However, Sir Shubart was so good at taking out what he needed and throwing what he didn’t need anymore, so I thought he would use Count Babera roughly and throw it away.
“Sir Shubart is already an old man. Did they hide well?”
“I don’t know about that.”
“When did they say we would meet again?”
“Next month. Should I tell them?”
“No, don’t do that. Count Babera might be using his brain again. It’s not too late to find out more and tell Sir Shubart.”
The music quieted down again. Some people wanted to keep dancing, and the rest got closer and talked to each other. Like me, nobles who wanted to rest or have more in-depth conversations began to move together.
“Don’t try to protect me and get all the information you can hear. Because a lot comes out on days like today.”
I pointed my chin to Ian on the other side where I was going.
“Will you be okay?”
“I already told you not to waste your time on useless thoughts. Go. I need to look around here some more.”
Ian went away.
As soon as I watched a little more, someone came closer. Since I was on the remote side of the banquet hall, I turned around and hid behind the curtain.
The reason why the masquerade held in the imperial family was better, unlike other banquets, was because it was held in the basement hall, so there were quite a lot of places to hide.
“Ah, don’t do that.”
The shrill voice got a little closer.
“There is a guest lounge upstairs. At there…”
“Maybe there is room left…”
Then I made eye contact with a man who was aroused. His hasty hands rested on his partner’s hip. Then his body stiffened with embarrassment.
Oh my goodness.
I titled my head. I was the first one to be here, but somehow I felt like an interrupter.
Yes. Have a good time.
I raised the corner of my lips to the unknown man and then left.
“Why? What was there?”
“N-Nothing. There was nothing. Where were we…”
Their voices faded away. Why do I have to see something like that? After all, that’s the beauty of the masquerade. Maybe they will soon spend the rest of the hot night in the guest room upstairs.
I was trying to move somewhere else, but someone else approached me this time.
Instead of speaking, I slightly raised the tip of my chin as if wondering why.
“Will you give me the honor to dance with you?”
It was a man in a cute mask with two deer ears popping up. I knew his genuine personality, which was different from the cute deer mask.
Son of the Marquis Radwike. It was said that scandals continue to occur because he believed in his father’s wealth and went around everywhere. In addition, there was a story that he changed his woman more than 10 times a month because he had many women.
Neither Marquis Radwike nor Marchioness Radwike was good-looking people, but maybe they have a charm that I don’t know about. I’m not interested in them at all, but if it was the son of Marquis Radwike, it would have been a different story.
Perhaps because he was good at seducing women, his movements were good. But as soon as we started dancing, he suddenly started to brag about his wealth to his family property. He seemed to have memorized it one after another.
First of all, I just listened quietly.
“Have you ever been to Jade Beach by any chance? It’s the only beach near the capital. Ah, of course, it’s a place where ordinary people can’t enter.”
Jade Beach was the place where Valery had taken me before. I knew it belonged to the imperial family, but I don’t know why he bragged about it out of the blue.
“Why are you asking that?”
“I’m a little close with the imperial family, and I will take you there later if you want. That place is better than any place you’ve been to.”
But that place wasn’t yours.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end.
“I heard that Coral Beach is prettier than there… and the emperor also covets it.”
Coral Beach was a beach on the estate owned by Count Babera. Although it was far from the capital, I heard that the beach was wide and the scenery of the surrounding islands was good. There was a saying that it was called Coral Beach because there were many corals, but I had never been there. It’s not that I’m interested.
He suddenly blurted out the end of his words as if he was in trouble. He got closer to the point his strong scent stroked my nose.
“This is a secret.”
“What is it?”
I acted like I was listening to him.
“The estate may soon be mine.”
I was tempted to listen to him a little more. Since he was a light-mouthed type, there might be a possibility to hear more.
“Are you going to be the fief lord? But that’s…”
“Yes, I know. I have something to exchange with you.”
Then he added again, saying it’s a secret.
They weren’t on good terms. But it looked like they worked together secretly.
“I can’t tell you the details, but if you keep meeting me after the masquerade, I’m willing to take you there.”
As soon as the song was over, I left him.
“But what can I do? I think you should go with another lady.”
He was puzzled.
I tilted my head.
“You’re not my type. You understand, right?”
“Yes, of course, I under— What? I’m not your type?”
He jumped in surprise as if it was ridiculous.
He jumped and was surprised as if he were ridiculous. It was just that he couldn’t understand.
“Yes, you’re not my type at all. Since you’re asking for dancing, let’s end our conversation here. You danced well, Sir Deer.”
“No, didn’t you just say that? You said you wanted to go to the beach.”
“I only said the beach was nice, but I didn’t want to go there.”
He was silent for a moment as he pondered over our conversation. Belatedly, he cursed.
“We’re done with the dance, so shouldn’t we get out of the way? Or do you want me to get out of the way?”
The son of Marquis Radwike got angry, which didn’t fit his deer mask, and went away.
I took a drink from the servant passing by and stepped back.
It’s so boring. I think I could go now.
I’ve decided to wrap up today’s schedule here. From it, I could understand the atmosphere to some extent and learned the faces of the nobles again. I also heard unexpected stories.
Instead of delivering the note to Count Babera, I crumpled it in my hand. It was my job to stop my mother, but I couldn’t hand it over to someone else. And since I couldn’t run away like I was dragged away two years ago, I shouldn’t move hastily.
I put the glass down on the nearest table. I glanced around, and when I saw no one looking at me, I left the banquet hall. As I left the chaotic banquet and reached the hallway, the noise was almost completely blocked.
It had been a long time since I met many people, so I was a little out of breath. I already signaled Ian as I left, so he should be able to get on the carriage as soon as I left.
I turned right away. But the moment when I turned, someone snatched my hand. I raised my head angrily to identify someone who had snatched my hand.
Unlike me, it was a man wearing a white mask. What I could recognize with naked eyes was that he was tall enough for me to look up and had purple eyes. I shut my mouth tightly. Because I recognized him as soon as we made eye contact.
That’s right. No way I could forget him.
But no one spoke first. What was heard in each other’s masks was a little rough breath.
In front of my eyes, Valery Ahibara Kasinev, who had grown more mature, looked at me with cold eyes. It seems we have been like that for a while. 5 minutes, no, 10 minutes? Perhaps more time passed than that.
I haven’t been able to figure it out since I met him. As if everything had stopped, I was caught in his gaze and looked at him like that. Surprised, sorry, and glad. I didn’t feel any of those emotions. Maybe he felt the same way as I did.
It seems like he didn’t notice the passage of time more than I did. But as far as I know, he wasn’t supposed to be here today, so why was he coming here?
Unlike Delkian, Valery wasn’t supposed to be at the palace today. I knew he wouldn’t be here for a while. But everything I knew was meaningless because he was here now. I was told so, so why?
Valery always exceeded my expectations. When I just came to my senses, I felt pain in the arm he grabbed belatedly.
I couldn’t stand the pain and groan. Then the power of his hand slowly loosened like a lie.
A voice, much thicker and lower than before, resonated in my ears. The voice I hadn’t heard in a long time gave me goosebumps.