It smelled like flowers. The murmurs and the voices filled with joy reached my ears.
The moment I made eye contact with the dark-haired princess, who was surrounded by beautiful young ladies, I gently tapped Lacius’ arm.
It meant he should go now.
“Thank you for escorting me all the way here.”
“It’s just natural.”
“But you should go back now. It’s a space only for women from here on.”
My gaze did not turn to him as I said so. Then Lacius looked down at me as if asking what was wrong. But I just couldn’t turn my head.
The blue eyes that resemble Lapis Lazuli were stuck on me and looked like it was smiling at me.
Her hair, as if made from the black night sky, was simply styled without any accessories, but it suited her well. The white shirt, cut to fit her body looked elegant even with frills, and the casual chic jacket draped over her shoulders as she sat there languidly created an extremely sensual image.
I immediately fell in love with the princess who wore black pants cut to fit her deer-like slender legs.
So she’s that kind of person.
‘Same kind as me.’
You can’t go in with a man in front of your kind. I smiled at Lacius and waved my hand.
Good. Bye. Go. Now.
Lacius had a pitiful expression on his face, but he seemed to have read my stubborn refusal at the word ‘women’s space’.
“Scream if something happens.”
“Nothing will happen, nothing.”
I have been thoroughly prepared. I sent Lacius away with a smile.
Before long, all the young ladies who had been following me around like ducklings before, sat down, and turned their heads in excitement. I completely ignored them and stared only at the princess.
“Nice to meet you, Your Highness, the princess.”
One step, two steps. I slowly approached the princess without looking away. Then I bowed, bending my knees lightly and greeted her.
Then stillness followed, like the eye of a storm passing. Then the princess replied,
“Would you like to become a doll collector together with me?”
The topic changed to a totally different topic. But I didn’t panic even though it was super off the wall.
‘Doll collector’ is the nickname of the princess in the original story. Someone sarcastically called her that because she enjoyed playing with men’s hearts and gathering women to dress and decorating them beautifully subsequently holding a tea party for them.
She treated people like dolls.
Of course, snakes are not all the same. Just like a cobra and an anaconda combined, the princess was like a large snake, swallowing such sarcasm lightly. She then started calling herself ‘Doll Collector’.
I shook my head lightly toward the princess.
“I will have to decline your offer.”
“Then how about becoming a doll? I am generous and give my dolls many opportunities.”
“I will also refuse that.”
“I am too pretty to be called a doll, and I have a good head. I’m sure it wouldn’t be fun to have a doll with a lot of skills.”
It was certainly unpleasant for the ‘dolls’ sitting here to hear this. However, no one pointed it out because the princess burst into laughter when she heard my answer.
“Unusual, you’re really something. And you may not be aware of it, but you’re the first to reject my offer so concisely. Very cheeky.”
“You’re overpraising me.”
If there was a difference between the princess and me, this was it.
I hated arrogant people. But the princess likes them. Maybe that’s the difference between someone who was born a ruler and someone who wasn’t.
The princess showed interest in those who attacked her, and was obsessed with those who she could not easily conquer. I knew I wouldn’t be able to receive every torment Lacius has experienced for so many years, so what could I do instead?
I planned to become the second elusive bird to the princess. Of course, not just a cute lark, but a hawk that also caught snakes. If you want to fit in with that princess, you have to be like that.
“Okay. The seat next to me will suit you well. Come on.”
“Thank you, Your highness.”
The princess smiled softly and tapped the seat next to her. Then the lady who had been occupying that position stood up and forcefully prevented her face from becoming distorted. I put on a gentle smile with an expression not apologetic in the slightest and headed to the seat that was now mine.
The princess looked at me carefully. Her bright sparkling lapis lazuli-like blue eyes were quite burdensome, but at the same time seemed to be sucking me in.
Simply put, I liked it.
The princess’ eyes were like the universe.
“What is the lady’s name?”
“It’s Titania Oberon.”
“Oberon? Oberon is a household that is not registered in the Imperial Palace Nobility List.”
“Perhaps it was a very poor household that the princess, who would next ascend the great throne did not find the need to remember.”
“Well, looking at you, I’m sure your mother was a great lady, right? There’s no way I wouldn’t remember a lady that could possibly be your mother.”
I shook my head involuntarily, thinking of my mother in the real world.
Well, our lady Lim. Yes. She was a great woman.
When I came home back then after being surrounded and bullied by some boys, my mother held my hand and registered me at five nearby Taekwondo studios.
And after just one year, I was able to blow an uppercut to the chin of a guy who was bullying me.
I was probably fourteen that time. This happened when I was in my freshman year of middle school.
“Well, yes. My mother is a wonderful person.”
“I thought so. So, what is the lady’s real last name?”
The princess tried to ask me a leading question, but it was of no use. I just smiled and gave the same answer again.
Then silence fell on the table. No matter how ridiculous they were treated and portrayed, the princess certainly did not invite just anyone to the tea party. Since they were carefully selected young ladies on their own merit, they would have known that Oberon was a character in a famous play. The same goes for the princess.
So they finally noticed that I’m openly using a fake name.
“I like riddles.”
When the silence was washed away by tension and crumbled like a sandcastle. The princess finally opened her mouth.
“Because I was born a genius, there are no riddles that I have not solved until now. So my life was quite boring.”
“Did I become the princess’ new riddle?”
“That’s right. But don’t let it go too easily. I want to enjoy the lady for a long time.”
That was actually a terrifying thing to say. It’s a declaration of war that equates to ‘I will be obsessed with you from now on.’
But I didn’t hate it.
What was my purpose here in the first place? Wasn’t it to shift the princess’ attention from Lasius to me? In addition, rather than a hate relationship, it would be better if we got to know each other.
“You don’t seem to cry easily.”
“Oh, how did you know? I hardly cried in my whole life.”
“I see. I think you would look pretty while crying too.”