Author: worry Editor: worry

After asking the Viscount to handle the aftermath, the carriage ride back to the Duke’s residence was just as silent as when they arrived. Beatrice didn’t notice any difference in the two situations and was gazing out of the window at the scenery. However, Calex was not the same. He couldn’t even dare to look at her, and the remaining emotions churned inside him like a storm.

 

He felt that he should apologize to her. Even if she looked at him with an expression that showed no expectations, he still felt he should apologize to her.

 

No, should he apologize for making her show such an expression in the first place? Countless thoughts raced through his mind, and Calex could only clench his lips without saying a word. It seemed like the guilt was still clogging his throat. Beatrice didn’t seem to sense any of this.

 

After stopping by the post office to write a letter and purchase a few limited edition stamps, they arrived at the mansion. Agatha couldn’t help but notice the subtle atmosphere.

 

Her youngest daughter appeared peaceful as if nothing had happened, but her eldest son seemed to have a guilty look on his face.

 

Agatha had heard about Felix poking Beatrice a while ago and wondered if even her trusted eldest son had caused trouble. However, since he seemed to be regretting it himself, she decided not to ask. Interfering in her children’s affairs wouldn’t be helpful for their relationship.

 

That evening, after various twists and turns, the Viscount’s servants managed to bring the large black horse to the Duke’s estate. Felix asked if it was his now, looking at the intimidating size of the horse, and Calex shook his head. When Beatrice, who was standing nearby, said it was hers, Felix couldn’t believe it and argued that she couldn’t ride such a horse.

 

As soon as Felix approached the horse, it raised its front legs and started to prance. Startled, Felix stepped back, and instead, when Beatrice calmed the horse down, Felix eventually conceded and gave up the horse. It was originally hers, so it was a ridiculous situation, but Beatrice didn’t bother to point it out.

 

Since then, Beatrice spent time with Calex, who now treated her carefully, and occasionally went with the Duchess to see shoes, dresses, and jewelry.

 

Her second brother, Felix, who used to poke fun at her, kept asking her to go horse riding with him, as if he had made up his mind about something. She found it annoying that he kept insisting, so she went horse riding with him a few times to get him off her back.

 

Duke Marquez included a design for his own riding habit in his reply to the letter Beatrice had sent. It seemed to be a picture based on the design of Beatrice’s dress. When she showed the letter to the Duchess, she laughed with great satisfaction.

 

“Looking forward to your debutante ball?”

 

“A little, I suppose,” Beatrice answered with a dry voice in response to her mother’s gently asked question. In truth, she neither felt excited nor nervous, but she couldn’t say no here, so she told a little white lie.

 

Despite her daughter’s reserved expression, the Duchess smiled happily, seeming to know what she was thinking. Everything, from her daughter’s dress and shoes to the jewelry and her partner, was perfect.

 

Lady Amber, the Duchess, lounged on the sofa, looking at her youngest daughter sitting quietly across from her. With her back straight and hands folded on her knees, the girl had a gaze that made her more beautiful than any young lady the Duchess had seen recently, but something seemed to be lacking. It wasn’t about her appearance.

 

“At the ball, there won’t be many people higher than you,” the Duchess remarked.

 

“Really?”

 

“Except for the royalty and the dukes themselves, hardly anyone will be higher than you.”

 

The Duchess inwardly bit her tongue while looking at her daughter’s innocent face blinking in surprise.

 

“They say you can act a bit arrogantly toward others. As long as you don’t go too far against etiquette, there won’t be any consequences in the aristocracy.”

 

In other words, it meant that being reasonably arrogant was something that could be covered up by the family’s reputation. In reality, while Calex maintained his manners, he didn’t act too gracious towards others, and Felix was just on the edge of behaving in a way that couldn’t be directly confronted by the aristocracy. Judging by Felix’s face, even the young nobles who usually picked fights with anyone retreated when they saw him. That was enough to say.

 

In Agatha’s eyes, Beatrice was too reserved. With herself and her two sons sticking close to her, there were limitations, and she became even more worried. Of course, with Count Billander’s daughter around, everything should be fine.

 

“If something happens, make sure to tell me.”

 

Agatha spoke to a maid and received something from her, then handed it over to Beatrice. In her hand was a small bead.

 

It looked white and could be mistaken for a pearl at a glance, but it was not a gem. Beatrice could feel that the bead was imbued with a faint power, like a magical tool.

 

“It has a magic that cleanses anything that gets dirty.”

 

In high society, it was common for people to intentionally spill something on someone else’s dress. Especially at debutante balls, it could be considered a trend. No one would dare to tamper with the gown of a young lady, but it was something to be vigilant about.

 

“Thank you.”

