Chapter 3 - Confrontation
It was already enough to be laughed at for being despised by the emperor and dismissed from the position, and losing all assets due to financial hardship on the estate added onto the shame. All nobles alike despised our family.
“I present to you, Lord Hillain von Harsen, the son of the Duke Harsen, and Lady Elise von Schuteiner, the daughter of Marquis Schuteiner.”
I woke up from my daydreams when the sudden voice came about, and I turned to look. A woman, who always looked beautiful, came into my line of sight. Holding onto the fine gentleman’s hand under the bright light, the woman looked like she was a princess from another country. My eyes, which saw through her innocent smile and gorgeous movements, saw it all to be articulated and disingenuous.
As I looked at her with hostility, Elise’s eyes turned in my direction. After a long look at me, she wore a certain smirk on her face. She definitely loved looking down on me. I comforted myself by saying that what she does didn’t matter to me. Although it was annoying, I could still ignore it.
‘I’ll just enjoy myself with all these great foods and go home.’ I picked up some cookies with an optimistic and calm mind, and it felt a lot better. Sweets sure must be a gift from God to endure this harsh world. But people seemed to find myself eating cookies to be laughable as well and glanced over.
This was why being a loner was sad. Why am I a loner when I have friends? My friends from the Academy had a complicated story behind them. Two of them were brother and sister, with a one-year age gap between them. They were the servants of the Grand Duke family’s son and daughter. Therefore, unless their masters were attending, they weren’t likely coming to the party.
Another friend was a foreign exchange student and a daughter of a family serving Princess Juvelis from the allied country Halen. It was well-known that Juvelis and her brothers were going through an internal war for the throne, so there was no way the daughter of such a family would come to another country’s party as if nothing was going on.
Of course, I also had my mother’s family that was very powerful over in the central part of the country, but countryside nobles who hated central nobles had no reason to fear. Unlike me, Elise’s mother’s side had deep roots in the north, so none of the nobles in this region didn’t hate her despite everything she did.
Thinking about that made me feel gloomy. But I quickly shook my head and clenched my fist. Right, I can’t have my precious people take on my burden together and whine about my problems to others. That’s shameful. Just when I came to that thought, I heard a voice announce that someone had arrived.
“I present you, the Lord Kyles von Pail, son of the Viscount Pail!”
Kyles? Without realizing it, my face brightened as I turned my head. Finally, someone who could be by my side had appeared. I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. The man who entered wasn’t broadly built but looked intelligent. Honestly speaking, my ideal type was always a man who needed protection, and as such, Kyles, who was thin like a bookworm, was my type of guy.
I immediately became excited as I saw Kyles walking straight in my direction from the entrance. It bothered me that people were talking down on me the entire time, so my fiancé looked like my savior. I wanted to quickly grab him and say whatever I could to him, especially since I haven’t talked to anyone in this boring party hall.
“Kyle…!” I called to him.
Instead of stopping in front of me, he walked past me. ‘Kyles? I’m here! Where are you going?’ My disappointed eyes followed his back. His footsteps stopped in front of Elise von Schuteiner, who hated me for no reason.
“Oh, Lord Kyles. Welcome,” said Elise. She smiled beautifully, welcoming him. And my man was…
“Lady Elise. I want to thank you for the other day,” replied Kyles.
He gave her this mesmerizing look as he thanked her. What other day? I knew nothing of this. He never told me that there was an incident where he had to thank her.
“Oh, no need. We’re friends, aren’t we?” said Elise.
She smiled with her eyes as she glanced at me as if she was laughing at me. She was telling my man to be her friend. I felt my mind going numb. It was so shocking that I drank an entire cup of pumpkin-colored liquor that was in front of me. The harsh liquor made my throat feel bitter as it seeped through. Moments later, my stomach felt sick. Even then, my mind was clear as ever. That’s when some men approached me. Oh! It was those men I saw earlier. Why? Are they trying to pick a fight?
“Lady, if it’s not too much to ask, do you have time…”
‘Oh, they aren’t trying to pick a fight with me. They want to know the time. But why me? Screw the time… I feel so dizzy right now…’
Just as I was about to refuse with that in my mind, I saw a middle-aged gentleman who just pulled out a watch. Quickly, I pointed at him and announced, “That gentleman over there can tell you the time.” To an unknown gentleman, I had pushed my business onto him. Then, I turned my back on these men who looked a bit dumbfounded for some reason, and headed for the terrace to ease my stomach.
I let out a long deep sigh from deep within my chest that felt like something was stuck inside as I stood there hollowly. It felt like my insides were burning down. Why did he ignore me and walked past me like that? I wanted an answer, but I wasn’t him. How long has it been?
Then, I heard a calm voice calling my name. “Marina. Why are you out here on the terrace? I was about to come to you,” said Kyles.
You are required to login first