I have a gut feeling I’m being made a fool of. It’s something so far the outside of my norms that I can’t understand it. So if I accept the offer, it’ll probably turn out fine.
But I am a dancer. Dance skill is the pride of my family. That’s probably why they want to embarrass me by hitting me where it would hurt most. Since I performed the commoner’s dance, they’re assuming I can’t perform the nobleman’s dance.
It makes my blood boil. You might as well be saying to a wizard, “Can you make any fire? Show me.” Of course I’m able to do at least that much.
I’d just be giving them what they want if I get angry about it here though. Stay calm and answer with a smile.
“Yes…..I know the dance. Although my performance would pale in comparison to the ladies here.”
“Oh my. Fantastic. Just what I would expect from a dancer. My name is Olive Elijah. Simply Olive will be fine. It is nice to meet you, commoner Lily-san.”
The other Lily Ruhuna had moved to the commoner side of the room, so everyone is going to know who you’re talking about even if you don’t add “commoner” to my name. If she’s doing this on purpose, then congratulations on your talents in sarcasm and needling me.
Olive gave me a large, obscene smile before holding out her hands. Her grip on my hands were like a vice, and squeezed back with a reasonable grip. She seems strong.
Shaking my hand free, we took the appropriate positions and faced each other.
“Since I have no experience with the male part, could I ask you to take the lead?”
“Yes, that’ll be fine.”
Stepping forward, I took Olive’s hand and a breath.
“Everyone, please give us some space. I wouldn’t want anyone to end up too stimulated.”
The girls around us began chuckling and took a step back after what Olive said. I don’t want anyone to seriously misunderstand me, so I made sure to correct her.
“Any kind of effect would only occur when a person who has gone through the proper training dances with the appropriate choreography.”
Olive just grinned and didn’t say anything else.
Since there was no music for us, I hummed an appropriate tune. I then moved my hand around Olive’s waist, and slowly, we began.
“Ah, that’s a song I heard a lot when I was young. The composer even came all the way to my house to play it for me.”
If it’s this level of sarcasm, I can always just ignore it. I’ve never had any kind of composer come to my house before, so I can’t even tell if it’s a big deal or not.
My zero effort compliment was ignored.
Even though she’s wearing a pair of long high heels, Olive’s footwork is amazing. She is able to follow along without any difficulty even as I gradually raise the tempo. So it wasn’t all bluster when she challenged me like this.
I kept my eyes locked on hers. There’s no particular reason, but I couldn’t help but feel like I’d lose somehow if I looked away.
Then Olive half closed her jade colored and smiled.
Before I knew what she was doing, something got tangled in my legs, and I fell flat on my back. Hah, the chandeliers in this place really are dazzling.
“Oh my. I’m sorry. Are you okay? You must still need some practice if you’re tripping over yourself like this.”
I could hear giggles and outright laughter coming from some of the other girls. My feet didn’t get tangled with themselves, but nobody is going to chide Olive for obviously tripping me. I’m an innocent woman accused of a crime I did not commit.
A newspaper reporter who heard the commotion was making their way over here to see if they could make a good story out of it.
However, as soon as Olive was about to tell the reporter her story, Lily Ruhuna interrupted them.
“Olive. That was clearly intentional was it not? It seems everyone was so distracted by a beautiful face that they didn’t see what was going on with your feet.”
“N-…..no….this girl just got her feet tangled up on her own…..”
Olive was thrown off because of Lily Ruhuna’s higher status, and she started yammering to try and find an excuse.
“I was watching you from the beginning, so I could tell. No matter how you try and justify it, your leg was unnaturally caught between Lily-san’s legs.”
“But….that…..wasn’t on purpose!”
“Not on purpose? So you admit your leg was caught between, and Lily-san did not fall over on her own?”
Olive never thought Lily Ruhuna would take my side, and her excuses were becoming incoherent. Admitting to accidentally tripping me after first accusing me of falling over on my own?
Lily Ruhuna continued with a large sigh.
“You are aware that when a woman of a higher rank forcibly trips their dance partner, it is the same as annulling an engagement? I wonder what would happen if the head of the Elijah family found out about this?”
Olive just looked at her feet without saying anything else. I’m surprised that such a small bit of harassment would be so fatal for those in the upper class.
A violent shiver was running through Olive’s body before my eyes. Is she that afraid of her family head?
I don’t know how serious what Olive did really is, but the atmosphere had clearly changed since Lily Ruhuna stepped in. Purposely tripping a lower-ranked partner must be an extremely unrefined act.
Olive was using her family’s status to make people accept what was going on. Unfortunately, that status is nothing in front of Lily.
Tripping dance partners was actually a common way for women to make advances on men at the bar I used to dance at, so I’m used to not. Not that I’ve ever tripped anyone or had anyone trip me like that before.
Lily Ruhuna turned towards me.
“Lily-san. Olive has been rude to you. I must apologize as well.”
She bent her waist at a perfect 90 degree angle, and her beautiful silver hair hung down towards the floor. I wonder what she has to do to make her hair like that. I don’t see any split ends or frizz. A well coordinated army with all hairs pointed in the same direction while reflecting light off as if holding a polished shield.
“Huh…..no. It’s all right.”
I thought about following things up with my own taste of sarcasm, something along the lines of, “I never thought a noble would be able to dance so well,” but I don’t want to be a weasel who’d abuse Lily Ruhuna’s authority, so I swallowed my words there.
Lily Ruhuna closed the distance between us and came up close to me. She wrapped her arm around my waist just like I had done before. She leaned forward, bumping her chest into mine, but she didn’t seem to mind.
She turned only her face towards Olive and said,
“Allow us to show Olive how a proper dance is performed.”
I am supposed to be playing the women’s role in the dance this time. Nobody is going to care whether we do well or poorly in a dance at this point, so what’s the point in doing this? I gave her a look, but Lily parried my gaze with a small laugh through her nose.
This time Lily Ruhuna took charge of humming the song and made the first steps, so I entrusted my body to her.