 

Beatrice tightly held the bead in her hand and tilted her head. She hadn’t even thought about it, but now it seemed like things would be easier with this.

 

“By the way, I didn’t mention it before.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“On the last night of the party, I thought of staying at Count Billander’s residence for a day.”

 

“Did Lady Billander suggest that?”

 

“No, I mentioned it first.”

 

The last night of the party was usually the busiest, and it was better to come back early and spend some quiet time. Especially since it was the first friend her youngest daughter made, it wouldn’t be bad to celebrate her debut and spend the night together.

 

Though she was worried at first, Agatha felt that she had become quite friendly with Count Billander’s daughter. So, she smiled lightly once again.

 

“That’s a good idea.”

 

“Could I get some Bertha wine? We promised to enjoy it together at Count’s estate on the last day.”

 

“There should be a few bottles in the wine cellar at the mansion. Go ahead and take them.”

 

Beatrice was about to say ‘thank you’ out of habit, but Agatha smiled and told her that there was no need for more thanks. After exchanging some small talk, they parted ways.

 

Beatrice immediately headed to her study after parting with Agatha. Lately, she had been reading romance novels that were popular among the young nobles, not for the purpose of engaging in conversations with her peers, but to observe the actions of the characters within.

 

Of course, as romance novels, most of the attitudes depicted were exaggerated and lacked realism. However, surprisingly, the novels provided detailed descriptions of the social scene in the aristocratic circles, which made them not so bad after all.

 

The book she had just taken out was a novel written by a certain author named Ver, and there were rumors that the author might actually be a noble due to the detailed depiction of noble behavior.

 

It was strange that such romance novels were in vogue, while at the same time, writing such literature was considered lacking in education. Of course, the contradictory attitudes of the nobles were not something to be overly concerned about as they were nothing out of the ordinary.

 

As she was seriously looking into the part where a beautiful young noble from the countryside caught the attention of the crown prince, Beatrice abruptly closed the book at the passage that said,

 

In fact, the crown prince had fallen in love at first sight with her beautiful appearance.

 

Describing the background and characteristics of the nobles in meticulous and tedious detail, yet it doesn’t help attract the interest of readers.

 

The protagonist of this novel, Mirabella, is described as having a charm different from ordinary noblewomen, with her behavior being inappropriate and impulsive, often resembling the actions of a ten-year-old noble girl, which supposedly arouses men’s protective instincts. People around me behave properly, so why does this female protagonist act like a child and attract the attention of all the men? Did a man write this?

 

What truly baffles Beatrice is that the novel subtly reveals that she genuinely finds the female protagonist they created to be lovely.

 

After reading several more novels and recalling the behaviors of Floria, the Duchess, and a few noble young ladies and ladies she had encountered in the past, Beatrice stored suitable ideas in her mind.

 

Considering that she has never attracted attention at debutante parties so far, she thought that behaving like this should pose no problem.

 

After exchanging a few more letters with Duke Marquez and even matching the types of jewels, she received a reply saying he would pick her up at a certain time. The party was coming up the next day, but Beatrice felt no excitement whatsoever.

 

Neither the task of capturing the Crown Prince’s interest nor the events planned for the last night of the Debutante were able to evoke any excitement in her.

 

Beatrice lay in her room, looking at the pearl given to her by the Duchess. The faintly glowing white pearl, visible even in the dark, was undoubtedly a magical object in anyone’s eyes.

 

Having worried about how to excuse herself after dealing with the heavily soiled clothes, she now felt relieved as there was no longer any need to dwell on it.

 

The Duchess had wondered where Beatrice would use the pearl, but she need not wonder anymore. Beatrice placed the pearl on the table and closed her eyes.

 

She had decided that on the last night of the party, she would assassinate Heliot Billander, the Count of Billander, to obtain Lily.

 

As the morning of the debutante dawned, Beatrice was awakened early by the maidservants and was dragged here and there with a dazed mind. Despite her dislike for the bath, the maidservants coaxed and soothed her, applying several packs to her body.

 

They washed her body with flower water and applied scented oil of the same fragrance, carefully drying her black hair with a soft towel. Beatrice remained in a state of half-sleep throughout the process.

 

Always keeping her gaze down with an expressionless face, no one noticed, but for her, whose sleeping time was strictly regulated, waking up early was like being in a dream.

 

After drying her hair, she sat in front of the mirror on the chair, where another maid carefully held her smooth flowing hair in place while other maids busily brought cosmetics to apply on her face.

 

Having hardly seen sunlight, her pale skin was covered with a foundation of the same tone, and a faint pink powder was gently dabbed on her cheeks, giving them a subtle rosy hue.

 

Author's Thoughts

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

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