A man like the embodiment of royalty
If it hadn’t been for Margot’s soft voice, she would have almost missed the timing for greeting and committed a breach of etiquette.
Olivia quickly followed Margot’s lead and greeted the royal family. Thanks to her practice of the Herod noble’s etiquette, crossing her left leg behind her right and bending her knee, she was able to greet them without making any mistakes.
After briefly assessing her state, Margot turned to Leonard.
“It’s been a while, Your Majesty.”
He took a step forward and replied.
“Thank you for making the long journey, Princess Marguerite.”
Now, it was Olivia’s turn. As she raised her gaze and looked at the King and Queen in turn, she tilted her head and opened her mouth.
“Thank you for inviting me to this gathering. My name is Olivia Liberty.”
Unexpectedly, Noah’s gaze, which had previously been on Margot, turned back to Olivia with her slightly hoarse mid-low voice.
Beatrice deliberately spoke with a warmer tone to the visibly tense Olivia.
“Welcome, Miss Liberty. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been eager to meet the Herod woman selected as Herodington’s top graduate.”
As she awkwardly tilted her head, Margot placed her hand on Olivia’s back, indicating for her to lift her head. She suddenly felt a surge of desire to escape this unbearable awkwardness of the moment. The banquet seemed to stretch on indefinitely, making her feel distant and detached.
At that moment, Leonard cleared his throat softly and turned his body.
“Well, then, we should go meet the reporters waiting for us. I hope everyone enjoys the gathering.”
Suppressing a chuckle at his words, Margot followed him, with the Queen leading Olivia.
“Come with me, Miss Liberty.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
As she followed Beatrice, accompanied by Asher and Noah, she felt as if her ears were tingling from the sensation she perceived behind her.
“We’re going to take some photos now. Please consider it a commemoration.”
Not knowing what else to say, Olivia gave a brief response. Asher, who was standing to the right of the Queen, glanced at her and spoke with a slight smile.
“I heard your major is engineering, is that correct?”
Olivia finally looked at Asher.
If this weren’t the palace, she would have immediately turned her head to compare him to Noah, as they looked so much alike, except for the blue color of the eyes.
Suddenly, Margot’s explanation came to mind.
“The two princes look very much alike, but you won’t get confused. The one with brown eyes is Crown Prince Asher and the one with blue eyes is Prince Noah.”
…So, this was Prince Asher, and the imposing figure standing to her left must be Prince Noah.
Olivia nodded to Asher’s question.
“Yes, I am studying the technology that converts magic into energy.”
“Oh my, really?”
As both Asher and the Queen took turns speaking softly, Olivia felt a little more at ease.
In the meanwhile, Noah, with his back turned towards her, glanced down at Olivia, who walking beside the Queen and Asher.
Standing close, she was petite enough that her forehead barely reached his chest, and her shoulders were so narrow and slender that they seemed no wider than two spans of his hand. Her luscious black hair elegantly flowed down, and the emerald headband kept drawing his attention.
With her brisk, squirrel-like steps, her shoulders slightly swaying, she seemed delightful.
He leisurely walked while looking down at her.
How grateful he was to this person. Since the news of her arrival had spread, the number of events he had to attend had drastically decreased. Even a few days ago, it seemed as if there were none at all. From his perspective, struggling in the hell of events, this petite woman was nothing short of salvation.
At that moment, he felt a very intense gaze from the front.
When he turned his head, Margot, whom all Herod’s offspring feared, was staring at him with a stern gaze. Noah shrugged and gave a wry smile towards his aunt.
Why was everyone sending him such looks when he was living his steadfast life?
In a photo zone set up in a corner of the ripe autumn garden, Leonard stood, with the Queen at his left side. Just as Olivia was pondering her position, an attendant approached and kindly guided her to her place.
“You can stand beside Prince Noah.”
“Oh, thank you.”
With the King and Queen in the center, Asher and Margot stood to the King’s right. Noah was right beside the Queen, and Olivia’s place was next to him. In the brightly lit lanterns, his silhouette appeared even larger.
Olivia had already taken her place and stood a couple of steps behind him, obstinately looking ahead. Suddenly, a low, deep, and resonant voice came from her right.
“Come a little closer.”
Surprised, she turned her head to see that the Prince was looking at her. As he observed her enlarged black pupils, Noah spoke again.
“You need to come a little closer for balance.”
Even though she quickly took a step closer to his side, Noah pointed directly next to him.
His voice seemed to carry an inexplicable force.
The position Noah indicated was dangerously close, where a moment’s distraction could have resulted in their bodies touching.
Therefore, Olivia cautiously adjusted herself, ensuring she didn’t make contact, and looked straight ahead. However, she soon vividly realized that sensing someone’s presence was not just about sight, sound, or touch.
A gust of wind, after rustling through the dry grass, brushed past Noah and tickled her nose.
At the end of the crisp autumn scent, there lingered a hint of his cologne.
Although the journalists were busy capturing the scene, it all seemed futile, merely etching onto her retinas.
Her every nerve seemed to be inclined in one direction of its own accord, regardless of her intentions. It was probably due to Noah, who seemed like the embodiment of royalty that she kept feeling the urge to escape.
“Relax and smile at the camera straight ahead.”
Startled by the sudden voice, Olivia turned her head swiftly to Noah. The photographer, who had just taken the shot, shook his head slightly and clicked his tongue.
“Miss Liberty, you should look ahead.”
When Noah glanced at Olivia, her face had turned even more flustered, her ears even redder. He thought that if he asked her to come closer again, her face might turn even redder.
To balance, he leaned slightly towards her.
The journalists and photographers, satisfied with the perfect symmetry between the royal family and Olivia, shouted loudly.
“Now, we’re taking the shot!”
At that instant, the flash went off, and the photograph capturing Noah’s savior, Olivia, and the royal family was complete.
However, it didn’t end there.
“Noah, try to rein in your father a bit.”
“If that were possible, I wouldn’t have attended so many events, Mother.”
“How many interviews is this now?”
Beatrice and Noah looked at Leonard with a look of exasperation. Then, the Queen, with a gaze filled with sympathy, looked at Olivia, who was forced to sit beside the King.
“That Miss probably hasn’t even had dinner yet.”
Leonard instructed the royal family to return to the banquet hall right after the group photo was taken. Everyone naturally followed, except Olivia, who was left standing by Margot.
“Miss Olivia Liberty, you should accompany me for a few more interviews.”
Surprised, as Olivia looked at the King with widened eyes, Princess Margot sharply criticized her brother.
“Couldn’t you have just taken one picture?”
Leonard didn’t even bother to respond. And so, he sat Olivia next to him and enthusiastically conducted interviews with the invited journalists.