Chapter 11

***

 

Laura said she had not seen Bruno for some time, but he had returned home late last night.

 

“Why did you call?”

 

Filina asked in a sluggish voice as she stopped by the office at Gabriel’s call early in the morning. (*Gabriel is Filina’s father)

 

It was probably about Bruno, she thought. The fact that he was away for days certainly meant that Gabriel had sent him on an errand. And as soon as Bruno returned home, Filina was called. So it must be related.

 

“I heard that tomorrow is the entrance exam for the Swordsmanship Academy.”

 

Gabriel let out a few dry coughs, then he held out a brown bag that was on the desk to Filina.

 

“It was very hard to get it from the Magic Tower.”

 

“What is it?”

 

Filina raised her hand and opened the satchel.

 

In it were three potions, each in a gorgeous color.

 

Filina looked at Gabriel with a surprised expression.

 

“I got it directly from the Lord of the Magic Tower. It’s very expensive.”

 

“Don’t tell me you sent Bruno to the Magic Tower to get this?”

 

Filina looked at Gabriel with a frown.

 

He seemed to be more concerned about the fact that the Lord sold the potions for a high price than the fact that he had sent his son to the Tower.

 

The selfishness was laughable.

 

The Magical Tower was located in a deep mountain range that existed at the far end of the Alvar Empire.

 

He chose the forest as his residence, where all sorts of bizarre forms of alien species lived together, just because the people behaved in a troublesome manner.

 

Filina reckoned that such a man could not be normal.

 

The man was known to occasionally come to the city where the people of Alvar gathered to live, when the need arose. Most of the time, people communicated with the Lord of the Tower through the apprentices who worked as his assistants.

 

But Bruno came directly to the tower to get the potions. Filina stared at Gabriel in disgust.

 

“What if Bruno got hurt because of you?”

 

Gabriel gave a small chuckle at her words.

 

“And why do you say that it’s my fault?”

 

Filina furrowed her brow. 

 

He continued to speak slowly with his raised eyes.

 

“It’s all your fault, to be exact. Because the person who needs this potion is not me, but you.”

 

“I didn’t say I wanted this.”

 

“You said you had to pass the test.”

 

Gabriel’s face hardened as he sat in his chair looking up at her.

 

“It was you who threatened me, Filina. It’s no use telling me now that it wasn’t your fault. I had to help you to pass the exams, and if  Bruno got hurt, so be it. Because it’s all for you.”

 

Filina looked at him, biting her lip.

 

It was frustrating that she just couldn’t even argue with him.

 

“I will continue to use anyone I can to help you. Of course, if you don’t get what you want and I lose out, I’ll find the cause of it in someone else.”

 

He said, gestured to the potions on the desk with his chin.

 

“Bruno told me that the potions were specially made for your constitution. It will be very useful in the practical tests.”

 

Filina hung her head and stared at the potion in the brown bag.

 

The bottles were made in the shape of a pyramid, with strange paintings engraved on the outside. It looked as if it was a formula drawn by a wizard before he wielded his specter.

 

Gabrielle continued with his unfinished words.

 

“The potion will not show its effects right after you drink it. You should drink it at least half an hour before. They say the effects will last exactly three hours.”

 

“Only three hours?”

 

“That’s a lot longer. Other wizards have made some that don’t even last 30 minutes.”

 

 

“Still, he’s the master of the Magic Tower, I thought it would last at least a day.”

 

Filina murmured with a small smile.

 

“His abilities are very much worse than I thought.”

 

Hearing her words, Gabriel gasped.

 

The master of the Magic tower was respected by people for his great abilities. No one could touch him recklessly, even the imperial family.

 

However, the words that came out of Filina’s mouth were like a joke.

 

Of course, that didn’t make it any more surprising than it already was.

 

Somehow he knew she would react like that.

 

Every word that came out of Filina’s mouth was something that only she could speak.

 

“First of all, I’d like to thank you for the potions you gave me.”

 

Filina said to Gabriel as she closed the satchel containing the potions.

 

“But next time, please give me a heads up. I don’t want you to feel guilty about useless things.”

 

The words meant for Bruno.

 

She didn’t want to feel responsible for bringing others into her plan out of the blue.

 

Filina walked out of the office, leaving Gabriel staring at her. In one hand she still held the brown bag.

 

“It seems that Young Master met Lord Weaver separately.”

 

Laura sidled up to Filina who was walking down the hallway.

 

“A satchel much larger than the one you have was sent here. It’s also in the Duke’s name.”

 

Laura looked around, then spoke in a low voice again.

 

“It seems that Lord Weaver did not accept the goods that the Master gave him and returned it to our house again.”

 

Filina’s lips lifted at an angle as she listened to Laura. She examined her quietly with a languid smile.

 

“I don’t even need to check. I think I know what’s in that bag.”

 

The bag must be full of money.

