Thank you editors: jam, mook, dodo and Jasmine
The Viscount Hardy and Countess Meyer, who followed Erna while keeping their distance intentionally, looked back with bewildered faces. They never dreamed that there would be guests who had not arrived yet. Even more so, that it would be Prince Biern.
They retreated first. The red carpet road from the entrance of the banquet hall to the opposite end, to the stage where the king and queen sat side by side, now belonged to Prince Biern. No. They just knew that until they found Erna, the troublesome brat they had forgotten for a while.
“Oh my god! Look at that child!”
Brenda Hardy clasped her husband’s arm, with a pale blue face.
Erna, who lost herself in a panic attack, frozen, was standing in the middle of the carpet, blocking the prince’s path. In order to bring that child, they had to outrun Prince Biern, and it was hard to tell which choice would bemore horrific. Meanwhile, the distance between the prince and Erna was getting smaller and smaller.
“Maybe you planned it like this? Yes?”
Brenda Hardy questioned the Countess Meyer if she was the mastermind behind this scandal. Frowning in thought, she soon regained her original calm expression.
“Let’s see. There’s no way but up from here.”
“I beg your pardon?”
Brenda Hardy let out a trembling sigh. If in front of aristocrats from all over the country was not enough, and she would look like a disgrace at a gathering where the royal family was present, but this woman was acting like it was all simply amusing.
Just when she was suspicious that she might have just taken charge of the chaperone with the intention of messing things up, Prince Biern, with a frown on his face, stopped.
Erna turned around at the shadow cast over her.
* * *
What the hell is this?
Biern’s head tilted slightly as he looked down at the woman who was doing something absurd. When he first saw that woman, he didn’t think much of it. Of course, she will back down, move away and if he passed by like that, she would be just one of the countless others.
He hoped he would be able to persevere and stop himself. But no matter what the intentions were, he had to acknowledge her circumstances and presence.
Biern lowered his gaze a little more and faced the woman. Even with her eyes full of him, the woman was just dazed like a person who couldn’t see anything. Each time she blinked slowly, her large eyes grew more and more hazy and transparent. Her eyes were unusually blue with a bright blue tint.
Biern, who had raised his eyebrows lightly, stopped looking over the woman. Father and mother, with puzzled expressions on their faces, were the first to come into view.
It was the eyes that seemed to hear such a sigh. The accusation in Leonite’s frowned upon expression was obviously harsher than that. Not to mention Louise who is in color.
They should be at least grateful that the beginning of debutant, which he arrived after many sessions was now at least not boring.
Biern raised his head once more, this time with a slightly thicker smile. There was faint irritation in his eyes as he slowly looked at the murals adorning the high ceiling and the huge chandeliers below.
No matter how much he thought about it, he had no memory of committing anything to this woman that deserved such an upheaval. The assumption that this strange woman might have mistaken him for Leon was quickly erased from his mind. Paradise will come a little sooner than the day that naughty prince didn’t cause trouble with women.
He hoped that the woman he did not know would disappear from before him. Biern lowered his gaze, which had been wandering aimlessly in the air. But a strange woman was still standing in his way. Not knowing what to do, she was just trembling like a young beast driven to a hunting ground.
When Biern, who had no desire to participate in this skit anymore, took a step, the woman’s body, who had been gasping as if strangled, staggered.
Even as he sighed, Biern nimbly supported the woman. It is not his business to talk about today’s affairs, but the rumor that the Grand Duke even stunned a woman in the royal palace would be absurd.
Biern whispered lowly to the woman who was turning blue. Slowly raising her head, the woman looked surprised, as if she had only seen him for the first time. The tears in his red eyes seemed to stand out even more because of the lack of blood on her face.
Like a child learning an unfamiliar word, the woman repeated his words over and over again. Her small lips were also as red as tears. Biern snorted out a laugh, startled.
Biern lowered his voice a little and whispered slowly. The woman nodded her head and then took a proper breath. She was still shaking, but fortunately she seemed to have escaped the danger of losing consciousness.
Breath. The woman mumbled the words he had heard over and over again, steadily taking deep breaths and exhaling repeatedly. The white shoulders that shook with the rhythm were absurdly small and thin.
After some breathing had stabilized, the woman hurriedly backed away from him. On her face, which had been blank all along, suddenly, something worthy of being called an emotion came to mind. shame and vigilance. It was not the attitude the person responsible for making a fuss in the way of others would see.
“I am so sorry, Prince.”
A middle-aged woman who was watching her approached with slow steps and supported the woman.
Biern’s gaze, who glanced at her, quickly turned to the little woman again. She was trying to cover her shoulders, décolleté and cleavage somehow, but that meaningless effort only drew more attention.
She mimicked a young lady once again in the subject that appears in a dress like that.
A crooked smile caught the corners of Biern’s lips as he glanced at the woman. Her face, which had been parched like a corpse, was gradually burning red. Carefully raising her head, when her eyes met him, the woman was startled and even stepped backwards. Now, even her ears were dyed bright red.
