During the welcome banquet for the Prince of the East, Cardan attended the banquet without a partner in consideration of the prince who also did not have a partner, but at ordinary banquets, he has attended with the Duke of Baloa as a partner.
This was because the highest-ranking noble woman among the options for Cardan, who had no empress, concubines, or sisters, was Erina, the Duke and the Prime Minister.
I decided to think positively.
Being his partner was the perfect opportunity to break free from Cardan’s strange taste.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, Your Majesty.”
I looked back, summoning an aristocratic voice as much as possible.
At the same time, I was prepared.
Knowing what’s about to happen, I prepared my mind to face the criticism while looking at the clock or while looking in the mirror.
But no matter how long I waited, Cardan didn’t say anything.
Instead, he stood in front of the door for a long time, motionless like a stone statue.
When Cardan slowly closed his eyes to my question and opened them, the focus slowly returned from his vacant eyes.
“Is there a problem?”
Cardan opened his mouth and closed it several times, and finally spoke out.
“No, there isn’t.”
At the same time, I didn’t think it was a very good sign seeing the narrow gap between his eyebrows.
“What happened to the white outfit and what’s with that?”
He seemed to refer to the stark white uniform often worn by the Duke of Baloa at the banquet.
As expected, look at him frowning right away because my outfit is not his cup of tea.
“Hohohoho, I wanted to make a change today, so I tried on a dress.”
“What’s with that hideous tone?”
His response showed that my plan was going very smoothly.
“Ho-ho, we’re going to be late for the banquet at this rate.”
As I approached Cardan with a bright smile, he trembled.
Naturally, when I put my hand on Cardan’s arm, the muscles of his arm that touched my palm hardened.
Cardan couldn’t turn his head toward me at all because it was disgusting to see me.
“If you don’t want to go to the banquet, you don’t have to attend.”
I murmured softly.
“There are many things that the Duke and I have pushed aside. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the two of us to deal with it first.”
I couldn’t understand what nonsense he was talking about, so my Prime Minister’s tone came out without me realizing it.
“Your Majesty, the most important thing in my backlog is the banquet.”
Only then did Cardan smirk.
“Now you sound a little more like the duke.”
When I came to my senses, he wrapped his arms around my waist naturally.
“Shall we go, partner?”
Ha! As expected, my prediction was right.
Look at his pretty smile as soon as he speaks bluntly.
I made up a charming voice and nodded gracefully.
“Hohohohoho, I’m glad to be escorted by a nice gentleman.”
But instead of crumpling his face, Cardan only smiled again.
“I’m also happy to escort a beautiful lady.”
When I arrived at the banquet hall with him, the banquet was already in full swing.
When the servant announced our arrival, the noisy banquet hall became quiet as if it had been doused with cold water.
My whole body stiffened with tension.
If this banquet is carried out safely, or if I am able to escape smoothly, everything will be over.
After this banquet, I can finally escape from the fate of falling down with this ruin.
“Are you nervous?”
Sometimes I feel troubled because Cardan was so quick-witted.
“Haha, I’m a little nervous because it’s my first time to attend such a big banquet.”
As I roughly put it around, Cardan smiled and whispered softly.
“There is no need to be nervous. Today, I promise not to disappear in the middle and to fulfill my responsibilities as the emperor until the end.”
That was a good thing to hear.
It would be difficult if he suddenly disappeared before meeting the heroine of the original novel.
“Please keep that promise.”
I stepped into the door, barely whispering with my dry lips. Soon the light of the banquet hall poured on us.
All eyes were on us.
The people in the banquet hall were distinctly divided into two categories.
Foreign guests rapt on Cardan’s unrealistic appearance.
And the imperial nobles who stared at me with astonished faces.
My dress was chosen to avoid Cardan’s terrible taste. However, the nobles of the empire who did not know my circumstances looked shocked as if the Duke had finally gone mad.
Count Linoa was spilling his wine he had been drinking, and the Marquis of Treve stumbled.
“Hmm. Is it that weird?”
I scratched my cheek in embarrassment.
“It’s not strange.”
I looked up at Cardan, a little surprised by his voice that was coming across my ears.
Then he smiled and reassured me again.
“It’s worth watching.”
Before answering anything, Cardan held out his hand.
“Shall we dance to a song, partner?”
I soon ran into a big problem.
“Hmm, the music is supposed to be fast, right?”
I followed the movements, glancing eagerly at the other couples who joined the banquet hall’s central stage, but it was not enough.
When I danced with the prince of the East continent, it was a slow waltz, but if I dance again now, it would be a miracle if I don’t fall over face first and break my nose.
Cardan muttered, looking down at his shoes, which were being stepped on.
“Don’t even bother with the excuse of you losing your memory.”
“Hohohoho, what do you mean Your Majesty?”
I didn’t mean to bother him, but it was a good idea. Once again I stepped on Cardan’s foot.
