“It had been a while since the party started, and Count Myrus was drunk, stumbling around and making a fool of himself in front of the ladies.
Countess Myrus’s tightly clenched fist trembled as she turned her head sharply.
“I heard that Count Myrus enjoys drinking, but it seems like he’s had too much today. He’s mistaking other ladies for his wife.”
‘You’re the one who complains about your husband’s love life, so shouldn’t you keep a closer eye on him?’
As I retorted in their manner of speech, Countess Myrus glared at me fiercely, and I blinked innocently.
“Shouldn’t the madam go to him? It seems like he’s searching for you.”
After hearing from Diart that I had to attend the party, I did some research in case I had to meet them again. No one is without flaws, and the information I gathered exceeded my expectations. That meant I knew the weaknesses of those in front of me who were currently ignoring me, not just Countess Myrus.
‘Knowledge is power.’
I smiled brightly. They must have thought that my smile meant something because I saw the ladies flinch. Viscountess Weston bit her lip and spoke up.
“Duchess, pardon me for being blunt, but what you just said was very rude.”
“Yes. Countess Myrus was upset. You should apologize.”
Who was saying what to whom? They couldn’t even move a muscle when they knew my true identity at the bakery, but now that they have allies by their side, they’ve grown bold. I pretended to ponder for a moment before smiling brightly.
“Despite the fact that I am facing a divorce, I am still officially the Duchess. And before I married into House Wheaton, I was the only beloved daughter of the three Dukes of the Empire. So are you, Countess Myrus, complaining about rudeness?”
“E-Even if you are a Duchess, it’s only right to apologize if you did something wrong…”
“That’s right. It is.”
“But you attacked me first, so I returned the favor. Yet now you’re making me out to be the only bitch.”
As soon as vulgar words came out of my mouth, the expressions of the noble ladies turned sour. Reputation be damned, this is frustrating.
“If the ladies apologize first, then I’ll consider apologizing too.”
「So what if she’s a duke’s daughter. She’s just an abandoned child whose father won’t even look at her.」
The Countess, who had been glaring at me with her lips pressed tightly together, sneered with the hesitant ladies, who hadn’t expected me to come out so strongly.
In response to her words, the noblewomen, who seemed surprised, gasped and then burst into laughter at my lack of reaction.
「Did you just hear that? Calling me a bitch, how can someone who claims to be a Duchess use such a vulgar word?」
「I guess that’s how she was raised.」
「There’s no point in arguing with her. We’ll just be dragged down to her level. It’s better to step back.」
The momentum of the noblewomen subsided again. Thinking that I couldn’t understand Hivisian, they didn’t hesitate to mock me.
I finally sensed that the time had come. How surprised they would be, it’s already amusing. I suppressed the rising corners of my mouth and calmly spoke.
「You don’t seem to have been raised any better yourselves.」
The noblewomen fell into contemplation and stepped back. Their faces looked as if they had seen a ghost.
I spoke with a rising sense of catharsis from head to toe, and they had flushed faces that made it seem like they had forgotten even to breathe.
「No matter how much of an unloved daughter I am, I don’t know if my father would stay quiet if he knew I was being treated like this outside. Oh, and before that, as an honorable and responsible duke, I don’t think he’d be able to accept the fact that the mistress of his family has been toyed with by a mere count or viscount, even if I am a wife who’s about to be divorced.」
I smiled brightly. Even to my ears, the Hivisian language that came out of my mouth was much more fluent than theirs. Countess Myrus and the Viscountess, who had sneered and mocked me, had cold sweat running down their faces.
“W-what we just said was, well, just…”
They desperately wanted to salvage the situation, but no matter how they thought about it, it seemed impossible. Since I had heard their blatant mockery, whatever they said would be pointless.
To avoid a dead ending, I didn’t want to resort to what Roeni did as much as possible, but at this moment, I needed to become the villainess from this novel.
