An evening party was held that night hosted by the King’s brother, Duke Aquafresca, A lot of important people from foreign countries was attending because it was hosted by the royal family, thus one needed to be careful with their behaviour.
Luca was also attending the evening party as politics was also involved. Even so, the invitation was addressed to Elsa, written by her older sister Teresa, the Duchess Aquafresca so she would still need to attend even if Luca wasn’t.
The appearance of Elsa sitting on the sofa near the wall, sipping her wine might have been strange. However since she wasn’t wearing her spectacles as always, her vision was bad and it would be disastrous if she moved around. Luca, who was called by his superior told Elsa, “Don’t move by yourself if possible”, before he left her. Of course she wouldn’t move if she didn’t need to.
Multi-coloured dresses passed around her. However, she couldn’t see their faces from a distance so she didn’t know who was walking pass her. Her close friends would probably call out to her so she thought it was okay to ignore the people.
“You, are you Elsa?”
She felt as if she heard her name and looked over. The name Elsa was surprisingly popular in this kingdom, so they might not have been calling her. However the man who she thought called her name was looking in her direction. Elsa narrowed her eyes.
“…… I’m sorry but who are you?”
It was a natural reaction for Elsa, who couldn’t see, but she had hurt the man’s feelings.
Elsa understood. Oh yeah, was there also a guy like that?
“Is that you, Mark-san? I’m sorry, I can’t see very well.”
She told him directly that she couldn’t recognise his face. But she thought that if it was Luca then she’d probably be able to recognise him.
Mark Paradies is Duke Paradies’s oldest son. He was currently 32 years old and twelve years ago, he was Elsa’s fiancé. I see, so it’s already been 12 years since then……
Mark had a medium build and was an incredibly good-looking man. They were engaged until Elsa was 16 years old. She had good eyesight back then so she still remembered his face from that time.
Elsa’s personality hadn’t changed much since then. She was candid by nature. Just by talking to Mark for a little while, one could understand that he had high pride and liked to be pampered by others. However he treated his younger fiancée Elsa, the same way he did everyone else. It was something she couldn’t stomach.
When Elsa was sixteen, Mark got a young lady he was intimate with pregnant. Well, it was something that happened a lot in aristocrat society so Mark became engaged to that lady and his engagement with Elsa was annulled.
The engagement between Elsa and Mark was arranged by their parents. Even though his family was a Marquis household, Elsa’s family held a higher position as a Duke family. Therefore Mark’s parents earnestly requested for the engagement. Nevertheless due to Mark’s problem, the engagement was annulled and Elsa’s parents were angry. Of course they would be angry.
Nonetheless, Elsa’s parents and sisters were angry but Elsa who didn’t care had more impact.
If nothing had happened then Elsa would have been married to Mark and she wouldn’t have objected. However it would have been impossible for her to continue studying if she had married Mark, so she thought that she was fine with the way things turned out.
By the way, things weren’t going well between Mark and the lady he married so he ended up bringing his mistress to the evening party. His mistress also had a social status so she can come and leave as she wished. Well, it didn’t matter to Elsa anyway.
Mark probably thought the same about her. So it was like it never happened.
“Do you need something?”
Elsa said in a disinterested tone. She didn’t even stand up. They were both children of Dukes and Elsa had established a position at the academic society so she had no reason to be humble to him.
Her uninterested appearance once again hurt Mark’s pride.
“What’s with that attitude? Did you come to be laughed at? Dressing in something that doesn’t suit you.”
“This isn’t the first time my attitude’s been bad, is it? And the engagement between us was annulled because of something you did. So it’s inevitable that my attitude is bad towards you, isn’t it? Incidentally, this dress is my companion’s preference.”
She spouted off at once. Everything was true. She thought Mark was feeble-minded. Because Elsa basically retorted him with logic, she didn’t think that they matched.
Elsa was wearing a red dress today. It was a sensational dress. It was strange that when Elsa wore it, it suited her intellectual aura and she looked elegant. This dress was her companion’s, in other words, Luca’s preference. She wondered if he was liked red. It was better for him to choose her dress as he had better taste than Elsa. So even if she left everything to Luca, she was still a woman.
