people of the Empire would put aside all their worries and revel in the festival.
The commoners flocked to the streets to enjoy the festivities, while the nobles gathered at the palace for the banquet.

However, amid the joyful feasting and drinking, there were some who were going through tougher times than usual.

“Please clean up the trash over there!”

“Yes, Ma’am!”

“Make sure to bring the food to the banquet hall on time!”

They were the palace maids.

“Come on! Pull yourselves together and move quickly!”

As soon as the festival began, the workload increased tremendously.
They had to prepare for the event, clean up the banquet hall, carry food, entertain guests, and clear up the mess, all while moving hastily and frantically.

The maids worked tirelessly, barely having time to eat, and among them was the junior maid Marie, who bore the brunt of the workload.
She had the most tasks to complete but couldn’t even go to the festival.

“Marie have you eaten?”

“No, have you?”

“I haven’t eaten anything all day.
I’m starving.” Jane, her colleague who she shared the same room, sighed as they cleaned up the trash from the banquet hall.

“The high-ranking maids must be enjoying delicious food at the banquet, right?” Jane said with a tinge of envy.
Despite sharing the same job title of “maid,” there’s a stark contrast between intermediate maids who interacted with the nobles and junior maids who were assigned with menial tasks.

The work they were in charge of was completely different, and most of them were noble-born ladies.

“I envy them.
I just wish we could have a glimpse of the banquet hall before the festival ends.
After all, we did all the preparations, but we don’t even get to join the actual festivities,” she lamented to Marie.

“Marie, do you have something on your mind?”

“Huh? What? No.”

“Are you sure? You seem a bit off.” Jane looked at Marie with a concerned expression.
Marie had been unusually quiet, unlike her usual energetic and lively self.
It’s as if something was bothering her.

“Oh? Huh? No, I’m fine, really.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m going to clean over there! See you later!”

Jane tilted her head as she watched Marie ran away.
“What’s going on? Why is she acting like that all of a sudden?”

Meanwhile, once alone, Marie sighed deeply.
As Jane had guessed correctly, she did have something on her mind, and it was a very serious matter.

“Why did I have that dream? What was that about?” She muttered in a confused voice.
Marie was troubled by the dream she had the night before.
“Why did I have that dream? Haa.”

To other people, it would seem trivial for Marie to worry about the contents of a dream.
However, to her, it was a serious matter.
‘Whenever I have a dream, something related always happens,’ Marie thought in agony.

She knew that her lucid dreams never appeared for no reason.
If she dreams, it’s something related to the near future.

“But why that kind of dream?” She thought about the dream she had last night.

‘Help! Save me!’

‘My arm! My arm!’ Smoke billowed, and screams echoed through the air.
The scene was reminiscent of a battlefield, with numerous casualties and bloodshed.

Someone shouted, “Medic! Where’s the medic?!”

She closed her eyes tightly, having reached that far in her memory.
“Why that kind of dream?” The dream she had was that of a war, in which she served as a combat medic who provided emergency treatment to the wounded before they could be taken to the hospital.
“What could it mean?” she sighed, unable to fathom why such a dream would come to her, especially during such a joyous festival.

Meanwhile, in the Lion Palace, the Crown Prince sat in his office with a tired expression.
“It’s so hectic.”

Upon hearing that, Almond, the Royal Guard Knight, offered, “Shall I bring you some whiskey?”

He shook his head.
“No, I’ve already had quite a bit.” He removed his iron mask and placed it on the desk.
His otherworldly beautiful face was slightly flushed from the alcohol.

It’s hard to have two of them,” he said, clicking his tongue.

If there’s anyone as busy as the maids at the festival, it would be him, the Crown Prince.
He had a myriad of responsibilities, from attending the festival and participating in various events, to dealing with foreign ambassadors, discussing various issues with the local nobles, checking if there were any problems with the festival itself, and so on.
There was too much work to be done, it’s almost as if he needed two or three bodies to handle it all.

At that moment, Prime Minister Oren, who’s next to him, laughed and said something.
He too had drunk enough to make his face a little flushed.

“This is because His Highness is still a bachelor.”


“Yes, if someone else were handling the internal affairs, you wouldn’t be so busy.
After all, this festival is under the jurisdiction of Her Majesty the Empress and/or Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, you know.”

The minister of the interior remained vacant because he, the de facto ruler of the empire, was unmarried.

“By the way, Your Highness, do you have any plans for marriage?”

“Not at the moment.”

“But the Council of Elders is pressuring you.
After this festival, you should decide who to marry as the Crown Princess.”

The Crown Prince nodded.
He knew about it as well.
He’d put off marriage because he didn’t feel like it, but he couldn’t postpone it any longer.
“Do you have anyone in mind?”

In a hushed voice, Prime Minister Oren spoke up, “I couldn’t help but notice during the banquet that the young lady of Marquis Cozzerin, Princess Spina, and even Princess Dominin were looking at you rather intently.” He listed off the names of the ladies who had shown an interest in the Crown Prince.
They were all distinguished women in the high social circle and would make excellent matches.

However, the Crown Prince just sighed as if he were bored.
“I’m not interested.
I will only choose a bride that can benefit the Empire the most.”

He thought to himself, ‘It’s a shame that we can’t find Princess Morina.’

t/n: the way the junior maids are exploited… like wtf they haven’t eaten all day??? disappointing how rael isn’t a good ruler as i thought he’d be… maybe an oversight but still.
now i don’t like susan too since she’s in charge

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