Eugène almost called out his former wife’s name without realizing it but managed to swallow the word and use her formal name instead.
But Louise, half unconscious, not knowing what she was talking about, pathetically grabbed Eugène’s forearm.
I- I can’t breathe-.”
She struggled to whisper in Eugène’s arm and lost consciousness.
Eugène supported her head with one hand as it fell like that of a broken doll, looked back at the dumbstruck nobles staring at them, and asked.
“Does anyone here have rock salt”
“I have it!”
A lady with a gentle puppy-like impression took the bottle of rock salt from the hand of her maid and quickly approached Eugène.
Excited whispers spread like a wave among the nobles who found out the identities of Eugène and the lady, who had lost consciousness in his arms.
But Eugène didn’t care.
He took his former wife to a nearby bench and let her smell the rock salt.
Louise did not open her eyes easily even after sniffing the strong nose-piercing smell.
She could hardly come to her senses and moaned in pain.
“What’s wrong with my lady-in-waiting”
The news that Louise had fainted in the ballroom seemed to have reached the other side of the room to Countess Patrí.
She quickly ran through the way opened by the people and was extremely flustered when she found the scene where the unconscious Louise was clutching onto Eugène’s forearm.
“How did this happen”
As she arrived late and did not know what had happened, she asked, in a snappy manner, the person who seemed most likely to be the main culprit.
Eugène calmly explained the situation as he loosened his sleeves from the grasp of Louise’s slender fingers.
“I found Hon Louise Dumont on the verge of fainting while I was passing by and helped her.
Hon Louise Dumont also caught me unconsciously because I was nearby at the right time.”
He stood up and politely addressed his former wife.
The puppy-like lady, who was trying to wake Louise by fanning her with her hands, nodded eagerly to convey he was telling the truth when Countess Patrí looked back at her.
While we were talking, the Baron suddenly intervened and grabbed the Baroness.
At that time, the Baroness was already on the verge of fainting.”
The puppy-like lady seemed to be kind at heart, but it didn’t seem that she had the wits.
Countess Patrí’s eyebrows raised slightly, angry at her calling Louise ‘Baroness’, then quickly returned to her previous position after realizing that there were many eyes watching around her.
“You are a true nobleman for exercising chivalry for a lady in need.
Thank you so much for helping my friend, Baron Amieux.”
The clever woman soon realized that she had lost her composure, and regained her gentle demeanor.
She kindly thanked Eugène and ordered the attendants to move her special ‘friend’, Louise, to the lounge.
Eugène, not feeling the need to remain any longer, simply bowed and left.
Louise was moved to the lounge and he left, but people’s gaze persistently remained on him.
He didn’t look back, but it felt like the whispers behind his back had gotten worse.
Well, it would be too naive to hope that no one would gossip after creating a huge spectacle like that.
Eugène sighed inwardly and rubbed his tiff nape with one hand.
… I need to get some fresh air.
He didn’t regret helping Louise, but the aftermath of that trivial act was really burdensome.
The attention of all the nobles in this room was currently focused on him.
Eugène, feeling frustrated by the tenacity of the gazes that followed him everywhere, could not bear it any longer and went out of the ballroom.
There were so many eyes on his back that Eugène was unaware that the young Prince Merrick was staring at him with his fists clenched.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Likewise, this time, he stared at Eugène’s back as he walked out of the ballroom with a gaze so intense that it could even pierce a steel plate.
He wanted to chase him right away and question where he was going right now, but he couldn’t do anything because of his mother, who was holding onto his arm.
She wasn’t clutching tightly, rather, she had gently held onto him and Prince Merrick didn’t even dare to shake her off.
His mother’s shadow over him throughout his life was far more deeply rooted than he was conscious of.
However, Duke Merrick was unaware of that fact, and only the anger of seeking the wrong target was endlessly dwelled upon.
Eugène walked to the terrace attached to the hallway opposite the grand ballroom.
The garden was not a safe place on a day like this.
