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CATB Chapter 2.2

Back to the Stage

The King’s birthday will take place in three days. The day I fully reveal myself in my entirety will also be in three days. 

 

While I was leisurely eating my breakfast, the head maid came into the room. Ariel sent her to me and labeled her the head maid of Iris Palace, where I was staying, but her attitude was extremely arrogant.

 

“Princess Ariel has sent an outfit to Princess Alexa for the king’s birthday party.”

 

Behind the head maid, the maids lined up to bring the dresses forth.

 

“Choose what you like. After choosing a dress, I think it would be courteous for Princess Alexa to thank the benevolent Princess Ariel.”

 

The eyes of the head maid, who spoke proudly while looking at me, were full of loyalty for Ariel and resentment toward me. Alexa must really be second in the eyes of this nation.

 

The head maid didn’t openly ignore me, but she did complain about me for trivial matters, such as “harassing” Jen and Lily, or for how she did chores-like fetching meals on time or cleaning up.

 

It was beginning to get a little annoying, so I felt the need to set an example at this point. I decided to do it in this room filled with the head maid, three maids, and Jen and Lily. 

 

“What was your name?”

 

“In the royal palace, you have to use honorifics and call your subordinates by their names, not ‘you'”

 

The face of the head maid was filled with youthful rebellion.

 

“How can you say that to a princess?”

 

The head maid didn’t even blink. Upset, Lily swore behind me.

 

“If a maid swears at me, the head maid, I deal with their disloyalty by punishing them later.”

 

(T/N- for the next bit, the POV switches between Alexa and the head maid, and might get a bit confusing. I tried my best to make it obvious as to who was talking. If it doesn’t make sense for Alexa to be speaking, assume it’s the head maid and visa versa.) 

 

In front of Rachel, the head maid, Alexa was nothing but a stand-in scarecrow. Contrary to the infamous rumor that she was Alexa the Beast, second princess to the kingdom, what stood before the maid now was an austere 18-year-old girl. Not even the king nor queen cared about her. There were no other servants to help her, except for two maids smaller than beans, and her luggage was small and shabby.

 

On the other hand, Rachel was an elite belonging to the consignee of the highest chief maid in the royal palace. She wasn’t in a high position until recently, but Rachel was very proud of working under the chief maid and serving Princess Ariel.

 

At the request of Princess Ariel, she came to Iris Palace to take care of this rustic princess. She was scared because of the rumor that Alexa was a monster, but unlike rumors that her fur was fluffy and her eyes were shining red, she was an ordinary girl.  Honestly, she was too big to be a princess, and she seemed as uneducated as a mutt.

 

The reason why the head maid didn’t like Alexa more than anything else was because of her behavior, rather than the notorious rumors of Alexa The Beast. Isn’t she a cruel girl who stole the lover of the lovely Princess Ariel? Even after washing her eyes, she can’t find any remorse for stealing her sister’s man?

 

Occasionally, after Princess Ariel visited Marquis Berford, she would find her crying. A blood boiling anger rose within Rachel. Alexa was the object of complete hatred for the loyal chief maid who had idolized Ariel since childhood.

 

‘I can’t believe I have to treat you like a princess!’

 

Rachel withheld a sigh.

 

Meanwhile, Alexa was about to burst a blood vessel. It is certainly good to have transformed from furry to human, but there was only one fatal disadvantage. It is that she could not give people an overwhelming sense of fear as before.

 

‘I’m getting tired.’

 

Alexa did not withhold her sigh.

 

“I asked what your name was.”

 

The repeated question was calm. The head maid shot Lily a glare before answering.

 

“…It’s Rachel.”

 

Alexa got up from her seat. Rachel shrank back as she approached her.

 

‘Nothing can happen. If she hits me for being arrogant, I will tell Princess Ariel right away.’

 

Rachel was firmly determined.

 

Slap!

 

Even if she had decided to stand firm, it sucked to hurt this bad! Alexa was freaking strong. Rachel’s right cheek began to swell.

 

“Now who am I?”

 

“…”

 

The pain was more than she could have imagined, and Rachel was momentarily dazed. She couldn’t even remember what she’d just been asked.

 

Slap!

 

Immediately, her other cheek was struck.

 

“I asked who I am.”

 

“Ah, Miss Alexa!!”

