27. Would you Like to go With me?
“Then, I suppose it’s goodbye for a while.”
After tying the ribbon, I tried to step away from Phil.
“That’s not true.”
Phil suddenly turned around and held my hand.
“There’ll be a large ball next week. Would you like to go with me?”
“It’s not a formal ball, it’s one where around half of the participants will wear masks, so…”
As Phil’s grip on my hand tightened, there was a slamming sound as the door opened.
Immediately, Phil released me.
A moment later, Alves entered with a bitter expression.
“Didn’t I tell you to not do anything strange to Lucia?”
“I just held her hand…”
“Then, what was that about a ball? Did you forget how much you stand out?”
My brother was apparently eavesdropping.
…Alright. He did make a point, I suppose…
“Lucia stood out enough during the Count Orfels family’s wedding. Anymore than that, and I’ll have you to stop.”
“That’s why I’m suggesting a masquerade ball. People will also be dyeing their hair. It might take time to prepare, but being a little late is fashionable, isn’t it?”
Phil became serious.
After some contemplation, Alves finally opened his mouth.
“…As far as I’ve heard, there will be only one masquerade ball in the near future.”
“I’ll make sure to not stand out as much as possible. I’m familiar with the day’s schedule. I know the layout and the security situation quite well. If anything happens, we should be able to escape immediately… moreover—”
Phil stood up, glanced at me, and quietly whispered to my brother.
“You said you wanted to show her at least once, didn’t you?”
“That’s… while that may be true—”
—Glancing at me, my brother let out a low groan.
Why would he want to show me that?
When I was tilting my head, Alves nodded as if he had decided.
“…Alright, then it’s up to Lucia. Lucia, do you want to attend the ball?”
“I want to go.”
“…Is that so. Alright then, take her there, Phil.”
“Well, but I’ll need to have my ball dress remade…”
“If it’s a little old, then let me borrow it. I’ll have Tiana look over it. I will provide everything you need.”
“That will be helpful, but…”
I glanced at my brother.
I wondered if he’d be against it, but surprisingly, Alves only shrugged.
“Unlike Gorman, Phil is good at dancing. That’s all I can guarantee.”
“Lucia only needs to bring her shoes and come to the royal capital. If possible, come the day before. I’ll be staying in the barracks, so be rest assured. Will Alves also come?”
“Of course, although it’s been a while since I’ve been to your house.”
“I’ve rarely stayed there, either.”
Phil, who smiled bitterly, stood in front of me once again.
“What do you think? If you don’t feel like it, don’t overdo it. But if you’re interested, let’s go to the ball. Also… I want you to dance with me.”
Phil smiled, but his eyes were very serious.
Since he was taller than me, I had to lift my head to look at his face. Then, I pondered a moment.
Speaking of balls, I had participated in some with Gorman several times after getting engaged.
The first time, I was absorbed by the glittering world. Yet as the years went by, they became excruciating moments.
But with Phil, I didn’t have to worry about my height.
Even if I jumped, I wouldn’t be glared at.
“Lucia-chan, what do you think?”
As he waited for my reply, Phil looked a little nervous.
I showed a wry smile.
“I also want to dance with Phil.”
“…Okay! Let’s get ready! I’ll work hard!”
Phil suddenly became lively as he held my hand and hugged Alves who looked a bit sour.
Before the pick-up could arrive, he joyfully went to the stables.
***T/N: I almost got separation anxiety issue for nothing…
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