this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
I remained struck stiff until the end of the third dance.
Although the large hand that bound me must’ve been wearing gloves, the scorching body temperature seemed to be transmitted through the gloves without any hindrance.
It was clear that the chaotic situation had already been sorted out, and when the song of the third dance was over, all attention would be drawn towards me.
I mustn’t draw attention to myself until I meet up with Novian…!
“Lady Marge, how…?”
He said Lady Marge.
The man who called me by an unfamiliar name was Neil, a knight who had come to the Acacia mansion to conduct a survey.
As Neil looked me up and down with wide eyes, his face turned red, as if he had just been slapped on the cheek.
I finally came to my senses and tried to free my bound arms.
When the strength behind the hot hands which seemed as if it would never loosen slowly lessened, I turned my head slightly to look at the person behind me.
My heart sank when I came face to face with those flashing red eyes.
At the same time, the pupils of the man I had come across narrowed sharply.
‘This is the person who sent Neil.’
As I observed him, he also scanned me up and down, as expected.
Slowly and tenaciously, his eyes dug between the gaps of my bewildered and flustered expression.
I hurriedly avoided his gaze and turned my head towards the front again.
Then my arms which had been loosened again were held onto tightly again, his gleaming blond hair close enough to touch my temple.
He remained standing behind me and said.
“You looked like you needed some help.”
The Empire’s playboy.
The imperial family’s problem.
The demon of the battlefield.
The red wolf that calls for blood.
It was clear that the nicknames towards him I had seen whilst browsing the gossip magazines had not all been lies.
Just who was the one that was bothering me right now, just who is the one who is binding a noblewife’s arm from behind and not letting go…!
No matter how loudly they played the dance music, if it weren’t for his knights that surrounded us, everyone would’ve caught sight of my face by now thanks to him.
“You seemed a little troubled without a partner.”
The voices of those around me were so melodic and foreign as they continued to speak per usual, as if they had never seen the situation of his subordinates moving, nor my partner from the beginning.
“…Do you need any help?”
I shouted softly in accordance with the loudly resounding dance music.
Neil, who was still hiding us, could be seen glancing over at us with a grievous expression on his face, as if trying to say that this wasn’t the right way to go about it.
Roadnez pulled me a little closer towards him.
He was so close that I could feel every single breath he exhaled, from the top of my head to the nape of my neck.
I could feel the goosebumps swell up.
“…Do you need any help?”
The more gloomy his voice was, the more it made me anxious and persistently shake my head in reply.
The only thing I needed was for this man to disappear.
For this man to disappear, and go looking for Novian.
I heard the sound of the dance coming to an end soon afterwards.
And like a lie, his knights who had been covering us began to move away, one by one.
“W-Wait a minute! Please! Let go of me first!”
“…Do you need any help?”
A dreary, but polite voice continued to ring in my ears.
The devil’s sweet whispers seemed as if they were forcing all the fine hairs on my body to stand on end and capture my entire body.
With the sound of the dance ending, I nodded my head in despair.
“Yes, I need help. So please, let go of me.”
As soon as I said those words while clenching my teeth, the hand that was holding me suddenly loosened its hold on me, as if it had never been there.
Soon after, the sound entering my frazzled ears became clear, as if I had come out from being submerged underwater, and the buzz of people’s murmuring could be heard from a short distance away.
Roadnez stood before me with the same arrogant and cold expression he had worn before.
The knights who had hidden us were already scattered everywhere.
His outstretched hand was suddenly in front of me.
It was a large white gloved hand.
My trembling line of sight followed upwards from his long arms and neck and finally rested on his overly beautiful face.
He was so tall that I had to raise my head in order to make eye contact with him.
I could feel the gaze of the people who were waiting for the fifth song to start turning towards him and his outstretched hands.
“Will you allow me the honour of being your first dance?”
It didn’t seem as if he had said these sorts of words to the girl he had first danced with either.
The red-eyed beast was so polite in the manner that he spoke to me to the point that almost made me feel arrogant.
Rejection would just garner more attention. I hurriedly grabbed the hand that was stretched out toward me.
