Translated by iseuli
Edited by delishnoodles
Raelia propped her chin on her hand wondering when this tea party would end.
The specialty tea made for her sake did not suit her taste, and the topics did not pique her interest either.
How could it be exactly as she read in her books? It would have been better if it was at least a little bit different. She thought it would be better if she could read a book rather than waste her time like this.
The esteemed daughter of the Marquess showed off her newest dress. Her necklace was crafted by the famous jeweler John Theovania, dubbed ‘Elea Tears’, which was known to be very exclusive. But it did not interest her in the faintest.
‘Experiencing new things is important, but that really depends on the person themselves.’
All the young girls gathered here were vain, and Realia felt it was such a pity and a drag.
Hm, I want to go home.
“-and then Alfred gripped my arm…”
Before she could catch up to their conversation, the topic changed once again.
They conversed about many things, but she could not understand anything they were talking about. She thought that if the girls were truly interested in such things, there must be something seriously wrong with this world.
Maybe everyone actually wants to go home like me? Was it just me that is going insane listening to this? It couldn’t be true?
Raelia tried to reason and sipped her tea.
The tea which cooled off still tasted bitter.
She put down her tea cup, and instead took a bite of the sweet macaroon.
‘The dessert is at least to my liking.’
All the desserts that adorn the table remained untouched other than the plate in front of her.
All the other noble girls only sipped their tea and barely touched their desserts.
‘Why is nobody eating this delicious thing?’
She was curious for a moment, but the reason was obvious.
They were fattening.
If one could not maintain a thin and perfect figure, it would take only a moment to be kicked out from all the social circles.
It didn’t matter for her since she didn’t frequent parties, however her younger sister, Ashlea, went on a strict diet several days beforehand for important parties.
The camellia tea served today was a popular choice by many because it was known to be helpful for diets.
‘It’s not for me though because it’s so bitter.’
Ashlea considered her to be a child, but if drinking bitter tea was a requirement to be an adult, she would rather be a child for life.
Ah, I want to go home.
She was stirring her tea cup while lost in her own thoughts, then a shadow cast from the side.
Raelia looked up. Curly blond hair and green eyes. She read the girl’s name in her mind.
Count Soba’s only daughter. She had powdered on a thick layer of makeup, and wore a glamorous dress. She wore an impressive set of jewels, catching the eyes of everyone.
Of course this was not the only reason everyone seemed impressed. She was the sponsor of this tea party.
“Miss Vitel, it seems the tea is not to your taste.”
Irene’s eyes curved up in a smile. Raelia was made speechless, and let out a forced laugh. She could perfectly see through her intentions.
“No, this is very delicious.”
The saddest part was that she had to go along with what the other party said. She was a mere viscount’s daughter, while Irene was a count’s daughter.
The hierarchy of nobles.
The most important aspects between females were to respect their positions of power. Currently, she had a lower position of power.
She let out a small laugh, and forced herself to take a small sip of the tea before putting it down again.
At this sight, Irene covered her mouth and let out a laugh.
“That’s a relief. I heard from Ashlea that you only liked to drink sweet teas, so I thought camellia tea would not be to your taste.”
You knew, and still forced me to drink this?
She somehow had a feeling that Irene was forcing this camellia tea onto her.
The other party was inciting an argument by speaking out such unnecessary topics.
She had to choose her words carefully to imply that the other party had not been rude, and this required utmost precise calculations in her words
Raelia just smiled.
“I like to enjoy the bitterness of camellia tea from time to time. I don’t drink it frequently, however whenever I enjoy a cup I am reminded why the tea is so popular.”
Of course every word that she just spoke had been a big fat lie.
Since a young age, she had to drink more cups of medicine than tea. Naturally she grew to abhor any foods that were bitter.
“Is that so? It’s different than what I’ve been told.”
“It can’t be that you’re too poor to buy it for your own consumption, is it?”
What kind of nonsense was this?
Raelia quickly turned at the sudden rudeness, and at that moment she made eye contact with the young girl, who spoke the words, that was sneering at her.
Ah, I had seen her somewhere.
The red loose curly hair! There was no way that she would forget. She was Viscount’s daughter, Biacci Christine.
She was Ashlea’s best friend, and had seen her visit her manor many times. Realia could never forget the girl because of her rude words at every chance meeting.
She never thought that the other could be so rude in a place like this…
No, actually she had already foreseen this. Raelia let out a deep sigh.
“Your joke is too harsh, Miss Christine.”
“I was just worried that you had no private property to your name, excuse me if I’ve offended you.”
