Villainous Husband, The One You’re Obsessed With Is Over There - Chapter 24.2
Chapter 24 – Part 2
My face turned red. It was a realization that the nobles who circled around us a few meters apart were staring at me and Raniero as if they were spectators.
I lowered my head a little.
‘The Emperor and the Empress have to do the first dance? If he hates ceremonial acts so much, then why is he arranging these things one by one…?’
…If I step on his feet, I am the only one in trouble—!
I kept my head down and muttered in fear that my heart might be read. Raniero was surprisingly aware of my thoughts, so I should not show my face at times like this.
‘If he orders me to raise your head, I will have no choice but to show my face while thinking about something else as much as possible…’
Fortunately, the music started without such an order.
When he took the first step and I followed, the other nobles also started to dance in pairs. I did not have time to practice dancing separately because I was so focused on hunting practice. However, the habits and memories of ‘Angelica’ followed the steps smoothly like water.
But, even with the steps my body remembered, I was in a state of tension.
I was afraid that Raniero would deliberately step on my foot.
If he was going to make fun of me, he would be the last person to do that. Perhaps, my suspicions were correct. The tip of Raniero’s shoe, which was stepping forward, suddenly came under the dress.
I stepped back with my foot so that I would not step on it.
Then, I stepped on the hem of my dress.
It was only natural that my body staggered greatly as I stepped backward in heeled shoes and stepped on the long skirt wrongly.
In an instant, the accident played slowly in my head.
‘Wha, what should I do?’
Instinct was instructing me to reach out and grab the arm of the person opposite me. Still, the problem was that that person was Raniero, who terribly disliked others touching his body without permission.
Even while I was thinking, my upper body slowly collapsed backward.
In the end, I shut my eyes tightly and clenched my fists. It would be a great disgrace to fall onto my backside in front of nobles, but I would not die from being disgruntled. On the other hand, if I touch Raniero the wrong way, then I would really die.
Raniero did not catch me, so I fell on my backside embarrassingly.
‘Oh, it hurts…’
Even though there were no tears, my tailbone tingled. When I fell, my wrist was also sore because I was startled by the hand that stretched out behind me and touched it. A couple around me stopped dancing and glanced at me in amazement.
Seeing that, Raniero spoke softly.
“Don’t look down on the Empress.”
Those who obeyed those words immediately turned their heads without looking at me. Meanwhile, the orchestra peeked at each other while moving their bows slowly.
“Don’t even stop playing.”
Although he only spoke quietly and lowly, they heard him clearly.
I frowned my eyebrows slightly and tried to stand up on my own.
However, it did not happen when Raniero sat down on one of his knees and pulled my ankle. And so, I sat down in the banquet hall where there was still music and dance, putting my ankles on Raniero. An obnoxiously pale, straight hand touched my ankle a few times.
To be honest, it was a bit ridiculous.
‘What… Is he checking to see if I fell down and got hurt?’
“…It doesn’t hurt there.”
“My hips and wrists are a little… though I don’t think it’s sprained.”
I have already said it did not hurt, but Raniero was still rubbing my ankle. With his thumb and index finger, he gently rubbed the part that went in under both ankles, then bowed his head slightly and kissed my knee over the dress.
Naturally, his head was lower than mine, so I closed my eyes so as not to look down on him.
He spoke in a voice much sweeter than the melody of a string instrument.
“You don’t make mistakes.”
It was a familiar phrase to me now.
I turned my head slightly.
Ugh… It was not the time to think about what it meant to say he recognized my face. His personality, whether he memorized my face or not, or touched me in this way and tested me by touching me this way, has not changed at all.
Raniero moved my upper body a little closer to him and put my arm behind his neck. I was able to hug him only with his unspoken permission. He smelled of bark and smoke.
No matter how strong he is, he must feel heavy when he lifts a person. However, he lifted me up as easily as he did in the forest earlier today. The music that seemed to last forever ended when he sat me on the left.
I slowly released Raniero’s arm from his neck.
After the first dance, the food came.
It was delicate and beautiful, but only light food. To the extent that it does not fit the definition of a banquet, ‘to make people play with alcohol and food.’
I glanced at the nobles over Raniero’s shoulder.
‘The solstice festival is an event where nobles from all over the country gather. The banquet is the best place to socialize. It would not mean much if you set the table and sit in a reserved seat?’
…As boring as a reserved seat, Our majesty the emperor would not be happy with it.
The music was soft enough not to interfere with the conversation. And, I noticed that there were people who are slowly creeping this way.
Everyone was playing a timing game to see who would come to me first.
The first person that approached me after breaking the game was Viscount Gongfyr, the father of one of my maids, Eleanor.
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