Chapter 75 - A Stand Off
This was probably why Elise arrived early. She must have spread terrible rumors about me to control the atmosphere by working with the nobles that came to the last party at the Chancellor’s estate. I came to such a conclusion because I had seen these women glancing at me while whispering to themselves before. That was my guess.
“You two look great together,” said a soft voice from behind.
It was her, Elise von Schuteiner, the culprit behind the hostility at this party. I narrowed my eyes, questioning her intentions, to which she made a smile that could captivate anyone that saw it and laughed, “It’s been a while. Hasn’t it? After being at the Chancellor’s place?”
“I suppose,” I answered with a laugh.
Her clear eyes were shadowed a little by darkness. She was acting naturally as the beautiful and innocent Elise von Schuteiner even in front of me.
“Anyway, I forgot to congratulate you at the time because of the situation. Congratulations. You become a secretary… It took me by surprise,” said Elise.
I frowned because of this unexpected compliment from her. What’re you up to, Elise?
“You’re well-mannered, so I figured you would do well as a palace maiden. I’m sure you would have pleased those at the Royal Palace.
It would be foolish to take her words as the truth. Although she worded it nicely, her words hinted that I should become a palace maiden and try my best to gain attention from the knights or officials there. Or to make it worse, she wants me to be like a b**ch. Since there are a lot of talks about my behavior, I suppose it was the latter that she wants to talk about.
“Perhaps. But I think I’m better at using my brain than my body,” I replied with a laugh.
Elise then made her signature angel-like smile and commented, “I think you would do great, Lady Harrant. As you have done…”
“Thank you,” I interrupted her with a smile.
Then she took one step closer to me and whispered, “…Like a b**tch.”
That short additional comment was vicious, but she smiled innocently right after. Her ability to put up such an act astonished me. She would have been a great actress. Then I responded, “Oh, I still have a lot more to learn compared to you, Lady Schuteiner. Thank you for the compliment anyway.”
At my bright smile, her mouth was smiling but her eyes went cold. That’s right, Elise. You started this dogfight. Didn’t you?
“Anyway, the party at the Chancellor’s was wonderful, wasn’t it?”
I saw her mouth become distorted because of my words. Yes, Elise. Your loyal dog was sent out that day and couldn’t even come today. It was also the day you were dumped by your fiancé.
“Don’t you see that you’ve lost, or is it just that you don’t want to lose?” I added quietly with a sympathetic look as she bit her red lip. Her face began to go pale.
One of her followers, who looked like she couldn’t let the confrontation between Elise and me alone anymore, came forward and blocked her from me. It was Matilda von Hudleton, the daughter of the central noble, Count Hudleton.
“How dare you talk to her?” criticized Matilda.
I made a bright smile at Matilda, who jumped in the middle of our conversation and retorted, “It was Lady Schuteiner who talked to me first. You shouldn’t meddle in our conversation. You should leave.”
Matilda glared and replied, “Hah! A hillbilly from the countryside doesn’t know her place! You b**ch.”
My expression became stern at her swears and glared back at her, “What did you just say, Lady Hudleton?”
She didn’t care about my question and continued to bicker, “What. Did I say something wrong? Everyone here knows that you flirt with every man around like a b**ch.”
At her words, Elise von Schuteiner’s followers and nobles who didn’t like me began joining forces with Matilda.
“She’s not wrong. You are a lowly…”
“She’s so into flirting with men like a sad hillbilly noble. Tsk, tsk.”
“Even though she dresses like that, she still looks like a bumpkin. I don’t understand why those three asked her to dance at the Chancellor’s party…”
“And that Count Harrant- He’s been out of a job since being kicked out to the countryside.”
It sure was the beau monde at central. It was a battleground of words that hound you if you showed even the slightest of weakness. Although my family had recovered financially, it didn’t mean our power from our days at central had returned to us. Not only that, my family’s residence wasn’t located at the center.
But even in the flood of disgusting accusations, I didn’t lose my calm. It’s always best to fight back with words when you’re attacked by them. To do that, one shouldn’t lose his or her cool. I glared at them one by one and began speaking with clear pronunciation.
“Will you all take responsibility for your words?”
Silence fell at the word “responsibility.” I raised my voice and continued, “I’m asking you all if you will take responsibility for everything you said here.”
The murmurs showed they heard the words that I repeated once more, but they still had smug expressions as they were looking at me. Matilda, who seemed to have gained power from that, bickered and replied, “Sure, I will take responsibility!”
Then I closed my eyes, opened them viciously, and glared at Matilda. Then I replied, “What you all just said disrespects not only me, who is a mere government official but to all the noble people sitting in important seats in this country.”
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