Beyond Claude’s beautiful eyes, the apparent dark circles stretched all the way to his cheeks. He called out to his friend, Jay, didn’t say anything and heaved out a deep sigh. Anyone who looked at him would know it was the figure of someone with a great amount of worry.
“Hey, what else is it?”
Although there was only one thing that a friend who appeared like a love seeker should be concerned about. Jay asked quietly while pretending to not be obvious. Then, Claude told him about his worry.
“A while ago, I asked her out.”
“Yes. But then?”
“In return, I even offered her hotel tickets, but she accepted the gift and didn’t tell me the exact date she would stay in. It seemed that she was avoiding me with the excuse of being preoccupied.”
Only accepting gifts and avoiding to meet with people. This was a typical Cortishan or barmaid trick to play on people…
“Perhaps, he just regards you as a money bag.”
Jay’s words made Claude angry.
“No! Noona is not wicked like that.”
“What? She’s not even younger or the same age as you. Is she really older than you?”
“Huh? Uh, about that….”
Actually, it was feasible to insist that they were the same age or Haley was only one year older than Claude.
Since childhood, Haley let him to treat her as his older sister, therefore he got used to the nickname he called her with and because she was also like his older sister. Claude thought it was too miserable to tell Jay about this detailed situation.
Jay muttered with a frustrated expression as Claude continued to think to himself.
“Ha! It’s hard to seduce older women.”
Jay, who had been frowning and groaning for a good while, answered back.
“You! From now on, don’t ever say anything like what siblings is supposed to say to her!”
“What kind of woman in this world wants to be the older sibling in front of the man she wants to date? Despite the fact that you’re such a gentleman, don’t ever call her Noona again. Got it?”
Indeed, that was the problem from the start. Claude straightened his eyes and nodded vigorously after realizing something important from his friend.
“And in general, older people are a bit more experienced when it comes to men and more skillful than you. So from now on, you have to forge ahead with all your might.”
“Yes! You have to follow what I do!”
Jay grabbed Claude’s shoulders and pushed his body against the wall. Then, he hit one of his palms against the wall.
“That is a basic dating skill. Also known as hitting someone against the wall. Basically, when the other person is shy, use the next technique which is hugging them tightly or bringing your head close to kiss them. Go on, try it!”
After finishing his words, Jay switched positions with Claude and blinked patiently. Then, he signalled with a wink to Claude so that he would do what he has been told earlier. Without realizing it, Claude immediately followed his friend’s lead.
He pushed Jay against the wall and hit his palms against the wall. Geez, did he put too much force?
The wall that was impacted by Claude’s force made a loud noise and let out a cracking sound. Jay was even pushed so hard that the back of his head hit the wall quite hard. The stars were almost visible in front of Jay’s eyes.
“Oh! Hey, control your strength! Oh, sh*t… I thought my head was going to break.”
Jay touched the back of his head, immediately looking at his friend, a large lump swelled in the back of his head. As expected of him. He didn’t know how to do this. It was a good thing Jay asked him to try it first.
‘If the woman was the first person to come up with this clumsy wall-pushing technique and not me, she would probably be reported to the police for assault.’
Feeling sorry for his ailing friend, Claude brought his face closer to Jay’s.
“Sorry. Does it hurt?”
The bear-sized person was agitated, so this also looked funny in Jay’s eyes. His shiny, black hair and beautiful eyes resembling sapphires. Moreover, a firm and broad chest that was enhanced by exercise. As Claude’s statuesque face got closer to his face, Jay’s heart pounded unconsciously, but he came back to earth in a blink of an eye.
‘D*mn. Get up! I still prefer women.’
Jay, who glanced at his friend’s face, somehow felt annoyed.
He wondered if look was everything that mattered to men.
Even if he make the same mistake, women’s views would be different if it’s handsome men who do it. This was unfair.
Jay had showered the man with curses inside with pounding heart.
Claude held Jay’s wrist and spoke seriously.
“Hey, can’t we practice one more time? I’m worried my sister would get hurt.”
“Hey! So you want me to get hurt instead?”
“Sorry. Let’s try one more time. Are you down?”
Jay couldn’t believe he had to do this again with a guy. He wasn’t really interested. However, he couldn’t resist when he looked at his friend’s eyes who was looking forward to it so much. In the end, Jay had to experience a total of 24 hits against the wall on that day.
‘I guess I won’t teach him about body technique next time.’
Late regrets were additional.
* * *
For three weeks, Edgar, the con artist was eager to execute his plan. He hired a group of lawyers who were known to be the most ruthless in the Morris Empire. He also called reporters from major newspapers to announce that he would be involved in a major legal dispute in the future.
“Mrs. Gloria is not worthy to inherit my brother’s wealth! Therefore, I filed this lawsuit because I want my brother’s inheritance to go to the right person.”
He filed a lawsuit with the court, claiming that he was the only relative worthy of Baron Stephen’s property. Thanks to that, the imperial people were in turmoil again. In their eyes, this case would be seen as a lawsuit for the seizure of property by the biggest conglomerate of all time. How provoking and ridiculous he was.
