Aden on the morning of June 15, Year 408.
As Lexion said, the search party arrived in the capital on precisely the last day of the banquet.
The last banquet was held in the evening, so it is a good time to relax and attend.
Lexion handed me a small silver ring before entering the capital.
It was the ring I saw in my previous life.
“Its a tool to change your hair color.
As youre the only Esol survivor, everyone will be after you.
You need to be careful not to get caught from now on.”
He put the ring on my finger and said those words.
I glanced down at the ring and asked.
“We can just tell the imperial family.”
“No, we cant.”
“Because I dont want to see you being used.”
Lexion answered, clenching his hand.
Lexion is well aware of the atrocities of the imperial family.
Thats why he felt sorry for Tiarozety Esol, who felt scared and ignorant.
“Ill try my best to hide you.”
I grinned as he expressed his determination.
Later I entered the capital as a distant relative of Lexion.
The gatekeepers who guarded the gate did not doubt a single bit because Lexion personally guaranteed me.
Lexion took me to the Duke Sparrows villa in the capital and left straight for the Imperial Palace.
It was probably to report the results of the search party.
Gregory was put in prison before Lexion.
I unpacked my stuff in this familiar room under Daisys guidance.
I only had a small bag, I must say.
This room is not really different from my previous life.
It was the place where I often stayed when I came to the capital.
It is also a comfortable place for me, comparable to the familiar bedroom I have in the north.
I layed down on the bed lazily.
I felt cozy, like I was right back home.
Maybe thats why, as soon as I layed in bed I fell asleep.
I slowly closed my heavy eyelids.
I felt like I was floating.
It was Daisy who woke me up when I couldnt sleep well.
She said with a knock.
Tiarozety, may I come in”
“Yes, its okay!”
I woke up to the sound of someone calling me.
The woman in the mirror is still half asleep.
Maybe I did sleep without even realizing it.
“You were asleep.”
“I guess I was a little tired.
What is it, by the way”
Forced out of sleep, I asked her while pointing to the dress in Daisys hand.
In the arms of the ensuing maids were things such as jewelry boxes and shoes.
Daisy answered deftly.
“It just so happens that Tiarozetys dress was in the Dukes castle.”
I tilted my head and asked.
It is because she was curious that there were womens clothes at the Lexions place, who is single, and a colorful dress that could be worn only at a banquet.
Daisy, startled by my gaze, excused herself.
“Oh, dont get me wrong! The Duke doesnt have a lover!”
“Umm…… Actually, the Duke had custom-made clothes for you.
Daisy admitted with an awkward smile.
“Im sure youll look good!”
The dress she proudly held out looked expensive in just a single glance.
“I have to help you prepare now so you can arrive at the banquet in time.
Come on, come on!”
Daisy hurriedly pushed me back just in case I tried to ask her a question.
I was taken to the bathroom in a blink of an eye, and when I entered, it had a sweet scent.
Several maids soaped my body and wiped me with a soft towel.
After that, they applied a subtle fragrance onto my body and immediately dressed me in the dress.
It was a blue dress made of silk fabric.
It fits perfectly as it is custom-made.
‘How did he know my size
All I thought about was Lexion while I was wearing this.
Though I am very conflicted as if I felt both happy and confused that he had prepared a dress for me.
‘Do you think this pre-ordered …… I cant believe its possible to make a custom in such a short time.
The extra fee would have been huge even if I didnt know how much it cost.
Unconsciously, I looked at myself in the mirror.
The white lace mesh covered my collarbone line and the breastbone is almost visible.
The white flower embroidery, embroidered down to the waist, is as white as snowflakes.
The embroidery is very detailed, and inside the flowers were white opal, emitting a brilliant light.
“You look really good on this one”
Daisy said in admiration.
I felt awkward and squirmed.
Never in my previous life have I been to a banquet wearing such a fancy dress.
Tiarozety was extremely afraid to stand in front of others and had never attended a party wearing a dress like this.
Eyes were on the glittering jewels, sprinkled on the hem of her skirt.
Why is it that this cloth is so pretty that it makes my heart flutter
I thought again of Lexion messing with my mind.
