Chapter 69

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Artizea asked.

“How is your wound?”

“Yes. It’s just a slight tear on the skin. It’s not bleeding anymore.”

“Will it leave a scar?”

“It’s not going to be any. It’s nothing. If I just scratched my arm or something, it would have bled too. I have worried you for no reason.”

“I’m glad to hear.”

Artizea finally smiled.

“Would you please help me with changing my clothes? Normally, you always do it all by yourself, so it’s actually more comfortable.”

“Yes, Madam.”

When Aubrey was first hitting her with the jewelry box, Sophie was sad and angry with tears.

But she quickly brushed it off. It was better to forget.

Aubrey herself was just Count’s Young Lady, but Count Jordyn was different.

It is the second family of Evron Grand Duchy. And Aaron and Margaret are the pillars that the Grand Duke’s people rely heavily on.

It is natural that the hearts of the people of the stronghold are tilted to their daughter.

It was not uncommon for the master’s wife or her lady-in-waiting to beat a maid. Like Miraila. There was never a day for the bruises to fade on the maid’s body.

Sophie wasn’t foolish enough to forget her position because Artizea said she would treat her kindly.

Artizea never beat her either. She was rather angry and she was worried. That was enough for Sophie.

She wished that she wouldn’t be the cause of her precious Madam not getting along with Count Jordyn.

Sophie sighed to hide it from Artizea. She brightened her mood and brought a dress.

What she prepared was a velvet dress lined with a soft, fine fur leather.

“Madam Emily is definitely great. She doesn’t know how cold it will be in the north, so she went and got the help of a local person who told her to make enough cold weather suits inside.”

“I see.”

“I actually thought it might be a little big, but it fit perfectly because I sewed thin fur leather inside.”

The outer material was pale orange with low saturation, and the fur visible on the sleeves and collar was bright barley.

“It’s a New Year’s banquet, so I chose a light color. Your hair is pretty and your skin is white, so you’ll look good in all colors. I feel relieved when a maid like me has to dress you up.”

“You’re doing well, Sophie.”

“Someone like me was originally just a maid in the laundry room.”

“What’s wrong, Sophie? If you weren’t good, wouldn’t Madame Emily have been angry already? Our Madam likes you, so she brought you here.”

Alice said, helping trim Artizea’s hem. Sophie blushed her face.

Artizea looked at the mirror and nodded her head. It was a pretty dress that looked bright and warm.

She lifted the shawl on the dressing table. Because it was for winter, there was fur on the part that touched her neck. The ribbon was silk.

Sophie wrapped it on Artizea’s neck once around her throat, and she took it off as it didn’t fit.

“Sophie.”

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“Yes?”

Artizea put it around Sophie’s neck. Then she took out one of her gold rings and she fixed the shawl with it.

“I like the clothes today. I’ll give you a prize.”

That was an excuse. Sophie knows that it’s not because of the clothes, but because of her injury.

Artizea did not justify herself.

It was strictly because Artizea herself that Sophie got hurt. She knew it for sure.

In the end, this is just an act to compensate Sophie’s wounds. It is to replenish wasted loyalty with money.

She will not retaliate for Sophie.

She will throw Aubrey out. But that’s because that was the goal from the start. Not for Sophie.

Regardless of how they felt, Count Jordyn took precedence over Sophie.

Had it been necessary to have Aubrey by her side, she would not have shown any anger at all.

All people are just numbers. Therefore, this person was just a resource.

That was right.

So Artisea didn’t say anything else.

But Sophie already understood everything.

Her eyes turned red.

“Well, I’m really okay.”

“Didn’t I say I like the clothes?”

“Oh, yes, you did.”

Instead of wiping away her tears, Artizea gently moved the shawl to fix it properly.

And she turned away as if nothing had happened.

It was then that Margaret arrived.

“Grand Duchess, this is Margaret.”

At the sound of the polite call, Alice opened the door.

Margaret came in and knelt on one of her knees instead of saying her usual greetings.

Artizea glanced down at her with only her eyes moving.

Margaret was nervous as she saw Sophie wiping her tears through her sleeve.

Thinking that she is a maid that is not to be ignored. She is one of the most beloved maids brought from Artizea’s family.

Aubrey didn’t just hurt her, she threw a jewelry box.

Even the jewelry box was left to Aubrey’s care by Artizea. In other words, she threw the mission entrusted by her mistress.

In Evron, this was really unforgivable.

“I heard that Aubrey has committed a sin. The sin of raising a daughter incorrectly; I know that nothing can absolve that.”

Margaret deeply bowed her head and said.

“I’m sorry.”

She only hoped that by her own apology, Artizea would relieve Aubrey’s sin by releasing her mind a little.

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Artizea spoke coldly to her without even giving her a gaze.

