Chapter 72

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Lysia swept her chest down.

“Oh, you surprised me, sister Aubrey. What are you doing there?”

(T/N: Lysia calls Aubrey as ‘older sister’ or ‘언니’)

Lysia and Aubrey were cousins. Even if she did not live nearby, there was a degree of exchange.

When Lysia was young, they were closer. Because she grew up in the stronghold, left to Margaret’s hands to learn the manners and culture of the nobility.

However, even though they were the same age, the two were never close.

Lysia said.

“I didn’t see you in the banquet hall. I heard that you became a lady-in-waiting of the Grand Duchess…”

Aubrey came out to the place where the light of the lantern was reaching. Lysia frowned at her.

Aubrey’s clothes and makeup were excessively luxurious. Artizea’s was elegant and luxurious, but not excessive, so the difference was even more noticeable.

It’s okay if Aubrey herself is the main character, but this was a New Year’s banquet.

If Aubrey had entered the banquet hall as is, she would have become the lady-in-waiting who has more colorful clothes than her mistress.

Aubrey said sharply.

“That woman stopped me from entering the banquet hall.”

Lysia couldn’t understand who Aubrey was talking about. It was because she never thought she would call the Grand Duchess in words like ‘that woman’.

Not in the mood to ask who and what had happened, she said as if evading.

“…. Aunt Margaret was looking for you.”

“What did you talk to His Grace?”

“We didn’t talk much. I just listened to his story a little because it seemed that the Grand Duke had a problem.”

“Why to you?”

“It’s probably because I was nearby at the moment he wanted to talk.”

Perhaps the most important thing Cedric wanted to say was to take care of Artizea.

It may also be because he hoped that Lysia, as the representative of the rebel’s village, would not be anxious. He reminded her that he was not married in order to intervene with Lawrence’s succession to the throne.

But Lysia didn’t say that in detail.

It was because Aubrey wasn’t having a normal expression.

Aubrey questioned her with a hoarse voice.

“Is it because of that woman?”

“What?”

“Is it because of that woman? Yes. I knew it. He’s a wise man, so even if he was seduced for a moment, he would have immediately noticed what kind of person she is. Did he say anything about me?”

Lysia then realized that she was referring to Artizea.

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“You don’t mean ‘that woman’ as the Grand Duchess, are you?”

“Why? Did I say something wrong? Then, should I praise a woman like that?”

“Sister Aubrey, how dare you say that?”

“Did I say something I couldn’t? Do you mean because she’s the Marchioness of Rosan? Who doesn’t know that the woman’s mother is the Emperor’s mistress? She claimed she was the daughter of the predecessor Marquis, but no one knows her birth father?”

“Sister, be careful what you say.”

“Well, she’s not an ordinary prostitute. She’s that kind of woman. What did she learn?”

“You have insulted not only the Grand Duchess but also the Grand Duke!”

Lysia raised her voice.

“Stop pretending to be good. It’s disgusting.”

Aubrey looked at Lysia with a disgusted face.

“Why don’t you want me to say that she’s not a good person? Because she’s above me? What kind of woman is she?”

Aubrey said in a voice filled with resentment.

Artizea had to respect her.

Isn’t that what the Evron Grand Duchess should do? She must, of course, adapt to the people of the Grand Duchy and respect Count Jordyn.

Even Cedric respects Aaron and Margaret. He himself considers Aubrey like a family.

But Artizea kept her standing endlessly, and treated her no more than a furniture. She made Aubrey be ignored by the maids, and even Cedric stopped paying her attention.

How can she do this to her, a descendant of the noble Count Jordyn?

“The Grand Duke always said he would choose the best suit for Evron. But is that prostitute good enough for Evron?”

“So, if she has an inappropriate qualification as the Grand Duchess, and sister knows about it and speaks for His Grace, why can’t you tell His Grace directly? Now go into the banquet hall and give advice to His Grace, the Grand Duke, in front of everyone.”

Lysia pointed to the banquet hall. Aubrey raised her voice.

“That’s because she forbids me from going to the banquet!”

“I don’t think that’s it. You couldn’t come out even though His Grace was here a while ago.”

Lysia said sharply.

“If you come through the official route to give advice, there is no way that the Grand Duchess will reject it. Instead, you insult, criticize and curse her behind her back.”

“This, this!”

Aubrey raised her hand in anger.

Lysia clasped Aubrey’s wrist before it slapped her in the cheek. And she said coldly.

“Don’t even think about it, sister Aubrey.”

“Let go!”

“It’s because you’re jealous. If you think about it, you’ll get the answer right away.”

Aubrey’s face was stained with anger and shame. Her hair stood on top.

Lysia then said.

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“His Grace has undeservedly loved you like his own sister. But that’s because your parents, aunt and uncle have sincerely served His Grace. It’s not that sister was special.”

