Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Inside the box was a beautiful blue dress.
Seeing the dress, Eria put her hands together and her eyes twinkled like a girl.
“Oh my, what a beautiful dress.”
Obviously, the dress was beautiful, but the intention of sending this was not beautiful at all.
Because it was an implicit warning not to think about acting as an aide.
I didn’t expect Marquis Valdir would come out like this.
I looked at the dress in annoyance.
“Don’t just look at it, try it on, My Lady.”
Eria, who didn’t know anything, said with an excited face.
Not wanting to spoil her mood, I nodded, indicating that I would do as she wanted.
Eria quickly picked up the dress.
The hem of the dress, which was sprinkled with finely ground pearl powder, dispersed elegantly.
“Oh? There’s a note in the box.”
Eria took out the note that was hidden in the dress and held it to me.
The small note had a short sentence written on it.
[Wear it to dinner tonight.]
He’s trying to force me to accept what he wanted even if I didn’t want to.
It was uselessly thorough. I clenched the note.
I scoffed and wanted to ignore these words, but he was a marquis and the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
My temporary position as the emperor’s agent was valid only when dealing with other countries.
For now, as a count’s daughter and an aide, it wasn’t something I could easily ignore.
Then what should I do? Should I obey him as he told me to?
I hated that.
As I pondered over what to do, I looked at Eria with a sudden thought that crossed my mind.
“Eria, I want to drink tea. Can you bring me tea?”
“Yes, My Lady.”
Eria put the dress down on the table and asked me.
“What kind of tea would you like me to bring?”
“The one with deep color.”
Eria asked me back in confusion.
“That, not a deep-tasting tea (tea with a strong taste), but a deep-colored tea…?”
“Yeah. I hope it was a very deep tea.”
At the repeated words, Eria blinked her eyes with a confused face.
Yeah, it must be ridiculous. I’m sure no one has ever made such a request.
Usually, when we asked for tea, we would ask for the scent and taste, and never ask for the color.
Even though I knew that, I pretended not to know and asked.
“Ah, no. I’ll bring it.”
Eria hurriedly left.
You don’t have to go hurriedly like that.
I followed Eria’s footsteps and looked at the dress on the table.
The dress glistening in the sunlight was definitely beautiful, but it didn’t really impress me.
I’m just going to look at the rest of the data.
I threw the marquis’s note in the trash can and went through the data again.
After a while, Eria returned with a teacup and a teapot.
She poured tea into the teacup.
Bright red tea was filled in the blue teacup.
“Can the color be this deep?”
It will stain very well.
I smiled contentedly and picked up the teacup.
The scent was as strong as the color, which was deep.
I just lifted it lightly, but the strong scent already struck me.
“You can go now.”
“I’ll put away the dress.”
When Eria tried to grab the dress, I waved my hand.
“Just leave it here.”
“But if you leave it like this, it will get dusty.”
“I’m going to change soon. I want to appreciate it a little more, so just leave it here.”
“I understand, My Lady.”
After Eria left, I took a sip of the tea. The bitter taste lingered on the tip of my tongue for a long time.
“It’s not my cup of tea.”
I didn’t want to drink this, so I had to throw it away.
Instead of putting the teacup down, I lifted it to my shoulder level.
And slowly tilted the teacup.
Marquis Valdir sent not only the dress but also matching shoes and accessories as gifts.
I could see his hard work in sending such an expensive gift to warn a lady he didn’t like, but it was useless.
“Oh, oh my goodness!”
The dress Marquis Valdir gave me was stained by tea, so I couldn’t wear it at all.
Because the red marks that spread over the wet dress couldn’t go away no matter how much I washed them.
“I’m sorry, Eria.”
I smiled inwardly but pretended to be sad on the outside and said to Eria, who was stunned.
“I couldn’t wear the dress because I made a mistake.”
“N, no. You can make mistakes. If it’s… a mistake.”
Saying that, Eria looked at me suspiciously.
I guessed Eria knew that I had intentionally spilled the tea on the dress.
Well, it didn’t change just because she knew.
“Yeah, it’s a mistake.”
Because she would stop if I insisted that it’s a mistake.
Eria sighed deeply and asked me.
“Since you can’t wear the dress you got as a gift, what would you wear to the dinner? Do you have any dresses you brought with you?”