“Did you find Aubrey?”

“I’m sorry, I’m looking for her right now.”

“I’m sure you know that Aubrey has been disrespectful to me.”

“I have no excuse. Even though Your Grace gave me several opportunities, my child was stupid and immature, so she committed a crime.”

“It’s not up to me to raise a child. I’m not going to scold you. I’m not even questioning the faithfulness of Count Jordyn.”

Margaret only bowed her head.

Although Artizea said so, she did not allow her to stand up. It meant that Aubrey’s sins were not forgiven.

“Alice, take the box and give it to Margaret.”

Alice took the ruined jewelry box on the dressing table and gave it to Margaret.

“Please make sure you get it fixed. As if there was no crack in the first place. If you do that, I will forget it all.”

“Yes.”

Margaret’s hand trembled a little.

What Artizea was talking about was a box, but it was obvious that it wasn’t just a box.

It meant to punish Aubrey on her own so that there was no crack between the Grand Duke and Count Jordyn.

And she will forget about it.

“Thank you for your generosity.”

Margaret bowed her head deeply again before stepping back.

And she hurriedly called a maid.

“I’m ordering everyone to find Aubrey. Tell them that I ordered it, and held her even if she must be tied up by a rope.”

“Yes.”

“If she ever enters the banquet hall, make sure that there is nothing noticeable to the Grand Duchess, you must stop her. Let the guards know.”

“Hah, but, Lady Margaret, then rumors might come out….”

“She has sinned against Her Grace, the Grand Duchess. Is a rumor a problem now? I’ll have to go for a while. If something happens while I’m preparing for the banquet, I’ll send someone.”

“Yes. “

Margaret curled up her hem and headed out in a hurry.

‘Stupid think.’

Becoming the lady-in-waiting of the Grand Duchess was Artizea giving Aubrey a chance.

She kicked the opportunity and she proved herself disrespectful. Now Aubrey would never again be able to rise to a high position within Evron Grand Duchy.

***

Emotionally, Aubrey’s work itself was a trivial matter for Artizea. The long dragging of Count Jordyn was over.

What was left was the New Year’s banquet.

Artizea was escorted by Cedric and headed to the Grand Hall.

Even though it was a large banquet hall with high ceilings, it was warmly heated.

Expensive white charcoal furnaces were placed everywhere. There were so many candlesticks placed everywhere that they would brighten up even the darkest of night if lit.

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To reflect the light, about a hundred glasses were placed close to each other.

To hide the dark tapestry and create a bright atmosphere, the long hanging purple and white silk fabrics were lined here and there.

It is incomparable to the splendid banquet in the capital, but it was magnificent and luxurious enough.

As the two entered, the attendees stood up and bowed.

Cedric led Artizea to the top of the table and made a light greeting with his servants.

The servants diligently carried the glasses. Bubble wine produced in the East was served in long-necked glasses and distributed to everyone.

Artizea also received a glass. Cedric whispered in a small voice.

“If you can’t drink it, you don’t have to.”

“It’s okay. “

Artizea didn’t enjoy alcohol and was weak, but she could drink at least a glass of wine.

Cedric said while standing.

“I’m glad to see this new year with everyone for the first time in 3 years. Thank you for protecting Evron in the meantime. I don’t know how many times I’ve been saying the same greeting, but I’m saying it again.”

A little laughter spread like a wave.

“A lot of things will change in the future. But I hope that next year, we can all celebrate the new year together, staying the same as we do now.”

“No! I’m going to marry too!”

One of the knights shouted. But he was beaten and sunk down, as the people asked him what the hell he was talking about.

So this time Cedric laughed.

“Don’t worry, because it’s always welcome to expand your family. Now, then.”

Cedric raised the glass.

“For a life of honor!”

“For the glory of Evron!”

Following Cedric’s call, the attendees shouted in unison.

“For the Grand Duchess!”

The guy who wanted to stand out, once again shouted a different cheer by himself, and was beaten and sank again.

Cedric just laughed because it was a yearly event.

Then he turned to Artizea, struck his cup lightly against hers, and he emptied it.

Artizea emptied her glass and sat down.

The hearth under her chair was warm and made her feel comfortable.

Aaron came up first and offered a tribute.

“Congratulations on the new year. I wish there will be better news this year.”

“Thank you. It’s all thanks to you. But what about Margaret?”

Aaron being alone, made Cedric puzzledly asked. Aaron sneaked a glance at Artizea.

Artizea said calmly, as she had no intention of blaming Aaron and Margaret.

“Something happened a while ago, so she said she’d be leaving. She can greet us later.”

Cedric nodded his head. Then he realized that Aubrey wasn’t there either.

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He passed it by, thinking that Artizea had entrusted her to do something and let it go.

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