Chapter 58 - Confusion and Anger
“Ah, yes. I received an invitation, so I must go,” Fresia said with a graceful tone.
‘Not going means disobeying a direct order. I have no choice.’ She sighed and downed more liquor. The nobles around her didn’t seem to understand her thoughts, so they started to chatter again.
“Then we can make a bet about the lady’s partner,” a noblewoman joked while laughing. Instead of answering her, Fresia nodded and laughed along.
At that moment, another lady asked a question that she had been withholding. “What happens if Lady Floyen attends by herself, as Madam speculated? We will never be able to ascertain whether the rumors about her are true, will we?”
“No, no, that’s not true. We can just find the person with the cufflinks!” another woman said. As they began guessing among themselves, Fresia didn’t feel the need to intervene and continued to drink without a word.
“By the way, I heard that the successor of Marquis Hessen, Sir Mikhail, will be attending the banquet as well.”
“Oh!” Everyone showed interest in the news that the parted lovers were going to reunite at the banquet hall.
“I wonder who his partner will be.”
“Me too! He’s so handsome that Lady Floyen did all sorts of things for him.”
“He’s very competent as well… I’m sure many of the young ladies want to be his partner.” All the women in the salon smiled happily, thinking about Mikhail’s outstanding appearance.
“He must be relieved that the lady who used to harass him has found a new lover…”
“Ah, that’s right! They were said to be lovers, but Sir Mikhail didn’t reciprocate her feelings. It’s well-known that Lady Floyen was the only one in love.”
Fresia nodded slightly in agreement, but her smile fell from her lips when a man passed by her table. ‘He’s very drunk.’ Although the dreadful people who gathered in this salon acted refined for appearance’s sake, there were occasions when people couldn’t control their impulses and threw a fit.
‘Not in my salon.’ It was enough that her lord caused trouble a few days ago. Fresia frowned and beckoned a guard who was standing nearby. ‘Watch that guy,’ she commanded. The guard carefully followed the man without making a sound, as was expected from an elite member of her information guild.
‘It looks like he’s leaving.’ The exit was right around the corner, which meant his task would be over soon. At that moment, the man who he had been following suddenly turned around, and to his surprise, approached him. ‘Huh?’ The guard tried to defend himself, but the man’s hands were faster.
“Why are you following me?” he asked angrily. The guard could tell he wasn’t an ordinary person, as he possessed a sort of advanced agility that could overpower his opponent instantly.
‘What on earth is he?’ Although the guard was confused, he responded quickly to manage the situation. “Oh… I thought you were very drunk, so I was worried.” The man’s eyes peered through his mask and observed the guard. When he saw the salon’s badge on his jacket, he loosened his grip.
“I’m not drunk,” he said. Then he turned back around and headed for the exit. The guard stared at his retreating back with a blank expression, wondering what he should do, then sighed.
‘It’s alright. He didn’t cause a commotion, and he’s leaving anyway… It won’t make a difference if I continue following him or not.’ After making this judgment, the guard went back to the main hall. The man who he had been following boarded a carriage with a covered household seal.
“Let’s go home.”After informing the coachman of his destination, the man took off his mask. A pained, twisted expression was soon revealed. ‘Jubelian,’ he thought.
Even if she had deceived him, the man had tried to ignore any news of her, thinking that it would be a waste of time to care about her any longer. But now that it became clear that the rumors were true, he couldn’t act like before.
‘Did you really give cufflinks to another man? To a lowly person who can’t even reveal his identity at that…!’ Mikhail’s expression crumpled in anger, although he still couldn’t understand why he felt this way. He then recalled how Jubelian used to cling to him.
“I only did that because I was so upset about you spending time with someone else, Mikhail. It won’t happen again, so please don’t abandon me.”
Jubelian was someone who always repeated the same mistakes while endlessly clinging to him. He thought he would only feel happiness when they parted, but every time he heard about her, he only felt anger.
‘Why does this woman make me feel this way…!’ Mikhail clenched his fists, confused by his emotions. His eyes suddenly lit up when he thought about the very thing that would hurt her. ‘Yes, you’ll surely be regretful if you see me with another woman, Jubelian!’
Mikhail slowly closed his eyes, pledging to make the woman who deceived him suffer. Although his heart strangely ached, he assumed it was because of all the drinks he had.
* * *
I entered my room and sighed. ‘Ah, what do I do now? I never planned for my father to be my partner.’ If I went with him to the banquet, I would have to be careful with every little thing I did. I worried about how to act for a while, but when it became too cumbersome to worry any longer, I quickly concluded, ‘It won’t be a problem if I stay as quiet as possible. No one will even know I’m there.’
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