Childcare is hell. Looking after another child is a greater hell.
Before I could ponder about what Jurgel said, parenting war began. The King is a son of a bitch. There was not a time when it wasn’t a bitch, but he really was a son of a bitch. You throw me in a hell? People told me what life was like, and that parenting is not easy. When life becomes a reality, it does become a shithole.
Thankfully, it was a bit better during the day. I have all rounded childcare, Ellie.
“How are you able to do this all?”
Seemed like Jurgel really told the King, the King sent a doctor and the doctor guaranteed that baby prince was healthy, but because he is still a newborn, he did get sick occasionally. It was still early in the season, but the baby prince showed small symptoms of a cold and because he had a stuffy nose, he started whining. Casually, Ellie helped by sucking it with her mouth. I could never do that, never.
“I had a lot of younger siblings. I basically raised my youngest sibling since birth.”
“How old is he now?”
Ellie rubbed her hands together to warm her palms and then held the baby to change his diapers. I have been trying my best to copy Ellie and learn how to change diapers, but I can’t do it as fast as her yet.
“Poverty is terrible, Ahsee. As you probably already know.”
“Weren’t you still nervous when you came here?”
“No? It’s not like we came blind sighted.”
I am here without any knowledge, for no reason. Ellie’s younger sibling died without knowing anything, for no reason. I don’t know why it all resembles misery.
“At least we don’t die. Whatever happens we do not die. Isn’t that the most important thing? I still have many younger siblings alive.”
“You are right. It is most important to not die.”
The baby prince was so calm that he did not throw a fit if we fed and changed his diapers on time. There are children who cry when they cannot suck well on the baby bottle or eat from their mom’s breastfed, but the prince had none of that. He cried a little when he was hungry, and when I gave him the bottle, he drank until he was full and fell back asleep.
If the Queen loved and cared for the prince a little more, she would have realized that there is no such calm baby as hers. Actually, I am not sure. What I cannot understand is how taking care of such a calm baby is so tiring. He doesn’t even cry!
I remember reading books that dealt with finding out why the babies were crying for hours. But I am here holding a baby, who doesn’t cry, with a desire to cry out loud myself for an hour or two these last couple days.
It was better during the day. Ellie skillfully matched the temperature of a baby bottle heated to a temperature suitable for the baby prince without looking at the time and changed the diapers right after the prince took his duty.
But at night… Even with an apologetic face, Ellie leaves work without hesitation and I am left with Sir Mio, who is useless, and the baby. I am sleepy. I cannot properly change diapers or get the baby milk powder right yet. The baby is calm and a good baby, but he doesn’t like the bottle I prepare for him. Las night, Ellie prepared all the bottles before she left, but I dropped one. Ah… Makes me want to cry by just thinking about it…
“Ms. Ahsee. Ms. Ahsee!”
“…Yes teacher, I did not daydream!”
“Ms. Ahsee. You did not daydream, you slept.”
“I am tired, teaaa-ccher. I want to go to bed.”
“Ms. Ahsee. It is teacher.”
I am tired. And the baby prince is slowly getting heavy that my arms and shoulder hurt. Recently, whenever I look at my hand my anger towards the King shoots through the roof. I’ve always tried so hard to make sure I do not hurt my hand for the longest time, rather my face, but my hands have already become rough these last few days. I am depressed. Life is depressing. How is this depressing thing a life. What is life?
“Ms. Ahsee, the ink is smearing.”
I wonder what time Ellie is going to come to work. I pulled together my jelly body and held onto the fountain pen tightly. I think I used up half of the ink, and I think I wasted that half on smearing while I was falling asleep. ‘Ahsee’ must have been used to this pen because I feel used to it and I like it too. I hope this is refillable.
“Ms. Ahsee, wake up.”
I must have fallen asleep for a second because I woke to Seya shaking me. As I heard Seya sigh, I wasn’t sure if I should apologize or say I wasn’t asleep.
My head was hollow, but was insane outside. A week ago, I still seemed to be sitting in front of Seya, looking like a person, but now I look like a fool. Seya just took my paper I was copying down on and started checking it. looked blankly at the baby prince in the cradle and beyond, and the mysterious face of Sir Mio, who fell asleep at the window.
I do all the hard work, but seeing Sir Mio, who doesn’t do anything for baby prince, napping made me feel some kind of a way. When I first saw him, he shined bright… well maybe he was too gloomy to shine that bright, but he was a handsome person and for him to be that tired. Tired beautiful men are still beautiful. I wonder if I even look like a human being.
“Ms. Ahsee. Have you ever received schooling?”
I have. Korea’s standard higher education is reasonably well. Believe it or not, I graduated from a four-year college with a GPA of 4.0.
“How could I have.”
“I feel like you did receive some kind of basic education.”
“Ms. Ahsee you know how to write and read the basic alphabet letters. There are still mistakes, but the basics are still there so it seems like you were taught those?”
I should have tried to figure out how much Mina knew, while I was still roommates with her. There was nothing about knowing how to read or write in our job that I only found out that ‘Ahsee’ was illiterate and panicked.
“Is that a hindrance to learning now?”
“Then I’m glad.”
Seya returned the graded paper. As I looked at my results, I thought that he was not a normal person either. Since he thought ‘Ahsee’ got some education, I thought the score would be close to a hundred. It rained on my test paper. Why did the rain that had to fall on the drought fall on my test paper?
“Teacher. It’s because my head isn’t working right now.”
“Considering the training period, the score is so desperate…”
When Seya tried to comfort me, I felt guilty and regretted. I’m hopeful, but since I responded so reflexively, I felt sorry for my teacher, Seya, and it seemed to me I should have been frustrated at my own score.
“No, teacher. That is not it. I just need some help.”
“Oh I see, Of course, Ms. Ahsee.”
“There is this one person. Anyone who looks at that person seems very uninterested in something. But according to someone else, that person is very interested in that something. What could this mean?”
Seya smiled as if the wind was blowing. I guess he didn’t understand.
“Did it sound complicated?”
“Yeah. What kind of a relationship is that?”
“I wonder too.”
My brain isn’t working. Strange. The baby prince is so gentle and not at all troublesome, so why am I so tired? As the baby is approaching one hundred days, a lot of people say there are so many mothers crying because of depression. I am not even a mother, 100 days seem so dark, and I already feel like crying. Would I feel better if I cry a little? Should I just cry?