Since he had already gone to the palace, he would have gone straight to the banquet hall when he finished reporting.
And hell be Seirins partner as planned.
My face is dark enough to be the face of a woman who received pretty clothes as a gift.
I would feel really painful seeing him coming out side by side with Seirin after all this joy he made me feel.
‘Dont be clumsy.
Ambiguous goodwill creates false expectations, and such excitement is an emotion prone to disappointment.
“Are you uncomfortable”
Daisy asked anxiously when my expression was gloomy.
I shook my head and gave her a faint smile just like that.
“No, its just that…the clothes are so pretty.”
Though the woman in the mirror had a grim look on her face, unlike the usual one.
* * *
When I left the gate, a familiar face was waiting.
I looked at Gregory in front of Sparrow Castle with a curious expression.
Gregory found me while he was acting out, and sadly started talking to me.
“Oh, you do look like a human being now that youre dressed up!”
“Prince Gregory Why are you here Arent we going to a banquet”
At daze, Prince Gregory said while grinning.
“Black hair looks good on you, too.”
I thanked him in a creeping voice and examined him.
I tilted my head because hes not supposed to be the one whos here.
I asked with a suspicious face.
“Well… why are you here”
“Why, do you say Im here to pick you up.”
Gregory smirked with his ambiguous honorifics and reached out his hand.
I took his hand and he dragged me into the carriage.
My face didnt look good even when I got on.
The fact that he came meant that Lexion went straight to the banquet hall.
Perhaps he sent Gregory away for fear that I would attend the banquet alone.
What an unnecessarily kind man.
It is rather embarrassing on my part for me to expect Lexion will come.
“What did you expect from him when you knew this would happen anyway”
I stared out of the window with a grim smile.
Gregory looked carefully at me like that and took a guess.
“Miss, do you know you are very suspicious”
“What else is there to win anyway.”
I replied in a soft tone to Gregorys comments.
He then continued, perhaps disapproving of my lukewarm response.
“Lexion isnt the type of person who cares so much about women.”
“Maybe the Duke would have cared if I were a man.
I lost my family, my whole race with just a single night.”
“You dont seem to mind saying you feel sorry for yourself.”
Gregory smirked and muttered.
He hated people who self-pity.
So I deserved to sound a little piteous.
I answered casually, feeling that it didnt matter if he misunderstood me badly.
“So you dont have to misunderstand whats between me and the Duke.
Its just a pity.”
“Well, my gut tells me its not a misunderstanding.”
Gregory asked back, while he twitched.
As soon as I tried to ask what he meant by that, the carriage stopped.
Gregory reached out his hand when the carriage stopped.
While holding his hand and getting out of the carriage, I saw someone who was familiar in the distance.
It was Lexion.
Lexion came out and spotted Gregory and strode up.
There is no Seirin next to him.
Of course, I was dumbfounded when I thought hed be in the banquet hall with Seirin.
Lexion, who came close at that time, smiled brightly at me.
“Youre so pretty.”
“…… Thank you.”
I slowly answered him, Gregory handed my hand over to Lexion.
“Now, take her.”
Lexion smiled and thanked Gregory.
In just a moment, when I came to my senses, I couldnt understand the situation and asked stutteringly.
“Okay, wait a minute.
Isnt he supposed to be my partner”
“Who says that he is your partner, my lady”
“Well, then isnt it”
“Of course not.
I already have a designated partner.”
Gregory is astonished, as if he heard an absurd answer.
I blinked because I didnt get the hang of it.
I dont know how things work out.
Then will I be attending the banquet without a partner
But why is Lexion here
Theres no way hes prepared to escort a person like me.
Lexion called me affectionately when I couldnt clearly identify everything.
His familiar pet name naturally drew my attention to him.
Gregorys eyes dilated when Lexion called me TiTi.
He had a look that thought there really was something going on.
I couldnt tell if it was okay to let him misunderstand who the heroines step brother is.
I stared at Lexion in bewilderment.
In response, Lexion clenched his hand tightly.
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I looked down at his hand that put a little pressure.
The moment that I am holding hands with him, is heart wrenching.
Lexion declared quietly as I was dazed by the warmth of his hands.
“Im your partner.”