The imperial reception area was now empty.
Two figures could be seen looking out from the balcony of one of the palaces, tucked away where the guests could not see them.
They were the Emperor and Theodore.
“What do you think about Prince Rosenta?”
At the emperor's question, Theodore thought of the boy he had seen.
When I first saw Rosenta's appearance, I immediately thought of Duke Estella.
But not anymore.
It was because the moment he met Rosenta's eyes, he immediately erased Duke Estella from his mind.
Although they had the same purple eyes, the light they held inside them was distinctly different.
Rosenta's eyes were constantly shining, as if to prove his existence.
Even without effort, they were illuminating like a beautiful amethyst.
“He was like a calm lake without strong waves.”
More than anything, Theodore realized it through conversation.
“I don’t know how such a son was born to such a repulsive, duplicitous duke.”
So Theodore found it interesting.
He wanted to know more about the boy named Rosenta.
As always happens when my father I are together, there was an uncomfortable silence in the carriage as we went back.
However, I did not speak first.
I kept silent, hoping to arrive at the duke's castle as soon as possible.
Mysteriously, my wish came true and the wagon went ahead without any obstruction.
We had reached the top of the duke's castle's drawbridge, and before long, the carriage came to a complete stop.
Hearing the coachman's words, the duke rushed out of the carriage.
In line with that, I also urgently followed after my father.
However, no matter how fast I walked, it was unreasonable for me to keep step with a much longer stride.
When I entered the castle, my father was already climbing the stairs in the hall.
At this point, there was no need to pursue my father any further.
I stopped running because I was running out of breath. I stood in the middle of the hall and took a deep breath.
But suddenly my father called my name.
I held my breath and looked up at the top of the stairs.
My father, who was going up the stairs, stopped and looked at me.
He looked down and told me.
“Since you visited the imperial palace without incident, I'll give you a proper reward. I'll allow you to go out with Hiorin from now on.”
I must have heard it wrong, I was dumbfounded at first.
However, when I realized that I had heard it correctly, I couldn't control my expression.
Hiorin was one of the people who escorted my father.
Said to have come from the eastern continent, he was a man with dark brown skin, auburn hair, and eyes.
He was a stranger to me because I had never spoken to him before, but I was happy to accept him.
This was because it meant that I was allowed to go outside.
I was genuinely happy.
So, with a face full of excitement, I continued to nod.
“Yes! Thank you, father!”
No matter how materially affluent is was, it was difficult to spend all my time studying at the duke's castle every day.
So, I used to throw out the words 'I want to go outside' through Emma.
I thought that if it were Emma, she would tell my father.
My father had something else to say.
I quickly shut my mouth and focused on him.
“It is finally time for you to begin studying Estella's lineage.”
Estella's bloodline! Am I finally going to start learning?
When I first entered the Duchy of Estella, as described in the novel, I had hoped that I would have the hereditary ability of the ducal family as well.
But there was no mention of it, so I was secretly worried…
“Since a year has passed, it’s about time you start to learn.”
Thank god. The story was going the way it was originally written.
Relieved, I quietly took a deep breath.
Along with the Helios royal family, the bloodlines of the 4 dukes all had abilities that were passed down from generation to generation.
Of course, 'Rosenta Estella' also had an ability.
“Thank you. I will learn everything with diligence.”
According to my memory, Estella would have the ability to 'curse'.
Now that I think about it, I wonder if it's because of that ability that he didn't appear often in novels.
'The dimension-shifted heroine' will have the ability to heal as part of her role as a saint.
Of course, there's no way she would interact with me often since I have the opposite ability.
Anyway, just having an ability was exciting.
I looked at my father with a flushed face, wanting to take a class right away.
“You will have a lesson with me soon.”
Perhaps seeing my eager expression, my father raised a corner of his mouth crookedly.
My father said 'soon', but the class with my father was not happening right away.
I studied the same as usual and time passed the same as usual.
I wasn't disappointed though.
Because there were still other things left to excite me.
A few days ago, I met Heorin and he even scheduled a date for our first outing.
I was excited. I was happy. So every day, I thought about and imagined which village I should go to and what I should do.
“Young Master, we have arrived at our destination.”
While I was thinking about this and that, the carriage I rode in stopped in front of a mansion.
It was a small mansion on the outskirts, not far from the duke's castle.
I got ready to go inside.
“Are you coming, Young Master?”
“You look beautiful today too, Baroness Ferora.”
“Ho Ho. Thank you for saying that. The Young Master is also handsome.”
Baroness Ferora was the one who was teaching me ballroom dancing.