Just how much had Ashlea told this girl about me?
It’s true that she had almost no money for herself.
A lot of money had been invested for her medical treatments, and she had chosen not to receive a separate allowance.
But she wasn’t poor to the point that she couldn’t purchase her own tea!
She had come here prepared to laugh off offending comments, but it was too depressing being treated like a homeless bum over something trivial like tea.
Hey, I don’t want to drink this even if you give it to me for free. If only we were alone here, I would just-.
Different to her boiling anger inside, she remained calm and silent.
She felt so angry and wronged, but no matter what she said or did at this moment, everything would be pointless.
This was a private room. All the servants were of the Soba noble house, and all the guests were close friends of Ashlea.
If any of the words spoken today happen to travel outside this room, that would hurt only her own reputation.
‘So, I can only endure right now.’
No matter the words thrown at Raelia, she remained unresponsive, and people had become bored of this topic.
After a long while, the topic was brought up again. This happened several times, but she laughed it off or ignored them.
After a long while, it was at the moment she tried to find the timing to leave this meaningless place.
“Ah, it’s been about three weeks since the Saint…”
Raelia missed the chance to leave. She turned to the person speaking, it was Biacci.
They met eye contact.
Biacci smiled kindly, and spoke with sorrow.
“It’s been three weeks since the Saint has passed away.”
These words were directed to Raelia.
Raelia already knew where this conversation was headed, she gripped her hands tightly into fists under the table.
If Biacci’s purpose today was to make her angry, she made a brilliant choice.
She regretted not putting on a show for everyone when she was being called a homeless beggar…
But it was too late to regret. The young girls were all looking at her, amused.
“Yes, a new Saint will be chosen.”
“Someone amongst us will be chosen, I suppose?”
“That would be nice, but a few of the Saints that had been chosen had come from commoner families as well…”
They glanced at her shortly, trying to test her temper.
‘Endure. Endure it, Raelia. It’s the end when you play into their hands.’
Raelia took deep breaths to calm down.
“I hear they don’t want to lose the descendant of Elea so quickly, and are in the process of selecting the candidates.”
“She is the most noble woman, how could the woman be a commoner?”
She took a deep breath, and suddenly couldn’t breathe.
Since young, she had been sick and spent her entire childhood in bed. She could only go outside for short moments when she received permission to get treatment from the Saint.
She had exchanged many meetings and befriended many Saints. The Saints were her life savior and hope.
“The candidates are always selected to be the Empire’s best young misses?”
“The problem is that any young miss is chosen at random.”
A girl with jade hair sighed with respect. However, it seemed she herself did not want to be chosen as a saint.
God’s representative. She will be able to treat any injury and disease with her holy powers.
She was of equal standing with the Pope, and was to be respected by every living being in this world.
However, it was rare to find any young girl who wished to grow up to be a saint. It was only a matter of course.
A saint’s lifespan was a mere 2 years.
She may only contain god’s powers within her body for a brief moment, and when her body cannot endure it, she would not be able to live over two years.
Half of the remaining guests sipped their tea. Her mind calmed to a degree.
It was Biacci again. Doesn’t the Biacci girl ever get tired of this game?
She had mostly kept out of the conversations today, but she could no longer remain quiet after being called out directly like this.
“What is it?”
Her voice was so calm that no one could ever suspect that she was so furious.
“Isn’t Miss Vitel close with the Saints?”
She had always been very ill, and it had always been common knowledge that Raelia was a regular visitor with the Saints. The topic was brought up numerous times and already old boring news.
This was the reason Biacci was so disgraceful. Raelia wanted to massage her throbbing head, but endured.
Calm down. You already knew this topic would come up from the time Ashlea asked me to attend this party in her place. She told herself.
Biacci made the foundation to tread forth, she didn’t need to hear her words to know what she would say. Nobody hesitated to ask Raelia.
“Do you have any new updates on the new Saint?”
“Only Elea would know.”
The attention was unwelcoming, and thanks to Ashlea my mask had become unbreakable. My voice came out smoothly and pleasantly.
This should have been Ashlea’s request for Biacci.
I had no intentions to play into her palms.
Raelia who made enough small talk let out a short sigh.
She had sighed purposefully and drew the attention of everyone. She bit her lips and spoke with a difficult expression.
“I had been quite close with the Saint, and so this topic is a bit… difficult for me. I still can’t believe the Saint had passed away….”
I drooped my head low without another word. Half of this was just acting, but it was the truth that I was very tired.
The young ladies started to eye one another.
