‘Ha. I should’ve just stayed with Jane.’
The moment I found out who the guest was, I could only regret how I hastily replied like that.
I should have at least asked who the guest was first.
“I heard that you were very sick, Sister, but your face doesn’t look like it.”
One of Roella’s younger relatives…
“It’s a shame, really. If Sister has a lot of divine power, an illness as small as this would have been nothing for you. Right?”
And at the same time, one of Roella’s mortal enemies.
‘Roella looks like she’s one-sidedly attacking Helena, and Helena would be in pain because of it.’
But reality was the opposite from what it seemed on the surface.
The one on the defensive was Roella, while the one on the offensive was Helena.
There’s a method to this.
Helena’s main specialty was to make skillful barbs at Roella’s nerves.
And whenever Roella would get angry because of this…
—Why are you being so scary, Sister. I meant what I said in a good way.
Helena would cry with tears in her eyes.
Everyone around who’d witness this would then criticize Roella while telling, ‘You’re being too sensitive,’ which really only made her even angrier.
It was a vicious, repetitive cycle.
Eventually, things always ended with Roella being the main perpetrator.
But that was back then.
‘Handling a kid like this is a piece of cake.’
If you work at this place and that, you get to meet all sorts of co-workers.
And I’ve met so many of Helena’s type.
They’d pretend to be well-meaning as the other person would become more and more uncomfortable, then the next line would be, ‘I’m only trying to teach you, what’s wrong? You’re being too sensitive.’
Whenever I encountered this kind of person, I also got angry, just like Roella.
But I realized a while later.
For kids like this, indifference was the answer.
Think about it this way: Do you avoid stepping on sh*t because you’re afraid of it?
No. You avoid it because it’s dirty.
And so I answered soullessly while sipping my tea loudly.
For a second there, Helena’s eyes widened to the fullest.
“…Huh? That’s it?”
“Yeah. That’s all.”
It’s obvious that she was flustered. This wasn’t the reaction she was expecting.
‘But she won’t give up here, of course.’
And true enough, my guess was right.
“Ah, come to think of it—this dress. You know, Uncle bought this for me. I think he’s really sweet. He’s also very sweet to you, too. Right, Sister?”
Oh, look at this kid go. Acting cute, aren’t we.
The estranged relationship of Roella and the duke was known by all the nobles of the empire.
But despite that, she was asking like this. It’s only obvious what kind of intention she had.
‘His Grace adores me more.’
This was what she wanted to say.
This was a touchy subject around Roella, who would react violently.
‘Whatever, I don’t care.’
This was also yet another thing that didn’t hurt me.
“Hmm. Not really.”
“Really? Why? But His Grace is so kind to me. I thought that he’d do a lot of nice things for you as well, Sister.”
As if my short answer pleased her, Helena asked back with sparkling eyes.
“I know, right. It’s because I’m his daughter that he’s more comfortable around me.”
“I’m his family after all. He doesn’t have to act any other way around me all the time.”
“…Right now, you— Are you saying that Uncle is just pretending to be nice to me?”
“No way. You’re not his daughter, but you’re his niece, too. I’m sure he’s a little sincere.”
As I added the last bit in a whisper, Helena’s face became as bright red as her hair.
See. Think twice before you come after me.
* * *
Helena’s breaths as she huffed and puffed were as hot as her red face.
Her insides were boiling.
‘How dare you say such a thing?’
How laughable, those words.
Helena’s uncle considered her more like his daughter. Wasn’t it obvious with just this dress alone?
‘Of course, I mean, I bought it myself with the money he sent me.’
In any case, she bought this with the money that her uncle had given her, so it was his gift to her all the same.
If he didn’t like her, he wouldn’t have sent her any money.
‘…Yeah. Uncle cares about me like a daughter.’
Nevertheless, the boiling anger within her would not die down.
She was disgusted by the modifier attached to her, the mention of her being ‘like a daughter’ to him.
In all honesty, she knew that what suited her better were the modifiers, ‘duke’s daughter’, ‘ducal lady’, and ‘saintess’.
‘You’d clap back at me so quickly even if I just scratch your nerves a little bit. But what’s wrong with you today?’
Chewing her lower lip, Helena wondered to herself. However, she soon smiled.
‘Well, it doesn’t matter.’
Because she still had her secret weapon.
It looked like Roella was holding it in, but she wouldn’t be able to restrain herself anymore once she’d hear this news.
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