Chapter 39: A Life Advice
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Translated by lacusky.
Nora entered the royal castle, which she’d never been to, alongside a dashing gentleman whose company she hadn’t quite gotten accustomed to, in an exquisite dress she’d never worn before.
She already felt weary.
However, she figured that the current situation was still quite better than the fiasco with Allan.
Or at least, that the tension between her and Elias would dissipate in no time.
“How about I have Allan as my partner instead?” As soon as they entered the royal castle and saw Allan and Flora together, she suggested.
Aren’t I your lover?” He rejected her without any second thought.
Elias gave her a smile but she felt the tension in the air, perhaps because she felt a little scared of him.
“You’re treading dangerous waters.
I wouldn’t dare if I were you.” Flora warned Nora as she nudged the latter toward Elias.
Resigned to her fate, Nora hooked arms with Elias, whose face lit up with a smile.
“I won’t give Nora to any other guy.” He was undoubtedly smiling, but she was sure the cold shivers she felt wasn’t her imagination.
Seeing Nora nodding docilely, Elias beamed with satisfaction.
The massive hall serving as the venue for the ball sparkled luxuriously from the chandeliers atop the ceiling to the marbled floor.
This was indeed the royal castle, far beyond Nora’s expectations.
As a baron’s daughter, she had certainly attended a number of parties and events.
They were usually small soirees though.
And she almost always left early, the handful times she went.
To her, even merely standing in such a terrifyingly intimidating hall easily drained her physical strength.
Worse, the moment she entered, she could feel the disdainful eyes of the crowd against her.
As she regularly performed as a singer in the restaurant, she’s quite used to having eyes on her, but the curious and hostile nature of these glances were new to her.
Flora was also a baron’s daughter, however she often attended these evening parties because of her father’s connections.
Even when she stood next to Allan, she carried herself elegantly well, a testament to how accustomed she was to such events.
Nora, on the other hand, felt like her nerves had atrophied.
Those gazes were far too uncomfortable.
Her dress was undoubtedly fitting for the occasion.
She wondered if it was she herself who was out of place.
Or was it the fact that her dress had matched with Elias’ suit that drew the attention of the crowd? After all, a poor baron’s daughter like her wasn’t expected to attend such prestigious parties.
“It would be all right for me to head home once I finished performing, right?” When she inquired, Elias furrowed his brows.
“At least wait until you’ve greeted His Majesty.
It would be rather rude of you not to do so.
The ball will last until midnight, and your performance won’t be until much later.
I imagine it might take a while.”
Reality was so cruel.
She looked towards the back of the hall where a luxurious chair for the king was situated, but it was empty.
When will he arrive?
But even if he arrived, she couldn’t greet him right away.
And if her performance was scheduled for later, she wouldn’t know when she could go home.
She felt lightheaded.
I want to escape this reality and just peel potatoes.
I’m pretty sure I can now do it at lightning speed.
“Nora, are you all right?” Seeing her fall completely silent, Elias looked at her with an anxious face.
“I was just thinking how much I’d love for time to pass by quickly.”
Nora would be performing twice.
The first song was about wishing for the country’s prosperity, while the second one was a song appreciating the blessings of nature.
“What shall I do until it’s my turn to perform?”
Elias reached out to hold her hand, catching Nora by surprise.
“You just need to have a good time with me.” Her brows wrinkled out of reflex.
She felt weary and exhausted tonight as well.
“Surely… you wouldn’t be swayed by moments like this.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just a life advice.”
As Nora mulled over Flora’s cryptic words of wisdom, a servant approached Elias’ side and whispered something to him.
“I need to go get and check my personal effects.
Would you mind waiting here? Don’t talk to anyone.
Just stay with Allan and Flora.
I’ll be back soon.”
As she saw him leaving, she wondered what those personal effects might be.
She could only think of a coat, but figured that upper-class nobilities probably have other things besides that.
Nora had a more pressing problem.
“It must be tough for you, having those delicious foods before your eyes, but unable to eat any of them.”
The glistening slabs of meat she didn’t recognize, the fruits she’d never seen before, and the cakes that looked unbelievably unreal—all the dishes looked mouth-wateringly delicious.
She probably would never have the chance to eat those foods in her lifetime.
She had already agreed to come and perform, albeit reluctantly, so she had wanted to try those new dishes to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
She glanced at Allan for approval, but he shook his head.
It was useless to ask after all.
“I’m sorry but I hardly know about checking for poison and such.
Just wait patiently for Elias to come back.”
It seemed that Allan didn’t have the same taste-testing quirk.
But I suppose that’s normal.
“I get it but why must he make so much fuss over it? It was certainly surprising that she had come to the restaurant herself simply to accuse me of stealing her spot as the singer, but we’re already at the ball and this is the royal castle.
Surely there won’t be any problems?”
He seemed to be implying something, but she thought it might be something unrelated.
“If I recall correctly… The singer’s name was Rebecca.
Might she be coming too?”
Rebecca would not have been invited because of her status.
But it wouldn’t be surprising to see her come, accompanied by someone else.”
“Is the security that lax?”
Despite not being invited, Nora figured it was probably easy for her to ask someone else to take her to the ball.
After all, she had been the singer for years, so she must have been well-acquainted with everyone.
And if she was accompanied by a high-ranking aristocrat, she would surely be able to enter without problems.
“Is that how it works?”
Is that why they were so wary of her? Even so, she didn’t think she would dare do anything to the dishes at the royal castle.
“That’s why we must be careful.
Sorry about that.”
“Although I’m curious to taste such delectable fancy dishes, it’s still better to eat at the restaurant—it’s easier, the food is tastier, and I’m happier.”
When she voiced out her inner thoughts, Allan laughed.
I feel the same.”
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