15. Carla’s Melancholy (3)
Arthur’s inquiry made Carla return to herself. Recognizing the person in front of her, she was red with embarrassment.
“…Y…Your Highness Prince Arthur?!”
“How do you fare, Miss Carla?”
“I-I’m doing well…!!” Despite her bitterness, Carla still forced a smile.
Edward and Bryan inspected their sister closely.
“Oi, oi… aren’t you being too hard on yourself?”
“Or maybe she just doesn’t like William that much in the first place…”
Carla interjected. “W-what!? Of course, I do! I like William a lot! But this is a different story!”
“Haa?” “Say what? How is it different?”
Chris sighed—how could merely listening to a conversation be this taxing? He turned his back on the four.
“How ridiculous… Prince Arthur, whenever you’re ready, I’ll escort you back.” Chris then left the room.
Arthur dismissed Chris’ departure and asked yet again;
“—so, William is truly engaged?”
Carla answered. “Yes. It happened last night, during the ball. He proposed to Lady Amelia, also known as the Lady of Southwell…”
“I see. That notorious Lady Amelia—surely, this is going to be pretty interesting.”
“Umm… I’ve only learned about Lady Amelia as of yesterday, so I don’t know about her, uh, notoriety. To me, she seemed kind enough?”
Carla’s face became incredibly clouded.
“’Kind’? Well, well, isn’t that the opposite of the rumors? According to the rumors, she’s a cold and anti-social person.”
“T-then, those rumors, are they true?”
Carla’s expression turned uglier.
“Regrettably, I’ve never met Lady Amelia. That’s why, I can’t confirm the truth for you.” Arthur turned to Edward and Bryan—waiting for their stories.
“We actually haven’t seen much of her, either. She’s famous for hating social events and only attended them several times a year.”
“Yeah, we’ve only seen her in person for like, two or three times…”
“—then, during those couple of times, what can both of you say about her?”
Arthur asked nonchalantly. Being questioned by a prince, Edward and Bryan couldn’t help but answer despite their reluctance. Finally, they agreed to talk.
“Hmm—yes, I remember, it happened three years ago…”
“We saw Amelia for the first time in the evening ball, thus we called out to her…—”
—It was at a ball held in a certain house, it happened shortly after we graduated from boarding school. Father was the one who told us to participate. Father, mother, and brother were attending another banquet, so it was only the two of us that day.
In the first place, we aren’t really fans of social events, either. Socializing with adults, dancing, and more dancing—…it’s just dull. Whatever is the meaning of participating? The only reason we went was because it was said to be a noble’s duty.
We exchanged drinks, had friendly laughs, chatting with the ladies…—in short, we were just passing time.
At that moment, something at the corner of the hall caught my eyes. The figure of a woman, whom although alone, stood with apparent dignity.
“Hey, Bryan, do you know who that is?”
“…No, I don’t. She’s quite fetching, though.”
Her hair was dazzling, as though spun from gold thread; eyes like sapphire; skin white as snow—and above all, a dignified, unapproachable aura. We were both drawn to her. Thus, we approached and greeted her.
“Good evening to you, Milady. Care for a dance?”
“Would you mind giving me your first dance?”
We acted as gentlemanly as possible—but she merely glanced at us and said;
“I will not dance with anyone.”
We were amazed by her clear wording. We stood there in a daze. Usually, wouldn’t a subtler wording be used when turning down a dance offer? There has never been a refusal as straightforward as this.
—now that we thought about it, during that point of time, we certainly should had stopped.
However, the past us was were fascinated by her unusual, unattainable, attitude. Our curiosity was at its peak. Maybe because the ball was just that boring?
“Don’t like dancing, huh? Then, would you prefer to have a conversation with us, instead?”
“Can you at least give us your name?”
We stood there, trapping her against the wall. She made her uncomfortableness known.
“Would you please not stand in front of me like this? We have nothing to talk about.”
With a noh mask-like expression, she flatly denied us.
The girl was being difficult. Or it could be that she was only interested in the artistic sculptures of the venue. She was annoyed because we blocked the view. Or so we thought—thus, we went along with her—
—we moved and stood in line beside her. Her profile view was also beautiful—or so I noticed.
“Come on, please don’t be that cold. My name is Edward Spencer, and this guy over here—“
“—Bryan; Edward’s younger brother.”
So, it turned out that our appeal was also void, and she kept her silence. Was this the way to treat somebody? Her attitude broke our hearts.
We kept attempting to strike a conversation with her. Then, for a moment, her expression changed—although faintly. It seemed to me that her eyelids fluttered a little…
—what is she looking at?
We followed her eyes—to find a figure of one man surrounded by many ladies.
I was surprised, because I totally didn’t expect that. Although, when I stared back at her, her gaze remained upon that man.
“Do you know whom that man is?”
My guess was soon confirmed—so she was indeed looking at him!
Women were all the same—they all submit to such men.
“It’s William—the son of Marquis Spencer. William Cecil. Our cousin.”
Following me, Bryan continued bluntly.
“Well, William has a good face and head—that much is true. Not only that, he was also the president of our boarding school …so you like that kind of man, huh?”
There was no way we could compete with William.
I and Bryan exchanged look before shrugging and tried to leave from there—
—yet she stopped us.
“My name is Amelia Southwell. I’m looking forward for you two to be my partners.”
She—Amelia said so innocently. This time, her face showed emotion. It was very different from her previous expressionless one. For a moment, we were unsure if we were still talking with the same person.
***T/N: Gosh, are the twins some capture targets for our Villainess Amelia, too!?