Chapter 1 - Part 1
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Lelia answered calmly and looked out of the window.
[Now that I know they are still suspicious of me, I need to get the Holy Relic, heal Kalix, and get the Philosopher’s Stone as quickly as possible.]
She felt like the path forward was pitch dark in front of her. Ever since she escaped the fate of the original story when she was young, she hasn’t been so scared of death.
She feared that she would die at the hands of her friends, which was the scariest thing to her. Lelia thought that if she really did die at her friends’ hands, she would not be able to reveal the truth to them. Even if she revealed the truth to them at the moment before her death, she would die because of the Golden Words spell.
[If they knew the truth, they would certainly feel guilty and sad…]
Like how in the original story, Emperor Perseus grieves when he learns that Lelia was his biological daughter.
So even if she were to die by the hands of her friends, she would rather die as ‘Leo’s enemy’
Her friends can take complete revenge for Leo’s death, so that they can live the rest of their days in peace.
Of course, she will try to prevent that from happening, one way or another.
The ball was reserved only for the young nobles of the aristocracy. The organizer, Princess Julianna, said it was a place for all the ladies of the capital to attend. As if to prove it, there were a lot of beautifully dressed unmarried noblewomen. There were many noblemen as well, but looking at the numbers, it seemed that not many of them were required to participate.
Cedric and Damien seemed to have joined in to save their sister’s honour. Lelia saw them having fun chatting with some young noble ladies.
“The atmosphere is a bit strange.” Romeo remarked, as he held a glass of champagne and swirled it lightly.
Lelia was standing near the terrace with Romeo after making eye contact with Princess Julianna, her ladies-in-waiting, and Ruth, who she saw in the distance.
When Lelia asked, Romeo pointed the tip of his chin to one place.
Looking there, a young woman glanced awkwardly around. Upon closer inspection, it was the red haired lady that she had seen at the first tea party.
[Did they say her name was Grace?]
That’s what she remembered anyway, because she was one of Julianna’s ladies-in-waiting. She was the young woman that Lelia inquired about at the private tea party.
“And look over there.”
When she looked at another place Romeo had pointed to, young women and men had gathered.
When she paid close attention, they were pointing fingers at Grace from afar and laughing to each other.
Romeo pointed to another place.
Princess Julianna, and her ladies-in-waiting, were seen.
They were talking while looking at the red haired Grace, and laughing at her in the distance.
Lelia immediately understood what Romeo was saying.
In the aristocratic world, it was very common to openly bully someone.
She heard a lot of similar stories in the Superion Territory. The actions of many young nobles were similar.
But now, it was a little tricky.
At first glance, it seemed that the young men and women gathered over there were tormenting one young noblewoman …
[The reality seems to be that Julianna, and her ladies-in-waiting, are the main instigators.]
It was clear to her that a number of the gathered men looked at Julianna’s ladies and gave them a nod.
“Some of us rolled onto the battlefield to fight the Dragon to keep the peace… While other nobles stayed home to play these kinds of games. Isn’t it funny?”
Contrary to his words, Romeo was smiling brightly.
Lelia also felt badly for her friends. She ate and slept in a comfortable place, while her friends fought hard on the battlefield.
“I should go to the terrace and rest. Play well and come to me when you need me.”
After saying that, Romeo left.
As she was left alone, Lelia was choking on the tension.
It was uncomfortable because some nobles kept glancing at her… After Romeo left, everyone looked at her openly. They seemed to have decided that it would be easier to talk to her because she was alone now.
[I can’t run away.]
Her eyes met with Ruth, who was looking at her from afar.
He mouthed something to her and mimed clinking a glass.
When she looked closely, he meant for her to act out the role of a playboy quickly.
Cedric and Damian were in their position, so he definitely wanted to be compared.
The better Lelia played her flirt role, the more Ruth seemed to think he was going to get points.
Lelia didn’t agree with Ruth’s plan, she just followed through with it.
If Ruth feels that this is the easiest way.
[He will confess sooner when his heart is at ease.]
After clearing her throat, Lelia began to smile at any noblewoman who met her eyes.
As if her mindfulness was recognized, some young ladies approached and talked to her.
They were ecstatic to see Lelia’s appearance, some even praised it as much more beautiful than Donatelli’s painting.
Lelia repeated in her head, ‘Like a flirt, like a flirt.’
A small commotion broke out on one side of the room.
She went over there with the girl she was talking to, and found the girl named Grace, whom she had seen earlier.
“Hey Miss Grace, are you still stalking me?”
“No… I never did that in the first place…”
“How can you be so rude? If you keep doing this, I can’t even stand to look at you.”
Miss Grace had a pitiful appearance that looked like she was about to burst into tears at any moment.
She’s bawling in front of him… .
‘Is that you, Prince Damien?’
It was Prince Damian with his silver hair neatly tucked back.
He was glaring at Miss Grace, but Lelia had no idea what he was angry about.
People were looking around and snickering.
Lelia asked the young girl next to her.
“What’s going on?”
“Oh… that… .”
The young girl blushed as she looked at Lelia, and then she spoke quickly.
“Actually, it is not enough that Miss Grace has a crush on Prince Damian, but there were rumors that she was stalking. Terrible, isn’t it?”
“… Is that so?”
“Yes, today it seems that she found out what Prince Damien’s outfit was in advance and they came dressed like a couple. Isn’t it really creepy?”
As the young lady said, Prince Damien was wearing a navy blue and gold suit, and Grace was wearing a navy blue and gold dress.
“So shameless. How could she do such a thing when she was one of Julianna’s companions?”
Lelia looked back at the scene of the disturbance, people continuing to gossip quietly about the young lady.
Miss Grace had a really dejected expression on her face.
Prince Damien was laughing in her face, this made Grace really frightened and it was a pitiful sight.
Prince Cedric, who was watching, stepped forward and the commotion was quickly put to rest.
The nobles rejoined the party in twos and threes.
But her eyes stayed fixed on Grace, who was standing alone.
Everyone was talking about her.
[She is too timid.]
Miss Grace held back her tears and kept her shoulders upright, perhaps keeping her position in response to the rumors. If she runs away from the ball, people will take it as truth.
Watching her with a sad heart, Lelia suddenly had a good idea.
In plain terms, Lelia’s purpose was to look detestable to Cedric and Damien.
That’s exactly what Ruth wanted, too.
Ruth wanted to show his superiority and reliability by undermining Sir Raymond.
That’s how he wanted to appeal to Julianna’s family.
What if Lelia sided with young Miss Grace and Ruth turned up as per the plan?
Cedric and Damien will naturally take Ruth’s side.
The same goes for Julianna.
The secret and childish quarrels of the aristocratic circles are more emotional than the original big political fights.
[I’m sorry to use you as bait…]
Lelia really felt sorry for Miss Grace.
[Let’s go talk to her.]
She doesn’t know if the girl actually stalked Damien. It’s probably just a rumour, right?
Furthermore, seeing a group of men and women laughing at Miss Grace, she was convinced that it was Julianna and her companions.
They were all laughing at Miss Grace, who was standing alone.
It was laughter full of malicious pleasure.
It was never expected for Lelia to sit on the sidelines of the ball.
[Oh, no way.]
Lelia suddenly remembered what she had skimmed through the original story.
It was about how Cedric and Damien scolded the young nobles who were jealous of Julianna.
There was no specific episode, but it was a phrase to show how unusual Cedric and Prince Damien were.
[I don’t know, those princes don’t care about me anyway.]
Lelia shook her head and soon walked to Miss Grace, who was standing alone.
The sound of footsteps rang through the hall.
It was just before the performers began to play music, so there was silence.
There were a lot of people watching Lelia in the first place, and they looked surprised.
She approached Grace, who was standing alone as a laughing stock.
Grace was the woman whom Prince Damien had openly put to shame. Which also meant that she should never be on his side.
If she sided with Miss Grace, she would be slighting Prince Damian.
It was the tacit rule of the social world.
However, in the eyes of people, ‘Sir Raymond’ was not a noble of the Auraria Empire.
So they looked surprised at her actions, since they thought she would act in a similar manner.
When Lelia appeared in front of her, Grace opened her mouth in surprise.
“Oh, hello, Sir Raymond.”
“I saw you at the tea party a while ago.”
Lelia smiled softly and handed her a glass of champagne.
Miss Grace looked nervously at the ladies-in-waiting with Princess Julianna.
“Well, Sir Raymond….”
If you’re with me there might be useless misunderstandings about you, was what she was about to say.
The performers began to play slow, elegant tunes.
“Miss Grace. Can I request the first dance?”
Grace was shocked by Lelia’s question and hesitated.
“Is it more uncomfortable if I’m around you?”
“No, that’s not it. If you stay with me, you will be criticized by others. You don’t have to help me.”
Translator’s note: I swear, the twins are too much. -_- Poor Grace. Even though Julianna is portrayed to be the nicest character in the novel, to me, she seems to have so many faces and it gets confusing and annoying at times. I know she is spoiled by her parents and brothers, but can she be a little considerate? She was abused by her biological father, yet she allowed Lelia to apologize to her a hundred times back then when she was in the Imperial Castle, and now she is standing there and seeing a woman being ridiculed in front of her. 🙂
The author carefully portrays and unfolds different sides of Julianna which gives us more insight to her actual role in the novel.
Editor’s Note: I have a feeling that the original novel was told from Julianna’s perspective, and in her eyes everyone loves her and she’s a wonderful person. I think that’s why there’s an inconsistency between Julianna in the novel and the REAL Julianna. It explains the difference with Ruth and the brothers as well.
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