Chapter 1 - Part 1
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“Please come this way.”
The place where the servant guided Lelia was a glass greenhouse in the palace garden. It was smaller, and cuter, than the crystal house where the previous tea party was held.
“Oh, you’re here.”
When she opened the door and walked in, Princess Julianna and her ladies-in-waiting welcomed Lelia. As soon as she saw them sitting around a pretty tea table, she grew nervous.
[I heard it was a very private little tea party…]
There were four ladies in total, including Princess Julianna.
She looked back just in case, but there seemed to be no more people invited. The only man invited to the party was her, who was disguised as Raymond.
When she realized it, her mouth went dry.
“Nice to meet you, Sir Raymond. Please come over here and sit down.”
Cecil, who invited Lelia earlier, guided her to a seat.
Lelia walked there with an awkward smile, hiding her nervous look.
When she sat down, she felt suffocated.
Four women sitting around a large round tea table were staring at her.
Looking at Lelia’s eyes were shifting around, not knowing where to look. The ladies’ lips twitched as they held back their laughter.
Princess Julianna smiled and spoke in an elegant manner, “Thank you for accepting my invitation, Sir Raymond.”
“It’s an honor.”
“In fact, I heard that Brother Cedric was a little rude to you. I called you to apologize in his stead.”
“Oh… You didn’t need to do so.”
Lelia said while snorting inwardly.
Julianna was definitely making up an excuse.
After thanking her for understanding, Julianna formally introduced the ladies one by one.
“We greeted each other earlier, didn’t we? I’m Cecil.”
The blonde-haired lady was the Princess’ favorite.
The short lady with purple hair sitting next to Lelia was a writer for Princess Julianna.
Finally, the brown-haired lady said she was a self-made business woman.
They were all women from good families.
Seeing their graceful manner, Lelia suddenly felt embarrassed at herself for sitting there dressed as a man.
[You have to pull yourself together. Let’s just think about the Holy Relic that will fix Kalix.]
After counting to ten in her head, her mind calmed down.
Come to think of it, she didn’t see the red-haired woman she saw at the tea party yesterday. She was the woman who asked Lelia a lot of questions. They all looked so close yesterday.
When she asked about the young woman, the air suddenly became chilly.
Julianna and the ladies exchanged awkward glances.
[What? Did I ask something I shouldn’t have?]
When Lelia blinked because she didn’t know what to say, Julianna smiled and said.
“Unfortunately, the young lady is not feeling well. So she couldn’t make it today.”
“Oh, I see.”
Then , Cecil asked cautiously.
“Is Sir Raymond interested in the young lady?”
“Oh, no. I’m just curious.”
“Miss Grace does stand out a little bit….”
Cecil pouted her lips cutely.
Julianna suddenly clapped her hands and changed the subject.
“Let’s not talk about that anymore, let’s talk about something fun. Sir Raymond, how is it back at home? Are there many parties there, too?”
“Yes… There are a lot of parties. Of course, not as many as the capital.”
Yesterday, Lelia asked Romeo more about “Parmenia” just in case. She thought it was a good idea to know more about it.
“Parmenia is a city with a lot of mines. They are especially famous for their ruby and diamond mines.”
Romeo said Parmenia has one of the largest mines in the Roseberry Empire.
In the first place, the Roseberry Empire was famous for being a producer of gemstones.
“As I expected, it wasn’t the countryside! Sir Raymond seems way too stylish and put together for a rural noble.”
Lelia smiled quietly as she looked at the young women who responded kindly.
Being with women of their age reminded her of Becky, the maid she left back at the Superion castle.
She wondered if Becky was doing alright.
Lelia smiled affectionately without realizing, the young women exchanged looks of surprise with each other.
Miss Cecil’s cheeks were flushed.
When Cecil was about to say something, Julianna intercepted the words and asked playfully.
“You have a nice smile while talking about your home. Do you happen to have a lover you left in your hometown?”
Cecil’s expression became a little dark for a moment.
Lelia watched the scene for a while before coming to her senses.
Julianna and the other ladies’ eyes were shining with expectations.
[This is my opportunity.]
An opportunity to appear like a womanizer.
“Yeah, it’s not just one or two.”
When Lelia spoke nonchalantly, the girls looked surprised and soon burst into laughter.
“I knew it! There’s no way someone as beautiful as Sir Raymond doesn’t have a lover. I just didn’t expect there were so many.”
