Chapter 4 – A Second Chance
I stiffened from their exchange. The way they conversed made it seem like he had found food to throw into a lion’s den. He turned around and left as soon as he handed me over. He did not even spare me a glance. We spent five hours together in the carriage going here, and you couldn’t even bother to look at me? Yes, that’s one of the things that make you so charming.
When Raven left, the maid ushered me towards the back door of the Imperial Palace. I guess I’m the only one here, I thought to myself as I scanned my surroundings.
“This is the Majesty’s bedroom, and this is where you will work.”
As I took my time admiring the corridor etched with gold leaves and jewels, I was not at all surprised at the intricate details the hall provided. It was something that I had already known. Meanwhile, the emperor’s bedroom on the second story caught me off guard, since it was much more spacious and extravagant than what I had in mind. The room was as amazing as I thought it would be.
On the side a small room was situatedand it was rather simple; a mundane arrangement of one single bed, one chair, one small sink and a closet. I also noticed a few items the previous dolls had used placed on one corner.
Well, at least it has everything I would need.
While I was scanning the small room, the maid informed me that I was brought into the Imperial Palace as the emperor’s living doll, and that I would be staying here, inside the small room.
From what I remember, the original story only described the role of the emperor’s dolls. It did not say anything about how the dolls lived and how they were treated whilst being inside the palace.
I guess the way I would live as a doll, whether it would be a life laden with hardships or not, would solely depend on the emperor’s tendencies.
In the novel, the female protagonist who served as a doll found herself to be in a much fortunate position since the emperor grew fond of her, so anything she did was an exception. Just thinking about the protagonist’s role as a doll was enough to make my skin crawl, since her experience was an entirely different matter.
Please don’t tell me I have to be the emperor’s plaything… One that he would spend all day all night with that I would barely have any sleep.
The possibility of it happening had chills run down my spine. The maid spoke suddenly, snapping me out of my thoughts. “I will tell you what you will be doing from this day forward.”
I turned my head to look at the maid. I gave her my undivided attention as she explained what being a living doll entailed. I listened to her talk, and for a minute I thought my ears had deceived me.
“You can wake up much later than the Majesty. After an hour of etiquette training in the morning, you’ll be waiting in this bedroom for the rest of the day. The maid assigned to you will be the one to take care of your schedule and service.”
My eyes widened for a fraction. I would’ve exclaimed in surprise if I could. A maid assigned to me and I’m allowed to wake up much later than the emperor? One hour of training and then waiting in this room for the rest of the day. Am I hearing it right? Could this be one of those jobs that you only get to hear about?
Back in my previous life, because of the family I was born into, I slaved myself by working ceaselessly everyday until I couldn’t feel my body anymore. Which was why it was the very thing that popped into my head upon reincarnation; that I had yet again to slave my days away, no different from the life I’ve led previously.
But no. The conditions given to me were far from what I initially suspected and I am beyond thrilled. I do hope it wouldn’t be like the Last Supper before my own crucifixion, though.
Everything would be out of my hands once the female protagonist appears. All I have to do now is to endure everything until then. I would be able to leave the emperor under her care and run away from this place like my life depended on it!
But the thing is, the job was pretty decent and it didn’t have anything I would object to, so is it right to wish she would appear a little bit later?
Is my life finally turning around for the better? Could this be my second chance?
I let my thoughts of having a privileged job wash over me that the maid spoke in a much stricter voice, garnering my attention. “How come you’re not answering me? Are you deaf?” She shot me an appraising look.
I was about to respond that I’m not but couldn’t bring myself to answer. My throat felt dry and sore, no words came out of my mouth.
“Ah that’s right. They said you couldn’t speak. It completely slipped my mind.”
I looked at her sheepishly and rubbed the back of my neck. The maid shook her head as she continued. “There are three things you have to adhere to.”
She raised three fingers. “First, whatever you see or hear would remain a secret. You can’t speak so I’m not worried about that.”
The faint sound of maids giggling outside caught my attention, but the head maid resumed and I concentrated on her once again. “Second, you are here to work as a doll, nothing more. You are to stay still unless you’re instructed to do something. You have to do anything His Majesty wants.”