My mother was a strict person.

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“Hilda, how many times should I say it for you to understand? The angle of your bow is too shallow.”

As the only daughter of a Duke household, I had to endure my mother’s harsh words in the name of “discipline” every day.

Even after I had learned all the etiquette, she deliberately kept an eye out for any mistakes and began to point them out, particularly the angle of my bow.

My father held an important position in the country and rarely went home.
The servants also couldn’t possibly help me, so I continued my days alone with my mother.

I put up with my mother’s hysterical personality without questioning anything until time passed and the year I would enroll in the academy came.


The classes I chose were also decided by my mother, and those were all lessons that would shape me into a good bride.

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The advanced etiquette class in the third year of the academy was where I met my teacher.

I still couldn’t bow with the angle my mother would be satisfied with, but even so, I was able to enter the advanced level class.

“Teacher, I somehow always get the angle of my bow wrong.
Mother scolds me for it every time…”

Anne kindly taught me while tucking my long bangs behind my ear.

“You see, Hilda, the most important thing about manners is the attitude of being thoughtful of the other person and careful in not making them feel uncomfortable.
However, there are different kinds of people.
Even when you bow the same way, some may think it’s beautiful, and some may find it inadequate.
Some people also change according to their moods that day.”


That’s exactly like my mother.

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In the morning, I was scolded because I bowed too slightly.
Then in the evening, I bowed deeper, and Mother scolded that it was too deep.

The next morning, I bowed within yesterday’s two angles and was scolded again that it was too deep.
I had vaguely realized that this had been repeated for many years, yet I couldn’t talk back to my mother.

I just waited in silence until her anger died down and let it past.


“Why can’t you do what you are told? What a hopeless child.
All you have to do is listen to what I say.
I always told you, if you don’t follow my footsteps in learning the perfect etiquette, wonderful men won’t fall in love at first sight with you.”


‘I’m always right.’

People who believed so would mercilessly attack those who think otherwise.
Even if they were right, did they really have to talk down to someone that excessively?

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Anne had taught me how to protect my own heart.

She led me to try bowing at various angles in front of the mirror and measured it with a protractor to find the angle that looked most beautiful.

“Hilda, you are tall, so if you bow deeply, your movement when you raise your body will look very big.
And thus, that angle earlier is the best.
From now on, use this angle for your greetings, bows, and vassal bows*.
If you still get the same criticisms from your mother, let’s review it again with me.
But if what your mother points out every time is different, then stick with this angle as it is.”

(*T/N: Vassal bow is a subordinate bow, where you kneel on one knee and put your right hand over your left chest.
Like this)

It was the first time.
The first time someone told me that maybe my mother was the wrong one.

The mansion servants, Father who only came home once in a while, everyone acted according to Mother’s words.
That’s mostly because they already felt resigned and were just hoping for my mother’s hysteria to end quickly.

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When I realized that the words my mother continued to scream out with all her might didn’t actually reach anyone, I somehow felt that my mother was pitiful.


Every day, I bowed to Mother at the same angle.

And what my mother pointed out every day was different.

I had found my confidence after I was convinced that I wasn’t a person who couldn’t even do a decent bow like my mother always said.
My heart felt lighter now.

With the help of Ms.
Anne, I measured the most beautiful angles of every gesture.


Before I noticed it, my companions increased one after another in the empty classroom where it used to be just my teacher and me.

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