Author: worry Editor: SipsTea

Her daughter didn’t know how to say no, that’s what Agatha concluded. Beatrice said that she didn’t care much about anything, so it didn’t matter if she did this or that, but in other people’s eyes, she looked just like a good listener. That’s why Agatha was worried.


“I heard that Lord Billander asked if he could be your partner for your debut?”


“Yes, but come to think of it, I couldn’t give him an answer.”


“It’s fine. I don’t think he meant it anyway, seeing that you didn’t answer him on the spot.”


Agatha replied negatively. She doesn’t like Gallot Billander, and Beatrice is a person who can’t refuse, so she’d rather pass it on like this and pretend as if nothing happened. 


Agatha ordered the maid to clear the table as she saw that Beatrice’s teacup was empty. In any case, the time promised with Duke Marquez was approaching.


“Duke Marquez has a very good reputation.”


“I heard that he is very handsome, too.”


“That’s right. Where did you hear that?” 


“From Laura. She said he is tall and handsome.” 


“Yes, a lot of young ladies are eager to be his partner at the party.”


Agatha glanced at Beatrice as she spoke. She couldn’t find a single hint of interest in the way she sat quietly with her eyes down. She bit her tongue inwardly in regret. Usually, the girls her age are interested in men of noble status — especially if the guy is handsome.


However, Beatrice listened as if it were someone else’s story and did not ask a single question. Maybe it’s because she grew up unappreciated. Agatha thought it’s all her own karma. 


“How about him as your escort on your debut?”


“Even if you ask me about him, I don’t know who he is.”


Of course, Beatrice and Duke Marquez have no ties with each other in this life — unlike her previous one. She blinked as her thoughts strayed back to the past. He loathed her so much. Actually, there were more people who hated Beatrice than those who liked her.


She was neither merciful, kind, nor lovable. Given that in the past, in their first meeting, both of them were ignorant of each other’s existence, similar to water and oil. Beatrice assumed it would be the same in this life.


“Can you think about it after seeing him?”


“Okay, I’ll try. But is he willing to be my partner?”


Duke Kahneman Marquez was known for being a man who didn’t get involved with women. Beatrice thought of him in the past. After all, they would have the same temperament, the only thing different now is their age. 


He often accompanied ladies of the imperial family as his partner, but no woman had been his partner more than three times. He also had never been a partner of a debutante.


“You should find another man if he doesn’t accept. He’s one of the most reputable men, but he’s not the only one.”


“That’s true.”


Agatha invited him to be Beatrice’s escort, but she didn’t tell her that. Even then, she had been a quiet child. She thought it was too much for her to know that she lured the Duke using something important to him and then having him be her escort. If Beatrice knew, she would’ve felt bad for Duke Marquez.


Originally, a noble relationship is more significant than an emotional one, even between a man and a woman — but she didn’t want to tell her pitiful daughter that the world was cruel already.


She had known for a long time that she became overprotective because of her urge to keep this girl safe, but who would dare disrespect the Duchess just because she’s a little overprotective of the young lady?


“I’ll call you after I finish talking to the Duke, so go to the library and read a book in the meantime.”


Agatha let Beatrice go and looked through the large window in her room. The front door of the mansion was open so it wasn’t difficult to see a dark-colored carriage approaching from afar.


“Duke Marquez is coming, go out and meet him.”


“Yes, Milady.”


One maid went out to see Duke Marquez while the other took a necklace out of Agatha’s jewelry box. The necklace was made of gold decorated with large shiny green gemstones. It looked old, but it had that much elegance nonetheless.


Before, when Elsanna Marquez was looking for the necklace, Agatha wasn’t the Duchess yet. The moment she found out that this necklace is very special after she married Duke Amber, a long time had already passed and she had no desire to go return it anymore.


I’m glad I didn’t return it then. I didn’t know I could use it so lightly.


“We’ve brought Duke Marquez to the drawing room.”


“Yes, I’m coming.”


Agatha, who had been sitting on the sofa in her room leisurely, stood up only after hearing that Kahneman had arrived. Her maid followed her, putting the green necklace in a dark green velvet case.


Although she thought the idea of calling her guests in and arriving late was a bit excessive, she didn’t think it was that horrible.


The fact that Duke Marquez cares for his grandmother was known to all socialites. The fact that he came all the way here for a necklace, as someone who doesn’t respond well to other people’s invitations, proved that he’s more desperate than Agatha herself.


