Author: alyalia

In the past month, Lady Elard’s standing had become somewhat ambiguous. She herself was an object of envy. Being a daughter of Elard, she is incredibly beautiful and has reigned supreme in the social world all her life. However, one of the elements that constituted her prestige was shaking. The fact that she would eventually be the crown prince’s wife was being questioned, and people’s views changed instantly.


“She’s not participating in the selection? Then she probably won’t be the crown prince’s partner, right?”


“Ran away, did she? Then she won’t be coming with her brothers, will she…?”


“So, alone…?”


“Oh my, if it were me, I’d rather not come than come without an escort.”


“I wonder if she even properly prepared for the banquet? All the tailors must have been booked solid visiting this mansion or that.”


“Surely she wouldn’t wear the same dress as last year, would she?”


“My goodness, that would be utterly shameful!”


People are greatly interested in the downfall of others, especially if it’s someone who used to be above everyone else.


Always acting high and mighty, backed by the crown prince and her brothers, serves her right!


Without that halo, Lady Elard is just the same as anyone else!


Such sentiments, prettily packaged, were freely rolling off people’s tongues when that moment came.


“Daughter of Duke Elard, Lady Selleana has arrived!”


With the anticipated entrance, all eyes in the crowded lobby turned towards the entrance, hoping to see a humbled Lady Elard. The silence was so intense that you could hear the sound of swallowing as Lady Elard approached step by step, causing everyone’s eyes to widen.


Doli is right. Everyone has been chattering about me.  It was like the rumors of celebrity gossip in her previous life. I guess they’re expecting my pitiful appearance…


Selleana entered the lobby of the palace, her smile brighter than usual, holding onto Agnesia’s arm.


“Oh my, that person is…”




“Light brown hair and sky-blue eyes… That must be the famous Priestess Agnesia!”


“Oh my, the guide for the famous study meetings of the two ducal ladies…?”


The contrasting images of the two arrivals caused a stir in the hall. The first shock was that Selleana was not alone. The second shock was that her partner was the veiled Priestess Agnesia. And finally…


“But, that priestess.”


“How divinely beautiful…!”


“The very image of Orot’s favor, truly a beauty worthy of divine favor…”


The highlight was the pure and sacred beauty of Agnesia, who had, until now, maintained an air of mystery. Her light brown hair softly gleamed as if blessed by divine radiance, her soft sky-blue eyes cast down gently, her lips sealed with the wisdom of a thousand words. It was a sublime beauty, akin to a saintess from the scriptures.


“Why is everyone staring so intently?”


Regardless of Agnesia’s grumbling words, which people wouldn’t expect, Selleana smiled even more beautifully.


Good thing I came with Nesia.


The malicious attention surrounding Selleana dissipated with Agnesia’s first appearance in the social world.


See, how could I possibly be pitiable? I’m Selleana Elard…! If only I had come with Collin, it would have been more impressive…


Well, it was just the beginning. Collin was merely a justification to present to the imperial family; bringing him as a partner today would have had its losses. For instance, arousing unnecessary anger among people? Jealous too, considering a handsome man like Collin is rare anywhere.


Selleana didn’t just focus on her partner to show off her well-being.


“Lady Elard’s dress, is that by Darmang?”


“Look at the beads embroidered there! It must be from the premium line.”


“Darmang? But appointments have been booked months in advance, haven’t they?”


“Isn’t that boutique located at Chantelen Street No. 2…?”


Chantelen Street No.2 referred to Rosalli’s building. One of the highest-quality stores housed in the golden land building was Atelier Darmang, the top boutique of the capital.


You thought she couldn’t have prepared properly because she had to book designers on short notice due to running away? Rather, it was better. Saving time for designers to move meant they had more time to devote every stitch to perfection.


Glancing subtly at the astonished faces around her, Selleana wore her uniquely enchanting smile.


A pitiful appearance? No, there was none of that. Failing to see what they hoped for, people began to search for other faults.