I struck a pose that I had read Roeni often did when tormenting her powerless servants. I propped up one leg and placed my hand on my waist while tilting my head at about a forty-five-degree angle. With a smug expression, I looked down at the noblewomen.
“They say that words, once spoken, are like water that has been spilled and cannot be picked up. I will make sure that your insolence is returned.”
“D-Duchess, we apologize. Please let go of your anger.”
“We are sorry. We acted rudely towards you due to our short-sightedness. We are reflecting, so please show us mercy…”
They were scary when they arrogantly behaved like that. I pondered with my finger on my chin and turned my head. Watching over me… [omitted]
I turned my head, seemingly contemplating, as I used my fingers to stroke my chin. The faces of the noblewomen watching me were pleading.
“Would you like to get down on your knees and beg, then?”
I twisted my lips and laughed.
‘Man, I’m an asshole if I do say so myself.’
As I thought, the noblewomen looked embarrassed. Even in this awkward situation, it would hurt Roeni’s pride to kneel before them. Of course, I didn’t really want to see them kneel.
I laughed in amusement.
“I was just kidding. Why are you making such a serious face?”
“Yes? Does that mean you forgive us?”
“I was just joking when I told you to kneel, okay? I didn’t grow up with such a refined upbringing, so I can’t be that generous.”
I looked down at the noblewomen who shrugged their shoulders in confusion and turned around.
“I’ll have to think long and hard about what to do with you.”
Of course, I had no real intention of snitching on the Duke of Feischer or Diart. What could Duke Feischer or Diart do for me, who was rumored to be an abandoned daughter in high society.
But just thinking that they would not be able to sleep properly tonight because they were worried about retaliation made my suppressed frustration disappear.
‘Ah, how refreshing.’
As I moved away from them and smiled, Milto quickly approached me. His expression was full of concern. Although he didn’t know the details, he could tell from the harsh atmosphere that there was friction between me and the noblewomen.
“Madam, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Milto cautiously checked my mood and held out the teacup he was holding.
“It’s a little cold now, but would you like to have some if you’re okay?”
Just as he said, the tea looked cold. However, I willingly accepted it, thinking of Milto who had sweated to bring it.
“Thank you. I was thirsty anyway.”
As I drank the tea, Milto’s expression relaxed a little.
“His Excellency went out for a moment because of a messenger who came from the mansion.”
“Is that so?”
It wasn’t a story that interested me much, so I shrugged my shoulders indifferently.
“I’m afraid I’ll have to step out for a while as well. Will you be okay alone?”
He seemed uneasy about leaving me alone after seeing that scene earlier. I smiled as if I didn’t mind.
As Milto left after my response, I headed to a corner of the banquet hall with a glass of wine. It was satisfying and amusing to have fooled those eager humans, but now I felt that my energy was running out.
I couldn’t dance with other men until I danced with Diart first, what a ridiculous etiquette. I should have danced with Jarvis earlier!
I gritted my teeth as I looked at Jarvis, whose conversations with the ladies seemed to have no end.
‘Where the hell is my dear Edgar, anyway?’
I searched the banquet hall thoroughly since earlier, but I couldn’t find anyone who resembled Edgar. I had hoped so much to see him today, could it be that I’m being stood up again? It would be better to just go home if that’s the case!
So many people are coming to see me today. Who is it now, I wondered as I turned my head and gasped. Adelia was looking at me with her hair flowing down and a shy expression.
“Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Adelia McGregor.”
I greeted Adelia, who curtsied and lifted the hem of her dress. How refreshing and lovely her voice is. Seeing you washes away my fatigue.
‘But what could be happening with the heroine? In the original, Roeni was always the one who would get jealous of Adelia and start a fight first.’
“I really wanted to meet you, so I’m very excited.”
“You wanted to see me?”
Roeni doesn’t have a good reputation to the extent that she has never heard that someone was excited to meet her. I tilted my head in confusion, and Adelia smiled softly in response.
“I really wanted to see your face to see how stupid you looked.”