“Please tell me.”

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“I don’t have any accessories.”

Ian got up from his seat and opened the drawer to my right.
Various pieces of jewelry were displayed there.
I sighed, admiring his stiffness.

“…It means I don’t have accessories that I like.”

Ian, who had not responded for a few seconds, bowed his head.

“I’ll tell the Marquis and prepare someone right away.”

“No.”

Ian paused.

The Marquis he said referred to Sir Shubart.
I turned around, saying firmly as I could see the questioning face in Ian’s expression.

“I want the Riventel’s red tears.”

“Riventel’s red tears?”

“I heard it from the rumors going around in the capital.”

Ian looked like he was hearing it for the first time, but I was firm when I said that.
It would be no wonder if his mouth became dry.

“I will prepare it for you.”

“Thank you.
I hope it hangs on my neck before I enter the carriage.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“Then get out.”

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As soon as Ian closed the door and left, I exhaled the rest of my breath slowly.

My mother wants me to awaken my power quickly and hopes to use my power on one of the two princes.
In the original story, it was written that the second prince, Valery, would eventually become the Crown Prince.
Still, if it goes as it is, the end will be terrifying.

I don’t know when exactly that will happen, but he’s already an adult, so it’s probably soon.
That’s why I need a safety device, even if it’s double-edged for me.
Well, it wasn’t difficult for me to choose whether to get hurt or die.

“I hope Ian will get the Riventel’s red tears.”

At least the information I was looking for it will be spread.
I closed my eyes as not to show the nervousness that was boiling inside me.

* * *

Contrary to my worries, Ian brought ‘Riventel’s red tears’ within a day.
I didn’t ask him how to get it though.

It’s prettier than I thought.

I stared down at the necklace that was in my hand.
The three-tier necklace, made by someone’s custom, had dozens of water drop-shaped rubies embedded in a gorgeous design that could instantly identify your taste.

“Did Sir Shubart not say anything?”

Ian raised his eyebrows briefly.

“Yes, he didn’t say anything.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“…I got it.
Fortunately, you were fast.
Thank you.”

“No, please call me if you need me.”

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“Yes, go back and rest.
You did a great job.”

Ian went out, and I put the necklace in the drawer without hesitation.
After that, I began memorizing the information from the documents still piled up.

* * *

The dress I had arranged at the boutique shop arrived the evening before the banquet.
I thought the delivery man would be the one who came, but the Madame delivered it in person.

Madame recommended me to try it on and went to my back to check if the fitting size was right.
I don’t know if it’s because of her meticulous personality or because I paid her ten times more.
Anyway, the sizes all fit well, and the accessories she gave me as a gift matched the dress very well.

I haven’t seen my mother since I came here.
She contacted me a few times through Sir Shubart but seeing no response made it seem like I was on the right track.
If I had been told to come back, rather, I would have been too nervous not to do anything.

My mother’s compliments were always like that.
If someone did a good job, she said that that’s how it should be, and she didn’t tolerate any failure.
Fortunately, my mother was on the soft side to me.

When I was young, I didn’t understand it and felt sad, but when I realized it was the way for me to survive, I didn’t feel anything.

“Ian.
What should I wear?”

There were not enough people to check the dress.
I showed Ian a bunch of dresses on the hanger.
Ian stayed still as if time had stopped for a while and soon chose two.

“The dress on the far right seems to be the most fashionable these days.”

Ian’s gaze continued to the side.

“The second dress from the left seems to suit my Lady the best.”

The first dress he chose was a pink dress that gave off a feeling like small flowers were in full bloom.
Even though there is no frill, small handmade petals were attached to each other, revealing more richness than the frills.

The second dress he chose had a flatter bottom than that, but it had wrinkles in it that made the waist stand out if you wear it.
The silver dress covered the arms and neck with a translucent lace that looked quite fine.

“Is that so? Then I should wear the second one from the left.”

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I picked that dress because I liked it the most.

* * *

The clothes I chose made me shine with accessories the next day.
Although it was more uncomfortable than I thought because of the lace, it didn’t feel that bad.

