Arc 4 chapter 5

***

At that time, the young ladies who were waiting for Elena to come down from the center hall, approached.

Unlike most of the capital’s aristocrats and children on the other side, ladies and men from the provinces did this.

To a local aristocrat who wanted to somehow tie the strings to the central politics, Princess Veronica was a club to be held by selling her soul.

“Your Highness, I feel so refreshed.”

“I can’t tell if you dance as well as your beauty.”

“You must be the princess who will lead the society in the future.”

Each of them went on an evil journey to fall into Elena’s eyes, using flattery. It was servile enough to grow on the floor for Elena.

‘I used to enjoy flattery like this.’

For them, Princess Veronica is a far-off, nobleman on the summit.

There was jealousy, envy, and more envy beyond them, which looked at beings that could not be tied to the same aristocracy. Elena of her past life enjoyed their eyes looking up to her. Even their jealousy and timing were regarded as a mere entertainment. Princess Veronica was a woman in that position. It’s no exaggeration to say that society revolves around her.

‘It was all pointless.’

Elena regretted her immature days. If she had not been drunk with such illusions and vanity, she would not have been used and killed so miserably.

‘If I had really realized… I would have seen Ian grow up.’

Ian’s shadow, which had been buried deep in her heart, popped out and made her cry. Even knowing that it’s already irreversible. A child who rises without warning or sign, heavier than a lump of lead, rejuvenated her consciousness. A passage from the novel that there are no parents who forget their children touched her heart.

‘Stop.’

Elena managed to overcome her overwhelming emotions. If she were a little late, tears would have poured out from her moist eyes.

‘Just look forward. Just look forward.’

Nothing is more meaningless than keeping looking back. She didn’t want to waste this time and repeat the same mistake.

The same was true of these nobles, who were now blocking their way.

Elena smiled passionately at the young people.

“That’s a… oh!”

The ladies, who were enthusiastically flattering, couldn’t speak afterwards. Somehow, when they faced Elena’s subtle smile, they were not confident of talking recklessly. An irresistible smile. It was not just their feelings, but also the feelings of other young people in common.

Clear.

As Elena advanced with flawless graceful steps, the young men who surrounded her in layers stepped aside. Elena’s footsteps stopped only when she reached the front of a lady.

“I wanted to say hello to you someday… but I think it’s today. Nice to meet you, Madame De Flanrose.”

Elena lifted her skirt very gracefully and slightly lowered her head and waist. It was such a perfect greeting that it would not be insufficient even if it was a sample of etiquette.

“I also waited for the day to say hello, Your Highness.”

Without expressing embarrassment at Elena’s sudden greeting, Madame De Flanrose greeted her with dignified words and deeds.

“Oh my.”

They only exchanged greetings, but they were amazed at the courage they could not dare to follow. The movements that were not just learned and followed, but all the virtues that the aristocrats should possess, were so noble that they wanted to be a model of etiquette.

“Maybe the reputation of Madame… Who is so graceful in her hand gestures, is not a myth.”

“That’s too much. Your Highness, despite your young age, is full of grace.”

“I still have a long way to go. I want to ask you to teach me.”

Elena showed that her words were sincere by giving a polite example of respect. Madame de Flanrose, who observed the movement with the eyes of a hawk, was amazed. A series of movements, from the treatment of the gaze to the arm movements from the neckline, the bending of the fingers, the bending of the waist, and the wrinkles caught on the dress, were perfect enough to want to be sampled.

“How can I turn a blind eye to your request? I’m just saying this because I don’t think I have anything to teach.”

“How can etiquette be the only virtue of the nobility? I want to learn and discuss the integrity and chastity of the nobility from you.”

Elena spoke softly by putting strength into the words integrity and chastity. It was a very fine emphasis, but Madame de Flanrose, who knows that etiquette values the tone, strength, and pronunciation of the voice, couldn’t have missed it.

“Integrity and chastity. The princess has a neat mind as well as conduct.”

“I’m not even up to Madame’s toes. You’re the one who regards integrity and chastity as the yardstick of the aristocracy, don’t you? Don’t you think so?”

“… I’m sorry Your Highness is painting my face with this gold.”