“I-isn’t Lady Elard’s group supposed to be four?”


“I know, right? Why specifically bring Priestess Agnesia? There are other ladies available.”


Why indeed, if not because in an empire like Nepelsian where interactions between men and women are scrutinized, it’s impossible to bring a friend of the same sex as a partner. Even knowing this, the skewed speculations of those once bitten by backtalk were uncontrollable.


“Since Benichi is family quick with calculations, perhaps they decided Lady Elard no longer offered any gain.”


“With Lady Glen participating in the selection for the crown princess, it seems their friendship ends here.”


“Too long a friendship among the ladies, I suppose.”


Right, right. People eagerly nodded.


The dominance of Selleana and Rosalli in the social world had been viewed by some as a monopoly, stirring jealousy. Unfortunately for them, their concerns soon turned out to be unwarranted.


“Lea, Nesia!”


“Priestess Agnesia, it’s an honor to meet you here. Lady Selleana, it’s been a while.”


“Yes, Lord. Have you been well?”


“Blessings on the journey of souls between life and death.”


Rosalli and her brother, the heir to Duke Glen, approached them, proving that the friendship between the two ladies was still strong and that the goodwill of the Glen family remained unchanged.


I’m Selleana Elard. What’s there to worry about?


The interest of those who didn’t get the entertainment they expected cooled off noticeably. As Selleana looked around with a triumphant smile, the last of the attention fell away.


“Rosi, will you stay with your friends for a bit? I need to greet some colleagues from the Ministry of Defense.”


“Of course, Brother.”


“Don’t dawdle after greeting His Majesty. Make sure to come straight to where we are. Don’t be late greeting the guests, okay?”


“Again, nagging. I’m not a child.”


Her brother’s scolding made Rosalli pout.


Publicly, Rosalli is the legitimate daughter of Duke Glen, so she got along quite well with the heir of Glen as if they were close siblings. Even though Rosalli often tried to escape, to outsiders, it merely seemed like the whining of a pampered youngest child.


“Don’t forget the dignity of Glen, alright?”


“I’ll take care of it.”


“That tone, too, huh? Everyone’s just worried about you.”


“As long as I’m not doing it in front of father, I can do it.”


To her friends, the heir of Glen seemed a rather kind figure. Unlike typical Nepelsian men, he knew his limits and patiently put up with Rosalli’s jabs, even though she wasn’t his real sister.


After putting up with that, if a real sibling appeared, she would be ignored… It was a vain business sibling relationship for over ten years.


Really, the original story is all messed up. Selleana, who decided to abandon her original story much later than her friends, lamented anew.


Soon, Doloret, who had joined after checking the arrangements, and Michi, who had quickly checked the lineup of the main drinks at the banquet, also gathered.


“Priestess Agnesia, how does it feel to attend the imperial banquet for the first time in your life?”


“I’m never coming again… I’d rather get scolded by the High Priest. Why are they staring like that? Do you guys find this fun?”


“Yeah, yeah, I find it fun. Seeing them try to curry favor with me to look good in front of our duke is hilarious.”


“Are you nervous? When you’re nervous, alcohol is the best. Try this. It’s wine that only comes out at imperial banquets and is really good!”


“…I can’t. The High Priest is here.”


It wasn’t the first time her friends enjoyed a social event together, but it was the first time Agnesia joined them. All five were quite excited because they were together in a place other than their hideout.


Watching her friends chat quietly, Doloret suddenly asked. “Lea. Did you greet your family?”


“Brother Peri is glaring at me as if he wants to kill me, so isn’t that a form of greeting?”


“Isn’t the second brother? Why is he acting so childishly?”


“It’s relatively childish, right?”


As Selleana covered her mouth with a fan and acted playfully, her second-life friends chuckled.


“Guys, but.”


Suddenly, Doloret spoke seriously. Noticing Doloret’s unusual atmosphere, the friends also became grave.


“Be careful for today.”


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