Thank you so much for the support, Curufin! (8/10)
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“All right, go there.”
I pushed his shoulder back with one finger.
Naturally, I took a step back because I didn’t think I could push him away with my strength.
Then I saw the young noble ladies were looking at us.
There were also new faces that could be seen among the crowd, perhaps because the billiards tournament didn’t last long without Jason.
And all of them were looking at me with anticipation.
I opened my mouth in that kind of atmosphere.
“Alright then. My ‘friend’ makes me a really impudent person. I think this atmosphere really didn’t allow me to go anywhere.”
I wanted Jason to know that there were thorns in between my words even though I said it while flashing a smile.
That’s what I said, but I didn’t intend to go along with this obediently.
“But I have one condition.”
I said it to the curious faces.
“I will play it.”
Jason used his brain to do tricks, so I must do so as well.
Those youngsters must be interested in Jason Evanders’ performance, so they wouldn’t like it if I told them I was the one who would play it.
Then I could avoid this atmosphere and leave the room when they were surprised to have some fun…
“Your Highness, will you really play the pianoforte?”
Young ladies’ voices interfered in my plan with gleaming eyes.
“Oh my God, then Sir Jason Evanders should take a break for today. You can’t interfere when the star of the day are playing, hoho.”
“I would like to do it as well.”
Jason Evanders reached his hand out to me.
“I will escort you.”
I politely declined his escort while giving an innocuous smile.
“I’d prefer to be like this more.”
When Clyde arrived at the ballroom, there were not many people there.
He looked around, but Stella wasn’t there.
He grabbed the passing servant and asked the male who then said there would be a pianoforte if he went straight inside.
Whether he was right or not, but the more people he saw when he walked deeper into the hall.
Clyde quickly headed inside because he wanted to see Stella.
It wasn’t even difficult for him to step forward either.
This was because the nobles, who were turning pale with fear, quickly ran away from their spots after discovering him.
He thought he even heard a voice calling him ‘monster…’ from somewhere, but he didn’t care about it.
He hadn’t seen Stella for about three weeks.
He thought he had endured it really well until earlier, but he couldn’t even stand still when the thought of finally seeing her came to his mind.
As the familiar tune whirl on his ear, Clyde moved forward as if he was lured by the people to do so.
Clyde couldn’t help but to stare at her blankly when he finally stood at the front row.
Stella was playing the piano once again.
As she did in his mansion last time.
But the difference from that moment was that too many people were surrounding her now.
The nobles were smiling brightly at Stella, but stiffened their faces one by one when they found Clyde amongst the crowd.
“But please think again about it. Do you really believe that you would be of help to Her Highness?”
The nobles avoided Clyde’s gaze as if they just saw a ghost. Some young ladies even shivered and hid behind the man that was next to them.
“Aren’t your history of being an illegitimate child and a revolutionary leader quite wonderful? For the nobles, sir Duke is not someone who is worthy to be envied or respected either, but a person to be feared …so what would happen if you accompany Her Highness in the Princess’ debutante?”
It was clear how the nobles reacted when they saw Clyde, who had wiped out the nobles and became a duke soon after.
A monster who had neither blood nor tears who slaughtered their own like a monster!
Nothing has changed in contempt from a decade ago. The look of contempt had not changed at all since ten years ago.
Because he was an illegitimate child, a slave, a fighter-dog, and now a slaughterer.
Clyde felt like his head went cold rigidly as soon as he realized it.
That was the outcome.
It was only then that Clyde thought he came here for no absolute reason. If he walked toward Stella, Stella would probably pretend to not know him.
Even if he did, would Stella see him like she did when they were only with each other?
He was afraid to know the answer.
His shaky vision looked over the beautiful Stella sitting in front of the piano.
At the end of Stella’s performance, Jason Evanders placed his hand on Stella’s shoulder. Stella then turned her head and spotted him. Jason sat next to Stella and started playing after he praised Stella’s performance.
The man who was currently playing the piano was like a paragon of a nobleman.
“They said he’s a symbol of the Belvian, and that is exactly what I am saying.”
Clyde looked down at his hands hearing the words of a young lady who was dramatizing Jason’s performance.
It seemed that his hands would never match such a thing as piano in his life. Jason tapped on the piano and the smooth white keys as if he was becoming as one with the piano from the start, and the young ladies looked at Jason as if they were really into Jason’s performance.
Clyde nervously watched Stella. Stella reluctantly played a duet with Jason, but looked like there was no room for Clyde to interfere between the both of them.
Finally, when Stella pressed the last keyboard and said she would stand up, Jason grabbed her wrist and said.
