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‘Now am I to be taken lightly? Do I have to be ignored even by a fallen aristocrat?’
Arien’s father was a high-ranking official in the temple and came from a noble family. A few generations before, there was even a Pope on her maternal side.
“You think it will make any difference if a baseless disgrace and Gunner collude?”
“You can’t look at everything so crookedly. In fact, Gunner-nim is very worried.”
It was an unexpected remark.
“A few years ago, Gunner-nim said that he was indebted to Arien’s. He was worried that the misunderstanding that he covets the pope seat would make him lose his friendship.”
“… … .”
“People do not know all the good things people have done for each other. Because people are quick to talk.”
Arien stiffened. Her eyes twinkled and she licked her dry lips.
‘Yes, of course—don’t I have a father?’
No matter what, he could not be nominated for the Pope unless he was a member of the Cartier family. Although now retired, Arien’s father was the former Head of the Heretical Inquisitor Center.
Nowadays, as an heresy interrogator, he never hunted witches or fought wizards. So, the Heresy Inquisition Department played the role of detective within the temple. Their main job was to uncover crimes inside the temple, including corruption.
A few years ago, Arien’s father took charge of a case concerning Gunner’s embezzlement. Since Arien’s father was in-laws with the Cartiers, it was only natural to punish Gunner, a member of the Cartier family, with a slap on the wrist.
‘Right. It was then that the Head ordered my father to practically exonerate him. Gunner was nearly acquitted in an outrageous embezzlement case, right?’
At the time, Gaju was angry at Gunner’s actions, but seldom expressed gratitude to her father. He praised Arien’s father by sending precious gold and silver treasures.
‘If Gunner disappears, your father-in-law’s position will not be threatened, right?’
Arien wondered why she never had thought of that. At that time, Gunner’s sin was very clear. Her father would have evidence of that then.
‘My husband is too inept and my father-in-law is in a bad shape these days. Once I get rid of the Gunner myself, I’ll make up for losing the land auction. I guess I’ll have to step forward.’
She hid such thoughts and flashed a smile as she looked at Elisha.
“You—you’d better learn more about aristocracy. The world knows that your husband is colluding with Gunner, but you come to me and gossip about Gunner? Oh my, after all, one need to receive quality home education at an early age.”
Elisha didn’t answer. Arien raised an eyebrow with an arrogant smug smile. She then bid goodbye and left.
Then arrived Illione, who barely broke free from ladies dressed like peacocks.
“She left all those ladies like this? Wow, isn’t that really impressive.”
“Still, they have to acknowledge and pretend to be close to Arien.”
“Indeed. But that girl. Not even making eye contact with me—nevermind saying hello. Aren’t I a princess? Just the grandson’s-daughter-in-law of the Cartiers.”
Illione grumbled with a nonchalant attitude. It didn’t look like she was really irked, so Elisha only mildly nodded.
“Pay her no mind. Not even a day or two.”
It didn’t take a day or two for their arrogance to grow and pierce the sky.
“But what happened? Did Arien harass you? You don’t look so happy.”
“It’s nothing. It’s just because a lot of things are different from what I remember.”
Elisha thought, When I was under them, they were like giants and terrifying beings.
Oddly enough, whenever Elisha was beaten by them, she tried to understand them. She was desperately trying to survive.
But in this different position. In the position were she was on equal footing with them and could meet each other’s eyes… … . they were too stupid and simpler than she remembered.
‘It’s not my job to figure out the heart and feelings of the perpetrators.’
Elisha just smiled, wondering why she now realized such an uncomplicated thing.
“I’m going back now.”
“Ah, alright. I was happy that Elisha asked me to meet her for the first time today.”
“I really wanted to personally give the princess an invitation to the ball.”
“Right, you’re throwing a ball in Yurif? Indeed, I think Lucerne really loves you. Rumors have reached my ears that he is lavishly preparing for his wife’s first ball.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, but let’s meet somewhere else next time,”
“Elisha, you are too naive. You shouldn’t come to this cafe. In the social world, there are rules. I’ll tell you. The cafe called ‘Summer Jewel’ over there is Carola’s cafe. And this cafe is where Arien comes and goes… … .”
Illione’s explanation didn’t end until she got into her carriage, and Elisha pretended to listen attentively about what she already knew.