Chapter 18 - Obvious Rights
Understanding the intention behind Amber’s warning, Bella nodded her head. “I see. I didn’t know that you were the wife of the Duke until now, it is my mistake.”
Though she sounded unexpectedly earnest, Amber wasn’t fooled.
Bella’s earnestness and kindness was different from how Kalix was earnest and kind. It was the type of kindness that was already ready to stab someone in the back whenever the chance came.
“Amber, Amber, huh. Good name. It goes well with the color of your eyes,” Bella spoke as she studied Amber up and down her body. “My name is Belladonna Thales.” Bella intentionally emphasized the ‘Thales’ in her sentence. “The one you will serve along with the Duke.”
In other words, ‘I am your mother-in-law, you must bow to my will.’ Bella constantly spoke with underlying intent.
In her previous life, Amber always agonized, trying to discern the secret meaning in everything Bella Sad. If she couldn’t, Bella would scold her over her inability to comprehend such simple words when she grew up as a pampered child in the Western lands. Her lectures were more tiresome and frustrating than any other insult.
Even when Amber just barely realized the true meanings behind Bella’s words, it was nothing but Bella’s standard expectation. Amber never heard a single word of compliment.
Amber no longer wished to live a life where she was regarded as Bella’s subservient subordinate. ‘And in order to do that, I have to make sure to take the first proper and correct step.’
Amber put on a curious expression on her face and spoke as she tilted her head. “Thales you say? I heard that the wife of the previous Duke of Thales already passed away a long time ago.”
Hearing Amber’s words, Bella’s eyes quickly cooled to an icy glare.
For Bella to have Amber treat her as her superior, she would need to explain that she was the Duke’s esteemed mother from remarriage. It was what Bella hated the most.
For the prideful Bella, her origins as the daughter of an insignificant Viscount was embarrassing and she sought to cover her birth as much as possible. Since she was born, she tried her best to act as if she was the esteemed mother of a noble Duke.
Because of her own inferiority complex, Bella treated Amber horribly in her previous life. After all, unlike Bella, Amber held the official title as the Duke’s wife.
“I became the esteemed mother of the Duke last year,” Bella explained her position in the family as succinctly as possible.
“The esteemed mother of the Duke…” Amber opened both her eyes wide. “Ah, are you the one who had ordered the servants to take my dowry without permission as soon as I had arrived on this land?”
Bella’s face stiffened even more as the topic of dowry money appeared. The laundry maids and the servants that had crowded around to watch were focused on the two, and for Amber to suddenly speak loudly of the dowry money befuddled the surprised Bella.
‘They said that she didn’t say anything at all yesterday! Why is she suddenly so shrewd?!’ Bella turned her head slightly to glare at Grace. She was certain Grace’s report yesterday deemed the new wife of the Duke a timid woman who wouldn’t be able to say a single word against the people of the East.
Grace shook her head like she wasn’t the one at fault. She was going to report it to her! But…
Bella had been infuriated at the news that her preparations had gone to naught after Kalix rejected her send off. At her anger and annoyance, Grace lost the opportunity to report about the change in Amber’s personality.
Bella glared at Amber with narrow eyes. ‘I just need time to see if she was pretending to be timid yesterday, or simply pretending to be shrewd now.’ It was likely to be the latter. If Amber had such a bold personality from the start, she wouldn’t have bothered to act so timidly from the start. ‘First impressions are important. There would be no need for her to pretend to be so withdrawn.’
Bella calmly judged Amber’s sudden boldness like a bird puffing its feathers to feign strength. ‘Her pompous attitude will soon fall apart.’
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