While I was pondering, my eyes met with Ellie’s who was looking in at me. Oh wow. I can’t even remember how Seya left.
“Ahsee. I’m being honest, but you need to take a break.”
“I took some rest here and there.”
“Since I’m here, go into the room and take a nap for an hour or two.”
“No. Leaving the workplace without justifiable grounds can lead to punishment.”
“You look very weird right now and you are making weird sounds right now? I will look after the baby. Just stand against a wall or something.”
As she said that, Ellie pointed to where Sir Mio was. I remember the day I got excited when Sir Mio first came that I went to grab all the other maids to make the announcement, different from Sir Alex’s arrival. Even though our work do increase, having another handsome man come into the palace was a good thing for all the maids. But seeing that Ellie was treating Sir Mio like a interior furniture, it was a pity.
Slowly, I walked towards the wall Sir Mio was leaning against and sat on the floor, hugging my knees. Even though he is no help when it comes to babysitting, Sir Mio is probably tired from being around the baby, watching and protecting him, for 24 hours. We all need shift work. I don’t know how I am supposed to work if I can’t think.
“Sir Mio, are you alive?”
Even though Sir Mio looks tired, he is still good looking. Rain veins popping through his eyes, dry skin, and messy hair, but he still looks good. But he spent more time leaning against the wall then standing straight, and he even takes full on naps when Seya is here. He does sleep in his room, but it seems like he only sleeps to the point that he will not die.
“I just need a pillow and blanket, and the lights turned off, to sleep? What about you, Sir Mio?
“All the knights can control their sleeping patterns to some extent.”
“Really? I guess I have to rethink it.”
I also wake up every hour to see if the baby prince is sleeping well, wait for the baby prince to wake up, feed him milk, sleep again, and get tired of waking up. I don’t know how all the mothers in the world have done such hard work. I just struggle every day. When I think about it, I haven’t liked babies since childhood. I have cheered when I saw puppies, but I have never thought that a baby was cute. Perhaps, I don’t have maternal love?
“I was thinking that I should just keep the baby prince in my room at night. Then if he wakes up, I can feed the baby milk right away, and react whenever he cries. Oh, so I was wondering, if you are not sensitive, would you, Sir Mio, just want to sleep in one part of the room?”
Sir Mio stayed silent for a while. I was half asleep and half my head just processed what I said to him right now. I get it. He probably lacks the ability to understand a long sentence right now.
“It’s not a great idea for a man and woman to use the same room.”
“That’s why I said only at night, when sleeping.”
“If the rumor spreads, it’s nothing good for you.”
“Let’s keep it a secret between us two.”
He looked down on me and I looked up on him. I wish I can tell what he is thinking. Originally, it’s hard to tell about someone’s feeling, but it’s been harder now that I am looking after a baby. I wonder if I am becoming a real fool, I get scared thinking about it at times.
“Then you and I could sleep a little more.”
I always think. I have to survive as ‘Ahsee’ and collect clues to return safely back to Korea. Jurgel gave me a clue that day. I can’t afford to think about whether it was in Jurgel’s favor or not. I should not. If I don’t pull myself together, it would be like I was stepping on a bomb.
“What is the purpose of giving you that kind of favor and consideration?”
I inevitably laughed a little. I hope this smile seems harmless to him.
“If you don’t agree, I can’t have the baby in my room. You would have to be around him too.”
And anyway, it’s better that he likes me.
“Most of the knights are sensitive to the spirit of others. Even when they fall asleep, they are trained to wake up quickly.”
“That’s good. If there’s something uncomfortable with the baby, Sir Mio, you, will know immediately.”
That night he sat in my armchair and watched the baby prince sleep with me. It took me a few more days to get a nice little bed in my room. That night I opened my eyes in the middle of the night and saw Sir Mio silently look inside the crib, and as the prince closed his eyes, I patted him on his chest.
I am saving all the friendly comments about parenting. Thank you! I have heard that parenting gets a little bit easier after 100 days, but it doesn’t seem like it. Hahahah.
But Ahsee will eventually have a fling and date someone! Even if it’s not pretty, with confidence! Hahahahah.
I learned a surprising fact.
A handsome man is handsome even when he wakes up.
Life isn’t fai. rI started to notice when I stopped a hundred meters running 24 seconds at an elementary school sports day, but isn’t it too unfair to even have oily skin on my face? I have such oily skin when I wake up that I have to wipe it off with a towel in the mornings, but Sir Mio wakes up with perfect skin.
“I have a suggestion, Sir Mio.”
“What is it?”
“Why don’t we sleep oppositely? Either you or I could sleep with toes to top and head to bottom. If I turn around, then I would see your feet and vise versa.”
“If we push together the beds that are apart, the chances of our eyes meeting will probably increase?”
“Oh, I feel like my human rights are being trampled every day.”
It was true that the knight was sensitive to the ground. Sir Mio wakes up in the middle of the night when I try to feed the baby prince or the baby prince grumbles and mumbles. It was a survival regimen for a little more sleep, but I am a little worried that Sir Mio is not sleeping better.
My comfortable bed gradually sucked me up like a swamp, but Mio’s face is so handsome that he gets up and prepares for the day before dawn. As I wiped the secretions out of my face while I was sleeping with a towel, I watched Sir Mio turn his arms and turn his neck. I wish I had a phone or a camera in my hand. The sight of a slightly drowsy handsome man sitting on a bed and relaxing is worth holding forever.
“Yes, Sir Mio.”
“I’ll bring you some water, so I think you should at least comb out your hair today.”
Is it because he does not take care of the baby like me, or is it because he is a trained knight that he has so much more energy than I that he looks so much more relaxed. He must have pitted me yesterday because he brought me a wet towel to clean after my face. Poor Sir Mio probably has a fantasy of females that he brings me a towel to clean after my face thinking that I would have washed my faced otherwise. He underestimates me. If I can sleep, I am someone who can go to bed without sleeping or washing her hair.
When Ellie is around, I can rest a little, but it isn’t like I could totally be at rest with the baby prince still there. The ladies alternately had lunch and snacks at the ladies’ quarters and had a break, and the Queen who came to breastfeed the baby prince three times a day did not come at a certain time, and there was Jurgel who came in randomly. Day or night, I can only sleep briefly.
