“—Emmeline, for believing in me and taking my hand, I have to thank you.”
“Eh? Uh, alright…? There’s no reason for me to refuse your dance invitation? Especially since we’re engaged.”
After I responded while tilting my head, His Highness’ smile froze. Despite still smiling, his shoulders were drooping. How nostalgic. It was a smile he used to make during our childhood. I hadn’t seen it recently.
I felt a sense of unease in my chest. However, as of now, I was entrusted with an important role. I mustn’t be distracted by trivialities. Although attention to detail was critical, it wasn’t the case now.
The opening party of the social season would always be held at the palace. The King and the Queen would then perform the first dance of the ball. Since the graduation party was also held on the same day, they had arranged for His Highness and me to perform the first dance.
Back then, I used to practice dancing with His Highness regularly. However, I hadn’t done so in the past three months. Our bodies remembered each other’s habits well. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel comfortable going into the actual performance in public.
I mustn’t commit even the slightest mistake. Otherwise, I’d be a disgrace to both the Arkwright and the Royal Family. Especially to His Highness.
Oh, how nervous I am…
I, I have to distract my mind! I must find a way to release this tension!
With His Highness’ lead, I proceeded to twirl. That was when Katrina, who was chatting with everyone, came into my view.
I truly believed that His Highness would escort Katrina. But in reality, His Highness came to pick me up at my house with a pure white carriage adorned with beautiful, ornate gold work exclusive to the Crown Prince. Of course, the carriage also bore the Royal Emblem. I had never ridden that carriage before. After all, the four-seater wagon was exclusive for His Highness. By the way, I caught a glimpse of all the four horses. They were all white.
The seat was made of velvet and was cardinal red in color. It had excellent elasticity; I could’ve bounced on it. As expected, the carriage of the Royal Family was different.
There was a glass holder inside the door. It was designed to hold the wine glass. The groove was S-shaped, and to use it, the glass had to be slid in! I was genuinely impressed!
To the curious me, His Highness showed a demonstration. Then, when I reacted positively, he said, “How child-like…”
After arriving at the Royal Palace, I entered the venue while being escorted by His Highness. I was convinced he did it in consideration of my honor. When we entered the venue, I thought he’d immediately approach Katrina. However, while escorting me, His Highness proceeded to take me to where Katrina was.
His Highness’ aides and their respective fiancées—Sylvia and Seraphina—were also present. I failed to notice them due to the shock.
Then, His Highness entrusted the confused me to Sylvia and Seraphina. After being permitted by His Majesty, he performed that condemnation drama.
Judging by everyone’s reaction, I was the only one who wasn’t informed. Truthfully, it felt lonely.
…That’s right, my feelings are unimportant.
After the waltz had ended, I bowed with His Highness.
From then on, my role would begin. I’d be replaced Katrina, and—
“—Emmeline, let’s dance to another song.”
I inadvertently stared at His Highness.
“As you said, we’re engaged. Is there anything wrong with that?”
There was none. Except for family members and married couples, only an engaged couple could dance with the same person twice. As for married couples, they could dance up to three times.
As such, I didn’t understand why he’d danced twice with me. The first dance was obligatory, but when it came to the second dance…
“Once again, give me your hand. I want to dance with you.”
…But shouldn’t it be with Katrina? Why would you dance with me?
“Emmeline, my beloved, let’s dance one more time.”
Upon hearing his invitation, I unconsciously extended my hand. I wanted to retract it. Katrina was present; by accepting it, I’d only make it difficult for them…
What am I doing?
At that moment, His Highness proceeded to embrace me. He trembled as he whispered into my ears.
“There’s something I’d like to tell you. All this time, I couldn’t say it.”
Yes, I’m aware of what you’re going to say.
Today is the last time, isn’t it?
“Now that everything is resolved, I can finally tell you.”
He was going to annul our engagement and chose Katrina.
I had long prepared myself for it. So why did my chest hurt? Probably, it was the loneliness of having to part with His Highness. As far as I could remember, he had been by my side.
“Emmeline, I love you from the bottom of my heart.”
Eh? What did he just say?
“I love you. I’ve always loved you since the day we first met.”
“Your… Your Highness, please wait. What about Lady Katrina—”
“I admit that I can’t just get rid of Lady Katrina. She played an important role in uncovering the injustices of the church. However, I’ve never been fascinated by Lady Dunning. Emmeline is the one I love. I’ve always loved you this entire time. Please accept me. Be my lady.”
His Highness has felt that way ever since we were young…? Well, that’s… No way. I know it’s awful, but what do I do? I feel so happy.
“Emmeline, please respond. Otherwise, I—”
Ah, his beautiful, shimmering, amethyst eyes reflect me, and only me…
Upon realizing that I was special to him, that he only wanted me, my entire body shook with joy. My love for him, which I had buried in the innermost part of my heart, could no longer be contained.
Yes… Yes! Of course, my Lord—
“—Otherwise, I’m going to confine you as it is.”
Translator’s Notes: WE CELEBRATED TOO SOON, MAYDAY, WE CELEBRATED TOO SOON!!!
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