YCKTML Chapter 13
“I’m a little late, Count Spilet.”
Before I could respond, Rupert looked at me as he asked, “Are you and your Highness supposed to meet here?”
I was about to answer, but Enoch abruptly interrupted. “That’s right. We met by chance outside earlier and agreed to see each other here. So I asked her for a favor.”
Rupert’s forehead wrinkled slightly. Then, in a calm voice that had a hint of a growl, he said, “You said you were kidnapped.”
“I saved her, Rupert.”
“…Your Highness did?” Rupert looked at Enoch and me in disbelief and finally sighed. “This person has caused trouble to you again.”
“… you’re wrong. It’s only natural to save people in danger. And the culprit was your family knight.”
“So you have… Hmm, the Clifford family’s knights seem to be much more disorganized than before,” Enoch mumbled indifferently, passing Rupert and moving closer to me. Rupert clenched his fists as if his pride had been hurt.
“Isn’t it a beautiful dress? I’ve heard of Madam Plada’s talents, but seeing it in person like this is amazing.”
I didn’t know because I haven’t compared it to other dresses, but it was apparent this wasn’t some ordinary workmanship.
Even Chloe was still looking at my dress and biting her lip.
“By the way… Is there something you want to tell me?”
“It’s just… I’m a little envious.”
Pointing to the skirt of the dress I was wearing, I said, “Do you want to try it on?”
Chloe affirmed by silently staring at me, but I declined with a smile. “But what do I do? Madam Plada seems to this dress is suitable for me… Isn’t that right?”
When I asked Plada, she looked closely at Chloe and nodded.
“I think this dress is perfect for Madam. For the Miss… I will recommend another dress.”
Chloe’s expression hardened for a moment, and then she tried to smile again. “Alright. I can’t do anything if it looks better on Madam.”
Chloe muttered as if she wanted Rupert to hear it, but I didn’t know if he didn’t hear or pretended he didn’t. Rupert merely glanced at me.
Rupert didn’t seem to be of much help, so Chloe eventually turned to Plada again. “Then can you recommend a dress that would suit me?”
“Hmm, let’s see… Wait a minute.”
An awkward silence hung over Chelsea and the remaining four.
Enoch was the first to sit comfortably on the sofa. I took it as a cue and sat down next to him.
“If there’s nothing more to do, why don’t you go?”
Rupert looked at the two of us sitting there and suddenly tried to dismiss me out of the blue.
“She can’t, Rupert. I must have told you that I had asked Madam a favor.”
But this time, an unexpected person came forward.
“Rupert, I want Madam to stay and look at my dress. You don’t know how to look at dresses.”
But Rupert still looked uncomfortable. Fortunately, Plada came back to relieve the awkward atmosphere.
“Haa, I must be out of my mind, Chelsea. A lot of valuable guests came, but I didn’t even serve tea.”
As Chelsea tried to leave, Plada hurriedly stopped her again.
“No, no. I will prepare the tea. Help Miss to wear this dress here.”
Plada handed Chelsea the dress, and Chelsea guided Chloe to the dressing room. Looking at Madam preparing tea on one side, I asked her questions.
“But did you not hire more people?”
“That’s right because security is important. We don’t get a lot of customers anyway, so two is enough,” Plada looked back and answered, and as she opened the bottle cap, she suddenly clicked her tongue. “I’m out of tea leaves. Wait a minute!”
Before I could finish, Plada ran up the stairs.
This time, the awkwardness was even more unbearable. I was sitting in the middle of the male lead and the second lead in the novel. Would the situation be okay?
I was a little nervous, but I comforted myself. I was perfectly entitled to sit here now. I’m a VIP who received a business card from an anonymous benefactor, the Crown Prince asked me to accompany him, and I was the wife of the future Duke here. Telling myself those things helped.
As he sat, Enoch, who had been quiet the whole time, said, “Count, I was thinking….”
“Yes, Your Highness. Please speak.”
“I think a brooch would be good. What do you think?”
“Ah, you’re talking about the present for the Empress Dowager. Well, I think a brooch would be nice, or a pendant maybe.”
“A pendant, huh. That would be fine, too.”
I watched Enoch nod, and felt a tingle on the back of my neck. When I turned, I saw Rupert eyeing me strangely.
“Why? Do you have something to say?”
Even if Chloe looked at me because of the dress earlier, Rupert wouldn’t…
“No, it’s nothing.”
He rubbed his cheek with his hand and shook his head. Really, what was wrong with him?
While I tilted my head, I heard a chuckle from the dressing room.
“Take your skirt and go out carefully.”
The curtain opened and Chloe slowly emerged from the inside of the dressing room. Just in time, Plada came down with tea leaves and a teapot.
Looking at Chloe in a gorgeous gold dress, I couldn’t deny she was the female lead. Her bouncy brown wavy hair swayed over her deep-lined back, perfectly complementing her dress.
Best of all, her orange eyes and the gold dress matched so well.
Indeed, Madam Prada’s taste could not be ignored.
Erin was a gorgeous beauty, so Madam Plada chose a dress that accentuated her elegance. On the other hand, Chloe was an innocent beauty, so she picked out a fancy dress that made her stand out.
“How is it?”
“Really… it’s great.”
Chloe looked at the mirror to see her reflection, pleased with her look. Rupert got up and walked over to her, and he whispered something in Chloe’s ear.
Plada also approached her and praised Chloe.
I was looking at them blankly when Enoch spoke to me. “I’m debating between sapphire and ruby. Which do you prefer?”
“Uh… I like diamond?”
Watching Enoch seriously agonizing over something I thoughtlessly said, I rushed on to continue, “Ah, it’s just a joke. Sapphires and rubies are good, but such colors may not be suitable given the Empress’s age… How about pearls?”
“Pearls,” Enoch muttered and nodded, a gentle smile on his face. Every little move was picturesque. That’s why I didn’t want to take my eyes off him. A little bit more…
I jumped up in surprise at my thoughts. My face was hot.
“Ah… well, that’s it.” I took a step backward without realizing it. “I forgot something…”
Then, I saw a golden wave passing gently from behind me. Chloe approached and curtsied in front of Prince Enoch.
“Your Highness, I’m the daughter of Baron Verezian, and I greet you again. Pardon me, but since you’re here, may I ask a question? It’s my first time attending a ball at the Imperial Palace for Empress Dowager’s birthday. May I ask if this dress is suitable for the event?”
I stood still and listened to what she had to say. I couldn’t figure out why she had to ask Enoch about it.
However, upon closer inspection, it seemed to make sense. Fluttering eyelashes and blushing cheeks, pouting lips.
I instinctively understood what all those gestures meant. Chloe was trying to get Enoch to like her.
“…the dress is beautiful enough. It’s not a problem.”
“Really? Thank you, Your Highness.” Chloe blushed in embarrassment but showed her characteristic refreshing smile. She looked so cute. Why did my stomach feel so uncomfortable?
Enoch took the teacup that Plada had given him and leaned back on the sofa. “But Lady Verezian… I don’t think you got the invitation yourself.”
Enoch then stared coldly at Rupert.
He was right to say that.
In general, only nobles of a certain rank were invited to an Imperial palace ball. Usually, it was up to counts, and at very large balls, even her family used to receive invitations.
Of course, when the person who received the invitation was unable to attend, there were times when it was generously transferred or sold to a person who did not receive it.
The person who gave Chloe the invitation was most likely Rupert. You wouldn’t have given it to me, so I guess you gave it to her?
I rolled my eyes and turned to Rupert. Then he began to panic noticeably.