After a little long time of torture, I finally looked at myself in the mirror; a mix of white and brown hair untied, golden eyes that screamed beauty dressed in a beautiful white dress with a few ornaments that were golden in color. I felt so confident looking at myself in the mirror, it was like I was looking at an idol! I couldn’t believe that this was me even now.
“My lady, people will suspect your craziness if you keep rubbing yourself in the cheeks like that,” the brown-haired mad, Tanya said.
“Ah—was I rubbing my cheeks, sorry about that! How about we head downstairs now to eat with father and the others?” I smiled beautifully, utilizing the knowledge I received from the falsified memories which were knowledge about noble etiquettes.
“This way,” she said as she led me down the stairs where a beautiful woman with brown hair together with a little white-haired girl waited on the dining table. The two smiled as they looked at me, they were both beautiful I have to say—as expected of a ducal lineage.
The little girl ran towards me as she reached her hands towards me similar to how Flora would, it made me a bit nostalgic as I picked the little girl up to which she hugged me back while saying, “Elder sister Ayumi! Let us eat!”
I felt warmth flood my heart from her words, it really reminded me of both Flora and Crystal… I don’t know whether I should call this a curse from the Goddess or some kind of way she made to help me maintain my sanity but it sure is working.
“Indeed, let us have our meal now, my dear daughter,” the woman who was supposedly my mother—Duchess Rose who was born from a fairly large Marquess family while the little girl should be Bella who should be my little sister.
I didn’t respond verbally but instead nodded as I placed Bella on another seat as Tanya moved the chair for me as she bowed down elegantly while I sat down on the seat in accordance with the etiquette before I picked up the spoon and knife as many butlers and maids came from the sides, opening the cloches in front of me to reveal a glaring number of delicious dishes from steak to turkey.
“Thank you for this wonderful meal once again,” the two of them bowed down which I followed immediately as we soon started having our meals. It looked like a silent and unfriendly family from the view of the outsiders but from what I can see, Duchess Rose seems to be glancing at me with a warm gaze as if she was looking after me and Bella properly.
“How was your sleep?” Duchess Rose questioned with a smile.
“It was wonderful as always, dear Mother,” I smiled back to which she nodded with satisfaction.
“Bella had a nice sleep as well! How about you, Mother?” Bella answered enthusiastically without minding her etiquettes—according to the knowledge book, it is not wise to ask the question back in situations like these but from the looks of it, the Duchess didn’t mind as she nodded.
“Your mother also had a wonderful sleep, though it is worrying to hear that the Queen has invited our dear Ayumi for an audience even though the two of you should have been hidden well from plain sight,” she smiled wryly.
Right, there was that setting—the Ducal family of Windsor is one odd ducal family since they didn’t like to show themselves to the outsiders, that is why almost no one even the Kings actually knows how many members there are in the family which is why they are feared but their actual numbers are actually super low and that mysterious look around them is to help them avoid situations like political battles.
“You should not worry much, dear Mother. Her Majesty most likely discovered me from one of my travel walks, she probably does not mean any harm at all,” I assured her. After all, it wouldn’t be best for me if I added in something that prevents me from seeing Kaori.
Kaori is someone who is actually hard to see since she is not your ordinary person in this world, she is the Queen of the Nostalgia Kingdom and the only reason I managed to see her every day is because she would approach me. In this situation right now, it would be harder for me to meet her every day which means we would be limited to chatting in the system after this event.
“I hope otherwise the Windsor family will do everything in its power to overthrow her position,” Duchess Rose said in a spooky tone as her eyes flashed a bit of pressure but managed to retract it way before it reached Bella which meant her control over her strength is super high.
“Dear Mother, please refrain from speaking of any statements that could be labeled as treason,” I said before she smiled wryly.
“I apologize, my beloved daughters,” she smiled, “How about we continue eating then follow your father to the palace where we will be meeting Her Majesty?”
“Bella is already full!” Bella responded while leaving a burp that felt a bit disrespectful, but the Duchess didn’t mind as she only looked at Bella with a warm gaze. I guess family shouldn’t care about etiquettes that much.
“You are full but our Ayumi isn’t, is that correct?” the Duchess smiled at me as I nodded, slicing the steak on my plate as elegantly as I could. I did make a little bit of mistake but that wasn’t that visible I hope.
After that little discussion, the three of us continued eating before time passed as we stood outside the gate which was protecting the wonderful gardens of roses and tulips; the beautiful dragon fountain at the center, and the residence which was a gigantic mansion of beauty.
“My lady, please wear this,” Tanya said while handing out a feather necklace which looked adorable but from the falsified memory that the Goddess provided, the feather necklace should be the badge of the Windsor family which is used to prove one’s identity.
“Thank you,” I smiled while taking the necklace and wearing it before turning around as I smiled while asking, “How do I look?” to which she blushed a bit, shaking her head immediately after as she returned to her emotionless look.
“You look beautiful as always, my lady,” she replied.
I felt happy being called beautiful, especially since I was never complimented in my old body that much—since according to statistics, my old body was rated as average in looks compared to this one which is clearly around heavenly tiers.
