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Translated by Wook
Edited by Iris Sakura
However, contrary to everyone’s expectations, Rosaline came back alive. As she was still one of their colleagues, nobody blatantly said that they hated the news. She even got a promotion with an appointment as a senior knight. Her enemies silently complained because they thought her skills were infinitely insufficient to replace those who had given their lives to protect His Highness, the 2nd Prince. No one had seen even a strand of her hair at the memorial ceremony, so they simply thought she had stayed at her estate to fool around and only crawled out for the inauguration ceremony. Most, if not all, members had those kinds of thoughts.
The senior knights did not like to see a knight with insufficient qualifications and abilities rolling in, the lesser knights were angry that they had lost their chance, and the apprentice knights did not doubt that Rosaline obtained her current position because of her family’s power. The many eyes that looked at Rosaline filled with those emotions. Rosaline was so tenacious that she didn’t know how to give up. ‘How could she be so stubborn and not know when to drop out.’ The eyes looking at her were even darker and more intense than the eyes of those in passionate courtship.
Raymond rolled his eyes and looked around. The lesser knights who made eye contact with him hurriedly left. Seeing people who couldn’t congratulate someone who returned from the dead but were instead gossiping behind her back made Raymond sigh.
What’s with those groups of stubborn, young elites who carried their swords around with pride but acted in contradiction to the code of chivalry they had spent hundreds of days memorizing? Their work all seemed to have gone somewhere meaninglessly.
“I have something to tell you…”
“Actually… I am… your… only friend…”
She raised one eyebrow and looked up at him. She looked genuinely surprised by this statement.
“I thought I would have a lot of friends.”
Calyx, the maids, Raymond, and even the commander; everyone ‘It’ had met so far seemed to like Rosaline. It was strange. Whenever ‘It’ looked at the human named Rosaline in the mirror, ‘It’ thought that her thick black hair was shiny, and her eyes were like blades of grass. Her only flaw was that she was a bit too skinny, but she was tall and had good muscles, so she looked strong and mighty…
‘It is said that human relationships depend a lot on their outward appearance. Isn’t that all there is to it?’
Raymond held his chest as he looked at her baffled expression. His heart ached so much. It was as if he had stolen the belief of Rosaline’s imaginary friend, who should have always stayed with her. He felt like he was a terrible person. Raymond wiped the tears that came out of his eyes with his sleeve.
“Do not worry because this older brother is worth a hundred friends!”
Raymond rubbed his hand against her dark hair. The motion pulled at Rosaline’s scalp, and it hurt a little. As the sun began to set, the two went to the dining room attached to the dormitory. The meal was so delicious that many people even “forgot” to stare at her for a moment.
When Rosaline returned to her room, the first thing she did was take out her stationery to write a full-fledged letter to her brother. ‘The castle is white. Raymond came to meet me. I also met the commander of the knights. People looked at me like I’ve offended them, but I didn’t hit or kill any of them. I’m pretty, but I don’t have many friends. The rice here is delicious. Just like in Esther, nighttime in Tigard shines with the bright moon and starlight.’
Rosaline opened her eyes. She could feel the hallway was filling with more and more people. She looked at the sky and saw it painted with the colors of dawn. Today was the day of the inauguration of the Knights of the White Night. She got up from her desk and checked herself in the mirror. The residual ink from the stationary had left a few letters on her cheek.
After washing, she changed into the uniform and tied up her hair. Soon after, someone knocked on the door as if they were waiting. Rosaline squinted, peeked through the door, and found Raymond: the one who is worth a hundred friends. She smiled softly and opened the door.
“Good morning, Raymond.”
He thought she would suffer a lot from her “memory loss” because Rosaline had left her blood relatives and the home she could rely on, but she seemed to have slept well enough considering everything that happened. Her white skin glowed softly, tempting one to touch it and making Raymond laugh involuntarily. ‘Is there anyone who has been this adaptable before? After this kid died and came back to life, it seems like she has become more carefree.’
