It seemed that her hands were powerless without even realizing it.
When she saw the Duke’s gaze turned to her hand for a moment.

“Yeah, long time no see.
Marquis Dior.”

The Marquis pulled the corners of his mouth into a smile and looked at her.

“…Anyway, I wonder who this person is.
You look pretty even with a mask on.”

“I guess that was what you were curious about.
Seeing that you came right here without any room.”

“Could that be? I just did it because I was curious.”

“It’s amazing…”

“Because it feels like I’ve seen you somewhere.”

The Marquis leaned his face against her.
He only got a little closer, but a chill went down her spine.
For a moment, she took a step back without even realizing it.
The Duke’s gaze turned to her again.

“Let’s go.
My partner is so weak that he needs to rest for a while.”

Having said that, the Duke led her to the balcony.
She swallowed her saliva at the cool gaze that she felt in the back of her head.

“You’re surprised by nothing.”

The Duke arrived on the balcony and lowered the curtains.

“…I’ve rarely been to banquets, so it’s just that I’m not used to it.”


The Duke snorted and leaned against the railing.
She sat down in the prepared chair and took a deep breath.
After a while, she thought it was strange.
She glanced up at the Duke.

From the moment she got off the wagon, he seemed to care about her quite a bit.
She thought it was because of her that he had to come all the way here and draw the curtains.

“When will the banquet end?”

“It will probably continue until midnight.
I don’t intend to stay until then.”

“…Is it okay if we go halfway?”

“It doesn’t matter.
I don’t even think I’ll be there for long.”

After all, the Emperor will be away after the gift delivery ceremony, so they could go.
It was time to nod her head and look at the scenery below the balcony.
She felt an unfamiliar presence and turned her head.

“…Ah, I must have entered the wrong place.”

The woman who pulled back the curtains and came in looked at her and the Duke in embarrassment.
She was a woman wearing a purple mask, and she was embarrassed, but she was confused and then she tried to leave.

“There were many examples.
Then this ph…”

She was about to turn off her nerves, but suddenly something flashed in her mind.
Wait a minute… Now this was… Realizing what the situation was, she jumped up from her seat.

“Wait a minute, Lady Ladiana!”

The woman turned to her and gave her a puzzled look.
That woman was none other than the heroine of this book, ‘Ladiana Blond’.
The reason Ladiana came here was because she had to face the Duke.
It was at the balcony, during the Emperor’s birthday banquet, that the Duke became obsessed with her.
So, this moment was exactly that situation.

“I’m going out, so here… Huh?”

The moment she moved on with the thought that she should step aside, the Duke passed her by.

“Looks like you have something to say, but I’ll step aside for a moment.”

“…Wait a minute, Duke!”

She hurriedly grabbed the Duke, but he had already left the balcony completely.
She blinked her eyes, unable to hide her absurdity.
She never dreamed that the Duke would suddenly leave.
So what happens now? From the female lead’s point of view, it’s better not to get involved with the Duke, but wasn’t this a bit off?

If this was the case, the original content would be completely distorted.
She barely came to her senses at the voice she heard right before her mentality went out.

“Excuse me, but who are you and did you call me?”

“Ah, I…”

She was about to answer, but suddenly the wind blew strong.
As a result, Ladiana’s mask was caught in the wind.
She reached out and quickly grabbed the mask that was about to fly into the air.
Ladiana was looking at her with her eyes wide open.
She seemed surprised that her mask had come off.

She walked up to her and held out her mask.

“Here you are.”

However, Ladiana hardly accepted the mask.
She was puzzled, then realized why she was doing it.
She’s in trouble because her hair was ruined, so she did it.

“Excuse me for a moment.”

She straightened Ladiana’s hair, which was disheveled by the wind.
Then she put her mask on top of it and tied the string behind her taut to secure it.

“That’s enough.”

Thank you.”

Ladiana held her hand and she was at a loss.
She looked at Ladiana like that.
There was a blush on her face for some reason.
Did she have a fever all of a sudden? Unknowingly, she lightly touched Ladiana’s cheek.
Even though she knew it’s rude.

“Aren’t you sick?”

“I’m fine.”

“Then I’m glad.”

Ladiana suddenly grabbed her hand with one of hers.
She blinked her eyes in bewilderment.

“Why did your hand suddenly…”

“It’s too good.”

“Ah, come back… yes?”

She smiled and reached her other hand around her neck.
When she lowered his gaze, the mask was draped down her neck.
It seemed that her mask had been ripped off because of the strong wind earlier.

“I’ll cover you too.”

“No, fine…”

“Stay still.”

At that, she stopped moving, and the mask disappeared from her face.
She sighed slightly as she put her hand behind her back.

“It’s really unfortunate, a lot of your pretty appearance has been covered.”

Ladiana murmured softly.

“Still, wearing a mask is so pretty.”

She looked at Elia a bit shy and she felt weird… what? What about this situation where you seem to fall in love with her? She was not sure if it’s just her mood, or if she was being overly sensitive.

Elia smiled hard at the woman and said.

“Thank you.
More than that, did you ask who I am?”