Baby prince has to sleep at night. When I went to school, the teacher said babies need to learn how to go to bed after about 100 days, couldn’t I start that a little earlier? How was that taught? Was it to make an evening environment by turning off all the lights and TV? I feel guilty for my sins I said about other nannies. I did not realize that your pain was soon to become my pain and I read all that. I didn’t think much about them when I was reading them.
I wish I had an experienced nanny. But I am the nanny appointed by the King? It won’t work. I wish I could at least read some parenting books.
“Sir Mio. Is there a library here?”
“There is a royal library at the front door.”
“Would there be a parenting book there?”
I think I can assume normal girls can’t read if a normal person, ‘Ahsee,’ can’t read. Even if you assume that aristocratic women know writing, how likely are they to raise their own babies? It seems that parenting common sense will be conveyed through real practice and word-of-mouth rather than actual parenting books, but I hope all of this is my prejudice and there are parenting books in the library.
Recently, Sir Mio and I have been eating together. Originally, Ellie had to eat alternately after returning, but it was the first week since she became aware of the fact that we eat our meals as if we are chased by time. That doesn’t mean we can eat as if we were enjoying French course food, but we’re free from swallowing without chewing. We aren’t living the best life, but at least we are surviving.
Still, I often get depressed. Since the chef doesn’t have enough time to cook us up a plate, I end up chewing the soft and moist bread while looking at the baby prince… I feel like I am chewing a dried fish while looking at some show. At least a fish is something to eat.
The baby prince, who had been lying down and playing well for a while, fluttered his arms. Before the baby prince cried, I quickly put the rolled pasta on my fork in my mouth and laid down the prince again. I hope the prince learns to take care of his neck on his own soon. It would be better if he learns how to flip as well. My mom said she rolled me around to make sure I get a pretty head shape. Maybe it’s cause I didn’t give birth to this baby, but everything felt like extra work to me.
“Our baby is feeling very good today~ Oh, it’s good, it’s very good? Okay? Soon, the Queen will come. The Queen will give you something delicious. You must be happy~ Do you like the Queen? You like something yummy? You like the Queen? When you become a little bit bigger, let’s go out. We can look at some flowers and some butterflies~ I will place a butterfly on your nose~”
When I first said all this without meaning any of it, I felt like I was burning my sanity, but I got used to doing this over multiple times.
Sir Mio ate quickly and started to clean up. I barely held up my spoon.
“Sir Mio, please talk to the baby. Make eye contact while at it. I am going to eat quickly.”
“I am the baby’s escort, not his nanny.”
I was thinking about sharing some pain, but I guess I got caught?
“I know you are not his father, but I think letting the prince hear some male voice will be good for him. Isn’t making sure the prince grows all sweet and healthy the happiness and future of all of us in this country?”
If you deny this, then you are heartless. I looked my best at him. Essentially, Sir Mio may not be the best person for this. He could whisper the Queen is a bad person. Humans are interesting.
He sighed and hugged the baby prince in the cradle. Since he occasionally held the baby, him holding the baby wasn’t that bad that I had to go help out.
“Only for five minutes.”
“Thank you. I will eat quickly.”
“You can say anything. Maybe your first love or what you look for in your significant?”
If you talk about Jurgel, that would be the best.
I ate the clams and mushrooms in the pasta and listened slowly to the story of Sir Mio. He was also speaking softly and tenderly when speaking to the baby prince.
“There was an ocean by my house. In the morning, the salty sea scent came from the beach in the wind, and it was a small fishing village that shines beautifully in the middle of the day with sunlight. No jewel is shiner than my hometown clear ocean.”
With a voice as calm as that, it felt weird to think about the voice cussing the Queen out. If you are from a small fishing village, Sir Mio is unlikely to be from a noble family. Then where did he meet Jurgel?
“Sir Mio. Please bring the baby down to the area where he can hear your heartbeat.”
“Is your meal going to take longer?”
“The tomatoes are pretty fresh. Sir Mio, make eye contact too.”
Sir Mio must have really loved his hometown that he described the scenery of the rustic fishing village he described had a warm corner. Will there be a day when Jurgel will appear in that story someday? I hope that somehow he loves Jurgel less, or if he loves it, he will change quickly.
When I came back from eating, I asked Ellie about sleeping education for babies, but she did not know. She promised that she will ask the other ladies after work. I wish I can go to the library to look for one. I miss the days when I could just search something up on a smart phone instead of searching through a library. I need more time. I need time to move around freely, but it is not like I can leave baby prince with Ellie during the day.
While Ellie was here, I hopped into the shower quickly. A little past her time to go home, Ellie quickly passed on the baby prince to me. There was dinner ready for Sir Mio and I. Even the ladies who do chores leave shifts during the night to switch shifts!
“Sir Mio please be honest.”
“I don’t think this cream pasta soup is it.”
I have been getting closer to him these last few days, and food was a hot topic. Of course I do think this cream pasta soup isn’t it. They should have at least provided like sparkling drinks or something. Whose idea is this?
“Actually, have you ever trained to be a baby’s escort?”
“Well I couldn’t make personal time to train.”
“Since I don’t know too well, but are escorts usually have full-time jobs? It seemed like Sir Mio was working shifts too.”
“It is the will of the Majesty.”
See, that’s what I don’t understand, the will of the Majesty. Saying that he loves the prince in truth, but doesn’t even give him a name, how does this line up? It’s a ceasefire party when the baby prince gets a name, which may have political intentions, but the story of only having one escort for the prince is another story. This is dangerous. I don’t understand why he only uses Sir Mio, when a job such like this is so exhausting for one person to accomplish. We should have a quality life.
Since I played with him a lot before I tried to put him to bed, the prince fell asleep quickly. I half tied up my wet hair, and asked Sir Mio.
“Can you not sleep with the light on?”
“No, it doesn’t matter to me.”
“Then, I will leave it on darkly.”
I sat at the desk, lightly lit the stand, and took out a small piece of paper and a clean piece of paper. As I organized the writing I wanted to write in my head, I closed my eyes and saw Sir Mio’s face lying in bed. Even with his eyes close, he was good looking. I think it was the first time I’ve seen him lying down straight. He pulls his blanket up to his chest. He’s the type to sleep in a straight position, Sir Mio.
“If you look at me like that, I can’t sleep.”
He was in bed with his eyes trying to sleep, and his guards must have been down trying to go to sleep, I didn’t understand how he felt me looking at him.