Though everything spoken this day would be kept in this room, Raelia was born with a weak constitution. If she were to faint due to stress, it would cause a huge problem.
Irene who had been listening quietly all this time spoke.
“That was thoughtless of me. I apologize in place of everyone here.”
Raelia inwardly sneered. When Biacci spoke, she remained quiet, it was too late to apologize in everyone’s stead.
She was apologizing, but her expression told a different story, and in truth, it was not even a proper apology. Raelia did not wait for the next apology and spoke with a strong voice.
“I will accept Miss Soba’s apology. However, I am feeling quite under the weather, so I hope it would be alright if I could turn in early?”
She had become ill due to them, so she decided to leave early before suffering any more. Of course they could not say no.
Raelia inwardly smiled. Ah, she could finally go home!
If she had remained, they would have taunted her until the end, so who cared? Anyway everyone was Ashlea’s friend. They were nobody she wished to be on friendly terms with, she had no interest to use her strength to please them.
Raelia called for a knight on standby and quickly returned home.
Raelia turned. A young girl with the same silver hair as herself, and shining blue eyes stood behind her.
Ashlea Vitel. She was Realia’s younger sister by one year.
Since young, she had taken great steps to take care of her hair and skin, so unlike herself who had always been ill, was comparatively beautiful.
She was only a mere Viscountess, but her loveable appearance won the love and attention of everyone.
“Thank you for going in my stead today. But you’re home much earlier than I expected? Did something happen?”
She spoke as if she was truly concerned for her. But to her, it sounded like she was hoping that something actually happened.
“No, nothing happened.”
“Is that so? That’s a relief. See Sister, isn’t it nice to attend tea parties? I told father yesterday, and he was very happy to hear. You’re much healthier now, so please attend in my stead from time to time?”
Isn’t it a talent to speak in such an innocent and gentle tone?
Raelia’s great acting and patience is all thanks to her younger sister. It wasn’t just once or twice that she had suffered thanks to her sister.
Ashlea was the master of lying, and profiting off the misfortunes of others. She had a talent in scamming and betrayed without an ounce of regret.
She was a true talent amongst talents, any incidents would revert back onto herself, and would become the rotten apple.
“It’s okay, you were the one invited.”
“It’s because Sister never socializes.”
Why do you think I don’t?
She felt dumbfounded. She had been ill and weak since she was a baby, and so she could not socialize like normal young ladies.
She had recovered completely just last week, but her position in social circles was stomped to the lowest of the low thanks to Ashlea’s efforts.
So, even if she made a full recovery, she had not received even a single invitation.
She was uglier than her younger sister, her body scrawny from a long life of illness, and her personality was said to be atrocious. So, there was no way that she would receive an invitation to any parties.
She had become speechless hearing these words.
“Thank you for your heart, but I am really okay as I am.”
Hearing Raelia’s answer, Ashlea puffed her cheeks. Raelia turned to look away from the fake cuteness.
Her father was standing behind them. As expected Ashlea was behaving like this for a purpose.
“What are you doing here?”
Ashlea pretended to be surprised, rounded her eyes in shock, and ran to hug him.
Raelia turned around, and respectfully bowed. She was the complete opposite of Ashlea.
“I’ve just arrived home…”
“I heard you went to visit Duke Kaisen? Did you have a nice visit?”
Ashlea cut off Raelia’s words. Their father’s expression softened hearing Ashlea’s lovable voice. He brushed Ashlea’s hair and answered in a gentle tone.
“Yes, all my plans went smoothly. It’s all thanks to our daughter that cheered for me this morning. It would have been lonely at home by yourself, are you okay?”
“I didn’t notice the time pass by because I was busy embroidering and thinking of Father.”
Ashlea looked like an angel smiling.
Raelia was standing next to them, but she could not find a chance to squeeze into their conversation at all.
Hmm, should I just return to my room? She wondered. There was no room for her to invade into their conversation anyway.
This happened so many times, so she didn’t feel lonely at all. She just felt it was a waste of time to stay there.
Yeah, I will return to my room. When she turned away, her father spoke out.
“Did your day at the tea party go well?”
She did not know he would ask her a question, and was late to reply by a beat.
“I heard from the knights that you left in the middle of the party. I heard you begged Ashlea to go to this tea party in her place, you should have stayed until the end to save her face. You’re not ill anymore, Can’t you endure and remain to the end of a short tea party?”
He tsked, and Raelia barely caught herself from frowning.
Hey… Ashlea asked me to go in place of her, why does it sound like I was the one who begged to go? What did she tell father?
