While the King and Queen and Prince Kaiser walked through the hall, we all waited patiently with our heads down.
Then, as the King and Queen stood in front of the chairs on the platform a few steps higher, he called out to us,
“All of you, lift up your heads.”
At the king’s dignified words, we raised our heads in unison and looked at the three people on the stage.
The king has a dignified appearance, blonde hair and blue eyes, and the queen who stands next to him with a gentle smile is a beautiful woman with pale pink hair and blue eyes.
And standing between them, with a smile on his face, was Prince Kaiser, a younger version of the character I saw in the game.
…I knew he was a capture target, but even if he’s a kid, he’s still handsome! There’s something different about his aura. But I see, it certainly makes sense that Cecilia said she fell in love with Prince Kaiser at first sight. Even though I’m used to seeing handsome men in my family, that’s an even higher level of handsomeness~. And that princely smile…the eyes of the young ladies everywhere are completely glued to the prince. Well, I know that smile is a pseudo-smile, and that he is black-hearted, and after all, I know that he might execute me in the future, but honestly, I don’t flatter myself at all. Oh, I just remembered! That prince, was the final target I was able capture in my previous life before I died. Only, that prince was already too difficult, and from the middle of the game, so I had just focused on mechanically and silently capturing rather than crushing it.
My cheeks twitched involuntarily as I remembered this.
And so, with mixed emotions, the king and queen and Prince Kaiser’s greetings were over, and immediately a long line of people formed in front of Prince Kaiser.
It was a line of young daughters who had formed, as they had done with us earlier, to greet the prince.
I was watching the line with a dry smile, slightly distracted by everyone’s spirit.
Then my brother came up to me and said,
“Cecilia, aren’t you going to go and say hello?”
“…I wouldn’t want to go there if I could, but I can’t do that, can I?”
“Well, yes. In case you’re wondering, we’re the son and daughter of a duke, and we can’t afford not to say hello to the prince of this country.”
“I know…but for now, it’s better to wait until that line settles down.”
My brother and I just watched the line with an indescribable expression on our faces.
When the line finally came to an end, I went with him to greet Prince Kaiser.
“Hmm? Oh, Roberto, I didn’t know you were here.”
“Yes. Today is my sister’s social debut, and I’ve come as a chaperone. Now, Cecilia, say hello.”
“…Yes. Prince Kaiser, I am Cecilia de Heinz. It’s a great pleasure to meet you.”
When I said my name, I plucked at the hem of my dress and folded my knees to meet Prince Kaiser.
“Ah, so you are Miss Cecilia? It is a pleasure to meet you as well. I have heard a lot about you from your father, Sir Reinhardt, and Roberto. But it’s true, you are as lovely and beautiful as I’ve heard so much about you, like an angel.”
Prince Kaiser smiled at me and complimented me on my appearance, but I could tell from his pseudo-smile that he was only speaking from his mouth and not from his heart, and I responded with a pseudo-smile as well.
Then Prince Kaiser noticed my pseudo-smile and was blindsided for a moment, but he quickly regained his expression and maintained his pseudo-smile and took a position to listen to me, but I thanked him again.
“Well then, since the greetings are over, I’ll leave you with that.”
Daring to ignore the surprised voices of Prince Kaiser and my brother, I quickly turned on my heel and left the prince’s side.
“What? Miss Cecilia?”
“Cecilia! We can still talk, if that’s okay with you?”
I heard those two voices from behind me, but still I had no intention of looking back at all.
I did say hello to Prince Kaiser, which was absolutely mandatory, and I don’t want to have anything more to do with Prince Kaiser! Now if I avoid contact with Prince Kaiser until after the ball, I’ll almost never see him again at a later date, and I have no intention of seeing him at all, so I’ll certainly avoid an engagement!
I was sure of that and kept walking until my brother came after me.
“…Cecilia, are you sure that was a good idea? It’s not every day you get to talk to Prince Kaiser, you know?”
“Yes, but I didn’t have much more to say to him. Besides…when I left Prince Kaiser like that, the other noble daughters were reassured that I wouldn’t become a rival, so they were able to go to Prince Kaiser with their best efforts…”
I glanced at Prince Kaiser as I said that, and once again Prince Kaiser was surrounded by many ladies.
Apparently, the other ladies who thought that if I, as the leading nobleman and daughter of the duke’s family, became their rival, they would have no chance of winning, but seeing me not showing any interest in Prince Kaiser, they thought they had a chance and acted accordingly.
…Alright! Just keep Prince Kaiser busy and he won’t come near me! Good luck, ladies!
My brother burst into laughter while he looked at me with satisfaction.
“…Well, as for me, I was happy that Cecilia wasn’t attracted to Prince Kaiser, though.”
“The best to me is you, brother. Oh, and father and mother as well.”
“Fufu, thank you. I hope that feeling stays with you forever.”
Then, as we were looking at each other and laughing, the orchestra that was waiting in the hall began to play music.
“Cecilia, will you dance with me?”
“Yes, I’d love to!”
