Gasps erupted from the surrounding area.
“Isn’t that lady Melford…..?”
“I think so. Duke Aitez has never requested a dance from any other woman before.”
I was baffled.
I had danced with Hypron before.
I’ve even turned down his request to dance a few times before.
But why me, now?
Why not ask other young ladies?
Before I would have accepted his offer without hesitation, but after the events at the auction, I was reluctant.
Every move he made was suspicious.
Maybe he’s noticed something already.
I’d better refuse.
No, maybe it’s a chance to test his response and see how much he knows.
I reached out to hold the hand Hypron had offered me, but before I could even blink my hand was grabbed with force, midair.
The grip that snatched my hand shook with anger.
I stared up at Alastair with a look that was asking him what the hell did he think he was doing?
What kind of interruption is this?
“Excuse me, Serina’s first dance is reserved for me.”
Since when? A skillful falsehood flowed out of Alastair’s mouth.
Previously donning a soft look, Hypron’s irritated yellow eyes grinded on Alastair’s thick skin.
“Then I hope the young lady graces me with the privilege to accompany her on her second dance.”
“I don’t think that’s going to work either, Duke of Aitez. Serina is not feeling well and I don’t think she’ll have the strength to dance twice.”
Alastair pulled on my arm, leading me away from Hypron. It took me a moment to register the cold clamminess coming from his hands. He was sweating from anxiety.
Somehow his gloved hands looked neat.
His purple eyes stared at me intensely and to an outsider, it looked like he was smiling tenderly at me, but I could tell on the inside he was ferocious.
His purple eyes and his narrowed pupils fiercely burrowed into mine.
“As you know, as all young women do, even though Serina wasn’t feeling well today she used up her energy reserves to prepare for the banquet today. I hope you will excuse me for intervening.”
“I asked Lady Melford, not the Duke of Agernia. Are you her spokesperson? I don’t know by what qualification the Duke is answering on her behalf.”
The atmosphere was so harsh that it felt like sparks coming off the eyes of the two men.
How did things get so annoying?
I opened my mouth to resolve the situation before it worsened.
“Thank you for taking my condition into consideration from when I told you I wasn’t feeling well, Alastair.”
At my words, Alastair smiled smugly and smirked.
At his arrogant expression, Hypron’s eyebrows rose slightly.
“But now I’m fine. I’ve been feeling better after I took a break.”
As the situation reversed, Alastair looked mildly stunned.
Actually, his first supposition was correct.
“Unfortunately, my first dance has already been promised to my best friend. But I will accept your offer for my second dance.”
I smiled softly.
Hypron nodded his head as if satisfied and stepped back.
I stood in the middle of the banquet hall with Alastair who looked at me with sullen eyes.
I was now numb to the probing gazes of the aristocrats around me.
“The music has started.”
I cut him off by putting myself into a dance posture. Alastair put his arms around my waist, familiarly.
“Why do you want to dance with him?”
“This kid…. aren’t your words a bit too harsh?”
“Is that what’s important now?”
A jealous Alastair comes off in two ways.
Cute or irksome and boring.
Now it was the latter.
However, I was not entitled to express those feelings, so I suppressed them as much as possible.
“I am entitled to dance with anyone I desire.”
The hand that was holding my waist tightened.
I followed the steps along with the gentle flowing melody.
“Then promise me that you’ll come to my side right after your dance.”
It was like embroidery that suddenly became strange due to poking the needle in the wrong hole.
He donned a fake smile as if the furthest thing from the truth was that he was amused.
Looking at that smile, I had no choice but to give him the answer he wanted.
“It is true that you are free to dance whomever you want, but you know you have to give up some freedom when I’m with you.”
“It’s not my fault that I get jealous and want to destroy everything around you when I see you with another guy.”
“Indeed. It’s not your fault.”
Nor was it mine.
At this point, I was confused as to whether Alastair was wise or mean.
He poked at the part where I felt defenselessly guilty, thus getting the answer he wanted.
“I’ll be back after dancing, so don’t worry and wait.”
Finally, the music ended.
Alastair slowly brushed his hands down against my own as if savoring the touch and let it go.
As if he had been watching and waiting, Hypron promptly took my hand. He looked at Alastair as if he were a saboteur and immediately gazed at me.
This time, the music had a slightly faster tempo.
Hypron’s hand encircled my waist as my hand settled on his arm.
Alastair’s glare piercingly stuck to them.
You can read more here.