Chapter 54

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

She once burned a maid’s hand by dropping a teacup filled with hot water, and once struck and injured a worker carrying scissors in the garden.

 

There was also a maid who had an upset stomach after eating the cake Angela gave her to eat.

 

“Every time something happened, the Miss was so sorry and made thorough compensation.”

 

So, rather than resenting Angela, the workers were grateful.

 

There would be no noble who would take such good care of them just because someone under command was hurt. But…

 

The maid said, her voice trembling.

 

“I saw it by chance. The true face of Miss Angela.”

 

A small flower pot fell on a maid’s head.

 

Argh!

 

The maid who was struck by the flower pot screamed and covered her bleeding forehead. She lifted her head and looked in the direction where the flower pot had fallen.

 

Second floor window. Angela was there.

 

“S-She was smiling.”

 

As if she was crazily happy.

 

Her expression quickly changed to one of concern, although no one except that maid saw it.

 

“After that, I got scared every time I saw her, yet I couldn’t tell anyone. If I had said that, no one would have believed me.”

 

Even Angela’s parents, the Marquis and Marchioness, had no idea who their daughter really was.

 

Although they loved their daughter, they weren’t attentive enough parents to watch over everything about her.

 

After finishing her words, the maid raised her head and glanced at the Duke.

 

‘As expected. Angela was such a vicious child that she framed my daughter.’

 

The Duke, whom she had expected to be pleased, kept his mouth shut and said nothing.

 

Seeing his expressionless face, the maid’s whole body began to tremble.

 

The reason she came here, even betraying Marquis Brightini, was because she needed money.

 

However, she only had one thought for now.

 

‘I want to get out of this place as soon as possible!’

 

The pressure she felt from him was enormous.

 

Only when the maid was sweating profusely enough to wet her clothes did the Duke open his mouth.

 

“I heard the story well.”

 

Only then did her expression brighten.

 

“But it’s not a very helpful one.”

 

The maid’s expression darkened.

 

The Duke spoke, looking at the maid, whose expression changed every moment.

 

“It’s valuable testimony that Angela’s evil nature is hidden beneath her angelic smiling mask.”

 

But it doesn’t mean much if the person saying those words is a maid who works for the Marquis of Brightini.

 

Because the nobles wouldn’t believe anything a maid said.

 

Rather, one would think that the Duke of Windsor-Ice had used his own money to bribe her.

 

“I need clearer evidence.”

 

The maid’s eyes wavered.

 

She went so far as to betray her master, and now she has to give evidence.

 

‘There’s no way something like that exists!’

 

Did she come here for no reason? But she had already betrayed her master and there was no way for her to go back.

 

Now that she had come this far, she had to somehow give the Duke the information he needed.

 

The maid, who was racking her mind in desperation, said with a look of, oh, that’s it, on her face.

 

“Miss Angela maintains a good relationship with her friends, so much so that she holds her own tea party once a fortnight. But surprisingly, she doesn’t have many friends she meets one-on-one. Recently there were only two.”

 

One is Liriette. One is Karina.

 

The Duke’s eyebrows rose.

 

“Karina?”

 

“Yes. Miss Karina from the Baron of Redsia. After Baron Redsia’s fall, Miss Angela began to take care of Karina.”

 

Not only did she invite Karina to every tea party, but she often left Karina alone.

 

And they talked alone in the room with no maid.

 

Just like she did with Liriette.

 

However, there was something different from Liriette’s situation.

 

“Whenever the Young Princess came out of Miss Angela’s room, she was always smiling. It was clear that she had a great time with her friend. Yet it wasn’t like that at all with Miss Karina.”

 

Karina’s face was pale and stiff.

 

“She always had a fierce expression, so the other maids didn’t think much of her. She was a noble girl in name only, and Miss Angela called her and even gave her gifts, but there was also a maid who clicked her tongue, saying that she was frowning without even knowing how grateful she was. But in my eyes…”

 

The maid took a pause and continued.

 

“She looked like she had come out of terrible pain.”

 

At that moment, the Duke’s blue eyes sparkled.

 

He finally realized that he had caught the prey he wanted.