He couldn’t stand it anymore, so he clenched his fist and turned around, and Stella’s eyes turned toward him at the same time.
At that moment, everyone’s eyes fixated on Clyde.
As Clyde turned around and began to walk away, the nobles quickly moved away from Clyde with terrified looks on their faces.
“It’s really you. Where are you going?”
Clyde couldn’t bear to turn around even though Stella’s voice was heard behind his back.
The awful voice of the wanker came to interfere.
“It seems like the duke is busy, Your Highness…”
“Let me go.”
“You could’ve offended me at this point, Evanders. Let go of my hand while I’m still saying it nicely.”
Clyde thought as he kept on dwelling at the numerous gazes watching him and the many eyes he was looking at right now.
Yeah, someone like him was not supposed to enter this place from the beginning. That was what really helped Stella.
He had never resented his own fate, but Clyde had never been as hateful of his life as he was at that moment.
How did Cinderella manage to get out of the ballroom so quickly? I called Clyde while ignoring the pain that came from my throbbing feet.
My hands that held the shoes were trembling.
I even tasted blood in my throat, probably because I ran for a while.
It’s late autumn now. The night breeze was pretty cold, perhaps because of the upcoming winter that would come soon. A faint breath came out of my lips as I called him.
Clyde stopped and stood in front of me. I approached him with sore feet and also stood still in front of him.
I made eye contact with him. There were so many things I wanted to say, but nothing could come out of my mouth.
Yeah, you’re very late. I kept thinking about it inwardly. You were ten years late.
So, he was just about to leave me behind again this time. It was painful for a bit, but I couldn’t even utter a word.
I was afraid to even say something because I thought he would disappear like this forever.
I uttered the words with a calm smile.
“Dance… You have to dance before you take your leave.”
“Look at this. I’m wearing the earrings you gave me.”
His eyes were shaken by those words.
I nodded and tucked the hair behind my ear.
Then, the beautiful silver earrings gleamed under the moonlight.
“So, come with me.”
I reached out for his weak hand when he didn’t say anything.
He hadn’t even moved an inch at first, but eventually began to walk slowly.
He was just liking the fact that this small hand, if compared to his hands, could pull him along.
So we headed back to the flashy light without saying anything to him.
It was the same for him, not saying anything to me either.
“I don’t know how to dance.”
Clyde spoke up when the music started and we stood facing each other in the ballroom.
He swept his face with his big hand, perhaps embarrassed to give that sort of answer.
I approached him and held his hand tightly.
He flinched, and I blushed unavoidably and bowed my head. Then, I linked my finger in between his fingers.
A strange sensation spread through my hands when our fingers brushed against each other.
When I met my eyes, the atmosphere became quite awkward and I quickly turned my head.
My hand gently stroked up his arm and placed it on his firm shoulder.
I looked at him carefully, as he avoided my gaze while wondering what to do.
Perhaps, was it because he hasn’t gotten used to this kind of situation that happened during the ball?
“Put your hand on my waist.”
“But… Would it be all right?”
His cautious hands, which never relaxed just for once this entire time, were wrapped around my waist as if he was holding a feather.
“I’ll take the lead now.”
I thought he was adorable.
Such a tall person could move one step at a time and follow my lead carefully.
Maybe that was why. I flashed out a small smile to him.
It was so lovely to see his ears turn red at that time.
If the feeling that tickled my heart was the sort of emotion exactly like I thought. I might have been missing this person more than I thought.
His dance was definitely different from Jason Evanders’ impeccable one, but it felt even more special to me.
“…Thank you for coming.”
As the atmosphere heightened and the tempo of the music slowed down, I carefully took step by step forward and buried my head in his arms.
When I looked up at him with my head leaning against him, he seemed to be at loss as to what he should do. He stiffened as he was and made some mistakes in his steps for quite a while.
Did he dislike it? Being with me.
Thinking about getting away from him with that thought in mind however, the sound of the man’s heartbeat was so loud that I could hear it clearly in my ears and I couldn’t help but to feel it all over my body.
His trembling hands stroked my back for quite some time.
I felt a tingling sensation in every place he touched with his rough fingertips.
A particular sensation must have come out under his fingertips just with a mere touch on me.
Touching him and being touched by him seemed to be completely different from the contact with Jason earlier.
There was a special atmosphere between us as well as the time that felt like it flew so fast.
Somehow, my heart pounded without any reason when I let go of his hand after the music came to an end.
I thought it was saddening.
This feeling should’ve meant nothing.
First, the wall between us was so strong that it seemed like my voice would never reach the other side.
It was really atrocious that we didn’t hate each other even though the paths we took were completely different.