That night, I went to sleep here and here while taking care of the baby and writing letters. In the early morning I felt tired as I have never been since I became a nanny, but I also felt like I had taken three shots of hot sauce.
My goal was to gain the prince’s name. The name is pending, but the attending physician has obtained it. Now it is time to set the next short-term goal. Even if I don’t know where life flows, it will flow somewhere. I just want to know where my wreck is going.
I smiled at Seya, who was walking in the room, and looked at the proposal full of grammar and spelling errors, that I have been writing all night.
“Good morning, teacher. Starting today, let’s edit my proposal.
Pound. I feel like it would open then.
This episode was hard to write.
The baby prince was born, but the birth hasn’t been officially announced. “The baby prince is born?” “It’s said to be a prince.” “Why is there no announcement?” “Was he even born?” That is a state. So we can’t even call the prince a real prince yet.
“It’s another good morning, my Lady. Sir Alex.”
There are many ways to describe a person’s beauty. If Jurgel is the kind of beauty in which the morning sun shines on a beautiful lake, the beauty of the Queen is a heavy, widespread aroma.
Now that she was completely healed, the Queen was in a white dress and didn’t look as miserable. But she doesn’t look happy and I still doesn’t see the affections he has for the baby prince. If I hadn’t seen the queen’s maternity scene at that time, I would think the queen was the one who took over the baby that the King had brought elsewhere and forced her to breastfeed.
Unlike me, with my hair tied when she slept yesterday, the queen was perfectly perfect even in the early morning, so she couldn’t be seen as a mother anywhere. It was the same, even the same black hair, with the queen or me and her hair tied back, yet she was so much more beautiful. How could the King leave such a Queen… Yes, I have to respect the King’s preference. Yes I should. Yes…
Behind the queen’s shoulder, Sir Alex nodded slightly and gave me a greeting. He is still silent and handsome. We do live on the same floor and I have seen him pretty often, but I still have yet to hear his voice.
The Queen came into the room silently, and Sir Mio left the room alternately. Because of the need to breastfeed, both knights left the room to be polite. I wonder what king of conversation they were having. I looked over at the outside. A river flows between them. It would be strange if the two of them are close to each other in a situation where they love one man unilaterally.
The queen sat in the armchair prepared next to the cradle and held the baby prince in her arms. Blood is an interesting thing. Even though she is a mother who comes in three times a day for a little while, the baby prince liked the Queen’s visits.
“Seems like the baby is in a good mood.”
Maybe it is different for the baby prince, but for me, maybe since I’m not blood related, seeing the Queen occasionally was not easy.
“The baby still doesn’t have a name… What do you want to call him, my Lady?”
What was the name of the baby prince?
Perhaps the Queen names this baby, after the war.
“This child is a successor to the throne and must be named by His Majesty.”
“But the Queen is the mother, so you must have something in mind.”
“It’s better to not think of something that won’t happen.”
Weird. Even though the queen was still beautiful as an ink painting, she looked lifeless and helpless. Like my friend who tried to go to medical school and failed all three times. The dream is far and the feet are still on the ground, but like a person who was exhausted from their dreams, the Queen looks down at the baby prince as if he’s not her child with an empty face.
“Anyone can think. Just thinking.”
The Queen is ill. That illness that anyone who gave birth can get. And perhaps an illness I can even get, despite never giving birth. The Queen may not love the baby prince. Still, her breasts were steadily producing milk for the baby prince to eat, and her hands were patting the chest of the baby prince was sucking on her breast. Even at things that are too difficult to overcome, time still flies. Like now.
“If it was a baby boy, I wanted to call him Eugene.”
“Eugene. Sounds like a name of someone who will grow up strong and mighty.”
The queen did not laugh, even faintly. I am just a civilian, and meaningless to her, so any of my words will not comfort her.
“I am losing milk.”
The Queen, detaching the baby a little faster than usual, said.
“I think it would be better to increase the amount of powdered milk, as my milk will soon dry out.”
Again, the Queen, who had put the baby prince on the cradle, left the room with silent elegant steps. Sir Alex, waiting outside the door, greets me with his eyes and follows the queen like a white swallowtail.
He also looks miserable. Sir Mio is miserable, the Queen is miserable, I am miserable. Wow. Are there only miserable people in this palace?
However, the baby prince, who was growing without maternal love or any kind of love, was lying there satisfied. Sir Mio closed the door as he walked in and Ellie opened up the closed curtains. I held the baby from the cradle and started to sway.
“Are you feeling better because you saw your mom? Are you happy now that you are full? No matter how much I am there for you, you must prefer your mom? Ah.. I want to see my mom as well.”
Sir Mio spoke.
“Couldn’t you visit your home?”
“I don’t know… It’s not like I can’t leave right now.”
Did ‘Ahsee’ have parents? I wonder what her parents are like. Even if I do meet them, will I be as happy as if I was seeing my own parents? No way. Even if I do look the same as her, I know I am not ‘Ahsee’ and ‘Ahsee’ is not me. I miss my mom. I want to see my mom. Wait, no. I can’t think like this.
I handed the baby prince over to Ellie and sat at the desk and opened my poor proposal, which Seya helped edit this morning. The royal palace manpower should not be turned over. I know the specificity of the situation is cold and overflowing, but I shouldn’t turn it around like this forever!
It’s a proposal to suggest it, but Seya, who took a short glance, bent over his pale eyes and smiled neatly and pulled out a red pen, and like a teacher at eye level, he corrected every wrong part…
“Ms. Ahsee, seems like you confuse c and k and oi and es. We should focus more on spelling and grammar.”
And then he gave me homework! He has never given me homework before!
The proposal was a total of three chapters, but it was half the length of what Seya had corrected. Seya gave the homework to correct the wrong part in the rest of the chapters by referring to the part that he corrected. He said use my professional opinion.
If I had that from the beginning.
I looked at the proposal I didn’t even want to look at and sighed. It was nice writing it at first. It was good to write a proposal. I really don’t want to do this as it becomes my homework. Why is homework at this age? I should at least fix the errors that Seya pointed out so that I don’t feel guilty when I see him next morning.
The full baby looked happy and next to him, Ellie was there telling a story about a story that her grandmother and mother used to tell her. The prince at times reacted, and to that reaction, Ellie became more devoted to her story.
If you think about it, the structure of the queen’s palace is not bad, but it takes more intensive, stable, and more workforce to care for the baby prince. I’m sorry for the mothers who are alone in parenting, but I can’t say that it’s only for me and Ellie to take care of it. Experts should do parenting. And we need to disperse the responsibility I and Ellie are taking.