 

Lord Weaver, a man with a transparent sense of pride in his profession, would reject it.

 

Apparently, they failed to bribe him.

 

But who was Gabriel?

 

When it comes to personal connections, he was a person who knew everything up to the closest aides of the imperial family.

 

He must have prepared for such a situation and met another person from the military academy.

 

When it comes to money, the Debussy family was overflowing with it, and when it comes to bribing people, it’s money that comes through the best.

 

It was not strange that Gabriel was upset because the Master of the Magic Tower raised the price of the potion. It was clear that the phrase “some are more than others” was a reference to Gabriel.

 

***

 

A teatime was set up, hosted by Filina to build her personal connections.

 

It was just a scene from the original story, which she had no intention of doing at all, but Filina welcomed Cecilia and several other Young Ladies with a friendly expression.

 

At first, when Cecilia received Filina’s invitation, she was delighted to think that it was just her and Filina. 

 

But when she visited the Debussy’s residence, she was rather disappointed when she saw Filina talking with the other people.

 

However, it was Filina who was embarrassed to see Cecilia.

 

They didn’t have a very close relationship because the original story didn’t go very far.

 

So, when Cecilia invited her to her house not long ago, Filina was curious. 

 

But it was not the first time she’s seen people wanting to get closer to her, so she just let it go. (*she=Filina)

 

The rumors against the Debussy family were too strong for anyone to approach her easily, but that didn’t mean Filina wasn’t friendly.

 

The average villain was always infested with people with similar personalities.

 

Rather, the one without friends would always be the role of the female protagonist.

 

That was a really good position to attack with a large majority.

 

The same thing happened to Filina in the original story.

 

She was always surrounded by people with wicked personalities.

 

However, if there was a problem, it was that the Filina of today was a completely different person.

 

In the original story, if she was someone who used her personal connections for her own achievements, now she was rather annoyed with people who stick around.

 

If she in her true form was someone who used her connections for her own fulfillment, now she was rather very annoyed with the people who stuck around her. There were many people who wanted to be around Filina, but none who would unnecessarily cross over to the position she didn’t allow.

 

No matter how much she disliked social activities, the main story of the original was bound to flow somehow.

 

Even if the content suddenly jumped out at her out of the blue.

 

“At the last ball, the Crown Prince and Young Lady Haley danced together, didn’t they?” (*Haley is Cecilia’s family name.)

 

Fabien laughed, her eyes narrowed as she unfolded her fan.

 

“Actually, I was expecting Princess Debussy to dance with His Highness.”

 

Her words created a small spark that spread to Sharon, who was standing nearby. She recited the lines as if she had been waiting for just those words. 

 

“Actually, so was I. Princess Debussy spent more time with the Crown Prince. How much time did you spend in and out of the Imperial Palace since she was a child? To be honest, I thought that His Highness would be engaged to her…”

 

“Lady Sharon, what you just said is disrespectful to Lady Cecilia.”

 

Filina cut off Sharon’s words and spoke in a calm voice. Then, glancing at Cecilia, Sharon chuckled awkwardly and said,

 

“Oh my, Lady Haley. I’m sorry if I offended you. Please don’t listen to what I said. You’re the closest person to His Highness the Crown Prince now anyway. I’m sure that the kind Lady will be generous and understanding.”

 

Sharon’s words made Filina want to laugh.

 

The way Cecilia was being pressured with words that were completely incomprehensible.

 

What did the Crown Prince say to Cecilia that she had to endure such words?

 

In fact, it would have been better if Cecilia could have shown that she was offended, but Filina knew better than anyone that Cecilia wasn’t.

 

“Don’t worry about it, Lady Sharon.”

 

Cecilia lifted her teacup with a bright smile.

 

Sharon exchanged a glance with Fabien, who was next to her.

 

Filina, who was watching the scene, put her chin on her hand with a tired face.

 

‘I don’t know how many times I’ve done this already. It’s boring.’

 

According to the original story, Filina invited Cecilia to tea time like today to give Cecilia a hard time.

 

Cecilia was hurt by this and cried on her way home.

 

Ian, who happened to visit the Count’s residence, witnessed it, and was filled with a strange desire when he saw Cecilia’s innocent face soaked in tears.

 

He was confused as he, who had always skillfully suppressed his emotions, felt an unfamiliar desire that he could not control for the first time.

 

In order to create that story, Cecilia had to experience a tearful event today.

 

In the original content, there was a scene where Filina purposely spilled juice on Cecilia’s dress.

 

“…”

 

Filina’s gaze landed on a glass bottle on the table.The yellow liquid in it would soon be on Cecilia’s dress.

 

She agonized for a moment.

 

‘What should I do?’

 

Anyway, the story would somehow flow.

 

It didn’t take her long to think about it. Filina pushed the juice bottle with her elbow of the hand that was gripping her chin.

 

It fell over and spilled on Cecilia’s light blue dress.

Notes

N/A

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