Chapter 1. Prologue
Because I didn’t want the arm movements, I only learned the steps, but even though I did the steps just as Marchioness Foseinta said, I don’t know how many times I’ve stepped on Sir Boyd’s shoes.
I’m glad I was using an indoor slipper, but if it was a shoe, something terrible might have happened.
“Uh, are you all right?”
Still, he can’t be fine after being stepped on so much.
“You must have a particularly strong grudge against me.”
I stepped on him more than Marchioness Foseinta’s foot. I threw away my slippers and held his hand again.
“I’ll try my best this time. Do I start with the right foot?”
Really? He nodded solemnly and I slowly stepped.
“Left foot in front, right foot in…”
I was calmly reciting the steps as if reciting a spell when the door burst open.
He quickly came, as he had yesterday, but as I stared at him, his expression was strangely stiff.
The first place his cold gaze touched was Sir Boyd’s hand which was touching mine.
I hurriedly let go of his hand and approached Eryte, lest he might show his mad dog side of the rumor.
“I happened to pass by.”
It was a blatant lie. The palace of Herier, where Eryte lives, was located opposite my palace.
Of course, the training grounds was close to my palace, so he might have come here after training.
“By the way, what are you two doing? Don’t tell me you’re interested in our Rosiane.…”
As Eryte was about to glare at Sir Boyd, I grabbed his hand, gently stopping him from glaring at Sir Boyd.
“Eryte, can you help me practice dancing?Eryte is the only one who can help.”
“Well, this brother’s dancing skills are pretty impressive. All right, I’ll help you!”
He smiled as if he hadn’t crumpled his face just a while ago, he naturally put one hand on my waist and held my hand with the other.
His shorter height than Sir Boyd made him more comfortable to dance with.
“Eryte, you’re a great dancer, aren’t you?”
“Of course, there’s nothing this brother can’t do!”
I knew he was athletic, but I didn’t know he could dance so well. Much to my surprise, I stepped on the back of his foot only once while dancing with him.
Of course, it wasn’t because I was good at it, but Eryte naturally turned me around to make sure I wouldn’t get it wrong even though I was wrong.
[tn– meaning Eryte would turn her around to cover up her mistake]
“Thanks to you, I think I got a little better. Shall we take a break?”
It was as small as a rat’s tail but it was better than when I danced with Marchioness Foseinta for the first time. I sipped lemon tea on the sofa with him to catch my breath.
[tn– means; she improved very little]
Sir Boyd picked up the slippers I had randomly thrown and placed them under my feet.
Eryte, who likes lemon tea, was already on his second drink.
He suddenly looked at me with an empty cup in his hand.
“Rosie, just trust this brother.”
I tilted my head at his rather serious gaze.
“Because I’ll make your waltz steps perfect until the founding festival begins.”
Well, with less than a week left, I think that was too much. As I was smiling awkwardly and looking away, I heard a knock.
“I see the Glory of the Empire. Young Master Vanitas has asked for an audience, what should I do?”
“Huh? Young Master Vanitas?”
Everyone’s eyes turned to the servant when he said something out of the blue.
He didn’t even send a letter the day before or hours ago, and I know it’s very rude to come and ask for an audience like this.
It was the moment when I hesitated about what to do and was about to open my mouth.
The empty teacup held by Eryte broke in his hand and scattered down on the table.
* * *
[tn– to avoid possible confusion; this isn’t Rosie’s pov, when 1st person pov is used its Simad, also this is a flashback, see ch16-17]
The prestige of the Duke of Vanitas, who was with Regision at the time of the founding of the country, was high.
Born as the second son of such family, Simad de Vanitas was not interested in being the successor.
All he cared about was learning. He wanted to know and collect all the knowledge in the world.
It wasn’t difficult because he was accordingly so smart. He read old books, which even adults find difficult to read, and he wrote down his knowledge and published numerous papers.
He has been above everyone since birth and has been the object of envy. However, there was only one thing he struggled with, and that was human relationships.
He learned and realized everything quickly. Sensitive senses analyzed every eye movements and every gesture of the other person to inform him of their intention.
So Simad had a hard time with relationships. To be exact, it was too easy, so he’d say it wasn’t fun.
All relationships went as he expected. Young ladies of the same age blushed when they saw him, and Young masters of the same age looked at him admiringly.
It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t fun.
“The princess is awake.”
One day the Duke of Vanitas, who called him to his office, said so. The only princess in the history of Esteria, Rosiane de Esteria.
Simad knew that he and the princess were to be married. She’s been continously asleep and she woke up, so I don’t know what state she’s in, but it’s probably not perfect.
‘I don’t like it if she’s an idiot though.’
It looks like I have to decide after looking at her. Simad headed straight to the Imperial Palace because he had find out on the spot; what he was curious about.