His tightly gripped hand led me to the center of the hall, as if it were as natural as the flow of the current.
The fifth dance began slowly, as if they were waiting for the both of us to find our place.
Immediately, his hand touched my bare back.
I stumbled slightly at the feeling of my hairs standing on end from head to toe, but since Roadnez was leading me naturally, no one noticed it at all.
Even as I felt his overbearing gaze on me, I diligently tried to focus my gaze on his body which was decorated full of medals instead.
Even though the activity required us to look at each other’s faces, I couldn’t bear to look at his face, so I just allowed my eyes to fall smoothly to his slender neck.
His hands which were resting on my bare back were as hot as when he had held my arms.
Furthermore, the tension of knowing that Novian could be watching this engulfed me completely.
‘The Second Prince, Roadnez.’
How in the world did this prince seem to know my original self, and why was he in the cemetery that night?
If Neil had reported that I was a maid called Marge to this prince, wouldn’t it have been normal for him to ask why a maid could attend this, or get mad at the fact that someone had deceived him?
‘Why on earth…’
As I fumbled through my thoughts for a long time, a man’s extremely low pitched voice flooded over my head along with his hot breath.
“Marge, I heard that you were of such low status that you weren’t even granted a surname.”
“I don’t know if this is any of my business, but…”
He lifted me lightly and spun me around.
As a child, I had diligently learned how to dance, so although I faltered slightly at first, I immediately regained my balance.
Wearing a subtle expression on his face, a deep voice came out of Roadnez’s lips once more.
“I had my first dance with someone who looked similar to you, right here in this place.”
“Thank you for giving me those memories again, Countess Acacia.” He whispered in a lower voice.
I was struck slightly into shock.
He had called me Countess Acacia without any hesitation immediately.
The lie that was me being Countess Acacia’s maid, had of course, become useless.
Since there was no way a maid could’ve dressed in these sorts of clothes and danced like that.
‘The original me danced with this prince?’
I had only ever danced here with Adrienne’s body once.
It had been at my first debutante when I was 20 years old.
At the masquerade ball held every New Year.
‘Who had I danced with on that day?’
But the only people whom I had danced with on that day had been with my brother, Gregory and Novian though?
Contrary to the heat of his hands which were touching my hands and back, he maintained an appropriate distance, neither too close nor too far apart.
Just like Novian had when I first debuted.
I tried to relax my tense body and to dance naturally until the end, trying to recall the memories of myself when I was an 18 year old debutant.
Roadnez and I danced so well together, as if we had always danced together every time, it was ridiculous.
It was around the end of the dance, when Roadnez tightened his hands on my waist and was about to ask me something again.
I felt a strange gaze on me and turned my head in its direction.
As I lifted my head past Roadnez’s sharp chin, my eyes met the exact same blue eyes of Novian, who was staring at Roadnez and I from atop the high staircase.
I was so shocked that I just stopped in place, but luckily the dance had already ended.
I immediately pushed on Roadnez’s firm chest slightly and blended into the swarm of people as they dispersed to their original places.
It was considered extremely rude behavior.
Although I heard Roadnez’s deep cry, my head went blank and I wasn’t able to think of anything when faced with Novian’s gaze.
‘You can’t miss this opportunity.’
I have to meet you.
I have to meet you and confirm whatever it is.
Against the wave of people in search of a new partner to dance the sixth dance with, I continued to climb up the stairs.
pls do not share this anywhere or the transmigration gods will transport u into boku no pico !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.wordpress.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
Having still missed Novian, I left the banquet hall and ran through the garden.
Despite shivering from the cold, my eyes darted here and there in order to find Novian.
Scanning the exterior walls of the party building and the places where the terraces were mainly clustered at, I saw him at one of the many terraces that lacked outer curtains.
As soon as I discovered the noticeable black hair that was just there all by itself, I climbed up the stairs as if I was a crazy woman.
As soon as I opened the emergency door, pulled back several of the blackout curtains, and entered the hallway on the second floor from which I had escaped from earlier, a cold hand quickly grabbed my forearm.
