“Sister, how long has it been?”
Avella pretended to know her in a friendly tone. She felt the skill of hiding herself even though it was a young age from a happy expression that she could not feel any pretense.
‘You’re still like a kid, though.’
Elena thought Avella’s behavior was cute. It was Avella, who had established an unrivaled faction in society, but was brutally trampled by Elena. However, now Avella was no match for Elena.
“Avella, how long has it been?”
Elena welcomed her as if she had met a long-lost child.
“I know. You don’t know how much I was worried about you.”
“Why wouldn’t I know? If Avella was sick, I would be, too.”
Elena responded skillfully. Since she couldn’t really do that, she returned to say that in the same situation, the same would be true for her.
“Can we see each other often now?”
“Yes, of course.”
“That’s good! I have a lot of young people I want to introduce to my sister.”
Avella turned her body around and seemed to boast a crowd following her. Some dogs included young ladies who said they were good at following Veronica.
Elena snorted at Avella’s child-like boast.
“Really? I’m already looking forward to it.”
“Me, too. So, are you going back to the academy?”
Elena paused for a moment.
Frontier Academy. It was the largest academy on the continent. It is well-known for its long history and high educational standards as a place where any child of the Imperial nobility, royalty of the minor kingdom, or aristocrats, would like to graduate.
It was also the place where the connections leading the empire were completed, and royal families and nobles in other countries regarded graduation from academic institutes as a symbol of the elite course. Its reputation was so strong and high that the Lun Academy of the Kingdom of Royer could hardly be comparable.
‘Leabrick, you’re about to step up, aren’t you?’
Elena hesitated and waited for Leabrick to answer.
“Your Highness is scheduled to return to the Academy.”
When Leabrick answered instead, Avella lightly slapped her back and laughed.
“Really? I’m happy. Then, sister, we can see you often at the academy.”
“Is that so?”
It was time for Elena to answer the meaningless conversation in a perfunctory manner.
“Oh! What is it!”
The rear of the group led by Avella became noisy. Naturally, the eyes were turned to that side. A man with curly hair was seen walking on top of the heads of the lonely young men.
“Can you get rid of that ugly face?”
Ren teased the girl with a quarrel and came near her, almost pushing the girl. The lady, who couldn’t stand his rudeness, stared at him horribly, but she cut it without thinking about Ren’s fierce smile.
“What are you talking about, you’re having so much fun with me. Disappointed.”
When Ren intervened, Avella’s face hardened. That’s because she’s never seen anything good in association with a fool who doesn’t have common sense.
“Sister, I’m going to get going.”
Avella stepped back in a hurry. She’s not avoiding him because she’s scared of shit, but because it’s dirty. Leabrick was also seen nervous, stiffening her face. The most difficult class for her as a schemer was the type like Ren. No human being can be more difficult than a human being who doesn’t know where to go. If Elena showed a cluttered appearance, she could have been suspected in her place. Leabrick tried to stop the worst.
“What, do you hate me?”
Ren looked at Avella, who was easily gone, and turned his eyes away.
“You’re not going to be hard on your brother, are you?”
Elena’s answer, which could not be uttered, contained a positive answer, not a negative one.
‘I waited for you to come.’
Surprisingly, Elena was glad to see Ren who burst in. Just as if it was a lie when they exchanged sharp conversations earlier.
‘Come to think of it, there are times when you’re useful, too.’
Elena’s eyes glanced at Leabrick. Elena was planning to use Ren to take off the Leabrick that was stuck like a leech.
“…. I don’t think I should turn a blind eye to you.”
“Yes, we should be a bit more friendly since we’re cousins.”
Despite the chilly atmosphere, Ren looked excited.
“So, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. How I can get over the line.”
“I’m curious. Try it.”
Elena skillfully asked back with her eyes wide open. Ren’s grumbling got stronger as if the reaction was no more interesting. Did he feel uneasy with that smile? Before Ren took any unexpected action, Leabrick moved first.
“Excuse me, but for a while…”
“It’s not your place. It’s a family affair.”
Ren snatched Elena’s hand issuing a violent warning. The lack of respect for a lady was a very ignorant and vile act.
“Let’s dance to a song.”
Elena pretended to be embarrassed and looked to Leabrick for help. But it was too late to stop Ren’s sudden behavior. Elena came to the center of the hall as if she were dragged away by Ren. It was a half-forceful and half-self-interested act.
The nobles were quite angry at Ren’s rude behavior.
“W-what the hell is this!”
“The Bastache family’s young lord is awful.”
“Do they want the princess to live like that?”
All together, they criticized Ren. However, no one came to the front and scolded or stopped Ren. Even though they were independent, the Bastache family’s roots were the Grand Duke Friedrich’s. It was not easy to come out because the relationship between the two families was connected by blood.
Ren, who reached the center of the hall, let go. When Elena glared, smiling Ren asked for a dance with an exaggerated gesture.
“I’m here, and I’ll be disappointed if I keep standing. Let’s dance to one song.”
“Of course, you can’t refuse.”
Elena gazed slowly at Len, who never lost his playfulness. It was the same situation, but she thought it was very different from my past life. At that time, she couldn’t refuse because she was caught as a substitute, so she was forced to do as she was told.
One, things have changed. Elena seemed to have been dragged out, but she walked out of her own free will. She led the game without being swayed by Ren or Leabrick.
“If I don’t want to?”
“I’ll have to force you to dance.”
Ren quickly snatched Elena’s hand, which had been freed for a while. The power was so strong that she tried to shake it off several times, but it was useless.
Elena frowned at the surging pain. Either way, Ren held Elena’s hand tightly in one hand, while the other wrapped her waist tightly and stepped with a waltz. It became a picture of dancing naturally, regardless of Elena’s will, like a doll caught in a thread.
