“If you go a little further, you will arrive soon.”
There was definitely a harsh sandstorm.
The villages they stopped by along the way were similar in circumstance, but things became different once they entered the desert.
It felt like sand was entering their mouths with every breath.
On this hot sunny day, everyone wrapped themselves in turbans and covered their mouths.
Vivian, who was sitting with her face down on the camel next to me, grumbled "Sigh. It's too hard. This is why I didn't want to come to Terrian... … .”
In fact, Vivian really hated the heat. If it wasn't for this incident, she wouldn't have planned to come here.
It was a long-distance trip that Vivian was not happy with.
In addition, there was a severe sandstorm and, even though it was the day of the banquet, they could not reach Duke Gray’s castle until morning.
It was a moment when Rosenta was worried about Vivian, especially because the cool water he’d prepared was running out.
“Have some of this.”
"Huh? What is this? Why is it so cool?”
“This is some cooled water that I prepared in advance.”
Wolf handed Vivian a bottle of cool water.
Perhaps he used magic.
From the beginning, Rosenta had been tired of the harsh environment and forced march and he was worried that Wolf would beat him.
But Wolf was silently following the group. He even took care of others as he had just done with Vivian.
Vivian, who gulped down the water Wolf gave her, asked him a question.
“Wolf, isn’t this hard on you?”
“It’s hard, but it’s fun.”
If an ordinary person had said it was fun, Rosenta would have believed them, but the one responding was Wolf.
For some reason, when he said he was having fun, it didn't sound normal.
But Vivian, who had no way of knowing that, appreciated Wolf's enthusiasm and work ethic.
"What? Is this fun... … ? Even though you’re new, you have a great work ethic.”
Rosenta peeked nervously every time they spoke to one another.
He kept a special eye on Wolf's expression.
It was his way of monitoring him in case he did something impulsive.
But his concerns never became a reality.
Fortunately, nothing happened until they entered the Terrian palace.
They were escorted by the servants and were able to enter safely.
Once they were inside the palace, everyone in the traveling party uncovered their mouths and exclaimed in unison.
It was definitely a scene that could not be seen in the capital or in the duke's castle.
Buildings made of bricks with hardened sand. The top of the White Palace was not pointed, but round like a hat. Its color was also different.
Above all, there was a very large oasis in the middle of the palace.
A green oasis surrounded by palm trees. It was exotic and a different kind of beauty.
“You can stay here. Once you’re settled, I will guide the rest of your party to the rooms of the servants.”
The rooms for Vivian and Rosenta, that the Gray Duchy’s servants had brought them to, were across from one another.
The family attendants Rosenta had brought began to carry his belongings into his room.
Vivian, too, tried to follow her attendants into her room, but poked her head back out of the door.
She called out to Rosenta.
“Please tie my hair up a little later! Shall I go to your room? Or will you come to mine?”
These words were easy to misunderstand.
In fact, everyone walking down the hallway was looking at them.
This is why rumors of a love triangle are spreading.
"A bit later."
"Ok! See you later.”
Well, it didn't matter
Rumors had always been attached to them.
The rumors were so ridiculous that they’d say that Rosenta ate with his feet even if he ate normally.
That's why they took the eyes looking at them, which clearly showed there had been a misunderstanding, very lightly, like dust.
Rosenta opened the door and went inside his room.
But as soon as he entered, he was startled by the face of a man who suddenly approached him.
Wolf was holding the arm of his monocle with his forefinger and looking at me with sullen eyes.
The distance was very uncomfortable so Rosenta took a step back and asked Wolf, “What are you doing?”
In an instant, his strange expression disappeared. Instead, Wolf was smiling brightly.
Then he took out a pocket watch from his coat pocket.
Wolf opened the lid of his pocket watch and calmly read the time.
“It will soon be time for the banquet. We must start preparing quickly.”
The white cloths draped from the ceiling were fluttering beautifully.
As if to give a dreamy feeling, there were bright red cloths included sparsely throughout.
On the stage, dancers were dancing to the music.
And in the meantime, a man in his thirties with dark skin, bright yellow hair, and blue eyes appeared.
The owner of this palace, Duke Hereith Gray.
“I don’t have much prepared, but I hope everyone enjoys themselves.”
At the Duke of Gray's words, the dancers’ performance grew more intense.
Some people even went out in front of the stage and danced with dancers or partners.
There were also those who were enjoying a meal at a table outside that had been prepared separately.
It was a much more open and lively scene than the banquets Rosenta knew.
But enjoying the banquet was not his purpose.
Pretending to drink, he glanced in the direction of Duke Gray.
"Ha ha ha ha ha."
Duke Gray was chatting happily with the people who came to visit him.
There was no opening to interject because people were constantly flocking to him.
It was only natural that people continued to visit Duke Gray, the largest Terrian aristocrat in the South.
Since Rosenta couldn’t approach him, there was no choice but to make him come to Rosenta.
He held out a hand to Vivian.
Unlike the usual conversation, he spoke very politely.
“My Lady, would you give me the honor of dancing with you?”
It was their first time dancing together in such a formal setting since her debut.
This was because, whenever rumors were newly created, Rosenta refrained from attending banquets or tea parties with Vivian because he was being cautious due to his father.
Maybe that's why Vivian's two cheeks were unusually red.
Soon, she smiled, showing her dimples as grabbed the hem of her dress and slightly bent her knees.
"Yes! It would be an honor for me, Duke.”
As soon as she agreed, he escorted Vivian and moved to the center.
It might have been arrogance, but they knew their dancing was very good.
Since they’d been practicing together since they were young, they could boast that the two of them shined more when they were together.
As the performance drew to a close, Rosenta could feel the eyes coming to rest on them one by one. Duke Gray must have been among those eyes.