Of course, the reason for accepting this invitation was that she sent a letter in her name. If he thought she had a favor to ask of his family, he wouldn’t have accepted the invitation.


Since it was a personal request, there’s a high possibility that it would be accepted lightly. And, as he expected, Agatha’s request was very light. When she arrived in front of the drawing room, the maid gently knocked on the door and opened it.


“Sorry, I’m a little late.”


“No, it’s all right.”


Agatha entered the room with a gentle smile on her face. A man with dark navy hair sat there, leaning against the sofa.


It’s a strange attitude that goes against the rules of etiquette, but it didn’t seem arrogant. With that little effort, she was going to show up like that.


Agatha smiled and bit her inner lips. As she sat across him calmly, the maid who had brought her necklace case put it down on the table right away.


“This is the necklace.”


“Can I open it and check it out?”


“Go ahead.”


As soon as permission was granted, Kahneman picked up the case and opened its lid. He nodded slightly as he saw the necklace, gleaming in green color, placed carefully at the bottom of the case, lined with a black fine cloth.


The necklace was exactly how his grandmother described it. He had to show it to his grandmother to see what she thinks, but Duchess Amber made him a deal, so the search for this necklace must have been serious. Kahneman put the case back together and placed it on the table.


“So, what do you want from me?”


“Oh, my. How straightforward.”


Agatha’s smile, which had been gentle, had narrowed slightly.


“I like it.”


There was a knock on the door and a tray of tea was delivered to the drawing room. Its fragrance filled the room, mild but not sweet. Kahneman and Agatha waited until the tea was completely settled before speaking.


“You know that there will be a debut party hosted by the imperial family this May, right? The seventeen-year-old princess is coming, so it’d be the most grandiose party of the year.”


“Do you want me to be the Princess’ debut partner?”


“No way.”


“Then, the Duchess?”


“You must have lost your mind.” 


Kahneman raised one eyebrow as if he’s uncertain of what she was asking for, but then furrowed his brows as soon as he realized.


“Perhaps, the daughter of the Amber family?”


“I can’t believe you just realized it. It’s good that you’re so quick-witted.”


“Don’t be sarcastic. Were you looking after an illegitimate child? That’s quite different from what I’ve heard.”


“I have my reason. Try not to dig deep into other people’s family stories.”


“I understand, for now. But she’s not a duchess — she’s someone who hasn’t even gotten her coming-of-age party yet. Don’t you know that I’m not comfortable with such a position?” 


“Yes, I know it’s uncomfortable, but don’t you want to hold onto that necklace?”


Kahneman quietly narrowed his eyes and looked at her while Agatha slowly turned her gaze over with a smile. Their silent face-off continued for a long time.


Behind them, the gazes of the maids went back and forth.

When do you think it will end?

I don’t know, I think it’ll be over soon.

Milady treats her snack time like a ghost these days.

Ah, then it will be finished soon.


Those who had worked for more than five years as servants in the Duke’s mansion were only enhancing their strange talent of communicating with just their eyes.


“If I go out as the debutante’s partner of the Amber family, rumors about me would be unavoidable.”


“Don’t worry, we will take care of that on our side.”


“Don’t you think I’m going to be in trouble?”


“Duke Marquez, you’re a powerful man, so I’m confident that you’ll take care of yourself. Are you willing to marry in the first place? It’s clear that you’re considering ending the marriage or rather preventing it as an excuse.”


“I wondered who Calex takes after, apparently it was his mother.”


“If he had taken after my husband, he would be as soft as a week-old mango. Thank you for letting me know.”


When they were young, Kahneman and Calex were the same age as they had the same swordsmanship teacher, so they got along quite often — if not, always. After reaching a certain age and realizing their own responsibilities, they began to distance themselves from each other, and family interactions became less frequent.


Kahneman sighed and picked up the necklace case. Agatha, who was looking at him, smiled.


“You should say hello to my daughter before you go.”


“I suppose it’ll only take a moment.”


There was absolutely no way for the current duke to be idle. Knowing why her oldest son always had dark circles on his handsome face.


Agatha gladly stood up with him right away. Neither of them drank even a sip of the tea her maid prepared with great effort.


Author's Thoughts

𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐦𝐲 𝐊𝐨𝐟𝐢 𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐞!!!

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