I couldn’t have been. I didn’t even think about wearing a dress when I came here, so I only brought my indoor clothes and outdoor clothes to wear.
“Then what would you wear for dinner?”
“What would I wear? I can wear the uniform as planned.”
At my words, Eria’s expression clouded.
It was a face with something. There’s no way she would make that kind of expression simply because I couldn’t wear the dress.
“What did Marquis Valdir say to you?”
I was just testing poking it, but looking at her reaction, it seemed that I hit the mark.
Come to think of it, Eria suggested going outside yesterday and persuaded me hard.
Maybe that’s also because of Marquis Valdir’s influence.
“Did Marquis Valdir also tell you to take me outside without fail yesterday?”
I wasn’t sure about this, but it was bingo again this time.
“I, I apologize, My Lady!”
When I let out a big sigh, Eria lay her face down on the floor and apologized.
“There, there’s no malice! Marquis Valdir simply told me that he wanted me to introduce you to Hutton’s beauty, so…”
I knew that Eria had no malice.
There’s no way I couldn’t have known that the Marquis was the one who said that. Since not a single maid dared to disobey, she simply followed.
Even though I knew it well, as the human mind was so crafty, even she looked detestable.
Even if I tried to think positively, it was difficult to do so.
“…get ready to go to dinner.”
I said in a voice that’s gone from laughter.
Eria couldn’t erase her gloomy expression throughout the preparation.
Since I was wearing a uniform, not a dress, I didn’t have much to prepare.
It’s just like when I went out to greet the delegation during the day.
As I thought, I finished preparing early and spent the rest of the time reading the data.
Suddenly knocks were heard.
Eria, who opened the door with my permission to open it, looked at the other person in surprise.
Young Master? Don’t tell me…
“Is Lady Thebesa ready?”
As expected, it was Aldor who came.
Why did he come here? I looked at Aldor with a serious look.
Aldor looked at me in surprise.
“Dinner is starting soon, why haven’t you ready yet, Lady?”
“I’m already ready.”
Aldor looked at me with a face that said, ‘Really?’.
Then he looked at Eria with fierce eyes.
“Did you not deliver the dress that Marquis Valdir gave to the Lady?”
“I already got the dress.”
Eria, who was innocent, shouldn’t be criticized because of me, so I immediately intercepted.
“But I accidentally spilled my tea, so I had no choice but to wear my uniform. So don’t blame the maid.”
Aldor clicked his tongue and looked at me.
“I can’t believe you spilled your tea. You made a mistake that even a child wouldn’t make.”
Is he being sarcastic? I’m not impressed though.
I put down the data I was looking at and got up from my seat.
“So, for what purpose do you come here, My Lord?”
“I came to escort the Lady to the dining room.”
I tilted my head.
“Does the Lord also participate in the dinner?”
Aldor smiled proudly and reached out to me.
“But the Lady is special, so I came to escort you personally.”
The reason why the obvious speech made me feel so bad was probably because I had heard it all the time when I came here.
“I don’t need that kind of consideration.”
I said as I passed by Aldor.
“I want you to treat me not as a lady, but as the emperor’s aide and the emperor’s agent.”
As I was about to leave, Aldor grabbed my arm.
“Then, how exactly should I treat you?”
When I turned around, I saw Aldor laughing out loud.
He said to me sarcastically.
“Should I bow down while greeting you as I do to the emperor? Or do you want me to speak using honorifics?”
Greetings and honorifics.
“Why didn’t you say that too to the Marquis and my father? I’m the emperor’s aide and agent, so please treat me accordingly.”
Please treat me…
“Don’t forget, Leila. You’re the emperor’s agent.”
Yeah, right. I was the emperor’s agent.
An agent to the emperor who took over the emperor’s role in the absence of the emperor.
Why did I forget about this until now?
Until now, the disrespect I had endured and let pass was also a disrespect to the Emperor.
I felt so stupid that I burst into small laughter.
Aldor looked at me strangely.
“It’s not Lady Thebesa, but Sir Thebesa, My Lord.”
I shook off his hand, pointing out his mistake.
“From now on, as the emperor’s agent, I intend to receive all the fair treatment, so please do everything the Lord had said.”
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