The Maid Clarice Was Missing
The two of us slowly drank the tea, then placed the cup on the table. At the same time, Her Highness stood up.
“This time, I should change my clothes or I will be scolded.”
“Scolded? Who will scold you?”
I asked her the question, but Her Highness Philia has already gone into the bedroom. I was left alone aimlessly. I could hear rustling sounds coming from the bedroom. It reminded me that Her Highness Philia was changing her clothes. I would not harbor any feelings toward a fourteen year old girl. But I thought she was a bit too defenseless. Lucy said this, the beauty of Her Highness was comparable to that of a lovely lily flower and her intelligence was equal with that of The Sage. So It was like that.
It was true that Her Highness Philia was a beautiful girl with an intelligent mind. However, Her Highness emitted a certain aura that left a lasting impression on me. With an innocent expression and a beautiful face, her aura felt strained. What has happened to Her Highness that made her like that?
Before I could formulate a thought, I heard the sound of a knock. Should I say ‘please come in?’
While I was still hesitating, the door opened quietly.
“Her Highness, are you inside?”
Suddenly, a maid peeked into the room. The maid was using the same clothes that Her Highness had worn. The maid looked at me with a bewildered yet curious face. Then I stood up.
“Nice to meet you, I’m the tutor of Her Highness.”
“Heh, so you are the new tutor? It’s a pity,” she said with a cold voice.
Pity? What did that mean?
The maid continued, “Please tell Her Highness to be more firm with her maid.”
“Did something happen?”
“Yes! Her Highness’s maid is nothing but a disgrace. On top of that, I don’t even know where she went this time.”
“Haa…” I vaguely nodded and the maid left the room with an unsatisfied expression. It looked like she really had an unpleasant aura. I could feel that she had a malicious intent towards Her Highness or Her Highness’s maid.
“I’m sorry that you had to deal with her. . If she had seen me with the maid’s clothes, she would scold me. That’s why I changed my clothes.”
When I turned around, Her Highness Philia had already changed her clothes and she was standing next to me. Philia was dressed in a deep blue-colored one piece. Although it was only a simple design with bare shoulders, it was clearly made with high-quality materials. So it looked more like a princess’s clothes rather than a maid’s clothes.
“What do you think of the clothes, do they suit me?
Her Highness Philia turned around. The one-piece’s hem fluttered gently. I smiled.
“It suits you. With these clothes, I think you look like a princess.”
“Hehehe,” Her Highness Philia laughed. “This dress was chosen by my maid.”
“Hee…. I think that person has a good eye.”
“Yes. She can’t do housework, so I can’t rely on her with that. But she is a gentle girl who taught me a lot of things.”
Suddenly Her Highness had a serious expression. Those beautiful eyes had a tinge of sadness in them.
“But the fact is that my maid has gone missing.”
“It’s already been three days that she hasn’t come to work.” So that was why the maid with the unpleasant air around her said that. When I mentioned it, Her Highness shook her head.
“It’s a fact that my maid is bad at maid-related jobs. But in reality, she is a determined girl. For her to suddenly stop coming, it’s never happened before.”
“I’m worried about that.”
“What’s more, she was very happy to hear that Solon will be coming to be my tutor because she’s a big fan of you.”
“I hope she won’t be too disappointed when she meets me.”
“I don’t think she will be disappointed.”
Speaking of which, on the way back to the Imperial Capital, there was a girl who said that she was a big fan of “Hero Solon”. I was sure that the child was also a maid in the Imperial Palace, and her name was Clarice. At that time, I was telling her my alias. So I thought that girl wouldn’t know that I was Solon. While hiding my identity, I defeated the bandits with my power as a magic swordsman. I still remembered Clarice’s shining eyes when she looked at me that time. Being looked at like that made me feel a little happy and embarrassed at the same time.
Her Highness Philia sighed and said, “I want Clarice to meet with Solon as soon as possible.”
“Oh, my private maid Clarice. She is a tiny, cute little girl with very beautiful flaxen hair.”
So it was like that. Was the maid of Her Highness Philia, Clarice? What a small world. When I explained it to Her Highness Philia, she was a little surprised but then she laughed happily.
“It’s such an amazing coincidence! This is what’s called a red-thread destiny!”
“But I was using a false name. It’s kind of awkward…”
“I don’t think Clarice will care about that. But if she is still missing, then I can’t introduce her to Solon.”
“Do you have any idea about this?”
“Clarice is a live-in maid, so I don’t think it’s possible for her to go somewhere so suddenly. Her parent’s home is far away and she would tell me when she’s going home.”
Hmm. Her Highness thought about that.
It would be a big problem for Her Highness if her one and only maid was gone. And if a young woman has gone missing for three days, it was something to be alarmed of. It’s not within the scope of an instructor’s job, but I would like to do something about it. Alas, I didn’t have any clues.
At that time, there was a noise near the door. It seemed like a letter was put in the mailbox. I was impressed with the idea that each room in the vast Imperial Palace had a mailbox. I retrieved the letter from there and handed it to Her Highness Philia.
“Your Highness, it seems to be a letter.”
“Thank you. And can you change the way you call me? It felt awkward.”
“The way I call you?”
“You can call me Philia.” (TN: She meant without honorifics)
“It’s okay, try calling me Philia.”
“Is it that bad? I want you to call me without the honorifics.”
“Ah, um, Philia?”
“Yes, yes, once again.”
“…Philia,” I said, my face completely red.
There was a feeling of uneasiness, calling Her Highness without honorifics. Not only that, calling a girl’s name without honorifics, was simply an embarrassing thing. Her Highness– No, Philia smiled and looked very happy.
“I liked it, when someone called me by my name.”
“After all, there is no one who calls me by my name,” Philia said with a smile.
It made me a little sad hearing that. Because Her Highness had no power, there wasn’t anyone who tried to approach her. There was no one in the Imperial Palace who needed Philia and there was no one to rely on. Both the royal family and the servants have chosen to ignore her. Not being called by her name was a symbol of Philia’s loneliness. The only exception to that was her maid, Clarice, who called Philia by name.
I said, “From now on, I will stop at only using the honorifics.” (TN: What Solon meant is to stop calling Philia as ‘Your Highness’ and calling her name instead)
“Do you hate calling me by my name?”
With a little uneasiness in her eyes, Philia asked me. I smiled.
“It’s not that I hate it, but rather it’s because I’m embarrassed. Philia-sama maybe doesn’t know it?”
When she heard me calling her “Philia-sama”, she was round-eyed and smiled delightedly.
“Yes, it can’t be helped. I’ll excuse you for calling me ‘Philia-sama’.”
“Thank you for your consideration, Philia-sama.”
When I said it as a joke, Philia-sama giggled. But suddenly, her face became stiff. Then Philia-sama showed the contents of the unsealed letter to me. What was written was:
“The maid Clarice is in our custody. If you value her life, Your Highness must come here alone.”
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