“My lady, it’s time to depart,” Tanya said while reaching her hand towards me, her other foot inside the carriage. I didn’t waste time in taking her hand and following the etiquette as much as I could, entering the carriage inside where only Tanya and I are inside.
The Duchess and Bella were in another carriage by themselves since it is apparently part of the culture for adults to only be accompanied by either their husband or personal servant unless it is some sort of discussion, there are also exceptions for little children like Bella which can be accompanied by their mother or father.
Immediately, the carriage departed followed by the Duchess’s carriage, running at a decent speed down the city which was flourishing with a joyous aura. According to the additional knowledge I earned, the city was actually filled with horror, despair, and grief before the Queen overthrew the royal family, taking the entire kingdom for herself. People were naturally afraid of the Queen at first but soon came to like her after a few days into her reign.
“Say, Tanya, what do you think about the Queen?” I looked at Tanya in the eye and asked.
“The Queen hmm… Her Majesty Kaori is someone I have only seen once in public but from that single encounter, I can tell she is someone worthy of our trust and respect. To add, the aura around her makes you feel afraid of going against her but once you manage to talk with her, you soon realize she is someone who appreciates kindness and despises corruption,” Tanya replied.
Hearing about Kaori in her own kingdom made me a bit curious and from Tanya’s answer, it seems like Kaori is well respected in her own kingdom which made me feel a bit proud especially when you consider that Kaori is technically my girl. Her accomplishments even though they aren’t mine are still something I am proud of.
“I see, what has she done for the citizens to make her respected?” I inquired with a curious gaze to which she replied with a hmm.
“Well, the largest factor, in my opinion, was managing the citizens to each have a work with a proper living wage which from what I heard initially came from her own pocket. The citizens were given their salary on the first day of work with the homeless ones given a temporary home to live on until they can have the money to live by themselves.”
“Another part is her tax reforms which managed to ease the burden on the citizens and allowed more merchants to come due to the lower taxes for entering and exiting from a half of a gold coin to two silver coins, and naturally, more merchants also meant more jobs for the citizens and more goods.”
“Last for me was her willingness to interact with the citizens, she is open to talking with anyone once she is out from the palace. She doesn’t act as a Queen but as another citizen, freely interacting with others with a gaze that shows her true intentions. She sees the citizens as her friends, not as her people which is somewhat different from the former royal family which only saw us the citizens as their pawns,” Tanya smiled wryly before realizing what she said, closing her mouth immediately as she bowed down.
“You don’t have to worry, hearing more about the greatness of the Queen makes me happier,” I smiled to which she looked a bit embarrassed. It seems like Kaori has done some pretty impressive work on the kingdom, even though she was feared by the outside world because of her solo work on overthrowing the kingdom, according to what I heard from Tanya, she is most loved by her people.
It was a wide contrast from what the outside speaks, according to the outside world, Kaori is seen as a dictator who rules over her citizens but from the view of the people, Kaori is their light who saved them from the darkness and provided them with the happiness they need.
After some time, we soon reached the outside of a gigantic palace which stretched far and wide. The palace looked noble and beautiful, there were little guards to be seen but I could feel eyes all around me which was similar to the people Kaori brought—from my guess, Kaori prefers having hidden guards instead of visible guards.
“Please watch your step, my lady,” Tanya said as she stood out of the carriage, reaching her hand towards me to which I happily took, lowering myself from the carriage before taking a closer glance at the palace which looked super beautiful.
The palace was incomparable to the white house and capitol of the old world, it was like the Taj Mahal but far larger. Entering inside, we were soon greeted by a beautiful garden which was maintained well by gardeners and the likes who all didn’t greet us as they continued their work.
“Are you confused why the gardeners and the servants of the palace don’t greet us?” the Duchess suddenly asked as she approached the side, carrying a sleeping Bella in her hand. I nodded to her question as she replied to me with a smile, “It’s because of the new law of the Queen which allowed the civilians to only lower their heads if it is someone they respect.”
“The law was obviously attacked by many noble families, but all were pressured to accept it otherwise the consequences they would suffer would be too heavy because all merchant families in the kingdom were on the Queen’s side together with the civilians, you can only guess how much they would suffer if they tried to retaliate,” the Duchess smiled wryly.
Indeed, if they did try to retaliate, not only would they face the wrath of the citizens, but they would also suffer heavy losses from merchants refusing to transact with them. According to most novels, the merchants actually hold a heavy power in the economy and if they were to revolt then the entity they are revolting would suffer heavily.
“Welcome to the Queen’s Palace, Duchess Windsor, Lady Ayumi, and Lady Bella—please follow me,” a figure suddenly appeared out of thin air, the figure looked to be a female and sounded like one, but we couldn’t see enough as her figure was covered in a suit like a ninja.
We didn’t hesitate at all and followed the figure as she or he led us towards the center of the palace where a gigantic golden door awaited together with eight knights standing in line. The figure soon walked towards the door and knocked twice before announcing, “The Windsor Family has arrived.”
Immediately after the figure announced, the door opened revealing a grand room filled with noblemen and women. There were knights and ninjas all around on guard as a beautiful white-haired lady sat at the throne, her gaze pointed at me.
“Welcome to my humble palace,” the person on the throne who was none other than Her Majesty—Kaori smiled as she welcomed us.