My mind was in shambles at the moment because why in the world would he be here and sitting next to the king and why is he even here. I kept looking at him, he felt my gaze, he raised his lips to a smirk and winked at me. The brunette that I now know to be Meredith looked at me and gesture for me to leave, I curtsied again then I left the room and as I followed Meredith I noticed the minor details I was not focusing on earlier
And just like that I was back in the streets a few days ago. As I walked through the market, I couldn't help but feel a sense of familiarity. This was the place where I had spent most of my life, eking out a living as best I could. The market was located in the lower part of the kingdom, where the majority of the peasant population lived. It was a bustling and chaotic place, filled with vendors selling everything from produce to textiles to trinkets.
The streets were narrow and crowded, with vendors hawking their wares from every possible corner. The air was thick with the smell of spices and cooking food, and the sounds of haggling and bargaining filled the air. It was a place where one could find anything they needed, but it was also a place where the strong preyed on the weak.
I had spent most of my life here, and I knew the ins and outs of the market better than most. I knew which vendors to trust and which ones to avoid, and I knew how to haggle and bargain to get the best prices. But, despite my familiarity with the market, I still felt a sense of unease as I walked through the crowded streets.
The market was also a place where the poor and the destitute were forced to beg and scavenge for their survival. I had seen many of my fellow orphanage mates who were forced to resort to this means of survival after leaving the orphanage. The market was not just a place of commerce, but also a reflection of the social and economic realities of the kingdom. It was a hard place to be, but it was all I had.
As I walked through the market, my eyes were always scanning for opportunities. I had learned how to be a skilled thief; it was a necessary skill to survive in this place. I had to be quick and stealthy to avoid getting caught, and I had to know how to pick pockets and shoplift without getting caught.
I would often steal enough food to eat and sometimes even enough to distribute among my fellow poor. I knew where the best places to steal were, the merchants who were careless with their goods or the ones who had more than enough to spare. I would wait for the right moment, and then I would strike, taking what I needed without getting caught.
I had become an expert in the art of thievery, and I was able to provide for myself and those around me. I knew it was not the right thing to do and it made me feel guilty but I also knew that in this harsh reality, it was a means to an end. It was a way to survive in a world where the poor were often left to fend for themselves.
I had to be careful, as getting caught would mean severe punishment, but I had become adept at avoiding detection. I would often blend in with the crowd and use my wit and charm to distract the merchants while I made my move.
Stealing was not something to be proud of, but it was a means of survival in this harsh reality. I knew that one day I would find a way out of this situation and leave this life behind, but for now, it was all I had.
Now following Meredith, my heart was asking a question I never wanted to ask, was this the opportunity that I was waiting for?. Just then that person's face flashed and I could not help the groan that escaped my mouth.
We were walking again and as we passed, I noticed the guards and could not help my curiosity as I looked at them. I couldn't help but take notice of the guards that patrolled the palace. Their armour was impressive and intimidating, made of shining steel that glinted in the torchlight.
Each guard wore a full suit of plate armour that covered their entire body, including their arms, legs, and torso. The armour was intricately detailed, with engravings and designs that depicted various scenes of battle and valour. The chest plate was emblazoned with the coat of arms of the kingdom, which was a fierce lion rearing on its hind legs.
The guards also wore a helmet that protected their heads and faces, with a visor that could be raised or lowered depending on the situation. The helmet was also adorned with a plume of feathers that added to the guards' imposing presence.
Their gauntlets covered their hands and wrists, and their greaves protected their legs. They carried a long sword at their side and a shield that bore the same emblem as the chest plate.
The guards moved with a sense of purpose and authority, their armour clunking and rattling with each step. They were a formidable sight, and I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe at the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into creating their armour. It was clear that the armour was not just functional but also served as a symbol of the kingdom's power and prestige.
I must have stopped in my tracks because I heard a slight cough and looked up to see Meredith smiling at me.
"First time seeing them up close?" She asked.
"Yes." I replied, according to the hierarchy that I've learned about in the orphanage, she is my senior.
"Do not worry, you will get used to them soon." She replied while sending a small smile my way.
I nodded and soon we reached where I am to assume was where the head maid stays, I stood at the back as Meredith knocked and a brief come-in was muffled out.
She opened the door and I followed her, imagining my surprise as her room looked like a luxury to a commoner like me.
I couldn't help but be impressed by the grandeur of the space. The room was large and well-appointed, with high ceilings and elegant furnishings. The walls were adorned with tapestries and paintings that depicted scenes of nature and hunting. A fireplace was set into one wall, with a roaring fire that cast a warm glow over the room.
