After completing his duties at the Duke’s residence, Noah returned to the Hermes with a satisfied look on his face. He walked to his room, opened the door and tried to turn on the light. It was then that he heard someone’s voice coming from inside the dark room.
“How’s the princess?”
Someone came into his room without its owner.
But Noah didn’t seem surprised, as if he was used to this kind of situation. He took off his coat without even looking at the other person with a disgruntled look on his face, and then turned on the light. Soon the dark and desolate room was filled with bright light. As the lights came on, Noah could see the face of the person who was proudly occupying the ownerless room. The man sat leaning against the couch with a weary face.
He had broad shoulders, long legs, fair white skin and jet black hair.
His eyes, with their long lashes, were deep and dark, and there was a hint of redness on his lips. The man’s face was much finer and more beautiful than most women’s.
His hair swayed softly whenever the wind blew through the window. The man looked like a graceful nobleman, but on the other hand, he was arrogant and dangerous. Noah relaxed the cravat that was clenching his neck as he struggled to breathe and replied with an indifferent face.
“She seemed to be quite different from the rumors.”
“Did you deliver the gifts well?”
“Did she like it?”
The man’s voice was seemingly indifferent.
But seeing as he had visited and waited in advance to hear a reply, he seemed interested somehow.
Noah agonized for a moment, unsure of how to respond.
When she opened the gifts, the look on the princess’s face made it difficult to draw any conclusions. She kept her face expressionless from start to finish.
Every once in a while, she showed a smile, but it was not a sincere, joyful laugh, but only a polite, created expression or a cold sneer that hung over her lips. But when she opened the gift, her gaze lingered on the box for a moment. It was difficult to say that she was just happy, but she seemed interested in the gift anyway and didn’t show any signs of dislike.
‘Is it safe to say that she liked it?’
Noah hesitated a bit, but concluded.
“She seemed pleased.”
A satisfied smile appeared on the man’s lips.
But he eventually asked with a strange expression on his face.
“What about the thing I asked you to do?”
A faint tension flashed across the man’s face as he asked with a look of dissatisfaction.
“She agreed to see you.”
The corners of the man’s mouth gave a small twitch.
“Is that so?”
He said casually, but his voice oozed a hint of satisfaction.
Noah, who had been working closely with him for a long time, couldn’t help but notice the small change. After the short conversation was over, the man walked out of Noah’s room casually like it was his own.
When Noah was finally able to rest alone, he changed into a light shirt and lay down on the bed.
Noah looked up at the ceiling and thought about the short conversation he just had.
The man whom Noah just had the conversation with was the owner of Hermes and his boss.
He was as arrogant, perceptive, and capricious as if he even put the sky under his feet. Noah knew he was fickle by nature, but his emotional ups and downs were as intense as they were today.
Enemies were rare.
This was also the first time he had shown personal interest in a client who visited Hermes.
Noah thought of the face of the Princess he had seen earlier. Indeed, she was not only very beautiful, but also strangely attractive.
She was cold and cynical that it gave him chills. Is there something between the princess and his boss that he doesn’t know about?
But even if his boss was interested in the Princess, she was the Crown Prince’s fiancée. And the Crown Prince was the only one who had a place in her heart.
The Princess loved her fiancé so deeply that even though he openly met another woman and hurt her, she was weak in front of him as if she had no pride.
It was a fact that every noble in the capital knew. Seeing her today raised suspicions that the rumors seemed to have been inflated by her appearance, which was slightly different from what he had heard, but in any case, the fact that she was the Crown Prince’s fiancée did not change.
Imperial engagements were not easy to break. Especially since the Duke of Lilian was the Crown Prince’s supporter, there was no way the Crown Prince would let her go.
And since the Duke had spent a great deal of money for the Crown Prince, would not have wanted to break up the marriage either.
Because if he did, he would lose what he had put in.
Noah shook his head sadly as he thought of his boss’s face.
Noah had been watching him for years, but he had never seen him show such an interest in women. But now he was interested in a woman and even gave her presents to win her heart for a single encounter, but of all people, she was the Princess….
His boss was obviously a brilliant man, but there was no chance of his being with the Princess.
After a few moments of contemplation, Noah quickly reached over and pulled the blanket over him and closed his eyes.
After pulling the quilt up to his chest, he struggled to shake off the thoughts that prevented him from sleeping.
Time passed quickly.
Days had passed since the messenger from Hermes visited.
After Noah’s visit, there was still no word from Hermes.
My daily life at the mansion was as peaceful as ever. I called the nanny and the maids back.
It was much later than I had originally planned, but not for any particular reason. It was just that too many things were happening at once and I forgot about the maids. I didn’t know what effect the hiatus was but the attitude of the maids changed drastically from before.
There was. They were polite, cautious, and much more sincere than before. At least in front of me.
The maids were quiet, and honestly, I wouldn’t care if they weren’t. I didn’t care about spending time blushing with the servants in front of the important things. The Second Prince’s victory banquet was just around the corner, and I didn’t bother to attend any other gatherings or social activities.
Therefore, I didn’t have a chance to check if they were successfully carrying out the additional requests I had made at the Hermes.
