Chapter 32: Fearful footsteps
Come to think of it, this might be the first time I’ve set foot in the palace since my time reverse. Although the several villas owned by the queen and the luxurious mansion where Julian-sama lives are also impressive, the splendor of the palace is exceptional.
“Aliseteen will get used to this soon. Right?”
“Yes. We were the same way.”
Beside Okaa-sama, dressed extravagantly, is her sister and my aunt, Tarna-sama, who is clothed in a similarly gaudy dress. She is accompanying me today.
“Aliseteen is surprisingly cute today.”
“When we meet after a long time, we can really see Alise’s beauty.”
“She can’t be compared to the girls at school.”
Even my three Onii-samas, who usually stay at home, are dressed in formal tailcoats, with multiple shimmering buttons made of jewels.
When the members of the Duke Quatra family, who were known for their beauty, lined up, it was impressive even from my perspective. Of course, I was one of them. My fiery red dress was covered in frills from the waist down. Layers of drapes also adorned the neckline, and my amber-colored thin hair was beautifully curled into vertical rolls.
I didn’t even try to hide the confidence that showed in my expression.
“His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen.”
Blessed by the performance of a well-known orchestra and fanfare that was known throughout the country, the King and Queen appeared. After a long greeting, they loudly called out Julian-sama’s name.
“My son, Julian, is truly brilliant and has blossomed his talents not only within our country but also in other countries. He is the pride of our nation…”
While the King was introducing Julian-sama with great enthusiasm, he (Julian) seemed completely ordinary , as if it was not about himself, just staring straight ahead with his gray eyes.
He looked like he was standing there reluctantly, no matter how you looked at it.
Even after two years, that impudence hasn’t changed. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse.
I keep touching my hair, worried if it’s still in place. To be honest, Julian-sama’s return is the least of my concerns.
“You’re really lovely.”
“You’ll be the most beautiful woman in the country in the future.”
“You’re worthy of becoming the prince’s bride.”
After finishing various greetings to the royal family, my aunt drags me around. I’m praised and complimented wherever we go, and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself, nodding and smiling without any false modesty.
I turn around as someone calls my name from behind, and there stands Julian-sama. His royal attire only emphasizes his already extraordinary beauty. There are few men who can pull off gold embroidery as well as he does.
He has grown up and lost some of his childlike features, with sharper eyes. His silky hair is neatly groomed, and he’s showing off his face unabashedly.
“Can we talk over there for a moment?”
“Of course, I’d be happy to.”
Even though I had put on a perfect smile, Julian-sama’s brow furrowed for some reason. He didn’t say anything else and just turned around, as if telling me to follow him.
“Why are we going outside?”
“I don’t feel comfortable here.”
Julian-sama led me out to the balcony. There weren’t many stars out tonight, and it was a little chilly despite it being spring.
I was dissatisfied, thinking that this bright red dress only shines under the chandelier.
“What is it, Julian-sama?”
“You seem to have changed a bit.”
At his words, I proudly snorted my nose. Well, of course. I am becoming more and more beautiful as I grow up.
“Julian-sama has also become very charming. No, you have always shone, but even more so now.”
“Can you please stop…”
As I continued to praise him, he suddenly interrupted me coldly.
“You’re no different from any other young lady now. I don’t feel any interest in you anymore.”
“What, what did you say…!”
“In your letter, I didn’t get that impression at all.”
As soon as I was brought outside, I was insulted out of nowhere, and my face turned red like the dress I was wearing.
Still, I hid my true feelings and tilted my head, showing a smile.
“What is the matter with you? I was looking forward to Julian-sama’s return.”
What, why did he sigh at me now?
“You’ve always had a bad personality, but I didn’t dislike you for that.”
“What do you mean?”
“But now, I can’t find any value in you.”
A contemptuous glance was briefly directed at me.
I knew the color of those eyes very well.