As Elena kept falling over with her integrity and chastity, Madame de Flanrose’s eyes shook slightly. She was so good at hiding her feelings that she was called Madame, but she couldn’t hide all of her inner impulses.

‘Why are you so nervous? The person who is called the symbol of integrity and chastity.’

Elena tried hard to hold back her laughter. The story of Madame de Flanrose and her husband Count Rondo was so romantic that no one in the country didn’t know.

On the news of the death of Count Rondo, who fought in the war against the Western Plains tribe, Madame de Flanrose visited the Gaia Church and vowed to remember her husband’s death for the rest of her life. It was a concept of chastity that was not commonly seen in the Empire of tolerance for remarriage.

A few years later, however, Count Rondo, who was thought to be dead, was crippled and miraculously returned to life. He lost both legs and became a cripple, according to his doctor. Nevertheless, Madame de Flanrose was still living as a couple, saying, “I’m grateful for you coming back safely.”

She was praised as a lady of the ladies because of her sacrifice. Even in the royal court, the title “Madam” could have been given to her, praising her chastity and integrity.

But who knew? They didn’t know there was a man she met secretly, the symbol of chastity and integrity. The scandal involving Madamede Flanrose turned the empire upside down three years from now. It had been known that Madame de Flanrose, a specimen of the nobility and the ultimate in elegance, had been indulging in adultery with a coachman for decades. By one of the maids.

As it is now, it is common for aristocrats to exchange women and servants. Among them, the lower ones taught by Madame de Flanrose were popular among the aristocrats because they were well-behaved and could understand their owners. It was very meaningful among the nobles to receive her maid as a gift.

Two years from now, Madame de Flanrose sent her to celebrate the birthday of Grand Duke Friedrich.

The girl’s name is May.

Elena recalled her face in her memory. May, whose short bobbed hair was very good, was especially memorable for her heterogeneous cuteness and atmosphere as a maid. She was a child who was bright and unfriendly to the physiology of the aristocrat, so she quickly became a direct maid of the Grand Duke Friedrich and served close to her.

Yes, so far it’s not a big deal. The problem occurred when she tried to assassinate Grand Duke Friedrich. It had been revealed that she approached Madame de Flanrose on a deliberate basis, built trust, and carefully prepared to enter the Grand Residence under the pretext of it and kill Grand Duke Friedrich.

‘Revenge is a wonderful thing. The lady, the world’s most ignorant aristocrat, wants to live as a maid to avenge her family.’

After the assassination failed, and she was tortured, May was said to have been the only daughter of Viscount Carl who followed the imperial family. Viscount Carl was a nobleman who was known to have been killed for confrontation with Grand Duke Friedrich while crying for the reinforcement of the imperial power.May, who miraculously escaped while her family was being destroyed, is said to have hid at a merchant guild. She changed her name and status there and lived a life at the bottom, and eventually succeeded in entering the grand duchy after passing through the maid of Madame de Flanrose for her parents’ revenge. She reached the bedroom with the favor of Grand Duke Friedrich, but eventually the assassination failed.

‘It’s praiseworthy for her to have gotten there. But she failed.’

The process doesn’t matter. The world speaks only in consequence.

‘If May helps me, won’t the consequences change?’

Elena wanted to keep May, the maid of honor, by her side. Because of Leabric’s surveillance and her public status as Princess Veronica, she was not free to move, so she needed a hand and foot to be on behalf of Elena.

In that context, May is the right person. As long as she had a history in the guild, it was highly likely that she knew well about the world that Elena had not experienced.

In order to drive the Grand Dukedomdom to destruction, it was necessary to connect inside and outside. Even though it is difficult to break the rock at once, if you make small cracks and persistently aim inside and outside, the crack will become the starting point and the rock will crack at itself.

‘The enemy is a comrade.’

That was why Elena wanted to keep May under her thumb. Elena felt a strong sense of homogeneity with May, who only ran for revenge. It felt like she was facing a mirror. She felt sorry again. It was so sad that the opportunity to live happily and the life to live only for revenge and even she failed. For that reason, she was going to bring May back as soon as possible and keep her by her side.

“I’m so frustrated that I haven’t had this opportunity to talk to you like this, Madame. I still have a lot of things to say….”

“Don’t be sorry, Your Highness.”