Even if that wasn’t the case, he didn’t want to be disturbed by the noise of noblewomen’s high heels in the bushes.
After wandering for a long time, he managed to find rest in the small space between the long hallway and the heavy drapes.
Eugène pulled a chair without a backrest in the hallway to make a seat, leaned his forehead against the cold stone wall, and let out a long sigh.
No matter how much time passed, he could not get used to court-style social events.
The day when he would truly be able to enjoy a banquet like this will never come.
In high society, all conversations were overly pretentious, and outward appearances were considered more important than the truth they held within themselves.
When he was socializing with such people, he was taken over by the same kind of alienation he felt on the day he first met his former wife.
All of them were delicate glassware, and it felt like he was the only one who passed as poorly made earthenware.
It was always uncomfortable to think that if he were to blend with them, who were as delicate and fragile as if they were going to break, he would move clumsily and reveal his unsophisticated nature made of soil.
Even though he knew it wasn’t his fault, he couldn’t shake off that feeling.
“Why did you run away to this place after posing as a great knight Could it be that you’re imitating a reclusive ascetic”
Eugène, quietly cooling off his troubled head, opened his eyes at the sudden familiar voice that seemed to come out of nowhere.
When he opened his eyes, a tuft of auburn hair fell dazzlingly over his face.
“Glad to finally meet you, Friend.
Long time no see”
A tender kiss touched Eugène’s lips and fell off.
At first, it ended as a light touch, as if it were an accident, but the second kiss linked each other in a more intimate way.
The man gripped Eugène’s chin firmly and dug into his lips.
A soft tongue, without asking permission, licked his mouth, followed by a sweet movement as if licking a sugar cookie.
“I missed you.”
The Prince whispered so in a restless tone and began to kiss him even more deeply.
For a moment, only wet fricative sounds rang the space.
The man took off his lips after enjoying the long kiss to his heart’s content.
Eugène quietly accepted the kiss even though he had a tinge of embarrassment on his forehead, lightly laughed, and pushed his cheek when the man licked up the corner of his mouth mischievously.
“The Prince still tends to do things out of the blue.”
The person who suddenly appeared and took the kiss from him, as if he had followed him, was Prince Cyrill, Kayediv’s envoy, who had just declared himself the Prince of Livonia in the ballroom.
“From the time I heard that the thawing celebratory ceremony was going to be held, I had been expecting your arrival.
How did a person with wanderlust like you manage to stay quiet for two years”
“If you want to know the answer, let me have those expensive lips one more time.
A total of two years’ worth of greetings are overdue.”
Sharing a kiss when meeting a good friend was the traditional greeting in Kayediv.
And whenever Prince Cyrill met Eugène, he would use his country’s unique custom sparingly.
Of course, his kiss, even from Kayediv’s point of view, was far beyond the category of greeting a close friend.
Though Eugène knew about it, he pretended otherwise.
“I heard you got divorced”
But Prince Cyrill did not notice such covert consideration.
He had nowhere to sit, so he sat on the railing of the terrace, starting with sensitive privacy issues.
Eugène looked at the Prince with a bitter smile.
The Prince rolled up his elegant long sleeves, sat on the railing, and dangled his feet, exuding the feeling of a mischievous boy instead of a fairy knight.
The braided hair gently swayed in the refreshing night breeze.
The Prince looked straight into Eugène’s eyes without any sign of hesitation.
“Could you not be a little more mindful with such a question”
“Well, it’s not really a special secret, is it I’ve been hearing about it from the moment I encountered a patrol boat in the Baleum Sea.”
“Do you know how wild the rumors of your divorce are on the West Coast I heard some **ing son of a bitch practically took your wife away, is that true”
Rumors of his private life spreading throughout the capital were troubling enough, but they had even spread to coastal cities Eugène, speechless, placed the palm of his hand on his forehead.
The message sent by Jacques recently was certainly strange.
He seemed to be at a loss between compassion and frustration, which was unlike him, as he was always brusque…
Eugène wondered in what way were the rumors circulating about him in the west, but he did not ask Prince Cyrill that question.
