The ball was held at a manor chosen by the Emperor himself in the inner city. They said it was specifically used for such an occasion.
Lucius led Naiya to the manor. She quickly adapted to the discomfort on her feet because her combat talent depends on her power to adapt. Seeing Her Highness the Empress arrived in a ball costume, everyone greeted her.
The manor’s light illuminated the dark night. The lone fountain in the centre of the garden was also shining with bright light.
The golden… golden fountain.
Lucius sniffed the smell that permeated the air. It seems the fountain was mixed with some kind of alcohol.
It’s a fountain of champagne!
Human’s luxury taste was beyond the vampire’s comprehension. In fact, if the champagne was replaced with blood, Lucius would be even more delighted.
In the garden in the middle of the manor, one after another, the table was set with a white tablecloth that shrouded the long table. Displaying the extravagant food for the guests to choose from.
The most extravagant nobleman’s party.
The young girls wore their most expensive evening gown today, spending hours and hours of makeup before following their fathers, mothers, or brothers. Showing their most glamorous side… The older ones also wore their gowns, for a while ignoring their white hair. It seemed tonight they were back to the days when they were young.
The best performing team in the Capital City was invited. The soothing music flows in the air.
Showing the Emperor’s rare generosity, tall glasses were stacked together like a tower. The glasses were filled with the country’s treasured aged wine.
Today was not a public holiday. The reason such an extravagant party was held was because for a single person.
“Her Royal Highness is here!”
“Her Royal Highness…”
The previous elegant and harmonious atmosphere dissipated at the moment Naiya arrived. Hundreds of pairs of eyes with different emotions gazed at her. Lucius can feel Naiya’s hand strongly gripping his hands. There was not even a slight change of expression on her face. This was the only way she could express her inner emotions.
Vampires weren’t supposed to be exposed to bright light. But now, Naiya showed her best effort.
With his scarlet eyes, Lucius swept his gaze over the crowd. Letting them realize how rude their gaze was at this time. The main character of this ball was Naiya, not him. He was just escorting Her Royal Highness in her ball costume.
Lucius’s appearance and calm temperament made him unnoticeable among the crowd. But… Naiya’s appearance tonight was too striking. Even Lucius himself was a little stunned.
‘That bratty girl dressed up pretty well, indeed, she actually looks quite delicious.’
Now was the best choice to pull off good relations since she will inherit the throne sometime soon. The thing was… right now, Lucius beside Naiya was like a barrier. A dark void barrier that looked calm but would quickly swallow up anything, exterminating the peer’s intention to approach the Empress.
Because of this, Naiya seemed more confident. But her grip on Lucius’s arm still didn’t decrease. She was like a child who was afraid of being lost. Now, he’s the only person she can rely on.
The human guts and curiosity could never be contained. It’s not like these dukes don’t have their own intelligence network.
One after another, spies told their masters that Lucius was not the son of some unknown grand duke, a powerful knight leader, or other grand identities. He was only a mere butler serving the Empress.
They cast away their worry about him and started looking for opportunities to approach her. After all, the party organizer, Dodran the Great, was nowhere to be seen. Now, it’s the most perfect time to make contact.
Today, Naiya looked completely different from her previous sharp look. Today, she looked delicate. Holding Lucius’s arm, not knowing what to do. This kind of innocent look made the men flooded with desire.
The grand dukes were at least hundreds of years old. They understood they’re not a perfect fit for a conversation with the young Empress, so they instructed their children, who were at a similar age with Naiya, to invite her into a dance or something.
In this world, all noble bloodlines inherited excellent bloodlines. That means everything about them was better than ordinary people, both in appearance and strength. No one would think their heritage was lower than a mere butler. Even if their appearance wasn’t as good as him, at least in other aspects… they weren’t. Or so, they thought…
The corner of Lucius’s mouth lifted up. He didn’t like having his toys being abducted by others. Even if it’s a broken toy, Lucius will crush them into scraps. Untouchable and then abandoned it!
Naiya was Lucius’s thing. Both body and soul.
Finally, someone had the guts to invite Naiya into a dance. Probably he had done these things many times and always succeeded. He looked very confident, polite and courteous. He extended his hand to Naiya. “Although it’s a bit rude, the ball is about to start. Would you like to dance with me?”
“Eh?” Naiya was stunned. From the very beginning, she walked into this manor. She didn’t know what these people were doing. What is a ball? Can she eat it? Naiya can’t dance. She’s better chopping off people with a sword.
But then again, she can’t refuse.
“My apologies. Her Royal Highness is not used to wearing high heels. I think the pain of wearing high heels would be very painful, yes?”
“That…” He looked at Naiya with an awkward look.
After finding that Naiya actually flustered and nodded, he retreated awkwardly. Probably he had invited a noble maiden before and had the experience of being stepped on during a dance. It does feel painful… so, maybe that’s why he retreated.
Even with one person rejected and retreated, the others were still unrelenting.
