e hand touched her slender waist.

His gentle golden eyes are staring at Wisteria.
Suddenly, like a mischievous little boy, he closes one eye and makes a playful gesture.

Momentarily caught off guard by that familiar gesture, Wisteria involuntarily turned her head away.

Her head was dizzy, as if it had boiled all at once.

Her heart was pounding wildly. If only time would stop like this…

(…I love you)

She whispered those words, which she could never say out loud, just once in her heart.

“…Bright, don’t worry about me.”

Wisteria smiled at Bright, whose brow was slightly wrinkled with worry.

“There are plenty of people who want to talk to you.
I would feel sorry if I kept you all to myself.”

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Bright chuckled as she said it as ladylike as she could, hiding her shallow true feelings.

“I came here today so that you can have me all to yourself, Wis.”

“! T-That’s…!”

“Haha.
But it seems that I would make some people terribly jealous if I kept you to myself too much tonight.
All right, I’ll leave for a little while.
I’ll be right back.”

Bright gave a slightly playful bow and walked towards an acquaintance.

Wisteria, unable to cool the heat in her cheeks, unconsciously followed his back with her eyes and hurriedly pulled them away.

——It was too much of a luxury to feel lonely or not want him to go.

(…At least for now)

Bright wasn’t Wisteria’s fiancé or anything of the sort.

Like other noble girls, Wisteria went to evening parties to find a marriage partner, and it was only due to the fortunate relationships of her adoptive parents that Bright often volunteered to be her partner.

But there was no telling how long this fortunate and perilous equilibrium would last.

At the very least, Bright would be urged to take a wife soon.
All manner of unmarried ladies must be vying for that position.

She glanced over at Bright, who was chatting with a man who appeared to be a friend of his.
But like a butterfly drawn to a flower, women quickly joined them.

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——I guess it’s because if they waited for Bright to speak to them, they would never be able to talk to him.

Even though she knew this in her head, Wisteria’s heart was in turmoil.

(……I have to produce results soon.)

She squeezed her fan.
The research on the “Land of Grey Dawn.”

Even without everything else, Rosalie was worried about her.
She had said something reasonable, like how it was for their family’s sake, but her true feelings were more shallow.

If she achieved success in her research, she might be able to get engaged to Bright.

Even though they were closer to the Reunings than other families, it was different when it came to marriage.

If she wanted to marry Bright, who was so much higher in rank, she would have to have a considerable amount of achievements to make up for the difference.

No matter how much they might laugh at her or scorn her, she had no time to dawdle.

If she sat on her hands and done nothing, she would never get that beautiful golden-eyed person.

In fact, the name of the daughter of a distinguished family has repeatedly come up as a candidate for Bright’s fiancee.

“Miss Wisteria.”

Wisteria was startled when she was suddenly called by that voice.

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