It’s not an ordinary banquet, it’s the Emperor’s birthday banquet, so she knew she had to be careful.
But she didn’t know if it would take a full day to be taken care of.
After receiving care all day from morning to night, she fell asleep and woke up and saw the next flight… If she knew it would be like this, she would just refuse.
As she let out a sigh inside her, she heard the maid’s voice.

“Please close your eyes for a moment.”

She closed her eyes at the maid’s words.
Now she was sitting on a chair in the room and getting a full-fledged makeover.
After an hour of dressing up, she began to fall asleep slowly.
It was when she was dozing off in an uncomfortable position when a child’s voice came from outside along with a knock.

[Ellie, can I come in?]

Come in.”

At the same time as the answer, the door burst open and the child entered.
The child who walked right in front of her opened his mouth.





“You’re so pretty! You’re pretty before, but you’re even prettier today!”

At the child’s words, she felt rewarded for her hard work so far.
She smiled heartily at the child.

“Who do you look like to talk so beautifully?”

“I look like pretty Elia…”

The child replied shyly, twisting his body.
She wanted to hug him, but she couldn’t because of the situation, so it was very sad.

“But Elia are you ready now?”

“You’ll just have to wait a little more.”

“Then can I watch from the side? I will never disturb you.”

“It’s okay, so relax.
Talk to your heart’s content.”

She glanced at the lady-in-waiting and she brought out the little chair and set it beside her.

“Sit here and watch.”


The child quickly sat down on the chair and started staring at her.

Actually, I still haven’t gotten over my father’s anger.”

At that she glanced at the child.

“Are you talking about that day? The day the cookie was broken.”

That’s right.”

Come to think of it, Deliam still didn’t know that the Duke tried to make cookies.
The child tilted his head and brought his face closer.
She put her lips close to the child’s ear and whispered very softly.

“Actually, there’s something I haven’t told you.”

“What is it?”

“I went to the kitchen to make food that day, hoping to lighten your mood.
But the Duke was there.”

Father was there?”


“Why was he there?”

“He was going to make cookies for you.”



As she put her head back, she saw the child’s face with his mouth open.

“Do you think you’ll be less angry now?”

“…I can’t believe it.
It’s not because I don’t believe Elia, but…”

“Yeah, I know.
He’s not like that.”

It would have been hard to believe if she had not seen it with her own eyes but heard it.

“But it’s really true.
I’ve seen it with my own two eyes.”

I believe you.”

A smile spread across the child’s face.
Holding their hands together, she looked at the wriggling child, then smiled quietly and winked at the maid.
Again she began to dress up, her fingers busily moving her face and hair.
And she stared at the mirror in front of her.
Despite wearing masks, the ladies-in-waiting were putting a lot of effort into their makeup.

Her long platinum hair, usually wavy with pale makeup, was pulled up.
Above her head was a headdress studded with purple jewels.
The costume was a light pink lace dress with no exposure and jewels densely embedded in it.
The maid, who was checking her outfit, raised her wrist and put on a bracelet with a jewel.
Just then, a voice came from outside and the door opened.

“Is she ready…?”

The Duke, who had entered, stopped in place.

“We’re almost done, Duke.”



“…Oh yeah.”

The Duke, who answered the lady-in-waiting a beat late, stared at Elia.

“What do you have to say?”

Come out when you’re done.”

“All right.”

It was when he tried to twist his body and get out that the child blocked the Duke’s way.

“Dad, what about cookies? When will you give it to me?”

He shook his head slightly, staring straight into his piercing gaze.

“…Not today, I’ll give it to you later.”

“You must give it to me.”

“Yeah, got it.”

The Duke turned to the lady-in-waiting next to him and said.

“Send her down as soon as she is ready.”

“All right.”

The Duke turned himself up and left the room.

It took like ten years… While breathing a sigh of relief, the hands of the maids became more busy.
After a while, the hand stopped and the ladies-in-waiting stepped back slightly.

“Are you done now?”

“If you wear a mask, the dressing up is over.
This is the mask you will wear at the banquet.”

The maid showed her a mask adorned with silver and purple jewels.
Looking at the shining mask, it seemed like she could understand why the effort was put into makeup.

“The mask is very pretty.
I think it will suit Elia well.”

“Then, will you put it on me, Liam?”



“Yes, I like it!”

The maid gave the mask to Deliam.
She bent her upper body to fit the child’s height.
The child looked at the mask, then stretched out his arm and carefully put it on her face.
As a way of reciprocating, she stroked his hair and the child smiled.

“I think you should leave now.”

She nodded her head at the lady-in-waiting’s words.

“Liam, I’ll be back then.”

“Yes, please come.”

