listen to me, she would state, she can’t have people leaving when the festival is right around the corner, but she said Haruru can leave at night or midnight, as till that time a major part of the decoration will be complete.”
My mind is in a quiet mess as the Head-Maid wasn’t just stopping us, but using our weakness against us. In my mind, I was pondering the reason, ‘Why would she not want us to leave? Were they planning something? Did they want to tire us out? Or do they…
“Master Janvas, the Head-maid, gave new orders to me she wants you to go and bring the chandelier from the treasury.”
….want to separate us.’
“Uhmm…Ah..Ah… Haruru, Wait.”
With mistrust, I wait for Farahe’s next words.
“Can you come with me? I need help with something?”
“No, she won’t.”
Without giving her time to reply, I decline; my suspicion on Farahe heightens.
“Ru, change of plans, I’m sorry to do this but forget about your wage for this month.”
“Mari will be coming soon, and if we won’t be there to welcome her, she might feel lonely, and I hate to do it to her.”
“But Master, we don’t have another way to earn.”
“Master Janvas, if you make Haruru leave even after the Head-Maid declined the request, then she won’t be able to work again.”
“We will think about something.”
With a stern look, she quiets down, scraping away the money that Haruru had been working for a month, doesn’t feel right to me, but keeping her safe is a priority.
“Wait… Master Janvas…”
I give her a stare.
“…. Haruru, won’t be getting her wage if she leaves when the Head-maid, declined her request.”
“Sometimes money is not everything.”
“But Master Janvas….”
Without letting her finish, I get away from her I feel that she might not know about the plan that Unor is spinning, but I couldn’t lower my guard when I knew she was a chess piece in his plan.
Haruru doesn’t say anything and follows me. I want to talk to her, about what I think, Unor might be plotting, but with Farahe in the frame, I couldn’t do it to her. Getting up the stairs, I move towards the room. The sun had begun to set, and probably the execution of Unor’s plan too.
Quickly opening the door and entering the hall, I stop mid tracks but fail to notice anything that might deem suspicious. The entire day I had been thinking of Unor’s plan, so I think it might be nothing, but as I open the door of the bedroom, I meet with two pairs of eyes looking towards me.
The two eyes staring at me gets me startled, and I start forming mana when Haruru grabs my hand and says,
“One of them is Mari.”
I stare back again and see one of the silhouettes to be akin to Mari’s. But I couldn’t recognize the other, sensing my uneasiness Mari steps forward and bows, seeing her the person behind her follows.
“Royal Maid, Marine, at your service, Master.”
“Royal Maid, Belinda, at your service, Ma-Master.”
“Royal Maid? What does she mean by that, Mari?”
Before I could question, Haruru speaks, or shouts at her,
“It’s just as she says, Odesvana, she’s the new Royal Maid for Master.”
“But didn’t we talk about this, that until all of us need to agree before anyone would be accepted?”
“Yes, we did. “
“Because we need them.”
Haruru stops and looks at her for an explanation.
“Haruru, you know about Unor and what ends he can go to hurt, Master. And I don’t know what reasons it is, but I feel the Royal family is trying to move Master away from the Capital.”
Both Haruru and I shout at the same time.
“Yes, Master. I talked with one of the Guardians in the Maiden Flora, and they said I should challenge one more person to help you in fighting the miscreants, and keep the people around you safe.”
“And, how did the guardian come to this decision?”
“I talked to her about how you weren’t given money or had any public appearance with the other members of the family, and the thing that hit the nail in the coffin was during the Wifobe Championship when everyone was puzzled at your victory. Master, they are trying to make the people forget about you and dispose of you in the corner of the street. We need to leave the capital now!!”
Mari’s words ring in my head, then the crowd of the championship, where everyone was wondering who I was, and then what Kirante said to me. The murmuring between the maids. It all started to make some sense to me.
I was unknown to the masses now, had a reputation of being drunkard, and a Satyriasis. I didn’t have a good relationship with anyone in the family, not even grandma, she knew me as Venure.
I look into Mari’s eyes; she doesn’t flinch, I was in deep trouble.
I head inside the room and lay on the bed headfirst. Ru comes behind me and lays on top of my back. Marine and the girl named Belinda stay where they are.[I’m doomed, so are the girls.]
I turn around and hug Ru. She trembles in my arms, I hurriedly look at her face, she was in tears.
“Hey, Ru, no need to cry. I’m pretty sure they are not planning to do it soon, we have time to escape.”
Before Mari gives her assessment on the current situation, I stare her to stay quiet.
I sit on the edge of the bed while Ru snivel’s, I could just pat her back for now.
Marine was the third female who has importance in my life, she was the Royal Maid that was assigned to me when I had turned 6, and she was 8. Usually, someone around the age of 10-15 would be assigned, but she was special, she was a prodigy in the Maiden Flora, she had an affinity to shadow and had inborn poison tail that made her the best person to protect the prince and also do his dirty works with utmost loyalty.
Marine was an Antares, with having a cornet body frame. Unlike most people in the Kingdom, she had no fur, shell, or scales on her body, she almost looked human….almost, if not for her scorpion black tail. Her hand had two modes, one had a smooth surface, while the other didn’t have the smooth palm surface, but something like small blades coming out of them, they were piddly, so the people who didn’t have prior knowledge about her, had bloody hand after a shake. Her eyes red like the blood, face completely opposite of the tail, well-defined jawline, glossy lips. She could engulf a man with just her looks.
Behind her, Belinda was also different and unique. Probably around the age of ’20s and I was gonna be her Master-
“Mari, did she have-”
“No, Master, you are her first Master.”
“Then how come she is getting one so late?”
“Master, she was an experiment, the first lamia, to enter the Maiden Flora, she was also the first candidate chosen to be your Royal Maid, but luckily, I got in the eyes of the king, and he chose me, as you Royal Maid. And as she was rejected by the king, no one took her. And later on, only those who wanted her for her looks came, so she declined their requests until I challenged her in the Masteral Authority Battle and won them both.”
“Yes, Master, there is one more Royal Maid I defeated.”
“And where is she now?”
“She’s at Safrine’s house, protecting her.”
Going back to Belinda, Belinda was a lamia around 15 feet long, even if she was sitting, she was taller than me. Her scales looked dark green with a blue lining and teal colored small signs at intervals. Her upper part was devoid of scales, only some near her hands and cheeks. Her eyes were green slits, that could hypnotize you; her tongue extends every 3 seconds, hair long that they reached her waist. She had that sensual aura, with the familiarness with her, no one would discard her easily, but her eyes looked vacant now.
“Mari, why does she look like she is lost?”
“Master, about that….”