And like that Jurgel came in. I knew he was going to come in sometime today, but I hope he would stop coming in. I spoke in a voice I would use in a call center with a smile of Miss Korea.
“Hello, Mr. Jurgel. The mint jacket is very suiting on you. It’s a pretty difficult fashion to work.”
“Hello, Ahsee. You seem really tired, are you okay?”
Jurgel, who asked me three times, surprisingly remembered and called my name this time. For Jurgel, who treats almost everyone fairly, except for the king, I seem to have risen to the class of people worth remembering.
He was also beautiful today. He was wearing a latte mint-colored jacket with a glossy luster, and it was a bold color choice that I couldn’t wear unless I was quite confident with my skin. In addition, the blonde also added a refreshing image to him, who showed his brow with a different charisma, and flipped his hair as if it was almost covering his cheeks and ears. It was good. I think I was quite like a fashion editor.
“Thanks for worrying, I think I’m going to die, but I’m not dying. The baby just fell asleep.”
So would you not hold the sleeping baby and sing to him?
Maybe he read my mind, Jurgel smiled softly, listened to the breath of the baby prince and sat next to the cradle, instead of holding a baby and singing a lullaby as usual.
He opened his palm on top of the face of the sleeping baby.
“Babies really do grow fast.”
He said and smiled. Adults say babies grow so quickly that even if you look away for one second, they do. The baby prince grew up differently each day, and was growing so fast that it felt subtly different from the day before.
“Babies surprisingly have a good memory. So maybe he might remember my lullaby or not. Do you think he will remember my existence? What do you think, Ahsee?”
“It would be an honor that the prince remembers, but I cannot hope for anything else but for the health of the prince.”
“That was a good answer.”
Sir Mio was able to see Jurgel more closely as he became the prince’s escort. To see or not to see, which was more painful? Sir Mio is here and can look at Jurgel, but Sir Alex is outside, not too far, and he couldn’t see him. I wonder who was suffering and who was more miserable.
Sir Mio does not lean against the wall, no matter how tired he is when Jurgel is present. Standing in an upright position to be called a knight of the knight, he is looking at the Jurgel with its dark eyes.
I wonder why I am suddenly curious about Sir Mio’s eye color. I am with him 23 hours of 24 hours, but I was never curious about that, but now that he could possibly look depressed while looking at Jurgel, I was curious.
“I don’t think I’ll be there for a while, but in the meantime, if the baby forgets me or looks at me like new when I come back, I’m going to be sad.”
“You can’t come? You must be busy. For how long can you not come?”
I wish he never came back. At my words that differed from my thoughts, Jurgel smiled while he pulled out his hand and brushed it over the small baby’s lips.
“You haven’t heard the news?”
Jurgel lovingly mocked his head. In the wind, the hair that had been passed to one side was shaken and his cheeks and ears were covered. I only saw it briefly, but I saw a bite mark around there. It doesn’t seem like it’s from a fight. Ohh, Jurgel was probably with the King last night. Wait, I don’t want to even think about that.
The beautiful Jurgel, his fingers even beautiful, combed through his hair.
“The war is over.”
Why doesn’t the world reveal the cataclysm by thundering together, like when a lightning strike or an earthquake occurs in the moment my life meets a cataclysm? There wasn’t a line about Ahsee in “Escape,” but the war being over was the beginning of a new chapter that changed everything.
The war ended and people came back.
If I had a bookshelf of ‘Escape’ in my head, I thought I could hear all the pages of the book trembling and crying at that moment.
The Queen said she wanted to name the prince Eugene.
The prince’s name wasn’t Eugene. The baby prince will be called by a name never thought of by the queen. The day that I have been waiting for, my first short term goal, was coming near.
But it felt weird.
I was not happy.
The main character has all traits of someone to be #1 in the marriage market, but in the dating world….
A fling is something that can be done with one person or two people, someone can think they have a fling and then perhaps it continues to dating? *crying face*
As I was on the table with my head down, giving up on the urge to keep my eyes open, Seya came in and woke me up. If you think about it, he intentionally gives tutoring from dawn, much earlier than the time that should have occurred.
“Teacher, how much do you get for this?”
“Yes… Ms. Ahsee, Good morning to you too.”
“It’s good to see you well again, teacher. And this is a real question.”
Sir Mio was sleeping while I was in class, so now I have a chair for him in front of the window. I wish him to wake up maybe from the dawn breeze. To be honest, I do want to tell him to hang out with the baby while I am in class, but I don’t think that’s a request I should be asking.
“To your surprise, this is unpaid.”
I was surprised, but Seya reached out to me with the bud-like eyes that first sprouted in early spring. Uh? The string that tied my hair fell down and flowed behind my shoulders and back.
“Suza is my cousin. Now, tie again.”
I slept with my hair tied up before I slept last night, then I didn’t tie it again. I guess my hair was a mess. It is to say that once a girl gives up how she looks, she looks old and I guess because I see Seya, Sir Mio, Sir Alex, and the Queen everyday that I really gave up what I look like. But I did wash my face and put on some lipstick today.
I rolled up my hair and started to think for who Suza was by fixing the raised head with the braid that Seya returned. Whether the brain cells of the fortress die like firecrackers, memory is not the same as before.
“Who is Suza?”
“The headmistress here.”
I suddenly woke up. That spring wind elf-like guy and the north-western girl are cousins? It is similar to the fact that Australopithecus and modern people are walking with two feet, and there are no corners where they are almost similar. I don’t know if it’s a cousin to the mother or a cousin to the paternal, but it’s clear that the gene on one side revolutionized it.
“You guys really do not look alike.”
“I hear that often.”
“The two of you, I think the color of the eyes is similar.”
“Good job for trying, but Suza’s eyes are light blue.”
The world really is all the connections. To think that she was a mistress here, I didn’t think much of her ability, but to use her connections.
“But then, how do the two of you have different social standings?”
Suza is a commoner, because when she wrote the contract with me, she told me now that she should treat me with respect. Seya was a noble when I, so I am curious about what kind of drama a noble and common people should have to be cousins.
“Suza’s and my mother are sisters, but they were semi-nobles. My mother married our noble father, and my aunt married a commoner.”
“I thought that semi-nobles only marry semi-nobles.”
