Kalion was suspicious whether the person entering was his wife whom he’d seen up until this morning.
The normal Erna wasn’t the type to dress her hair up like that. Normally, she went around with it down, and on busy days she tied it up into a bun. Now, however, Erna shaped her soft, shiny, colorful blonde hair by braiding the strands closely and delicately. The braids were pulled to the back of her head and fixed as one, and then colorful and flower-shaped ornaments were inserted on top of it.
That wasn’t all.
Kalion lowered his gaze a bit. Along with her clear-looking features, he could see her red lips that looked darker than usual. She’d worked hard to fix herself up unlike before.
Kalion’s gaze was fixed on her red lips–the lips he’d nibbled to his heart’s content until dawn. They were also lips that he had been bitten a lot. He wanted to pass his fingers over those red lips right now.
Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t!
Kalion suddenly resented everything in the world right now. Why are there so many useless people here, he thought. If it were up to me I would…
Realizing that his imagination was about to turn down a dangerous, more violent path, he hastily lowered his eyes more. Because at this rate, he was going to end up an uncontrolled beast in this place, in front of dozens of people.
When his gaze was lowered, that’s when he could see what Erna was wearing. It isn’t a ceremonial dress?
Kalion had clearly seen the maids preparing a ceremonial dress outside of the couple’s bedroom when she came out. So he’d assumed she would come out in a ceremonial dress, but she wasn’t wearing that right now. It was a formal and beautiful dress worn by young aristocratic women during banquets at the Grand Castle.
Had they matched the color of her hair and eyes? A deep green-colored fabric was wrapped around Erna’s body. On top of the perfect fit dress, there were delicately embroidered flowers, butterflies, and birds with gold threads.
As soon as Erna took one step in, the ornaments on her hair shook finely. Below the shiny ornaments shaking like roses in the wind was Erna smiling brightly.
The people of Hessenguard usually said ‘she’s like a goddess of Spring’ when they wanted to express that a woman is beautiful. Kalion thought that from today, saying ‘she’s like Erna’ sounded better than that.
He thought it would be okay to propose it to the council to make that a law. And for those who opposed, he intended to banish them after they were deprived of their status under the authority of the grand duke. Why were those nameless guys stuck in Hessenguard?
He was certain that it was unknown what the goddess of Spring looked like, but she couldn’t hold a candle to Erna now.
The eyes of everyone in the room, as well as Kalion’s, were on Erna. The same went for Adelaide.
She was looking at Erna with a startled look and her mouth wide open, unable to maintain her normal elegant attitude. When Kalion saw that face he got a sense of what kind of expectation Adelaide had been waiting for Erna. She must have been waiting to laugh at her. But now the pathetic princess of Haband was no more. Only the grand duchess of Hessenguard was in her place.
Erna, walking with light steps, entered the reception room and spoke to Adelaide after standing beside Kalion.
“Long time no see, Adelaide.”
At her greeting, Adelaide held her trembling hands under her sleeves.
This was the ‘Erna’ she had expected.
* * *
Erna stared at the bewildered Adelaide who was unable to greet her properly. The little sister she was meeting for the first time in 10 years. Erna had grown beautifully over the years the same way Adelaide had. But there was a different point. To be exact, it was Erna, not Adelaide.
Erna felt odd as she looked at Adelaide.
Did she not feel anything?
Erna had been jealous of all of Adelaide’s things as a child. Erna hadn’t been any different from Adelaide’s admirers. She once snuck along the path that Adelaide had passed by at night; wondering if she could feel the same way.
To Erna, that was the type of existence Adelaide had been, so she’d poised herself that people would turn away from her if she looked at Adelaide. Everyone would know that the grand duchess, whom they had praised so far for being pretty, was in fact nothing compared to the royal princess of Haband.
While thinking that she recalled what Kalion had said: “Do I look like the kind of guy to fall for Adelaide?
The words had rekindled Erna’s fading confidence. So, Erna had sat down and told the maids to do as much as they could. And those ladies had been thrilled at her words.
For Erna, there weren’t many days when she was dolled up. Of course it wasn’t that she’d never done it, but it was rare for her to get dressed up to the fullest.
Still, those maids didn’t do their duties carelessly. Always believing that Erna would wear it one day seasonally, they had prepared clothes that fit her exactly and had prepared new accessories year after year.
For other budgets, Vanessa, the strict chairman of the council, sometimes said in a roundabout way, “If you run into the ladies in charge, you can order more.”