“I heard it was a small birthday party…”
I had heard that she was rich, but I never imagined that Count Norman’s house would be such a splendid place.
Howard’s mansion in the capital, which was considered quite large, was only one room compared to this house, or this palace.
A small birthday party in such an enormous mansion? Just looking at the number of carriages entering this large garden, it was nonsense. I tried not to look around for fear of looking tacky, but I couldn’t help but admire the splendid and dazzling look everywhere I stepped.
“Oh my god… Leon, do you see it? that flower over there is also covered with gold leaf. How much is that?”
not a vase, It is a flower.
The flowers, which should have been white, yellow, or red, were dyed golden and reflected brilliantly the light pouring from the chandelier.
“Does Lady like that?”
“No! I don’t like that.”
You can’t resell it later. To put gold leaf on a flower that would be thrown away when it withered.
“I think flowers are the prettiest when they remain as they are. How about Leon?”
“I think so too.”
The hallway was decorated with gilded flowers as well as ceramics, statues, and paintings that seemed to have been brought from other continents. It was an oriental-style thing that was familiar to me.
“They are items from the East Continent.”
“Oh, how do you know?”
“I have told you about Hermene before. A lot of items from the eastern continent are also posted at the auction house there.”
“Then, do merchants from the East Continent come and offer their goods?”
“Rather than merchants from the eastern continent, a lot of people who do business with them stop by. Like the Norman.”
Come to think of it, the commercial city of Hermene, where the Bloodhorn auction house is located, has a huge floating population.
As a joke, there was even a saying that if you don’t want to go bankrupt, go to Hermene and run a lodging business. Even now, there are no remaining accommodations there, so a certain area outside the city is said to be a campsite.
So why are so many people flocking to Hermene?
It was because the Marquis Ajas, the lord of Hermene, was giving out an enormous amount of the by-products of the monsters he had subdued with the Knights.
From magic stones that are essential for magic tools to weapons and luxury items, as well as clothes, medicine, and food, monster skins, bones, horns, and claws are used everywhere.
Hermene was the place where you could buy the cleanest monster by-products in large quantities on the continent.
So, how much money would Leonhard, the lord of Hermene and the owner of the Bloodhorn auction house, earn?
‘In the book, it was set up to show off the wealth of the sub-male lead….’
Now the owner of the auction house was this man right next to me. Was it because he realized that he was as rich as Count Norman, no, perhaps even more rich than Count Norman? Today, his golden hair looked more shiny than usual.
“Young lady, is there something on my head?”
Shaking my head slightly, I held out the invitation to the gatekeeper standing in front of the banquet hall entrance. The gatekeeper who confirmed it opened the door and shouted loudly. Apart from my wish that he would not have to do something like this.
“Lady Raenel Howard and His Highness Marquis Ajas are entering!”
The invitation was in my name, and since Leonhard was there to escort me, my name was called first.
However, it was only after hearing the name of Marquis Ajas that the people who had arrived at the banquet hall first and had gathered in twos and threes started to move.
“The Marquis Ajas is here?”
“Really? I heard that he turned down all the invitations. Was he close with Lady Norman?”
“No, His name was called later. He came to escort Lady Howard.”
As my name was mentioned belatedly, attention was also drawn to me.
I wasn’t strong enough to be able to stand there casually while receiving it alone, so I went to visit Lady Norman with Leonhard. At least in the meantime, I won’t talk to them.
“Lady Norman! Happy birthday!”
“Oh, you came! Marquis Ajas too.”
When Lady Norman greeted him by lifting the hem of her dress, Leonhard also put his hand on his chest and said hello.
“I left my birthday present with the butler at the entrance. I prepared it in a hurry, so it’s lacking a lot, but I hope you like it, young lady.”
“Thank you for coming here. You two look really good together.”
Lady Norman shouted in a very loud voice at a story that was a bit out of context. I could see the ears of the people around me prick up.
‘Yes, listen to it and get Duke Khalid off my name.’
“By the way, where is Duke Khalid?”
Leonhard looked around and asked. It seemed strange that she, the host of her banquet, was alone without an escort. I was also a little curious, so I listened carefully and looked at Lady Norman.
“He said he was a little late because he was busy with work. He is a very busy person.”
Lady Norman let out a deep sigh as if in trouble. Her face looked very gloomy, so I added a word without reason.
“He will be here soon. Could that upright man ever break his promise?”
“I guess so? Please don’t mind me and enjoy the banquet for the two of you. Our employees prepared a lot for today!”
Lady Norman added that she had prepared a gift in return, so don’t forget to take it when you go back.
I went down after congratulating Lady Norman on her birthday once again with a grateful greeting.
Then, the eyes flew in from all directions towards this direction. Before being surrounded by those eyes, I led Leonhard to the center of the hall.
“Leon, is there someone you should meet here?”
“None, I just came to escort Lady today.”
“Then we do a few dances, stay on the balcony and sneak back. Otherwise, those people will take Leon away.”
“Don’t worry. My time today will be used exclusively for Lady.”
