o Rose.

She rolled her eyes and thought about the meaning, then bowed her head when the Emperor called for her.

“I think it's almost untangled.
Take your legs out one by one.”


Rose moved her leg carefully to avoid getting caught in the low bush.

However, her body kept shaking, and it was difficult to keep her balance steady on one leg; eventually, her body tilted dangerously.

Rose let go of the hem of the dress she was holding and fell to the ground.

…No! Why does this happen in front of His Majesty and not anyone else!

Rose longed to be a wizard.

If that was the case, at this moment, she could have time to stop, or the disaster would have been avoided by using the magic of floating in the air.

However, it was just Rose's wish that lasted just a brief moment.

Before she knew it, her body fell upon Russell's, and both bodies landed on the grass.

“Sorry, I'm so sorry, Your Majesty!”

In the end, Rose ends up shedding tears.
Her body trembled as she repeatedly apologized.

“I'm really sorry, Your Majesty.
Are you injured?”

If Russell gets even the slightest wound, my life would be forfeit, leaving behind the Honeywell family and all that I know.

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As if to comfort a terrified, crying Rose, Russell held out both hands to show their lack of wounds.

“I am not hurt.
Is Lady Honeywell safe? You're wearing shoes, but what about your ankles?”

“I can get hurt—no, rather, you have to not get hurt.
How do you keep getting in harm's way because of me?”

Rose's cheeks were already drenched with tears.
Seeing her cry hard enough that her shoulders shook, Russell put on a troubled expression.

“Don't cry.
If Lady Honeywell keeps on crying like that…”

Russell swallowed his words.

Unaware of how she ended up in her predicament, Rose took deep breaths to calm down and stop her tears.

The Emperor waited patiently until Rose had calmed and spoke to her playfully.

“Lady Honeywell, you almost fell at the end of your dance with Duke Proud, didn't you?”

“You—you saw…?”

“I can see everything from the Emperor's seat.”

Rose covered her face with both hands.

He saw me dancing with Elliot.
That's the last person I wanted His Majesty to see me dancing with.

…I firmly said that I would break off the engagement and that I did not love him, but what did His Majesty think when he saw me earlier?

Rose couldn't lift her head until something thick and warm wrapped around her shoulder.

When she looked at her shoulders, she saw Russell's coat wrapped around her.

“Your Majesty, I'm fine—“

“It is forbidden to say that you're okay.
If you feel uncomfortable with my coat, go back to the party right now.”

I would hate that.

Rose kept her mouth shut.
Instead, she showed her intentions by gripping Russell's coat, who then smiled at her and moved his body into a more comfortable position.

Rose followed his movement and took a seat next to him.

“Lady Honeywell sits comfortably on the floor, as you did in the library.
Most women hate it because their dresses get ruined.”

“Since His Majesty is sitting on the floor…”

Are you going to follow what I'm doing?”

“Not necessarily!”

Rose and Russell fell into silence as they admired the moon over the fountain.

“Are you mad at yourself for not being able to refuse Duke Proud?”

Russell broke the silence, causing Rose to bow her head in response.

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“Duke Proud is not easy going.
He, too, became the Commander-in-Chief and Duke of the Imperial Knights at a young age.
No, it was before that.”

“Has Your Majesty been friends with Elliot from before?”

“Rather than being friendly, it's because the royal family is obliged to establish a relationship with the Proud and Honeywell families.
Well, Elliott and Wells are like that.”

Anyone could see that Russell and Wells were close and friendly, but strangely, the relationship with Elliot was not so easily interpreted.

Again, silence fell between the two.

What was strange was that the silence didn't make the two of them uncomfortable.

The faint sound of music could be heard in the distance.
The music flowing from the party far away came to the garden, carried along in the wind.

Russell raised himself from the floor, stood in front of Rose, bent down, made eye contact, and held out his hand.

“Would you be willing to give me the honor of dancing with the young lady?”

Rose's gaze landed once on Russell's hand and once in his amethyst eyes.

“…I don't know if you've seen it before…
I might fall again while dancing.”

“I don't care.
I have the confidence to support Lady Honeywell well.”

“Oh, then I am truly honored, Your Majesty.”

Rose's hand rests on top of Russell's.

After helping Rose to her feet, Russell led her closer to the fountain.

The two faced each other, their hands meeting.
Rose's other hand was on Russell's shoulder, while his hand was on Rose's waist.

The two move their feet to the sound of music coming from afar.

As she danced with Russell, Rose kept her mouth firmly shut, lest her heart jump out through her lips.

When I shut my mouth, my heart sounds like an earthquake in my ears.

I'm worried about Russell's hand touching my waist.
I doubt I'm breathing properly.

As she was worried about everything, Rose couldn't figure out how she was moving her body in time with the music.

Her movements were according to the instincts her body remembered.

Did Russell always smell this fresh?

Rose had never drunk wine or other alcoholic beverages, but she felt like she was about to get drunk off the scent of the man wrapped around her.

Isn't there such a thing as drunken talk? I got drunk on Russell and it felt like I was going to vomit my heart out on him without even realizing it.

The sound of the music that was carried on the wind was over, and the dance of the two people also came to an end.

“It is over, Lady Honeywell.”

Russell reminded both her and himself of this with regret.
Regretfully, Rose tightened her grip on Russell's hand.
Feeling the power in her fingers, he lowered his eyes to her.

Sensing Russell's gaze, Rose slowly opened her mouth.

“Not 'Honeywell'…
Can't you call me by my name…?”

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