 

***

 

The Duke rewarded the maid for her tip. The amount was well over ten times what the maid had expected.

 

The maid was very happy as she left the castle.

 

He went to see Liriette and told her what the maid had said.

 

Liriet’s big eyes wavered at the name ‘Karina’.

 

“Karina might know about Angela’s true identity?”

 

“Yeah. It’s just a guess.”

 

If Angela had done Karina as wrong as the maid expected, it would become a weapon that could shatter Angela’s angelic image.

 

“I’m thinking of going to Karina and asking her what happened with Angela.”

 

Liriette held the Duke’s hand.

 

“I’ll go!”

 

“…”

 

“I’ve met Karina a few times at Angela’s tea party. Although we aren’t close…”

 

No. Far from being close, Karina disliked Liriette. Nevertheless, she thought she should go.

 

“The Duke is a caring person, but Karina doesn’t know that, so she might be scared. Rather, wouldn’t it be better for me to ask carefully?”

 

“…”

 

The Duke frowned slightly, then nodded.

 

 

She quickly prepared herself and left the castle.

 

Liriette, looking at the scenery beyond the carriage window, realized that it had been a long time since she had been outside the castle.

 

Not long after the incident, Olivia took her to a doll shop on the main street, saying it would refresh her mood.

 

Liriette’s eyes sparkled when she saw the cute dolls lined up, yet it didn’t last long.

 

Because of the voices she heard from beyond the display stand.

 

[Did you hear the story of the Young Princess of Windsor-Ice? It’s so terrible that a child who is only ten years old stole her friend’s belongings and even committed violence against her.]

 

[It’s because she comes from a humble background. Poor commoners are better at stealing than buying things legitimately.]

[It’s really disturbing. From now on, our children will have to treat a child like the Young Princess of Windsor-Ice.]

[That’s right. His Grace the Duke of Windsor-Ice would also be in trouble. He didn’t throw away a child with commoner blood and instead put her on the family register, yet she ended up tarnishing the name of the noble dukedom.]

[I wish we could get the child out of the castle right now. For the sake of peace between the northern society and the Duke of Windsor-Ice.]

 

Their words cut cruelly into Liriette’s small heart.

 

Olivia was furious.

 

Liriette stopped her from shouting at the women who were talking without knowing who was behind them.

 

[I hope that the relationship between the Duke of Windsor-Ice and the nobles no longer worsens because of me.]

 

Olivia looked at Liriette with an indescribable look in her eyes, and then she held back her anger.

 

After that, she didn’t leave the castle.

 

She was afraid she would continue to hear those harsh words.

 

‘If the incident ends with me as the perpetrator, harsh criticism will continue to follow me.’

 

And to the Duke and Olivia.

 

She never wanted to do that.

 

The honor of Windsor-Ice had to be protected at all costs.

 

Liriette arrived at Karina’s house with her stern face.

 

“…”

 

She was speechless for a moment.

 

It would be difficult to call a house that looked like it was going to collapse at any moment a noble’s house.

 

The same thing happened to the woman who came out after seeing the huge carriage in front of her house.

 

She was a woman with a bare face without makeup and wearing an old dress with frayed sleeves, and she looked more like a maid working as a handyman than a noblewoman.

 

The woman opened her mouth, unable to hide her surprise.

 

“I’m Bianca, the landlady of Baron Redsia. What brought you to our family?”

 

So this is Karina’s mother!

 

As she had heard somewhere, she had a simple appearance that didn’t resemble Karina at all. Still, she looked exactly like Karina, with red hair.

 

Liriette felt happy to see her, lifted the hem of her skirt and greeted her politely.

 

“I’m Liriette of the Duke of Windsor-Ice. I came to see Karina.”

 

At that moment, Baroness Redsia forgot her body pain and let out a small scream. She smiled brightly, unable to hide her happy feelings.

 

“Not too long ago, the Young Princess sent Karina a bunch of gifts. I wanted to meet you because you seem to have a close relationship with Karina, and I’m so glad you came to visit.”

 

The Baroness smiled brightly and continued.

 

“Oh my, did I talk too much? Please follow me. I will guide you to Karina.”

 

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