“Are you talking about Ian?”
Before he could speak, I put Ian’s name on my lips.
His name is Ian, right?”
“Yes, he’s probably close by.
Ah… I apologize for the rudeness that day.”
I put my hand on my chest and had the courtesy.
It’s not something Lady should apologize for.”
“Thank you for your understanding.”
“Then what happened in the North? The invitation was sent only to the nobles who lived in the capital.”
I paused for a moment to come up with a reason.
What would be the good reason for the noble lady to go to the North alone?
“I enjoy traveling.”
“You mean by yourself?”
“Can’t I do it alone?”
He blurted out the end of his speech.
“You were the only one who came to me when I was there.”
And you were the most dangerous person.
As I pointed it out, his expression changed more sadly than before.
I didn’t originally intend to tease him, but it seems that I’ve got a strange hobby.
I’ve lived proudly that I didn’t have a perverted taste.
But I don’t know why I like Valery Ahibara Kasinev’s crying expression.
I decided I couldn’t do it anymore, so I turned around.
He didn’t seem to know why I asked back.
I glanced slightly behind him and then turned to him again.
“The reason why you followed me.”
“Can you tell me your name now? I don’t know how to call you.”
Naturally, I thought the word ‘Blake’ was supposed to come out of my mouth the right way.
But suddenly, without knowing it, I forced my mouth to close.
The word ‘Arabella’ has been erased from me for a while, but I don’t know why it came to my mind.
“I’m Blake Ariandel.”
He put that name in his mouth several times as if he familiarized himself with it.
When he looked at me with a bright smile as he called out that name in a smooth voice, I was enveloped in a bit of confusion.
So I had no choice but to stiffen my face towards him.
“Now I know.”
He looked satisfied, as if he had crossed a pretty big mountain.
It’s just a name, though.
It’s also a fake name, not my real name.
The name that I don’t even know her face.
“Please call me Valery.”
He casually asked me to call his name.
Even the noble close to him still called him by his last name.
But he casually wanted me to call his name like a pet name.
“I don’t dare to call you by your name.
I will just call you as Prince.”
“It’s fine for Lady to call me Valery.
You’re my benefactor.”
He doesn’t even consider the weight and aftermath of his remarks.
“I don’t want to receive the arrows that will be shot by the young ladies all at once.”
“I can block them.”
He acted like he was wondering what the problem was.
I became frustrated.
The biggest problem… it’s not an arrow that can be stopped just by blocking it with your body.
“The Prince and I are not close to each other.
You didn’t even know my name until now.
I don’t want to get into trouble.”
“I’ll take responsibility.”
Valery Ahibara Kasinve asked me to be his dance partner at the banquet later.
Nobles, including the imperial family, usually chose a partner before the banquet was even held.
The more popular they are, the faster they get their partner.
Therefore, the imperial family is almost sold out to be a partner in the first place.
But he asked me to be his partner in the middle of the banquet??
“Who is your original partner?”
“There was no such thing.”
His answer took less than a second.
It was very determined, concise, and powerful.
“You must know that there are a lot of unmarried ladies here.”
Wasn’t even Lady Chartero’s cousin coveted him earlier? Maybe he even has received as many requests as the number of young ladies gathered here.
“I don’t have a partner.
I turned down all the requests in the first place.”
He nailed it all together.
“I see… By the way.”
But he seemed to have made a big mistake.
“I never said I didn’t have a partner.”
I don’t know why he thinks I don’t have a partner.
As soon as I finished my words, his eyes filled with confusion.
“May I ask who your partner is?”
“Why did you ask…?”
Will he threaten my partner?
“No, it’s nothing.”
Valery, who was about to say something, closed his mouth in a straight line.
As he closed his mouth firmly, his mood deepened even more.
“Then please dance with me after with your first partner.
I’ll be waiting.”
He seemed unwilling to change his opinion.
My partner was Ian anyway.
It was a countermeasure if I failed to approach him with a small probability.
However, it was too easy, so I decided to step back a little.
“Huu… Does it make sense for Your Highness to want to dance with me after I dance with my partner? It’s really…”
Even when I looked at him, he acted like he was wondering what the problem was.
I guess he meant to put me in the fire pit instead of being shot by the arrows.
Or maybe his persistence is more than I expected.
I rubbed my forehead in difficulty.
“I can dance with Your Highness first.”
“Is that really okay?”
His face quickly turned red.
It felt like he would wag his tail at any moment.
I was about to laugh, so I answered by nodding instead of talking.
Valery’s expression brightened even more.
It was as if he had embraced all the happiness in the world.
No, is that really such a good thing? I looked at him curiously.
“Then I won’t have to wait.”
“Yes… What can I do about Your Highness’s firmness?”
No matter what I said or what expression I made, his expression kept brightening up as the only thing that mattered was the fact that I became his partner.
As I talked with him, I spent a long time on the terrace.
I left the terrace and told him to search for me when it was time for the dance.
I don’t know if it was because he had achieved the goal he wanted, but he let me go easily.
I came back into the banquet hall with Ian.
As soon as I re-entered the banquet hall, a little further away, Juri beckoned to me.
I walked to where she called me.
“Did you get some fresh air?”
“Yes, thanks to you.
I think I’ve calmed down a bit now.
I don’t have to make any trouble.”
“You’re so funny.”
At my words, Juri Chartero covered her mouth and chuckled.
Her face looked very cold, but I didn’t know she could laugh aloud and had a good sense of humor.
“Are you curious about what we were talking about while you were away?”
She opened her mouth first, fearing I might be worried about what they had talked about while I was away.
Well, she didn’t have to do that.
“What were you talking about?”
“We made a bet on who the princes will dance with today.”
“Yes, I heard that neither of them received the partner requests.
So, all the young ladies who have been sending the request have their eyes focused on them.”
“Yes, I heard that neither of you received any requests.
So, all the young children who have been requested by the family have their eyes lit up.”
Her words made me a little gloomy.
“It could be the lady who matched their status.”
“They can choose the prettiest woman.”
“Then, Lady Chartero must be nervous.”
Juri burst into laughter that didn’t match her elegant appearance.
“I’m afraid I have a partner.
My partner is my fiancé.”
I really didn’t know.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t know about it.
The information about her was contained on a piece of paper.
“So, let’s take a guess.”
“Who did I bet on?”
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the ability to read the mind of a person whom I met today and talked to for only a couple of hours.
Even though I have the ability to pretend I don’t know the information I had memorized.
“I don’t know.”
Then her fan pointed to me.
“Didn’t you notice? From a while ago, the prince was only looking at you.”
“He may have seen someone else.”
Then Juri waved her fingers.
“I bet you 100 raff.
I will be right.”
Juri seems to be crazy.
Or she has a good hunch.
100 raff was more than enough to pay for all the dresses I ordered in the boutique a while ago.
It is said only for fun, but the scale of the bet is no joke.
At the same time, Juri said confidently,
“I have never lost a bet.
I guess I really don’t suit our family swordsman’s bloodline.
And there is one more thing I think you should know.”
“What is it?”
“I kind of like Lady, and I think we will be good friends.
What do you think about it?”
Juri was right.
And I didn’t answer her last words.
There is no way such a word could exist in my life.
Eventually, the music changed, and the partners began to gather.
Valery approached me as if he had been waiting.
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