Chapter 59 - Truth Behind Gossips
Time passed until it was finally the day of the banquet. The carriage ride to Count Arlo’s residence was a little boring, as I could only see a series of indistinguishable buildings near the capital. The view reminded me of downtown Seoul, where it was also crowded with similar-looking skyscrapers.
‘Ah, everything near the capital looks the same. There’s nothing interesting to see.’
I wanted to yawn because I strangely felt tired, but I restrained myself, afraid that my father might scold me for showing an unrefined appearance. ‘Ah, I’m so sleepy.’ My vision was beginning to blur when I heard his voice.
I glanced at my father, who was looking out the window.
“I will stay by your side today,” he continued.
I didn’t know why he was saying this, but it seemed like he was uneasy about what other people would think about our family. They might find it strange if we entered as partners but interacted awkwardly. He was probably concerned about me causing a scene at the banquet too.
‘I’m mostly worried about you, Father…’ I couldn’t figure out what he was thinking lately, so I was nervous that he might interfere with my plans. Nevertheless, I wore a smile to cover up my true thoughts.
“Oh, I appreciate that you’re coming with me, Father.”
‘As long as I don’t make any mistakes today, there won’t be any problems.’ At that moment, I noticed my father smiling softly as he continued to look out the window.
‘What is he smiling at?’ I turned around to look outside the window as well. A pretty mansion was surrounded by flower beds brimming with red roses, giving it a lively appearance. We had arrived at Count Arlo’s townhouse, which was located at the capital’s outskirts. ‘It’s a pretty house, just as Rose said.’
I was staring blankly at the beautiful mansion when my father said, “Jubelian.”
I turned my attention to him, then saw him reaching out to me.
“Let’s go,” he said.
I looked at his hand for a moment, then tentatively took it. I held it delicately in case it would bother him, but he grabbed my hand tightly.
* * *
“Announcing Duke Regis Adrey Floyen and his esteemed daughter, Lady Jubelian Eloy Floyen!”
The banquet hall stirred at the herald’s introduction, especially since the famous Duke Floyen usually didn’t attend social events. As everyone held their breaths, the picturesque father and daughter duo entered the banquet hall. Those who saw them gaped in astonishment. Lady Floyen was dressed in a white dress embroidered with gold threads. She looked so beautiful and elegant that for a moment, her notoriety escaped everyone’s thoughts.
“Her reputation precedes her beauty,” someone said.
As they admired her, the duke gently wrapped his arm around his daughter’s shoulders. Their attention immediately followed his movements, and everyone noticed that he was wearing a white robe that matched her dress. Despite his age, the duke was still youthful and handsome, comparable to a man in his twenties. The only part of his appearance that revealed his age was his sunken eyes.
“That’s His Grace, Duke Floyen, right?”
“Yes, you’re right. It’s been a while since he’s attended a banquet.”
Unmarried ladies, as well as noble ladies who had admired him in the past, blushed when they saw him.
“He still looks great.”
“Yes, he does.”
The nobles stared at Duke Floyen as if they were possessed, following his movements as he slightly raised his hand. When he revealed something shiny under his sleeve, everyone realized what it was and widened their eyes.
‘That is…!’ The blue diamond cufflinks that everyone had been looking for could be seen on the duke’s wrists, gleaming from the light. The nobles were mesmerized for a moment, realizing why they hadn’t seen the cufflinks until now. ‘If they were a gift for him, it makes sense why the cufflinks hadn’t appeared. The duke usually doesn’t wear accessories and spends most of his time at home now…’
The man in question slowly observed the banquet hall. His cold eyes seemed to warn people to not draw hasty conclusions, making onlookers recoil with fright. Even so, some people smiled in response to his frightening gaze. Rose glanced at her mother with an elated expression, since she had been scolded by her for exchanging letters with Jubelian.
‘Are you seeing this? I told you Lady Floyen wasn’t at fault,’ her gaze seemed to say. Countess Arlo fanned herself with embarrassment. Other nobles who had believed in the rumors looked away in embarrassment as well. There was only one man who fixed his gaze on the duo.
‘What? The cufflinks were for the duke?’ It was Mikhail, Jubelian’s ex-boyfriend.
‘Of course. She can’t possibly have eyes for anyone else besides me.’ He stared at Jubelian and slowly raised the corner of his lips.
* * *
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