Chapter 71 - Tea Tasting Party
When I went back to my room after finishing my meal, I saw Sella arranging the flowers in a vase. The assortment of pink and white roses looked quite pleasant. ‘Now that I think about it, we don’t have many of them around here.’ I stared at the flowers blankly until a voice pulled me out of my reverie.
I turned around and saw Merilyn holding a silver tray. “It seems like I’ve received more letters.”
“Yes, my lady,” she said. I felt like a heavy burden had been lifted off of me when I heard her warm voice. We had become close recently, so she no longer acted uncomfortably around me.
‘Well, receiving more letters isn’t a bad thing.’ When I opened one of them, I recognized the sender’s familiar handwriting.
Dear Lady Floyen,
How have you been these days? You haven’t mentioned anything about your health recently, so I assume you’ve fully recovered. Even so, I’m worried about you. I hope you don’t feel sick anymore and continue to stay healthy from now on.
By the way, I have been attending tea tasting parties recently. Since it involves surrounding oneself with like-minded people, I believe it’s a befitting way to peacefully enjoy tea without feeling burdened or uncomfortable. If you have any interest in joining us, please let me know.
‘If I reject her when she’s making an effort to invite me… I will end up becoming isolated.’ In the event I had to run away from home, it would be best to receive sympathy from other people by becoming more social. ‘I should also learn more about the crown prince, as my father suggested, and get to know his dislikes.’
“Can you please run an errand to Count Arlo’s residence?” I asked Merilyn, setting down the letter.
She nodded in response. “Of course, my lady.”
* * *
“Lady Floyen has fully recovered from her illness!”
“Oh my, that’s great news.”
Members of the tea tasting circle were delighted to hear that Lady Floyen had overcome her indisposition. Rose, who had just shared the news, smiled sweetly. “She also said that she’s interested in joining our next meeting. What does everyone think?”
“Oh my goodness, that would be amazing!”
“Of course she can!”
While everyone shouted in joy, there was one person who remained silent. Rose looked at her and said, “The next tea party will be at your place, Veronica. You’re okay with that, right?”
When she was addressed, the woman who maintained a dissatisfied expression spoke halfheartedly. “Sure, she can be invited.” Although she tried to seem excited, her hand trembled as she picked up a sugar cube with a pair of tongs. ‘So that woman is coming to my house.’
Unaware of Veronica’s thoughts, Rose became giddy. “Yay! I’m so excited that I’ll let the lady know as soon as possible!” she exclaimed with rosy cheeks.
* * *
“The hostess of the tea party usually has the privilege to invite people, but Lady Arlo invited a personal acquaintance to the group at her own discretion!” Veronica gritted her teeth as she recalled what happened earlier.
The person who was listening to her sighed. “Lady Veronica,” he said. Although he spoke with a cold and lofty tone, that was considered his charm.
“I’m very tired right now…”
It seemed like he was commanding her to leave, so Veronica quickly mentioned a certain someone he disliked to grab his attention. “Ah, that personal acquaintance was Lady Floyen. Can you believe it? Isn’t it pure nonsense? I know social status is of importance, but how could she invite such a selfish woman like her…!”
The man’s indifferent eyes glimmered in response. “Did you say you’re hosting the next tea party?”
“Ah, yes I am.”
“Could you invite me as well? I’m worried about you now that Lady Floyen is attending.”
If she had been facing anyone else, Veronica would’ve suspected his misleading words, but her everlasting, unrequited love for this man prevented her from thinking clearly. ‘He’s worried about me!’ His brief attention on her made Veronica so happy that she ended up nodding brightly. “Of course, Sir Mikhail!”
The corner of Mikhail’s lips slowly raised in response. ‘We’ll finally meet again, Jubelian.’
* * *
I went into my dressing room to browse my clothes and let out a sigh. ‘Hm, I haven’t shopped for any accessories or clothes in a while.’ Although I had appropriate dresses for going out and attending the banquet, I needed something that would suit this occasion, as tea parties were casual meetings that required little formality. ‘I want to wear a different style as well…’ As I was debating whether I should go shopping or look through the catalog of a famous boutique, Merilyn approached me with a wrapped box.
“It’s a gift from Fyodor’s Workshop, my lady.”
After accepting the box and opening it, I became confused when I saw what was inside. ‘Wait, this is…’
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