“If you don’t have a partner to go to your debut with, I’d like to ask for it.”


“A partner of the debutante?”


“Because the debutante herself cannot have her family be her partner.”


“Why is the Young Master asking me?”


“Hey, the Duke and the Count have been on good terms for a long time, and my younger sister decided to help the Lady, so I can’t stand still.”


Then, Floria intervened between the two.


“It’s something to think about slowly.
Brother, would you like to talk for a moment?”


Floria had a smile on her face, but a shadow was cast over it.
No one other than the siblings would be able to read what it meant.
Gallot shot the same smile and stood up from his seat.


“My sister must be very worried.”


“Perhaps because it’s his first time meeting you.
Lady Amber, could you wait a moment?”


Beatrice also stood up, feeling the strange energy flowing between the two.


“May I be guided to the mansion by the maid while you two are talking?”


Usually, this is the part where the owner is supposed to guide you to the mansion, but Beatrice said it in a way implying that they should talk and left her seat.
As if understanding what she meant, Floria nodded and called Emily.


“No, she’s already in charge of you, Lady Billander.
I can’t let her handle me, too.”


Emily was like her hands and feet, so Beatrice’s refusal seemed to be considerate of Floria, but it was actually meant for a different purpose — her rejection of Emily, that is.


“Then I’ll put my maid on it.”


Gallot butted in.
Floria’s undesirable gaze caught him, but he spoke to Emily regardless.


“Go get Lily.”




Emily answered bluntly and walked out of the living room.
Beatrice brought out Lily’s image in her memory — it would be her first time seeing her this young.
The child was employed by the Count and assigned her to Gallot.


Since she’s young, she’s still doing chores like cleaning the rooms, but she’s smart and quick-witted, so you’d soon like her.


Lily’s hatred was directed at the household head, Count Heliot, but she also despised Gallot as she was helping him.
She crouched down under those she hate, looking for an opportunity to strike, and eventually, she got what she wanted and then ran away.


Despite her praise, Beatrice found her strategy not suitable.
The way she wanted it was faster and simpler.


“I brought Lily.”


“Lily, show Lady Amber around the mansion.”


“Yes, I will serve you with all my heart.”


 As Beatrice followed Lily out of the room, Floria snapped at Gallot.


“What is it now?”


“What are you doing?”


“I told you to not even come close to us.” 


“I’m home, so I might as well say hello to the Duke’s daughter.”


“Don’t be ridiculous.
You didn’t come here to say hello, you came here to play tricks — to propose being her partner at the first meeting.”


“She would ask a close family member to be her partner anyway, isn’t that strange?”

“You still asked her if you could be her partner after knowing she would do that? You just went to see Lady Amber.”


“Why can’t I do that?”


Words went back and forth quickly.
Floria had a heavy frown on her face, but Gallot rather had a casual smile.
She hated almost everything about him, but she hated his attitude the most.


He had a good-looking face and not a bad family.
He’s kind to women who might be useful and he’s not shy about taking advantage of them and then throwing them away when he’s done — cleverly, so that they wouldn’t even notice it.


He couldn’t do anything to the Duke’s daughter, but what he wanted was obvious.
He wanted to seduce her and take over being the son-in-law in the Duke’s family.
What he had done now was probably the first step of his huge trick for Beatrice.


With his shiny outer shell, he would take the place as the partner of the Duke’s daughter, collect her information little by little, and then play the ideal type that seemed to match her.


“Lady Amber is the youngest daughter in the family.
Her older brother is no one to beat.”


“Her family cares about her? That’s even better! If she had been despised by her family for being an illegitimate child, I wouldn’t even look at her.”


“Are you crazy?”


“You’re being talked about as a candidate for Duke Amber’s fiancée, but can’t it be me? After all, you don’t want to be engaged to Duke Amber, so shouldn’t I be associated with that family, too?”


The way he squinted his eyes was sweet to other people, but to Floria, it’s more disgusting than a crawling centipede.


Beatrice Amber was bad at dealing with people.
That was what Floria concluded when she recalled her attitude as Gallot had just entered the living room.


