When they first met over the divorce issue with Ryan, those blue eyes were just insensitive.
Now his gaze was filled with a glimmer of concern.
She couldn’t be unaware that Enoch was worried about her.
That momentary glance alone was enough to comfort her.
‘… I feel like the tension is going away.’
As proof of that, her stiff shoulders softened.
At that time, the Queen pointed to Enoch and Ines.
“I introduce the Duke of Sussex and the Countess of Brierton.”
In an instant, people’s eyes turned in this direction.
Ines reflexively straightened her back and lifted her chin slightly.
As the only heir to a prestigious family, she had an aristocratic attitude that had been educated all her life.
She used to be a passive woman.
Now, she seemed to be overflowing with confidence in every action she made.
No matter what she thought inside, her outward appearance was full of confidence that did not bow to anyone.
There was a gleam in people’s eyes.
“The two were the core of this exchange, and they oversaw the operation.”
Just then, Helena spoke in a powerful voice.
“I am confident, but you can look forward to this exchange.”
For a moment, people’s eyes widened a little.
It was very unusual for the queen of a country to praise someone so directly.
Even though the Duke of Sussex, who was already famous for his artistic savvy, made a concession…
Her Majesty also mentioned the Countess of Brierton.
At least, it seemed to be true that Helena had a high regard for Ines.
Helena spoke softly.
“I would like to give a big round of applause to the two people who have worked hard in this exchange exhibition.”
A loud applause rang out.
At the same time, Ines’ eyes fluttered slightly.
It had been a long time since she had felt such an overwhelming feeling.
The most similar feeling to this…
The overwhelming satisfaction she felt when her existence was recognized for the first time at Enoch’s art exhibition.
‘If it wasn’t for the Duke, I would have had to live my whole life without knowing this feeling.’
Come to think of it, didn’t all of her positive changes come through Enoch? Ines looked at Enoch with gratitude.
“Thank you, but I am ashamed that my name and the Countess’s name are mentioned together.”
Turning the credits to Ines, Enoch took a step back.
Confused, Ines’ eyes widened.
Enoch noticed her gaze and smiled.
“The first idea for this exchange was all from the Countess of Brierton. I’d just expand her idea. That’s all.”
“So this applause deserves to be fully received by the Countess of Brierton.”
Feeling a bit choked up, Ines pressed her lips together.
She felt like something hot was being fired from the depths of her chest.
Helena, who was watching her, smiled gracefully.
“Then have a nice party.”
With those words, the atmosphere of the banquet began to ripen in earnest.
Enoch entertained the other distinguished guests in the banquet hall, and Ines headed to Kaldorov’s delegation.
“Nice to meet you, Ines Brierton.”
“Ah, you are the management team of this exchange.”
“Yes. I just want to thank you for attending this celebration.”
“You’re welcome. We are really impressed with this hospitality.”
The delegation’s response was also quite favorable.
Ines, who smiled softly, spoke calmly.
“I hope that through this exchange, Lancaster and Kaldorov will develop a deeper relationship.”
“So do I. I am looking forward to the exchange tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, people were surprised to see Ines speaking skillfully with Kaldorov’s delegation.
“Don’t you think the Countess has changed a lot from what she used to be?”
“Yes. She’s not nervous at all when dealing with delegations from other countries.”
“By the way, I heard that the Queen has a lot of trust in the Countess….”
“Really, who knew that the Countess of Brierton would rise so quickly?”
They lowered their voices around her, whispering, and Ines was absorbed in the conversation with the delegation.
The representative of the delegation’s eyes lit up with curiosity.
“By the way, they said the Countess mainly paints in watercolor, but isn’t oil painting the mainstream in Lancaster?”
“That’s right. But it takes at least one non-mainstream person like me to make the art world colorful in the future. Don’t you agree?”
The man smiled broadly at Ines’s witty answer.
“Heh heh, that’s right.”
However, not everyone was satisfied with the warm atmosphere.
Typically, established artists belonging to the Royal Art Association were looking at Ines with a somewhat wary gaze.
She was not exactly an artist of the Royal Art Society, but a noblewoman with titles.
They said they wouldn’t want to be involved in this exchange, but they came anyway.
They did not want to miss the opportunity to stamp their presence on the king and queen, as well as foreign guests.
Perhaps they themselves knew that their actions were frivolous, but they didn’t come directly to Ines.
Without resting their mouths, they talked about this and that.
“Will this exchange really go well?”
“Well, the Queen is very confident…”
“Still, you have to see it once to know.”
A mixture of jealousy, envy, and insidious malice gleamed over the eyes that squinted at Ines.
The secret hidden between their conversations could, in fact, be summed up in one line. ‘It would be more refreshing to see them ruined.’
And among those who harbored such malice, Ryan, who roamed the banquet hall like oil floating in water.
‘Damn it, I have to see with my own eyes how Ines wins like that…… ’
Ryan felt angry and hurt.
Today Ryan was alone.
In the first place, there was only one invitation that the royal family gave out to the Viscount Gott.
‘The Count of Brierton received an unlimited number of invitations, what the hell is this!’
The Lancaster people could see clearly which families were more important.
It was enough to estimate the power of the family by itself.
“I heard that only one person of the Gott family was invited.”
“Somehow, it’s so different from when he was Count of Brierton.”
Inevitably, Ryan had to hear such a secret sneer from behind.
Even Ryan wasn’t invited today. Usually, a royal banquet was attended by the head of a family and his or her spouse.
“I’ll try to convince Ines somehow, huh?”
Ryan insisted that he would attend instead of his brother.
“No, how the hell do I trust you?”
Viscount Gott fired angrily, but eventually handed over the invitation to Ryan. Because he didn’t like Ines either.
Although he drank a lot of alcohol the other day and went to visit Ines, he lashed out. When it comes to improving his relationship with Ines, he thought that Ryan would have a slightly higher win rate than himself.
But despite the commotion and attendance at the celebration, so far Ryan had achieved nothing.
This was because Ines was surrounded by numerous nobles.
‘How can I not even speak word until now?’
So while he was groaning inside.
‘Wait a minute.’
For a moment, Ryan’s eyes lit up.
It was because he suddenly remembered what had happened with Ines the other day.
The day Ines retracted all the investment she had invested in the Gott family. Viscount Gott prepared a present and went to visit Ines, but in vain.
Ines threw the gift he had sent to the trash, and he could still see his brother’s furious expression.
‘Then, can’t this be interpreted to mean that she has received a gift?’
Even if it was shameful, wasn’t this an excuse to talk about it?
Ryan smiled slyly.
At the same time, Ines was engaging in conversation with the nobles.
If he chimed in unexpectedly, Ines wouldn’t be able to treat him coldly in front of the nobles.
With that calculation in mind, Ryan secretly spoke to Ines.
“Did the Countess of Brierton participated in the exchange this time?”
Ines stared at Ryan with a bitter face.
But Ryan only smiled shamelessly.
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