Nothing much happened after that.
The Empress carried the conversation with such elegance.
Even the ladies who were nervous at first loosened up after conversing with the Empress and discovering her friendly demeanor.
Once again, as expected of our Empress.
I have so much affection for her.
On the other hand, Damian seemed to be getting along with the ladies as well.
‘He’s handsome and very polite, who could hate him’
With a satisfied grin on my face, I watched Damian talking with the ladies.
I was pleased to see him do so.
The ladies may have been prim and proper on the outside but they all seemed unable to take their eyes off his dashing appearance.
Else, why would they burst into laughter every time Damian cracks a joke
I mean it wasn’t even a funny joke to laugh out loud like that…..
Or maybe it’s the silly face he’s making.
In any case….
‘My dear, Damian.
You’re undeniably popular!’
I laughed softly.
Even Lady Bennett was preoccupied with catching sideways glances at Damian.
People of the world, I raised that handsome boy!
Is this what a mother feels in her heart when watching her son be successful
I closed my eyes, clenching my fists and slightly lifting them upwards in triumph as pride filled my chest.
Damian was looking my way at the same time I reopened my eyes.
‘Oh, we’re making eye contact.’
Then at that moment.
Damian continued to look at me and even flashed me a smile.
His smile was charming like a freshly bloomed spring flower.
W-Why are you smiling at me like that It makes my heart flutter!
Lady Bennett looked at me and then at Damian and then back at me.
The change in her expression was very subtle.
To make an analogy, it’s like losing the boy you have a crush on to another girl…..
I pretended to do something else, turning my head to avert her gaze.
However, Lady Bennett’s venomous eyes doggedly followed my face as if I had made an irredeemable mistake.
‘Hold on, why should I feel this way’
Honestly, you and Damian aren’t dating, are you
Just as I was contemplating my injustice, the Empress got up from her seat.
“Excuse me, everyone, may I leave for a moment”
The ladies looked at her Majesty with puzzled faces.
The Empress closed her eyes gently as she explained her situation.
“The state meeting should be over by now, so I’d like to meet my older brother.”
“Oh my God, are you speaking of the Duke of Rochester”
“Will the Duke be visiting the Empress’s palace today”
The eyes of the ladies lit up with curiosity and anticipation.
The Empress answered with a mischievous voice.
“Well, he’s very busy….so I can’t give you a definitive answer.”
“Aww…that’s understandable though,” replied one of the ladies.
“But I do think that the more guests we have, the more fun our tea party will be.”
When the Empress playfully added that, the ladies’ faces were ecstatic.
“Oh my God, the Duke of Rochester!”
“I heard the Duke doesn’t enjoy social gatherings much.”
“Still, I want him to come!”
Unable to calm the excitement of her beating heart, one of the ladies even placed her hand on her chest and let out a loud sigh.
Without a doubt, the Duke of Rochester truly is the greatest noble of the empire.
The Duke really gives off the impression that he’s different from everyone else, there’s no way any lady will refuse, right
I nodded in agreement with my thoughts.
“I’ll do my best to get my brother to attend.
In the meantime, please make yourselves comfortable,” said the Empress.
“Yes, your Majesty!”
“I’ll also be taking senior maid Weber with me, so if you need anything, feel free to ask Head maid Hayden.”
“Thank you!” exclaimed all the guests simultaneously.
The Empress gave a parting smile before departing.
The small banquet hall grew quiet.
The atmosphere’s changed.
The Empress mostly led the conversations.
Now that she’s gone, it seems a bit awkward…
“Hey, did you hear that”
“Of course! I can’t believe the Duke is coming!”
….I stand corrected.
The conversation’s getting lively.
The ladies who now had a common topic were now chattering away like little birds.
“Well, yesterday my cousin saw the Duke of Rochester….”
“Yes, yes! And what else!”
“ She said he was very handsome! He even looked a lot like the Empress!”
Once again, cheers erupted, announcing their mutual enthusiasm.
I looked at the ladies in disillusion.
To be fair, the Duke is good-looking.
But to an extent you can confidently ask the question, ‘Am I looking at you because you’re handsome’ To which I say-
Ha! I don’t want to admit the Duke’s beauty!
Besides, in my opinion, Damian looks a lot better!
With that in mind, I inadvertently looked back at Damian.
At the same time, his scarlet eyes locked gazes with mine.
His gaze though was strange, he looked at me intently as if he was searching for something from me.
I shuddered, raising my shoulders in response.
Huh, why is he looking at me
‘Stop staring at me and focus on the conversation!’
I moved my lips without making a sound.
Reading my lips, Damian then moved his lips too without the ladies noticing.
‘Does the Duke of Rochester look handsome to you’
‘…..what are you talking about’
‘Hurry up and answer me.’