Chapter 76 - A Stand Off
As I finished, complete silence fell at the party. “Then I ask again. Are those people foolish enough to be swayed by a lowly b**ch-like woman?”
I had to push back my smugness. The talkative nobles became completely silent at my words as if they had promised. Fools. You only speak words after making sure that whatever you say won’t come back to harm you. Water has been spilled. If you can’t take responsibility, then it’s wise to avoid doing something that will deem you responsible for it.
Regret will not help you there. How could she be so foolish and show off her pride when she cannot even take accountability? Yes, that stupid woman became so red out of shame.
“Hah! You have a sly mouth! I suppose you tricked those wise people with that slick tongue of yours, you dirty b-”
“Shut your mouth right now.”
Someone interrupted Matilda before she could finish. It was none other than Elise von Schuteiner herself. Matilda seemed shocked by her words that were different, much rougher from her usual, kind, and soft ones.
Elise then spoke to her coldly, “Stop right there, Matilda von Hudleton. As the leader of the beau monde that you are associated with, I won’t allow your actions to bring disgrace to our society any further.”
That’s a shame. It was a chance to let her blow up by herself. Her actions toward me were deliberate disrespect, as she was from the house of a count, the same rank as mine.
Actions were deemed disrespectful when someone from a lower or of the same rank talked down to another individual in public. It wasn’t discourteous when someone of a higher rank talks down on a lower-ranked individual. What’s amusing is if it wasn’t in public, then it wouldn’t matter who disrespected who. Also, talking about someone behind their back couldn’t be proved, so it wasn’t ill-mannered to do so.
Anyway, this was the chance to send her down to purgatory as it was a public place. She should have done it secretly if she wanted to talk down to me. She had discredited me out in public. It was possible to sue her, bring her to court, and earn a settlement. It’s a shame that Elise jumped in to put a stop to it.
“I apologize on behalf of Matilda, Lady Harrant. I will make sure that this will not happen again and warn her as a friend,” said Elise.
She meant that she would act as if nothing had happened, so I should just leave it there. Elise sure is smart, after all. But I’m not going to let this one slide so easily.
“No, that’s perfectly alright. You don’t have to do that for me. This was between me and Lady Hudleton. There is no need for you to take such responsibility. Instead, I will bring this to the court,” I replied.
“That sounds interesting.”
I don’t think it was Elise who answered me. The one who could casually jump in between our fight was the Crown Prince. Of course, he could say he has a say in this as he was a bit related, so he couldn’t have kept quiet about it. Besides, he is a member of the royal family with the right to give judgment. He had the authority to be the judge of a temporary court. This meant that he would be the sole judge of Matilda’s trial instead of a regular court.
“We will then start the trial of Matilda von Hudleton, who had disrespected Marina von Harrant right here,” ordered the Crown Prince.
Elise’s expression turned cold, but mine became calm. It was hard to expect how the Crown Prince might act. Even if he dumped Elise as his fiancée, it didn’t mean that he would side with me. This meant that I had to carefully choose words that would only benefit me.
“Marina von Harrant, you may testify about the situation,” said the Crown Prince.
“Yes, Your Highness. I was having fun at the party at around 7 o’clock in the evening today. Then Lady Hudleton suddenly threw some swears at me with a few other nobles joining her to discredit me. Their accusations consisted of you, Your Highness, Prince Adrian, and the host of today’s party Viscount Harsen, so I couldn’t let it pass,” I testified as I glared at Matilda and a few of the other nobles who discredited me. I saw them hiding their faces with their fans with a flinch.
Fools. I smirked at them, then I heard the Crown Prince’s voice, “And what was the accusation?”
“Is it okay to say it word by word exactly?” I asked.
“If it does not dishonor you, I will allow it.”
I felt a bit better hearing those words. My honor was trashed multiple times already. Honor meant nothing to me as it was already in a trench since I became a fallen noble. The only thing important to me right now was to benefit from this situation.
“I will tell the truth even if it dishonors me. I was having a conversation with Lady Schuteiner. That’s when Lady Hudleton interrupted us. I objected to that, and she said, ‘Hah! A hillbilly from the countryside doesn’t know her place! You b**ch,’ and discredited me.”
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