When the crown princess of Aouine walked onto the second floor of the great hall, she seemed to be following in the footsteps of Elsa or Rorina, the two ice queens. A wintry hush fell over the great hall and also seemed to pass by everyone like a phantom. The sound drifted down, frozen into a powder, and just like the Miirna people of the ice said, “Phantoms can swallow a person’s voice.”
Brendel withdrew his gaze from the ostentatious balcony and met Gryphine’s. The elven princess leaned her hands against the banister and looked down at Brendel with dagger-like eyes. His heart jumped.
Brendel vaguely sensed something different about the look Princess Gryphine gave him. It was ice-cold, like the kind an executioner would give to a prisoner sentenced to death.
“What is it?” Whether it was his previous life or this life, he’d never seen Her Royal Highness look at him with that look.
The abnormal stillness seemed to last only a moment. Princess Gryphine withdrew her gaze and then announced from the second floor that the ball has officially begun. Only then did the musicians seem to come awake and the melodious sounds of the xylophone rang out in the hall.
Everything that happened before seemed to just be a hallucination, but Brendel still felt uneasy as he watched Her Royal Highness turn around and walk down the stairs. He turned around and asked the little prince disguised as Princess Bessidine, “Haruz, what else did your sister tell you?”
“Teacher…” Haruz looked like he wanted to speak but couldn’t. His pale slender neck shone under the lights, but they were covered with tiny beads of sweat, making him seem a bit nervous.
Just then, a gloomy voice from behind them interrupted Haruz, “Viscount.”
Brendel turned around to see an elderly handmaiden standing behind him and Haruz. The handmaiden wore a light blue ritual robe. Her hair was white and every wrinkle on her face added a trace of authority to her. Her face softened slightly only when she looked at them and she let out a polite smile, “Viscount Cauldell, Lady Bessidine. Her Royal Highness wishes to see you.”
“Her Royal Highness? Wants to see us?”
“Yes, Her Royal Highness is waiting for you and Lady Bessidine over there.” The handmaiden answered.
“What does Her Royal Highness want with us?” Questions arose in Brendel’s mind. He still thought the cold look Princess Gryphine gave him meant something. Beside, Haruz had just come from his sister’s and now Her Royal Highness was asking them to come back. Clearly, it had nothing to do with her “sister.”
Everything happening now was drastically different from what happened in history. Brendel knew that Cauldell’s memories played a role in this, but it was no easy task to separate them from the dream and then to discover the goal they represented.
Brendel suddenly thought of a possibility, “What would it be like if, in this dream, Viscount Cauldell was the Princess’ ene
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