Elmeria kept coming into my room without permission.
Although, technically, I had no privacy as a doll.
Without rushing, I got out of bed after donning my sleep wear beneath the sheet.
Lina had entered and put a robe on me.
The silk pajamas I received yesterday were quite thin, you could see my body through them in the morning sun.
The lights in the Imperial Palace were all crafted by magic.
They were not as bright as the electric lights of technology, so I had no idea the pajamas were so sheer.
‘No wonder the sensation of being next to him was more vivid than usual yesterday’, I thought as my cheeks flushed.
The emperor always removed his shirt before sleeping, and after a month I got used to it.
But that was when I had been wearing thick winter pajamas.
Last night, the feeling of him next to me was more vibrant and I had trouble falling asleep.
I could not stop thinking of his strong, muscular body pressing up against me.
If the emperor had seen my face, it would have been as red as an apple.
‘Had he even known about the change in pajamas’ I wondered.
Lina had given them to me without saying a word.
‘How cruel! She had probably given them to me as a prank.
That’s why she couldn’t look me in the eyes. She should have warned me!’
With some help, I put the robe on and curtseyed to the maids in the imperial manner.
Thanks to Elmeria and Lina, who instructed me every day, I had been able to learn the manners of the Imperial Palace.
It was better when I didn’t have to attempt the language of the court, as it made my tongue twist and I couldn’t speak.
Elmeria just studied me silently.
‘Was she going to tell me why they were here’ I wondered.
Elmeria didn’t like me very much.
She usually said what she needed to say and promptly left, but today she just stood there and stared at me.
Sighing, she went on to recite the day’s schedule.
“His Majesty said he would like to go for a walk after lunch.
‘A walk’ I thought.
‘This is new’.
The sudden change in my routine shocked me, as I usually spent all of my days just waiting in this chamber since my training had been completed.
“Follow me,” Elmeria ordered.
She took me to a dressing room that was three doors down from the emperor’s bedroom.
Inside, the maids moved diligently to pull back a thick, blackout curtain, that was hiding the interior, and tied it up.
The majesty of the dressing room, that had been blocked from my view, was revealed.
My eyes bulged at the sight.
“His Majesty has allowed the use of this clothing.
Choose one of the dresses here to wear.
Don’t forget to put cotton yarn on the bonnet.
We will return to collect you in two hours.
Be ready!” After saying that, Elmeria quickly left, leaving Lina to help me with my preparations.
I was so excited to see all of the beautiful gowns that I forgot to curtsy when Elmeria exited.
‘My God’, was the only reaction I could think of.
This dressing room was enormous.
It was filled with hundreds of dresses, shoes, and accessories.
It was an actress’s dream.
I realized it was the same room I had seen when I first arrived.
‘These are Liliana’s belongings stored here, she thought. Amazing! There’s no doubt that she was the marquis’ daughter and the Crown Prince’s bride-to-be.’
Goosebumps erupted from my skin, seeing the emperor’s obsession with collecting every single hairpin of her life.
Regardless of how much the emperor was still attached to Liliana, this room seemed a bit much.
‘He must be crazy, but how can I resist these pretty clothes.’
Humming and shaking my head, I admired the hanging dresses one by one while Lina and the other maids kept themselves occupied.
There was an assortment of elegant dresses in every type of precious fabric.
Most were covered in colorful decorations, like lace and frills, and had expensive gems attached to them.
‘No wonder ladies needed escorts’, I thought.
I frowned, realizing that I had to wear one of these garments soon.
Slight pain began in my temples, with the stress of having to decide.
Try as I might, I could not find one that didn’t require me to wear a corset.
Then, I found the dress.
‘Wow! This looks so comfortable.’ I was amazed.
It wasn’t that I hated pretty clothes, but they were usually heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
Often, they were covered in gems that weighted them down.
In this vortex of gowns, I had found the one that was well-lined and appeared light.
It was like an oasis in a desert.
“What do you have in mind Do you like that” Lina, who had finished preparing a bath, approached me and asked if I had made a decision.
I shook my head saying nothing, but Lina noticed the dress I was looking at.
She took it off the hanger and handed it to me.
That dress was definitely lighter than most.
“Do you want to wear this” Lina enquired.
Although it looked comfortable, I was worried it looked too simple compared to the other dresses.
‘Is it okay to walk around the palace wearing this dress’ Then I remembered that the place we would take this walk was the castle’s garden.
There was no way Liliana would have worn a heavy, uncomfortable dress to take a walk in the garden.
It occurred to me.
The dresses in this room are not the ones Liliana used to wear.
The clothes are looked untouched.
These must be the clothes that the crown prince gave her as presents or to wear at official events. This dress, and the others similar to it, had been placed in the far corner of the dressing room.
It was if someone hadn’t wanted them to be seen.
‘So, would he hate it if I wore this’