But they had yet to openly protest against the Countess of Brierton.
It was because the Queen, as well as the Duke of Sussex, who had a great influence on the art world of the kingdom, fully believed in and supported the Countess.
The first man who opened his mouth added sarcasm while spewing smoke from a cigar.
“Well, anyway, up until now, only good things have happened with the Countess.”
The Brierton was one of the most prestigious in the kingdom, but since the death of Ines’ parents, Ines had not come to the fore.
The only heiress, Ines, had refrained from her outside activities after marrying Ryan.
Ryan, who married Ines and became Count of Brierton, used it to his advantage.
However, this time, as Ines helped the Queen with the art exchange, the Countess of Brierton came to the fore again.
The gentlemen who had gathered at the club chastised the thick, middle-aged man sitting next to them.
“Are you going to stay still, Marquis Usher?!”
“That’s right. The art exchange was originally an event hosted by the venerable Royal Arts Association, isn’t it?”
At the arrow pointed at him, Marquis Usher spat out a groan in his mouth.
He was the president of the Royal Arts Association and was a fairly prestigious aristocrat in the kingdom.
However, no matter how much Marquis Usher acted as a focal point for the Lancaster noble artists, it was impossible to openly tell the royal family that there was a problem with the personnel management in this situation.
“The problem is that the royal family has the right to designate the management team as however they want.”
Marquis Usher leaned back in his chair with an uncomfortable expression on his face.
“We cannot ask the management to remove the Countess of Brierton. It may seem like a protest against the royal family.”
“Then do we have to stand still like this?”
One of the nobles was furious. Then Marquis Usher asked, with his eyes wide open.
“Who told you to stay still?”
“…I wonder if the Marquis has any insight?”
“I understand that the royal family attaches great importance to this exchange exhibition, but in that case, they should have chosen the Royal Art Association as the management team.”
In fact, the royal family did not exclude the Royal Arts Association from this exchange exhibition. Before choosing Ines to join the management team, they had sought advice from the Royal Arts Association.
It was in the sense of respecting the Royal Arts Association, which has been engaged in the exchange exhibitions so far. However, Marquis Usher did not speak of that part, but secretly encouraged the gentlemen.
“To choose the inexperienced Countess over the Royal Arts Association…”
Marquis Usher looked around and shrugged his shoulders.
“In a way, isn’t that an insult to us?”
Marquis Usher folded his eyes.
It was a sinister smile.
“So we’ll have to act in our own way.”
Marquis Usher’s eyes lit up.
On the other hand, no matter what people were talking about behind the scenes, Ines was busy preparing for the art exchange.
Inside the large conference room at the Royal Palace. Ines and Enoch were sitting side by side, reviewing the papers.
On the spacious six-person desk, the entire bird’s-eye view of Hwabang Street, detailed maps, and pens were lying around.
The sight itself proved how overworked they were.
“There are only two months left until the exchange.”
Ines spoke with determination. The time allotted was not enough, and, above all, Ines sincerely wanted to make this exchange a success.
‘I have to do well in this exchange.’
In fact, the gains she would get by making the exchange a success were also benefits, but she was much more reluctant to disappoint Enoch.
‘Besides, the Queen seems to have high expectations for this exchange.’
Unsurprisingly, the Queen did not spare any support for this exchange.
“If you need anything, feel free to tell me.”
The confident voice of Queen Helena rang in Ines’ ears. And Helena strictly followed her own words.
Not only did she approve the budget, but she also assigned administrators to help them with their work. And the magistrates had been up all night for three days already.
As the Duke of Sussex and the Countess of Brierton did not intend to leave the palace, the officials under his command were naturally unable to leave the office.
‘Okay, let’s work harder.’
Ines clenched her fists, thinking about how the magistrates would weep if they knew. Suddenly, she glanced at Enoch with a squint.
‘….But something is strange.’
Her green eyes narrowed.
Enoch by her side had a happy face since morning.
To be more precise, since he checked Elton today, he seemed to have softened strangely… … …
‘I know that the newspaper didn’t have anything special.’
Ines tilted her head.
Today’s main article in Elton magazine was that the Queen announced that the art exchange would be held.
In addition, from the perspective of Ines and Enoch, the issue of the exchange was informed by the Queen in advance.
So there was no reason for Enoch to be affected by that article.
“Duke, did something good happen?”
“I don’t now.”
Unable to contain her curiosity, Ines asked a question, but Enoch only gave an ambiguous answer.
Ines narrowed her brow. Contrary to the vague answer, Enoch’s smile deepened.
‘I think there’s something about this.’
“Isn’t this enough reason to feel good?”
Enoch turned to Ines and smiled mischievously.
“I’m spending time with the Countess like this.”
In an instant, Ines hardened on the spot. It was like he was talking about his normal daily life, saying, “The weather is nice today.” It was just a casual voice.
‘Maybe the Duke said that without any particular meaning.’
Nevertheless. Ines felt her face heat up.
Once again, she was caught up in it.
‘Calm down, Ines.’
She gently bit the soft skin in her mouth.
‘I can’t concentrate on my work. What if I get excited like this?’
“I am very glad that the Duke values the time you spend with me so much.”
The dark green eyes faced Enoch shyly, and he smiled brightly.
“Then I must work hard so I don’t go against the expectations of the Duke, right?”
With those words, Ines laid the papers on the desk. The sound of a square pen scratching the paper rang out.
“First of all, what we should focus on in this exchange is, I think…… ”
Enoch looked at Ines like that. While Ines was focusing on work, he had a hard time concentrating on his work at the moment.
‘This is too much.’
The morning sun dazzlingly scattered through the window and shimmered across Ines’s dark brown hair that was carefully braided so that not even a single strand of her hair loosened.
Ines’ sparkling dark green eyes focused on the papers and her white hand busily making notes of the ideas that came to her mind.
That figure was full of enthusiasm…
She was inevitably lovable.
His heart kept beating fast.
But calming his heart was not something Enoch wanted to do. He just wanted to capture and protect Ines’s passionate image.
‘In order to do that, I have to gradually exclude those who are hostile to the Countess….’
In an instant, his blue eyes sank deeply.
‘By the way, Baron Jason’s young Lady continues to be in misery.’
There was also a reason why Enoch had a good feeling when he checked out Elton today.
Charlotte has been using Ines as a springboard into social circle. Besides, she had a lot of greed, so today, the article was going to be quite painful for her.
While Ines had reached the center of the social circle enough to interact directly with the Queen, Charlotte was now removed from the social circle. This would be the revenge for slapping Ines on the cheek.
‘I’m a little childish.’
Thinking like that, Enoch narrowed his brow and smiled bitterly.
It didn’t matter because all he cared about was Ines.
In any case, he was never going to ignore the attack on Ines.
Of course, considering that Ines would be burdened, he had to be careful so she wouldn’t notice.
A piercing voice called out to Enoch.
Enoch, who had come to his senses, lifted his head, and his eyes met Ines’s.
Then Ines narrowed her brow and pointed at her pen.
“Duke, would you mind paying a little more attention?”
“Um, I’m sorry.”
Enoch apologized with an awkward face.
*Enoch, pay attention in class! Don’t daydream about the teacher! 🤣