0.5 — Plan C, Last Plan To Avoid Death Flag (1)
Looking at me licking my lips, Cain did not withdraw his outstretched hand.
Somehow, I could not reach out and hold his hand as if it was an invitation to hell. In the end, I smiled awkwardly at him, who seemed to have no intention of dropping his hand until I took it.
“…I’m not good at dancing, Your Grace.”
“It doesn’t matter, because I’m not good at it either.”
Everyone who attended the ball was paying attention to us.
What if I reject him in such a situation…? Perhaps, along with the moment when he asked me for a dance, rumors of a woman who dared to refuse Grand Duke Destro’s dance would spread beyond Aren and spread all over Lian.
On the verge of crying, I grabbed his hand as if eating mustard.
His tight arms wrapped around my waist closed the distance in an instant. I took a breath involuntarily as the bridge of his nose came close enough to rub against me. Meanwhile, he pretended not to see my face and began to move his feet to his music. Seeing that, my nervous body slowly moved along with him.
The waltz step, which I started learning just a few months ago, was sloppy.
Fortunately, Cain’s dancing skills were so outstanding that my dancing skills did not hinder him.
With the thought of relief, I changed my goal. After the music of this one song was over, I would do whatever it took to get out of the ballroom and live in my home. At least, until Irene, the heroine of the novel, appears and meets him…
In the hopes that the dance would end safely, all my nerves were focused on my toes as I moved along the steps.
It was when my feet, which had been busy following his steps, gradually got used to the movement, Cain pulled me close to him before bowing his head to my ear. Startled, I gasped as I could feel his breath and his scent.
“Young Lady Blaise.”
“Do you like reading?”
“Yes? Reading… I do like it.”
My heart pounded loudly at the sound of his whispering in my ear. The scent of wood, which grew thicker as the distance between us got closer, filled the space. Continuing his question, he then hugged tighter, which made me feel embarrassed.
“Among the recently published books in Aren, there was an interesting book. Does the Young Lady know about it, too?”
“I don’t really know much about that…”
“It’s surprising. It’s a book about ‘The Mad Duke,’ so I thought the Young Lady would be interested about it, too.”
“The Mad Duke—Yes…?”
“I really liked the title of the book.”
“It was as if it was pointing at me.”
My heart dropped to the floor.
Right now, my heart was already complicated enough just to remember the waltz steps that I had yet to memorize, so it was a chaotic moment to unravel the twisted steps like this…
At the very moment when the joyful sound of the musical instrument magically stopped, and everyone in the banquet hall turned to him and me, I was startled by the voice I heard and eventually stepped on his feet.
“The Mad Grand Duke loves me.”
I glanced at him with a face that could not hide my embarrassment. The corners of his lips slowly raised as he gazed at me quietly.
“Are you sure the Young Lady doesn’t know this book?”
For a moment, it felt as if the world had stopped. I instinctively let go of his hand and fell out of his arms. Despite the passive distance, my heart was still beating wildly.
What should I do? What should I do…?
Not knowing what to do, I slowly raised my gaze and looked at Cain. I was convinced by his smile that seemed to hang invisibly.
All right. I should Definitely try to get out, of course—!
First of all, I am just going to pretend that I do not know. Yes, if you think about it, I used a pen name when I wrote the book, anyway. In addition, it was the fact that only Cus and I knew that I was using the pen name.
“Oh, yes. I’m not familiar with such books…”
My mouth, which had been moving arbitrarily, stopped at the sound of his low voice. As I peered at him as if possessed by the sound of his voice ringing in my ears, Cain stared at me with cold eyes and smiled.
“I don’t like lying .”
“If the Young Lady truly knows me, I believe you would know what I mean.”
Obviously, I knew he was not a bad person.
I knew that neither the nickname ‘madman’ nor the rumor that he was crazy about blood was made up by the nobles and the aristocrats to tarnish him. In fact, I knew that Cain was a person who was so kind-hearted that he could not even sleep properly because of the guilt he had because his brother, Abel, had died on his behalf, and that he was a person who cared for his people more than anyone else.
Obviously, having read all of this novel, I knew he was not a bad person.
I certainly knew…!
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