Anastasia was startled and froze due to someone suddenly grabbing her.
When she turned her head, she saw a strange man wearing a mask smiling at her.
“Would you like to dance with me?”
Although he was covering his face with a mask, the greasy voice gave her a bad feeling. She shook her head with an awkward smile on her lips.
When she was about to leave the place after lowering her head to ask for his understanding…
The man held Anastasia’s wrist strongly this time. Anastasia looked back at the man with a startled look.
“Don’t do that, just one song for me.”
“Let go of me. I’m sure I said no.”
“How can you do that at a masquerade? If one side wants to dance, the other can dance a little.”
What the hell was this? So her opinion doesn’t really matter?
When she stood dumbfounded and speechless, the man smiled and touched her wrist, as if he thought Anastasia had been persuaded.
“I won’t eat you, will I?”
“Dance with me.”
At that moment, a familiar voice pierced Anastasia’s ear.
At the same time, the scream of the man who was flirting with her broke out.
A man suddenly approached this way, grabbed the wrist of the man who was holding Anastasia’s wrist roughly, and twisted it.
“Let go of me!”
“I really want to dance with you right now. Follow me.”
“No, what are you? Suddenly intervening…!”
“Where is this but a masquerade?”
A familiar voice, quoting the words of the man earlier, laughed coldly.
“If one of us wants to dance, we can dance a little. Follow me.”
At the same time, the man dragged the man who had been flirting with Anastasia to another place, still twisting his wrist.
“Oh, wait, wait! Wait a moment!”
The man who had been flirting with Anastasia, was dragged helplessly away roughly and let out a desperate cry with a pale face.
He could feel the people around them looking at them with curious eyes, but the man who was stuck in this situation right now didn’t even have time to worry about it.
‘Hey! No, why is this man so strong…?!’
Was he an imperial knight? Or maybe it’s the Duke of Costa who is called a war hero?
‘Am I wrong?’
Even his rough lines sounded aristocratic, but above all, the atmosphere emanating from him felt intimidating.
He exuded an aura that was unique enough to convince him that his status must be extraordinary.
Of course, it was a masquerade, but even his voice could not be altered. Belatedly, the man began to worry about the aftermath.
“Looking at your face, it seems that you don’t want to dance with me very much.”
Wilhelm, who had been dragging the man with no expression, soon threw him in front of someone. It was Colton who was looking at Wilhelm strangely.
“Actually, I don’t like it either, Baron Chester.”
How did they know his name…? From Baron Chester’s expression, the color faded to the point where he thought it couldn’t even get any whiter now.
“Your behavior today was very shameless. Trying to forcefully drag someone you don’t like away is no different than harassment. There is no reason for it to be tolerated just because it is a masquerade.”
But… He dragged him all the way here because he didn’t like it either!
Even in this situation, Baron Chester was still unable to come to his senses and was busy blaming only what the man in front of me did to me.
And Wilhelm, who penetrated the heart of such a man, drove a wedge in a cold voice.
“So you are very unfit to work as an imperial official. I didn’t like that you got the position through connections in the first place.”
How can he…?!
The startled Baron Chester’s jaw dropped, and Wilhelm still directed Colton with a blank face.
“Relieve this man of his position and never let him set foot in the palace again.”
“Alright, Your Majesty.”
It was only then that Baron Chester felt lightheaded.
Who did he dare touch earlier and who sentenced him to social banishment.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty!”
Wilhelm stared at Baron Chester, who was lying flat as if crawling in front of him with his forehead narrowed. His eyes were as if he were watching a small bug crawling.
However, what is important to Baron Chester now was not a trivial matter such as how he looked.
“It’s my fault. I beg your kindness…! Please…!”
“It’s a little loud.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
With the short answer, he quickly gagged the baron in his mouth.
Only then did Wilhelm turn around with a satisfied look.
“Where are you going?”
Colton asked him in a puzzled voice. Wilhelm paused and immediately answered without hesitation.
“Of course, I’m going to the Empress.”
“Didn’t you just save her?”
Wilhelm was silent for a moment. Meanwhile, Colton looked at him curiously.
“… I think we need to make a follow-up report.”
This was the answer that came after a while. Whether he knew what he was saying was funny or not, Wilhelm moved on right away, and Colton eventually let out a smirk.
“It’s over, it’s over.”
The masquerade was never to his taste. Meeting without knowing the other person’s identity felt more insidious than pure.
This is because he knew well that all kinds of dirty things would happen at the ball if someone hid behind the anonymity.
Therefore, the sight of Anastasia’s wrist, which caught his eyes as he was about to go back after looking around the banquet hall, was enough to make his head go blank.
It wasn’t because he was afraid of her cheating. He was the first one to recommend a paramour.
However, the scene in front of him was coercion no matter what anyone said. At that moment his body moved at will.
In his head, he was thinking about how to end the bastard, quickly creating a scenario.
“It’s dangerous here, ma’am.”
Back to Anastasia, Wilhelm advised her. His voice was shaking a little, but he didn’t notice it.
‘Does she recognize my voice?’
He was confused. A dull person can’t recognize a person who wears a mask just by his voice.
She was meticulous, but that didn’t answer his question.
“You’d better leave now. The same thing might happen again.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
Don’t you know it’s me?
‘It’s very different from usual, so she might not recognize it…’
Anastasia, by contrast, was obviously her.
How can he not recognize her when she walked around the banquet hall in such a small and cute way?
‘… I recognized it at a glance.’
He was disappointed that she didn’t recognize him.
“I don’t know how to thank you…”
“No need to worry about that. Let’s just hurry up and get out of here…”
“Would you like to dance to a song?”
Then Anastasia stared at him.
At that straight glance, Wilhelm wondered if she had noticed his identity, but her eyes were too innocent for that.
Moreover, there was no reason to ignore his nature.
‘… Wait. Now she’s going to ask another man to dance first…’
As Wilhelm’s expression became serious, Anastasia, who saw it, quickly added.
“You can refuse if you don’t like it.”
“… Not that.”
Wilhelm asked, trying to hide his displeasure.
“Do you mind dancing with me?”
“Why should I?”
“For some reason, you rejected the man earlier.”
Wilhelm answered as calmly as possible.
“It’s because I already have a spouse.”
Anastasia answered with a strange sound.
“It’s nothing else, it’s just a dance. Even if you already have a spouse, you often dance to thank them.
“Besides, my husband is not interested in me.”
“… Do you think he’s not interested?”
“Yes. Actually, I think I like him very, very much.”
Anastasia’s voice pronouncing ‘very, very’ was as strong as it meant.
“I think he only thinks of me as a friend.”
“… Is that so?”
“I think it’s because it’s an arranged marriage.”
“… Do you sympathize with my husband?”
Anastasia asked, glancing at Wilhelm.
“Is he married too?”
Yes? Ah yes. Recently…”
“You must be newlyweds. I envy you. We’re newlyweds too, but… What is it?”
Anastasia added sullenly.
“He even said that if I saw a man I liked, I could meet him secretly.”
“How hurt I was by those words.”
Anastasia looked with her curious eyes at Wilhelm, who at her sudden depreciation of herself.
“… Is that so? But it’s a common occurrence among the aristocrats who have arranged marriages. Apart from the fact that I was hurt.”
“Still, you shouldn’t say that on the first night after your wedding.”
‘I didn’t tell you that, Wilhelm.’
Anastasia looked at Wilhelm with a little bewildered expression, but he didn’t seem to know what he had said.