“Well, you both had a burning love marriage. The semi-aristocrats have a low preference in the aristocratic class, and it is not impossible to marry aristocrats.”
“I think my aunt was very popular with the same knights.”
“I heard that a lot of unmarried articles at that time were very disappointing.”
It is an inspiring story. My marriage partner expanded to a noble. That doesn’t mean that I really want to get married, but I wanted to go through the prosperity rush in the marriage market. Every woman has a love potential exploding at least once in her life, but my potential exploded in the age of oocytes, but that day has never come.
With the corrections Seya made, I tried my hardest to make my corrections as my homework, but his red pen didn’t pause as if there were numerous corrections. I rubbed the baby prince’s belly in the cradle with one hand, still turning my head to the desk, watching Seya focus on my proposal.
How does he even look like the headmistress. Her atmosphere was so intense that it was like a blizzard, so it wasn’t the atmosphere that matched Seya’s who grew up with the spring breeze. Age wise, Seya seemed 5/6 years younger, so maybe they didn’t play together when they were younger?
“Ms. Ahsee. What word were you trying to write here?”
“You seem to mistake a and e often, Ms. Ahsee.”
“It happens to people.”
“The more you think like that, the less effort you put in.”
I probably lived hard. And I live hard here. No one knows how hard I am trying not to scream, not to cry, not to sit down. How does it feel to be waiting for a rescue ship that is uprooted and drifting in an undesirably different world? Sometimes I think that yelling might be good for my mental health.
“It’s okay. You live your life to your best and I live my life to my best.”
Seya, who paused the correction, stroked my head like a loving teacher or a caring older brother. Oppa? Would oppa really be my oppa?
“The class was focused on reading, so if you think about it, you have complied a lot in this writing. You’ve done your homework steadily… and you worked hard.”
Saying that, Seya seemed very tired. At the window, Sir Mio was still dozing. It is this early morning. At this time, the maids are still not around. I still thought he was getting the right tutoring fees, but I didn’t know that he was an unpaid talent donor. Now that I know, I see him differently and more pitiful. I hated those who did not accept pays the most.
“Seems like you are busy recently.”
“Yes, it has been.”
“Jurgel told me. The war had ended.”
As soon as I brought up his name, Seya scrunched for a second.
I thought almost all the male characters in the ‘Escape’ loved Jurgel, but there were some people who didn’t. Since Seya didn’t show up on ‘Escape’ I just assumed he would have the same reaction as all the male characters, but his reaction was similar to any other palace maids.
“Oh that mon-,I mean him, does he come to the palace often still?”
“Teacher, are you close to the headmistress?”
“Since we are cousins, I see are sometimes. Why?”
It seemed like you were just about to call him a monster.
“Nothing. He does come in often and plays with the prince or sings him lullaby. He cares for the baby… seems like a good person.”
Is that so, Seya smiled as he said. He is a good person. It doesn’t seem like he is very fond of Jurgel, but he doesn’t cuss him out or anything I in front of me. To be honest, it wasn’t like I wanted to trash talk Jurgel with Seya but I felt uncomfortable with Sir Mio behind me dozing off.
“By the way, Miss Asus.”
“You have been touching your baby’s belly since…”
“Oh, your baby has some constipation. Don’t worry. Rather, what does it have to do with the end of the war and getting busy?”
“A lot of people are coming back, Ms. Ahsee.. We have to follow up on their non-competitive events and re-arrange military and military departments. Above all… there is also a fraud issue because it is not a victory.”
So maybe that’s why they haven’t announce the prince’s birth.
“Would they do a parade or something? I’ve never seen one.”
My dream of a fantasy world was already crushed because I became a worker1, but I still had some minor dreams and hopes. A fancy dress! Even if I can’t buy one I want to try one and I want to go to a parade or a night market. Because everyone tries one at one point. In order for that to happen, I need this proposal to pass.
Even when I tried to restrain, Seya laughed as if the expected look was strong. Somewhere on my chest, I heard a sound I have not before. It was similar to the day that I got introduced that he was my teacher, but somewhat faster.
“To highlight that it was a total victory, everything will be fancy, Ms. Ahsee, everything. The King is going to go out himself and greet the military.”
And Jurgel will be there in place of the Queen. No wonder Jurgel said he couldn’t visit for a while. He is probably busy going to all the events that the Queen was suppose to be at. Suddenly I’m curious, but did the Queen hand over even ruling the domestic affairs to Jurgel?
“If the parade fits my schedule, would you want me to take you, Ms. Ahsee?”
“Yes teacher! I really want to go.”
I wonder if I can even go out. Isn’t this one of the reason they use older people for nanny work? Young people would be dying to go around and about everywhere. Like me right me. Yes me. Me. If I don’t have something like this to look forward to, I cannot live this life.
“Why don’t we aim to finish this proposal by the end of that time? Since you know how to write, all you have to practice is how to write neatly.”
“They probably read my proposal if I have messy handwriting?”
I have to trace my memory. What happened after the war? Many returned and again intertwined with Jurgel, and the Baby Prince became the prince and became the successor of the King. And?
“Ms. Ahsee. Could I try holding the baby?”
Sometimes there are men who like babies, and Seya is one of them. I still haven’t forgotten to warmly look he gave the baby prince on our first meeting. I stopped massaging the baby prince’s belly, hugged it, and held the baby prince in the arms of Seya.
“Carefully. Since he still has trouble holding his neck, please support his neck with one hand.”
He said that he had a knighthood, but his shoulders and arms were quite tight when he handed over the baby prince or not. I was prepared to catch the baby if he dropped it or something, but he held the baby more comfortably than I thought.
“Hello, baby prince? My name is Seya. You are not shy and you are kind. Very trustworthy.”
Seya looked down at the baby as it if was cute sincerely. I have never personally thought babies were cute so it was interesting to watch. Perhaps because I haven’t given birth to my own child, but to think they are cute or to think someone else’s baby is cute. I don’t know. Even though I hold the baby and take care of it all day, I don’t get attached to it, so I do not understand how Seya is able to like the baby when he barely sees him for like an honor each day.
“When are people returning?”
“Probably like 15 days. Since you have to bust the champion when you first open it… Everything is going to go by fast.”
There is one more thing that bothered me.
I looked at my hand that was copying the letters Seya gave. I didn’t know in the beginning. Since ‘Ahsee’ was illiterate. I only realized later.
