Chapter 01: Little Seamstress
The king made an absolutely absurd proclamation one day.
‘I shall bestow the title of crown princess and the proportionate reward to anyone who can teach the crown prince of our great nation about love.
All the unmarried women were ecstatic since the only requirement was ‘females of childbearing age’, which meant that social class had no bearing on eligibility.
In other words, as long as the woman was young enough, she could be presented with the opportunity to become the crown princess…and eventually even the queen consort no matter where she stood in society.
I was working as a seamstress when I heard that proclamation and thought it was utterly idiotic.
The reason being that I learned the hard way through experience that interclass romances would never lead to happiness because of the misfortune it brought to everyone else.
My fellow seamstresses were excited about the proclamation since the morning yet their hands never stopped working. I was amazed that they still managed to sew far superior clothes than me.
Since I’ve only just arrived in this country recently, I frantically focused on the work in front of me in hopes of matching up with their skills.
Up until now, I had been praised for my embroidery skills, but they were nothing more than amateurish. It was painfully clear to me now that quickly sewing clothes to be sold was on a completely different level.
But I refused to remain inferior since if my pace continued to slack in comparison, my pay would be reduced.
“Hey, why are you working so frantically? You might not know since you just came here, but our prince here is famous for his extravagant beauty. Surely you too want to be picked, right? Stop brooding over there.”
I sensed that the conversation was suddenly thrown in my direction and stopped working.
My precious blonde hair was now stiff, and my lavender-colored eyes looked exhausted. The current me had no time to spare to care about my outer appearance.
Regardless of that, the other seamstresses continued to make fun of me.
The girls who had been enjoyably talking among themselves snickered, adding to the bullying.
The leader of the girls got up from her seat and looked down at me like a carnivore eyeing its prey.
In the beginning, these girls welcomed me kindly, but once they saw my unblemished hands, their attitude instantly changed.
They believed I was a naïve, spoiled daughter of a merchant whose family fell from grace, but their speculation wasn’t far off.
‘You must never be underestimated. As soon as you show weakness, you’ll be knocked down.’
The warning the governess drilled into me since childhood resurfaced in my mind.
Since then, I’ve been clenching my teeth and living my life by those words.
That’s right—I was stripped of the status I was born with and tossed down to the depths of despair.
I directly stared at the seamstresses who had been looking at me in amusement.
Being that I was presently a seamstress, I wore tattered clothes and used my fringe to cast a heavy shadow over my tanned face.
Only my dignity as a noblewoman who was brought up to be the future queen was something that no one could take away from me.
I didn’t care how much those who drove me out ridiculed me. I would show them that I could survive in this environment they’ve cast me into. I will not despair. Ever.
Perhaps this anger was conveyed to them, but the girls around me suddenly stopped laughing. The room fell silent.
The face of the girl teasing me tensed.
If her disdain for me was halfhearted, then she shouldn’t have tried to pick a fight in the beginning.
With that thought in mind, I murmured a response to the girl’s question in a low voice.
“I would be squandered on the prince.”
When I said that, the tense air hanging over the room instantly relaxed.
Oh no, I realized. I must not behave in any way that would allude to my former status.
I composed myself and resumed the facade of a gloomy seamstress.
“Th-that’s right. You’re just an uncouth seamstress after all.”
The second after saying that, the girl fell back down into her seat as if her own insult was directed at herself.
A heavy silence hung over this room packed with girls.
“All of you, stop your pointless chatter and move those hands. Or do you want to get scolded by the owner?”
At that moment, an elder seamstress couldn’t bear to keep watching this and clapped her hands.
Her voice prompted me to return to focusing on the piece of cloth in my hands.
The lady who arbitrated for me tapped my shoulder.
“You’re still young. Don’t put yourself down by saying that you’ll be squandered.”
Her voice was soft.
I lightly nodded and immediately returned to work, having fallen behind because of everything.
Still, I wondered why she thought I was putting myself down.
—I was only expressing my honest feelings when I said that I would be squandered on that piece of junk prince whose only positive was his handsome face.