She followed Raymond’s directions and saw the wide altar where the ordination would be held. In the center of a large circle of white stone, there was a laurel tree, and next to it was a stone eagle. She recalled the human myths she had heard from Calyx. It is said Idelavhim sent his duplicate in the form of an eagle down to the humans as a medium between heaven and earth, and they grew a laurel tree for the eagle to perch on. So, there were laurel trees and stone statues of eagles on every altar where they held important ceremonies in Illavenia.
While she gazed at the altar, knights in white uniforms gathered one by one. They began to line up in order, even though no one had given the command. She had also learned this from Calyx. Apprentice knights stood at the back, lesser knights stood in the middle row, and the senior knights stood in the front row. Across from them, the lieutenant, the deputy commander, and the deputy commander’s assistant would stand facing the senior knights.
As Rosaline was not yet formally appointed, she lined up with the lesser knights. Still, her eyes lingered around. ‘Where did the senior knights go? Why are there only lesser and apprentice knights in the ranks?’
A lot of time passed like that.
A resounding sound echoed through the air, and white flags along with intertwined swarms of lights went up one after the other. The knights moved with a clatter, straightened their backs, and stood attentively. In the distance from the White Palace, one could see the senior knights walking in unison. In the center of their ranks, there was a man dressed in white similar to the knights. However, it was not a knight’s uniform but a splendid robe that could only be worn in a temple. His long hair fluttered behind him as he slowly walked towards the altar. His silver hair softly shone as if it contained moonlight.
Rosaline paused for a moment when their eyes met. She didn’t even know who he was, but the second she looked at his blue eyes that were like the sea, confusion and emotions that could not be understood rushed through her. Rosaline’s heart pounded with a loud thump.
‘What’s this? What’s happening? Is it poison? No, I’ve changed into a human form. Even though a human is unlike other living creatures, it shouldn’t be so susceptible to poisons. Is it a side effect of breaking the taboo of not eating living things? No way. If it is, I would’ve immediately felt the abnormality the moment I ate.’
By the time Rosaline gasped for breath and pressed her right hand against her chest, all the other knights were doing the same thing with her. It was the way the knights saluted. Rosaline blended in with them by coincidence.
The senior knights escorted the man to the center to the altar, then naturally doubled back and took their positions in front of Rosaline. Rosaline stared at him, her vision partially blocked by the shoulder of the senior knight standing in front of her.
Rosaline had heard of him. The only silver-haired prince in the current Illavenian Imperial family: Laurel of the Snowfield, 2nd Prince Ricardis.
He was the Master of the White Night she wanted to protect.
[The 2nd Prince’s birth mother, Queen Milia, is from a lesser noble family. Her mother was even a commoner. That is why many people grumble over the origins of His Highness, the 2nd Prince. They say he’s lowly because the blood of a commoner flows within him, but even as they think such things, they usually do not dare to say a word in front of His Highness. Why do you think that is, Sister?]
[Because he’s a prince?]
[That is one of the reasons. But the biggest reason is the 2nd Prince’s appearance.]
[He has a beautiful appearance admired by both men and women. Also, the dazzling silver hair of His Highness reminds people of the pure white color that is a symbol of Idelavhim. In addition to that, his power is not inferior to the previous emperors. Can you imagine how the image of His Highness is received in a country rich with holy powers and where the god of light is worshiped?]
At that time, she only said yes, and they moved on from the topic. But now, Rosaline was able to fully understand Calyx’s meaning. Even in her eyes, which could not fully understand a human’s sense of beauty, the 2nd Prince was so beautiful that her mind was blown away. Deep, vivid eyes the color of water. A straight nose, soft lips, and transparent, white skin like a porcelain doll. All coupled with a strong and trained body that is flawless compared to the knights.
Ricardis’ pure white clothes and hair were shining brilliantly. It was such a bizarre scene as if he even outshone the sun.
Calyx, Raymond, the servants back at the mansion, and the members of the Knights of the White Night: Rosaline had seen quite a few men, but it was the first time she had ever seen such a cruel beauty that appealed to her instincts.
‘Is that so? Is her heart beating like this because of his shocking appearance?’ She thought it was a little odd, but she couldn’t figure out why, so she just agreed with her thought.
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