It seems I really need more sleep.

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Am I seriously crazy to think about staring at the Emperor’s head… Me? Lowering my eyes as calmly and naturally as I could as though I had been on my knees from the beginning, my knee hurt when I hit the floor so suddenly.
Still, I could not show it.

Raniero opened his mouth curiously.

“You’ve gotten a lot more agile, haven’t you?”

That is what life was all about.

“You can get up.”

…Can I believe him?

I snorted inwardly and made a muffled sound.
Raniero’s head was unpredictable, though one thing was certain.
Challenging his authority would be equivalent to walking into hellfire.
And, the ‘challenge to authority’ that he interpreted was quite broad.

I never fell for Raniero Actilus’ cunning maneuvers.

Just like when I deliberately let myself fall at the ball, this was obviously testing me.
When I think of that time, I feel like my butt is hurting again.
Anyway, I will never get up from this position until my share of the chair arrives.

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Meanwhile, Raniero leaned his upper body and gazed at me.
I glanced at him.
He was smiling… impudently.

“I congratulate you on your enthusiasm not to put your head higher than the emperor.

‘…What else is he complaining about, again!’

“Do you intend to be on your knees when the servants open the door and come in?”

His point was so reasonable that I almost choked for a moment.

Right… The servants are coming in, so I could not be on my knees like this… Nevertheless, I could not just stand up and look down on ‘The high and mighty, His Majesty.’

Without realizing it, I shifted my posture, rubbing my mouth slightly.
This means that I am sitting on my butt on the floor.
Even though it was quite a disgraceful posture, it was the best course of action I could take.
If I thought more deeply, I might come up with a better solution although not now.
I really need more sleep…

Hengg— I want to go home.


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Duchess Nerma…

Raising my knees a little, I buried my face in it.
It was clear that Raniero, who was looking at me, also slowly lost interest in me and turned to the correspondence that had to be dealt with.
Soon, there was a crunching sound of the paper.

“Your attitude is different from last night.”

It was a bonus that he casually threw more balls at me even now.
Instantly, my face became hot.

Oh, I am really embarrassed just thinking about it…

At that, I decided not to think about it as much as possible.
However, the resolution brought back memories of last night over and over again instead.
My blushing face did not subside.

Knock, knock.


I raised my head abruptly.
The servants must have brought my chair.

Feeling like my pulse was cut off, I suddenly realized what I was thinking and my face got hotter.
Fortunately, Raniero was not looking this way.

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“Come in.”

His gaze was still fixed on the letters as he replied while showing only his back to me as I was shedding tears inside.
Then, the three servants brought in a chair that looked very comfortable.
It was an armchair that felt a bit oversized for my body.

The servants glanced at me, perplexed for a moment as I sat on the floor, and then lowered their eyes as though they were mistaken.

I looked at them pitifully.

Yes, I know how you feel when you make a mistake in front of an important person.
I know best…

I was lenient and overlooked their mistakes.
Since servants were also commoners, they could not touch me carelessly.
Because of that, I sat down on my own.

“Thank you.”

It was a desperate, elegant smile to dispel the image of me sitting on the floor.
But, the chair was so large and soft that I was completely buried, and I did not seem very dignified.
Regardless, even if the superior does not have dignity, the subordinate must know and feel dignity.

The three servants saw me and bowed in unison.

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Now, I seem to get used to this burdensome etiquette.
I smiled with satisfaction.
However, that joy didn’t last long…

It was because the sound of the pen tip and the sound of unfolding the paper were cut off.

“What do you mean, thank you?”

An ominous tackle came in.
The servants who were bowing their heads towards me turned their bodies 90 degrees in unison.
The next moment, they began to bow their heads to Raniero.

I stiffened myself in the armchair, too.

“They just followed orders, and I’m the one who gave you a chair?”

Having said that, Raniero put down the pen.

I glanced at his hand with a subtle expression.
Of course, as soon as he gazed back at me, I straightened my expression.

“Isn’t it wrong to be grateful, Empress?”

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