“Oh, you are kind.”
Just as the dance started, I grabbed the hem of my dress and placed my remaining hand on Leonhard’s hand. Leonhard’s hand Wrapped around my waist, and he moved gently in step with my feet.
“Leon…Have you ever practiced dancing?”
“Yes, lady trusted me and entrusted me to escort.”
Leonhard lifted the hand he was holding and turned my body around. The hem of the dress spread out wide like petals, and it was pretty to look at.
“I’m not a lazy man who won’t even fix the points that you pointed out.”
“Oh, my goodness.”
There is nothing more disrespectful than a man who does not admit he is wrong or lacking and insists that he is right or that he is good. In that sense, Leonhard was a wonderful man.
“I’m glad, I asked Leon to escort me.”
“You rate me so highly.”
It was almost like being hugged by a man. Leonhardt held me by the waist and whispered quietly into my ear.
“It is an honor, Lady.”
It is good. I love it, I don’t know why the voice is so good. I danced three times in a row but I am not sure why my heart was pounding and my cheeks were burning.
“Oh, I’m tired. It’s impossible to continue Leon.”
“Then shall we go to the balcony?”
Many people, of all ages and genders, came out and talked to Leonhard and me while going from the hall to the balcony.
But I raised my head and said, ‘Ah, I am dizzy.’ No one tried to forcefully hold us back as if the faking illness had worked.
“Duke Khalid is entering!”
Of course, that voice would have played a part too.
“Duke Khalid is really here.”
After safely entering the balcony and closing the door, Leonhard said as he drew the curtains.
However, his words were a little strange. Did he really not think that Duke Khalid would come? I couldn’t stand the curiosity.
“Did Leon think that Duke Khalid wouldn’t come?”
“I thought that if it was to show sincerity to Lady Norman, he would escort her from the beginning. It’s easy to hear regretful comments about attending halfway, even if you make time for it.”
So It was like that. It was fortunate that he came and escorted her now, but already, Lady Norman had to stand alone for more than half of her birthday banquet.
At least if she had a brother, she could have asked to be by her side as she regretted it, but Lady Norman did not have a brother.
“If you turn it the other way around, wouldn’t it be impossible to think that you are sincere enough to Lady Norman to somehow make time for it, even if you risk hearing regretful words in your busy schedule?”
Duke Khalid, who impregnated a girl 12 years younger than himself, while not even being engaged, let alone Lady Norman to host the banquet, was the world’s goddamn bastard.
But anyway, the two like each other and marry, and after the death of Lady Norman, Duke Khalid does not remarry. In a situation where he does not even know if His daughter is dead or alive.
‘That’s right, so the vassals adopted the girl who came to join the family as His adopted daughter.’
A girl who cannot be ascertained from which bloodline she came from. However, Khalid’s pattern in that child was real, so Duke Khalid adopts the girl as his daughter. That puts an end to the issue of remarriage and the successor, but…
‘There must have been some conspiracy behind that girl. But I don’t know what it was.’
I don’t know if I’ve seen it, but I don’t remember, or if it wasn’t revealed at all. I shook my head once because I couldn’t think of it even if I tried hard, but I felt a gaze stabbing my cheek.
When I turned my head, Leonhard was looking at me with a strange face. Oh, have I been lost in thought by myself?
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“No… I thought Lady was a really great person.”
“All of those gathered here are busy looking for faults and criticizing and laughing at others…”
Leonhard’s gaze moved over the balcony door.
Come to think of it, it is said that sword masters have developed senses and can see, hear, and smell from a distance that ordinary people cannot detect.
“Lady looks at others with a positive eye.”
“No, that’s just…”
Because I know that the two of them will get married later. So that’s it.
“I don’t know if I should say this, but I’ve been curious about it for a while. How did Lady grow up so shady?”
“Ah, that. Howard County is very sunny. That’s why grape farming is really good, but you haven’t tried Howard’s wine yet, have you? If I drink it… I am not able to come here. haha.”
I couldn’t get used to the serious atmosphere, so I threw a joke and even said nonsense, but Leonhard smiled at me even when he saw me like that. It was a smile that warmed me somehow.
“My adopted child, Noah, has already expressed the pattern of Ajas. Since he was born, he had this pattern, so when he becomes an adult, he will probably have a stronger power than myself.”
Of course. The son later clears the back alleys of the capital to find the girl he likes, making the assassination guild and the intelligence guild his own. And shakes the social world by grabbing the lifelines and weaknesses of the aristocrats…
“So I intend to make him my successor. No, I have already announced that to my vassals.”
“That the successor to the family has already been decided. I know very well how unreasonable this is for the woman I am going to marry. Nevertheless, I dare to ask.”
Wait, wait wait?
Suddenly? Now? here?
For some reason, I took a step back with a feeling of uneasiness. But the railing on the balcony blocked my back and I couldn’t escape.
While realizing this, Leonhard fluttered his long cloak and knelt in front of me. Then he put his hand in his pocket and asked me.
“Will you marry me…?”
It was then.
* * *