For a while, Naiya was embarrassed to notice that several women… no, a lot of women were staring at her with a shy or adoration expression addressed to her.
So that meant her reputation of being a handsome girl proceeded her…
As the main character of this ball, the peers seemed to want to invite Naiya. Even Lucius was feeling a bit overwhelmed. But suddenly, he felt a different atmosphere…
‘Heh, the real dance partner finally came?’
Today… tonight… this moment… the only dance partner Lucius allowed to dance with the Empress arrived.
“Since all of you wanted to invite Her Royal Highness to a dance…” Lucius felt something interesting was coming. “Then… how about participating in it together?”
Lucius was at Naiya’s side. The young nobles who usually socialized very smoothly felt they hit a wall that separated themselves from the Empress after seeing Lucius. Now, the wall actually crumbled, which made their spirit lifted up.
Finally, there’s a chance to invite the Empress to a dance.
They originally carried a heavy burden of shouldering the family’s prosperity by inviting the Empress to a dance. But after seeing Naiya’s dress, the ‘family prosperity’ was put in the last place. Their purpose became dancing together with the Empress and held her slender waist on the dance floor.
“I don’t know how to dance!” Naiya whispered in Lucius’s ears with a very urgent pressure in her voice.
“Oh, just join in for tonight.” Lucius repeated the words, ignoring Naiya. “Tonight’s dance is something special! But… it will be very gorgeous, am I right? Lord Meyer Crowell?”
After Lucius mentioned that name, almost everyone looked towards the back.
The one who was once the most outstanding existence in the Empire was standing in a formal black suit, looking at Naiya, surrounded by the crowd with an expressionless face.
In fact, the Crowell family also held the same ball a few days ago for him… before Naiya…
“Why is that man here?”
“I won’t hold back this time!”
Perhaps, there were a lot of noble girls who were in love with him, but that doesn’t mean everyone was the same. Excellent people will always become jealous.
The people surrounding Naiya were once jealous of Meyer. Even though their talents were inferior to him.
They’re all men! Men to men competition!
But Naiya is different. She’s able to do both men and women where Meyer obviously can’t.
“Is it hard to say that the Empress’s dance partner is Lord Meyer?”
No one dared to squeal at these words. Because they were too compatible both in terms of power and appearance. Even family history…
In the central capital, perhaps only Meyer can compare with Naiya.
The match is a bit much.
None of the males present could be more excellent than Meyer. They didn’t dare to speak against him. But they didn’t give up. Because Meyer wasn’t the best anymore!
The group of courteous noblemen was still unrelenting and not at all behaved gentlemanly. Naiya anxiously tugged on Lucius’s clothes. Feeling like a kitten incessantly scratching…
“I can’t dance!” Naiya repeated the words.
“You can, of course you can.” Lucius handed Naiya a ring with a purple lustre.
After seeing the ring, she understood his words.
“Show your side as the Empress! A gorgeous dance of the sword…”
“Is my dance partner that man?” Naiya glanced at Meyer, who was standing in silence at a distance.
“Yes… I look forward to your performance.”
After hearing that, surprisingly, Naiya let go of the hand that had been holding Lucius’s arm.
Straight towards the dance floor.
After seeing Naiya walked to the dance floor, the noble young men followed her.
The ball was like the European court dance, which allows for exchange partners. As long as they participate, there’s a chance they would become the Empress’s partner, right?
Everything seemed so peaceful. Handsome boys and beautiful girls stepped on the dance floor. Surrounded by the melodious music.
Naiya and Meyer almost simultaneously stepped into the dance floor. The two looked at each other. The people around them waited for them to move, ready to start dancing gracefully.
But… they understood something was wrong.
The dance between Naiya and Meyer wasn’t an elegant dance.
Suddenly, the swaying dance music turned into a sharp and stern tone. Naiya looked back and found Lucius unknowingly had regained control of the recital! The killing dance… had begun!
In front of everyone present, a pitch-black lance appeared at Meyer’s hand. The tip of the blade was aimed at Naiya like a viper with its fangs open, ready to bite its prey.
Naiya did the same. She grabbed the hem of her evening gown. Tearing her expensive gown in front of everyone. The gown was thrown aside like a tattered cloak. Instead of naked skin, underneath the gown was Naiya’s black men suit that she wore during the day!
Naiya pulled off her long hair coiled up with one hand, took out a black ribbon and tied it messily. Kicking two high heels from her feet and almost at the same time, a greatsword with a purple and black lustre and a pair of leather hunting boots appeared on her hands and feet!
The sharpness of the sword sheath will cut the surrounding air. Naiya’s original temperament disappeared, once again changed into the Empress’s fierce temperament earlier that day.
The battle music was played between sword and lance, the gorgeous dance of the sword!
Lucius held a baton in his hand, sending the most suitable music for the dance of swords!
‘This is a wonderful night, isn’t it?’
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