Why does illiterate ‘Ahsee’ have a fountain pen? On top of that, a long and well made pen. I didn’t have an eye to see things in this world, but I knew from the moment I saw that this wasn’t just an entry-level item. It is a high-end product made by someone.
One more thing.. The initials were engraved in beautiful writing on the fountain pen. At first, I thought it was a pattern, but after learning the letters, I’ll find out that it is a beautifully carved initials.
‘Ahsee’s’ name is Ahsee Token. This wasn’t her initial. What kind of initial is C.K. Calvin Klein? Probably not. It could be that she received it from someone, but couldn’t give it to someone else.
Whichever it is, who does this fountain pen belong to?
Mystery woman Ahsee Token.
This doesn’t have too much meaning, but Ahsee is older than Seya. Seya is pretty young though.
I have a dream.
The dream being not to get rejected when I turn in my proposal to the mistress. The dream that the mistress, who has read all my proposals, doesn’t write ‘reject’. At least I could read the word reject now compared to in the beginning when I could not. Human is a developing being. So my proposal must be developing every day. Probably.
“Yes, not today.”
Ellie and the baby prince greeted as I walked in slumped. Baby prince made gestures with his arms that he wanted me to come hold him. Ellie tried to pass him onto me, but I denied with a head shake. Recently, the prince seems to know the differences between people. It gives me shivers.
“I’m here and seems like you got used to parenting, isn’t this not enough?”
“Yes, it’s not. You do get brought here every day, but it’s not like you get to be in charge here.”
“Why not just ask me to go full speed?”
“And then what if one of us gets sick or has emergency? We would be doomed.”
My mother went with me when I went to the bathroom because I only looked for her. There seems to be a strap with a large magnet somewhere on the foot. I have to find and cut the string, but no matter how much I stumble over my ankle, I feel like it has no string and only weight. Under my feet is a swamp. I cannot be sucked in like this.
“Oh right. The monster is coming today.”
I glanced at Sir Mio. It is his own secret about his feelings towards Jurgel, but doesn’t he feel uncomfortable whenever the maids call Jurgel the monster or a fox? I was just going to look past him, but we made eye contact. I quickly made it look like I was turning to look at Ellie. Good job! Very natural.
“Mr. Jurgel? He said he won’t come for a while.”
“I know. That was nice.”
“Isn’t he busy preparing for other stuff?”
I purposely turned my body to chatter with Ellie. The Queen’s Palace is almost an isolated island in the royal palace, and the baby prince is in a quiet, secluded, and secluded neighborhood enough to be the exile of Jeong Yak-yong, who formed the flower of exile literature. That’s why I knew that Jurgel was extremely busy trying to match costumes and ornaments.
“I know. Did he give birth? Why does he keep coming?”
Yeah, you are right. I purposely looked at Sir Mio’s reaction more. He was silently looking at the baby prince, lying on his back against the wall. It’s so quiet in the palace though that I’m sure he can hear our conversation.
“Don’t you think the prince has been more awake recently?”
“Yes and compared to before putting him to sleep is harder.”
I took the baby out of the cradle. Maybe because he just woke up, but the baby felt lighter as he tried to use his whole body and short arms to grab onto my hair. He has been getting heavier day by day. Soon I feel like my arms or wrist was going to break. In a parenting program, they said when babies go over 13 kg, it was hard for the mother to bathe it alone. I wonder how many months that is.
“Sir Mio, would you want to hold the baby?”
“I am not a nanny.”
“Sooner or later, I don’t think I can hold the baby, so you have to hold him in case of any emergencies, Sir Mio.”
“When the baby falls asleep, I will teach you some arm strengthening exercises.”
Wow. I lost. Sir Mio is evolving quickly, not the same old Sir Mio. . Ellie, who had milk powder, put a bottle on her cheek and checked the temperature and asked me.
“Are you guys dating?”
I was shocked this time that I elbowed Ellie and said to her in a low voice.
“Is someone blocking your way of life?”
“I mean you guys look pretty comfy eating together?”
“How did you know Sir Mio and I ate together?”
“I just guessed but I guess it’s true.”
“Don’t spread any rumors.”
“I won’t. Let me know when you need me to though. I can block Sir Mio’s way of life.”
I cannot deny that it was a tempting offer, but Sir Mio was already in love with Jurgel. And to get married with him, my life would just be a terrible one.
I looked back at Sir Mio. I really hope he didn’t hear this conversation. Compared to when he first came, he doesn’t look as depressed, but he does still look depressed. I think he is thinking about Jurgel.
Whenever Jurgel is around, his dark and gloomy eyes brighten up quickly and when he leaves, his eyes turn back into his gloomy state. I wonder what kind of a feeling that is. It is similar to the feeling of standing alone on a playground in a town where people leave for a holiday and watching the red sunset that is like smoke. I feel like I’m just watching the time I want to stop flowing like a flash.
With his eyes a little bit more dark and sharp, I kneeled down and greeted the Queen and Jurgel.
“Hello, Queen. Mr. Jurgel.”
To think of it, there was never a day like this. There was never a day where the Queen and Jurgel came at the same time even though they were on the same floor many times. Jurgel only came on times he knew the Queen wouldn’t come and the Queen never came in if she knew he was there.
“Would you want to wait, my Lady?”
“No, let’s go in.”
It is a disaster. With the baby in between, we saw the sight of the wife and the concubine in one space. The queen sat next to the cradle and lay the baby prince on her knees, and Jurgel stood in front of him and put a soft smile on her face.
All the guards that had to be outside whenever the Queen was feeding the baby was inside. With Sir Alex and Sir Mio, not all of Jurgel’s knights could come in, but one came in and they all stood together. The headmistress, who I was just with, came in and stood next to them.
I have seen this a lot. When a concubine came to say hello, the concubine composition was waiting in front of the visit because he didn’t tell him that he was going to go inside.
On my side, I could see the face of Jurgel, smiling gently, and the face of three municipal knights at the door. It looked strange and weird. Knights with different eyes looked at the resembling eyes and looked only at the glaring Jurgel.
I don’t know how long this atmosphere lasted. My eyes met Sir Mio’s about when my legs started to hurt. He looked at me for a second and turned around.
“Such a beautiful face.”
After sitting on a chair, the Queen, who had only been looking Jurgel’s smile all the time, said for the first time in a long time.
“It’s a beautiful face that I want to touch.”
“Would you like to?”
