“Serira, you are amazing! Where did you get the courage to talk to the Emperor like that?”
Elene started complimenting Serira as soon as we returned to our room. I also joined in praising her. I had given her my applause along with Elene.
You were so cool. How could she just state right in front of the Emperor’s face that his hair was dirty?
Well, she was not wrong. That was dirty to me. Everything except the food was dirty!
However, it seems that Serira had no clue why Elene was praising her. As Serira placed me in the crib, she cocked her head questioningly.
“What you said…”
Elene diligently tried to explain herself. Unfortunately, Serira had no idea what she was talking about and frowned.
Nanny, what she’s trying to say was about that thing earlier! Agh! Why couldn’t you just get it?! Earlier that, that.
“Dirty. When you said dirty.”
Elene was so frustrated she hit herself on the chest. Only then did Serira seemed to understand what was going on. Her face lit up brightly then it turned sullen.
“So, what about it? It was dirty.”
Huh? What?’ I gave her a slightly surprised look.
I knew you were amazing, but do you also have an attitude? The Emperor was laughing, but his face froze when you said his hair was dirty. Did she not see that?!
I honestly thought her head would fly off at that point. She also pulled me out of his arms without asking and wiped my mouth. After that, she checked inside my mouth in case there was any of his hair still stuck in there—while she was right in front of Caitel.
Ah. Was that why she did not see his expression?
“Princess, don’t eat hair. It’s dirty. Dirty.”
I looked into the green eyes that gazed into mine and cheerfully laughed.
Nope. I wasn’t trying to eat it, but I was trying to chew it.
“Serira, you have an unexpectedly large liver.”
As I heard Elene mumbling to herself, I also agreed with her. I didn’t know, but my nanny really was Superman. I had always assumed Serira would just shake and cower in front of Caitel, but it turned out I was wrong about her or was her concern for me so great she overcame her fear?
I felt slightly strange. It’s true she was my nanny, but I was not her real child. How could she pour so much love onto someone else’s child that was not her own? I felt a lump form in my throat.
“What are you saying? Stop talking nonsense and bring me a warm towel.”
Elene stuck out her bottom lip and left the room. Her expression was full of complaints, but I was so used to it by now. It looked cute to me which made me get serious.
To think someone would look cute to me, I was really out of my mind.
As soon as Elene left, Serira took a chair and sat near my crib. Then she proceeded to pat my chest as I laid there. When our eyes met, her eyes gently turned into half moons and she gave me a smile that was like a sunny spring day. It was a welcoming smile, like flowers swaying in the gentle breeze with plenty of dew drops sprinkled on them. Her smile was that peaceful.
“It’s great that the Emperor cherishes you so much.”
Actually, Nanny, he’s not really cherishing me. He’s just playing with me. On top of that, the bastard treated me like a thing. He said I was his. He’s a funny Japong! I liked Jajangmyeon way better.
No, wait a minute that was not the point.
“Princess, you only have your father on your side.”
Huh? What were you saying?
I slowly looked up at Serira. She was looking at me with a sorrowful expression, and her eyes were glazed with tears.
Why were you suddenly crying?
“It’s true the Emperor gets fingers pointed at him for being a tyrant, and other empires and kingdoms condemned him as a mass murderer and an invader, but this is not just his problem.”
I just quietly gazed into Serira’s eyes. This frail and delicate lady was quietly explaining herself to me who couldn’t possibly understand what she was saying. It was as if she was confessing her sins to God. To me, it seemed like the act of praying. I held back my breath and watched her.
Her face grew dark.
Her expression wasn’t that of anger or fear, but rather, a sorrowful display.
“I wish for the Princess to grow up cherished and to be able to show the Emperor what true happiness is through the experience of raising and protecting what is his, rather than through the act of stealing other people’s things and stepping on them. That is what I hope for.”
Everything she said was things I couldn’t possibly accomplish. They were all things I didn’t know how to do myself. ‘What is the feeling of wanting to protect something, raising them, and getting to know them?’ I looked far away as I got lost in my own thoughts.
For a second, Serira laughed so brightly, like the sun that chased away the darkness. At that warmth, I lost all the words I wanted to say. I was just melting away from all this gentleness.
“Princess, you can surely do this, right?”
Why did you expect this from me?
