He smirked teasingly.
“If there’s anything I’d be angry about it would be the time when you kicked the duvet off the bed on your first night.”
“T-that’s—“ I flinched on my seat when the emperor cut me off,
“I assure you that what you said about you being impolite does not bother me in the slightest, and I’m not sure why, really.
Maybe because I grew used to it”
The emperor said with a raised eyebrow, his head tilted to the side as he maintained eye contact with me.
My face reddened at the meaning behind his words, even though deep down I knew that it just couldn’t be.
Flushed and lost for words, I downed the rest of my drink so I could avoid answering him altogether.
He took the empty glass from my hand and stood.
“Anyway, take the rest of the day off and relax.
We don’t want you collapsing again in your current state.
I’ll make sure to let your teachers know.”
The emperor’s suggestion was tempting, but as much as I wanted to do just that, I couldn’t.
I subtly watched him get dressed and leave the room before jumping out of the bed, the action yet again making me lose my bearings as I sat down beside the bed, groaning as I clutch my head.
It was only five days left until the masquerade, and there were still a lot of things on my plate.
Taking a break from lessons was not a problem but I’d rather die than leave my tasks unfinished.
Abandoning my duties was not in my nature, which, sadly, also led to my death back in my past life.
Slam! I flipped the book about the genealogy of aristocrats open and began memorizing.
Every year a new edition of the book was published, hence its thickness.
If I hadn’t read an entire English dictionary from front to back in my past life I wouldn’t have any chance of succeeding at all.
I was once a strong-willed, Korean woman.
It was a day filled with headaches and stomach problems, but I felt so much better after downing the drink that gets rid of hangovers, brought by Lina on the emperor’s orders.
That night, Raven came to visit me with his face pale as paper.
He was uttering his apologies for making me drink and if my assumptions were right, I’m guessing he had an earful from the emperor the whole day.
Having heard my own drunken blabber and the deathly hangover that followed shortly, I, too, promised myself I would not drink a single drop of alcohol at the gala.
The preparations for the gala went by smoothly and before I knew it, it was already the day of the banquet.
My presence wouldn’t be needed until late afternoon, but I was awoken in the early morning nonetheless, being dragged from one place to the other.
This was the first masquerade to be held ever since the emperor ascended the throne, and he wouldn’t be attending as the emperor but as a civilian just like the rest of us.
The maids exclaimed their excitement over the whole thing and I shared the same exhilaration too, but five hours of preparation had depleted my energy and my eyes were already showing signs of fatigue.
“Wow, you look so beautiful.” Lina’s eyes were gleaming in appreciation.
I nodded as I looked at my reflection.
“I do look pretty.” After finishing the preparations, I was glammed up for four hours by two valets and two maids under the head maid’s supervision.
I stood there wearing a studded dress embellished with white lace, frills, and intricately-sewn translucent jewels.
It flows like a wedding dress, and the only difference was that the dress I’m wearing now was a pale, elegant blue similar to the color of my eyes.
This must be the dress he wanted me to wear, right
That seemed to be the case since the head maid had brought it herself.
I could tell at a glance that it undoubtedly cost a fortune, equivalent to several years worth of hard-earned income of the common folk.
Initially, I would wear Liliana’s old belongings for events, then out of nowhere I was being handed this elegantly made dress.
It felt like it was the dress that would be wearing me, not the other way round.
It was overwhelming.
I had never worn anything close to luxurious in both my past and present life, so I couldn’t help but freeze in my spot the moment I saw the dress.
Thankfully, the gorgeous soft blue dress complemented my pale skin, platinum blonde hair and light blue eyes.
I actually looked like some sort of model if I do say so myself.
The only thing I didn’t particularly appreciate was the corset I wore underneath, and the value of the dress made me feel like the doll I initially am.
What if the jewels fell because of my movement These are real jewels, right And the shiny ones are powdered gemstones I panicked internally thinking that I would have to pay should there be any damages.
He said that he had this dress made especially for me, so it’s unlikely he would make me pay for the damages.
But who could blame me for my irrational thoughts The sight of the intricate, fine jewels was just nerve-wracking! I bet no one knows what I feel inside, I thought as Lina continued to marvel at the dress while trimming the loose threads, and the maids were smoothing the creases with their palms.
“Iona.” I was looking at the mask I was going to wear when I heard the emperor’s voice.
I was so caught up with my thoughts that I did not hear the valet announce his arrival.
Hastily, I addressed him in a formal manner since we’re not alone in the room, “The first light of the great Ivant Empire, I bid thee my greetings.”
He looked at me for a short moment before nodding.
It seemed like he had just realized that there were too many eyes upon us, so treating each other so casually was out of the question.