Thank you to Sarachan and littleauntie for the raws.
On a sunny afternoon, Nicholas, the famous painter under the Duchy’s patronage, approached me.
I opened the mysterious envelope Nicholas had handed me.
After checking the contents of the letter, I frowned slightly.
“What the hell is this?”
“As you can see, this is an invitation.”
“No, I mean…… Why did Kian get such an invitation?”
The invitation was sent by Sir Arthur, a novelist, and Count.
The letter requested Kian’s presence at a party in five days’ time. A party with famous and renowned artists from all over the Empire.
I heard that being invited there is a great honor for new artists.
Kian suddenly receives an invitation to such a meeting…….
It was apparent that this would have something to do with Nicholas.
I glanced at Nicholas as if asking for an explanation. He declared, stroking his sharp jaw:
“Kian is my muse. He received an invitation as a special guest.”
A muse is like an artist’s partner and collaborator, so they qualify for access.
As I was pondering, Nicholas readily suggested.
“Because you’ll be around and it’s going to be fun, the princess should also come with me.
“I am neither artist nor muse?”
Nicholas said patronizingly.
“Don’t worry. Don’t I have enough influence to a princess through?”
“…… Thank you so much for your arduous efforts, ‘genius painter of the times’ Nicholas.”
Nicholas ignored my sarcastic tone, bowing down in a gentlemanly manner.
“Oh my. I am immobilized and overwhelmed by your excessive flattery, princess.”
I had the urge to kick him out.
The bell of the wall clock rang and announced the 3 pm time; my impulse to kick Nicholas in the tush was interrupted and forgotten.
3 pm was tea time with Kian and a regular part of my daily routine.
“…… That’s how it happened.”
As I sipped my black tea, I explained why Kian received an invitation.
“If you don’t want to go, you don’t have to go. I think I’d rather rest than go.”
Kian laughed as I complained.
“I thought it was not polite not to respond to the invitation.”
“Then, are you going?”
“I’d love to go, but…… I’m worried my presence will degrade the gathering.”
“You don’t have to worry about that. You deserve to attend the party. Otherwise, Sir Arthur wouldn’t have even sent you an invitation in the first place.”
“Is that so?”
I added words of support and encouragement.
“I’ll go with you. And…….”
If anything happens, I will protect you, as always.
Verbalizing this sentiment required a lot of courage, but I would be willing to die of shame for Kian.
Kian smiled widely, seeing my face ablaze due to the embarrassing words I just said and replied:
“It’s reassuring that Master says so.”
It was late in the evening.
The carriage carrying Kian, I, and Nicholas passed through the host’s estate gates.
The party venue is a mansion in the suburbs of the capital and took about an hour to get to by carriage.
The carriage rolled gently along the well-polished road.
After passing through lush, grassy meadows and vineyards, the wagon entered a quiet forest path.
Soon after, I saw a mansion illuminated with bright lights.
At the entrance of the mansion, there was a line of carriages dropping off guests.
An employee checked our invitation and directed us straight inside.
When the three of us stepped into the party hall’s entrance, a loud voice suddenly heard.
“Oh, a special guest has finally arrived!”
It was a middle-aged man with an exciting impression. It was Sir Arthur, the organizer of the party.
Sir Arthur, who had briefly greeted Nicholas, whom he had already known—expectedly turned to Kian.
“It’s an honor for you to be here, Lady Olivia. And…….”
His gaze slowly shifted to Kian.
“Nicholas’ muse, Mr. Kian.”
When Kian’s name was called, a commotion spread over the party.
“You mean that young man is Kian? As rumored, you are a very handsome man.”
“Indeed, Nicholas is entitled to be obsessed with him.”
Partly due to Nicholas’ fame, everyone expressed interest and admired Kian’s beautiful appearance.
“Mr. Kian, please tell me how you brought Nicholas to his senses.”
“I’m curious too.”
One by one, people with glasses of champagne approached Kian.
Kian was unfamiliar with the people’s gushing attention but sincerely answered queries.
Fortunately, Kian continued the conversations without difficulty.
No one even brought up topics that would put him in a difficult spot.
All in all, the conversations went smoothly. However, when assisted by alcohol and jealousy, some people started being maliciously suggestive.
Read more here.