Sponsored by Alexandra and Crissymac. Thank you 💖
As I looked around, trying to find a place where I could hear the sound, I saw a group of people gathered around, glancing my way.
There were a few familiar faces among them. I recognized their faces, they seemed to be from the Hanmihan family. I remembered seeing them conversing with Claire a few times.
‘Are they Claire’s followers?’
I looked at them silently.
Then, I happened to make eye contact with one of them.
When they noticed my gaze, they smiled awkwardly at me and left their positions, looking at each other.
Recalling the conversation I just heard, it was difficult to maintain calmness but I tried to let it go.
I looked to the side to see how the Crown Prince was doing, but he was drinking his wine with a really casual expression on his face.
I wondered if he didn’t hear the conversation or he heard it but pretended not to know. Maybe he heard it but didn’t care. Or maybe maybe he didn’t think he needed to care because it was not something that could harm him.
There were so many people in the banquet hall, but I felt isolated among them.
I wondered if Roxana felt this way every day.
It was unpleasant, but I tried not to show it, and I was terribly tired of wondering what she was thinking.
The Crown Prince was in the middle of a conversation with the person next to him, and when his eyes met mine, he wrapped his arm around my shoulders and asked in a friendly voice.
“Are you uncomfortable?”
“I’m fine. I’m just a little tired.”
“Is that really all? If you’re not feeling well, I think you should see the court physician before the banquet starts.”
He had such a casual attitude that one would think we had a very close relationship by looking at us. The people around us were very upset at what they were seeing, but the Crown Prince didn’t seem to mind.
“No. It’s okay.”
“My lounge is not far from here, let’s go with me and have a look………..”
“I’m perfectly fine. Thank you for your kind words, but it’s not something Your Highness should worry about.”
The Crown Prince looked disappointed at my words, but he didn’t force me any further. At that moment, the entrance announced the Emperor’s arrival with a gorgeous trumpet sound. Turning my head, I saw the Emperor and Empress. They came walking slowly down the red carpet, looking as dignified as ever.
When they eventually stopped right in front of me, I held my breath for a moment. I waited for them to pass by without incident, but the Emperor just stood there in front of me, motionless.
I bowed lightly and I could feel their gazes were on me. I had no choice but to turn to them and greet them.
“It is a pleasure to meet you both, Your Majesties.”
“Raise your head.”
The emperor’s low voice descended.
As I lifted my head, my eyes met with a pair of blue eyes staring at me.
I felt a chill run through my body the moment I met those eyes, which looked so much like the Crown Prince’s, but not quite.
The way he looked at me was nonchalant, but there was a dignity in his gaze that I could never have expected.
“How are you feeling, Young Lady? From what I’ve heard, you’ve been quite ill.”
“Thank you for your concern, but I’m fine now.”
“That’s good to hear. Does the Lady know that the Duke has made great achievements in the northwest region this time?”
The emperor said in a compassionate voice.
I naturally did not know.
Roxana was not interested in the Duke’s work, and neither was I.
But I answered with a calm face because there was nothing good about showing the truth.
“Yes, I know.”
“It’s almost your birthday. So I’m going to give you a gift in addition to the gift that I will give to the Duke. So if there is anything you want, don’t hesitate to let me know.”
I opened my eyes wide in surprise at the unexpected words.
I wasn’t the only one who was surprised by the emperor’s words, the people around me had the same expression.
“I will do so, Your Majesty. Thank you for your concern.”
The Emperor nodded his head in satisfaction at my answer and took his seat with the empress.
I was inwardly impressed.
The Duke really do have a lot of power.
Well, a while ago, Roxana had an accident in the banquet hall of the Imperial Palace.
It was her own action to jump, but it was the Crown Prince who made it happen.
Blood is thicker than water, so it was hard to know how the Duke would take it. Regardless of the truth, the world only knew that the Duke really cherished and loved his one and only daughter.
However, it must have been difficult for the Emperor, who was supposed to encourage and praise the meritorious Duke, when his daughter was involved in a wrongful accident while he was absent for the sake of the country.
Regardless of the circumstances, I was thrilled that Emperor stepped up and tried to make up for it.
How should I use this great opportunity I’ve been given?
Shortly after the Emperor and Empress entered, the second prince, the main character of today’s banquet, appeared.
He knelt on one knee in front of the Emperor and Empress and made a bow.
Unlike the Emperor and Crown Prince, he had mysterious silver hair and blue eyes.
Unlike the countless infamous names that followed him, the second Prince seemed surprisingly quite docile.
He seemed to resemble his mother, the Empress, more than the Emperor. He exchanged a few words with the Emperor in front of everyone, and then immediately left his seat. Soon the banquet began in earnest, and he, still without a fiancée, danced with the daughter of the family that supported him.
The young lady dancing with the second Prince was flustered, her face bright red.
It was nice to see her so fresh and shy with an unconcealed smile on her mouth.
“Shall we dance now?”
The Crown Prince held out his hand to me.
