Chapter 95 - Hostility And Conflict
“Lady Veronica, would you like to go out with me sometime?”
“Oh my, yes! I would love to! When should we?”
“Let’s decide after seeing when we both have time to meet.” Mikhail, who was conversing with Veronica, glanced over towards Jubelian.
‘Now then, it’s about time for her to react…’ Strangely enough, Jubelian was no longer sneaking any glances at him and was just quietly drinking her tea. “Veronica, you have something here,” he added on.
“Ah yes. T-thank you,” Veronica blushed while Mikhail smiled at her. Then he turned to Jubelian again and slightly squinted his eyes.
‘That’s strange.’ Although he had done more than enough to make Jubelian cause a great fuss, she didn’t show any reactions. ‘Why? Why isn’t she looking at me?’ Mikhail felt anger bubble violently inside of him at Jubelian’s indifferent behavior. ‘She gives attention to mere commoners like that man, but isn’t…’ Mikhail started feeling resentment towards her.
“Ah, I would like to suggest one more thing,” Rose spoke up, blushing from the attention as the members of the tea party turned towards her in unison. “It’s nothing much, but I wanted to invite Lady Floyen to be a new member of our tea tasting parties. I’d like to ask for your opinions about this. What does everyone think?”
As soon as she finished speaking, the other two ladies spoke up excitedly.
“Oh my goodness, I would love to have her!” one said.
“Me too!” the other exclaimed. Since Jubelian had told them which dress shop she ordered her white dress from, they viewed her in a positive light. At their responses, there was a slight change in Jubelian’s face, which had remained still until now.
“Oh, I…” Mikhail, who had seen this expression several times, could tell what she was thinking. Although it was a face that showed embarrassment and shyness, it was filled with joy. It was the expression that Mikhail had so badly wanted to see again.
‘How come she showed that face to women like them… but not to me?’ Overwhelmed with devastation, Mikhail stared blankly at Jubelian.
“I disagree,” a voice spoke at that moment causing the faint smile on Jubelian’s face to disappear. Mikhail, who witnessed the change, felt his heart ache.
‘She always did that when I was being cold to her as well.’ Upon realizing this, Mikhail felt angry at Veronica for voting against her. ‘This good-for-nothing woman.’ However, Veronica continued talking, as if she didn’t notice his ferocious gaze.
“I’m not against it for no reason… We have requirements that must be met for someone to join!”
Seeming convinced, the members nodded their heads.
“Well, that’s an undeniable fact.”
“You’re right. We decided on that when we first formed the group.”
Rose let out a sigh. “Lady Floyen, there are some conditions you must meet before you can join.”
At those words, Jubelian replied as if nothing was wrong. “Oh, yes. It can’t be helped if I don’t qualify. You don’t have to worry.”
Mikhail felt a sense of déjà vu at her calm words.
“Oh, if you have training, then I guess it can’t be helped. You don’t have to worry about it,” she had said.
Recalling this memory, Mikhail opened his mouth without thinking. “I think it’s better if you hear the requirements first before making a decision.”
Jubelian’s eyes shook faintly when she heard his words. Seeing her expression, Mikhail smiled with satisfaction.
* * *
Feeling extremely flustered, I glared at Mikhail. ‘Wait, why is that guy interfering in other people’s business?’ Of course, I was excited when I was invited to join the group. It was my first time as Jubelian where noblewomen my age showed goodwill towards me. However, due to my situation, I couldn’t fully enjoy their kindness.
‘Right now, I’m in a situation where it wouldn’t be weird if I were thrown out of the group at any moment.’ Having decided to reject the offer, I waited for Rose to speak up when something caught my eye.
‘When did he get out?’ I inhaled sharply. I had asked Max to quietly wait for me, but he was now staring at me from the top of a tree. I felt suffocated by such a sight. ‘If the people here notice him as well… that will be the end of my life.’ Max was currently posing as my lover. If others discovered that he was climbing trees to peek at the banquet, my father would surely say, “Are you going to continue dating that ill-mannered guy? It would be better for you to marry the crown prince.”
Thinking about how my life might end, I took a deep breath.
“Lady Floyen, did you hear what I said just now?” Rose asked.
I nodded at Rose’s question. “Of course.”
“Oh, so you’re alright with the requirements?”
“Ah, yes.” Rose and the other noblewomen smiled brightly at my answer.
“Wow, I’ll be looking forward to it.”
“Likewise. I wonder what kind of special tea you will prepare…”
‘Huh? What tea?’ I was dumbfounded when I heard their words.
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