When I did it, I felt like my old grudge was being satisfied.
I was looking for another chance and suddenly I felt myself being lifted in the air.
“Yes, step on me as much as you want.”
Then both my feet fell gently on Cardan’s shoes.
I hugged Cardan’s shoulder reflexively in surprise.
Perhaps because I was heavy, Cardan’s body hardened for a moment and slowly loosened.
“Don’t you think you can step on my feet as much as you want and I can do the dance steps for you?”
It was also a very smart scheme.
“Duke, tell me the truth. Did I do something useful?”
At his words that hit the mark, I shrank from my neck like a turtle, according to the habit of a servant.
“What do you mean, Your Majesty? Your Majesty is the overflowing fountain of wisdom, how dare I?”
“Now you’re a little like your usual self.”
Oh, that’s right. My concept for today was an elegant young lady.
“Ho ho ho…”
Cardan tilted his head slightly and looked down at me.
“I’m sure you act normally.”
I flinched without realizing it.
Cardan, you punk. The more he sees me, the more he notices.
He laughed low. It sounded like a pleasant laugh, not a sneer.
“I don’t know if I’m quick-witted or if you’ve become sloppy after losing your memory.”
The low murmur still seemed to make fun of me, but his eyes seemed warm at first glance.
“I think it’s time for you and I to end our boring performance…”
He whispered as he looked at my reaction.
I frowned slightly because I didn’t understand.
“What are you talking about…”
No, actually, I didn’t want to understand. I instinctively thought I shouldn’t dig into the meaning of that word.
I don’t know what happened between Duke Baloa and Cardan, and I wasn’t interested.
He looked at me with dizzying eyes, which was no longer inquisitive. At that moment, it was hard to bear his gaze, so I almost fell down while pulling my body back.
Cardan skillfully wrapped his arms around my waist and grabbed me.
“Let’s talk about it after the banquet.”
Yeah, I’ll never see him again after the banquet anyway.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
I looked over his shoulder, avoiding Cardan’s eyes.
Recalling the purpose of today’s banquet, I looked through the crowd carefully to see where the shabby woman was.
Once he finds the female lead of the original, we can end everything.
And at that moment, I found a man frowning and sipping wine.
It was certain.
He is the crown prince of Esland.
The princess must be around him, too.
Just in time for the finished music, I draw away from Cardan.
And I looked up at him with a straight smile.
His gaze that still pierced me was no longer stinging.
“Let’s go and greet the guests, Your Majesty.”
Cardan just stared at me for a while without answering.
By the time Cardan’s hand wrapped around my waist began to feel uncomfortable, he parted his lips.
Cardan’s hand fell slowly with a clear voice.
As soon as the music was over, a large crowd came out and flocked to Cardan. Among them was King Taraka.
He rushed to the side where we stood, accompanied by his queen and six daughters.
“I see Your Majesty, the eternal sun of the Empire!”
The king, who greeted with a fuss, seemed to have a much better impression than last time.
“Long time no see, Duke! I wanted to thank you many times, and I’m finally seeing you again.”
“Nice to meet you again too, King Taraka.”
I glanced at the king’s six daughters, who were splendidly dressed from head to toe in taraka silk, and at the far-off Prince of Esland.
It would also be a great strategy to greet King Taraka before meeting the princess of Esland.
If he sees the king’s six daughters who are perfectly dressed, and finds the princess who suits his taste, his eyes will surely turn, right?
Fortunately, the king was busy talking continuously, as if he had not noticed my intentions.
“The volume of trade has doubled as consumers order our silk here and there these days! Double! Thanks to the Duke’s hard promotion of our silk to the Prince of the East, even merchants from the East began visiting our kingdom!”
“Haha, is that so?”
While their father was raving, the king’s daughters stared at Cardan in awe.
Even the youngest daughter, who was three years old, seemed to be drooling while looking at Cardan with her mouth closed with her fist.
I suddenly felt a surge of confidence.
It was obvious that Cardan would fall in love with the heroine at first sight because she would perfectly suit his taste.
However, it is unknown if the princess will like Cardan.
In the original novel, the heroine’s heart for Cardan was close to love and hatred.
But I could tell just by looking at this scene now.
As with all women, Cardan will surely bewitch the princess’s heart.
“Of course! Besides, the Eslanders were no longer causing trouble, so I guess His Majesty scolded the Eslanders secretly, huh. I don’t know how to repay this favor.…!”
King Taraka, who had been talking for a while, glanced at Cardan and grabbed my hand instead of losing courage.
The king kowtowed, almost ready to wipe away his tears with my hands.
My hands were throbbing with numbness because he was holding my hand so hard, but I couldn’t take it out and tried to smile.
“Haha, please continue to supply silk at the cost—”
At the same time, Cardan’s and my words tangled in the air.
“Let go of that hand, will you?