This was the place the baroness used to teach dance.
Usually, it was just me, the baroness, a few attendants, and a band.
But today, I felt a bit uneasy. The number of people seems to be a bit too large.
I looked around the annex.
The baroness spoke to me as if my actions were strange.
“What are you looking at?”
“ah… … It seems a bit crowded today.”
At my answer, the baroness visibly shuddered.
“Ah! That is… … I’ve brought in someone special.”
“Are they in my class?”
“Yes… …You can't dance with me all the time. I specially brought a young lady your age for the duke.”
What she said made sense.
It was difficult for the baroness, as a grown woman, to dance with me at the age of eleven.
It's definitely easier to get a feel for dancing with someone your own age.
Agreeing with the baroness, I tried to ask about my partner, the young lady.
“Oh! You’ve arrived.”
However, before I could ask, the Young Lady appeared first.
The Young Lady who entered our room was wearing a gorgeous lace dress.
A pink dress that matched the color of her wavy hair…
Two bright red eyes flashed.
As if seeing me for the first time in years, Vivian's face bloomed brightly.
“For today, we will stop here. Thank you both for your hard work. See you again this time next time.”
As soon as Mrs.
Ferora finished speaking, I sat down on the floor. It was not the time to be aristocratic or to be concerned with manners.
And it seemed I wasn't the only one thinking this.
Vivian lay flat on her stomach, gasping for breath.
During the female portion of the dance, there are many parts where the waist is bent, so it will be more difficult.
“Young Lord, please drink some of this water.”
An attendant brought me water.
I gulped down the water and lost myself in my thoughts for a while. What should I do with Vivian?
Was this what being a leech meant?
If it's like this…I seemed to know why the prince hated Vivian.
I guess it's better to talk to her.
I cut my worries short with quick action.
Her bright red eyes opened wide like those of a rabbit and she jumped up.
“I have a question.”
“Yes? Ask anything!”
Conversely, I was surprised by the lively answer.
I hesitated for a moment but thought that I should speak.
I opened my mouth again.
“Did you follow me?”
Vivian was startled.
In addition, she stared into empty space and answered with an unnatural gesture.
“Oh, is that what it looks like? Ooh, what a coincidence. That… … I’ve also been taking lessons from Mrs.
“I’m aware that Mrs.
Ferora is only giving private lessons to me.”
At my words, Vivian started to panic openly.
Her face was white and her eyes trembled mercilessly. Her appearance made her restlessness obvious.
“I like honest people.”
Scared to finish her words, Vivian shouted out loud.
“Actually, Young Lord, I followed you! I asked my father…”
“Why did you follow me?”
“That is… … I want to be friends with the Lord. He helped me with my hair the other day and, unlike the other young girls, he doesn't curse at me saying he doesn't like me…And the Lor-, the Lords is pretty!”
In the end, my laughter broke out. The last response was completely unexpected.
What do we do? You are so cute.
Apparently, my impression of Vivian wasn't too bad.
A rabbit, a puppy, and now a little sister came to mind first.
Of course, there was also the small impression of a leech.
I was plunged into a new dilemma.
“Young lady, what do you think of the crown prince?”
“Theo? I love him! But if the Lord says he doesn't like his highness… … I will try to hate him too!”
After hesitating for a moment, Vivian responded with clenched fists as if making a great decision.
Seeing this, my scale began to tip to one side.
No one could ignore a cute puppy looking at them with such anxious eyes.
That includes me.
“No. It's okay if you like His Highness the Crown Prince.”
Yes. Because Vivian still likes the crown prince, there's no way the story will change because of me.
In a way, it might not matter even if Vivian does change.
The heroine would be much more comfortable if Vivian didn't bother her.
Rather, it would mean that I am helping the female lead.
After finishing justifying my actions to myself, I opened my mouth to Vivian again.
“Imagine someone following the young lady wherever she goes. Do you think it would make you feel good?”
At my words, Vivian's eyes drooped.
She shook her head weakly, avoiding my gaze.
“But thank you for being honest with me as promised. So, young lady, don't follow me like this from now on, why don't you make an appointment in advance and come and see me?”
“Me, see you? Me?”
Vivian's head, which had been bowed down, suddenly lifted.
Both cheeks were stained bright red.
I nodded to Vivian and held out my hand.
“Shall we be friends, Vivian?”
Tears welled up in Vivian's bright, ruby-red eyes.
I couldn't tell whether my words had actually stimulated her sensibility.
It didn't matter to me anyway.
The important thing is that Vivian held my hand and that I had my first friend in this world.
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