I started to whine at this impossible situation when I couldn’t say yes, but I felt like I shouldn’t say no either. This was more difficult for me than the phenomena of the seven wonders of the world. Couldn’t you ask me a question like, “Who do you love more, mommy or daddy?” Ask me that instead!
For the first time since I met her, Elene did a good deed. As soon as Elene walked in, Serira stood up and took the towel from her. Then she cleaned my face and cheeks thoroughly. Her movements were gentle and full of consideration.
“I feel it all the time, but I feel you treat Princess Ariadna as if she were your own daughter.”
I guess Elene felt the same way I did as she observed Serira.
Serira laughed at Elene’s admiration and took care of me with gentle fingers.
“She is my daughter.” Her voice was firm and strong as she said this.
Ah, I shouldn’t get emotional over every single thing.
Even as I said this, I knew it was too late and my heart was greatly moved. I tried to hide my tears by forcing myself to laugh.
Serira noticed my tears and assumed I was sleepy. Well, I was pretty sleepy.
“What about Mr. Graecito who is at your relative’s place?”
Elene acted out of character and said something heavy. Perhaps watching Serira take care of me made her heart heavy.
Anyway, Graecito? Maybe that’s the name of her son whom she left with her family. At the mention of her son’s name that she didn’t hear for a long time, Serira’s face grew heavy.
Then her cheeks started blushing and her suddenly lively face surprised me.
“Actually, I’m going to see him tomorrow.”
Oh, really, indeed. I want to ask her too. I tried to attract her interest by shaking my hand and foot at her. I guess Serira was shy because she just lowered her head and nodded a few times.
“At most, it’s only for six hours…”
“I’m so happy for you!”
Elene clasped Serira’s hands. I also wanted to grab her hands.
It’s great! It’s really great. I was always grateful to Serira for taking such good care of me, but as soon as I heard that she had to leave her own child behind at her home to take care of me I had felt an unknown feeling grow larger in the corner of my heart. However, I now felt it suddenly clear up.
The burden in my heart had lessened. Serira, I hope she would become happy someday. This was a thought that came naturally to me, and one which I carried with me at all times.
That’s right, this woman must become happy.
“Oh my, the Princess is happy for you too.”
Thanks to Elene looking at me, Serira turned around to look at me too. Seeing my happiness, Serira looked like she would break out in tears any second.
“Our kind Princess.”
Serira held me up. As soon as she embraced me I kissed her cheek.
It was something I shouldn’t be able to do yet due to my age, but I wanted to do it for her. Obviously, it was a big surprise for them.
“Oh my! The Princess kissed you!”
Serira stared at me with a surprised face. I smiled back brightly.
Elene was going nuts by her side. She threw a fuss saying “Our Princess is good!” and how she loved her “to death” and was “an angel” but despite all these praises I just looked at Serira.
My pretty nanny, Serira. I really like you a lot.
Her voice shook and there was a great change on her face. She was barely holding her tears in. I grabbed her hair which fell into my hands.
Don’t feel pain. Don’t cry. Please be happy, okay?
I guess she must have heard me because she didn’t shed a single tear. She only laughed.
I heard Elene’s voice come from my side. Both of us stared at Elene’s face which was filled with jealousy.
“Are you jealous?”
“No, no. Not at all.”
She is… I laughed. Oh, Elene, you are an idiot. Stupid, Elene, but I don’t hate that moron, so I held out my hand.
“Oh, oh, oh?!”
It was the first time I held out my hand out to her that Elene was caught off guard. She didn’t know what to do and just stuttered with shocked eyes. Yeah, you find this strange right? I find it strange too.
“Ah, Ah- is she calling me mom?”
What in the world? I’m just yelling randomly, but Elene looked greatly moved. Hey! I wasn’t calling you mom!
After I screeched out one more time Elene’s expression changed. Good. She understands now.
“So she wasn’t saying, mom.”
Serira laughed at Elene’s tantrum. She caressed my head one more time and smiled brightly at Elene.
“She seems happy.”
Elene walked up to us. She grabbed my hands that were hovering in the air. When I saw how small my hands were in her hands, even I thought my own baby hands were just too cute. Elene laughed nonsensically after seeing that I stuck out my bottom lip.
“Our Princess is just too cute!”
Elene exclaimed as she rushed toward me. Serira agreed with Elene.
“Yes, you’re right.”