Then I received a letter from the Crown Prince along with a gift.
The letter said to wait for him as he would come to pick me up in time for the banquet. The present that arrived with the letter was a dress.
Joan and Tien, who were standing beside me, exclaimed and quickly fell silent and averted their gazes when I stared at them.
But I didn’t think much about it, so I turned my attention back to the dress. The dress the Crown Prince sent was more gorgeous and beautiful than the one Claire had worn that day in the banquet hall.
Looking at it, it made me wonder if it had to do with what I said to the Crown Prince last time.
“It really is a beautiful dress. Looking at the special embroidery, it looks like it was made in the royal palace. If the Crown Prince sees you wear it, he will be in awe.”
“Is that so?”
“Try it on, Young Lady. I’m sure you’ll look great in it.”
Tien looked at me with an expectant gaze.
But I wasn’t going to live up to their expectations.
“I don’t have to go out today, so why bother? Just leave it there. I’ll wear it if I have to someday.”
A look of disappointment crossed Tien’s face.
Joan had a similar reaction.
I sat down at my desk again, ignoring them.
The pale purple dress was indeed gorgeous and fancy, which was clearly the Crown Prince’s preference. However, Roxana’s dressing room was full of similar dresses. Besides, the dress I had received as a gift from the Hermes’ owner the other day was also gorgeous and well suited to my taste.
Therefore, I wasn’t particularly interested in the gift from the Crown Prince.
Time passed slowly.
I read a book in the afternoon and went for a light walk in the evening.
When I was bored or lonely, I would have a cup of tea and a snack made by the cook.
I spent so much time in boredom that before I knew it, the day of the banquet was approaching.
I was up to get ready at dawn.
I soaked in warm water with pre-dissolved bath salts and received a massage.
After bath, I applied cold cream on my face and sat in front of the makeup table. As I did so, the maids carefully combed my hair.
“Should I raise your hair up? Or should I let it loose like I did at the last banquet?”
“What kind of makeup should I use?”
“Which accessories do you want to wear?”
“The Crown Prince sent me a dress and a necklace from the Western Regions last year…….”
The maids were very eager to please my mood, as if they were trying to make up for the mistakes they made last time.
I faced the girls with an indifferent look on my face, unconcerned.
The atmosphere was more relaxed than before, as the maids were quiet and I didn’t have to deal with them harshly.
No matter what thoughts each of them had in their hearts, as long as they did their job well and didn’t show any signs of disrespect in front of me, I wasn’t going to say anything.
After they finished combing my hair, one of the maids brought out a dress.
It was the very dress that the Crown Prince had sent with the letter.
“Don’t you like it, Miss?”
Tien looked at me with a nervous expression.
“If you don’t like it, I can bring you another dress.”
“No. I’ll wear it.”
I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but I had a hunch and decided to wear it.
I finally finished dressing and took one last look at myself in the full-length mirror. My side hair was braided and my long hair was tied in the middle, then I put on the dress the Crown Prince had given me.
It was the first light purple dress I had ever worn, and it enhanced Roxana’s white skin. It added to the enchanting atmosphere.
The dress itself had a subdued color, but the golden embroidery on the chest and the rich skirt made it look gorgeous.
When I wore heavy trinkets and makeup, I looked glamorous and elegant, which I certainly hadn’t before, and my current appearance was far from Claire’s that Roxana copied.
The Crown Prince seemed to like the way I looked the last time he visited, but everything about Claire and Roxana was different, starting from their looks to the atmosphere they exuded.
If the person I had to face was the Crown Prince, he would probably laugh at me if I imitated Claire in a place where many people were gathered.
I hate to admit it, but Claire was definitely an outstanding beauty.
Ever since she occupied the Crown Prince’s side, people had been comparing Claire to Roxana.
But how funny it would look if they were both dressed the same. It would be fortunate if Roxana could overpower Clare in a similar guise, but Roxana failed, and unfortunately I was not so sure either. But I guess being myself is much better than imitating someone else and being laughed at.
I thought. So I dressed and decorated differently than before, but I didn’t expect it to look this good.
In fact, until a while ago I was worried…
But when I looked in the mirror, I could see that my decision was right.
My reflection in the mirror was so beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I thought I was used to the way I looked now, but when I dressed properly I was completely surprised.
I was very pleased.
It was certainly worth getting up at the crack of dawn to dress so tediously.
After the maids left, I sat down in front of the dressing table and looked into the mirror as I waited for the Crown Prince to arrive.
‘The second Prince’s victory banquet. …I’m sure there will be a large crowd there.’
The mixture of hostility and taunting stares that Roxana received, I had to receive from now on. I didn’t feel good about the fact that I had to participate in something that I obviously knew was going to be bad but couldn’t refuse.
‘Since I’m not the main character of today’s banquet, should I consider it a blessing that all eyes will be on the second Prince?’
I sat still and waited, and before I knew it, the appointed time came. I saw a carriage presumably belonging to the Crown Prince stopped in front of the main gate. Soon after, the servant informed me of the Crown Prince’s arrival.
“Miss, the Crown Prince has arrived. You should come down now.”
I sighed and stood up.