We'll finish this next week! And then we'll be on the same boat, waiting for the new part to be released by the author :”)
When we arrived at the hall, people who noticed us naturally cleared the way for us. There were some people I knew, but everyone was staring at me with wide eyes.
"……why are they looking at me like that? Did I do something wrong?"
The dress, accessories, and hairstyle should be suitable for a debutant. Al smiled when I tilted my neck in confusion.
"There's nothing wrong with you. I said you're beautiful, right? Everyone is just staring at you because you're so beautiful."
"Is that so?"
I nodded while still feeling dubious. When we arrived at the dance floor in the middle of the large hall, the court band started playing music as if expecting us.
"……Lily. Your first dance. May I have this dance?"
Al put his hand on his chest in a graceful motion as he bowed lightly.
Staring at the hand that was offered, I answered, "Yes."
"I'd be glad to, Your Highness Alan."
Then, I took his hand and we danced along with the slow rhythm.
Al's movement was quite good, as he had said, and supported me when I was a little nervous due to the fact that it was my first dance. When the dance was finished without a problem, applause came from the on-lookers around us.
"Liz-sama, that was very nice!"
As we withdrew from the dance floor, the ladies who used to have tea together with me came over to us.
They were people who made their society debut before me.
After saying that I would stop hosting the tea party for a while, I've never contacted them again and vice-versa. Maybe they forgot about me. But, I also had a good time with Chloe every day and didn't remember about them, so we both were guilty of the same sin.
When I saw that the other ladies were widened their eyes as if astonished, I wondered what happened……but then it came to me.
Because they knew that normally I would say 「Naturally」 rather than 「Thank you」.
So, they would have been puzzled when I said, "Thank you."
The ladies began to praise my dress when they recovered.
"That clothing! The design is totally different from before, but it looks great. It suits you very well, Liz-sama. Yes, your outfit that left a strong impression before was also wonderful, but this looks better on you, Liz-sama."
"Yes, I also like this dress. Your dress looks wonderful, too."
"T-thank you very much."
It is the most basic of the basics to compliment others' dress. To tell the truth, their dresses reminded me of my previous preference, so I would feel sorry if I don't compliment their dresses too.
"Your engagement with His Highness has been decided and your position is becoming as solid as a rock, Liz-sama. Even if you have moved forward to the high society, please don't hesitate to visit us."
"Truly! I'm sad that you didn't invite us to your tea party recently. Please don't forget about us."
Even though until now they didn't mind whether they were invited or not, they changed their att.i.tude quickly.
Probably the fact that my escort is Al played a big role here. I know that, but I feel a bit sad that this showed me how worthless I was to them.
"Oh my……that girl, doesn't she wear last year's dress?"
While I was sighing internally how I was reaping what I sowed, one of the ladies spotted a woman who was too shy to actively join the party and frowned.
I followed her gaze. Certainly, there was a young lady who is wearing an old-fashioned dress, standing alone and looking lonely. She was staring at the dance floor with longing eyes.
"Oh my, you're right. No way. I can't believe that she's wearing such an old-fashioned dress even though this is the evening party where the First Prince attends."
"A n.o.ble should not be like that. When attending the evening party hosted by the royal family, one should dress appropriately. Something like that should be just a matter of course."
"But, that person, to think that she doesn't even know such a basic thing."
"……it's unbearable how she dares to come with such a shabby appearance every time. We should warn her so that this kind of behavior doesn't happen the second time."
"Yes, let's do that."
I stopped them who had a strong desire to warn that person.
They looked at me with a surprised expression.
"But nothing, there is no rule stating that one has to wear the latest dress every time. She may have her own circ.u.mstances, and that dress may be her favorite dress. Stop looking down on her for your own selfish reason."
Everyone was staring at me in surprise. I understand why, but everyone was about to 'warn' that person—in other words, persecuting her—and I thought that I couldn't overlook this matter.
And I have heard about something like this from Chloe.
Among the lower-ranking households, there are many that can't be considered rich even though they are n.o.bles. She said that in such households, they can't afford to waste their money and they can only buy a dress after much pestering.
Chloe's household is not that poor, so there seems to be no problem with getting the dress for her society debut, but it was said that she wouldn't be able to go to other evening party after her society debut because she would have no dress to wear.
That was my first time hearing that kind of story. To be honest, I was very surprised.
I thought that everyone was the same as me. Wear one's favorite dress, have a fun tea party, and spend the time happily, I didn't think anything of it.
I was ashamed, so I changed the way I think since then.
Every household has their own circ.u.mstances. I felt deeply regretful that I had been condemning and judging them as I please.
Currently the girl is standing alone, she's poor, so maybe she has come only to enjoy the atmosphere. Because she has come all the way to this evening party. If she were persecuted, I don't think that she would ever want to come again. I want her to have fun even if it's just a little bit, I want her to go home thinking that she wants to come back again.
That's what I thought.
"She may be a lady of a lower-ranking household. If so, it is natural that she can't make a new dress and it is rude to laugh at her who has done everything she can. Don't you think so?"
Perhaps it was unexpected for me to rebuke them, everyone has an expression of disbelief on their face. I understand their feelings, but I really want them to stop crying over what they thought I was.
"……umm, Liz-sama. Well, we have to excuse ourselves. Um, I'm sorry for holding you up for so long even though you're with His Highness. "
I guess they couldn't stand the awkward atmosphere. When one said that, the rest of the ladies spoke the same words one after another and separated away from us.
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