When I’m once again standing in front of the huge doors out in the hallway, I let out a huge sigh of relief.
I was finally able to get out of that suffocating room.
Now I would like nothing more than to hurry up and go home and gorge myself on a healthy helping of macarons.
So, with that thought forefront in mind, I start walking back through the palace, trying to retrace my steps.
I wonder if I’ll be able to successfully find the way out on my own though Since I’d been following the maid the whole time when I came in, my memory is a bit hazy.
I really hadn’t been paying attention to where I was going…..
…..Did we come down this hallway It doesn’t look familiar… Hm, and I don’t remember passing by that large vase either…
I glance over at the portraits that hang on the wall hoping they might jog my memory.
One depicts a young boy with sky blue hair and deep, ocean blue eyes….
which I’m thinking must be of the king from when he was a young.
It seems that back then, his hair was a shade lighter than it is now.
And standing next to that boy in the portrait is a kind looking man that I think might be his father, the previous king Hm, that’s odd.
The longer I look, the more I feel like I’ve seen him somewhere before…..
Though, if I had met him, I’m sure I would remember, so maybe it’s just my imagination.
“Alicia” I hear Duke-Sama call out to me.
I slowly turn in the direction of his voice.
He’s standing a couple meters away right next to a huge window with light streaming in.
It illuminates his hair and I notice a faint glittering near his earlobe.
an earring When we’d been sitting at the table together, I hadn’t noticed it.
Duke-Sama stands there for a moment, seeming to be waiting for something, but when I don’t say anything or make a move to draw closer, he takes the initiative to walk over to me.
As he draws near, I strain my eyes to get a better look at his earring.
It’s made of a radiant blue jewel….
most likely a magic gemstone.
It’s something that can only be made once you reach level 100.
Which means that Duke-Sama must have already acquired level 100 magical abilities, right That makes him one of the top magic users in the whole world…..
Come to think of it….
I do feel like rather than the heroine, Duke-Sama was the one who reached level 100 faster during the game.
But was it really this fast
“What are you doing here” Duke-Sama murmurs to me gently, stopping just a few inches away.
I would prefer it if you wouldn’t address me from this distance.
You’re much too close.
…..As for that question, it would be bad for a villainess to admit that she’s lost, wouldn’t it
“I was just doing a bit of exploring,” I say, trying to hide my embarrassment behind a quick smile.
But Duke-Sama’s eyes seem to see right through me.
Even before he asked, he probably already knew that I was lost.
Ah, those eyes.
I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t stare at me with that sexy gaze.
“Shall I accompany you to the front gates” Duke-Sama suggests, letting a faint smile slip onto his face.
This sort of treatment….
is precisely how you’d treat a precious little sister, isn’t it I should be fine as long as I’m getting the sibling treatment, right
Though, it’s still a mystery how Duke-Sama came to like me in the first place.
During the game, I thought he absolutely detested Alicia….
Could it be….
that all this time he’s been acting fond of me in order to make it easier to get rid of me later His affectionate attitude was actually just a guise to cover up his resentment for me….
Yeah, that seems rather far fetched.
Even for me.
And, ever since Henry-Oniisama told me his true thoughts about Liz-san, I’ve started to doubt how much of the game has carried over into reality.
“Alicia” Duke-Sama says, scrutinizing my expression.
He leans into me, bringing his face even closer to mine.
….This is bad.
Please step back a bit.
I don’t think my heart can take much more of this proximity.
At this distance, I can even smell Duke-Sama’s delicious scent drifting towards me.
He smells so unbelievably good.
It makes all the fatigue from the ordeal earlier just melt entirely away.
But at the same time, it makes my heart beat faster.
I just know that my face must be turning red right now as well.
As a villainess, I shouldn’t be allowing my feelings to be showing on my face like this.
Duke-Sama’s tender gaze pierces me as he lets out a little laugh.
“You’re face is bright red.”
I know! I know, so there’s no need for you to point it out! Is he…. teasing me right now
I’m slowly becoming more and more certain that he is.
Though, with that certainty I’m realizing just how much of a mystery Duke-Sama is to me.
When I saw him on the screen, I always thought of him as the cool and collected type, the sort of person that tends to keep people an arm’s breadth away….
but after interacting with him, that doesn’t really seem to fit.
For one thing, he never acts distant.
He always closes the distance between us right away and somehow always seems to see right through me….
And with looking at him now, I would say he might have a bit of a mean streak as well.
“Duke-Sama, just what sort of person are you really”
At my question, Duke-Sama stiffens and draws back a fraction.
He blinks a couple of times and stares at me hard.
Was my question really that surprising
“I can’t seem to get a read on you.”
“Get a read on me”
Do you enjoy teasing me like this”
Duke-Sama’s eyes fly open and his expression looks startled for a moment, but almost immediately after it softens again into a tender smile.
“I certainly don’t hate teasing you,” he tells me with a smirk, roughly ruffling my hair.
….Saying that line with that expression! That’s cheating.
All of your fans will swoon, you know.
In truth, if I hadn’t been aiming to become a villainess, I’m sure I would be swooning too, or at the very least I’d be having a nosebleed right about now.
See I definitely can’t comprehend this man’s intentions after all.
One second his smile is so sweet, and then the next he makes that sort of rakish grin while tousling my hair….
To be able to pull off a stunt like that so smoothly, he really is just like a prince charming.
And he’s way too charming for his own good.
“Come on, let’s go,” Duke-Sama says, and without waiting for my answer, he starts walking away.
At a time like this, would it be best for me to follow behind him Or maybe I’m supposed to walk beside him I just don’t know.
Though, what I do know is that whenever Duke-Sama gets too close to me, my image as a villainess ends up in shambles.
So it’s probably best for me if I keep at least a little bit of distance between us, huh
So, staying just a few steps behind, I follow him towards the front entrance.
And for Duke-Sama’s part, he doesn’t argue or question the distance, he just kindly matches his pace to mine as he silently leads the way.