Author: alyalia

Verne became a lost child, walking around the Imperial Palace.

 

“I think this is the hallway to the banquet hall…”

 

She had already changed into a dress that was prepared by Cersinia. Even before leaving the mansion, she was getting a make-over along with Cersinia at the hands of the servants.

 

“When the banquet begins, you have to change into this dress and come into the banquet hall.”

 

She doesn’t know what it was for, but she had no choice but to change into a dress at Cersinia’s command. Verne asked herself why she had to wear a dress like this when she only came as a servant. However, as she couldn’t disobey Cersinia, Verne grabbed the hem of her cumbersome dress and walked to find the banquet hall.

 

“…Verne?”

 

When a familiar voice called her name from behind, Verne turned around. Her long, dark brown hair, naturally put down, was smooth and shining under the starlight.

 

“Your Highness…”

 

Verne’s eyes widened in surprise at the unexpected person.

 

Limapheus, dressed in a neat suit, had left the banquet hall completely with his two collar buttons being undone. His sun-like blonde hair, which had been lit up, was a little messy. It seemed that it was being messy by his own hand.

 

“Are you lost?”

 

Limapheus, who had been looking at Verne in a daze, immediately regained his consciousness and asked. His heart was beating loudly at the appearance of Verne, who looked more beautiful than any woman who attended today’s banquet.

 

“Yes… I was looking for a banquet hall.”

 

Verne was somehow embarrassed and couldn’t look directly at Limapheus. For some reason, her face blushed, and her heart pounded faster.

 

“Let’s go together.”

 

Limapheus, who was about to return because he hated boring banquets, changed his mind. From the moment he saw Verne, he realized his own feelings.

 

Limapheus reached out his arm to Verne. Verne glanced alternately at his face and his arm with a bewildered look.

 

“Hold it.”

 

Limapheus said that to Verne, who was hesitant.

 

“Yes…”

 

Verne hesitated and, in the end, reached out her arm. Her arm naturally went between Limapheus’s arm and crossed it. The two began to walk together. Their footsteps echoing through the hallway were pounding like their own heartbeats.

 

* * *

 

Cersinia and Ben, who came out to the garden with a large and colorful fountain, couldn’t find a proper place to sit.

 

“Would you like to sit on those stairs?”

 

Cersinia pointed to the stairs in the corridor next to the garden. It doesn’t matter where she sits down because her feet were hurting from wearing high heels for a long time.

 

“Don’t you feel cold?”

 

“I’m okay with that. What about you?”

 

“I’m fine with that too.”

 

It was winter, but the wind was not so cold today. The two headed for the stairs. Ben took out the thick handkerchief he had in his suit and put it on the stairs.

 

“Thank you.”

 

With his consideration, she sat on the stairs where the handkerchief was placed while smiling. Each stone pillar towering next to the stairs where they sat was engraved with beautiful patterns, giving off a peaceful atmosphere.

 

Each stone pillar towering next to the sitting stairs was carved with beautiful patterns, giving off a quiet atmosphere.

 

“Aah, I feel alive.”

 

As Cersinia stretched out her legs, it felt like her legs were loosened as she let go of her high heels. Ben took off the coat he was wearing for granted and sat next to her, hanging it over Cersinia’s shoulders.

 

“Ben, look at the stars. There are so many.”

 

Cersinia, who raised her head with a more relaxed expression, let out a sigh of relief. Numerous stars were dazzlingly shining as if they were about to pour over the open ceilings. 

 

“Beautiful.”

 

Ben kept his gaze fixed on Cersinia’s face that was looking at the stars. In his eyes, Cersinia looked lovely, just like the fully shining stars.

 

“Right? It’s pretty.” Cersinia admired it quietly.

 

Many stars embroidered in the night sky twinkled like golden grains of sand. Just before, it was so spectacular that she forgot the bitterness of her situation. In particular, it was exciting that she was looking at the same sky with Ben.

 

No matter how different their status was, the Emperor, the Empress Dowager, or herself could reach the sky in the end. It was the only thing that they were equal, but that one thing was precious to Cersinia. Because it felt like it could narrow the distance between her and Ben that she couldn’t cross.

 

“You don’t have to pay attention to the Emperor’s words.”

 

Cersinia smiled as if nothing had happened to him, but Ben worried it might hurt her.