My brother folded his waist and offered me his hand, I smiled and took his hand and he escorted me to the center of the hall with his hand on my waist.
So with several groups of men and women already gathered in the center of the room, I began to dance to the music under my brother’s lead.
“Cecilia, you’re a great dancer.”
“That’s because brother leads so well. Besides, you’ve taken me through a few of my dance practices.”
“But I’m a lot better than I was then. So Cecilia has the makings of a good dancer, doesn’t she?”
“Well, I’ll take that as a compliment.”
I smiled at my brother and enjoyed dancing with him for a while.
However, even as we were having a good time dancing, I couldn’t help but notice a glimpse out of the corner of my eye.
…He seemed to be getting closer and closer.
What has been bothering me since a while ago is the image of Prince Kaiser dancing with a young lady, who seems to be approaching us little by little.
Moreover, a group of young ladies, who were aiming at Prince Kaiser and his daughter, who were trying to dance with him next, were also approaching together, which made me feel intimidated.
Then, when I was looking at such Prince Kaiser with half anxiety, my brother was also looking in a different direction from me, but it was a sharp look that seemed to shoot laser beams.
I didn’t notice that some of the sons, who had caught his gaze, had given up trying to dance up to us and had quietly moved away.
In the meantime, the song was over and the fun dance time with my brother was over.
As I was feeling a little sad about that, my brother pulled my hand away and smiled at me.
“Cecilia, will you dance with me for a while longer?”
“What? Yes, of course it’s fine. I’d be happy that way too.”
I was puzzled for a moment by this offer from my brother, but I was happy to accept it because I didn’t want to dance with anyone else.
Immediately we started to dance to the music that came on, but at that moment, I saw some of the sons leaving with disappointed looks on their faces, and Prince Kaiser, who was frozen in place with his hands facing our direction for some reason.
…What in the world is that?
I looked up and my brother smiled at me with such a mysterious face.
So, after dancing with him for a few songs, I was getting tired, so I slipped out of the dance circle with him and moved to the place where the drinks were prepared.
“Thank you, brother. I was very thirsty.”
I accepted the glass of juice handed to me by my brother and drank its contents in one gulp as if to quench my throat.
“Now, you must be getting hungry. Would you like to try some of their food?”
When I looked in the direction that my brother indicated with his hand, I saw that there was a long table on which various dishes were placed in a row.
Wow! They all look so good! I was so completely nervous about Prince Kaiser that I didn’t even notice that there was so much food on the table! Oh, I’m suddenly hungry now that I know…
As soon as I realized that, a small hungry sound came from my belly and I held my belly as I blushed.
“Hmm, sweet Cecilia’s belly wants to eat too, so why don’t we eat together?”
Filled with embarrassment, my brother took me to the place where the food was placed.
Just as my brother reached for a plate, someone approached him.
“Hmm? Oh, it’s you.”
“Can I talk to you about something over there for a second?”
“No, that’s not…”
He was invited by this person, who was probably about the same age as my brother, and he glanced at me with a slightly troubled expression on his face.
I smiled at him to reassure him that he was in good hands.
“Brother, I’ll be fine, so please go ahead.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll be back soon. So Cecilia shouldn’t leave here in the meantime. And don’t go off with any strange men, either.
“I know. Don’t worry, I’ll be right here.”
Then, together with the boy, who bowed apologetically to him, elder brother went to the back of the hall.
…Honestly, it’s lonely, but I can’t rely on brother forever! Let’s just focus on the food here for now!
I told myself that and took the plate that my brother was about to take and put the delicious-looking food on my plate.
Then, having put some of it on my plate, I cut the lamb terrine in it into bites with my fork and put it in my mouth.
Wow, yum!!! That’s a different level of royal cuisine! Of course the food our cooks make is delicious, but after all, the cooks who make the food that royalty eat are even better!
While I was eating with satisfaction, loosening my cheeks at the deliciousness that was melting in my mouth, I suddenly noticed something and looked around the table on which the food was placed.
…Huh? I don’t think I’ve been able to eat the food here at all… or am I the only one near this table?
I looked around the hall with that in mind, and sure enough, there were people talking with glasses of drinks in places, but I didn’t see anyone with a plate of food.
Huh? Huh? Why don’t people eat it? Doesn’t it look so good? I’m pretty sure this is a surplus—wow, what a waste
To begin with, in my previous life, I was basically a person who hated to leave waste food.
No matter how much I was hungry, I ate the food I was served until the end. Because I felt sorry for the person who made the food for me.
So when I went to a restaurant in my past life, I felt very uncomfortable when I saw other customers who ordered a lot of food and ate a little and left it behind.
When I remembered that and thought that these dishes would end up being discarded in the end, I felt somehow unfulfilled.
But as expected, there was no way I could eat such a quantity by myself, and I whispered with a small sigh.
I whispered to myself with a small sigh, “If only I had some tupperwa—…”
Suddenly I heard a voice from behind me that reacted curiously to my muttering, and when I turned around hurriedly with a startled voice, I found myself looking at someone with a strange face—.
I froze with a look of surprise on my face at this unexpected person.
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