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Ruth replied harshly to Devan’s comments.
“Whoever I first dance with, it’s all up to what I feel like doing!”
Devan’s eyebrows twitched briefly and then straightened out.
“People have eyes.”
“Huh, people’s eyes. Everyone knows I’m crazy about the Duke of Lachia. But you’re refusing to let me dance?”
Ruth ended his words loudly. Devan’s jaw tightened, and the people around him now blatantly looked this way in silence. Ran felt like she was going to faint on the spot.
What the hell was that stupid bastard talking about?
‘All right, let’s pass out.’
Ran thought it would be better to give up today’s schedule at this point.
Ran made up her mind and folded her fan as if surprised while staggering back.
“How, Your Highness is with-”
While panting out the words, Ran collapsed to the side hoping it looked as natural as possible.
Surprised, Blaine supported her collapsed body.
‘That was a leap of trust.’
Ran was able to collapse with all her strength, thinking that Blaine would react in time.
Ran took Blaine by the arm and spoke quietly.
“My legs, they hurt, oh…Please let’s head back to the carriage.”
At her words, Blaine held her in his arms. Deep inside Ran was surprised, but she grabbed him by the hem of his clothes as if she knew nothing and was just suffering.
“Excuse me, the Duke is not feeling well. Your Highness, Your Majesty the Duke.”
After greeting them politely, Blaine hurried out of the ballroom while everyone watched Ran being carried out of the hall by her escort.
Blaine didn’t put her down but, instead, walked fast and loaded her into a carriage, which the servants called in a hurry.
As soon as the carriage door closed, Ran began punching the cushion.
“Oh, my God, crazy, he’s really insane! Urgh!!”
Dust flew out of the cushion being punched and Blaine spoke coldly.
“How long do we have to keep an eye on him?”
Until the Crown Prince is poisoned?
Swallowing her words into her throat, Ran sighed and said.
“Thank you, for bringing me out of there.”
“No, I didn’t expect him to say that in front of the Duke of Miro.”
“Neither did I.”
Ran never thought the Crown Prince would shout in front of his brother-in-law, “I want to have an affair right now, but she’s not responding!”
‘The Duke of Miro seemed to be thinking of his sister.’
Because he came out to the ballroom on purpose and said something to Ran.
‘Or was it due to the honor of his family?’
Either way, the Crown Prince crossed the line in front of the Duke.
Ran leaned against the cushion, holding her forehead. Her head started to ache.
‘Now, what will the Crown Princess say? The Duke of Miro? The Royal family?’
They couldn’t blame the Crown Prince, so the only one who’d get burned is Ran.
It could end up differently.
What will the Crown Princess think now?
“Alas! Stupid bastard!”
Shouting loudly, Ran buried her head in the cushion.
‘Well, there were some achievements though.’
As soon as they had talked about the Elf and Dwarf artifacts, the eyes of the high-ranking nobles seemed to shoot towards them.
‘Of course, I wish to start with the Imperial family.’
Given the current situation, Ran didn’t want to get involved.
‘Should I meet with Haresh………….?’
Ran breathed out a sigh. Ran couldn’t find anyone who could stand in for her as a fake business head, so Ran had to do it on her own.
‘And I don’t know if I can save it.’
That’s because the other races were reluctant to go through anyone other than Ran.
‘I can’t help it.’
Since it was impossible for other people to trade with the races, it made it possible to have complete monopolization over it like with the Ice Crystals.
‘How should I do this without making a business group? By creating a fake identity anonymously. I’ll deal with the other races, and I’ll get someone else to deal with the human race.’
Since it is not a product that can be mass-produced and sold anyway, it wouldn’t be possible to steal it.
‘I wish I could have sold one to the Duke of Miro.’
After Ran thinking that, she laughed because she found her thoughts funny.
‘You’ve become a businesswoman, Ran.’
Ran sat upright and said, putting the cushion back in place.
“Shall we open the carriage window? There seems to be some dust.”
Instead of saying ‘it’s because you just punched the cushion’, Blaine faithfully opened the window and said.
“I think the air is murkier than Lachia.”
Ran replied, smirking at the double meaning.
“I think so, too.”
* * *
There was a slight commotion at the Green Arch after the head returned in the carriage earlier than expected. Soda and Kara, who rushed to get Ran’s coat, went to go see Ran.
Instead of asking what was going on, Yustaf asked, ‘Have you had dinner?’ and Ran shook her head.
During the meal, Ran vented her anger at the Crown Prince and Duke Miro, and calmed down over tea.
“I’m telling you, I can’t stand him!”
Finally, Ran sighed, saying so.
“It’s a real pain in the ass.”
Yustaf nodded in agreement at her words.
“He’s a real pain in the ass.”
He was lost in thought for a moment and spoke as if he had suddenly remembered.
“By the way, I received a letter from Count Illuminity.”
Surprised, Ran opened her eyes wide. Yustaf glanced at his servant and he quickly returned with a letter on the silver platter. Ran took the letter, opened the envelope lightly with the letter knife, and put the knife back on the silver platter.
The letter started with a light greeting, asking if Yustaf was well, saying that Lulu became healthy, and finally, that he had found the tea leaves Ran had wanted.