 

“It’s okay. I understand the Emperor. You’re his nephew, so he must be concerned about you too.”

 

On the contrary, it was even more understandable if she put herself in the position of the Emperor. This world was different from her previous world. It was a natural logic that commoners couldn’t be connected with nobles, born with status since birth and learned different things depending on their status.

 

‘So there were quite a few twists and turns before Limapheus married Verne.’

 

But in the end, their status will become equal.

 

In the novel, Cersinia exists only to strengthen the love between the two.

 

Cersinia looked down at her hand. Her fair, delicate hands contained a tremendous power that no one could have expected.

 

She clenched her hand, which was placed on her thigh.

 

‘I will never hurt anyone with this hand.’

 

She wanted to keep a smile without making Ben feel ashamed of her.

 

“Cersinia.”

 

Ben called her name deep while she was in deep thought.

 

“Yes?”

 

When she turned her head to the call, her eyes met with him, who was looking at her seriously.

 

“…”

 

Ben called her but remained silent for a long time. He licked his lips several times, but no voice came out.

 

Cersinia waited for him without rushing him, thinking about what was going on with his serious expression. In the awkward silence, the moment the brightest star fell in the night sky, Ben knelt down on one of his knees in front of Cersinia.

 

“I liked the reason you took care of me by your side, even if it was sympathy. If you could be by my side even for that reason, it would be fine… But I don’t think like that anymore.”

 

There was a heavy emotion in his eyes that was shining. Cersinia could feel his emotion that her eyes shook greatly.

 

“My greed knows no bounds, and I hope you will love me. I want to be your whole person.”

 

“…Ben,” she called him with her trembling voice.

 

Ben’s sincerity, confessing with all his might, touched her heart and rumbled the wall in her heart. Tears welled up in her eyes, knowing how much Ben must have thought and hesitated before coming up with those words. The memory of not being honest and rejecting him coldly still remains a scar for the two.

 

Cersinia’s trembling hand turned toward him. Ben took that hand and kissed it. It took a very long time for him to bring this up again. But he really wants to tell her and has to say it to her. It was the words he wanted to say only to Cersinia for the rest of his life.

 

“I love you.”

 

It was a genuine feeling that he had been pushed down so far.

 

“Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I have always loved Cersinia.”

 

Cersinia’s eyelids trembled at his dizzyingly sweet confession. It felt like she couldn’t breathe. It was an emotion that couldn’t be expressed in any words. Her fingertips that were caught by him trembled, and his gaze melted her whole body. Cersinia raised her other hand and carefully caressed Ben’s cheek.

 

“Me too.”

 

Since the day they first met, she liked the tenacious gaze he had never given to anyone other than herself. She liked everything about him who cherished her, and she felt good that Ben loved her with his openly exposed feelings. Just being together makes her excited and overwhelmed.

 

Maybe it was fate that she met him at the gambling house. Destiny is bound to be like this. Since three years ago, her feelings have remained the same.  But it took her too long to be aware of it and accept her own feelings. It even made Ben wait so long. So it was time for her to step forward without hesitation.

 

“I’m in love with you.”

 

The moment Ben confessed his feelings, Cersinia’s eyes burned red. As it came out of his mouth, the emotions she was holding became clearer and clearer.

 

“I love you.”

 

As her confession dug into his ears, his eyes, which contained desire and longing, became wet. Perhaps thinking the words of rejection would flow out this time too, Ben’s hands, which were tense enough that his veins popped out, were loosened.

 

Ben took out what he had prepared several days ago and put it in her hand. Cersinia lowered her head at the feeling of something being placed in her hand. It was a small box.

 

“Ben, this is…”

 

When she widened her eyes in surprise, Ben opened the box. There was a clicking sound, and the opened box contained a ring with a diamond shining like a star. Cersinia stared blankly at the ring while Ben took the ring out of the box. Then he grabbed her left hand as if holding something extremely precious.

 

“I want to be your man and be with you.”

 

His eager eyes were burning intensely as if they were going to tear Cersinia apart at any moment. Cersinia was looking at his actions silently with a trembling heart. He slowly put a ring on her ring finger.

 

“Cersinia, please be with me for the rest of my life.”

 

He kissed her on the back of her hand. His voice, as deep as the night sky, was trembling slightly as if he was nervous.

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