< — Truth & Lies — > (4)
TN: I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it but things in brackets like this: , are conversations from the past. Brackets like this: () just tells you who is speaking. I mix it up sometimes but you can usually tell.
After taking a break for a while, Lucia resumed her activities in high society. Just as before, she opened light tea parties. Nothing changed and just like she’d always done, she invited a wide range of people. Except from a few of the party-break leaders, she put the rest on the invitation list without exceptions.
Lucia showed the authority of the Duchess with her intimidation at the last garden party now, it was time to appease them after her oppression.
She did not wish to reign over the northern high society. But ultimately, she needed to plant herself as an existence that should never be taken lightly.
“Duchess, when do you plan on having a party on a huge scale like last time?”
“My thoughts exactly. I wasn’t invited then so I definitely want to attend next time. When the time comes, can I also get introduced to the young lord?”
“I’m afraid the child is no longer in Roam. He left to go study. But if there’s an opportunity next time, I will introduce you.”
Lucia replied with a smile and secretly took a glance around. She studied the uneasy expression of the ladies who looked like they were being chased and wouldn’t be participating in the discussion anytime soon. They were attendees of previous garden party.
This was already the third tea party but people’s behaviors remained similar. They were split into two sides, those who attended the garden party and those that didn’t.
The ones that attended all looked uncomfortable and helpless. Their countenance didn’t display reluctance to attend or arrogance, on the contrary, they looked sorry and thankful as they greeted Lucia.
Lucia had no intentions of rebuking them. Just as a soldier’s disobedience to command resulted in death, normal women had no power to contest that of leading figures in high society.
And so, Lucia did not mention the events of the garden party so as to not make them uncomfortable but they remained excessively careful of her mood.
In comparison, the ones that did not attend the garden party raised up the topic of Damian as though showing off. They showed no reluctance and constantly and implicitly brought up the child’s title of ‘young lord’.
The sudden reversed attitude of the women was surprising.
‘Is it because he announced publically that Damian is formally entered into the register?’
That was the only guess she could make. As always, the majesty of the Duke was amazing. Lucia did not know that the northern high society went through an enormous stir following the garden party.
It was rumored that the Countess of Wales as well as the tempered elderly wives of the high society that attended the garden party at the time were all secluding themselves at home and when one looked at it, it seemed to be that way. Those crafty old wives seemed to have somehow done something to upset the Duchess’ pride and thought to hide themselves.
The rumor that the Taran Duke seized and killed every last one of the regional lords that rebelled against him, including their families, was also secretly spreading in the high society and so the fear that the northern nobles had towards the Taran Duke reached an extreme high. (1)
Hence, the explosive incident at the garden party that occurred in the meantime struck terror into everyone’s heart. They imagined the Taran Duke learning of the Duchess’ humiliation, and furiously summoning them to all be clubbed to death. After all, there was a connection between the Lady of the House losing face and the Head of the Family’s pride.
Whether the rumor of the Ducal Couple’s intimate matrimonial relationship was true or not, the Taran Duke had proved to at least belong to one of the examples. Originally, the House of the Taran Duke was closed off.
From generation to generation, the Taran Dukes were not interested in having close relationships with northern nobles as well as entering into politics in the capital.
The Taran Duke was an existing but intangible ruler. When the Taran Duke was not in the north due to war, the northern nobles held little interest in their intangible ruler. However, when there was a show of force and someone actually died, the social circle was shaken and people became desperate.
They wished to grasp the heart of their ruler and guarantee their safety. Presently, the only private connection to the current Duke was the Duchess who was engaging in social activities.
The ladies were given special instructions from their husbands or fathers and attended the Duchess’ tea party. It was a scene of chaos trying to secure a position on the list of invitees just before the Duchess threw her third tea party.
Even though her surroundings were as if attacked by a typhoon, the one at the center of the typhoon, Lucia, was calm. Nevertheless, the one who usually informed her in detail of the happenings, Kate, was shutting her mouth and watching the situation unfold.
To be exact, it wasn’t that something precise had happened but that the atmosphere in high society had become restless so what to tell Lucia was vague. She couldn’t say to Lucia, ‘your husband is terrifying so everyone is shaking in their boots’.
“The Duchess shines more beautifully as the days goes on.”
Someone leaked out flattery and a competitive spirit could be felt rising in the air among the women.
“Oh, I have admired the Duchess’ beauty since the day we first met.”
“Hoho. Appearance isn’t all to a person. The Duchess has a mind beautiful beyond appearance.”
A flame was lit amongst the women. The shameless and smooth tongued women heaped praises on the Duchess without exception and the timid women could not come forward as they were indecisive and couldn’t find a proper time to butt in. It was war.
Lucia took no regard of their overheated atmosphere and carefreely drank her tea. She wasn’t an immature child that would become giddy and graceless from a few words of flattery. She had watched this situation happen enough times in her dream to be sick of it.
In her dream, she had never been at the center. She also couldn’t become a follower as her personality wasn’t one to beat around the bush. However, while observing the ridiculous spectacle from a distance, she either found it amusing or pathetic.
‘The position of the Duchess is truly incredible.’
When Lucia did not show any reaction, the women began to close their mouths one by one. Those with tact gradually became aware that unlike her appearance, the Duchess was not an easy person to deal with.
“I’m truly thankful for all your kind words. Rather, is there anything interesting in the circles lately?”
“Let me tell you. Some time ago-”
“You can’t call that interesting. I heard…”
This time, the women were trying to up on another with hot news in the social circles.
Lucia tilted her head, ‘Today’s tea party is really strange.’
- I believe this is another chapter 12 reference. If you wish to refresh your memory on Hugo murdering people, go ahead.