 

Rachel hurriedly shouted, wondering if it would still be correct if the answer was late. Her head was filled with nothing but rage towards Alexa. 

 

‘As soon as I leave this room, I will go to Princess Ariel. I will tell her everything you did!’

 

Slap!

 

Alexa raised her hand again, and Rachel’s mouth burst open again.

 

“If you treat me like this, you will regret it!”

 

“I see you still haven’t figured out the situation yet.”

 

Alexa grabbed Rachel’s hair. The rest of the maids looked at Alexa with frightened eyes. The power of her slap was not the power of a normal woman. All of them thought that if they were to get hit with a hand the size of a pot lid, they’d faint immediately. As for Rachel, who was still able to speak, she looked pretty good after her beating.

 

“If Princess Ariel knew…”

 

Rachel, who was dragged out of the room by Alexa’s grip on her scalp, clenched her teeth and spit.

 

“It’s the master’s responsibility to educate a maid who the master doesn’t even know. Looks like you don’t know who your master is.”

 

Alexa threw away her gripped head. Rachel slumped to the floor.

 

“This is not a situation for Ariel to get involved in.”

 

After hearing the ruckus, all the servants of Iris Palace came out to watch the situation with bated breath.

 

“Now, who am I?”

 

“…”

 

Alexa’s cold voice rang over Rachel, who wouldn’t speak.

 

“Lily, you say it.”

 

“Alexandra de Peliagen Dwight, the second princess of the Felipe Kingdom!”

 

Slowly, but more clearly than ever, Lily pronounced Alexa’s name. At the moment, there was a shudder among the servants. Alexa is now clearly positioning herself in the Iris Palace.

 

I am a princess, and your owner is me.

 

If you ignore this fact, you’ll end up looking like Rachel over here.

 

“Alexa the Beast.”

 

Someone whispered. The rumor is not wrong. Alexa The Beast, her appearance may have changed, but she was still ferocious and cruel.

 

“As of today, I have fired Rachel, the head maid, and I have ordered Lily to take her place. Rachel will be demoted to the position of an apprentice maid and will receive a three-month pay cut.”

 

Alexa’s voice was powerful. The majesty that no one can invade, and the intimidation that evokes fear, was not of the princess. It was of the king’s.

 

Sir Esenhar, the knight in charge of the escort of the Iris Palace, witnessed all this and thought about it. If Alexa wasn’t a princess, blood would have flowed inside the palace.

 

* * *

 

In the dark night, a belated light was lit in the Layla Palace, where Ariel lived.

 

“Princess Ariel! Heuheuheu, Miss Alexa…”

 

Annoyance flashed across Ariel’s beautiful face as she sat at the table in silk pajamas, but just as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared. Her gaze met the black and blue face of the girl lying in front of her.

 

“That must have been very painful. What happened?”

 

As soon as the soft voice reached her ears, Rachel began to complain.

 

“She beat me up for being cocky. I only said that Alexa should reciprocate the consideration that Princess Ariel shows her… All of the sudden she began asking for her name…”

 

“She asked?”

 

“They say that I am Alexa’s. They called me a maid who does not recognize their owner. And they called me… like this…”

 

‘The owner…’

 

Rachel pounded on the table where Ariel’s fingers, decorated in fine jade rings, rested delicately.

 

“Alexa has changed a lot.”

 

“Yes! Alexa made me like this. The doctor said three teeth were removed and my cheekbone was broken. Princess… Sob. It’s so unfair… Alexa the Beast, the monster…”

 

The words that came out of Rachel’s mouth immediately froze after seeing Ariel’s eyes, who looked at her coldly.

 

“You’re arrogant.”

 

“Princess Ariel?”

 

“You are very cocky about what you say to your master. Rachel, didn’t I ask you to take care of Alexa?”

 

Contrary to her cold eyes, her voice was still warm. Rachel simply thought she had come to Ariel at the wrong time, and she was not feeling well today.

 

“But Alexa is an unscrupulous monster who stole the princess’ man! I will never forgive Alexa for how much she cried!”

 

Rachel was a stupid but loyal girl. Ariel let out a quiet breath.

 

“Princess?”

 

Rachel felt hesitant, as though the kind and warm princess she knew had changed a little. Her eyes shook anxiously.

 

“You are causing messes for no reason. Rachel, you are such a tiring child.”

 

Ariel raised her jaded fingers and motioned.