He also visited the central library of the Imperial Family, following his father who was entering the palace. Because there were quite a few new books, Simad quickly got immersed into reading himself.
Then suddenly, he felt that the quiet atmosphere of the library changed. It was subtly noisy.
This place could not be entered by unauthorized people. Simad predicted that the sources of the noise would be the princes.
But his prediction was only half right. The princess was included in the party.
The eyes of the princess, who turned around the corner behind the princes who noisily raised their voices, were fixed in one place.
The book she was trying to bring out was [Psychology of Human Relations] which he wrote last year.
It’s a difficult book to read for an ordinary young girl. He slowly approached the princess.
“You want to read this book?”
Simad pretended not to notice her identity and picked up the book and flipped through it lightly.
“This book is going to be a little difficult though.”
He chose a mischievous tone on purpose. The common reaction was one of the three: to blush with shame, to blush with ecstasy when they recognize his identity, or to blush with anger.
But the princess was different.
“It’s okay. Can you put it up here?”
She said, without a trace of emotion. It was only then that Simad was able to see the face of the princess properly.
The light from the big window surrounded her transparently and making her seem unrealistic. A blur that seemed to disappear at any moment. Among those, only the gem, the symbol of Esteria, shone brilliantly.
[tn– i think the gem here is Rosie btw]
“Ah, pardon me. I see the Glory of the Empire.”
Simad showed a graceful manner towards her. Even though he bowed his head, her face, or rather her eyes, did not leave.
Her gaze seemed as if it saw nothing.
It was the first time he had seen such an emotionless look. It wasn’t like the poker face that his father or other aristocrats had on purpose.
It was a kind of gaze that she could have because she had no interest in the existence of Simad.
A little interest arose. He raised his head and reached out to hand over the book, then paused. It was because her fragile arms were shaking like it was going to break.
“If you don’t mind…”
He couldn’t finish his speech because the prince appeared. It was a little unpleasant to be disturbed, but apart from that, he greeted him politely.
“Long time no see, Young Master Vanitas.”
The third prince greeted with a smile. Simad smiled as well. When they first met two years ago in national festival, they recognized each other at a glance.
‘He’s the same.’
They knew very well how cruel the other could be with a smile on the outside.
Since that day, the relationship between the two wasn’t good to the point that it could be said that they loathed each other.
“By the way, what happened to Rosie?”
They briefly exchanged glances, but there was a lot of (hidden) dialogue that went back and forth.
‘You dare talk to Rosiane?’
‘Well, you may be her brother, but I’m the one who will become her husband.’
‘You’re still as shameless as ever, Young Master Vanitas.’
‘You’ve changed a lot, Your Highness the Prince. What a very warm and sweet tone. No, are you pretending?’
[tn– Bernique used a warm and sweet tone when he asked “What happened to Rosie?”]
The Third Prince sneaked in front of the Princess.
“Her Highness asked for my help.”
“Yes, I asked for a book up there.”
The princess, who was still, suddenly said. Then the third prince took away the book that Simad was holding.
“Rosie, let me help you with this.”
The way he looked back at her with friendly words was like he was an ideal brother himself. At that moment, Simad felt his stomach churn.
‘That iron mask of his has gotten thicker.’
The princes said what they had to say and took the princess away. Simad stared at the princess’ brilliant silver hair gently swaying from her waist.
The princess, who was about to be dragged out, secretly looked back at Simad. Simad gently folded his eyes, saying farewell to her. She also gave him a brief nod.
‘I’m glad you’re not a fool.’
Simad headed back to his seat to finish reading the book he had put aside.
It was natural to meet her again, but it was the very next day, the day of her birthday banquet.
Rosiane, who appeared in the Bijou Hall in the arms of the Emperor, was like a fairy. Seeing her head towards the garden, Simad moved as well.
When the First Prince left his seat and he saw that the princess was sitting alone in a chair, he immediately approached her. Then, he bent his knees at the eye level of the princess and said,
“I see the Glory of the Empire. My name is Simad de Vanitas, the second son of the Duke of Vanitas.”
The princess raised her head. At first glance she looked displeased, but he didn’t mind.
“I was rude to you yesterday. Your Highness, May I sit next to you?”
“If I say no, you won’t sit down?”
She had a displeased tone, as if she felt unpleasant to be disturbed in her alone time. He smiled and sat down next to her, curving his eyes into a half-moon shape.
“If it’s an Imperial Order, I will do as you say, If it’s not, I’ll sit down.”
The princess lightly ignored the remark. Simad was deeply interested in the birth of a new specimen.
“I… must be quite hated by Your Highness.”
At first glance, It was a sad tone.
“That’s not it, I just want to be alone.”
A white lie that was surprisingly good to hear. Simad raised the corners of his mouth and smiled.