Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 33: The Knights Awarding Ceremony
As I entered the ceremonial hall for the Knight’s awarding ceremony, I headed for the nobles’ seats, exchanging the appropriate greetings with them. The nobles around me were mostly the heads of families and their wives, many of whom were elderly. When they got a hold of me, they would constantly ask me about my fiancé, which was nothing short of troublesome.
My father had publicly stated that I would not have a fiancé until I turned 18, although no matter how much they wanted that information, they would be ill-advised to ask the man himself, so they turned to me instead.
As I approached the nobles’ table, I saw a very prominent old man with a stout build.
“Anna! It’s been a long while.”
I embraced him. I was so happy to see him after such a long time.
Grandfather was my mother’s older brother. Therefore, my relationship with him should have been that of an uncle and niece, however, when I was born, he already had a grandchild, so I called him ‘grandfather’ as well.
“Grandfather, will you be sitting with the nobility today?”
“Yes, I will be attending as Duke Olcott. Linus is in charge of the ceremony’s security, and Theodore will be assisting him. I would like to retire soon, but Linus insists that I don’t do that until the Crown Prince is decided.”
“Oh, my! But if Grandfather, the military commander, were to retire, so many people would be saddened. I’ve heard that many who have joined the army did so because they heard about your heroic exploits.”
“You know… when I hear the people’s hearsay about me, I’m surprised at how exaggerated they are. They’re making me out to be a monster.”
“Fufufu, rumors are like that.”
A few days after prince Edward summoned me, there were rumors that the second prince was playing with House Lewis’ daughter. But before I knew it, it had turned into a beautiful story about the second prince rescuing House Lewis’ daughter from other nobles.
…If only he had suffered a little more–
Ahem, Aide Silas sure was good at what he did, or was he used to it? Putting out fires must be hard work.
“Oh, my, if it isn’t Duke Olcott and Lady Julianna!”
My stomach instantly dropped, but I didn’t let it show. I turned around with grace paired with a smile that would be hailed as one belonging to ‘a flawless lady’.
“It’s been a while, Duke Macmillan.”
“You look even more stunning today. Truly, you are the spitting image of Ellie.”
“Is that so? I only know my mother from her portrait, so I wouldn’t be too sure.”
“Don’t you agree, Duke Olcott?”
“She may resemble her, but Julianna is still Julianna.”
Grandfather answered Duke Macmillan grumpily. As usual, he did not put on a facade or anything… well, it can’t be helped.
Grandfather saw me as Julianna. Duke Macmillan, on the other hand, saw me as Elizabeth.
Even if they were both ‘love’, I wonder if familial love and romantic love were different, after all.
I have never been in love, so I couldn’t tell.
I glanced toward the doorway and saw that prince Edward was about to enter.
As I watched him as he walked in with his ‘ideal prince’ smile on his face, I had a suspicious feeling creep up on me. At the same time, our eyes met.
Then, prince Edward touched his own hair and put his index finger to his mouth. I instantly understood that he was referring to his kissing my hair earlier and I almost shouted at him, but I stopped myself just in time.
That black-hearted prince! Teasing me as he liked…
“What’s the matter, Lady Julianna? If you are not feeling well, shall I take you to some place where you can rest?”
“No, it’s nothing. Thank you for your concern, Duke Macmillan.”
“Anna, I believe it’s time for us to find our seats. Now, if you’ll excuse us, Duke Macmillan.”
“Yes of course, Duke Olcott… Ah, right, Lady Julianna. If you would do me the honor of dancing with you at the soirée?”
“…If Duke Macmillan is still willing, I would be honored. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
I curtsied as a lady should and left with my grandfather.
Seats for the nobles, the three pillars of the royal family, and the religious faction’s nobles were separated from each other to avoid any unnecessary disputes.
I sat with my grandfather and tried to avoid looking at the royal family’s seats.
Clear your head, Julianna. If you react inappropriately, you’ll do exactly what prince Edward wants you to do.
Soon, His Majesty the king, queen consort Dahlia, and prince Douglas arrived. The knights entered next, followed by the sound of the musical band.
I immediately spotted Vincent among them. Vincent also seemed to notice me sitting in the nobles’ section, and when I gave him a small wave of my hand, his expression slightly loosened, and he smiled.
How can my brother be so handsome, gallant, and cool!?
I was no longer thinking about prince Edward.