Again, I didn’t know what might have put the Crown Prince in a bad mood, but his face looked a little darker. Placing my hand on his, he led me into the middle of the dance floor. A light but familiar melody was playing.
I had never danced in my previous life or in this life.
I was afraid I would make mistakes, but fortunately Roxana’s body remembered how to move.
After a short time of dancing, my body became accustomed to the music and my nervousness slowly eased.
When the music was half over, I noticed something strange. It had been a while since the party started and I still didn’t see Claire.
She was the type of person who would stand out even when she was standing still, so there was no way i didn’t notice her.
I thought there was no way Claire wouldn’t be attending such a big party……. Is she trying to come late, or is she trying to avoid coming altogether? What’s going on with the Crown Prince?
I was pensive for a while. Before I knew it, the song was over.
I returned to my seat again with the Crown Prince.
We were resting for a while, sipping the drinks on the table, when someone called out to me.
“Princess Lillian, it’s been a long time since I saw you.”
I turned my head and looked to the side to see a gorgeously dressed girl standing there.
She gave me a sad smile as she stared straight at me.
“How are you feeling? I heard you were hurt at the last banquet.”
Her voice was gentle, but her tone was like she was probing me.
Despite the beauty of her eyes, the way she looked at me was deeply filled with hostility.
“Where exactly did you hurt yourself?”
She paid no heed to my call.
Dressed in a gorgeous yellow dress and adorned with feathers, Lady Flynn was as small and beautiful as a canary, but she was arrogant and disrespectful because she grew up preciously.
In the past, Roxana also drew attention from many people for her arrogant attitude and rash words and actions like Lady Flynn, but at least she didn’t approach them for no reason and started the fight first.
“From what I’ve heard, some people witnessed the Princess jumping off the terrace herself during the last banquet.”
“I don’t understand what the Young Lady is saying now. Why would I do that?”
“But I’m sure…”
“You must be mistaken. It was just a fever that caused me to fall ill.”
When I cut her off and denied it to the end, Lady Flynn’s face distorted.
There were a lot of people in the Imperial Palace that day, so it was no surprise that someone had seen me climb on the railing myself.
However, according to Noah’s report, the day was handled quietly with few acquaintances, and externally I was supposed to be sick with other reasons.
Looking at the reaction of Lady Flynn now, she didn’t seem to have seen it in person either. This kind of rumor must be properly caught from the start so that useless words do not spread.
Since only few people knew something about it and there was no obvious evidence, I thought I should just leave it at that. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was all an illusion.
“I think Princess knew better. Doesn’t everyone know that the Princess was humiliated by the Crown Prince that day because you bullied Lady Dana?”
My face stiffened for a moment at her words, and the smile that had been on her lips flashed further.
I forced myself to smile slightly. I looked sideways and saw that the Crown Prince seemed to be busy dealing with the people who were rushing in from a short distance away.
He didn’t seem to be aware of my situation, so it would be impossible for him to help. Moreover, now that the Emperor was right in front of me, it was impossible for me to swear like Roxana usually did.
Moreover, the Marquis of Flynn was a very high ranking family in the empire, and the woman in front of me was his golden daughter.
Lady Flynn fluttered her fan with a pleasant smile as she regained her composure again. It was really amazing that the Marquis had raised his daughter so well, even to the point of being persistent and relentless.
“I’m sure you’re busy enough with your family’s business alone, but you took your time to worry about me……… Young Lady is very caring. She seems to have a lot of free time on her hands.”
I replied nonchalantly, and Lady Flynn raised a corner of her mouth. My reaction was nothing out of the ordinary. Come to think of it, Lady Flynn approached me from the beginning hoping that I would get angry.
Probably hoping to embarrass me by making a scene again.
Despite the fact that the Emperor and Empress were clearly present, if the same thing happened like last time, people would say that I disrespect the imperial family.
This could also bring the entire family of the Duke into the picture.
Probably because of the merits that Duke Lillian had established and the prestige of the duchy, I wouldn’t be punished badly, but it would definitely have a fatal impact on my reputation.
“I heard Lady Flynn’s family is running a new business recently. It seems that your new fur business is doing very well.”
“Yes, that’s right. My first brother came up with the fur business.”
“Young Master Flynn?”
Lady Flynn nodded with an arrogant expression.
It was well known that the Marquis of Flynn had recently made a fortune from the fur business. For the nobles, newly fashionable luxury goods were an essential part of their conversation, so I knew about it from my servants.
The maids told me that the contracts for the warehouses and shops had already been signed for the full-scale expansion of the business, and that the Marquis and his son were looking for investors.
YoungMaster Flynn was recognized for his outstanding business qualities and many praised him.
With his outstanding appearance and excellent abilities, he was the treasure and the pride of the Flynn family.
It was said that he was very good to his only sister, so with such a kind and outstanding brother, Lady Flynn must be very proud of him now.
I looked at her as she gained momentum, and spoke with an interesting voice.
“It’s funny. I was going to talk to my father about the new business, too. I’m also very interested in fur these days.”