She was speechless and looked to Ashlea, Ashlea placed her two hands together in apology.
“No, Father. I should have been more attentive even if I couldn’t follow her to the tea party. Sister isn’t aware of normal etiquette since she could not socialize much due to her illness…”
“Irene’s standards of etiquette is very high. It’s not Sister’s fault.”
Hey, excuse me?
Ashlea’s acting was too great, and Raelia almost thought she actually made a mistake at the tea party and was kicked out.
Did I ever talk about why I returned home early? No, I did not.
Raelia couldn’t help but laugh. Ashlea should be a novelist, she would be so rich.
Maybe she should become an actress! Seeing her talent go to waste, rather than anger, she felt it was such a pity.
‘It’s not the first time this happened after all…’
Father’s expression of disappointment meant he already formulated his own opinion on this, there was no way to explain her way out.
Father clicked his tongue.
“Haven’t you received etiquette lessons all this time from Selene? Wasn’t it enough?”
Selene was mother’s name. Raelia shook her head. She could only manage to take lessons when her body condition allowed it, so she wasn’t perfect by all means, but her basic etiquette wasn’t horrible at all.
“You’re a disappointment, Ashlea is so much younger than you but she was perfect in her first debut. Tsk, if only you can resemble even half of Ashlea…”
“You’re making me feel embarrassed… And Sister was sick all this time. It’s only natural that she isn’t up to the standard. She will get better with time.”
Ashlea brightly smiled as she spoke. She appeared so loveable and caring, it would be hard for anyone to be suspicious of her.
“Let’s go together next time. I’ll be next to you and help you, then Sister you can feel rest assured.”
A single thought passed Raelia’s mind.
Like hell it is.
When Raelia finished changing in her room, she flopped onto the bed like a limp seaweed. It was a long and tiring day.
She only attended a single tea party, but it was so shocking how tiring it was.
‘Still, it wasn’t so bad.’
She had been very nervous before the tea party.
Ashlea had told her it would be fun, and that she had put in a good word for all her friends, and had been scared to death.
‘How could the birds of a feather flock together so well…’
Ashlea’s friends were a sight. When she saw someone, it was very easy to see the kind of people that would be on good terms with Ashlea.
Would I have any reason to see them again?
Raelia looked to the ceiling and thought.
She would not have went if it weren’t for Ashlea begging her. Said plainly, if Ashlea orders so, she had no other choice but to go.
‘She’s not sending me to the parties so I can become more accustomed to socializing, right?’
She could count the number of parties she attended in her life in one hand.
She had never left the house other than to receive treatment, so it couldn’t be helped.
The only parties she had attended were those held in her own home, but her body could not endure and she would always return to her room early on.
It wasn’t proper etiquette to only show up and leave early, so her parents had told her not to attend at all.
‘Well, it doesn’t matter.’
It was okay that she couldn’t attend. It was for the better.
She doesn’t have much experience, but keeping a doll-like smile and conversing with people that she was not comfortable with was not easy at all.
The problem was that she was left out of everything else.
She always remained outside of her family’s social circles as well.
Her illness never got better, and it was easier to just leave her at home. Gradually, her family excluded her more and more.
Her father had no interest in her, and her mother treated her like a dead corpse who needlessly ate away their money. There was no need to explain Ashlea. She would not be in this position if not for Ashlea.
Raelia suddenly looked around her room. Her room was much smaller than Ashlea’s.
This small room was her whole world.
‘Thenceforth, I had been completely neglected.’
She had no hope to receive any sort of love after hearing she was just a corpse that ate away the family’s income. If anyone could have any hope, that would not be a human. From that day, she threw away all her own heart towards her parents.
It had been even longer since she no longer cared for Ashlea’s heart. She really did not even have her family to remain with her.
‘I really loved Ashlea when I was young.’
She wondered from time to time how she had loved her so much when she was young.
The only person she could depend on was Ashlea. Father and Mother were always busy, and nobody would ever come talk to her.
The only person who would come play with her was Ashlea. The only person in her life was Ashlea, she was helpless but to depend on Ashlea so much. It was a matter of course.
-Is there anything she can do on her own? How can she not do anything without her younger sister’s help?!
One day her father shouted in feverish anger. She did feel wronged, but it was true that she had been overly depended on Ashlea.
She learned to reduce calling for Ashlea, and only asked for help from the maids. Ashlea looked sad, but she thought it was for the better.
Yes, she chose that path so that father and Ashlea would not come to hate her.
It should have been…