When she thought about the young lady sitting quietly, unaware of the rudeness Gallot had committed, Floria grew even more furious.
He tried to do something to the woman who didn’t know anything. 


The way she didn’t even make eye contact may seem disrespectful for Gallot, but considering her attitude a while ago when she smiled at me for the first time, she was probably just feeling awkward and didn’t know how to deal with it.


We’re both women so she’d be more comfortable with me.
I could tell how uncomfortable she was with Gallot without even asking.
However, I don’t know how long that attitude would last.


Gallot had a pretty appearance.
I hate to admit it, but he knew how to make himself look attractive, so the innocent Beatrice Amber might really fall for him if he continued to play his tricks on her.


The odds were even higher given that she’d never met a man outside of her own blood.


“Can’t you stay still?”


“What are you going to do if I don’t stay still?”


“Do you think the lady is someone who would bring in commoners and sacrifice them just because her father told her to? No, she’s just not like that.
Those people like you shouldn’t get married.
You know why? Because who wants to ruin someone’s life!”


“So you’re going to let outsiders know?”


“Let it go.”


“What are you going to do about it?”


Floria shut her mouth at Gallot’s slurred tone.
It’s not a crime in the Empire for nobles to kill commoners.


Of course, an intentional massacre could be brought to trial, but it was because of the excessive damage it brought to the people from the imperial family, not because of the murder of the commoners.


It’s not a sin to kill a small number within one’s territory, and it’s even worse if you don’t kill.
Floria began to nibble her lower lip.


Gallot tricked good-looking commoners, both men and women, by giving them jobs and then threw them into his father’s room.


Her own father was literally a scum who liked taking people by force, and what’s even more disgusting here was that he couldn’t have such a reputation with those he couldn’t win.


“How long do you plan on doing that disgusting thing?”


“Floria, you are too emotional.
Why do you care about the commoners so much?”


“Is that a matter of being a commoner or not now?”


Gallot and her father did not regard commoners as human beings.
How funny and disgusting.
To get them drunk by force without being considered human… Trash bastards.
Even hell can’t accept you!


Floria glared at him sharply while Gallot heaved a deep sigh as he looked at his immature sister.


“Someday, you will understand me, too.”


“That day will never come.”


Gallot didn’t respond to her and went out of the living room.
He thought his sister was still too young to understand.
She’s nineteen, it’s time for her to mature. Tsk, he clicked his tongue.


Gallot kept his father’s dirty hobbies from spreading as much as he could and chose only those commoners who could not get rid of them, then he dedicated them to him.
It’s also his job to give them a decent amount of money and put it away after work.


Those who didn’t listen to him had no choice but to be killed, yet he only thought that they brought this upon themselves.
He would be the next Count Billander, he had to stop the family from having a scandal.


He wasn’t good at what he did either.
Although he was only carrying his father’s job for the honor of the family, his younger sister did not understand him at all.
It’s not that bad in the first place.


* * *


Beatrice walked down the hallway with Lily.
She was a very good employee, she moved minimally and gave the guests a tour of all the facilities inside the mansion.


Beatrice said she wanted to see the study as she sat by the window displaying the best view of the garden’s fountain — but since it was winter, there was no water.
The decorated statues were delicate and worth seeing without water, but not worth looking at for a long time. 


At Beatrice’s words, Lily bowed her head and began to guide her again.
From here we had to go through a long hallway to arrive at the study.
Perhaps because of the large windows in the hallway, the trees in the garden outside were well maintained even in winter.


I could hear the cold wind cracking through the sharp coniferous leaves.
Suddenly, Beatrice stopped in her tracks.
When she stopped walking, Lily noticed and looked at her like she had seen a ghost.


A guest of the Count and the daughter of a noble family.
She knew she was visiting today, but Beatrice was the lady’s guest, so she’s not someone she’d ever see once more.
A woman who was somehow involved with her due to Gallot’s orders, someone she would have no connection with after today.


Nevertheless, to Lily, Beatrice was a woman who gave her a strange feeling.


The Duke’s daughter looked inside the mansion with such indifference for a person who asked for guidance.
She nodded her head as if she was listening when Lily gave her explanation about the mansion, but she didn’t ask any more questions or show interest at least.


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