Chapter 13.2 — The dog, the lark and the Princess (10)
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Riette, who had risen from the passenger seat and waved her hand, doubted her own eyes as the distance got closer. She didn’t know if she’d ever seen such a scary impression from the Grand Duke.
Although she wasn’t sure, it felt as if he was constantly holding back his anger, even when he was still…
Turning his back against the cold midday light, he stood tall as if he weren’t a human being but a weapon of war. It was even more so because of the upright and mechanical posture that felt artificial. In many ways… it wasn’t like the attitude of a gentleman who came to find a marriage partner.
Rather, it was Narkissis who was surrounded by women.
With his white uniform with its red collar and sleeves, the sash that ran diagonally across his body artfully framed his graceful figure. In addition, the golden epaulettes swayed slightly as he moved, adding a touch of elegance.
He was building a fan-shaped nest, sweeping up the princesses from the shores of the lake. A few noble ladies rode in from a distance as if they were free spectators who had been chosen as a target, while the princesses in the first row were intoxicated with a sense of superiority of having a conversation with him in front of them.
Still, that, too, was a short-lived joy until the host, Princess Chalonné, showed up. As Narkissis winked at the princesses, they parted from side to side like fish at the sight of a shark’s fangs.
Nonetheless, Riette waved his hand at Cain without even looking at him.
“Grand Duke Acheron!”
When she shouted brightly, Cain turned around to her.
Even though just a few moments ago, he was giving off a chilling atmosphere that froze the surrounding air, the moment they made eye contact, it shattered into icy shards and melted into the grass.
‘As expected. Did I see it wrong?’
While she was wondering, the car skidded to a stop in front of Narkissis.
Narkissis, who casually passed by on the royal path made by princesses, bent down as if to say greet and Bise*.
[ T/N: I’ll mention this just in case, but ‘Bise’ or ‘La Bise’ is a greeting in French where people kiss on each cheek as a greeting. ]
However, Riette avoided Bise and turned her head toward Cain.
It was enough rudeness to make the young ladies around them mumble, but Narkissis merely smiled with his eyes bent softly.
“Grand Duke. I’d like to speak with you for a moment, would that be okay? Please tell me it’s okay! In fact, I’m here to see you.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m tired. I’m going to go get some rest now.”
Riette raised her eyebrow while tilting her head at the strange response.
“Isn’t it 10 o’clock in the morning?”
“I had trouble sleeping last night. I think I need to get some rest, so I’m leaving first. Then.”
As if answering the interviewer’s predictable question, he answered sharply and lowered his head. As always, Cain was very polite and respectful.
Nonetheless, the implications of that attitude of persistently averting one’s gaze were clear.
‘…What do I do?’
While she had expected that he would cut off the conversation, Riette didn’t come up with a countermeasure to deal with it.
Unfortunately, she had little experience of being rejected.
In all her relationships, only her mother had ever done so, and even so, Ceres was capricious and sensitive to everyone except her eldest daughter. In other words, she was the only human who rejected her. The way to appease her mother was through cuteness. When she smiled brightly and lightened her mood, her mother would quickly hide her thorns, but…
Riette glanced sideways at Narkissis.
He was smiling quietly at her as though he was looking at his pet, somewhat expectantly.
‘I feel bad.’
In front of him, she couldn’t be fawning over Cain like she would do so with her mother. Furthermore, wasn’t this the situation that satisfied him like acting the role of a fighting dog fighting in the wire cage he made?
A wheat and black lark in a cage, and a wheat and black puppy in a cage… Riette was no fool to fail to recognize such a blatant message.
‘If so, then I…’
Riette smiled at Narkissis.
“Your Highness Narkissis, come sail with me, just like when we were kids!”
Narkissis’s eyes widened slightly at the unexpected turn of events, while Cain’s steps, which were tethering for the stallion in the distance, halted.
Unknowingly, Cain glanced back in the direction of Riette. With a wide smile plastered across her face, her silk-gloved hands clasped tightly around Narkissis’s.
“You still have a lot to say to me, so let’s go somewhere where only the two of us can talk. Hurry!”
Both men’s gazes turned simultaneously to the small hand that held Narkissis. At the same time, a very tapered look settled in Cain’s blue eyes.
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