“It looks like we have to leave soon.”

“I’ll be right out.”

It seemed that all preparations for the carriage had been completed.
I left the mansion after checking the dress to the last.
Ian, who had been wearing only black clothes, wore a tuxedo of a color that matched my dress.

I’m going to make a social appearance on behalf of Blake Ariandel’s father, who had been busy with his business abroad, and Ian was going to act as my longtime aide.
As my mother had ordered, I had to choose one of the members of the imperial family who would be on my watch and make acquaintance with other nobles.

Yes, only to this extent.
That way, I can fool my mother’s eyes.

The Imperial Palace was the highest in the capital.
The road to it was wide and long, so it was impossible to know how high it was when riding a carriage.
Still, even outside the capital, the top of the Imperial Palace was visible.

As we got closer to the Imperial Palace, more carriages of the nobles were seen.
Today, I was riding in a carriage bearing the mark of the Ariandel family, not Sir Shubart’s carriage.

The carriage slowed considerably when we reached the entrance.
I brush off my dress, waiting for my turn to get off.
I took Ian’s hand and got off the carriage.
Immediately after that, I looked around before climbing the stairs.
I just got off in front of the banquet hall, but the surroundings seemed wider than the capital square.

Some nobles glanced at me, covered with fans.
On the other hand, some people went up without paying attention because they were talking to each other.

“Did you bring the invitation?”

“Yes.”

“Let’s go up.”

I got escorted by Ian and entered the banquet hall.
As soon as we entered the banquet hall, we headed to a place that looked quiet.
Because today I didn’t come to stand out.
I just have to wait for the imperial family to appear on the spot.

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After waiting a long time, the entrance to the main gate was closing, as if almost all the invited people had gathered.
As the entrance closed, the music inside grew bigger.
And not long after,

“His Majesty the Emperor and Her Majesty the Empress are entering!”

The time has come.

* * *

The coming of the Emperor and Empress were announced, and the names of the first and second princes were announced one after another.

I stood at a distance and saw them.
The Empress walked slowly with her arms folded next to the Emperor.
They were the old friends of my mothers and the person my mother would harm, so they were also the person I had to protect.

The figures of the princes following them were seen.
Valery Ahibara Kasinev with his older brother, the first prince, Delkian Elova Kasinev.
The first prince had black hair that resembled the Emperor.
At first glance, it was clearly contrasted with the second prince’s bright hair.
Valery’s physique was exceptionally large, which made their comparisons even greater.

Unfortunately, even though the first prince resembled the Emperor, he didn’t take the throne in the original story.
Because everything about him was weak and lacking compared to Valery.
Fortunately, he stepped down on his own because he had no greed.
Since he’s such a good person, I hoped he wouldn’t get tangled as much as possible.

The nobles gathered around the upper center of the banquet hall, where the imperial family was.
After greeting the Emperor, they left their seat with the high-ranking nobles to enjoy the banquet.

I was leaning against the wall, holding low the champagne Ian had handed me.
On the other side of me, there was a group of young ladies.
They were glancing at me as if gossiping about me.  I was always used to being alone and to that gaze, so I drank champagne without paying attention.

“Drink a little slowly.”

Ian was worried about me when I had a one-shot without realizing it.

“I’m a heavy drinker.”

Ironically, it was five years ago that I found out that I’m a heavy drinker.
That was when I was a minor.
The cause of it was that I thought it was water in a pretty bottle and drank it without even checking it.
It contained the strongest alcohol, and I, who was thirsty, drank almost a full cup at once.

Sir Shubart, who belatedly noticed it after I finished drinking, stopped me.
Still, the alcohol had already got into my throat.
The ground seemed to shake for a moment, but that’s it.
Within an hour later, I was sober.

I had to listen to Sir Shubart’s bombardment-like nagging for hours and face my mother’s ridiculous laughter after she returned from an outing.
Maybe the reason I didn’t get drunk is because of the medicine my mother has been giving me for a long time.
She said it was good for my body. 

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