Stephen Family. The inheritance dispute! Who is going to be the winner?!
Gloria, who was reading the newspaper, immediately clicked her tongue and frowned. She raised her head and complained to me.
“You’re going to sell the information related to me again?”
I was embarrassed by her words, so I held and simply chuckled in anxiety. This time too, it was my newspaper that first revealed the story of Edgar’s lawsuit. After all, if it was a story that would be known to the outside world, I had to hit it off first.
“One hard punch like this, next time the cheater won’t stick. Don’t worry. I thought of every way to win and made an accident first. I will fix everything. Believe in your big sister.”
She nodded at my words as if she couldn’t help but to let it slide.
“I will believe in you. However, the atmosphere of the household staff would deteriorate for the time being. It must have been very stressful because I pressured the nobles to raise the interest rate.”
“Even so, this imposter won’t be able to get to a legal showdown. Just take it easy.”
I comforted Gloria who was sighing in fatigue, took her arm and led her along.
“What can be solved by worrying endlessly? You have to go to work late today. I have a place to go with you.”
“Where? Where to?”
“Let’s go shopping to refresh our minds.”
She didn’t say anything for a moment at my suggestion to go shopping in peace without understanding the current atmosphere. Then, Gloria murmured in a low voice.
“You won’t hear good things if you go for a walk with me now. It’ll be a spectacle of people for no reason. I won’t go out. I’ll just stay in the office. You can go shopping by yourself.”
“No! If you don’t do anything like this time, people will be even eager to spread rumors. It will appear as if you won’t come out because something is bothering you.”
“Well, I don’t care about them.”
“You should go out today. Come with me to the shopping district, Baroness.”
When I pushed her by using honor, Gloria stood up while pressing her temple. I went to the P&P boutique with my reluctant friend. Of course, I informed butler Henrick of our destination in a loud voice before leaving. I hoped he would act according to what I’ve expected.
When we arrived at the boutique, Mrs. Ferronel, the owner of the boutique, greeted us.
“Oh! Welcome. I heard the news, Baroness. Have you had any difficulties lately?”
Madame held both of Gloria’s hands and looked at her with pity. I answered on behalf of my embarrassed friend.
“Gloria we’ll be fine. Thank you for your concern, Madame.”
The store customers and employees were all just watching us. Probably because there’s the most talked-about person here these days. It was as if the main character appeared right in the middle of a hotbed of rumors.
“I came to order some dresses. I’d like to chat with you in the private room if possible. Is this possible?”
“Oh, of course. Can I have a moment?”
While waiting, a few guests who glanced at us started chatting as if we couldn’t hear anything.
“Wow, look at her thick face. What did you do so well that you were caught k*lling your husband and sued by the Baron’s relatives?”
“Huh. Meanwhile, the luxuries she got in return. I envy her. Are there any rich old men here? I’ll try to get to live a comfortable life like her.”
‘I can hear everything, you know.’
Perhaps, she was talking in the back so that we could hear them.
Hearing the women’s chatter, Gloria bit her lower lip slightly and lowered her head. I grasped her hand gently, then let go and jumped off the seat and looked back. As expected, the people I described in the old novel were here.
“Excuse me, it seems that you are young and single noble girls. Am I right?”
How does it feel to talk behind someone’s back, or even, in front of them? When something happens like that, it’s natural for me to respond in a disrespectful way too. I wasn’t the patient type. If I remain quiet at times like this, people who like to tell stories would be more eager to talk.
When I spoke to them, the noble girls were confused for a moment. However, one of them raised their head shamelessly and answered back.
“We are all nobles. Why are you asking this?”
I lifted my skirt slightly with my fingers, greeted them, and smiled.
“Hello, my name is Haley Mertes, President of the Golden Wild Goose Daily newspaper. You guys are beautiful and rare noble children these days, so I would like to interview you to be present in our newspaper. If you don’t mind, may I ask your name?”
The women looked at each other. Among them, one of the young girls, who seemed like the leader among them, came forward and answered as their representatives.
“In my left is Rosina, the only daughter of Countess Reyes, and I am Cordelia Locke.”
The reason why she calmly told me their names for the first time was because of the price of our newspaper’s name. Their future would change depending on how they introduce the unmarried noble girls.
As a representative example, I once wrote an article full of kindness for a young girl, who was a member of a family of commoner. At that time, many people began to praise her great beauty and various talents, and the young girl herself ended up marrying a wealthy man who currently runs several factories in the province.
‘Since then, our newspaper has received many gifts from nobles.’
Even now, parents are trying to take advantage with direct gifts, asking each other to tell the story of their daughter or son first. Of course, other newspapers have made the same angle since our newspaper, but the effect has decreased drastically. The reason was that they issue exaggerated portraits, rather than being directly revealed through photos.
“If you want to write an article about me in the newspaper, I would like you to visit me personally.”
Cordelia Locke, who smiled awkwardly, said that she wanted to be published in the newspaper with a really well-dressed appearance, but not now.