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“I’m finally done with the painting.”
Chloe said, putting down her brush.
The yellow pigment Gerard gave her was bright and transparent. It was such a beautiful color. She wondered why she never knew that yellow was so beautiful.
“But, if I draw this…”
Chloe rubbed her wrist slowly and looked at the canvas. The blond-haired male she painted overshadowed the shining sun behind him.
“What do I do?”
It was just a painting of Gerard Blanchett, but looking at it made her heart flutter. She couldn’t believe she felt this way just by thinking about someone. She was surprised and amazed by this feeling, which she experienced for the first time in her life.
However, she had to end this here. She knew better than anyone else that Sir Blanchett only had Leila in his heart. She didn’t want to be hurt by a hopeless crush.
However, she couldn’t control her mind.
–Young Lady Roem, please take a seat over here.
She just couldn’t control her excitement with each of his gestures and smiles.
Her heart swelled like fermented bread.
‘I can clean it up before it gets any deeper. Yes, there’s no problem if I get away now.’
Chloe comforted herself while wiping the paint off her hands with a cloth.
However, the yellow paint had already stained her hands.
“Oh, you are very beautiful, my Lady!”
Sarah, the nanny of the Roem family, exclaimed after fastening a necklace around Chloe’s neck.
Chloe looked back at Sarah and asked. A sapphire necklace gifted by Count Roem was sparkling brightly on her white neck.
Sarah replied, nodding fiercely. She didn’t stop there and whispered in Chloe’s ear.
“I think you’ll be prettier today than Her Imperial Highness. What can we do?”
Sarah, who took a step back, winked. The sight couldn’t help but throw Chloe in a burst of laughter.
“The only person who thinks so is you, nanny. And you know you can’t say that anywhere else, don’t you?”
Chloe knew very well that her nanny’s exclamations were simply based on the affection the woman had for her. Therefore, she got even more worried. She was afraid her nanny would be charged with treason if she said anything more.
“Oh, don’t worry about it. Even though my sense of humor has deteriorated since I’m getting old, I’m very sensible.”
“Even so. I’m worried about you.”
“I understand, I get it. This nanny will do as you say, my Lady.”
Sarah said, tidying Chloe’s hair again. Chloe’s hair, which was tied in a half bun, looked shiny.
“So, what’s your relationship with the young man who is going to escort you today?”
Sarah asked the question she had been waiting to ask.
“Sir Blanchett! He is very handsome. All of our young ladies were born with good eyes for men.”
“We don’t have that kind of relationship, nanny. He’s just a friend.”
“Is there such a thing as mere friendship between men and women?”
“We aren’t like that. He loves someone else.”
Sarah, who was putting gloves on Chloe’s hands, asked in surprise.
“Sir Blanchett… likes Leila.”
“Oh my! The young Lady of Stein?”
Sarah, who noticed Chloe’s dark expression, pondered over her words.
“…Finished! If he sees my Lady today, he won’t be able to live on without falling in love with you.”
Sarah said while rearranging Chloe’s sky blue dress. Upon the nanny’s words, Chloe naturally looked at her reflection in the full-body mirror.
“You can stop trying to flatter me. I have had enough already.”
Chloe’s cheeks turned a shade of red as she spoke. It felt different to dress up properly after a long time. She sensed something great was about to happen. Would Sir Blanchett consider this fresh side of her?
“Please come back with only pleasant memories today, my Lady.”
“Thank you, Sarah.”
Chloe gave Sarah a brief hug. Her heart was touched by the loving remarks of her nanny.
“You’re such a plain and simple woman, my Lady.”
Sarah patted Chloe on the back.
The Countess and all three siblings gathered in the foyer of the mansion to set off to the Imperial Birthday Banquet together.
“You all look pretty today, my daughters.”
Count Roem looked at his three daughters and said.
“Keep one thing in mind today. Do not forget that you are part of the Roem Family. Do you understand?”
‘Do not forget that you are part of the Roem Family.’
That was a remark all three daughters had heard since they were young.
Those words contained both admonition and love. Since she was part of the Roem Family, she must be graceful and dignified in any situation.
Chloe and Catherine’s eyes met as they were answering their father. Catherine smiled awkwardly as though she wanted to say something.
Chloe, however, turned her head away as though she hadn’t seen it. She met eyes with Karina, who was looking at her necklace.
“The necklace looks good on you.”
“Oh yes… Father gave it to me.”
Chloe replied while fiddling with the necklace around her neck. She felt less uncomfortable around Karina, but that didn’t mean she was comfortable with her.
