Fabian was nervous.

“Is that really what happened during the ball?”

His aide, Justin, nodded.
He had just reported the fire incident to Fabian.

“Yes, it is.
Fortunately, no one was hurt.”

No matter how reluctant one was to go out in the social world, they always kept their ears up for news.

Justin was a capable man in that respect.
While strictly controlling any rumours about the duke from leaking out, he also collected bits about the social circles in case they could be of use to the duchy.

This kind of topic that appeared in a newspaper article was also quickly acquired by him and reported to Fabian.

However, when they talked about the fire incident which occurred that evening and ended with minor damage, Fabian responded.

“What about the young lady from the Marquis of Nelson? Are you sure she did not get hurt?”

Well, she escaped through the wall.
Isn’t that a brilliant escape from the crisis?”

“Where-, where is she now? Was she properly treated?”

Why does he look so impatient? Justin was skeptical.
Fabian wasn’t his usual self.
Normally, no matter what they said, he would never show any particular reaction.
Instead, he just replied ‘I see’ in that monotonous tone of his.

To the best of Justin’s knowledge, Fabian would be as apathetic and unfazed as a still wall if it had nothing to do with him.
Therefore, he did not know why he was so worked up over the Marquis’ daughter.

Then Justin remembered one thing.
Fabian had recently visited the Nelson Marquisate.
Since the young man declared that he would never get married, he suggested visiting the Fountain of Magic.
At that, Fabian then canceled all of his schedules and just suddenly left.

How perplexed Justin was when he saw Fabian upon his return.
He had no idea why the man left his horse behind just to end up suffering through hardships. 

Anyhow, something incredible had happened to the stubborn duke.
Fabian said he met the young lady of the Marquis family there by chance.

Oh, so that’s how it is. Justin suddenly spoke up.

“Sir, are you perhaps worried about the young lady?”


“I asked if you were concerned about the daughter of Marquis Nelson.
Did something happen at the Marquisate that I did not know…”

“There is no such thing!”

Fabian furrowed his eyebrows and deepened his tone.
It was rare to see such a blunt Fabian.
Justin knew he was annoyed. 

However, the next day, Fabian, who said he didn’t care about lady Nelson, called Justin to his office in the morning.

“I want to know the current state of lady Nelson.”

So he told him to look into it.

“How is she?”

And since then, for over a week, Fabian inquired about her condition at least once a day.

“It seems like she has gotten better for quite a while now.
She is going to a masquerade ball today, but…”

“A ball?”

Fabian’s eyes rounded at the unexpected.

“The same masquerade party to which you were invited.
Oh, but you didn’t open the invitation.”

“A ball…”

Fabian mumbled with all seriousness.

Justin just stood staring at him.
He had a look of suspicion on him.
Indifferent to everything, yet was too interested in the Nelsons’ daughter.

“I still have the invitation, would you like to attend?”


Fabian, lost in thought, looked intently at Justin.
He mostly skipped all social events unless it was necessary…He could use a little more push.
Justin subtly encouraged him.

“It is a masquerade ball, so there is no need to show your face.
Why don’t you try attending a ball like this?”

“…can you get everything ready as soon as possible?”

Fabian asked calmly.
Hearing that, Justin’s eyes widened, as if they were about to pop out of their sockets.

His Excellency is attending a ball! He used to think that the man himself would even go down his grave without ever using the dances he had learned.

Whatever the reason was, it was welcomed.
Justin, whose goal was to ‘get Fabian married’, was delighted with the possibility.
He was sure the vassals would be too once they heard the news.


It was the first time he had this kind of feeling.
Why did he think of her so much? Fabian was baffled.

He tried to observe her in the library under the pretext of researching materials with her, but he couldn’t figure out what his feelings were.

Looking back, he thought the library was the wrong choice of excuse.
He did not realise that when they were looking for books together.
But once they sat down, they had to be completely silent.

Why does it have to be a library? Fabian felt that his own lie was unwise whenever he met her.
At least, it was fortunate that they were able to talk while having a meal together.

By any chance, is this love? No, it could not have been such a passionate feeling.

It was only because her face appeared in the magic fountain that he was interested in her.
And he was very fond of her for her attitude of respect regardless of status.

Fabian defined his feelings that way.

But not long after, he was shocked to hear from his aide about the fire accident.
He had to concentrate on his work, but he could not.

Why did she do such a dangerous thing? Sienna once again appeared in his imagination, looking languid.

He had felt it from the moment she found him in the Marquisate, but she was incredibly brave.

He wanted to visit her to ask how she was doing, but he endured it.
In order for him to visit the Marquis’ estate, he must go under the title of a Duke, and when that happened, their relationship would be over.

He was afraid that she would feel burdened because he was a duke, that she would be disappointed for he had lied to her.
He wanted to keep a good relationship with her.

I’m glad I came to today’s ball.
Fabian thought.

“Thank you for your concern.”

So that he could see her this close.
He hid his identity and met her, and it couldn’t have been better.

“But you’re better at dancing than I thought?”

Sienna said as they moved to the waltz together.
She then quickly added.

“Don’t get me wrong … It’s just-, It’s the first time we’re dancing together, but we coordinate quite fine, don’t you think?”

She must not have known who he was.
Even if he had a similar voice, he had said he was a commoner, so there’s no way she would be able to relate.

I’m really glad I came. Under the protection of the mask, Fabian smiled softly again.

He had confirmed that she was safe, so all was fine now.
That was all he needed.
After the ball ended, his mind was finally at peace.

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