There was silence for a moment.
Strands of hair kept sticking to the nape of my neck because of the tepid cold sweat. Stil, my condition wouldn’t be visible to them, who were a little far away. Even though everyone was surprised, Duchess Nerma looked the most embarrassed.
Today was what she prepared, and the ‘notebook’ I studied was also a notebook that her husband had written. The scene in which Duchess Nerma met ten ladies and whispered passed before my eyes.
‘She has ripped off the ‘sincerity’ by telling the Empress that she had told their stories well.’
I smiled mechanically.
Her cunning behavior like a fox was now clear to me. If the story unfolded unexpectedly like this, she would be in a lot of trouble. It was unintentional to screw the hard-working Duchess, though it was inevitable.
For me, my well-being and my reputation were the most important.
Rather than protecting her reputation and being an idiot and exposing my weaknesses, I’d rather embarrass her and pretend to be a strong person.
Whether I was right or not, the eyes of the ladies and maidens rested on Duchess Nerma for a moment. They seemed to be protesting whether it was different from her story, as the hall was in a state of quiet confusion.
I was actually closer to a pacifist. I didn’t mind the moderate, ‘I know you,’ and ‘Oh, my! It’s such an honor to have a conversation like this, haha’ though there wasn’t much time to feel the bitterness as sweat dripped from my palms.
‘I have to lead the mood.’
Thinking that, I folded the fan and tapped the table. The sudden sound made people’s shoulders flinch, and the gaze that had turned to Duchess Nerma naturally returned to me.
I uttered with a smile.
If only it were Raniero who sat here.
“Are you making me wait?”
Titling my head at an angle, I was sure Raniero would say something like this.
How dare you… in such an eloquent manner?
Immediately, there was no room for further delay. The lady I pointed out stood up and bowed deeply to me.
“I’m Acubella Tocino. I’m the wife of Count Tocino. It’s modest, but I have a mine that produces jewels of the same color as Your Majesty’s beautiful eyes.”
‘Oh, I remember.’
I knew because I had heard about it. Count Tocino had no luck with children, as his children died one after another as soon as they were born. I was also told that his relationship with his only surviving son was also impaired.
Because of that, Countess Tocino’s position within the family was slightly precarious. It was fortunate that she has her own privately owned emerald mine.
Anyway, she was in a position where she had to line me up today.
As I looked at her sullenly, strange envy crept into my eyes as I slowly raised my back.
‘…This one looks strong.’
In the end, the most effective was Operation Raniero. Regardless, I didn’t regret having studied about them since conflicts within the Empire, and geographic information would be the best nourishment for the Empire’s escape operation.
When Countess Tocino finished her fairly concise self-introduction, others quickly read the mood and began to imitate her.
I narrowed my brows as if measuring each of them, smiled, and only had to make eye contact once in a while. Normally, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself because it felt like I didn’t fit in, but the terrible pain that mother nature inflicted on me helped me to pretend to be strong and look strong.
In a rather steep atmosphere for a social gathering, tea and refreshments began to be placed on the table.
The atmosphere eased slightly when the snacks were served.
A chirping sound, like a bird chirping, bloomed on the terrace, which was as quiet as a dead mouse.
While the people introduced themselves, Duchess Nerma, standing to one side and covering her mouth with her fan, approached me. Even though I couldn’t see, she was probably frowning her lips behind the fan.
I drank the tea, pretending not to notice.
In a winsome resentment, the Duchess spoke up.
“I was surprised. How could you not listen to me?”
It was a pity that her own ambition had gone awry. For a moment, I was very irritated.
“Are you here to accompany me, or are you here to do your own politics?”
This was all because of mother nature. Usually, the heat wouldn’t have spread like this. Duchess Nerma seemed to think the same way. Since I was usually soft and put up with it, I guess she didn’t imagine such a response.
Her eyes widened in surprise.
“You didn’t even worry about my health, but are you criticizing me now?”
I asked as I put down the teaspoon that had been stirring the teacup with a loud noise, showing my displeasure.
“…No, I didn’t mean to.”
“Though your words make me misunderstand.”
“It’s my fault, Your Majesty… Please, forgive me.”
“Who are you?”
“Your Majesty’s handmaiden.”
“Do your duty.”
“I’ll listen to you.”
Could it be that Angelica was the type that got a little ferocious at times like this? It was difficult for me to bear with anything that might have been overlooked.
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Comments for chapter "Chapter 71"
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