d it.
Light entered the field of vision that was just moments ago submerged in darkness.

“If I ask why you are crying, will you refrain from answering me once more?”

Russell gently wiped Rose's eyes with his fingertips.
The same tears then settled on his hands.

“Rose.”

Russell's voice sounded magical when he called her by name.
Rose was attracted by the magic and met his gaze.

“There must be a reason why you can't tell me.
But know this one thing.
Whatever happens…
Russell Whittle van Tristan is always on Rose Honeywell's side.”

Rose's heart thumped.

I never thought I would hear that directly from him.

She raised an eyebrow.

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

Rose felt her heart lighten with the joy of having safely passed the day of her death into a future that was markedly different from before she returned.

But at the same time, anxiety set in.

Her story had just begun.
Rose had no idea what was going to happen in the new year.

…The day I died by falling off a cliff.
What happened in the capital?

As the new year approached, another question arose.

How did the nobles react to the rumor that Rose Honeywell had disappeared from the capital?

Would they have found my body, abandoned? Did the Honeywell family fall like that?

Useless questions keep increasing.
Rose shook her head to clear her thoughts.

Maybe because the year has changed, the hall has become livelier.

I saw a drunken aristocrat overturning a glass and having an accident, and another one dancing between partners.

As if acting out a play, Rose let out a small laugh as she recalled herself being haunted by the past alone.

The banquet hall is so peaceful…
Fortunately,it is not futile.

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It's not futile!

Those words revealed Rose's state of mind.

Rose felt the gaze from the side watching her.

When she turned her head, she was met with the sight of Russell with his back slightly bent as he inspected her from up close.
Rose froze unexpectedly when their eyes suddenly met without warning.

“Why…why are you looking at me like that?”

“You were laughing at something.”

“Just…
It makes me laugh at how peaceful the celebration is.”

Again, I remember what happened with Russell.

They hid and ran away from the knights and eventually used teleportation magic to come back to the banquet hall.

The corners of Rose's eyes drooped like the ears of a defeated puppy.

“I'm sorry.
Your Majesty did troublesome things because of me.”

“I never thought it was troublesome.
Because I wanted to, I showed you the way.”

“I'm sorry, though, and thank you.
If I had known it would be like this, I would have come by running alone.”

“Hmm.”

Russell crossed his arms and looked down at Rose.

Feeling the weight of his gaze, she wondered if she had just said something strange.
But there was no part where she felt she had said anything of that sort.

Fortunately, Russell provided the answer.

“What I said earlier…
Have you forgotten?”

“Which…”

“I want to be with you, Rose, during the banquet and after.”

“…”

“I came all this way because I wanted to be with you.”

Rose seemed to be heartbroken in another sense.
So, like an idiot, the sound of laughter kept leaking out of her lips.

Rose, who could feel a caressing hand along her hair for no reason, raised her head towards the hand that brushed her hair.

“Your Majesty, I think I should go to that break room.”

“The resting area?”

“Yes.
I have my bag there.”

Rose looked over at Russell.

I can imagine Russell wearing a brooch in the shape of a sword inlaid with diamonds.

The diamond was like his silver hair, so it would probably suit him.

“Then, let me go too.”

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Rose stopped him urgently.

“I will go alone.
I stopped by to drop off my bag earlier, so I know where it is.
I'll be back!”

Rose moved quickly before Russell could catch up.

“Duke Proud, happy new year!”

“Duke, are you going to participate in the hunting festival?”

“Duke Proud.
The engagement ceremony has been postponed, but I still congratulate you on the engagement ceremony by borrowing this spot.”

Duke Proud.
Duke Proud.

Elliott responded lightly to the words that he came across.
Among them were noble ladies.

All those gathered around Elliot struggled to talk to him in some way.

“Talk to me!”

Both men and women could read the thoughts that mirrored their own.

Elliott made a small excuse to get some fresh air and left.
It was a waste of time to continue dealing with people who were not of great benefit to him.

The place he headed to was the terrace, leaving behind the sound of music playing in the hall.

The cold winter wind took away the warmth from Elliott's cheeks in an instant.

He made his way to the railing despite the cold.
He put his arms on the railing and leaned against it.

Elliot fixed his gaze in the direction of the garden.

“Hmm.
You seem to have gotten a lot closer to His Majesty than I thought.”

Elliot recalled what he had seen in the garden just ten minutes earlier.

After dancing at the party, he saw Rose leave the terrace and head towards the garden.

He couldn't follow Rose right away as he exchanged his regards and greetings with the family heads who approached him.

As soon as the greetings with the heads of households were over, Elliot headed to the garden and saw an unexpected scene there.

Rose was dancing in front of a fountain in the garden.
Moreover, the other party was the Emperor, the sun, of this country.

Elliot couldn't take his eyes off Rose.

“It's really strange.
Certainly, it was me who made your heart flutter with one glance.”

The look in Rose's eyes as she looked at Russell was the same one he had received numerous times just a few months ago.

“…You hate me so much now.”

Elliot kept his mouth shut.

However, he couldn't swallow the laughter that had risen from deep in his throat.
He spat it out.

“Kuk.
Okay, My Rose…
Do you want to break up this marriage? If you want, you should do it.
But not yet.
Until I find its soul…”

Elliot's eyes shone menacingly in the moonlight.

The pale moonlight in his blue eyes rippled like a raging wave on the sea.

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