In fact, the original owner of the sapphire necklace was Karina. It was bought by Count Roem in commemoration of the upcoming engagement between Karina and the Crown Prince.
However, as soon as Karina saw the blue sapphire, she thought of Chloe. Her younger sister’s eyes, which seemed to be hurt by what she said a few days ago, kept flashing in her mind.
Eventually, she asked her father to give the necklace to her sister. Thus, the owner of the necklace changed from Karina to Chloe.
“…I heard your partner is Sir Blanchett.”
Karina knew. If they talked about Gerard Blanchett, they would be at each other’s throats again. Nevertheless, due to her personality, she couldn’t help but say what she had to say.
“Did you have any other options?”
Karina asked with narrowed eyes. Wearing a red dress with golden embroidery, she looked like the queen of a country, not a mere daughter of a Count’s family.
Perhaps it was because of her powerful appearance. Although Karina asked the question carefully in her own way, Chloe felt suffocated.
“There was not. And I want to stop talking about this with you now, sister.”
“As long as you keep your distance from that Stein girl and that Blanchett guy, I won’t talk about it anymore.”
Chloe touched her forehead at the feeble headache she was experiencing.
“Stop it, Karina.”
Catherine, who was listening without saying anything, dissuaded Karina.
“I know you’re sensitive to rumors. However, don’t you think it’s sort of strange for her to keep a distance when they’re not having any problems yet?”
“You’ve only been drawing inside your studio, you don’t know about these things. You don’t know what happened to all the other young ladies who’ve stepped in between Blanchett and Stein, do you?”
It’s not like there weren’t any other young ladies who tried to get in between Gerard and Leila before Chloe. It was the easiest way to get close with Gerard Blanchett, who didn’t give a bit of his time to others.
However, all of the young ladies failed on their mission and ended up falling out with Leila Stein.
“What wouldn’t happen to her? Haven’t you heard about those young ladies who can’t get back into society?”
However, at some point, they all completely disappeared from society. From a young lady who suddenly went abroad to study, to another young lady, who suddenly married a local noble.
It was obviously the work of Gerard Blanchett. On the outside, he wore a fair smile, but he was insidious on the inside. Karina worried about Chloe, who became close to such a person.
However, it was unfair for her to be treated as someone who didn’t understand her sister and judged him merely based on rumors.
“I’m sure that Blanchett guy must have done it…”
Countess Roem interrupted Karina when she was about to respond.
“We’d better stop talking about things that haven’t been confirmed properly.”
Karina’s lips pouted at her mother’s subtle reprimand.
Ding, ding, ding!
“The carriage of Sir Blanchett has arrived!”
A servant rang the bell to announce the arrival of Blanchett’s carriage. The Roem Family went out to the front of the mansion to greet the young Marquis of Blanchett.
A carriage bearing the emblem of the Blanchett Family came to a stop in front of the mansion. The door of the carriage opened and Gerard stepped through it.
It wasn’t just the three siblings of the Roem Family who had been properly dressed after a long time. Gerard always looked perfect in appearance, but today, he shone as if a star had fallen upon him.
Chloe’s heart pounded with excitement. He was dressed in all black, so the sapphire cuffs on his wrist and the sky blue handkerchief in his chest pocket stood out. The color matched his partner, Chloe.
“It’s been a while since we’ve properly met. May you be granted peace in the arms of the Empire.”
Gerard Blanchett greeted Count Roem and his wife with courtesy.
“I hope the young Marquis will also be granted peace in the arms of the Empire. Welcome to our abode.”
Count Roem smiled broadly after Gerard greeted him. He was very pleased. Count Roem, who had no son, licked his lips thinking that it would be nice to have a son like him.
“You become even more handsome and wise each day.”
“Countess, you look younger than the last time I saw you. It’s astonishing! It looks as though the years haven’t touched you, my Lady.”
Gerard readily responded to Countess Roem’s compliment. It sounded sincere because he said it with a plain expression.
“It’s been a while since I’ve met other people.”
“Yes, Sir. please take good care of our Chloe today.”
Catherine received Gerard’s greeting kindly.
“I’m sorry about what happened to your long-time partner that you have to go with our youngest sister, Sir.”
Karina, on the other hand, folded her arms and spoke in a sassy tone. It was obviously meant to get on Gerard’s nerves.
Chloe hurriedly tried to prevent Karina from speaking any further. However, Gerard’s response came a second quicker than hers.
“I must be lucky.”
He spoke, taking his position beside Chloe.
“Thanks to her, I was able to go with the young Lady, the youngest member of the Roem Family.”
Lies. Chloe knew his words were lies.
However, she couldn’t stop her heart from pounding uncontrollably.
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