Reincarnated as the Villainess's attendant -
Chapter 14 - 4 - Laying A Foundation (part 2)
Duke and Duchess nodded back and Miriette grabbed the hem of her dress and bowed cutely.
"We are very much pleased with your presence, my prince."
Duke Espine had a deep and soothing voice, he didn't sound annoyed so Zoemi sighed with relief without straightening his back.
"Since prince Horeo arrived so early in the morning, my prince, I would guess that you probably haven't eaten yet. I would be glad if you joined us, but..."
Zoemi could feel that the duke was looking at him and his exposed neck felt like it was burning that 'but was definitely directed at him...!
|My lord! I swear I did mean no disrespect!|
The black-haired child wanted to cry out but didn't dare to raise his voice in the presence of such important and powerful figures.
The duke glanced at the black-haired boy and he was barely able to contain a smile. He turned to the maids waiting in the corner of the room showcasing how a noble is supposed to control his expression at any time and...
"Bring a chair and a set of tableware for Zoemi too."
He ordered in a magnanimous voice and the maids rushed to fulfill it without a word.
And so the boy who a little bit over a month ago was digging through garbage in search of food was now sitting at the duke's table!
The first prince Horeo was sitting in front of the duke Espine and had Miriette at his left and Zoemi at his right and was beaming with happiness, and even Miriette was blushing.
...but on the other side of the spectrum was Zoemi - who was sweating bullets, not quite able to stop himself from trembling.
|Huh...? Father taught me some table manners but will it be enough...!? What if I'll do something rude or inappropriate!? Oh, god, I should have practiced it more instead of practicing swordsmanship!|
If by any chance the black-haired boy would offend anyone seating by that very table, he would be instantly thrown out of the castle no questions asked - and that would be the case only in the best possible outcome...!
Even thinking about any of the worse options was sending chills down the boy's back.
The worst part for him was that such an unlucky turn of events wouldn't just threaten his wellbeing - it would foil every plan that he had made for the happiness of Miriette - and that was something he could not allow no matter what!
It took all Zoemi's self-control to prevent the cutlery that he was holding from chattering against the plate and even though the food was exquisite - he could taste nothing.
Then, all of a sudden, prince Horeo reached towards the jug of juice and began pouring it for Miriette.
"Thank, you, my prince."
She blushed and started sipping on it sending short glances towards the blond boy.
Zoemi was too focused on behaving absolutely properly to notice that, but if he did, it would make him shout out in joy.
It was still a bit soon to be sure, but things seemed to be good between those two.
What Zoemi did not expect next, was a jug of juice near his head and he flinched and hurriedly swallow the bite he was chewing on before looking up wide-eyed at the blond prince.
"Do you want some, Zoemi?"
Horeo was smiling and waiting for the black-haired boy to offer his glass, but Zoemi panicked.
"M-my prince, I-I'm not worthy, I-I should be the one to pour it for you instead!"
He thought that refiling one's drink was something that the servant should do.
It was okay for the prince to do that for his fiancé but to someone of lower status!?
The black-haired boy tried to grab the jug from the prince's hand but Horeo didn't let that happen and filled Zoemi's glass anyway.
"Thank you, my p-prince!"
Zoemi hurriedly drank the juice so that he wouldn't offend the future king.
Prince's eyes sparkled for some reason and he grinned showing perfect white teeth.
"Now you can pour it for me if you want."
The blond boy didn't hesitate and moved his glass towards Zoemi.
"Yes, of course!"
Zoemi nodded vigorously, silently praying to not spill a single drop.
What would have happened if he dirtied the fine white tablecloth, or, god forbid, prince's clothes!? He shuddered at the mere thought!
But when he finished filling Horeo's glass none other than duchess Misena slowly slid her glass forward.
It was blatantly obvious that she also wanted it to be filled.
Zoemi gulped down his saliva and with shaking hands he poured the juice for her also.
"Boy, my cup is also empty."
After that shockingly nerve-wracking experience, he was going to sit back down when suddenly duke Espine frowned and grumbled.
Poor child, he felt that his soul was leaving his body!
Did he offend the duke by not offering to pour him a drink earlier!?
"A-at once, my lord, it will be the greatest honor!"
Zoemi cried out almost taken over by panic, and couldn't even control his hands and the juice in the half-full jug was splashing around like crazy.
The black-haired boy honestly just wanted to leave the room before his heart would not be able to take any more stress and stop, or preferably in a case when he would mess up more than he already did.
He hoped that he did not mess up – but he honestly wasn't sure about that, the rules of the Bellcephora kingdom's nobility were still shrouded in mystery for the black-haired boy, after all.
After somehow managing to fill another glass he couldn't help but notice Miriette...
She was frowning and crossing her arms, making a pose just like on the cover of the game...!
If earlier he felt like his soul was being sucked out of his body, now he felt as if someone had punched him in the stomach with the power of a hundred Ednugs!
He should have known better!
In the game, it was made abundantly obvious that Miriette was extremely prideful ever since her early childhood.
If her father didn't like that the black-haired boy of lower status didn't offer to pour him a drink - then she would be absolutely furious about being the only one not served!
Zoemi looked at the table before her and...
...indeed... the young lady's glass was already empty and was even moved slightly forward!
It Zoemi suddenly realized that the black-haired girl must have done the same thing as her mother - but he was so scared of her father that he hasn't noticed her action at all!
|If she'll think that I'm ignoring her then she'll hate me for sure!|
It wasn't impossible for Zoemi to protect Miriette from all the bad endings even if she did detest him - but it would be a lot easier to do if she didn't mind him being near her...
And let's be honest, Zoemi's heart wouldn't be able to bear being hated by her - he was a sensitive boy after all.
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