My dream began to shine in a new scene.
It was a tea party in the garden of an aristocratic mansion.
Her timid appearance in front of the Duke was nowhere, and Erina was savoring the tea in a relaxed manner.
All the other aristocratic ladies glanced at her, unable to approach her hastily.
Regardless of her treatment within the dukedom, from the outside, Erina was the official princess of the Duke of Baloa.
Then a blond chubby girl entered the garden.
“Am I too late?”
Erina’s eyes, which had been gloomy all along, turned around.
She was the only child of a commoner businessman who the Duke spoke of.
Although she was a commoner, his father’s business was so successful that she was often invited to parties for noble ladies.
However, being invited did not mean being welcomed.
“Yes, it’s a basic courtesy to be punctual. It’s disappointing.”
The Count’s lady, who hosts the tea party, openly rebuked the commoner girl.
“Oh, I’m sorry. The invitation clearly said 4 p.m., but…….”
However, the Count’s lady, who felt it was not worth replying to this, passed by without showing her seat to the guest.
The other young ladies gathered among themselves and began to whisper, glancing at the commoner girl.
“I’ve invited her so far that I never imagined she’d come late confidently.”
“Her clothes are also……. It doesn’t fit the theme of the party, how tacky.”
“Looking at this, I think money isn’t everything. Money can’t buy aristocratic habits and sensibilities.”
Erina eventually put down her teacup with a click.
“Miss Harris, I happen to have an empty seat next to me.”
With only that one word, Erina managed to win the blind trust of Cecilia Harris.
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“Aren’t I a little shabby?”
Cecilia showed her face to Erina which was dyed red.
“It’s nice, what about it?”
She meant it from the bottom of her heart.
Erina also grew up in a detached house much less than Harris’ before moving to the duke’s main house.
As she settled down in the drawing room, Erina gave her a small card with an elegant gesture.
“I don’t want to come empty-handed, so I prepared a small gift.”
There was a smile all over Cecilia’s face.
“Oh! Is it a handwritten letter? Thank you so much for preparing this.”
Erina smiled faintly.
“Open it now.”
When she opened the stiff luxury envelope, a small business card came out from inside.
Cecilia tilted her head.
As soon as Cecilia read the fancy cursive style of the business card, she closed her mouth with one hand.
“Wow…! Is it that boutique that you can only visit if you’re invited?”
Instead of answering, Erina took a sip of tea with a small smile.
Cecilia’s dress was lavish in all kinds of high-quality fabric, lace, and jewelry, but the result of the combination looked overly colorful and somewhat vulgar.
It was inevitable that she was not invited to the aristocratic boutiques, but a socialite was apt to mock Cecilia with it every time.
Cecilia eventually burst into tears.
“Oh, my God. What a gift….! Thank you, Princess.”
That’s how Erina quickly became acquainted with Cecilia Harris.
Erina spent almost every day with Cecilia Harris, and began to move in and out of the Harris mansion like it’s her own house.
Thanks to her, she had a lot of stories to pick up on the way.
No one thought to watch their mouths in front of a little girl, and Erina worked hard to play the role of an noble young lady who grew up like a flower in a greenhouse.
So no one doubted her.
When Erica introduced Cecilia Harris to a maid who is good at hair and makeup, an outsider came in as Cecilia’s maid.
When she said the garden view from Henry Harris’s study was beautiful and begged for afternoon tea there again and again.
When she went on a field trip to Harris Pharmaceuticals and had a long conversation with a senior researcher.
And when she finally gathered all the information, Erina went back to the Duke.
It was the first time they met since last time.
“I’ve learned how to make aspirin.”
The duke spoke monotonously, without taking his eyes off the accounting sheet he was checking.
“It took a long time.”
“And we’ve seen Harris Pharmaceutical’s main investor list, critical flaws in the next generation of new drugs that have been widespread in media campaigns these days, the blueprint for Harris Pharmaceutical Plant, and the weaknesses of Harris Pharmaceutical’s chief researcher.”
Only then did the Duke slowly raise his head.
It was information that could be easily found by purchasing a few factory workers with small amounts of money.
She can’t be a ‘useful’ human being for such a three-piece role.
“I’ve already met with investors and informed them about the flaws in the new drug. They’re all looking to get their investments back in a few days.”
Erina put the report down on the duke’s desk.
“This is a report on Harris Pharmaceuticals to be sent to the newspaper tomorrow. Maybe the day after tomorrow, the report will go out, and Harris Pharmaceuticals will go bankrupt. The chief researcher has already promised us cooperation, so we just need to build a factory.”
The duke skimmed through the report.
“Why do you want to build a new factory at Harris Pharmaceuticals?”
“The facilities are out of date to manufacture the new drugs that are currently being released. Henry Harris also had a lot of trouble with this, and eventually decided to try manufacturing it in an existing factory, which caused a flaw.”
The Duke stared at Erina in silence for a while.
“Yeah. Your mother’s medicine costs a bee’s head.”
☆*: .｡. .｡.:*☆
For a few days, the Harris family continued to make headlines.
Harris Pharmaceutical’s New Drug Scam!
Harris Pharmaceutical, which was on the rise, went bankrupt overnight! Investors filed for lawsuit!
Henry Harris, charged with fraud.
Harris, foreclosure of all property. It is difficult to appoint a lawyer.
Erina’s hand, holding the newspaper, trembled inexorably. In the end, she dropped the newspaper.
She opened the window because she couldn’t breathe, and she heard a wailing sound from the outside.
“Princess! Princess! Please meet me once……!”
It was Cecilia Harris.
She’s been visiting without a break for days.
Even if the servants dragged her out, she crawled back and begged her.
She doesn’t know who caused her father’s bankruptcy.
“Please, just once……. Hu-heuk…!”
Even the cool wind that came in through the open window was suffocating.
Erina eventually closed the window and pulled a string. As soon as the clear bell rang, the maid came in.
“Return all the gifts I received from Cecilia Harris.”
Erina pointed to a pile of junk on the floor. They were all expensive items.
“If you keep a gift from a criminal’s daughter, it’s not good for others. We’ll have to return everything.”
As the disturbance outside the window subsided, Erina quietly moved to the annex.
Only her nanny and her mother are left in the detached house where they lived when she was young.
Erina headed to the sunniest and best bedroom.
Her mother, who had been asleep almost all day, was rarely awake.
Her mother, who was sitting with her back against the bedhead, welcomed Erina warmly.
“My daughter, I haven’t seen you in a long time.”
Erina endured going into her arms, thinking she might pass a disease on to her mother, so she stayed far away and placed a smile in her face.
“Sorry, I’ve been busy lately.….”
Erina’s eyes turned to the bedside table. Today’s medicine was still on the table with a glass of water.
“Are you taking your medicine well?”
“Of course. It’s a medicine that my daughter gets from studying hard.”
That’s how she surrounded her mother with expensive medicine. It’s an award from the Duke for studying hard.
When her mother gestured her to come closer, Erina hesitated to approach the bed.
As soon as she was within reach, her mother grabbed Erina’s hand.
“I’m sorry I put a lot of pressure on you.”
She looked up at Erina warmly, but somehow she looked complicated.
“No, not at all. Mom, you’re gonna get better soon.”
She automatically puts strength into Erina’s hand.
“Yes, I’ll take the medicine my daughter gives me and cheer up.”
However, even when she visited again at night, the medicine remained next to the water cup.
That’s how the end came. A few days later, her mother finally died.