Chapter 6.1 — Princess Wedding (9)
“Why is the Grand Duke here? I don’t think you have any business in the Princess’ Palace.”
A brusque counter-question popped out as if she was upset.
“I apologize. If I had known in advance that it was the backyard of the Princess’s Palace, I wouldn’t have stepped in. I’ve shown a lot of rudeness today… then.”
At those words, he bowed politely to her and Cain immediately turned around. It was a gesture that didn’t leave even the slightest lingering feelings. And when Lariette had only blinked twice, the man in front of her had already become smaller.
It was agility that proved with his whole body that he had stepped into here by mistake.
“Ho-hold on a second, Grand Duke!”
The back figure that was about to disappear among the trees in the garden stopped abruptly at the call. As he glanced back, Riette lowered her eyes in embarrassment and tapped the grass with the tip of her shoe.
As he spat an apology out of his mouth, a deeper flush arose on her face. It was because she took her anger out on someone who didn’t know anything when it was High Highness Narkissis who was really the culprit.
“Because the separate palace garden is connected to the Princess Palace, it’s enough for you to make a mistake. The Grand Duke might come in without knowing since it’s your first time you’ve been to Chalonné, yet I went a little too far. I feel a little… it was my fault.”
Riette raised her gaze. Cain was still nailed at a spot far away, staring at her silently.
Every time a light breeze blew, the leaves of the garden trees brushed against each other and whispered the sound of waves. The green shadows and rays of light fluttered softly on his sharp and insensitive face. It was a picturesque sight.
For a while, a silence that she couldn’t tell if it was long or short passed by.
“No, it’s not.”
His voice was still low and calm.
“It was my mistake. It isn’t right for a foreign vassal to set foot on the residence of a royal woman for any reason. I’ll remember it thoroughly so that it doesn’t recur again, so don’t worry.”
Again, he was dignified and courteous.
In terms of practical hierarchy, he was a collateral imperial family of the empire and was more precious than herself. He simply adhered to the attitude of an aristocrat in front of the Princess—maintaining dignity and manners, and being respectful.
Some may call him straightforward, but honestly, he was a desirable aristocratic man who was difficult to find these days.
A true upper-class gentleman.
It was a pity that he was a man whom she would have wanted to be close to on a human level if it wasn’t because of such an artificial situation.
They had already run into each other a couple of times, and now since they’d had a conversation, they should try to become friendly, right? After all, if she were going to marry this man in a week, they’d have to get close pretty quickly…
“Say, Grand Duke…”
‘But, what topic should I talk about…?’
“Do you like animals?”
Animals were the most frequent topic of conversation at the tea parties of Riette and the ladies-in-waiting.
Of course, that wasn’t the only topic. At the tea party of the ladies of Chalonné, as in any other kingdom, normal topics hovered over the teacup—jewelry, fans, dresses, shoes, romance, etc.
Unfortunately, she felt more sorry for the grapes she couldn’t hold in her hands than those scattered in the corner of the room. The situation right now was intense enough for her to say something like an animal to be liked by a man who looked like a boring civil servant waiting for an administrative order…
“I like dogs, cats, and hamsters. Although I can’t raise them because my sister is allergic to fur… What about the Grand Duke?”
“I don’t like them very much.”
“Yes? Then, you don’t have any animals you like?”
“No, not at all.”
A cold sweat broke out.
In her twenty years of life, she had never had a conversation in which someone was thoroughly treated as a member of the opposite sex. Even though she got along well with Narkissis, in the first place, she only had the ability to talk to corpses.
Except for her deceased father. Kaisaros Acheron, who was in front of her, was the first man she exchanged words with properly.
So… how could she seduce a man?
‘Dating, marriage… should I change the subject to something like that? Yes, it must be much more effective than animals.’
“Then, what’s your ideal type? Are you particularly interested in marriage… are there any conditions like that?”
“A cute girl with wheat-color hair? A short woman? Or a woman with a higher status than the Grand Duke…”
“…It doesn’t seem like this is a desirable topic to share with each other. If you don’t have any more business, I’ll take my leave now.”
Riette shut her mouth at Cain’s expression that even looked displeased.
‘I screwed up. I screwed up completely…’
Okay, there was no way she could win the favor of this stiff man with this kind of open talk. The dark mood made her want to cry a little.
“Yes. It was a short conversation, but it was enjoyable, Grand Duke…”
‘Anyway, let’s come up with a plan. Is there any way to captivate the Grand Duke’s heart…?’
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