But it was already too late to tell Aushuvel that she didn’t want to go.
Besides that, as she was a teacher, if ever the twins would forget any steps in the dance, someone needed to be there to tell them what to do.
Feeling more comfortable after reasoning it out one way or another, Sera followed behind Aushuvel’s attendant as she was ushered into the palace.
When she entered, she saw that Aushuvel was waiting there in advance, waiting with his arms loosely folded.
Then, he rose from his seat to greet her.
I knew you’d come.”
“You wouldn’t let me say no…”
He tilted his head to the side.
One brow moved up as he shot her a mischievous smile.
“Is that the only reason”
“What are you talking about”
“I’m under the impression that you’re curious.
About who His Majesty will be with and what he’ll do tonight.”
Sera couldn’t answer because he hit the nail on the head.
She didn’t want to run headfirst into the trap. Fume, fume. In a fit of rage, her face became flushed.
She tried to school her features, but her lips kept quivering.
For ages now, she’s been trying to explain why she agreed to come.
It wasn’t an excuse, but he kept thinking it was an excuse, so all the worries she’s had until now ended up being in vain.
He already knew that she liked Helios, so he probably could see through her true feelings right now.
“No, Your Highness.
How could I dare be presumptuous towards His Majesty.”
“I never asked His Majesty how he feels about you though”
Sera was perplexed as she tilted her head to the side for a moment.
She couldn’t understand what he meant.
But then when his knowing eyes and wide grin was directed at her, only then did she realize that what she said was an indirect acknowledgement that she did have a crush on Helios.
Her face was redder than it was a little while ago.
She just admitted that she had feelings for Helios.
“That’s not what I meant.
Prince, what I mean is that—it’s not right for me to be interested in His Majesty’s private life.”
Aushuvel nodded and agreed, but Sera knew that he was just doing that to appease her.
He wasn’t really listening.
Aushuvel and little Rosé.
This family seemed to have an inherent ability to see through people’s hearts.
‘If there’s one exception, then it’s His Highness Ferre.’
Ferre was more like a normal seven-year-old boy, and it seemed like he’s yet to notice Sera’s feelings for Helios.
“I got it, I got it.
Sure, it’s like that, sure.
First though, can you try this on We also have to get ready for the ball, you know.”
Aushuvel motioned towards an attendant, and he came forward to present a blue dress to her.
The dress was stacked with layers of fluttering sky blue tulle, and there was a deep sea glow to it.
The hem of the dress’s skirt shook with every step that the attendant took.
Glittering beads and stones densely embedded atop the lace edges, and each time light was cast down on them, they sparkled so much that Sera’s eyes started hurting.
“I eyeballed your measurements and I decided on the design, but… It doesn’t really suit my own tastes, but just try it on and see if you like it.
You’re the one who’ll wear it after all.”
Aushuvel gave the dress to Sera.
Sera looked down at the dress as she received it unexpectedly.
She was feeling quite a bit of pressure.
Since he asked her to be his partner in a hurry, he did say that she didn’t have to prepare anything.
But still, with just one glance at this, it’s obvious that this ball gown was extremely expensive.
“Um… Is it even right for me to receive this…”
Sera murmured as she held the burdensome dress in her arms.
‘The design is very unique.
But it doesn’t seem like this is the first time he’s seeing it.’
Aushuvel smiled lightly at Sera as she held the blue dress.
“It doesn’t end there.
How are we going to proceed if we stop here”
As soon as he finished speaking, three handmaidens appeared.
They all came here with him from the Vaughn Kingdom, and they carried with them shoes and cosmetics.
Sera brought her own shoes and accessories just in case, but there were such luxurious things in the boxes they carried that she wasn’t entirely confident enough to reach out to.
“We shall start the makeover.
The canvas isn’t bad, so the Lady will become very pretty, Your Highness.”
“We’ll do our very best, Your Highness.”
“Please believe in our skills, Lady Popo!”
* * *
The banquet hall was already crowded with people who came early.
There were carriages everywhere, and each of them was full of people dressed in evening dresses and suits.
The birthday last time that the twins had was just like a kid’s version of playing house.
The large banquet hall was of an incomparable scale, and there was a certain buzz in the air that carried the excitement of the people there who’d been yearning for a banquet all this time.
“Prince Aushuvel Vaughn Heal, thank you for coming to visit the Adelio Empire.
Please come inside.”
The knight confirmed his invitation to the banquet that Aushuvel’s attendant had presented, then bowed his head towards the prince.
Following behind the knight as he guided them, Sera and Aushuvel entered the palace where the banquet was being held.
Her heart pounded louder and louder the closer they got to the banquet hall.
Sera took in a deep breath and gulped dryly.
Entirely composed, Aushuvel whispered in a low voice.
There was a relaxed smile on his lips, and he grinned at Sera.
She looked like a bunny trembling in front of a predator.
And when he glanced down, he saw that Sera’s hand was gripping his arm tightly.
Her knuckles were white, frozen stiff, and her hand trembled faintly.
“Is it because there’s many people watching”
Sera was certainly the target of people’s eyes today.
Large gemstones were adorned atop the shoes and her dress, which sparkled gracefully with every move she made.
She was certainly beautiful.
To the point where Aushuvel had to stop his own thoughts from straying when he realized how pretty she was when he first saw her like this.
After being dressed so glamorously and impressively, even if she were to stand next to Helios, she was so beautiful that no one would be able to deny it.
‘It’s not like this is your debutante though.’
Aushuvel smiled at Sera, whose voice was trembling.
When she was a woman who had a bright personality, good looks, and had much experience outside just the household, what could be so hard about high society
“People might think this is your first time attending a banquet.”
Aushuvel was momentarily surprised by the meekest response he had ever heard from her, and so he asked this impulsively.
“It is my first time.”
The questions, ‘First time How come’ crossed his mind, but there was no time to actually ask them.
His name had just been called.