They seemed to have a kind of fighting that I didn’t know, and they seemed like awkward friends who didn’t know how to communicate. After a hard time, the Queen left the room with the baby prince in the cradle. Since I couldn’t move for a while, my ankles and even my back started to hurt. Jurgel waved the Queen goodbye with a smile, but the Queen did not answer.
“Ahsee. Could I hold the baby?”
For it being the first time that Sir Mio and Jurgel’s guards saw Jurgel hold the baby up close, there was an awe look on their face. Sir Mio’s face softened and a faint smile formed.
“Hi, baby. It’s been a while? I’m sorry I wasn’t able to come earlier. I was just too busy. But I am going to give you a present soon. A very pretty present.”
I intuitively knew it was the name of the baby prince. Jurgel rubbed his cheeks against the baby prince’s cheek, and the prince laughed happily.
“I am very fond of you, Ahsee. Because I feel great right now, I grant you a wish. Tell me. What do you want.”
He asked me as if he was petting a dog waving its tail off in front of him, as if he was stroking a cat with a ribbon around his neck. To be honest, I had no feelings about Jurgel, except that he was bing. I didn’t like or hate him, I just felt sorry for him and the Queen who broke into the King’s love. So I did wish him bad at times. But at this moment, I felt arrogant from him asking for my wishes.
“My wish? To turn off that stove for ramen.”
I want to go home.
I want to smell my mom.
I want to sleep in my own bed.
“What is ramen?”
“I am kidding. I wish the royal palace budget would increase. Right now. Right away.”
I laughed. The king is a bitch and Jurgel is an idiot. Happy lovers will be happy forever and the Queen is left disadvantaged. And that’s why I thought of that. About the things that can and cannot be changed, and the little happiness that can be achieved in between.
“Yes, Mr. Jurgel”
Jurgel called me before he left.
“I hope you get prettier when I see you next time.”
What did you just say?? It is said that it takes a lot of brainpower to speak and think such nonsense. Speaking such nonsense, he stumbled over his own feet and was about to fall, but his knights caught him. You should have just fallen. You should have fallen and gotten a scar on that pretty face of yours. I would have felt better.
Because he was close to the door, all the guards, who were waiting for him all gathered around him as if he was a lost kitten and took care of him, brushed his hair out for him, and straightened out his clothes. I wish all four of them fell and rolled down the stairs or something.
As I heard the turmoil in the hallway, my annoyance didn’t go away. And then I saw. Sir Mio was looking down at the hand that touched Jurgel. It touched for a second. That second probably didn’t even leave any warmth in his hands, yet he smiled as if he had heard the blooming flowers after the winter.
I saw him and he, who haven’t been looking at me, saw me. I knew. He now knew that too.
The night breeze was cool and gentle. It is a good season. I wanted to walk in the middle of the day in this season. Even in a neighborhood that has lived for 10 years, I only pass by bus or taxi, and when I look inside the alley, there is a space I do not know. With a weather like this, I just want to walk in the neighborhood all by myself and enjoy the small things.
With a half-open window, the curtains swung in and stroking my shoulders and cheeks. It wasn’t annoying, but Sir Mio came out on the terrace and rolled a thin curtain.
I pushed my bare feet out onto the terrace a little more. The wind that blew between my toes tickled me lightly and my once in a while loose hair was flowing with the wind. It felt good. For the first time that I came here, I haven’t felt this light. If only I had a cold beer in my hand.
“I’ve been thinking. I think Sir Mio, you should try holding the baby more.”
“As I have said, I am not a nanny.”
“But the parade? Ellie and I won’t be here.”
I accomplished it. It was a long week campaign, but I did it. The mistress wasn’t super willing, but she also agreed that Eli and I needed a vacation and needed additional human resources in case. Most surprisingly, the permission to go out during the festival that I did not even expect!
I can take advantage of the additional budget as an additional allowance for the ladies working during the festival to receive volunteers to work on the first day, and if there is not enough manpower, I can take a break at any time because I will run a short-term operation with a shift system. Festival! Parade! Night market!!
“Sit here. Baby won’t wake up for probably two hours or so.”
Because it was the terrace behind the building, the garden was spread under my feet, and if I hadn’t opened my window upstairs and put my head down at all, I couldn’t see my feet or the dress. If it’s not beer, it can be carbonated, but my body wanted some junk food. Something cold.
“There is no need for escorts to be closer to nannies than what is required.”
“Because emotions mix?”
I’ve heard a line like that from a bodyguard in a movie. Sir Mio sat next to me comfortably and closed his eyes. We cannot leave from work, but we do have breaks. The wind is cool and the moon is above my head. I love times like these.
“But if you hugged the baby because of an inevitable situation and the baby is unfamiliar, it might cry out loud. It’s embarrassing. If it is necessary to keep quiet, it’s a big deal.”
“You don’t have to imagine and prepare for such a compelling situation.”
“I am a character who thinks of every situation. Have to live long.”
“If you want to live long, the most important thing is to be careful of what you say.”
The wind changed directions. Sir Mio raised his hand and brushed my hair that got in his face. He looked at me with no sign of a joke.
“What about it do you like that much?”
I passed my hands behind her head, collected the hair flying towards Sir Mio, and passed it over my shoulder. ‘Ahsee’ and I had the same face, but she definitely had longer hair than me. It was no long that it was difficult to take care and sometimes I even think about cutting it, but then I double think and think that I probably shouldn’t touch anything of Ahsee’s.
“I think there is a fountain on my chest. Every time I think about it, that fountain…”
He said as he looked at his hand that touched Jurgel. I guess a flower that never blooms hides in his palm. Maybe I should have not asked.
“Even if it does go well, there is no potential. Does it not hurt?”
He looked at me and laughed quietly. The moon was behind our backs, and again the hair fluttering in the wind. Scattered in all directions, my hair roamed my ears, cheeks, and Sir Mio’s eyebrows and face. After coming out on the terrace, the wind didn’t stop and Sir Mio reached out and swept my forehead back to gather my hair and grabbed it for a while to keep it out of my sight. Because the moon was behind me, I was able to look into his eyes.
“The moon must be bright. I can see the color of your eyes.”
*After writing Surviving as a Maid, I’ve been wanting to write a thrill romance.
*The main character has been locked in for like 7 weeks. Lollll. Let’s say she was at least at the backyard before she became a nanny to do laundry outside or something. Hahaha.
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