Chapter 93 - An Unwelcome Guest
Maybe it was because I felt a sense of closeness from her, but I was somehow glad to see her. I slightly nodded at her, but she faintly turned her head away from me as if she didn’t see me and started whispering to the person sitting next to her. I instantly looked over and almost narrowed my eyes at who I saw. ‘Why is Mikhail here…?’
If someone were to ask me to describe how I felt about seeing my ex-boyfriend at a meeting with my friends, which I diligently dressed up for, I would simply say, ‘Hm, I don’t really feel anything.’ Was it because I didn’t have any regrets? Honestly, I was flustered that no one had told me that he would be here, but that was it. Even when I looked at his face, I didn’t feel anything.
‘But he might be uncomfortable around me…’ I turned my attention elsewhere, thinking that I should stay quiet so we don’t bump into each other.
“Long time no see, Jubelian,” Mikhail said in a gentle voice. Maybe it was because it had been a while since our breakup or because he was feeling joyous after being freed from me, but Mikhail had a relaxed expression on his slightly thin face.
‘Hm, is it okay for him to see me like this now?’ I thought, then quickly denied this speculation. ‘He’s probably doing that because of what other people might think.’ As expected from the novel’s male protagonist, he had a very good image. He was gentle, kind, and well-mannered. It was probably because of this that he couldn’t draw a strict line between us.
‘I’ll just have to draw the line for him then,’ I decided. Since my image was already ruined because of my past and because my father was already upset with me, I didn’t care if it got worse at this point. To be honest, I didn’t want to be nice to Mikhail.
“Yes, it’s been a while,” I replied indifferently. My voice came out so emotionless and robotic that I couldn’t believe it was me. I didn’t want to look at him any longer, so I turned to Max who was sitting next to me.
‘Hm, he doesn’t look very happy,’ I noted as I studied Max’s expression. It seemed that he was displeased with something, and I decided that he was uncomfortable with this situation.
“I’ll see you in a little while,” I said to Max, implying that he should go back to the carriage and rest. He gave me a vacant gaze in return and opened his mouth to speak. I naturally became anxious, afraid that he might start complaining to me in front of other people.
“Have a good time… my lady,” he replied with a pleasant, low-toned voice. My eyes widened. Although he almost spoke informally out of habit, what he said instead was an unexpected gift for me. I couldn’t hold back my laughter from his praiseworthy behavior.
“Oh yes, thank you,” I said as he began to turn away.
“Um, wait a minute!” a voice suddenly called out. Everyone’s attention turned to Rose who was blushing in embarrassment as she stopped Max from leaving. “I’d like to make a suggestion. Since there is already an unexpected guest at our party today, I think it would be fine to add one more person…” she trailed off.
I was surprised at Rose’s sudden suggestion. ‘Oh, I don’t think that’s okay…’ Even though he had done a great job just now, I honestly couldn’t trust Max. He was like a ticking time bomb and I had no way of knowing when he was going to explode. Moreover, small gatherings like this tend to avoid uninvited guests. I could tell that the idea wasn’t going to be welcomed, and there was no need to buy criticism from others. I decided to reject Rose’s proposal. “Oh, thank you for your consideration, but—”
“Yes, I agree,” one lady interrupted.
“I agree as well,” another spoke up.
I scrunched my eyes at the unexpected flow of events. ‘It’s okay even though he’s an outsider?’ I was amazed. I wasn’t expecting the aristocratic people gathered here to be so inclusive and tolerant! ‘Well, if they’re nice enough to say the dress that Max frowned at is pretty…’ I was trying to come up with a way to avoid this unexpected situation when someone spoke up and saved me.
“I disagree.” Ironically, it was Mikhail who stubbornly refused the idea. “Don’t you already have an exception on your side?” he continued while staring at me coldly. It was true that I was an exception, but it was absurd for him to say those things. Nevertheless, instead of retorting, I stayed quiet and welcomed his opinion.
“Isn’t it different? In the case of Lady Floyen, I received everyone’s consent in advance,” Rose objected. Even though I appreciated her willingness to take my side, I was frustrated since I wanted Max to leave.
‘Oh, what am I going to do?’ I sighed. Three people have already said it was okay for Max to stay and Mikhail seemed to be the only person opposing. At this rate, I would have to take care of Max throughout the tea party.
Then someone, who had been silent from the beginning, opened her mouth. “I disagree as well. Any favoritism that goes against fairness will only put Lady Floyen in an awkward situation. Please refrain from acting in such a way, Rose.”
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