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“Greetings, Princess.”




“Cough, cough. Come closer and sit.”




Upon her first private audience with Julian, who was now a princess, Iva was nervous and greeted her with courtesy.




However, Julian, leaning against the headboard of her bed, barely glanced at Iva and nonchalantly gestured with her chin for her to approach.




The atmosphere felt oddly different from when they had met at the party. Without uttering a word, Iva approached the princess.




Julian looked as if she hadn’t fully recovered, her face more pallid than the white quilt covering her.




“I had something to say to you, and when I heard that you were summoned to Brother Claude’s office, so I called you.”




“I see.”




What could she possibly want to tell me? At the party, Julian was continuously by Ray’s side before she collapsed. Iva wondered if perhaps the princess intended to apologize for nearly ruining the mood of the party.




As she moved to sit on the temporary chair next to Julian’s bed, Julian interjected.












“Just stand. It’ll only be a moment. After all, I wouldn’t want my illness to spread to the lady.”




Standing awkwardly, Iva blinked and quickly grasped the situation.




She’s feigning concern for me, but she’s clearly dismissing me.




Deliberately providing a seat and then preventing someone from sitting was one of the tactics nobility used to openly belittle those they deemed of lower status.




The corners of Iva’s mouth twisted ever so slightly.




“Is there an issue?”




Julian narrowed her blue eyes into crescent moon shapes and smiled. Internally gritting her teeth, Iva responded with a matching smile.




She was now certain that the Julian from her past life was entirely different from the one before her now.




“Not at all. It’s an honor that Princess is showing concern for my well-being. Please, continue.”




Sensing that she wasn’t summoned for trivial reasons, Iva became even more composed.




Following Julian’s earlier directive, Iva didn’t sit but stood still. However, she subtly tilted her head, ensuring the angle wasn’t conspicuous.




“Regarding last night’s party…Young Lady… Why are you looking at me like that?”




Julian’s brow furrowed. Given Julian’s seated position on the bed, Iva naturally looked down upon her.




Yet, the strange tilt made Iva appear to be disdainfully looking down, which displeased Julian even more.




“Pardon? I’m not sure what you’re referring to.”




Iva feigned ignorance, pretending not to grasp the situation.




Sorry, but I am also the precious daughter of a count’s family, living my third life. My experience isn’t to be underestimated.




Such a rudimentary tactic to belittle someone was elementary for Iva to counter.




“I’m just standing as Princess instructed. Is it uncomfortable for you?”




She echoed Julian’s tone, making the faint smile on Julian’s lips stiffen slightly.




“On second thought, our conversation might take a while. It’s best if you sit.”




“Then, if you’ll excuse me.”




Anticipating the next move, Iva quickly took her seat.




“Please, continue with what you were saying.”




When Iva smiled with such genuine innocence, Julian responded with a slightly displeased expression.




“Do you remember when I fainted at the party?”




“Of course, I remember.”




How could I forget when it almost ruined the entire event?




“I’ve had a frail constitution since birth. Whenever I’m a little tired or stressed, my heart races, and my vision blurs.”




“I see.”




“Do you think such symptoms occur only to me?”








“Anyone could have fainted like I did. There was absolutely no preparation for such occurrences. Weren’t you the one in charge of the party?”








“Your oversight in preparing the event without such considerations was a mistake. I suggest Young Lady to pay attention to these things next time; it would be beneficial for you.”




It was so absurd that she couldn’t even muster a dry laugh.




How could everything from start to finish be so nonsensical? Which damned noble would bring their ailing body to a bustling party!




I had listened quietly, expecting an apology, but instead received unwarranted advice?




Iva struggled to keep her rising anger in check.




“The place where I was recuperating is filled with those who have fragile health, and every aspect of their lives includes such preparations. There are plenty of books on it that could be helpful to you.”




Perhaps royal apologies come in a different form? She tried to interpret Julian’s words in the best light possible but failed.




It was understandable, considering there wasn’t a hint of remorse in Julian’s voice.




“Still, don’t fret too much. Such oversights can happen when one lacks diverse experiences.”




Iva’s smile faded at Julian’s condescending tone as if she was granting her forgiveness.




“Oh, right. There’s another essential thing that is common sense.”




“… Common sense?”




Julian glanced at the bedroom door and gestured for Iva to come closer, leaning in as if wary of eavesdroppers.




Though she didn’t want to approach, how could one refuse the princess? Hiding her unease, Iva drew near, and Julian whispered into her ear.




“If royalty is greeting someone else, you could be punished for rudely intervening.”




Iva nearly bit her tongue out of sheer astonishment.




Julian was referring to the moment she had interrupted her greeting with Bridget. So, she called her over for revenge.




“I’m kind enough not to care about such formalities, but I’m worried that you, Young Lady, being unfamiliar with the rules might make another mistake with other royals. It’s best to be cautious in the future.”




While it appeared a concern on the surface, it was more of a veiled warning for her to watch her behavior.




Having said her piece, Julian distanced herself from Iva, once again wearing her sunshine-like smile.




Iva managed to muster a smile, biting the inside of her cheek.




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