< — Love, Understanding and Family — > (4)
TN: Couldn’t find an emoji that suited my mood translating this (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
It was a place that held more than a 100 people but it was quiet to the point that even the sound of breathing could not be heard. No one opened their mouth, laughed or touched their cups.
Covered with bright makeup and colorful dresses, these women eerily spotted the same wooden expressions. This all started with the Countess of Wales.
“What seems to be the problem, Countess Wales?”
“I understood today’s party to be one for women. This purpose doesn’t seem to fit that.”
“It is just a child. Although a male child, one cannot say there has been no such precedence. Especially in the capital.”
Lucia replied with special emphasis on the last word. The northern high society could not compare to the capital’s high society whether it was in scale or people.
Even if one brags about being famous in the northern high society, one is simply big fish in a little pond. Lucia chose words that would hurt the Countess’ pride to give her a strong warning. How about withdrawing at this point?
“If you put it that way, then I have nothing else to say.”
The Countess of Wales answered, deliberately displaying a sullen expression. The sly Countess found the Duchess’ provocation about the capital ridiculous.
‘Just as I thought, the Duchess has been hiding her true colors.’
The gentle and docile appearance she showed at tea parties was also a lie. The Countess thought the Duchess acting as though she wasn’t interested in the northern high society was a lie.
To say she had no desire to use her status as the Duchess to control the high society? That was no way she didn’t have such desires. Sure enough, she was obviously in the process of passively exploring for now.
‘Duchess, if you think you can seize the north high society with just your status as a Duchess, you’re heavily mistaken.’
If there was world where status and rank did not have absolute reign, it was the high society. Just like the Queen could not dominate the capital’s high society with just her status, the northern high society also couldn’t be dominated with just status.
‘Becoming a Duchess after being a princess merely appears good.’
If the Duchess thought about it a little more, she would know that much. The Countess held a lot of interest in the capital’s high society so she was well-informed on the rumors in the capital and she knew what rumors were currently spreading in the capital about the Duchess.
Not all rumors were true but the Countess knew many things that the northern people did not know. For instance, she knew that the Duchess did not have a single relative and was merely one of the many princesses in the castle.
There was also many suspicious points about her marriage to the Duke. According to a credible rumor source, the King and the Duke had some sort of contract.
When the Countess heard the rumor depicting the Duchess as a celestial beauty, she laughed her head off. She also deemed the rumor that the ducal couple led a happily married life to be a groundless rumor.
The Countess knew of the Taran Duke’s female exploits very well. The Duke was never a man to settle for one woman.
‘Duchess, if you want to hold on to that seat for long time, you have to keep helpful people by your side. Not that old thing on her last legs.’
The fact that the Countess of Corzan was the first person to meet the Duchess and was requested to teach the Duchess about the high society, was pretty much the topic of discussion in the high society. Due to this, the Countess of Wales was dissatisfied.
Her influence was far superior to the Countess of Corzan yet people looked up to the Countess of Corzan and called her Godmother.
‘Nothing but an old thing in a back room teaching bridal lessons at best.’
Acting aloof and admonishing while using the reason that she was much older, the very sight of Countess Corzan sickened the Countess of Wales. Not being able to see the Countess of Corzan these days made her feel completely refreshed.
So in today’s garden party, the Countess of Wales intended to highlight her existence to the Duchess, no matter the means and just in the nick of time, the Duchess gave her a very good means.
The moment the young lord appeared, the countess made all her calculations in an instant then she began a silent protest. Her justification being the party’s purpose.
Damian had been announced as the successor to the Duke and it wasn’t something one could not formally question it. Hence, there was no one that did not know that the Countess’ justification was simply just that, a justification.
Beginning with the Countess, the elderly women acted together, the young ladies chatted cluelessly at first but as time passed, they became conscious of their surroundings and followed passively.
It had almost been an hour and a half since the party was declared as started but people sat like dolls without any expression.
Not everyone was in sync. In this situation, Kate appeared very casual, deliberately making loud noises, drinking tea and eating sweets. However, she lacked the ability to overturn the situation alone.
The Countess of Wales was too strong an opponent for Kate. Kate had her great-aunt behind her so she could openly oppose it but the other young ladies could not.
It was an event of power struggle between the organizer and the attendees. (1). Or in the case where an organizer commits a mistake that should be socially or ethically criticized, the high society punishes them in the manner of party-breaking.
The method was simple. The attendees would just remain silent.
If the party-break wasn’t for the purpose of punishment but for a problem that occurred during the party, until the problem was resolved, the attendees would keep their mouth shut, as if declaring their absence.
When a person began to lead a party-break, unless someone else with similar influence to the leader opposes them, it was the rule that other people would turn a blind eye and follow along.
‘If great-aunt was here, it wouldn’t have become like this.’
Kate was overwhelmed with regret. Party-breaking was a war for women. There were no deaths or loud cries like in a man’s war but at times it was more cruel and bloody.
Also unlike a man’s war, in the high society’s struggle for power, status and rank were not absolute. If one approaches a situation by throwing down one’s status, gradually one would be treated as an outcast in the high society.
Lucia looked over the crowd with a frosty expression. The maids were pale with fright and had crowded themselves in a corner. Contrarily, Damian’s expression was the very placid.
Lucia had once witnessed the sight of a party-break occurring in her dream. A party-break was impossible in a very small tea party or in a grand ball where many people, both male and female, were in attendance. It was only plausible in a moderate meeting were only women were in attendance.
The party-break she witnessed happened just like today. From her experience in her dream, there had never been a party-break for rational or reasonable purposes.
A high society faction dispute, a confrontation between women’s cliques, a revenge led by the wife to punish the adulterous organizer. These were the reasons for most of them.
Lucia knew the way to conclude a party-break. If the organizer and the attendees appeared to have a plausible reconciliation, the party could finish up safely.
Usually, it was the organizer that took a step back. This was because if one’s party fails in the middle, it was a huge disgrace.
The way to resolve this situation was clear. Damian had to be sent out of the party.
(1). I originally wanted to translate this as: ‘It was a dick measuring contest between the organizer and the attendees’ but I refrained. Hah.
(2). ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ)