Chapter 10

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But she only said this in her heart. Blanche made eye contact with the Marquis’ green eyes identical to herself and smiled. But soon after, she was faced with an even more disturbing sight.

 

A happy smile hung on Pierre’s lips as he watched them.

 

With a desire to pass out immediately, Blanche continued her forced smile.

 

“Let’s go, Da…ddy.”

 

Then the wheelchair moved. Unlike the usual, the three of them chatted and looked so friendly that others would probably say they look really good.

 

Until Mariette showed up.

 

She stood guard in front of the treasury at the end of the East wing on the second floor. She must have been waiting for the three of them. Mariette greeted her with a bright smile.

 

“Here you are. Dad. Brother. Blanche.”

 

[System/ Mariette is hostile towards you.]

 

Unexpectedly, the Marquis faced the first daughter with a rather stiff expression.

 

“What’s going on, Mariette?”

 

“Dad too. What’s going on with you suddenly being like this with your family? Isn’t that right, brother?”

 

“Well.”

 

Mariette froze. It was a reaction as if a rich man who she met for the first time spoke vulgarly to her. But Mariette was Mariette.

 

In that brief moment, she adjusted her expression and smiled sweetly.

 

“Blanche. Did you know what brother Pierre and I talked about? Even if you pretend you don’t, I still feel bad.”

 

Mariette’s gaze turned to the Marquis.

 

“Actually, I had a small fight with brother yesterday. Isn’t that right, brother Pierre?”

 

Pierre’s eyebrows twitched.

 

“Was it a small fight?”

 

“Okay. I will apologize first.”

 

Mariette apologized, as if she didn’t want to waste her time over useless things.

 

Pierre’s eyebrows narrowed even more.

 

The Marquis clicked his tongue because he didn’t like these siblings arguing.

 

“What the hell did you fight about?”

 

“That’s…”

 

Pierre widened his eyes unknowingly and glanced at Blanche. He couldn’t explain it clearly. Then Mariette nonchalantly spoke her lies.

 

“Recently, I haven’t sent a letter to brother. I think older brother is mad at me Dad.”

 

The Marquis shook his head.

 

“It’s your fault, Mariette. I’ve said it before. When I was still attending the Imperial Academy, the only time I could breathe was when I received letters from my family.”

 

“Yes, I remember. Thanks to you, I have fully repented on my mistakes. So, brother Pierre. Will you accept my apology?”

 

Not only the Marquis, but also Blanche’s gaze reached Pierre.

 

He nodded his head reluctantly.

 

“… Okay.”

 

Mariette smiled brightly as if she was relieved. But her smile was only meant for the Marquis and Blanche.

 

“How fortunate I am that my brother accepted my apology. After all, it is better to settle disputes within the family quickly. Isn’t that right, Blanche?”

 

It was only then that Blanche realized Mariette’s intentions.

 

‘You’re telling me to apologize first.’

 

Blanche was dumbfounded and even laughed.

 

‘How can you use such shallow methods? Do you think I’ll make up with you?’

 

Blanche pretended not to know, then turned to the Marquis.

 

“Daddy. I want to open the door to the treasury myself.”

 

At the word ‘Daddy’, the Marquis’ mouth hung open.

 

“Of course. If that’s what you want. Mariette. Step aside for a moment so that Blanche can open the treasury’s door.”

 

“… Of course. Dad.”

 

With a strangely sharp tone, Mariette slowly retreated to the side.

 

With the help of the Marquis, Blanche was finally able to insert the key to the treasury. Click. The sound of the door unlocking was heard.

 

As the Marquis pulled Blanche’s wheelchair back, Pierre opened the thick and heavy door to the treasury.

[T/N: I think I’ll be dreaming of the word ‘treasury’ tonight. XD]

 

Through the open door, Mariette was the first to enter.

 

“Oh my gosh. A lot has changed here, too.”

 

The treasury was so desolate that you could hear Mariette’s disgusting voice echo. Embarrassed, the Marquis coughed and pushed Blanche’s wheelchair into the room.

 

Once upon a time, the treasury was filled with gold armors, porcelain from the East and gold coins and jewels that were piled up like a mountain. But now, there was barely anything left.

 

Mariette frowned, as if the sight made her upset.

 

“Dad. I don’t know what the hell Blanche will be able to see.”

 

“Well, why are you here?”

 

At the sharp tone of the Marquis, she put on a gloomy expression.

 

“I heard from grandfather. He said you’re having a picnic in my greenhouse later? That’s too much, Dad. Why didn’t you invite me to such an event?”

 

Uhumm! Concealing his displeasure, the Marquis coughed.

 

“… Neither you nor Alphonse was invited.”

 

“Yeah, Alphonse has to study, so of course you shouldn’t invite him. But Dad. I can’t go to the academy because I’m a girl, so it’s only natural that you should have invited me to the picnic!”

 

Afterwards, the Marquis sighed at his eldest daughter’s whining.

 

“Today is not for you, but for Blanche, Mariette.”

 

“You’re talking like I’m going to eat Blanche.”

 

“Aren’t you? In fact, didn’t Blanche attempt suicide that day because she decided to marry in your stead!”

 

The Marquis was also a person who is used to blaming others for everything. Instead of blaming the poor Blanche and himself, he blamed Mariette.

 

Mariette’s lips twitched.

 

“I don’t know why someone who thinks so highly of Blanche isn’t selling the mansion, Dad!”

 

Blanche intervened in the squabble.

 

“Please stop it. I didn’t say that I wanted to visit the treasury just to see something like this.”

 

In fact, Blanche didn’t even have the heart to get involved in their fight. But the Marquis is the one who will push her wheelchair, and his eldest daughter is arguing with him in the treasury!

 

In the very same room where the [White Sand Bracelet] that Blanche wants to steal is being kept!

 

Blanche forced the corners of her lips up.

 

“Father. Please stop. Why don’t you tell me about the treasure that once filled this room? I already know, but I want to hear directly from Father what kind of stories our family had.”

[T/N: She switches back to ‘Father’ here]

 

As the affectionate voice of his second daughter replaced the ear-scratching first daughter’s voice, it made the Marquis happy.

 

“Blanche. If you want, I will tell you ten times, no,  even a hundred times.”

 

Thus, the Marquis told the stories to the siblings that went all the way back to their great-grandfathers. Finally, the explanation of the Marquis arrived at the [White Sand Bracelet].

 

“-And this is the [White Sand Bracelet]. It belongs to the first Marquis Marquette. Did you know? The first Marquis’ wife was a princess of the desert kingdom.”

 

The bracelet was designed in the form of a cuff bracelet that wrapped around the wrist generously. In addition, the engraved exotic patterns with embossed colors even sparkled in a milky color.

 

“Here, try it on, Blanche.”

 

At the suggestion of the Marquis, she naturally wore the bracelet.

 

[White Sand Bracelet]

[A bracelet made by compressing star sand in the desert. It was made in the now-lost ancient kingdom.]

Mana +400.

Stress -200

+ Double experience.

+ Poison resistance effect.

+ Curse resistance effect.

+ Inventory increased by 20X10]

 

Blanche literally widened her eyes. She knew that the item could increase  the experience points, but she did not know that it had poison and curse resistance and that it would also increase inventory space.

 

‘It’s a gift that Pierre will use to woo the female lead.’

 

Blanche felt a surge of desire she didn’t even know existed. 

 

It was when Blanche looked at the bracelet under the sunlight that Mariette suddenly intervened. She got testy, perhaps because she seemed to have lost her place.

 

“Blanche. That’s enough, give it to me. I want to try it on too.”

 

“No. Sister must have worn it a lot when she was young.”

 

“Blanche is right. Mariette. Just for today, yield to your sister.”

 

At the firm tone of the Marquis, Mariette pouted her lips as if displeased. But she couldn’t act like she used to.

 

Blanche quickly turned the topic around.

 

“Dad. I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while, but what is this engraving mural on the wall?”

 

“Oh, that is-.”

 

The Marquis answered all of Blanche’s trivial questions with sincerity and without hesitation.

 

That’s why he didn’t notice that Blanche had not returned the [White Sand Bracelet] back in place. But Mariette and Pierre were different. The two remembered that Blanche had not returned the bracelet. Also, the fact that the [White Sand Bracelet] disappeared from Blanche’s wrist at some point.

 

The brother and sister thought at the same time.

 

‘Blanche was definitely holding the [White Sand Bracelet]…’

 

Mariette and Pierre secretly glanced around the empty room. The brother and sister could not find the [White Sand Bracelet] even after the four of them left the treasury. However, the difference in reaction between the siblings was heaven and earth.

 

Unlike Pierre who chose to stay silent, Mariette’s eyes lit up.

 

‘This is my chance to knock Blanche down a peg! Besides, if they find out that she stole the heirloom, Dad and Brother won’t stand for Blanche any more!’

 

With a smile, she vowed that as soon as the sun rises the next day, she will go find the Marquis.

 

Not knowing that Blanche already knew her own dark thoughts through the system.

 

Early morning before dawn.

 

Blanche secretly stepped out into the hallway. She easily sneaked into Mariette’s room. Blanche, who grew up watching Mariette, knew that she was a heavy sleeper.

 

Blanche slid the [White Sand Bracelet] in the drawer of Mariette’s dressing table.

 

‘An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. I will repay malice with malice.’

 

Thus, Blanche’s perfect crime began.

 

That same morning.

 

Mariette, unaware of Blanche’s plan, visited the Marquis early in the morning.

 

“Actually, I spent the whole night thinking about whether or not to tell Dad about this. But Dad. No matter how much I think about it, I think Dad should know!”

 

Mariette accused her younger sister of stealing.

 

After denying Mariette’s testimony, he only believed his eldest daughter after checking the near-empty treasury.

 

The Marquis, who was blinded, immediately ordered the butler to search Blanche’s room. Not long after, the butler appeared in the family drawing room on the 3rd floor along with the [White Sand Bracelet].

 

The Marquis trembled with a face that could not hide the feelings of betrayal.

 

“Blanche really…”

 

But the butler shook his head.

 

“No, this bracelet is… I found it in Lady Mariette’s room.”

 

There was silence in the drawing room, enough to hear a needle dropping.

 

The Marquis repeatedly wiped his exasperated face, swallowing annoyance and anger. Pierre closed his eyes as if he had seen a terrible sight, and young Alphonse clicked his tongue.

 

However, Blanche, who planned this situation, quietly stared at her twin sister.

 

**********

 

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