As Helena composed herself, she soon changed her demeanor and appeared shy.
Then, she peeked sideways at Roella.
“What. S’there something you wanna say?”
Roella spoke like so, looking like she had no choice.
In fact, Roella wanted to continue ignoring Helena, but she thought that this might go on for the rest of the day if she didn’t get it over with.
Helena covered her mouth with one hand and pretended to hesitate.
Before she should begin telling her the full story, she must first build up expectations…
“Huu. Then speak.”
But far from raising expectations, the situation had turned into Roella graciously hearing Helena out.
And so Helena became the girl between them who was insisting on talking to the other.
‘What’s wrong with you today, seriously?’
Helena pushed down her irritation and began speaking with a worried tone.
“Actually, I didn’t want to say this…”
“N-No, um, I think it’s better that you hear it, Sister.”
“There are rumors going around everywhere these days. I heard about how the Duchy has proclaimed Hargan to be a wanted man because you’ve been swindled by him, Sister. And that rumor… I believe it reached Young Duke Killian’s ears, too.”
“And someone told me that when the Young Duke heard about this, he became very disappointed in Sister and… Ah, never mind.”
At that moment, one of Roella’s eyebrows twitched.
As expected, she would react to this issue.
Helena rejoiced inwardly.
The Young Duke of House Killian, Demos, was one of Roella’s few weaknesses.
No matter how terrible of a person Roella was, she would act like a gentle lamb in front of Demos.
‘And if she hears that the Young Duke got immensely disappointed in the bad rumors she’s in?’
Obviously, Roella would soon lash out on Helena for telling her about this news.
Perhaps Roella would even resort to slapping her.
That would be a good outcome.
If there were any traces left on her, she’d be able to talk about it more with other people.
‘Now then, let’s see you go on a rampage…’
But contrary to Helena’s hopes, she was met with only silence.
‘Did she faint because she was too surprised?’
Helena raised her head to look at Roella.
But Roella’s just sitting across from her and…
“Oh, this biscuit is so yummy.”
She looked surprisingly unbothered.
Helena blinked like a dazed goldfish.
“…Didn’t you hear what I said?”
“Huh? No, I heard you.”
“Really? About how rumors are spreading about you, Sister? And about how it reached the Young Duke’s ears?”
“Yeah, I heard it all.”
And after the clipped answer, the sound of her teeth munching over a biscuit followed.
‘There’s… no reaction?’
Helena started panicking.
There was nothing else that would set her off into a frenzy.
“By the way, are you done talking?”
Roella’s expression grew stiff, then she quietly set down the biscuit she was snacking on.
Then, staring at Helena, she slowly lifted her teacup.
‘Is she going to fling that at me?’
Helena’s heart pounded with excitement.
Again, Helena’s hopes were shattered.
Roella did nothing but drink her tea.
Then as she quietly set down her teacup this time, Roella smiled and opened her lips to speak.
“What can I do about rumors that are true? Yes, I was swindled. That’s why Father put a bounty on Hargan’s head. So if this rumor reaches the Young Duke’s ears… Why should I care?”
No, this shouldn’t be it.
“I know what you’re hinting at.”
Despite the news that the young duke was disappointed in her, Roella was much too relaxed.
No, obviously enough, she wasn’t going to lash out because of it.
“But you know, people should really be more tactful.”
“Father’s decision to make Hargan a wanted man because of this incident is the same as a declaration to beware of coming after our family.”
“How could people talk about such matters behind my back? Gosh, I don’t know if they’re just dense. Or maybe they fear nothing?”
And so Helena faced yet another crisis—Roella’s anger was being redirected towards another way.
More importantly, it was redirected under a fairly reasonable manner.
Helena shut herself up.
‘Now that I think about it, Uncle’s decree certainly does seem like a warning.’
Then, what would happen to Helena herself, when she had soaked all those rumors up and was now here to deliver them to Roella?
‘If Sister tells Uncle…’
Helena quickly changed her expression and instead spoke in a gentle tone.
“Yes, yes, I know. Those people are so laughable. I’m just worried about you, Sister, that’s why I came here to tell you about it.”
Roella did not answer.
She stared at Helena emotionlessly.
Drip. And Helena immediately felt cold sweat trickle down her back.
Then, at that moment, Roella closed her eyes again and spoke.
“That’s right. Our Helena, you’re a good, smart girl, aren’t you? At the very least, you know not to do stupid things, yes?”
Even if Helena didn’t know anything, it’s clear that she was being threatened.
“…Y-Yeees, of course.”
But she could answer nothing else but this.
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