And when their dance was over and they were about to leave the floor, a voice called out for Vivian from afar.
“Lady Vivian Marigold.”
As expected, Duke Gray was approaching Vivian.
He tidied up his collar for no reason and greeted Vivian in a lowered voice.
“You’ve come such a long way! Thank you very much for accepting my invitation.”
“Thank you for inviting me to such a wonderful place, Duke.”
Rosenta couldn't tell if he was being ignored on purpose or if Duke Gray could only see Vivian.
But Duke Gray continued to speak only to Vivian.
“You have repeatedly refused my invitations… … .”
It felt sticky. No matter who heard it, it’d be clear that this tone was being used to flirt with Vivian.
How dare he.
Rosenta’s expression almost crumbled into a scowl, but he managed to hold it in and intervened.
"Nice to meet you."
The blue eyes began to sink as dark as the deep sea. It was obvious, it was a look of indifference.
Compared to when he looked at Vivian, there was a clear-felt difference in the temperature of his gaze.
He slowly held out his hand to him.
Skipping the useless fighting, they immediately joined hands.
“My name is Rosenta Estella.”
"Ah! I heard that you had recently become the Duke of Estella. Nice to meet you too, Duke Estella.”
“Thank you for welcoming me like this. In fact, I came here with Lady Marigold because I have something I want to tell the duke.”
“Oh. Tell me?”
It would be better for him to see for himself, rather than having it explained. Rosenta took a piece of paper out of his pocket.
It was the appeal that he had been keeping close since before they arrived.
“Read this first.”
Upon receiving the appeal, Duke Gray began to read it.
Still, he did not show any change in his expression.
After reading it, he said with an exaggerated expression, as if he was surprised, “Oh my God. I didn't expect this to happen. Why the hell is this happening? Tsk tsk.”
A lie. He knew the truth.
It's just that he didn't care because it didn't affect him too much.
Duke Hereith Gray was a calculating man. So he was also a skilled liar.
If he had been told about this and they’d left, he wouldn't have thought to do anything about it.
This was all expected from the beginning.
That's why, when Rosenta came here, he’d brought Wolf from the beginning.
“I see. If you don't mind, I'd like to take a look around Terrian for a bit before I leave.”
Duke Gray hesitated.
He was smiling, but his eyes were sharp. It seemed that he was wary of what he was up to.
Rosenta had no intention of making this a big deal.
“I know Terrian is booming these days, so much so that you can’t pay attention to every small thing. So while we're here, we like to take a look around ... … .”
“Ah, I see. I’d be happy if you did.”
If they manage to fix this issue, it would reduce the loss of life and capital on Duke Gray’s side.
He is hyena-like man.
“Vivian, get some rest.”
At his words, Vivian nodded and yawned weakly as if sleepy.
“Oh, Rosen, you too. See you tomorrow."
He was exhausted. He hadn't even had the chance to rest before he had to attend the banquet.
He went back to his room only when he saw Vivian enter hers.
After the banquet was over, no one would be there because he had said that he wanted to be alone.
To help him relax, he took off his coat and immediately lit a lamp.
However, in his room, where he was supposed to be alone, he felt a strange presence.
It was behind me..
They called his name and he hurriedly took a defensive stance and looked back.
Wolf was smiling and holding out a brush to him.
“Brush my hair, please.”
Wolf was completely different from the daytime.
He was wearing a disheveled shirt that was unbuttoned.
Then, blinking languidly, he demanded brushing as if it were natural.
The man in front of Rosenta was a dark Wolf who had thrown off his butler's mask.
“Like you did with her earlier.”
Wolf, who arbitrarily placed the brush in my hand, sat down on the dressing table chair.
Then he tilted his head and looked at me, as if asking why I wasn’t coming.
Rosenta sighed but he moved to stand behind Wolf with the brush.
Rosenta was filled with the desire to go to sleep but, for now, it was necessary to match Wolf's rhythm.
Even if he was the employer, his employee was an unruly Wolf.
Rosenta decided that it would be better to accept his request so that he would remain obedient until this was over.
“I will only brush it.”
"The Same. Just as you did to her.”
‘No way. Are you asking me to style your hair the same as Vivian’s?’
Rosenta couldn't believe it, so he asked to confirm.
“You really want it styled the same?”
Through the mirror, Wolf looked at him.
He moved his head slowly up and down, fixing his light green eyes on him.
It was firm.
“… … I see.”
Rosenta slipped his fingers through Wolf's long dark hair.
His shiny, flowing hair tickled as is slid between his fingers and went down smoothly.
After having only touched Vivian's wavy hair, trying to tie his fine hair felt different.
The brush went down all at once and the action was repeated several times.
He was hesitant. But since he asked for it himself, there would be no problem.
"I'll start braiding it the way you’ve asked me to."
I started braiding both halves of his head.
As if it felt good to have his hair touched, Wolf closed his eyes like a groggy cat.
Finally, both braids were fixed at the back of his head using hairpins.
When everything was done, Rosenta removed his hand from Wolf's head and stepped back.
Then Wolf yawned softly with hazy eyes and muttered.
"I’m in a good mood… … .”
‘I did what you wanted, so can you leave now?’
Fatigue poured out at the thought of the long day coming to an end.
Rosenta sat down on the sofa helplessly. Then, barely turning his head, he said to Wolf.
“I want you to leave now.”
Fortunately, Wolf nodded slowly. Then he staggered out of the room like a sleepy man.
Finally, when he was completely alone in the room, the drowsiness he had endured overcame him.
‘At least wash your face... … .’
‘Oh no... … . I have to get to bed... … .’
Having such thoughts, he stretched out his legs on the sofa and stared at the ceiling.
Then, he closed both of his eyes.