“Why are you doing this nonsense?”
Elena quizzed at the sound of Ren’s breath, which felt close to her.
“Because you’re Veronica.”
“That’s the reason?”
“I need a better reason?”
Elena was convinced by Ren’s unique smile.
‘Pure hatred toward Veronica.’
The Hundred Years’ Treaty forced the Bastache family to live as maids for the Great Dynasties. Veronica, who would be seen as a beautiful successor to the great house, is tantamount to shackles for Len, who is gifted enough to be called the sword of the empire.
“Like a cockroach.”
“What did you just say?”
Ren doubted his ears. It was a vulgar word to come out of the mouth of a noble Veronica, not a commoner.
“You’re pathetic and can’t take any more complaints.”
“Hey, you’re scratching my temper again.”
“Bite it if you complain.”
Elena intentionally provoked Ren by touching the Achilles tendon, which he was most sensitive to. The reaction was immediate. Ren’s stiff face told her that. Perhaps due to the psychological influence, Ren’s movements were getting piled up and the beat was being pushed back little by little.
“If I bite, you and your father die.”
“So bite. If you’re really that confident?”
Elena continued to shake Ren’s mind with provocation and took steps to keep up with the beat of falling behind the music. Even though Elena was responding to the beat because of the sensitivity of the person, Ren was absorbed in anger and did not recognize it at all.
Elena was so adept at social dancing that no one could follow. She couldn’t do her best because Leabrick was watching, but it was a piece of cake to take away the opponent’s flow. If your partner has lost his mind.
So Ren was giving Elena a pace, even though he wasn’t aware of it.
“You’re crazy, aren’t you?”
“You’re across the money. Do you want me to tell you why you can’t bite?”
Elena paused and focused on the steps. The balance of the dance, which was taken away little by little, was already in the position of an equal partner.
“You’re a man who’s got a horse in his mouth.”
Elena did not hesitate to say insulting things to Ren beyond provocation.
‘To be swayed by emotions.’
The reaction was immediate. Ren’s eyes, with a devilish, fierce look, were filled with life.
“What you shouldn’t have said…. HYUK!”
Ren, who felt the step twisted momentarily, swallowed his breath. He could barely maintain balance by using animal senses, but the already tangled legs of the X were so precarious that there was nothing strange about falling down at any time. Elena wasn’t able to pass this opportunity. She pushed Len in an equivocal position as hard as she could.
Ren, who lost his balance, stumbled. He tried to bring her down too, but when Elena quickly moved on to the next move and broke the balance of his lower body, there was no way to throw it away anymore. Eventually, Ren fell down in the middle of the hall, frowning his butt in the middle of the hall.
“Look over there. Bastache’s son fell down.”
“Fufu, he’s not good at dancing, is he?”
“Oh, I feel good.”
The aristocrats, who usually disapproved of Ren’s words and actions, laughed and criticized him. It was an excuse to laugh at the mistakes made during the banquet to the aristocrats who value dance and etiquette.
Elena did the same. She felt relieved as if she had lost a 10-year-old weight because she had a lot of things. Elena gave a sweet smile as she looked down at the fallen Ren.
“It looks just right for you, without any respect for ladies.”
Ren, who was looking up to Elena because he was dumbfounded, suddenly began to laugh.
“I strangely don’t feel bad.”
Despite being properly humiliated after a blow, Ren got up without wiping his smiling face off.
“See you again.”
Ren shook his hand and gradually moved away from Elena. However, he didn’t forget to show his true self by saying ‘Keep away’ to a lady, who was blocking his way.
‘It’s not the time to be like this.’
Elena quickly rolled her eyes and found Leabrick. From the center of the hall, it was mixed in the gap between Avella’s crowd on the left. Elena, relieved at some distance, hurried to find someone.
‘I saw you standing over there a little while ago… oh! There she is.’
Elena’s corners of her mouth went up. She was standing at the end of the hall on the right side of the hall, probably based on Elena’s presence.
‘Madame De Flanrose.’
When she repeated her name, she remembered some words that followed her like a modifier.
The height of elegance.
Lady of the ladies.
An aristocratic specimen.
Surprisingly, all of these modifiers were given to Madame De Flanrose. She despises flattery, and values honesty and decency, and is a symbol of integrity and respect in society. Despite not creating factions, she was a social adult in name and substance, who was respected and followed by many young and noble ladies.
‘I got something for you.’
Elena had planned to use Ren to pull Leabrick apart from her and devote the freedom and time she had managed to get to Madame De Flanrose.
Elena turned around and walked out to the opposite side of Leabrick.
Leabrick, who naturally thought she would come to her side, was embarrassed.
‘I can’t leave her alone.’
Leabrick was in a hurry. Ren’s situation a little while ago was ambiguous as she was out of control. Ren told her not to do it, so she didn’t want to do it. When she called in the knights, she thought it would backfire because it seemed like the situation was growing too much. However, she was relieved that he seemed to have passed it without any accident, contrary to her concerns. Of course, she should ask Elena about the details and deal with them.
But she missed Elena. Leabrick urgently tried to chase Elena, but it wasn’t easy. First, the size of the hall was so large that it was too far to the other side. She didn’t know if she should cross the central hall where people were dancing, but it was too much. In the end, it was best to turn around in a circle. That alone wasn’t easy, but one more hurdle remained.
“Leabrick, how have you been?”
“Lady, if you don’t mind, can I talk to you for a minute?”
They were the nobles who were struggling to somehow line up with the real life Leabrick of the Grand Duke.
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.’WuxiaWorld.S i t e Only
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.
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.