‘You’ve found Lumiere.’
Ran’s heart was pounding quickly. Unconsciously, she looked at Yustaf’s face. As he stared back at her, Ran felt nervous.
“Lulu became healthy.”
“And did Count Illuminity hand you the army?”
“Because it was a battle for territory. I asked all the vassals for their cooperation.”
“I see. They want me to say hello…………….”
“I’ll have to do it soon, too.”
Ran said so and put the letter on the tray. She was wondering if Yustaf would ask her to show him the letter, but there was no sign of him asking.
Without questioning her reaction, Yustaf said.
“The day after tomorrow, I was thinking of going on a picnic with Marquis Cyrix and his wife, it might help calm your mind.”
“Oh, yes, I see.”
Ran suddenly realized that she’d be seeing Elise the day after tomorrow.
When Ran thought about it, she really felt herself feel more at ease. She stomped/kicked her feet and said cheerfully.
“It’s my first time going on a picnic.”
“It’s my first time, too.”
“Really? Didn’t you go while you were at the Academy with your friends?”
“I didn’t go.”
Ran crossed her arms thinking about how she thought everyone went on school picnics, when Yustaf said.
“By the way, you haven’t danced to a single song today.”
“Huh? Yeah. I was going to say no to all the dancing anyway.”
“That’s too bad.”
“Is that so?”
“Then would you like to dance with me?”
As Ran raised her head, Yustaf reached out. Looking around, there was no servant, and the tea room was empty.
‘When did they leave?’
Despite being embarrassed, Ran said softly.
“But there’s no music.”
Yustaf nodded, causing Ran to feel relieved, until he started walking towards the large machine he had placed on one side of the tea room and turned the handle.
There was a loud sound of the spring winding.
Ran’s eyes widened.
When Yustaf let go of the handle, sounds started leaving the music box as the handle slowly turned on its own.
“Shall we dance now?”
At Yustaf’s words, Ran opened her mouth, burst into laughter, rose from her seat and held his hand.
“But I still can’t dance.”
At her words, Yustaf laughed and said,
Then he began to lead her. Ran was a little shocked.
‘It’s totally different from the New Year’s banquet.’
Even the hand around her waist, to Yustaf’s arm leading up to……? His shoulders? It was completely different either way.
‘I also have to look up.’
When Ran saw him, she had thought that he was tall, but now that they were dancing and sticking close to each other, she could feel how much Yustaf had changed.
The music box’s song was not long, and Ran somehow finished the dance feeling stiff with nerves.
She muttered. She couldn’t tell how many times she had stepped on his foot.
“You couldn’t concentrate at all.”
“No, I’m going to have to work harder.”
Yustaf said so and Ran smirked.
“How much more popular are you going to be?”
“Well, I don’t know.”
Speaking strangely, Yustaf touched her hair ornament, then pulled back and said.
“It’s a little messy. I think you’d better go and take it out.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna take it off now. But it was worthwhile wearing it until now even though it was a waste.”
Ran smiled as she spoke, and Yustaf gazed at her gently then held out his arms, saying.
“I’ll take you to your room.”
‘As an escort?’ Ran giggled up to her room.
What’s going on?
Leaning, Ran began to undress under the watch of Soda and Kara.
Then she found herself smiling in the mirror and realized.
‘Oh, I feel better.’
Ran thought it was cute how Yus was trying to comfort her in his own way.
‘Cute, isn’t it? Cool?’
Ran giggled thinking about it. She felt fresh when she loosened her hair and changed into light clothes.
Ran sat at her desk, picked up a quill pen, and began writing back to Count Illuminati.
‘We’re all well, and I’m glad Lulu’s healthy, and about the tea leaves we found………….’
Ran paused from writing and Ran was lost in thought. It is only natural to save Lumiere from slavery.
‘Then, first of all.’
Ran wrote briefly, ‘I want you to buy the tea leaves, and I’ll pay for this next time.’ After saving Lumiere, whether Count Illuminity comes in person or sends an agent, that’s upto him.
‘Cause it’s too risky for me to go and buy it myself.’
Ran didn’t even know what to say to Yustaf.
‘But I’m glad I was able to figure it out quickly.’
Ran breathed with a sigh of relief. After waiting for the ink to dry, she folded it finely, stamped it, and put it on a tray.
As she stretched all the way, the silk robe flowed softly. Ran rose from her seat, her robe sweeping the floor.
‘Let’s go to bed. I’m tired today.’
Ran quickly threw herself into bed. Cool summer night air flowed through the open window.
Even the annoying proposers who had been singing the serenade were nowhere to be seen ever since Yustaf came to the Green Arch so they could open the window with confidence even at night..
The gentle scent of flowers flowed in from the garden through the night air, and Ran was able to sleep soundly.
General Note: The ‘tea leaves’ are code for Lumiere
 어떻게 (eotteohge) can mean ‘how’ but is also used in distressing situations in a way that’s similar to ‘how could that happened?’ or ‘how can that be?’
 The direct translation of the word used here is similar to ‘stabbed’ but it means feeling nervous that your inner thoughts/feelings will be revealed.