 

“Princess? Prin–, k…kek…!”

 

Thick fingers appeared, strangling Rachel from behind. After a short struggle, the light of life disappeared from the eyes of the girl with bruises. Her body rolled down to the floor.

 

“Ah, she really did something pointless. It’s nothing.”

 

Her gesture as she drank tea did not seem to be touched by the aftermath of the death.

 

“How shall I dispose of the body?” A maid asked her in a low voice.

 

“You can cut it into pieces and give it to the crows or sell it.”

 

“Yes, princess.”

 

“What is Alexa doing?”

 

“She’s still choosing a dress. A maid named Lily has succeeded as the head maid.”

 

“Among the dresses I sent?”

 

“Yes, she said she liked them.”

 

Ariel smiled contentedly at those words. She looked down at her tea, which had not yet cooled down. Apple mint tea, Alexa’s favorite tea. She gently brushed the edge of the teacup. It was a seductive gesture, like caressing.

 

She tilted her head. Silky hair pouring down her side in soft waves.

 

“Why do you keep trying to escape from my hands?”

 

The hand circling the teacup continued. Ariel’s fingers gently hovered over the edge of the glass.

 

* * *

 

After the situation with Rachel, tensions rose throughout the Iris Palace. All the kids trembled when they saw me, but they never listened to me so intently before, so I felt comfortable. Knowing how effective fear is, I had no intention of correcting it.

 

The morning of the birthday party was bright. I glanced at the dresses Ariel had brought. They were covered in terrible frills, meshing with ‘pinky’ colors.

 

‘You’re definitely telling me to screw myself, right? If that’s not the case, your eyes are sprained… No, it means you probably have a considerable disability. Ah, but it didn’t seem like that earlier.’

 

Ariel sent all of the maids, except Jen and Lily. Perhaps every move I make is being reported to her secretly. I’m a little lazy right now, so I’ll have to fix that problem later.

 

“Jen.”

 

“Yes, princess!”

 

Lily and Jen were also nervous. I smiled and laughed.

 

“Bring Jamie.”

 

“Yes, I already have him waiting outside the palace.”

 

“Great job.”

 

I stroked Jen’s hair, she smiled bashfully and left to fetch him quickly. I never had the intention of wearing any of the dresses Ariel brought for me. That thought wasn’t even funny. I already had Jamie and all the dresses he made ready before I came to the palace. 

 

I’m curious about Ariel’s expression after seeing me later.

 

‘Screw you too. My situation feels pretty sweet.’

 

I grinned.

 

——

 

“It’s beautiful! Jamie is overjoyed!!”

 

Crying, Jamie applauded. Lily and Jen also opened their mouths and applauded me.

 

“It’s a success, princess!”

 

“Our efforts paid off!”

 

I stood in front of the full-length mirror, leaving behind the fussers. Oh, I’ve been decorated for hours, shouldn’t it be pretty?

 

“Hoo~”

 

Still, it was far more successful than I expected. A slender beauty was standing in front of the mirror. Her golden skin, like honey, boasted a bouncy sheen with Lily’s special cream, and the black silhouette dress that Jamie and I made in consultation revealed my body line.

 

The dress held a drape with a halter neck and tightly wrapped my body at the chest, spreading widely in the pelvis. The back of the dress was deeply cut and showed the curve of my toned hips. Long frill descended from the tip of the hip to the mermaid line, showing the fruits of my long hip-up exercise. It was a dress that had never been worn in the kingdom. Jamie said that if it wasn’t for my explanation of the design, he wouldn’t have even thought of it.

 

I did my makeup to reveal my healthy complexion, rather than whitening it. The sparkling pearls on my eyeliner emphasized the tail of the eyes, making my eyes look bigger than usual. Glass-like lips protruded thickly and sparkled seductively.

 

With Jen’s efforts, her hair, now transformed into silk, was pulled up high and tied together. The pieces of hair left out, curled and flowed around my waist in a seductive manner. Jen put a small tiara sent by Ariel on my head to show a little sincerity. In fact, this was the only jewel I was able to stand. 

 

“I stand out quite a bit.”

 

I murmured while looking at myself. Jamie heard me and cut in. 

 

“It’s definitely not the beauty that the kingdom was looking for, but Jamie can affirm it. This is… This is an unrivaled charm. No one will be able to imitate the princess!”

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