“I thought you wouldn’t have a girlfriend because you looked so shy! But there are so many of them!”
Cordelia and Dorothy followed up, and Lelia smiled as naturally as possible.
Then, Cecil said sullenly.
“Well, how can you have so many lovers? I don’t think I can stand it if my lover meets with another woman..”
Lelia thought for a moment and replied,
“That’s what I thought as well, but… One day they came to me and said, ‘We agreed to share you, so please accept it.’ It couldn’t be helped, they’re all lovely ladies.”
Everyone gasped at Lelia’s unconventional remark.
[Argh. I feel like throwing up.]
Lelia said it herself, but she was really unlucky.
At this rate, the young women in front of her will think of her as a trashy playboy.
Despite what she was thinking would happen, Miss Cordelia’s and Miss Dorothy’s faces flushed red.
Miss Cecil, on the other hand, looked somewhat teary, and Princess Julianna frowned.
Lelia continued, thinking it was time.
“Oh, but Sir Ruth, who went to the party with me, is different. Unlike me, he swore he’d spend his whole life with only one woman…. Of course, the same goes for Prince Romeo and Lord Kalix.”
Lelia proudly claimed that she was the only trashy person.
This is good enough, right?
She was sure that she could act as the most trashy man in the world, as long as she got the Holy Relic in return.
Lelia began to spill compliment after compliment about Ruth. She even came up with creative compliments, and everyone became more and more curious.
“I didn’t know Sir Ruth had that side to him.”
“Sir Ruth is a wonderful gentleman.”
Lelia’s heart cried out everytime a compliment came out.
She couldn’t leave her friends out either.
Lelia wanted to let everyone in the world know about the greatness of her friends as well.
“Prince Romeo is a very sweet man, he also doesn’t have a girlfriend.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Sir Kalix is also a very sensitive man, contrary to his appearance.”
“They’ve been home for a while. How about Lord Oscar and Lord Griffith?”
Lelia praised them with excitement.
The ladies nodded mechanically at her words.
In fact, everyone was only half listening while staring at Lelia.
To be honest, if it wasn’t for ‘Sir Raymond’ in front of them, they would have been interested in Romeo, Kalix, and Ruth.
However, most of the capital city’s aristocrats have long been revamped by Donatelli’s paintings.
The women were enchanted to see a handsome man who seemed to have popped out of the painting.
Even his calm voice and polite way of speaking was attractive to them.
Lelia didn’t know that, and excitedly complimented Ruth all on her own.
On the other hand, Princess Julianna stared at Lelia without saying a word.
‘Why is he only praising Ruth and other men?’
Julianna wondered inwardly.
He suddenly revealed that he had many lovers as if he was a womanizer. She felt like he was completely different from yesterday. Maybe it’s because he’s relaxed at the moment.
He honestly didn’t look like a flirt to her.
It may be true though, because he looked so beautiful.
Maybe even in Parmenia, portraits of beautiful men painted by Donatelli were famous.
Anyway, it was a little weird.
[I think it’s because of me.]
Julianna raised the corners of her lips slightly and smiled.
It was funny because he seemed to be so transparent. It was a little unexpected, but it was cute.
‘You want me to be jealous.’
He said that there were many lovers in his hometown and suddenly complimented Ruth, it seemed to be all because of her.
She was confused, but Sir Raymond kept glancing at her and looking away.
Otherwise, there’s no reason to care so much about Ruth.
‘You’re a pretty cute person.’
Julianna smiled brightly at Sir Raymond in return.
But looking at the smile, Sir Raymond / Lelia had a different understanding.
Praising Ruth worked!
Julianna’s mind must be full of thoughts of Ruth by now. Even other women in the room murmured how cool Ruth was.
As the tea party came to an end, Princess Julianna said, “Oh, by the way, there’s a ball I’m having a few days from now. I hope you will make the occasion shine, as all the nobles in the capital are supposed to attend.”
“Oh, may I come with Sir Ruth?”
Lelia bid Princess Julianna and the ladies farewell and returned to her room.
When she returned, her legs gave out in relief.
Lelia laid down on the sofa in the drawing room.
[It’s a success, though.]
After she rests, she’ll go see Ruth and tell him about today. Then he can confess to Julianna.
[By the way…]
Lelia remembered something uncomfortable that happened throughout the tea party.
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