But could she tell her who she was? She was a little worried.
Earlier, when the Marquis asked about her identity, the Duke strangely avoided answering.
But if she didn’t answer that, she would look suspicious.

“If you’re in trouble…”

She concluded from those words.
Didn’t the duke categorically tell her not to reveal her identity and to hide it?

“No, my name is Elia Lawton.”

“…Elia Lawton? Are you the daughter of the Viscount of Lawton?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

Seeing that she was quite flustered made her feel uncomfortable with her identity.

There were a lot of rudeness…Oh, yes.”

She bowed her head slightly and left her balcony.
She wasn’t hurt or surprised because it was an expected reaction.
She just couldn’t afford to catch her breath.

[His Majesty the Emperor Ivan Recardo enters.]

At that time, she was startled by the sound she heard from inside the banquet hall.
In an instant, she felt the hall become quiet and hurried out of her balcony.
Looking around her, the Duke was standing not far away.
As she hurried to his side, the Duke naturally held out her arm.

She put her arm around the Duke’s and stared at the banquet hall door.
At the same time as the door opened, the Emperor finally appeared.
The Emperor was the only one not wearing a mask, and he had the appearance of being blind.

She knew that the Emperor’s face was unusual because the original story praised his appearance so much, but she didn’t expect it to be this much.
As she looked at the Emperor almost stunned, she felt a stinging gaze.
The Duke was staring at her, frowning.
That too, with a very bad-looking face.
While tilting her head, the Duke’s gaze was withdrawn.

She looked at the Emperor again, thinking it was no big deal.
The Emperor, accompanied by his subordinates, crossed the banquet hall and climbed up to the podium.
Then he looked around the quiet room and opened his mouth.

“I’m just grateful that so many people came to celebrate my birthday.
I hope you enjoy it.”

As the Emperor announced the start of the banquet, the hall became noisy again.
The nobles gradually dispersed to enjoy the banquet.
She secretly cast her gaze toward the podium where the Emperor was sitting.
According to the book, there would be a gift delivery ceremony in the middle of the banquet.
At that time, a subtle war of nerves between the Duke and the Emperor was scheduled to take place.

“I’m waiting here for a while.”

“Where are you going?”


“Oh, Duke.
Can I reveal my identity to people? I somehow told Lady Ladiana…”

“It doesn’t matter as long as you don’t get out of the banquet hall.”

“Yes, got it.”

She turned her body and looked at the back of the Duke who was heading somewhere, then withdrew her gaze.
She stood still for a while, and people sneakily began to approach her.
She still felt the stares glancing at her.
She pretended not to know and walked slowly.

She wasn’t avoiding people, she just walked to look like she was moving.
The reason she was trying to escape from this place wasn’t simply because of the people who were trying to get close to me.
It was because of Marquis Dior, who kept an eye on her even while talking to other nobles.

The Duke told her not to get out of here, so she was thinking of going to that balcony earlier.

However, it had already been occupied by other nobles for a long time.
He looked around for a while and noticed a balcony in another corner.
Fortunately, no one was there.
After drawing the curtains, she walked over to the railing.
It was a bit chilly because it was the time when the sun was setting.

She was watching the scenery while gently wrapping her shoulders, and she suddenly felt a presence.
As she turned her head, he took a deep breath in his purple eyes.
None other than the Marquis Dior stood right behind.

He was talking to nobles until just now, so how could he follow her so quickly? For some reason, goosebumps spread all over her body.

“… I greet the Marquis Dior.”

She pretended to be calm and joined the Marquis.

“It’s definitely a first meeting, so you’re twisting and lashing out.
Haven’t we meet before?”

He stuck his head out as he pretended to be friendly.
Facing the cold gaze up close, the lungs seemed to shrivel.
But, on the other hand, she was filled with unpleasant feelings.
What kind of rudeness was this when he came in on his own?

“I was honestly very surprised because I didn’t know that the Marquis would come in so unexpectedly.”

“Oh… You must have been surprised by my sudden visit.
I didn’t even know there were people there because it was so overly quiet.”

This human was saying that he wanted to fight with her right now.
Was he getting annoyed?

“Usually, if the curtains are closed, you’ll know that someone is there… Maybe it’s because the Marquis didn’t see it, right?”

“The banquet hall is dark.”

The Marquis slightly pulled the corner of his mouth and smiled.
She was rather nervous about that smile.
It was because his eyes were not smiling.

At that time, the long, white fingers stretched out to avoid her, but he tried to touch her waist right away.
A white finger that reached over the mask slowly traced the area around the cheek.
Her body trembled faintly.
She felt as if she was standing in front of a snake as a small and fragile animal.

If she moved, she felt as though she would be bitten by sharp teeth with poison.
She had to cut off the Marquis’ hand somehow.
That way she could get out.
Only such thoughts filled her head.

After lifting the arm that was hanging down below her with force, she cut off the hand of the Marquis.
However, she was able to sneak away slightly enough to be less than enough to knock him out.
She felt like she could live with just that.
She barely breathed out when she heard the Marquis’s voice.

“…Lady Elia Lawton.”

The Marquis said her name very naturally.

“…I would advise you in advance, you’d better not get attached to anything.”

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