Thank you LyB for the Kofi~!
“My lady, I have brought it!”
Then the coachman, who came in the middle of the silence, laid down the log that was used as a stepping stone. Valletta stepped on it and got off the carriage.
‘If it wasn’t for this dress, I would’ve jumped down.’
Valletta grabbed the hem of her uncomfortable dress.
“You go and stand by.”
As she waved her hand to send the coachman away, the coachman bowed.
She sighed again as she watched the coachman drive away with the carriage. As she looked behind her, Reinhardt was still there.
“What about you…?”
“I will be with my master.”
“Is that so.”
She nodded and waited for a while, and soon the door opened and the attendant came out.
“Welcome, Lady Delight.”
“Yes, long time no see.”
“Yes, it’s been a long time. You’ve become even more beautiful.”
Valletta, who exchanged greetings with the attendant for formality’s sake, followed him to the drawing room.
As the center of the empire, the Imperial palace was filled with gold wherever you look.
The attendant opened the door to the drawing room.
Valletta lowered her eyes, went in slowly, and carefully bowed her head.
“It is an honor to meet the empire’s sun. I’m Valletta Delight.”
“Oh, you’re here, Lady Delight. You can raise your head. You don’t have to be so stiff, as we will soon be married anyway.”
“That will be after our coming of age ceremony.”
Valletta raised her head, answering calmly.
Golden hair, deep blue eyes, clear features, a friendly smile, and naturally curved eyes that seemed to have no wrinkles.
He was very beautiful, but at the same time, Valletta was not impressed. When it comes to beauty, a person who has gone far beyond humanity wakes her up every morning.
Not only that, she didn’t like the situation very much.
‘A marriage without love.’
In her previous life, she never thought of getting married like this. Of course, it still didn’t feel real. The only relief was that the coming of age ceremony would be held at the same age as her previous world.
‘There’s still 6 years left.’
She had to use her brain somehow and escape this engagement, as she didn’t want to marry the Crown Prince and be the Crown Princess. All the more because she knew that the Imperial Family’s target was her alchemy.
“Haha, Lady Delight is cold today as well. Still, thank you for coming and not refusing.”
“It’s because if I don’t come, my father will nag me about it.”
“Hmm… Count Delight surprisingly seems to have a scary side.”
The Crown Prince sat on the sofa and beckoned Valletta to sit down as well. She sat down without refusing, and Reinhardt proceeded to kneel down next to Valletta.
It was the basic protocol among slavery. Valletta tried her best to avoid looking at him. The problem was his presence was unusual. At least for her. And because of that, she felt like she was sitting on a thorny cushion.
“I left everyone because I like you, My Lady. So when we get married, I hope that we get along like friends.”
“Of course… I have a good feeling for the opposite gender as well.”
“…… Thank you.”
Valletta softly replied to the Crown Prince’s honest words.
In fact, it wasn’t the Crown Prince’s fault that they’re in an arranged marriage. The problem was, it’s the people above that made the decision.
‘In a sense, the Crown Prince is also a victim.’
To be honest, it’s fortunate that she kept it a secret from Count Delight that she could see, talk and borrow the power of the spirits. If she had revealed this much, he might have made a cage in his room and locked her up.
“So, My Lady, you can speak comfortably with me. You can also call me Milrode.”
“Can I slowly get used to it?”
“Huh? Ah, well, yes of course. Was I too hasty? Haha.”
While the Crown Prince Milrode laughed, Valletta looked away with a bored smile.
‘Of all places, I have to be born here…’
She drank her tea with a meaningless resentment. The bitter tea seems to represent her bitter thoughts.
“Ah, for your information, it’s been decided that the engagement ceremony will be held on the last day of the year.”
“If there is anything you want, tell me. Anything, like an engagement gift you want to receive.”
Milrode nodded as Valletta opened her mouth.
He bent down and looked at her eyes with anticipation and Valletta swallowed a sigh.
“I don’t know much about that. I trust that Your Highness will take care of it well.”
“….. Oh, really? Then there’s nothing we can do. Don’t you have anything you want to receive as a gift?”
“Well, if it’s an engagement ceremony, I think an engagement ring would be appropriate.”
“Hmm… That’s true, but that’s only natural. Is there anything else?”
Valletta rolled her eyes as she faced Milrode’s face, which was gentle but helpless.
He’s a very innocent and cheerful man. His smile was as bright as the sun in the sky. She was told that he was full of justice, and that he had a lot of compassion and mercy. He was the crown prince who everyone loved.
However, she didn’t really want or need anything as a gift. In the first place, this political marriage itself wasn’t very pleasant.
She could feel Reinhardt looking her way without having the need to look. She swallowed a sigh.
‘That is certainly his real smile.’
If Reinhardt was the Grim Reaper, he would’ve totally written her name. It was a smile that’s about to take her away.
“I’m sorry. I don’t really want anything right now.”
“……..I see. Well, everyone knows that Count Delight values you, so he must have already brought you everything you want.”
Valletta silently smiled as she heard Milrode laugh.
Count Delight looked at her like a precious jewel. Although she never got what she wanted. Above all, she didn’t really want anything.
‘My wish is to remove this bracelet on my wrist. That is my greatest wish.’
She lowered her head, glanced at the bracelet with the light green jewel on her wrist, and turned her head.
Milrode stopped breathing as he watched her unstable look, as if she was about to fly somewhere far away.
Milrode reached out his hand and took her hand in haste.
She shuddered with surprise and hurriedly pulled her hand away. Valletta frowned due to her temperature suddenly dropping.
“Ah, I-I’m sorry. I thought you were going to disappear……”
“… Nothing, it’s nothing. I was saying sorry for suddenly grabbing you.”
“Ah, It’s okay.”
Valletta shook her head, rubbing the wrist that Milrode grabbed a couple of times.
She then suddenly sat up.
Reinhardt’s red eyes, as he was kneeling on the floor, touched upon the Crown Prince then dropped down.
As if he was nervous, the Crown Prince took out a handkerchief from behind and rubbed his hands two or three times, then held out his smooth hands towards Valletta.
“Suffocating isn’t it? How about a walk? Alchemists are said to listen to the sounds of plants, and they’re very well-groomed, so you’ll love them.”
Valletta took the prince’s hand and rose from her seat.
Reinhardt, bowing his head, followed them, chasing after Valletta and Milrode.
She couldn’t feel anything from his expressionless face.
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