The next day, after a hefty lunch, Venessa came to the Honeywell Manor to teach Ilya to dance. 

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She had a good reputation among nobles for her dancing skills, and she used to teach dance to several young girls who were about to make their debut.

Vanessa, who had previously had ties with the Honeywell family while teaching Rose, readily accepted the Duke Honeywell's request.

After learning how to dance from Vanessa, Rose welcomed her with pleasure, even though she rarely chatted when they met at banquets.

“Welcome, Lady Vanessa.”

“It has been a while, Lady Rose.
It's hard to see the Rose of Honeywell at the banquets.
I wanted to have the pleasure of watching you dance.”

Vanessa had long since known of Rose's lack of interest in banquets. 

Rose laughed awkwardly. 

“I may not attend banquets, but when the fashion trends change, I practice dancing with Older Brother.”

“Ah, well, I hope to see Rose dance at the year-end banquet…
With Duke Proud, of course.”

The Proud and Honeywell families are famous; this is problematic. 

Rose desperately wanted to confess that she would never dance with Duke Proud again, but she didn't dare speak. 

Instead, Rose introduced the dance instructor to Ilya, who waited patiently beside her.

“This is Miss Titonsser.
She will be participating in the debutante ball held at the Imperial Palace.
The Honeywell Family will be sponsoring her debut.
Lady Vanessa, please teach Miss Titonsser to dance for her coming-of-age ceremony.”

Vanessa evaluated the baron's daughter. 

Ilya greeted first, bowing her head to Venessa when their eyes met. 

“I look forward to learning from you, Lady Vanessa.”

I greet you too, Miss Ilya.
Will Lady Rose be attending the classes?”

Rose shook her head slightly. 

“Unfortunately, no.
I will be going to the Imperial Palace as soon as I'm done getting ready.”

“Is something going on?”

The dance instructor tilted her head and inquired curiously. 

She would be curious, especially considering Rose Honeywell, who was known for never leaving her manor, was leaving to go to the Imperial Palace of all places. 

Rose conveniently chose to slip away. 

“Yes, then, I'll go and get ready.
Miss Titonsser, have a good class.”

“Yeah! Bye, Miss Rose!”

Fearing that Vanessa would ask another question, Rose quickly left the room.

As for Ilya's dancing, Vanessa will teach her well, so Rose didn't worry about it and just prepared to leave.

Returning to her room, Rose began to prepare to go to the Imperial Palace with Anne's help.

Rose, who managed to change into a simple dress with Anne's assistance and who only recently stopped insisting on her wearing a fancy dress, already felt worn out.

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When I finally get to meet the Emperor, I'll be exhausted.
I don't even have the energy to worry about what I'm going to say. 

“Lady Rose, a carriage has arrived from the Imperial Palace.”

Just as Anne was tidying Rose's hair for the last time, the butler came to the room to inform her.

Rose, wearing a thick coat, elegantly followed the butler out of the room.

The imperial carriage was so large and grand that the staff wondered whether it would be too heavy to be pulled by the horses.

Even if Rose rolled around the carriage, she would still have room to spare. 

The exterior was lavishly decorated with gold, and Rose wondered how the coachmen managed to drive such a delicate carriage. 

The escort driver who was on standby for Rose's outing then helped Rose get into the carriage easily.

After climbing into the carriage with the help of the escort knight, she carefully sat down in a chair and was amazed at the splendor of the interior.

Soon the carriage began to move, but the wide seats were so soft that even the slightest jolt of the carriage remained unnoticed.

There was a small pocket on the window.
It must have been a sachet full of spices.
Rose could smell the fresh scent of flowers every time she breathed in.

However, Rose could not sit comfortably in the chair and appreciate the fragrance.

Her hand, placed neatly on her lap, grabbed the hem of her simple dress and straightened it.

A lone sigh escaped Rose's lips.
She could not hide her nervousness and was constantly rubbing the hem of her dress.