In an instant, I was sucked into one of the curtained terraces.
“Are you going to continue acting in this manner, Blair?”
It was Novian who had caught me.
A cold and deep voice.
Before I could even get surprised, goosebumps erupted.
Yes, of course, that was also true, but.
It was still hard for me to believe that he, who on the first day of the funeral, pretended not to see me, yet could still call out Blair’s name correctly.
With both of my forearms held tightly together, I looked up at him.
‘Will you recognise me?’
Would he even know that Blair was acting a little different from usual?
Novian’s face was flushed red.
The pungent smell of alcohol wafted through. He seemed to have drunk quite a bit.
The arms that were holding on to me tightly without any hesitation and the lower body that was slowly getting closer.
My heartbeat was so loud, I could even hear it beating in my own ears.
Despite the terrace being as cold as the garden, I still felt as if I was sweating.
Eyes that had darkened to black. Black hair that was roughly tied and tangled to the point it seemed as if it had never even been trimmed in the first place.
His deep swollen eyes seemed to have become even drearier.
It really wasn’t like him.
It wasn’t the always perfect Novian Trovica.
“Have you even decided to not answer?”
He jerked up one corner of his mouth and smiled.
It was definitely Novian, but it wasn’t the Novian I knew.
He frowned momentarily at me, who didn’t answer him, then as if he was showing me mercy, tried to put on a gentle expression.
“The promise, aren’t you going to keep it?”
‘Just what the hell is that damn promise, to make you beg like this?’
Again, the voice that threatened to burst out.
Novian, what am I?
What am I, for you to do this to me? Is Blair really your mistress?
Are the words of Count Acacia, who’s already one step into the grave, really true?
I bit the words that threatened to burst out of my mouth, and slowly opened my mouth.
I decided to ask about the ‘promise’ that had tormented me for days.
Novian’s hand that held onto my arm visibly tightened. To the extent of restricting my blood from circulating.
His dark eyebrows twitched visibly.
I looked at his face frantically, seeing a fierce look that I had never once seen before through Adrienne’s eyes.
“Are you going to play it like this?”
“…What, what promise?”
“The promise we made a year ago.”
‘So, just what sort of promise are you talking about, Novian?’
It has been two years since I had married Novian with Adrienne’s body.
And Blair and Novian had made a promise a year ago.
Just what in the world was that promise?
“Should I, who just lost my wife, have to say it with my own mouth?”
Novian erased his fierce expression from earlier and whispered sadly.
Like a lie, his arms which had been holding onto me firmly, loosened.
He turned his long body away and lowered his head, gripping the terrace railing tightly instead of my arm.
With an expression that seemed as if he was going to be sick.
I felt as if all the blood in my body was draining out when he said that he had lost his wife.
He was truly grieving. My heart started to beat faster.
“…Please tell me.”
But when else would I hear it, if not now?
At my insistence, he smiled, his shoulders shaking.
However, he dropped his gaze to the garden under the terrace, not looking at my face until the end.
“I want to confirm it once again, so please tell me.”
I said once again, with more conviction.
The hand holding the railing trembled, and then he suddenly approached me.
“If I ever lose my wife…”
And then he said to me, in half a growl.
“…You said that you’d become my mistress completely.”
AHHHH PLS ADRIENNE WAKE THE FUCK UP ARC PLSDFJFDS i mean the cat’s out of the bag now so like,,,,she better get some MAJOR character development !!!
also i am fucking SCREAMING at the fact that she actually danced with roadnez as her first dance instead of weird ass groomer novian hELP IT’S SO CUTE HNGLSDKFJFDS
ALSO ROADNEZ IS SO SOCIALLY INEPT AND DENSE IT’S CUTE ???? LIKE HELP EVERYTIME HE KEPT ASKING HER ‘do you need any help?’ WAS SO FUNNY HLEPSLDFKJFSJD like if that happened to me irl i think i’d get fucking annoyed bc DUDE i said i wasn’t interest in a dance alr, go away hGNSDLFKDF but like in a story ??? CHEFS KISS HASDLFKJDJFS
support my kofi if u can hehehehe