Chapter 40 - You are invited
“My Marin, how was your day? Did anyone bother or bully you?”
My expression hardened in response to my uncle’s warm welcome with his open arms. I thought of the Crown Prince, my superiors, and Kyles in that order, but I kept my mouth shut. He wouldn’t dare to go after the Crown Prince and my superiors, but he sure will go after Kyles. It was for my sake, not his, to not make a scene out of this. It was for me, who felt unpleasant just by getting involved with him.
“Go on, get in, and change into more comfortable clothes. At least you can rest for the weekend now. Don’t you find that relieving?” asked my uncle.
At that moment, I was reminded of something that I had forgotten about. That’s right! Now, it’s the weekend! I was so busy working that I had forgotten which day of the week it was. I’m free to roll around in bed tomorrow and the day after too!
“We’ll need to buy more dresses and other things for you this weekend. I met the Chancellor today, and he mentioned that he really wanted to invite you to his party next weekend. My niece sure is so attractive that even the Chancellor thinks highly of you!”
‘I don’t know, uncle. I’m not sure if you would laugh if you found the reason why the Chancellor wants me is because he wants me as his chess partner- I mean his daughter-in-law.’
I heard that Prince Siccain, who was reluctant to succeed his father, the Chancellor, was focused on practicing swordsmanship. Perhaps the Chancellor wants to use me, a government official, to marry him and get him to succeed in his position. But there’s no chance that the famous mighty Prince Siccain would even consider me for his marriage.
“I’m sure my lovely niece and my daughter will have the most attention at the party,” said my uncle.
I’m certain that my uncle’s eyes were wrong about my appearance. It’s obvious that in the capital, where there are many beautiful ladies, Elise will come out on top… With such a thought, I smiled sheepishly at the uncle.
“You should go to your room and rest now.”
I sighed as I came up to my room because my uncle urged me to. I washed with the help of the Reclan family maids and Daisy. Then, I changed into more comfortable clothes. ‘Ugh, I’m tired.’
“Marina? It’s Lumi. Can I come in?”
“Yeah, come in,” I answered Lumi’s voice from outside.
I straightened myself up. My cousin, with fiery, red rose hair and green eyes, walked in. As my uncle had boasted, my cousin was pretty like a doll. She was still young, however, and fell short of Elise’s beauty.
She was ready to stay up all night. Yeah, it’s Friday, after all. I looked at her with such a thought. Then, Lumi opened her eyes wide and asked, “Why are you looking at me? Is something on my face?”
She was so cute that I stroked her head with a smile. Lumi blushed as she commented, “Sister, you shouldn’t laugh like that elsewhere.”
“Why? Is it weird?”
Well, I do look a bit strong. Maybe smiling would make it look like a smirk.
“It’s not that. It’s too pre… Phew. Just promise me not to smile at anyone,” said Lumi.
I was overwhelmed by her insistence and nodded, “Yeah, alright. After all, no one else is friendly to me like you guys…”
Lumi made an expression as she was thinking of something, then mumbled to herself quietly, “…I will protect her.”
Protect what? There are times when it is hard to understand these cousins of mine from my mother’s family. Today is such a day.
“So, we should go get your dress tomorrow! It will be really pretty!” said Lumi.
“And I’ll do the choosing this time! You tend to prefer boring designs without many frills. The trend in the capital is fancy laces and frills these days!”
“Is it? Then I’ll trust you on it.”
Actually, I skipped on decorated dresses to save money until now. My family has a gold mine now, so there’s no need to save up anymore.
“Anyway, I can’t wait to go to the party with you! I hope next weekend comes fast!” said Lumi excitedly.
Sorry, my cute little sister. I am not all too thrilled about it. But I didn’t want to kill the atmosphere, so I just smiled… I think I fell asleep after chattering with Lumi for a while.
The next day, the maids began working on me as soon as the sun rose. Lumi also kept herself busy by creating all the fuss. She instructed the maids to do this and that on me. Not only that, but she was also now furious at Daisy, who had been putting makeup on me.
“You’re this good, and you neglected my sister for all this time?!” roared Lumi.
“We… didn’t have much cosmetics,” replied Daisy with a depressed tone in her voice.
I felt sorry for her, as she was clearly dispirited, and I didn’t feel good about it either. I didn’t like it when someone else was treating my maid poorly. The reason why Daisy was working as a maid was that it was the only option for her to enjoy her hobby. She was free to leave me whenever she wanted to.
I became concerned that Daisy might have been offended and sighed in my mind as I talked to Lumi. “We didn’t have the luxury to spend money on that, as you might know. Now, I have enough money to spend. We can buy some today.”
“Of course. I’ll guide you to the most famous boutique! And you! You should do your best to care for my sister! I’ll kick you out for neglect if you don’t!”
“Yes, my lady.”
Lumi seemed satisfied by Daisy’s somewhat crestfallen answer, took my hand, and left the house. As we tried to get onto the carriage, a familiar voice called out to us.
“Take me with you! I want to go shopping with my pretty Marin too!”
It was Chelleno. He was gleefully coming towards us before he flinched and stopped at the sight of Rey on a horse by the carriage. Were they still upset with each other?
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