“You need to properly state your intention to break off the marriage, Rose.
In front of His Majesty, can I speak well?”

The emperor's expression before she died was gentle, but now the situation was different.

At that time, he may have felt pity for Rose, and so his look was gentle when he looked at her. 

But isn't there any reason for that now?

Rose put her hand on her heart and took a deep breath.

If I show my sincerity, His Majesty will understand.”

With her eyes closed, Rose chewed repeatedly over what she had to say to the emperor. 

Don't make a mistake by talking gibberish, Rose.

The carriage stopped in front of the tall and majestic building of the Imperial Palace.

The imperial knight, who had been stationed waiting for Rose, came and opened the door of the carriage and helped her get off.

Rose, who had descended the steps of the carriage with the help of the knight, suddenly raised her head and met the eyes of a person who was looking at her from not far away.

The rumor that she dresses modestly compared to other noble ladies is true.
The clothes she was wearing were more modest than the dress Rose currently wore.

Long, tied hair and a plain dress with no decorations.
However, the sense of intimidation she exuded was no laughing matter.

The purple eyes looking at Rose were as majestic as the emperor's.

Rose recognized her and bowed a greeting as she grabbed the hem of her dress.

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“I greet the Marquise of Rosenberg.”

“Welcome, Lady Honeywell.”

Alison greeted Rose with a polite, cool smile.

Slowly raising her waist, Rose pondered to herself.

Did the Marquise of Rosenberg come to meet me? I didn't expect to come at the request of the emperor and have the Marquise greet me instead.

Although Alison was a subject of the emperor, she was his sister before that. 

Is it okay to treat a sister like this?

Having only seen brothers such as Wells, who had never asked her to run an errand, Rose was curious about the current situation.
She slightly turned her gaze toward the knight.

A look of bewilderment lingered on the expression of the knight who greeted Alison.

From that expression, Rose realized that Alison had come there on her own accord, not on the emperor's command.

…Or are you just passing by?

Rose stood still, not knowing if it was okay to take the first step.
The marquise beckoned her forward, recognizing Rose's intentions.

“I will guide you to where His Majesty is.
Lady Honeywell will be taken by me, so go back to your post.”

At Alison's command, the knight seemed to hesitate for a moment, then bowed to the two of them politely and walked away.

Rose, who was looking at the back of the knight who was moving away, turned her head at the voice coming from the side.

“Then let's go.
His Majesty wants Lady Honeywell…
I'm waiting for all this to play out.

Allison put her hand on her waist as if what she said was hilarious, tilted her head, and smiled.

Rose just laughed awkwardly, not knowing what to say next.

The Marquise, who had been laughing all this while, suddenly stopped laughing and moved closer to Rose.

Alison, who was quite tall for a woman, bent over slightly to meet Rose's eyes.


Her eyes examined Rose carefully and in detail, as if discerning a jewel.

Naturally, Rose became nervous when Alison looked at her.

However, her amethyst-colored eyes looked exactly like those of the emperor, and she was able to relax quickly.

Is it because they are siblings? Just looking at your eyes makes me feel like I'm staring at His Majesty.

Since yesterday, a strangely stubborn man's image had taken root in her mind.
Rose shook her head vigorously.

Stunned by Rose's sudden movement, Alison stared at her strangely.

“Yes? What's wrong?”

“Oh, nothing.”

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“Well, alright.
By the way—“

Alison, who looked at Rose once again, sighed softly and muttered.

“What a waste.
It's such a waste.”

What's a waste?

Rose asked the marquise, but instead of answering, Alison just moved on, saying that His Majesty was waiting for her.

Rose followed her, one step behind Alison.

In the corridor of the Imperial Palace, where the bright sun was shining through winter, the contrast of the shade and light stood out. 

Only the sound of their heels echoed in the hallway.

It took a while to walk the endless corridors of the Imperial Palace.
Alison, who was walking ahead, called Rose.

“Lady Honeywell.”

