It’s finally the night of the banquet in the Joy Palace at the capital, and it’s very nerve wracking. The bracelet for Cale has been completed, but the last boss is the venue itself… Social events are exhausting no matter the world, apparently.
“My lady, are you ready?”
“Of course, let us go in.”
Externally I look calm, composed and elegant, the perfect image of the young lady of a ducal house. I walk towards the large extravagant doors leading to the banquet venue, the epitome of serene grace. Internally however…
(Ugh why are those doors so big? What a waste of the taxpayers money… Those poor commoners man, this is so overkill. I don’t wanna be hereeeeeee~ Sigh, but I gotta since Cale is going to be here and I need to take this chance to get his interest and a connection to him. Regardless of interest or connection though, he’s going to need the effect this bracelet provides for the future. It shouldn’t stop him from bleeding like he does in the novel, but it should lessen the backlash at least a little. I hope he likes it… You can do this, me! Be strong~)
“Oh my, Countess, long time no see. Your skin is looking so youthful today~… Oh no Viscount, I am feeling quite alright now, no need to worry. Thank you for your concern… Ohohoho, you jest my lady, you must be the belle of this hall with that dress you’re wearing, is it from that tailor on Raypin Street?… Oh my, have you heard of the cake shop that opened up on Maple Ave? I’ve heard it is lovely, we must go together some time. I look forward to chatting with you another time.”
(Why aren’t there video games in this world? I’m so bored chatting in this empty place about empty things with these empty people, they’re only interested in the Duke’s power too. Noble society sucks so bad… I just wanna play some games or read some manhwa.)
After greeting the other young masters and young ladies of Duke Orsena’s Central faction and making simple small talk, I sat down in a seat as close to the Northeast noble’s table as possible in the hopes I could at least eavesdrop if I can’t talk to them without stirring suspicion. Cale’s red hair sure is easy to spot at least. Then, Cale’s performance began.
It was extremely amusing listening to Cale messing with Venion Stan and Neo Tolz, and more than once I had to hide my smirk behind my hand and stifle a snicker as he acted like some naive trash and smacking those jerks where it hurt. Cale looked so punchable, it was incredible how good he was at what he was doing, he should be a professional actor. I’d pay him. After they sat down I got lost in my thoughts after seeing how pretty his red hair was. Maybe he’d like a hairclip after he grows out his hair in about a year or two? Rubies would suit him best, emeralds second.
Then just as it happened in TCF, Alberu came in with all his absurdly sparkly faux blonde glory, then Taylor Stan and Cage entered and Venion’s face was priceless, it made me wish cameras existed here and that I wasn’t some noble lady with a facade to maintain, yet again.
After Alberu’s speech and people started going to greet him, me included (I didn’t make him anything or try to chat beyond a greeting because I need to prioritize a connection with Cale. If I can just snag Cale then I’ll end up with a connection to Alberu through him, after all), that’s when the most crucial part of this whole night happens. I see Cale going to leave the party, and now I need to follow.
“Oh my, it was lovely being with you all, but I must retire for the evening, I’m feeling a bit unwell. Goodbye, everyone. Have a nice evening.”
Somehow maintaining a graceful appearance while booking it after him, I manage to call out to him right before he gets in his carriage, after checking there wasn’t anyone nearby nor in earshot aside from Raon and Ron. Amiru has already headed back in, this is the perfect moment.
“Excuse me! Young master Cale! Please wait, I must speak with you.”
Cale, this absolute madlad, has the AUDACITY to look grossed out once he turns to see me before quickly schooling his face into a neutral expression. Well, not that I blame him though, nobles are super annoying.
“You are… young lady Karin Orsena, yes? Can I help you with something?”
I can see the “go away I wanna go home” look in his eyes. Me too man, me too. I need to give you this though. I hope you sleep alright tonight.
“Yes, you are young master Cale, right? It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry to bother you, but there is something I must give you, and I completely understand if you are wary, we have never talked before and my father is the leader of that Central faction… Anyway since we’re both in a rush, please take this. It will help you, it reinforces a person’s plate. I made it myself for your benefit, and I hope we can be friends in the future. If you are concerned, please let your little black dragon analyze it for you. There is no curse or traps. Also, you should be the only one to read the engraving before wearing the bracelet, the engraving is how I imbued the magic you see. There is also a communication function in the bracelet. I’m really sorry, but I must go now or I will cause suspicion. Please be safe. Goodbye.”
After shoving the item wrapped in a handkerchief into his arms, I spare a glance at the sheer shock in his eyes before briskly walking towards my own carriage and start heading home. I flop into bed filled with exhaustion, the stress and anxiety really took a lot of effort out of me… I hope he uses it.
Ron’s voice asking if Cale was getting in the carriage snapped him out of his shock, and he turned away from the direction of that strange girl and got in the carriage and shut the door. Upon opening the handkerchief, there was a simple silver bracelet without ornaments. It seemed normal enough. However, there was a lot to process aside from that.
‘How did she know about the dragon? Why did she give me this? What even is it? Why me?’
“Dragon, is this thing safe? Does it do what that person said it would do? Did she sense you?”
The Black Dragon removed his invisibility and landed on the opposite bench in the carriage and started to explain what he noticed. The small dragon seemed incredibly curious and somewhat confused.
“Weak human, it’s impossible that that person would be able to sense me, she was very weak, almost as weak as you. She does not use magic like a great and mighty dragon nor the mage. Her magic power was very strange, it had no attribute. She wasn’t strong, but her power was very pure and clear. This great and mighty dragon has never experienced something like that. That item is safe. I do not know what she meant by a plate, but there is indeed a power in that bracelet, it is similar yet different to the power of that priestess Cage when the Vow of Death was made, however it is not the power of a god. It is similar to a blessing yet different. Weak human, you should wear it, she must know that you are weak and want to protect you.”
‘For the dragon to be so confused, what kind of power does she have? Well, I’ll put it on for now, as there’s nothing dangerous about it. Not that I need protection with all these strong people around me. Oh right, she said something about an engraving? I’ll take a look at that first.’
Upon inspecting the writing on the inside of the band, Cale almost dropped the bracelet with shock. Alarm bells rang in his head and suddenly he was filled with confusion and countless questions.
[Kim Rok Soo, now Cale Henituse, may your plate become sturdy like stone]
“… What the?”