Most of the evening dresses were very low-cut. Elsa’s dress wasn’t as opened as the ones in recent fashion but she was still wearing such a dress. It was designed for someone as tall as Elsa. In other words, it was a made to order dress. She was wearing unrelenting heels with a delicate design. Even so, her line of sight was still lower than Luca’s so she felt it was somewhat unreasonable.
“If you don’t have any business with me, then don’t talk to me.”
“What’s with that, you!? From so long ago.”
Mark blew his fuse. That’s why, Elsa didn’t.
“You’re always looking down on me! Don’t you consider the other person’s feelings once in a while!?”
“You’re sure can talk.”
Elsa answered back and Mark was just about to refute again when a voice was heard, “Elsa!” It was Luca.
“You were here.”
“Yes, what is it?”
Without any warning, Luca rushed over, grabbed Elsa’s arm and stood her up. Mark was irritated but his opponent was a Duke so he remained silent. However, Luca noticed Mark and said:
“Sorry to interrupt your conversation but I’m borrowing Elsa.”
Only his appearance was dashing and Luca lead Elsa away. Elsa said in surprise as she was somewhat forcibly pulled away:
“Did you come to help me?”
“Eh, with what? Do you know that person?”
Elsa closed her eyes half-way at Luca’s words. Luca was Luca after all. He didn’t help her because he knew what was happening, he just did so by accident. Elsa wanted to sigh but she herself didn’t recognise Mark so she didn’t think she could blame him. Thus, she decided to remain silent for the time being.
“Where are we going?”
Before Elsa could rebuke him and say, that’s not it, they arrived. There stood Duke Aquafresca, Lionelo and Duchess Teresa. A man that looked like a foreigner was also standing there. He was wearing unusual clothes but that must be the clothes of his kingdom.
“Good evening, Elsa.”
“Thank you for inviting me, Your Highness. It was very nice of you to do so.”
For the time being, she gave her formal greetings to Lionelo. She was brought here without any explanation but she soon understood that it had to do with business.
『This woman is also beautiful.』
It was a foreign language. Moreover, it wasn’t a language that was used around here, it was from further in the East. When Elsa roughly looked around, she saw an interpreter. As a rule, interpreters had to have an emblem on their chest. Since it was an unusual language, they would probably have to interpret into another language before interpreting it into the eastern language. It’s twice the hassle.
However, it probably couldn’t be avoided. They couldn’t find someone to directly interpret the language so Luca brought Elsa.
『Nice to meet you. I am Elsa, from the Lombardini household.』
When she talked to him in the eastern language, the foreigner was amazed and laughed joyfully.
『Elsa-dono, was it?! That’s good. There are people in the kingdom who also understand my language. I was having trouble communicating! 』
I would think so, Elsa thought. Even if you interpret directly, the nuance changes. So it made sense that interpreting twice would cause something to lose its meaning.
“Would it be alright for me to interpret, Your Excellency?”
Elsa understood many languages but she wasn’t an interpreter. She learnt it because it was necessary for her research but she wasn’t an expert. Therefore, she couldn’t talk about difficult things.
“Ah, I don’t mind. Please do so.”
“Yes, but I cannot interpret difficult things.”
Elsa said in advance. Elsa turned to face the foreign man…… Who was mostly likely a diplomat.
『If you don’t mind, I will interpret for you. However, I’m not an expert so I can’t comprehend difficult things.』
『It’s fine. How wonderful! The labour costs will decrease and the misunderstandings will also decrease! Besides the conversation will be lively if a beautiful woman like Elsa-dono interpreted.』
Elsa laughed feebly. He was a man of high spirits.
Elsa became the interpreter and the two professional interpreters looked like they wanted to cry. It may have been a smooth move on Luca’s end but she felt sorry for the real interpreters.
I can finally put up the character profile now because there’s no spoilers ~