“Yes, Marquise.”

I wonder if Lady Honeywell…”

Allison couldn't get her words out easily.
Tilting her head, Rose glanced at Alison's expressionless back.

After a pause, Alison spoke. 

“No, never mind me.
I'll talk to you after His Majesty meets you.
Go through there.”

Alison pointed to the knights who were guarding the door.

The knights greeted Alison and Rose.

“Open the door.
'Rose Honeywell' and Alison Rosenberg have arrived.”

Rose wondered why Alison shouted out her name. 

I'm not the only one wondering if I heard wrong. 

Seeing the bewildered expressions of the knights here, Rose felt her expression mirror theirs.
Looking at them, Rose was convinced.

Like the one that came out earlier and the knight that guided me.
It's as if the Marquise being here has nothing to do with His Majesty.

Rose remembered Alison from the coming-of-age party.

With her high status, no one in the empire didn't know who Alison was.

The young lady of Honeywell was familiar with Alison, too, and had seen her at the coming-of-age party this year.

In the vast party hall of the palace, Rose saw her from afar.

Her height, which was almost too tall for a woman, caught her attention first, followed by her sharp eyes.

At that time, Rose's first impression of Alison was of her coldness and elegance.

Rose stopped her thoughts and looked at the woman standing in front of the emperor's office. 

The marquise was shaking the shoulders of the knights, who said they would allow only Rose to enter, and harshly scolded them.

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I never knew you were such a person.
I'd always assumed you were a quiet lady. 

The knight caught by Allison wanted to cry.

“No matter who you may be, Marquise Rosenberg, this is an order from His Majesty.
He will only allow Lady Rose Honeywell to enter!”

“So, you're going to let her in and forget all the help I've done, right?”

Allison did not back down easily and shouted to her brother.
Rose was placed in a difficult position; she wanted Alison to back down.

She planned on talking about the breakup with Elliot, and even if Alison was the emperor's sister, being around to listen to her request was burdensome.

Rose secretly hoped that the knight would continue to push forward resolutely.

She stared at Alison and the knight.
Alison, who transformed into a spear that pierced everything around her, and the knight, who transformed into a shield that blocked her attacks.

Before it all fell into chaos, the door to the emperor's office opened.

Then, through the gap in the open door, a tall man appeared.

Upon discovering him, Rose's red eyes widened as never before.

Emperor Russell Whittle van Tristan appeared.

The bright silver hair that absorbed all light had mysterious purple eyes, exactly as in her memory.

I wonder, would his voice sound as sweet as before? 

Her heart pounded with the stirrings of an unknown emotion. 

A sweet voice would be the same.
Rose's heart began to pound with an unknown emotion.

However, what came out of Russell's mouth was not friendly at all, but rather a cold voice like a winter wind blowing chaotically outside the Palace.

“What are you doing now? Is this a marketplace? I can hear your voice from inside my office because you're here arguing like a child.”

Russell's eyes were watery from lack of sleep, and annoyance emanated from the gesture of his hand that angrily swiped his bangs off his face.

Alison, who also noticed Russell's plummeting mood, put aside the article she had been admiring just a moment ago and approached him.

“Your Majesty.
Are you tired?”

“Yes! But never mind that.
What the hell is the Marquise doing with the knights here?”

“I came to see if His Majesty would be bored.”

Allison closed one eye and acted cheeky.

Russell's expression darkened further.

“Marquise of Rosenberg.
I am not a lonely person, and I usually accept all the jokes the Marquise blabbers about courteously, but today is an exception.
I'm already suffering from a bad night's sleep, and my nerves are on edge, so please return to your quarters.
I have guests.”

“Ahh! You mean Lady Rose Honeywell?”

“Yes, so Marquise quickly returned to your quarters.”

The emperor's icy gaze focused on his mischievous sister, and his fingers massaged the twitch that developed at his eye from his anger.

Looking up, Rose and Russell made eye contact.

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