If it’s the Prince, he would undoubtedly babble out nonsense and bring up a lot of exaggerated groundless rumors.
“It is not true.
My wife and I divorced amicably, and she met a new person who promised her a happy future.”
Eugène bluntly made an excuse to Prince Cyrill.
Prince Cyrill tilted his head slightly and smirked in disbelief.
“It seems to me that it was never an ‘amicable’ divorce.
You cannot attach such a modifier to any divorce, but yours seems especially so.
I have eyes too, and I witnessed everything that happened in the ballroom.
I heard that the woman you saved was your former wife”
“She was a lady in danger.
If there was any other lady in her place, even one I had never seen before, I would have helped her as well.”
That, you would.
It is in your nature to save the person in danger instead of idly sitting by.
But the court is not the sea.
It is a much more sinister and vicious place than that.
I don’t know what in the world the Emperor of Estina had in mind when dragging you into this insidious fight.
You are not a man fit for a fight like this.”
“That’s why you should simply defect, Admiral.
If you say that you wish to go to the Grand Duchy of Livonia, I will wrap you up in silk and take you.”
Prince Cyrill induced Eugène’s defection as naturally as if he were calling him for a visit next door.
However, for Eugène, this wasn’t a new thing.
The Prince, from the time they first met till now, would try to persuade him whenever they encountered each other as if it were a habit.
“My apologies, Prince.
But I don’t have any thick clothes to wear in Kayediv.”
“If it’s clothes, then I can simply get them tailored for you.
But if you still feel cold, I’m willing to warm you up myself.
It would be a rather lovely experience to chat naked in bed all winter.”
Prince Cyrill said jokingly and sat on Eugène’s lap at once.
Eugène let the slender young man get on his lap.
Fingers, cold by the wind, affectionately hovered over the scar on his face.
Eugène smiled, lovingly feeling the cool but fond touch.
“What on earth must I do to make you mine”
Prince Cyrill whispered lamentably and looked into Eugène’s face.
“If I become yours, I will be eaten to the bone.
I shall refuse.”
“If you are afraid of being embraced, it’s fine if you embrace me as you did before.
If you just come into my arms, even if it’s a foul, I’m willing to generously overlook something of that degree.”
“… Even if you say ‘as you did before’, what happened only one night six years ago is not a good example.”
Eugène politely pointed out his act of naturally talking about something that happened only once in the past as if it happened quite often.
The Prince then burst into anger, as if he had been deeply wronged.
It was only one night!”
Then he soon became depressed and sighed.
“You’re such a bloody villain.
You held me so tenderly in such an unforgettable manner only to never touch my body ever again.
Who could easily forget that kind of best and worst memory”
Eugène smiled bitterly and swept Prince Cyrill’s flowing bangs with his fingers.
Prince Cyrill recollected the event with a dreamy expression on his sculpture-like delicate features, and buried his face in Eugène’s neck, through his open collar.
“… Do you still dream of that time”
“What do you do in that case”
Prince Cyrill bit the nape of Eugène’s neck hard, as if he had a grudge.
Eugène flinched at the sudden sharp pain, but that didn’t make him push away the Prince who was acting like a spoiled cat.
The Prince, leaving tooth marks on the soft skin between his shoulder and neck, began to lick the wound carefully, as if he had realized what he had done.
Eugène gently stroked the top of his head to soothe him.
“Did I say I missed you”
“Yes, you already did, Prince.”
I didn’t miss what I had to say.
Every time I go back after meeting you, I feel like I came back without saying anything that actually holds importance.”
The Prince, pleased, spoke softly and let out a short sigh.
Eugène once held the only young man who had made him feel close to love.
He affectionately wrapped his arms around the other person’s back to share his warm body temperature.
The perverse young man, who had no qualms about sex, knew that Eugène would not sleep with him even if he were to die, and quietly closed his eyes as if he were finally relieved.