“…But, can you be well?”

It was true that she was a little worried.
She didn’t know before, but now the child would be terribly depressed if she was away even a little bit.
The child who blinked his eyes tilted his head.

“But you’re coming back, aren’t you?”

For a moment, without realizing it, she shut her mouth… Yes, of course she would come back, but she wouldn’t be able to keep coming back.
As written in the contract, when her reputation was completely cleared, then it was goodbye to this place.
But there’s no need to even say that so she smiled at the child, hiding her true feelings.

“Of course.”

“That’s all right.”

“I’m really going to go now.”


Leaving the child in the room, she came out with the maid.
As she crossed the hallway, the eyes fixed on her were more than usual.
Every employee passing by was glancing at her.
She’s wearing a mask, so she wouldn’t be very impressed because her appearance was covered… As soon as she left the mansion, she immediately got on the carriage that she saw.
The Duke was already riding in the carriage.

She sat across from him, careful not to wrinkle her dress.
Soon after, the wagon started moving.
The scenery outside the window gradually passed by with a sense of speed.


She turned her head at the sound of paper falling.
The Duke was looking down at the thick paper roll.
She knew he was busy, so she didn’t care.
Rather than that, she couldn’t take her eyes off the Duke’s appearance.
She couldn’t look closely because of the situation earlier, but the Duke’s current appearance deserved admiration.
It was as if a halo shined through the already splendid appearance.

As she was staring at him, the Duke raised his gaze.


“Because I thought you were handsome again.”

“You wouldn’t be able to see it because you were wearing a mask, but you say the right thing with your mouth.”

“It’s only covered up to the bottom of the eyes.
And you’re really handsome.
You know that, too, don’t you?”

The Duke suddenly shut his mouth.
It seemed a little flustered, so she felt strange.
She looked at the Duke quietly, but his mouth opened.

“If you have something to say, say it.”

“So what?”

Was it okay if she asked?


“My father, is he in prison?

“For now.
Are you curious?”

“My father must have made a fuss about it.”

“According to reports, yes.” 

“What do you plan to do?”


The Duke gave an ambiguous answer.
She was very suspicious of the Viscount’s conduct, so she would like to ask him to do a background investigation… It was time to look into the Duke’s eyes for a moment.

“We plan to lock him up for a few more days and release him outside as appropriate.”

“…Release him?”

“Assisting someone to monitor his every move.”

The Duke looked at her closely as he said that.
It’s as if he was expecting her reaction.


“Do you have anything to say?”

“Yes? No.”

What could she say to him that he would do? After looking at her for a while, he lowered his head with a look that seemed to have lost interest.
And soon silence fell in the carriage.
But it didn’t feel too uncomfortable, so she was comfortable.

While she was looking through the window, she opened her eyes wide at the castle that was visible in the distance.
Could it be that there was a yellow castle? It seemed fitting that the majesty could be felt even from a distance.
After a while, the carriage stopped and a voice was heard outside.

[Duke, we have arrived at the imperial castle.]

“Get off now.”


The Duke, who opened the door, got out of the carriage first and held out his hand.
After hesitating for a moment, she quickly put her hand on the staring eyes and lowered it.
All the people at the entrance were looking in their direction.

It seemed that she was fortunate to be wearing a mask since her face was about to be pierced.
Thanks to the mask too, she could hide her facial expressions.

The Duke and she were escorting each other holding hands, mostly as partners pinning each other.
First of all, they were nominally partners, so she guessed it was ok to hold hands.

She looked down at the large hand that covered all of hers.
It was a thick, hard hand.
There were quite a few calluses here and there.
It wasn’t long before she reached the door leading to the venue.

“Kayden, Duke Nathan.
Just let them know that the person next to me is my partner.”

“All right.”

At the words of the Duke, the attendant nodded and shouted inward.

“His Excellency Duke Kayden Nathan and his partner enter.”

The moment I set foot on the coast, she became nervous by the enormous gaze of the people there.
Even though she went to the center of the league, the eyes were hardly taken away.
Because of nervousness, the gait felt unnatural and dirty.

“There’s nothing to worry about.
It’s all just pointless glances.”

The Duke’s voice made her raise her gaze.
The black eyes on the inside of the cage turned red towards her.
As they met those gazes for a long time, strangely, the seal began to peel.

“It’s been a while.
Duke Nathan.”

She raised her head at the cool voice that pierced her ears.
A man wearing a blue mask with long silver hair was standing in front of him.
The purple eyes on the inside of the mask glowed dimly.
She instinctively realized who that man was.

Marquis Pasion Dior.
The one who instigated Deliam’s kidnapping while having an antagonistic relationship with the Duke.

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