“I sincerely apologize, Prince. Miss Hardy was very nervous and made a big mistake.”
Another wife walked up to the two struggling women. The moment she recognized her with her bowed head raised, Biern understood the full story of this absurd commotion.
It was Victoria Meyer. The very woman who is the best broker in the Letchen marriage market.
* * *
The flower of this prom was Erna Hardy, no matter what anyone said.
With the story of her belated debut in the social world, her unconventional appearance, and the name of Prince Biern, there was no lady who came close to defeating her as she was on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
“It is also Countess Meyer. She’ll even use the Grand Duke to make that girl stand out.”
“I guess that had to be the strategy. How did you know that Prince Biern would appear late?”
“If not for strategy, how can you explain it? By the way, that girl isn’t ordinary either. I thought she would be naive because she’s from the countryside, but how could she do such a clever thing?”
The eyes of the ladies who glanced at Erna, who was sitting quietly at the edge of the banquet hall, were filled with contemptuous curiosity.
A beautiful woman who even caught the eyes of Biern Dneister.
Thanks to the commotion, Erna Hardy achieved such a infamous reputation in an instant. Even he, who was Princess Gladys’ ex-husband, acknowledged her, so the general consensus was that she was a great beauty for sure. Even those who criticized Viscount Hardy for exposing her vulgar greed to sell her daughter at a high price were not able to argue about Erna Hardy’s beauty.
“Miss Hardy, how are you?”
Countess Meyer, who had been walking around the banquet hall, approached Erna. Erna reflexively grabbed her shawl and raised her head. Her eyes filled with resentment were quite daring.
“You’re a girl with more of a personality it seems.”
Countess Meyer, who laughed lightly, sat down next to Erna and opened her fan.
* * *
The other girls were busy enjoying their dance, but Erna sat still on this corner bench. Many of the young men who came to apply for the dance were turned away without even managing to make eye contact with Erna properly.
“How about dancing at least one song? It’s a debutant.”
“… … I can’t. I don’t like this, ma’am.”
Erna’s voice was still trembling softly. She looked around anxiously and then bowed her head again. She was like an idiot without even a speck of sociability, but this troubled expression also became charming where coupled with her pretty face.
Countess Meyer gently waved her feather fan. The ugly shawl bothered her, but she decided to leave it alone because if she took it again, she would rip even the curtains of the royal palace to cover herself. She had already shown everything she needed to show, so the dress had fully served its purpose.
“Lift your head.”
Countess Meyer lifted Erna’s chin with the tip of the folded fan.
“It is basic manners to look into the eyes of the other person when having a conversation.”
“Madam, please… … .”
“He did quite well in front of Prince Biern. Did you completely forget about that?”
Contrary to her gentle smile, her voice was cold.
Erna, who had been contemplating for a moment, involuntarily closed her body, clenching her lips. It was because a man by that name flashed into her mind.
As the world began to spin and suffocate, Erna lost all judgment. It was only after she was able to breathe that she realized what she had done and to whom. Just thinking about it made her feel like the fear would overwhelm her again.
“I respect the notion of not dancing, but try to keep a minimum of dignity. It means to keep in mind that this is a way to protect the honor of the Baden family, who have raised Ms. Hardy. Do you understand?”
The honor of the Baden family.
Countess Meyer, who had said those words that scratched her heart deeply, quietly left Erna’s side.
Left alone, Erna counted numbers with her eyes closed. It was only when he counted to twenty that she was able to regain stable breathing. It’s never been like this in Buford. For a moment, she felt like a helpless fool.
Be patient a little longer.
Suppressing the urge to run away from here, Erna slowly opened her eyes. After all, he was there. Grand Duke Schwerin. The Prince of Lechen who watched Erna Hardy’s pathetic figure up close.
He was talking, leaning against an ornate marble column. Standing opposite him was a man who looked like him. He was the twin brother and Crown Prince Leonit. They were surprisingly identical in height, physique, and appearance. The only difference is that the Crown Prince is wearing glasses.
Although Buford is a remote country that feels isolated from the rest of the world, even there, the twin princes are quite famous. Erna, who was indifferent to such rumors, even remembered his name. Originally, the first, Prince Biern, was the crown prince, but his bad conduct caused anger and resentment throughout the kingdom, and he said that the position was passed to his younger brother, Prince Leonit.
Without trying to avoid her gaze, Erna let out a sigh without realizing it. It was because of the feeling of déjà vu when she looked atPrince Biern, who began to walk with his neck upright.
Although they look the same, the twins’ gait is markedly different.
Unlike the Crown Prince, who walked with an upright and modest posture like a soldier, the Grand Duke moved as if enjoying a leisurely stroll. It felt as if only the air surrounding him was flowing slowly. It was a figure I had seen at the train station and on Tara Avenue.
“Poisonous mushroom… … .”
The Grand Duke suddenly turned his head towards Erna, who was muttering blankly. It was a moment when their eyes met with no chance to escape.
t1v: another translator is going to pick this up. Just wanted to post chapters that have already been done. If you can’t wait and want to read more unedited chapters they are here.