5. The Announcement Party is a Battlefield
Six months had passed since Tistye came to Verscia.
“Your Majesty the Empress, you look truly beautiful.”
“Thank you very much, Lizzy… but, this gorgeous dress… I wonder if it’s truly suitable for me…”
“What are you saying! Wearing such dress is only natural because you’re the leading role today!”
In the mirror, Tistye could see Lizzy clenching her fist tightly. Tistye furrowed her eyebrows, troubled.
After recovering from her sickness, Lizzy began to take care of Tistye’s surroundings.
When Tistye inquired with the butler, it seemed that Lizzy had grown to admire Tistye’s personality, who came to visit her that night. Lizzy desired greatly to assist Tistye.
Even though I only chanced upon her sickness thanks to Lord Gaizel …for some reason, I feel guilty.
At the same time, in the foreign Kingdom of Verscia, Tistye was truly grateful of Lizzy’s companionship.
The sound of door knocking echoed and the butler showed his face.
“Your Majesty the Empress, I’m here to escort you.”
“Thank you, I shall go immediately.”
Tistye was conscious to mind her every step—she didn’t want to damage the high heels.
Today was the first time Tistye Lacie, the new empress, would appear in public.
The royal venue was crowded with people.
The elegant music strummed by the orchestra echoed throughout the entire place. A large number of guests were present—be it royal aristocrats, diplomats, or messengers from other kingdoms—each with their own rumors and secrets.
At the center of the hall, following the throne, was a low staircase. A canopy made of thin fabric flowed down the ceiling. The Verscia’s ‘Ice Emperor’ sat in an arrogant manner on a throne set above the paved floor which was lined with red velvet carpet.
Eventually, one of his entourage approached Gaizel and whispered something. Gaizel unraveled his legs and slowly stood up.
The largest door in the hall opened, as if to match his movement. The noisy voices were cut and everyone’s gazes were immediately stolen by her.
What appeared was a beautiful woman with dignified appearance.
Eye-catching silver hair. Long eyelashes of the same color, shaped like bows. The color of her round eyes bore the exact replica of the azure summer skies. Her lips were akin to budding roses.
Her pure skin further emphasized her charm—her dignified appearance was that of the snow goddess.
The dress she wore was dark blue, and at first glance, it seemed plain. Nevertheless, once the chandelier shone its light upon her attire, the fact that it was made using special, expensive, fabric was obvious to the eye.
The decorations and jewels, although seemingly prepared casually, were first-class. A ring with a large, precious, gem rested on her finger. Every single one of those trinkets was indeed worthy to be worn by the Empress of the almighty Kingdom of Verscia.
Despite the piercing gaze of her surroundings, Tistye advanced in a calm and elegant manner, but, behind her seemingly clear expression—
—aaah! There, there are this many people…!
She knew many would attend—but not this many!
But, she concealed her shock under her resolute attitude—despite so, she wondered how long she could keep it up.
The heels are high, the corset is painful, what do I do…
Immediately, help came.
Gaizel, who was upstairs, came before Tistye.
Gaizel’s appearance was also more festive. His black attire was embroidered with silver thread, while his chest gleamed from the several medals adorning it. Made of velvet, his crimson cloak was adorned with the fur of a black panther, which shook with every step he took.
Her name was called. Tistye, who had been lookinged down the entire time, finally lifted her face.
At last, she saw the familiar face of someone she knew—she couldn’t help but smile.
The breathing of all the surrounding men stopped the moment they saw the Empress’ expression. She transformed from dignified to lovely.
Perhaps noticing the atmosphere, Gaizel took the hand of Tistye and stared with his usual sharp gaze.
“Sorry, I’m still not used to walking in these…”
“During the party, don’t guffaw.”
“G, guffaw, you say…”
[“This is hopeless, does she not know how cute she is!? If she shows such a smile again, what if someone fall in love with her!? What am I supposed to do when that happens!? Well, obviously, I won’t forgive any man who dares fall for her. It’ll be really troublesome if some bad insects were to attach themselves to her… Randi, couldn’t you have limited the guests a little more? You should’ve banned unmarried men from attending!”]
Tistye’s ears grew hot when she ‘heart’ him. If that continued, her face would be vivid red.
Your Highness, you’re overestimating me…
Back in her homeland, no one would praise Tistye’s appearance.
In Lacie, glossy red hair was the definition of beauty—which was the exact opposite of Tistye’s appearance. In any social events, due to said appearance, Tistye was always singled out. In fact, whenever she thought back about her homeland’s social events, all she could recall was the painful whispers she had to endure.
That was why, when she prepared for that announcement party, she challenged herself—how bad can it be!?
However, the reactions that Tistye expected didn’t appear… and she felt somewhat at a loss.
Well, it’s probably because His Majesty is by my side…
As such, before their Emperor, no one dared to say anything bad regarding Tistye.
…Perhaps, Gaizel came to fetch her in anticipation of someone saying anything rude to her…
His hand, which enveloped her, felt warm.
Eventually, after returning to the throne under the canopy, Gaizel finally let go of Tistye.
Soon after, the aristocrats whom were hoping to greet the Empress began to gather downstairs.
Despite so, Gaizel only spared them a glance before calling to the back of the throne.
“ “Yes!” ”
After the short affirmation, the two men behind her stood up. After passing Gaizel, they bowed before Tistye.
“A pleasure to meet you, Your Majesty the Empress, I’m Van Altranza. I’m the childhood friend of His Majesty. It’s truly an honor for this knight to be able to stand before you.”
The first person to name himself was a refreshing youth.
With beautiful golden hair and blue eyes, tinted with gray, his well-trained body was apparent from his attire. In front of Tistye, Van smiled—like a lover would.
“I’ve heard from the rumors—you’re indeed a beautiful princess.”
“To, to say that kind of thing is just too—”
Tistye, who tried to deny it, was terrified because of the dreadful atmosphere emanating from behind her.
She couldn’t hear the voice of Gaizel’s heart, but, judging from Van’s face, which seemed to immensely regret what he had said, Gaizel’s expression was easy to guess.
W, what am I doing, does it count as ‘guffawing’ to him…?
She had to change the subject! Tistye turned to the other man. The man, with experienced manners, bowed deeply.
“My name is Luxen Mahler. I’m honored to meet Your Majesty the Empress.”
The man who bowed down with a gentle smile was much older than Tistye.
His hair silvery, while his eyes were blue like thin ice. There was a gold ring adorned with a red jewel on his finger—which told that he was married. He was wearing glasses—was his eyesight weak? He was staring at Tistye through said glasses.
“Lord Luxen, was it? I’ll be in your care.”
According to him, Luxen’s predecessor were all appointed as royal assistants—a duty which Luxen inherited when Gaizel became the new emperor. He was also a man capable of aiding Gaizel in politics.
“To be honest, there’s another person who’s a royal assistant, unfortunately, he’s currently away on business trip.”
“Another royal assistant…?”
“Yes, his name is Randi Goethe.”
“Ah! That Randi fellow!”
After exclaiming so, Tistye gulped. Luckily, it seemed that Gaizel didn’t notice a thing. If he had heard, wouldn’t he wonder why she knew of that Randi?
It’s the name of that guy who’s always being hit with dissatisfaction by the voice of His Majesty’s heart… how many times has he complained about him already?
Around the end of each their introductions, the music played by the orchestra changed—to which Van raised his eyebrows and smiled happily.
***T/N: …Aahhh, Randi, aka He Who Must Always Be Named But Shall Never Appear….