The Reason Why She Can’t Get Married - Chapter 17
Selena started her own business and distanced herself from the social scene. She was never really good at socializing with people, and her busy schedule made it even more natural for her to avoid it. However, she occasionally attended social gatherings for the sake of networking. It had been a long time since she had attended a royal ball. Usually, Dahlia would attend as the representative of the family, but she was currently on her honeymoon and unavailable.
“It’s been a while since you attended a ball.”
“We will make you the most beautiful lady in the world!”
“Of course, you are always the most beautiful lady in the world.”
The maids, who had suppressed their desire to dress Selena up due to her preference for comfortable and simple attire, busily moved around. Selena wore a tired expression, having been pampered and groomed like a doll by them since morning.
“Lady, I’m back,” Lucy said as she returned from running an errand.
“Oh, Lucy. Did everything go well?” Selena greeted her with a weary smile, but at the same time, she looked radiant in her elaborate attire.
“What about the bag?”
Lucy had gone to the Duke of Ratliffe’s residence to pick up the bag. Selena had originally planned to send another maid to retrieve it, but since the Duke’s residence was not an easily accessible place, she sent her personal maid, Lucy.
Lucy shook her head in response to Selena’s assumption that she would have the bag with her. “They didn’t give it to me.”
“What?” Selena stood up abruptly, but the maids held her back. “Lady, you shouldn’t move right now. We’re still doing your makeup!”
Ignoring their pleas, Selena turned her body towards Lucy and widened her eyes. “What do you mean they didn’t give it to you?”
“Yes. The Duke himself came out to see me and said that he would personally deliver the bag to you,” Lucy explained.
“No, why would he do it himself…?”
Selena couldn’t hide her bewildered expression but immediately composed herself. The maids became busy again, trying to fix her appearance.
‘Was the Duke the husband I forgot? Why does he want to embarrass me?’
Thinking back to the misunderstanding they had when they first met at the palace, Selena still couldn’t control her astonishment and sat up straight. The maids became occupied with their tasks once again.
“I should have known better than to expect anything from him,” Selena murmured. Unable to calm down, she went out to the terrace for 30 minutes, letting the chilly wind calm her mind.
It was absurd to think that she had to meet Noel Ratliffe just to get back a trivial bag. If that happened, Selena’s world would crumble, the country would crumble, and society would crumble… Anyway, everything would crumble. To avoid losing sleep for another few days, she had to stay away from Noel Ratliffe.
“Oh, by the way, will the Duke be attending the royal ball today?”
The second prince hosted today’s ball; even the crown prince was attending. Considering the reputation of Duke Ratliffe, it was natural to assume that he would have received an invitation.
“Lady, are you alright? Why are you suddenly sweating…”
“Oh, um, I’m fine. Please continue.”
Selena, who had been quiet even when standing right in front of them, made an effort to wave her hand. The maid who was doing her makeup breathed a sigh of relief and continued moving her hand.
“What dress did you prepare for me today?”
“A white dress adorned with four jewels.”
They chose something that would catch the eye even from a distance.
“Let me wear something else.”
“Yes, I changed my mind. I want to wear a more inconspicuous, subtle dress.”
After all, the purpose of attending the ball today was to meet Maximilian and have a conversation with him. So it would be better if she approached him inconspicuously. Yes, she actually wished for it intensely.
“Um… then, shall I prepare the emerald green dress you purchased last year? Among the ball gowns, that one has the fewest embellishments and is more modest.”
“Okay, prepare that one.”
Lucy went to the dressing room and came back with the dress. After Selena finished her makeup and hair, she stood up and changed her clothes. With the dress that reached up to her neck, she exuded a much calmer and modest atmosphere than her original dress. Phew, with this, she should blend in well among the glamorous ladies of the court.
Satisfied with her appearance, Selena boarded the carriage, heading to the palace. Lucy, who accompanied her to pick up some gossip, couldn’t wait long before speaking up.
“By the way, did you know? The Tower Lord is attending the ball this time.”
“What did you say?”
There was already a high possibility that two of the husband candidates would be there, and now another one has been added.
“The Tower Lord doesn’t usually engage in external activities. It seems like many other nobles are attending because he is coming to the ball.”
“Moreover, this is the first royal ball that Duke Ratliffe has attended since his return.”
Selena instantly regretted it. She had intended to meet the prince naturally at the ball, avoiding a separate meeting. If she had known that all three husband candidates would be gathered in one place, she would have just made an appointment to meet separately.
“The Tower Lord will probably wear a mask again, right?”
Unaware that her mistress was drowning in regret, Lucy continued to chatter calmly amidst the sea of regrets.
“Why does he cover his face and go around like that? Is it true that anyone who sees his face turns to stone as a curse? By the way, they say his bare face is as beautiful as an angel descending from the sky.”
“Well, maybe he just doesn’t like getting sunburned,” Selena replied nonchalantly.
She wasn’t particularly curious about why the Tower Lord wore a mask, as she didn’t want to show any interest in him.
“Well, that could be it. Usually, people who are interested in appearances don’t like it.”
“And it’s best not to believe exaggerated rumors about appearance-related matters,” Selena continued.
“There’s no way an angelic-looking man like him would be common. In my life, I’ve only seen one person who looked like an angel, and that was Lemon. The Duke and the Crown Prince are handsome, but they don’t give off that angelic vibe.”
While the two of them chatted about trivial topics, the carriage silently entered the imperial palace grounds. Only nobles were allowed to enter the ballroom, so Lucy decided to wait in the carriage while Selena went inside.
“I’ll be back, Lucy.”
“Yes, my lady.”
Selena tightly held her small handbag and made her way to the entrance of the ballroom. She hoped to quietly meet only the Crown Prince and then return. Read ahead here.