Madame de Flanrose wanted to avoid this position. Throughout the conversation with Elena, she felt uncomfortable as if she had a sore throat. It was the same with Elena. She was not interested in such a woman. Punishing or persecuting with the same sense of justice, whether she committed adultery or not, she did not suit her taste. She just wanted to have May by her side ahead of the original history.

“Uh! Uh? Madame, please stay still for a moment.”

Elena opened her eyes wide and performed a surprise show.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Just a minute.”

Elena sought unilateral understanding and took out a handkerchief from her sleeve with a large-sized seal.

Slowly.

Pulling herself, Elena reached out her hand, who narrowed the distance with her. Madame De Flanrose’s shoulders were wiped with a handkerchief, and she lowered her upper body while performing a visual performance. Elena, who faced her with about a snake in her hands, spoke in a small voice that only she could understand.

“Aren’t people so innocent? Complimenting and praising a woman who plays around with a coachman. Right?”

“…!”

Madame De Flanrose’s face was whiter than a blank sheet. Fear of having been exposed to the disgrace, which she should have never been, shook her iron-walled reason in jeopardy. When she committed adultery, a sense of fear that she did not know hit her. She was devastated by the frustration and despair that she might lose everything she had accumulated because of the pleasure of the moment.

Elena watched the reaction and whispered like a devil.

“Oh, my. Why are you so surprised? Did you think it was an eternal secret?”

“P-Princess.”

Madame de Flanrose had long been a nobleman, a nobleman who was noble and never broken, and she had chosen to live in servitude, losing her self-esteem, pride, and faith that had supported her.

‘All the nobles are rotten.’

When she saw Madame De Flanrose, who was wrapped in hypocrisy and pretentiousness and was praised for her life, she was overwhelmed by contempt. She wanted to make this disgusting woman feel guilty more, but there were too many eyes and ears to see and hear.

“Why are you so nervous? You think I threatened you? I’m not that kind of girl.”

“…”

“Make some time to stop by the Grand Residence. There’s so much I want to say.”

“W-whatever you want.”

Madame de Flanrose shook her head with eagerness not to say anything because she would do what she was told, small enough for Elena to see. Elena smiled and took a step back.

“You had something on your shoulder, so I’m sorry… It’s not polite.”

“N-no. It’s all because you’re considerate of others.”

It was funny to see her trying to maintain her aristocracy on the subject of a face that would not be strange even if she fell down right away.

“It was really meaningful to meet Madame today. I’m sure we’ll have another opportunity, right?”

Elena looked at Madame de Flanrose with an elegant smile. Madame de Flanrose smiled with a contemplated face.

“O-of course.”

“I’m already looking forward to that time. Oh! Take this.”

Elena politely crossed the handkerchief she was holding. Madame de Flanrose received it in a state of panic.

“It’s a sign that promises the next meeting. I’ve hand-made it, so please take a look and tell me what it looks like.”

“I-I will.”

“Then, I’ll leave you alone. May you have a glorious night.”

Elena bowed out with graceful greetings. Since there was another person’s attention, further conversation was too much, and Madame de Flanrose’s condition was not good enough to collapse immediately.

‘You’d understand if I told you this much.’

Man is strong in crisis. The sort of Madame de Flanrose was a great woman who would do anything to protect and survive in the mud. Perhaps she would look at the handkerchief Elena gave her in the carriage back to the mansion. Then she’d do what she’s told to do to find her way.

‘Leabric’s coming.’

She just happened to see Leabric coming like crazy her way. She was only away for a while, but she seemed tired.

“Liv, are you here?”

Elena treated her face with a smile.

“Princess, are you all right?”

“As you can see, I was a little surprised, but I calmed down when I saw Liv.”

“I’m relieved to hear that.”

Leabric’s lips twitched. Perhaps there was a lot to ask about Ren’s work. But she couldn’t ask because she had a lot of eyes to see, so she just swallowed inside.

“Can you stay longer?”

“Of course.”

Elena smiled and answered, and Leabric stopped talking and took a step back. Then, the nobles who had been watching for an opportunity approached Elena and continued to flatter her, saying, “I will say a word.”

“I’m surprised you’re getting prettier day by day even though you’re already so beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

Princess Veronica has appeared in society for the first time in two years. Her return was a success.

***

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