“I told you to let go of me! You do whatever you want, you can crawl to her in a servile manner.”

“Grand Duchess is someone who doesn’t need your approval. Because she is the mistress of this land that the Grand Duke has chosen himself.”

Aubrey went wild trying to get rid of Lysia’s hand, but she couldn’t beat Lysia at her strength.

Lysia held her tight, she said.

“I can’t let you go. I don’t know what you’re going to do. As long as you insulted her by making a noise like this, it’s not just about you. I can’t let you cause any more trouble to the Grand Duke.”

Aubrey was struggling and her hair was all loose and messy. A silver pin with a flower in her hair fell to the floor. Her face and ears were also reddened.

The fuss grew. Soon after hearing the news that the two were fighting, Margaret ran.

Margaret saw Aubrey’s appearance and took her by the shoulder, dismayed by the view.

Lysia released her hand and sighed long. Her arms were stiff.

“Aubrey, what the hell did you do, where did you go?”

“Oh! Mom! Why are you even like this, Mom!”

“Go!”

Margaret grabbed Aubrey’s wrist.

“What did I do wrong? I can’t accept that such a prostitute is His Grace’s companion!”

Aubrey yelled. Margaret hurriedly closed Aubrey’s mouth, but the sound rang throughout the hallway.

The servants and the maids were frightened, each bowed their heads. They pretended not to hear anything and left.

***

Thud!

The door was roughly closed.

Aubrey, who was left alone, swung around the room, huffing and puffing.

Margaret dragged her to the temple, not to the Jordyn Estate.

She was afraid that if she took Aubrey to the Mansion, she would be said to protect Aubrey.

The temple was chosen because there are many vacancies, it’s a public place, and not a prison.

Even during the day, she didn’t know things would go this far.

However, the rant in the hallway today couldn’t be tolerated. She couldn’t even imagine how much worse she had said in front of Lysia,

She couldn’t cover it by sending her quietly to a country cottage anymore.

[The Jordyn family has been the vassal of the Grand Duke until now, and has been trusted by His Grace as well. To your mom and your dad, that was our lifelong pride. In such a case, you will destroy our family. I can’t let that happen.]

[What did I do wrong? What’s the big deal about a maid injured?]

[With you as the lady-in-waiting, you threw the mission entrusted by the Grand Duchess to the floor and wounded the head of her favorite maid. In addition to that, unforgivable abusive remarks about the Grand Duchess. If you were a member of the Knights, you would have lost your neck on the spot.]

Margaret said with a suffocating face.

[How did I raise my child like this.]

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[I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t think I said anything I couldn’t.]

[When the snow stops, go to the convent. Don’t come out of there forever and live reflecting on yourself.]

[Mom!]

[How fortunate are you that Her Grace will forgive you just by removing you from her sight?]

Margaret said so, and she shut the door. She ordered servants to watch Aubrey in two shifts.

Aubrey couldn’t beat them. Although she is angry at Artizea, she is also angry with Lysia.

Why did Cedric not say a word to her, but he was telling Lysia that?

It was then.

The door opened.

“Who is it!”

Aubrey shouted sharply. The two fallen servants collapsed inside the door.

It was a young man with fiery red hair who kicked the servants. Three or four armed men entered after him.

“Wh… who are you?”

Aubrey was terrified.

The man was wearing a short sword and had a tanned face. At first glance, he was not a northerner.

The man pulled a chair and sat down and smiled.

“I’m from the South Sea. I came up without knowing the northern weather, and got tied up. Thankfully, the temple took pity on me and gave me accommodation.”

“Lies.”

“It’s a foreign identity, but it’s true that my feet were tied because I didn’t know the northern weather well, and it was true that the temple felt sorry. Sit down, Lady Jordyn. I didn’t come to harm the Lady.”

Aubrey slowly relaxed.

Well, what wickedness could that man do here?

This is no ordinary place, but a temple of the stronghold.

“That’s bold. No. I’m not condemning it. That’s exactly what I like. You need guts to negotiate.”

“What’s your purpose? What are you going to negotiate?”

“I’m here to get my woman back. I think the Lady can help with that.”

“Your woman?”

The man laughed.

“Exactly, I’m trying to get my girl back. It’s amazing to hear the news when I’m on my way to propose and she married another guy.”

Aubrey trembled. This is because she realized that the man was talking about Artizea.

Isn’t that so? Artizea and her maids are the only foreigners in Evron’s stronghold.

She is the only one who could have a relationship with a man from the South Sea.

“That woman, she’s a really funny woman. You mean she married the Grand Duke with a lover aside?”

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The man did not answer the question and smiled and said.

“Lady Jordyn. Rumor has it that the Lady hates the Grand Duchess quite a bit…. Will our purpose be quite aligned?”

Aubrey nodded her head without thinking.

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