Chapter 2 - Love and Trust
‘What could I have done differently when your heart left me a long time ago.…?’
I saw you, my fiancé, very close to another woman. I had to bite my teeth to stop tears from flowing out of my eyes. Out of all those clothes you have, you were wearing the one I handmade just for you. I made it to congratulate you on your employment with the government, but you wore it and made out with another girl!
You were frantic when you came over to me to explain, “Marina, it’s not what you think.”
“Of course. It must be more than what I think it is.”
Oh, yes. When was it? It was when you kissed me before. You were kissing me, but your eyes were hollow. As if they were chasing after something else.
Let’s face it. You’re not in love with me, but you didn’t need to hide it from me like this. If you had just told me that you were sick and tired of me, I would have left you first. Why did you have to be such a loser?
“We’re just friends, Lady Harrant,” said the girl, who moments ago was with my man. She was smiling as if I was making some big mistake.
‘Lying b**ch.’ I withheld my anger and smiled sarcastically, “Of course, you’re a friend, a very close and affectionate friend. I hope you two keep your friendship forever, okay? Just don’t hurt others while doing it.”
“Marina! How can you say that? I was just helping Miss Schuteiner from falling down! She was dizzy!” shouted my fiancé.
Yes. The girl who made out with my man was none other than Elise von Schuteiner, who for no reason bullied me for a long time. I didn’t want to accept it, but now that I witnessed it with my own eyes, there was no other way. I remembered the first sign of when he began to change. It was before I went to that party.
“Oh? Isn’t that the daughter of Count Harrant?”
All the girls who scoffed at me were wearing heavy makeup, lavish accessories, and dresses. They were standing proudly under the light with their heads up. Compared to them, I was dull. I was wearing a dress that was out of trend and had no makeup on. Not only that, I wasn’t wearing any accessories. Yeah, that was me. Marina von Harrant.
“Ugh, she should know that everyone is watching her by now.”
Those words that someone had just said made my face flush. I knew that everyone, all the men and women were eyeing me. Compared to those beautiful bird-like women, I was like a featherless chicken. Even a few men were laughing among themselves as they watched me.
“Hey, why don’t you go talk to her?” asked one man to another man.
“She’s… out of my league,” replied the man.
Yeah, I know. I agree that I was out of their league. My family was poor. But it did not bother me much. I was still a noble even if I didn’t dress up. It did feel a bit bitter in my mouth, but I swallowed it all in along with my weakness.
‘I will not bow to the likes of those people.’ Although my family’s power had withered when my father was fired from his position, my family is higher in the noble hierarchy than those girls laughing at me. They were the ones who had to bow to me, but the only reason that wasn’t happening was because of the person behind them.
‘Elise von Schuteiner was the one who bullied me in the northern region.’ She was the only daughter of a Viscount in the central region. Compared to my family, the Schuteiner was a lower-ranked noble family. Viscount Schuteiner, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, loved his only daughter Elise and became overprotective after losing his wife. He was known for doing everything that his daughter wanted.
As such, Elise lived a life of praise under her father’s protection. There were few reasons why she became the star of society, one of them being that two of the duke families had no daughters and the Grand Duke of the North’s daughter didn’t enjoy parties. In fact, the Grand Duke’s family was veiled in secrecy as no one in that family ever attended a party.
Thus, Elise was able to become Genorium Empire society’s star. Her family’s power, however, wasn’t the only reason why she was able to become the center of attention. Even without her family, she was one of a kind and was just too beautiful.
When I saw her for the first time, I was astonished by her beauty as she made her grand appearance. Her mystical silvery hair, her clear blue eyes, and her beautiful face made her look like an angel that had descended from heaven. ‘Wow… was that why she became the best?’ She was so out of my league from the beginning that I wasn’t even jealous of her. The only thing that was on my mind back then was envy. In the end, it was that girl, Elise von Schuteiner, who picked on me first.
“Oh? Are you the Lady Harrant? Your dress is quite… interesting,” commented Elise. Then she scanned over me with her beautiful blue eyes and smirked, “Well, it seems the dress isn’t the only thing that is boring.”
It was disrespectful beyond imagination that she didn’t greet her and it felt miserable. The one who I was admiring was looking down on me like that. Any ordinary noble girl would have been furious or ashamed by this, but I was different. I was the one who was supporting our entire estate. To a girl like this, I wasn’t going to stay still and become prey for her, so I replied, “Well, his majesty is worried about the drought these days, so I thought it is my duty to be modest.”
In response to Elise, who was picking on me, I presented myself as a noblewoman who was concerned about the empire but also downplayed her for wearing lavish accessories. But I was a fool. There were others who had worn such jewelry to the party. Regardless of their wealth, all the noblewomen had put a lot of effort into their appearances. The level of lavishness showed their statuses.
“What is she saying? Are you telling us that we forgot about our duties, Lady Harrant?”
Such words were thrown like arrows from all the noble ladies around me. By this time, many ladies were around as they were on their way to enjoy some tea. I was a fool to not think about the people around me. Honestly, I never put much thought into people dressing up with luxurious items. I thought it was one’s freedom to do so if one wished to. But I couldn’t say anything at the time due to shock.
My friends would have fought back for me, but I actually think it was better they weren’t there. If my beloved people were to become ridiculed along with me… that would have been much worse. I erased the thoughts of my friends as it felt like I would remember the bad memories.
And just like that, I had become a recluse in the northern region. Even before that, people secretly laughed at me. When my family was a noble, we didn’t have the power and wealth to back it up, so it was inevitable that we were going to be laughed at.
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