The bed was a large four-poster bed, with a canopy of richly embroidered fabric that hung from the ceiling. The bed was piled high with fluffy pillows and blankets, and it looked like the most comfortable place to rest. A desk sat in one corner, with a quill and inkwell ready for use.
The head maid herself was a strict-looking woman of about 40 summers. Her hair was pulled back into a tight bun, with not a single strand out of place. She had a sharp nose, and her eyes were hooded, giving her an air of authority. She wore a black dress that was adorned with a white apron, and her sleeves were rolled up, ready for work.
She had a stern look on her face that made me feel as though I was in the presence of a highly efficient and no-nonsense woman. She had a hard look on her face but also a kind look that made her appear as a motherly figure.
She definitely seemed like she was not someone to be trifled with, but I could sense that she was also a fair and just woman who took her duties seriously. It was clear that she was the one in charge of the palace and kept everything running smoothly.
"Yes Meredith?" She asked from the chair where she sat.
"A new maid Ma, from the Queen ''. Meredith answered and just like that I was placed under a gaze that had me fidgeting and jittery. She looked for a while and I was afraid of letting a sound come out of my mouth.
"She would do, let her know the rules and regulations. I will be leaving her in your care". She said in a monotone voice, I saw Meredith nod and just like that we were out.
I let out a breath I had no idea I was holding and Merediyh looked like she was holding in a laugh.
"Once again, you will get used to her. She is not that bad nor is she as scary as you think." She spoke to me in her calm voice.
"Thank you again." I replied wholeheartedly. I looked at her again and the question was on the tip of my tongue. I could not bring myself to ask.
"Would you please ask hmmm.." She trailed off looking at me.
"Alice, my name is Alice." I finished it off for her.
"So ask your question Alice." She said,
"She is the head maid but why do the maids I've seen so far respect you?" I asked her. She pursed then she looked at me before letting out some adorable laughs.
"I am also a head maid and there are others who are too. We just have different stations to look over and I may not look like that but I am almost 30 summers." She responded, still laughing. I was shocked because I thought that she was at most in her late twenties.
"How?......" I started.
"How is it possible?" She finished and I nodded.
"Well, I entered the palace early and I worked hard. Even though I am a head maid I consider her above me, so I still go to her for decisions as she attends to the Queen and has more authority than I." She responded and walked to a room. She stopped in front of it and smiled at me.
"This is your room for now and your schedule will be given to you tomorrow so rest well." She told me and turned to leave.
"Wait, I have one more question." I said. She stopped and looked at me.
"Ask away Alice, and Don't be afford of me please? I may be older than you and also the head maid but you can still talk to me like friends." She replied. I blushed again as I looked at my feet suddenly finding the floor appealing
"Hmmm, who was that, that was sitting behind the King in the throne room?" I asked the question that had been bothering me.
"Oh, that should be the younger prince. Prince Edward." She replied and left. I stood there in shock, I wanted to rob the prince.
I was so scared and I could not stop my hands from shaking, I was about to enter my room when I saw a maid coming to me.
"Hey, there is a shortage of maids in the kitchen and Meredith asked me to tell you to go help." She said to me politely. I nodded.
"Kindly tell me where the kitchen is please?" I asked because I knew that I might get lost in this place.
"Left for the next two turns and then a sharp right to get to a brown door, you will know it's the one from the aroma. And ask for Miss Jesse when you get there. She will direct you to what to do." She replied to me.
I thanked her and left, I walked then I took the first left. My mind kept drifting back to the prince. I mean Prince Edward was quite the striking figure. He had a head of golden blonde hair that was styled in a way that accentuated his chiselled jawline.
He was tall and athletic, with a build that was clearly the result of regular physical activity. His blue eyes sparkled with intelligence and mischief, and his charming smile could light up any room.
He was the epitome of a prince, with a regal bearing and an air of confidence that came naturally to him. He was the kind of person that could make anyone feel at ease, and his easy going nature made him well-liked by all who met him. His appearance was striking and handsome, making him the centre of attention wherever he went.
But what I could not wrap my head around is why he was at the market place and dressed in a commoner cloth I mean really.
"One left and two right." I murmured to myself as I turned. I mean why was he there, not only did I try to steal from my prince but I also got caught.
Wait why was I not smelling the aroma of food as that lady said, I stopped and looked around. It was obvious that I was lost. Just as I was preparing to head back I heard two people talking.
I hid behind the wall and stood there praying they did not notice me and they would leave as soon as possible but as usual Lady Luck seems to be having a fight with me today.