09: Tea Party
A middle age man, who was waiting in front of the Verjus House, bowed as Julius got out of the carriage.
“Ah, thank you. Edward.”
Edward, the butler of the Verjus House, was the one who had greeted Julius.
He was like an acquaintance to Julius, who had visited this estate many times before.
“Everyone has already arrived.”
“So I’m the last one to come. I left a little bit later than I had planned to.”
“Yes, then I will show you the way.”
“Oh, please do.”
Julius entered the estate after Edward, who had opened the door and invited him in.
“Is Viscount Verjus home?”
He walked through the corridor while being guided by Edward and asked him from behind.
He recalled what his father had told him this morning at breakfast.
“No, my Lord has a business meeting today, he will probably return at night.”
“I see, that’s too bad. My father told me to give his regards to Viscount Verjus. Won’t you past this along to him?”
Earl Rosenberg did say, “If you see him”, so Julius, who felt it regretful explained his reason for wanting to meet Viscount Verjus and asked Edward to pass the message along.
“I understand. I will tell him.”
They arrived at the entrance of the salon while talking.
“How do you do, Lady Emilinne. I am honoured to receive your invitation for today.”
When Emilinne saw that Julius had entered the salon after Edward, she got up off her seat and ran over to him.
They greeted each other while smiling and then Emilinne took Julius’s hand and guided him towards the table.
The other people were already waiting at their seats.
“Good afternoon, Julius-sama.”
“Good afternoon you two.”
The two people sitting on the seat were Maxián and Lillyshia.
To the right of Maxián was Lillyshia and the right was where Emilinne had been sitting. Julius sat to Emilinne’s right opposite of Maxián.
A maid put a cup in front of Julius when he sat down and poured tea.
“You’re late, aren’t you Julius?”
“Sorry. I had an unexpected visitor this morning.”
Maxián had asked him in a non-accusation tone and Julius told him about the visitor who had interrupted his training.
That wasn’t the first time that the Crown Prince, Dudrick had done something like that. The people here knew that he did it a lot and smiled wryly because they understood what Julius had said.
“His Highness really doesn’t get bored of that.”
“I kind of want to admire his enthusiasm.”
“Good work, Julius-sama.”
Julius could only smile wryly in return.
Julius picked up the baked sweets on the table to cover up his wry smile and popped it into his mouth with his right hand.
He enjoyed the mild sweetness, soft texture and strong flavour while lifting his tea cup.
He carried it to his mouth and the rose fragrant tickled his nose.
Julius enjoyed the fragrant for a while, put the tea cup to his mouth and sipped the dark scarlet liquid.
The tea tasted just as it smelt, slightly sweet. It was a nice palette cleanser to the sweets.
Julius sighed briefly.
He noticed that the other three were watching him.
“What’s wrong, Maxián? Why are you getting red……?”
“Huh? N-no, it’s nothing!”
“Then that’s good.”
Julius asked Maxián, who was sitting in front of him, and Maxián panicked and shook his hand in front of his face in denial.
Julius was confused and turned to his left. He gently asked his fiancée.
“Lady Emilinne, is there something on my face?”
“No, it’s as beautiful as always!”
“I-is that so?”
Julius wasn’t convinced and nodded his head because Emilinne was also red.
“Lady Lillyshia? What about you?”
“Julius-sama, you were eating the sweets so deliciously and we were just fascinated by it, that’s all.”
“I let you all see an embarrassing side of me.”
“No, it was eye candy.”
The three felt a strange sexual appeal with the way Julius was drinking his tea and brought the tea to his mouth in order to cover this feeling.
Julius didn’t know what was going on but it happened often so he was flushed.
The four had met at the ball the other day, but they only gathered together at the end of the ball, so they didn’t have much time to talk.
As a result, they talked a lot at the tea party and the party proceeded smoothly.
Then, Julius spoke as if he had just remembered something, “Oh, this isn’t good. Let’s hand it over before I forget.”
Emilinne asked curiously at Julius who had suddenly stood up.
He, however, didn’t answer her, walked near her and kneeled gently. He pulled a small box out of his pocket and presented it to Emilinne.
That was the item that Julius had asked Parla to get for him.
“Everything is inferior to your dazzling eyes, but please allow me to adorn you with jewels. Let me present this to you.”
“Huh? Eh? Th-thank you!”
Emilinne was surprised that Julius had suddenly given her a present and reflectively received the small box Julius had given her.
“Mm, can I open it?”
“Of course, I also want you to show me your joyous expression.”
Emilinne opened the box with Julius’s consent. There were a pair of emerald earrings that matched her eye colour inside of the box.
“Wow! How wonderful!”
“Can I put it on you?”
“Y-you will, Julius-sama!? Pl-please do!”
Emilinne said and handed the box she’d received from Julius back to him. She turned to the side so that he could put the earrings on her.
Her expression looked like that of a knight going onto the battlefield. However, that was only if her face wasn’t flushed red.
Julius took one of the earrings and softly touched Emilinne’s small pretty earlobe with his left hand.
She unintentionally responded in surprise, but Julius said, “Are you ticklish?” and he skilfully put the earring onto her right ear with only his right hand.
“Now the other side.”
Emilinne turned in her chair and turned her left ear towards Julius.
Julius put the emerald earrings onto her ears just like before.
“Oh! It looks good on you, Lady Emilinne.”
Julius laughed gently and praised her and Emilinne looked as if steam would sprout out from her head.
The finishing blow, however, happened after this.
“Please accept my ring next time.”
He gave her a necklace in the past, now earrings and he planned to give her a ring.
That was an ancient rite to ask for marriage. It was custom in Aullène Kingdom for a man to give a woman three items and put it on them before their engagement could be established.
Of course, Emilinne was Julius’s fiancée and they were already going to get married, but it wasn’t unreasonable for her to be nervous when things like this happened.
However, she obviously didn’t hate it.
“Yes! I’ll be waiting!”
Julius smiled as if he was charmed by her and Emilinne answered.
These were the figures of the two betrothals who were thinking about setting their marriage date.
…… But the big problem was that Emilinne still thought of Julius as a woman disguising herself as a man.
However, Julius, who was desperate, took drastic measures because Emilinne didn’t realise the truth, so it was unavoidable that the situation ended up like this.
In addition, Maxián and Lillyshia, who were suddenly left out of the lover’s conversation that had begun abruptly, were in agony because the aura the two were giving off gave them a sugary taste in their mouths.
“I want unsweetened tea.”
The two tried to drink their tea, but the sweetness of the tea only made it worse.
“Even so, are you sure?”
“About the marriage between Julius and Lady Emilinne? At the very least, I wouldn’t do something so boorish as to cut into this mood.”
The two, who also misunderstood Julius’s gender like Emilinne did, were greatly perplexed about the future.