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Yvon’s eyes sharpened on the dresses that Dahlia might wear. With her unique, meticulous, and delicate taste, she was deciding on the best for her daughter.
On the other hand, Dahlia was sitting in the corner of the dressing room, quietly sipping tea while the Countess chose the fabrics.
Sitting with her were other young ladies who hadn’t made their debut yet as well. Even so, she found herself unable to intervene in their conversation.
Most of their conversations were appreciative reviews of various works of art, including fashion, jewelry, theater, and gossip.
In that respect, comparatively, Dahlia virtually lived a monastic life in the relatively rural Tezeba. She lived according to her whims and personal interests, away from trends and popular culture.
Her only friends were the wizards Rodrigo and Phrygia. Occasionally, noble ladies would knock on the door of the Blenheim Manor, but it was either for a tour or a means to meet Gerald.
As a result, Dahlia had no choice but to be wary of guests. Their eyes narrowed in suspicion upon glimpsing her, considering her an outsider or a mutant, devoid of any Southern characteristics.
Fortunately, the capital was a mixing pot of diverse people from various provinces, so there weren’t regional features that stuck out. So Dahlia willingly complied with the Countess’ request and was drinking tea with the young ladies in the corner of the dressing room.
“What kind of perfume do you use, Lady Dahlia? Who is the perfumer? It smells so good. hmm… . let me guess it is a new fragrance from Ruppelon, right?”
She couldn’t understand any part of her inquiry, but Dahlia could not bear to disappoint as she glanced at Viscountess La Seine’s sparkling eyes.
“I … . Use local items from Tezeba. I haven’t adapted to capital life yet, so there’s much for me to learn.”
Freesia said that she had to laugh at the end of every word, saying ‘haha’ or ‘hoho,’ but it wasn’t easy.
“I hope you end up liking it here. To think you have been in the South this whole time yet and you’ve already received a marriage proposal from Sir Edelred. Everyone is curious, what kind of love story you two have!”
The word love startled her mind. Yes, right now, the fabricated love story between herself and Jurgen was legendary in the capital.
At first, when she heard the rumors from Freesia, Dahlia was so embarrassed that she wanted to bury herself in a mouse hole. Besides, she was a lady who was kidnapped by a bandit and whom he had miraculously rescued.
She had pondered for a while on how to break their illusions, but in the end, Dahlia joined Jurgen’s play.
“Sir Edelred… . is very kind and caring. Besides, we fell in love with each other at first sight. However, as you know, he is in charge of an important position in the Sentinel Knights, so we are not planning to hold a ceremony right away.”
“Oh my gosh, love at first sight! How exceedingly romantic. I hope everything goes well. Sir Edelred’s beauty is unmatched. I think I would die happy just by being able to watch that face all my life.”
If the standard of one’s happiness was the appearance of a shell, it might very well be. Dahlia smiled as much as she could and looked back to where the Countess was. But Yvon was occupied with inspecting the laid-out fabric and choosing the ninth dress.
Just when the exhausted Dahlia sighed and tried to excuse herself to get up, the door to the dressing room opened, and an attendant dressed in an imperial palace uniform entered, looking straight at Dahlia, shouting:
“Her Highness Julia von Leonardo, the Third Sun of the Empire, wants an interview with the Lady Dahlia of Count Von Klose.”
At the attendant’s call, whose voice rang in the dressing room, everyone stood up and unanimously turned their sights on Dahlia.
Everyone tried to smile, but the corners of their mouths trembled, suggesting that the situation had suddenly become uncomfortable and embarrassing. Including the direct party concerned, Dahlia felt no different. She found the process of fitting dresses tedious, but at least it was better than having to meet the princess.
“Ah, my apologies but I’ll have to leave first. Mom, may I go for a while?”
Dahlia sighed and approached Yvon. However, Yvon’s countenance did not look pleased. She could not help but think of Princess Julia and Jurgen’s past relationship ahead of their engagement.
“Dahlia, will you be okay alone? How about with me… .”
“No, I will go alone. Only I was invited.”
“Yes, that’s true, but I still can’t help but worry.”
“I’ll be fine, Mom. Besides, we can’t refuse Her Highness’ orders, can we?”
Dahlia hugged the apprehensive Yvon and approached the waiting princess’s attendant.
The attendant bowed to Dahlia and opened the door to the dressing room. A dazzlingly ornate carriage awaited her outside the entrance in the middle of Everdio.
“Where’s the princess?”
When Dahlia approached and realized that the carriage was empty, the expressionless, calm servant opened the door of the carriage and replied,
“She is in the princess’s palace. Please ride.”
“Am I going to the princess’s palace?”
An empty, flashy carriage. The princess’s attendant came to find her.
And an absent Phone.
She had an ominous foreboding that a rather tiring day awaited her.
Dahlia climbed into the carriage, fiddling with Phone’s flute in her handbag.