The Palaces of the Twelve Sacred Beasts - BestLightNovel.com
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A Ma.s.sIVE thank you to Jayfield Alfred for sending me the pictures and the side stories that are inside the limited edition LN! You can see the ill.u.s.trations in the header menu or go to TOC to see the chapters with ill.u.s.trations. I will translate the two side stories after this, so expect that! ALSO, Lily is the cutest villainess, okay?
The day of the evening party. Even though I was having a conversation with Al, who had come to pick me up at the mansion, I was more concerned about the door of the reception hall.
Today, Chloe is the only debutante. She will come here as soon as she has greeted the King.
Ever since the first dance was over, I have been waiting for her impatiently to head over to her side and talk to her immediately.
"……I wonder where she is."
It feels like time is pa.s.sing very slowly.
While I was wis.h.i.+ng for Chloe to come quickly, Al, who was next to me, pinched my cheek.
When my cheek got pinched without warning, I widened my eyes in surprise. Turning towards Al, he was staring at me with a grumpy appearance.
"How terrible, Lily. I also know that your friend will make her society debut today, but ever since I went to pick you up at the mansion, you have been talking about nothing but that girl. Even just now, you were staring intently at the door even though I was right next to you. Hey, don't stare at the door, just look at me."
"Ah……I, I'm sorry."
When Al said so with displeased expression, I finally realized.
I haven't talked with Al that much today because I was worried about my friend. I was thinking about Chloe in the corner of my mind even when he was talking.
When he pointed it out, I shrank, feeling very guilty.
—To ignore my partner like this, I'm the worst.
It is only natural for Al to get angry.
When I bowed my head deeply and apologized, Al smiled softly.
"Just kidding. I also know that you cherish the friend you made the first time. I'm not angry. But, I guess I feel somewhat lonely since you have been ignoring me for a long time."
"I'll pay attention next time. I'm sorry, Al."
I am with Al right now, I shouldn't be preoccupied with Chloe.
When I decided to forget about her, as if remembering something, Al said.
"Speaking of which……Will was in awfully high spirits this morning. Although he was the one who wanted to attend this evening party in the first place, he hasn't appeared yet. That guy, what is he doing."
"His Highness Wilfred?"
Al has a complicated expression as he nodded. I looked around the party venue.
There is no one that looks like Prince Wilfred. He is also a prince like Al, so if he shows up he will definitely stand out, but I can't find him.
"……he's not here. I wonder if he's still getting ready."
"I don't think that's how it is, but……it seems that he has been quite busy these days."
If so, what is Prince Wilfred doing?"
Al sighed while watching the big clock hung on the wall.
"That guy……he said that he has been getting along with someone……but, because of that, I could come to the evening party with you, Lily, so I guess it's fine."
When he turned his gentle gaze towards me, my mouth broke into a smile. Joy gradually rushed in and I pressed my cheeks with both hands. I couldn't help the happiness I felt from the words which I knew he was serious about.
"……I am also glad to be able to attend this evening party with Al. I, I'm really sorry about earlier. Even though you were the one who invited me to this evening party, Al, I was being rude to you."
"I already said that I'm not angry."
"That's not the problem. Um……I, because I was at fault……"
When I told him honestly, Al said, "Yeah."
"I really love that part of you, Lily. But, let's stop talking about this, alright? I don't really mind, so I don't want you to worry about it. We have come all the way to this evening party. We have time, so from now on, I would like for us to spend enjoyable time together."
What Al said is reasonable.
After that, I bounced right back and talked with Al happily. The topic is about Noel and my brothers.
We avoid talking about the spirit contract as we don't know who may be listening to our conversation.
"—Huh, today Victor is also partic.i.p.ating. How unusual."
Al, who was looking around, stopped and stared at one point. There was Victor-niisama who was talking with someone eagerly. After confirming it, I told him.
"Yes, that's right. I heard from Nii-sama that he will attend this evening party."
I told him what I heard from my eldest brother last night.
When I said that I would attend this evening party, Victor-niisama told me, "Me too."
I was surprised as my eldest brother is someone who hardly ever attends an evening party except for the ones where he was obliged to attend (Yugo-niisama never bother to appear at all though), but it seems that he was invited by someone who he couldn't refuse. Niisama said that it couldn't be helped as it was for business reasons, but since he didn't have an unpleasant expression so far, I think he just thought that it is troublesome.
Having heard the story, Al told me with a gentle smile.
"I see. Perhaps, he came out to this evening party because you were attending."
"Eh? No way."
"No, no, I think it's quite possible for the recent Victor."
"……I'm glad if that's the case."
I told him my honest feeling.
I was hated by Victor-niisama for a long time, so it feels nice to be able to think like that.
When I smiled a little, Al asked me in a gentle voice.
"So? Are you not going to talk to Victor?"
"Eh, of course I'm going to greet him later, but right now it appears that my eldest brother is quite busy. I think I will wait until things have settled down."
"He's got a lot of acquaintances too, huh? He doesn't seem to have a partner, but does Victor not have a fiancée yet?"
I told Al honestly.
Victor-niisama and Yugo-niisama have no fiancée yet.
Victor-niisama was distancing himself from Father until recently, while Yugo-niisama was hosting tea parties at the mansion.
Until now, the two of them have been completely ignoring the marriage talks from Father.
Yugo-niisama said that he wanted to look at a lot of beautiful things, and said that he would not like to be tied by one, while Victor-niisama had been rejecting the marriage proposals Father brought, saying that he would think about it later.
However, soon they may not be able to avoid it anymore.
Even though Yugo-niisama still has time, Victor-niisama is the heir of the duke. It is necessary for him to choose a fiancée quickly.
"……I think my father's strenuous efforts will bear fruit soon."
"That's true. I think marriage is a duty of a n.o.bleman, so Victor can't really avoid that, and he himself is a man with a strong sense of responsibility, if he is convinced that there is a time limit, he may accept an engagement partner readily."
"I think so too."
Previously, I wouldn't be convinced at all even if he said that my eldest brother has a strong sense of responsibility, but now I feel like I understand what Al was saying.
If he is convinced that it is necessary, my eldest brother will surprisingly agree to it easily.
"I'm not worried about Victor-niisama. Marriage……maybe Yugo-niisama is more worrying."
While he has changed from how he was before, as expected Yugo-niisama is still Yugo-niisama; he is a frivolous person.
I can't imagine Yugo-niisama do something normal such as marriage.
I shouldn't say such things about my brother, but I seriously think so and Al also agrees with me.
"That's right. Certainly, Yugo is not suitable for marriage……well, people change. We don't know what will happen in the future."
"Yes, that's true."
In fact, that older brother of mine who insisted that he would not approve anything other than the beautiful ones, approved Noel and came to love him. I know from firsthand how one changes, so I think that might happen.
Today, my older brother took care of Noel instead of going to the evening party.
If it were the previous Yugo-niisama, I wouldn't be able to trust him to take care of Noel, but now I can entrust Noel with him.
When I told Al that I had entrusted Noel to Yugo-niisama, he was astonished, saying, "If it is the current him, I guess we can trust him."
While I was talking with Al, time pa.s.ses quickly.
The First Prince, Al, attends the evening party. I thought that there might be people who would like to greet him, but there were surprisingly few who spoke to him.
I asked him about it, but Al laughed and said, "They know that I'm talking with my fiancée, and they are not foolish enough to cut our conversation. That will be extremely boorish."
—I see, yes, that may be true.
I also don't think I would talk to someone who is with their betrothed. I think I will try not disturb them as much as possible unless there is an urgent business. Otherwise, it is highly likely that I would be shunned by the people whom I wanted to get along well with. I would rather not give a greeting at all.
I noticed the sound of the door opening.
I wonder where the time went. Before I realized it, at the entrance of the reception hall there was Chloe, who seems nervous.
For a moment, I was fascinated by her who was dressed in her debutante dress.
She appeared to be a graceful and lovable woman; she is very attractive even from my perspective as someone with the same gender as her.
An honest compliment came out of my mouth.
At last, Chloe also makes her society debut. From now on, we can talk not only at the orphanage, but also at the evening parties. While feeling delighted at that thought, I gazed at her uncle, who acts as her escort—I froze.
For a moment, I rubbed my eyes to see whether I made a mistake. But the sight in front of me right now doesn't change.
In other words, this is a reality—
Only voices of surprise came out.
The one who would be Chloe's escort is her uncle. Yes, I heard that from Chloe herself.
However, the sight I am seeing right now is completely different.
"Why is His Highness Wilfred……?"
Yes, for some unknown reason, Prince Wilfred is escorting Chloe.
I haven't heard about this at all. It seems that everyone who was in the reception hall was not informed about this, and the place became noisy with astonished murmurs.