After Aushuvel had pushed her, Sera stumbled back over the slippery floor.
Her blue eyes grew wide as she looked at him, asking him wordlessly about just what he was doing right now, but he just shook his head and then winked.
Sera struggled not to fall down.
She balanced herself with an awkward posture just to ensure that she wouldn’t fall back.
But when she finally stopped in place, it was because someone caught her.
When the stranger’s hand touched her shoulders, which were exposed due to the dress’ cut, the shocked Sera tilted her head up—and she saw a handsome face.
“Ah…! Your Majesty!”
At the flustering situation where everyone’s eyes were turned to her, Sera’s voice hitched as she spoke.
Glancing down, Helios was smiling at her with his eyes curved as usual, but it was clear that he was also surprised.
As she felt so wronged at that moment, Sera looked around to find Aushuvel, who was the mastermind of this nonsensical development.
But as he smiled slyly at her, it seemed as if he had already moved on from his prank on her.
Right now, he was already on the dance floor, in the starting position with a new dance partner he had found.
‘Are you seriously doing this to me Prince Aushuvel! I asked you just a second ago not to do anything anymore!’
As she inwardly poured out all her resentment towards Aushuvel, Sera turned around to face Helios again.
From all sides, persistent eyes followed their every movement.
After ‘boldly’ coming before the emperor like this, who was practically across the hall, she had only two options: to dance with him, or to scurry away in a hurry.
Sera chose the latter.
“I apologize for my discourtesy, Your Majesty.”
Lifting two sides of her dress with both hands, Sera curtsied urgently.
Without even looking in a mirror, she knew that her face, and even her neck, was bright red.
She was so embarrassed to the point that she was planning to back away without even raising her head again.
“May I request one song with you”
However, Helios slowly opened his lips, from which his low voice rang.
“One… One song”
She wondered, considering how the other partygoers might get tired of waiting and how their discontent might grow in size, was this an inevitable decision led by the uncomfortable atmosphere
To make matters worse, the orchestra wasn’t aware about the situation at this side of the hall, and so they started the next piece right then.
As they were located in the corner of the banquet hall, the orchestra was set to take a break for a fixed amount of time, until they would start the next piece without fail.
And now was the time for the next piece.
Sera felt relieved.
The eyes of those around them started pairing up and gradually moved away.
For them, the dance partner right in front of them was more worthy of their attention compared to the spectacle that Sera had found herself in.
As Sera hesitated because she couldn’t decide on what to do here, the others started twirling in pairs.
Funnily enough, amidst the space where Sera and Helios stood, they were the only two people who were motionless.
“Miss Popo, it seems like we’re the only ones standing here.”
“Ah… It seems so, Your Majesty.”
“Why don’t we have a dance”
Standing a short distance away, Helios gave Sera a gentle smile.
Certainly, it would be much more awkward to just stay still here.
‘There’s no other choice in this kind of situation.’
Smiling, Sera gave in.
And, with a pounding heart, she offered his hand to him.
As soon as he saw her outstretched hand, signifying her permission, Helios did not hesitate to take it.
He pulled her in and wrapped one arm around her waist.
As he did, he felt her soft body against her.
She gulped slightly.
With a slow, gentle touch, Helios entwined his hand with hers.
“Miss Popo, how did you get here”
The distance between them had diminished in an instant to the point that they could breathe each other’s air.
While she danced in his arms, Sera moved in a surprisingly perfect manner, but she still couldn’t look straight into his eyes.
Where’s the stern expression that she usually gave his younger siblings Her gaze continued to be fixed at only the tip of his chin.
Helios found this to be rather cute, and so he chuckled.
For every step they took, Sera’s uniquely black hair and her dress that was as blue as her eyes moved smoothly as well.
Her pink cheeks and lips, striking against her flushed alabaster complexion, made it so that he couldn’t keep his eyes off her.
“Um… His Highness Prince Aushuvel mentioned that he didn’t have a partner… So he invited me.”
“Really Prince Aushuvel”
His Highness said that I must absolutely attend today’s banquet, so he even gifted me this dress I’m wearing right now.”
“He said it’s a… gift This dress, too”
It’s a token of his appreciation for being his partner, but I do think that it’s too much for me…”
Whenever they could lean in close to each other enough to hear each other’s whispers, Sera whispered sparsely.
Helios took a close look at Sera.
Aushuvel Vaughn Heal, that guy.
Certainly enough, he had quite the eye.
By far in this banquet, Sera was the brightest of all.
That’s why it’s impossible for Aushuvel to have asked Sera to be his partner for no reason.
Helios’ cousin was exceptionally good in this regard.
Perhaps that’s why.
The moment Helios heard Aushuvel’s name from Sera’s lips, he could feel a striking sense of displeasure washing over him.
“By cha…nce, are you displeased, Your Majesty Because we didn’t say a word to you about us being partners…”
As she was looking at him, Sera didn’t miss how Helios’ languid gaze had hardened.
‘And if I say yes’
Helios had this sudden thought, which was not like him.
If he said this, her clear blue eyes would look up at him.
But, as they danced and spun in a circle, if those pupils would shake in confusion and if tears would start to pool in her eyes, Helios would regret saying anything at all.
What a strange thing.
Whenever he was with her, he felt so comfortable—but at the same time, so many unfamiliar emotions would just come out of nowhere.
Why was it that he had such conflicting feelings And why was it always only with her