FMDF – Chapter 9

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Soon after, the tailor, who was referred to by the lady-in-waiting, Clarice, arrived.

“Nice to meet you, Marchioness Hestia. My name is Tekima.”

“Oh… you’re the tailor?”

I couldn’t help but be surprised to see Decima. Because I thought he was a woman! But the person who appeared in front of me was a young man who showed off his ample livelihood.

He pulled out his handkerchief and wiped his forehead, looking a little nervous.

“I’m sorry. It’s my first time to be commissioned by a lady, so my manners may be poor. Please be generous and understand….”

“No, that’s… It’s not that big of a deal….”

He managed to pull himself together and spoke in a calmer tone.

“If you’re good enough, it doesn’t matter who you’ve worked with.”

“Oh…!”

Tekima bowed deeply, apologetically.

I quite liked the sketch he brought. However, since the material I was going to provide was not valuable in the first place, it was hard to feel like a high-quality fabric.

Tekima seemed to have a similar idea.

“If you can focus your attention on something else, you won’t care about the material of the fabric.”

“How?”

“Well….”

Tekima furrowed his brow and waved his hands slightly like doing a little dance.

“There’s something that can shine….”

I realized his intentions at once. You’re talking about the glitter effect!

Cosmetics such as glitter powder can be easily solved, but it was very expensive in this world. It was because it was really a cosmetic made by grinding jewelry.

But I won’t put it on my face anyway, so what’s the matter? It is not difficult to find a way to produce a similar effect.

“Let’s powder the glass. Small enough not to get hurt. Will that work?”

“Oh! Good idea, marchioness!”

The difficulty of Tekima has been solved. As soon as I thought of it, I proceeded quickly afterwards.

“The dress will sparkle every time you get sunlight by applying glass powder all over the fabric. And since it’s a dark purple background, I’m going to make a bright frill at the end of the sleeve. Of course, the frill is not simple. I’m going to embroider it delicately.”

As he continued his explanation with a lot of concentration, his way of speaking gradually eased away from strict etiquette. However, I did not bother to point that out. Both Tekima and I were uncomfortable with excessive formality because we were not born aristocrats.

I asked suddenly jokingly.

“Who’s in charge of embroidery?”

“Of course I am. Do you have a pattern you want?”

Tequima replied without hesitation. It’s hard to imagine at first glance that that big man does delicate embroidery, but that’s all my prejudice.

“It doesn’t matter. You can embroider snakes as long as they look good on my dress.”

He looked at me grimly, but I was perfectly calm.

“I’m serious. I don’t want to be overly delicate.”

“I see. I’ll keep that in mind, marchioness.”

The discussion of the design is mainly over. Tekima quickly carried onto the next task.

“I’m sorry, but I’ll measure you. Forgive me if I touch the marchioness a little.”

The maid who was next to him approached and assisted Tekima. Thanks to this, the number of direct contact with Tekima has been much reduced. He carefully folded the carefully numbered paper and put it in the inside pocket of his coat.

I spoke to Tekima.

“I’ll give you a room in my house to work. If you need assistance, talk to the butler and bring him over.”

“Oh, I have no assistant. I like to work alone. But I’ll never be late for your order.”

Tekima’s expression was confident. The attitude was not so bad that I nodded pleasantly.

“Okay, I’ll trust you.”

When all the business was done, the maid took Tekima out to guide him to his studio.

“Hmm…”

I picked up a sketch of the dress on the table. He was as good as the famous tailor who dealt with the aristocracy.

A harmonious blend of purple and silver. Perhaps it was a design considering that I was the spouse of Kaelus. If it is made well, there will be a great work that can stand out at the tea party.

“Isn’t this really cost-effective?””

I looked into the sketch again, admiring myself. How beautiful it would be if it was completed and seen in person. I was already excited just thinking about it.

The tailor, Tekima, started working on the dress. In the meantime, I went to Madame Harmonia’s salon.

I used to drop by every few days to keep my promise with Harmonia. Again, there was no specific purpose. Nevertheless, if I listened carefully among people, I would get a lot of useful information. There was often high-quality information that I could not get by just the news of the salon she regularly sends me.

Besides, these days, the social world is in full swing with Diana’s second tea party. There is much more to gain than sitting inside the house.

“Welcome, Marchioness Hestia.”

“Whoa, thank you for always welcoming me like this, madam.”

Familiar faces greeted me here and there. I also sat at a nearby table, replying lightly.

Harmonia knew my taste in tea and prepared coffee instead. One day, I implicitly said, “I like coffee more than tea,” and since then, I have only been served coffee. It was very fortunate for me.

Harmonia spoke in a subtle tone to enjoy the savory aroma of coffee.

“I heard you became an aide to the Crown Prince.”

“Oh, you mean that.”

I expected the rumor to spread by now. I answered calmly without being surprised.

“I don’t have much talent, but I guess he thought my ability was quite useful.”

“Oh my….”

Harmonia was impressed.

“I’ve heard that the situation on the Illion estate has improved greatly since the marchioness took charge of the marquis. The praises are all over the place.”

“Really?”

What kind of news is this? I can’t believe the people of Ilion like it.

Perhaps I really didn’t hear it for the first time. Harmonia laughed, covering her lips.

“Marquis Kaelus has a very good eye.”

“Well….”

It’s strange that Kaelus is suddenly praised here, but whatever it is, it’s good. There’s no harm in getting my favorite a bonus thanks to me.

She smiled. This time I asked.

“By the way, how is her highness the crown princess doing these days? At first glance, it seems that she is not very well off with the old ladies in the palace…”

I heard it with my own ears on my way to meet Helios, so what’s the point? However, I deliberately expressed it as if it were a rumor.

Harmonia had a strange smile.

“The preparations for the tea party are going smoothly. There’s something else that makes her suffer.”

“Whoa….”

She was very kind to Diana. I’m very curious about what kind of charm Diana had. Kindness? Pureness? Thoughtfulness? But whatever it is, sooner or later, it will be smashed by me.

Fortunately, Harmonia doesn’t know yet that I’m Diana’s enemy. It remains to be seen how the attitude will change after the tea party, but at least she’s kind to me now.

“Do you mean a disturbing voice for her, madam?”

I asked, pretending to be innocent. Harmonia closed her eyes gently without smiling.

“The marchioness knows, too. Don’t you have your ears open in many places?”

“It’s become a habit to pick up even the smallest words. I feel like I have to survive in this world.”

I was obediently positive. Knowing that I was a commoner, she must have been easily convinced.

As expected, Harmonia nodded and agreed with me.

“You are a wise woman. lady marquis. If her highness had been more free, she could have behaved like lady marquis…”

“What do you mean she can’t move freely? Are you saying that her highness is locked up somewhere?”

I pretended to be surprised, but there was something in my mind. Perhaps because of my prediction that the emperor was about to collapse, Diana was stuck to the emperor.

Harmonia sighed quietly.

“Unexpectedly, the palace is prone to darkening eyes and ears. And there’s a limit to how you behave.”

“Well, I don’t quite understand. She’s the highest woman in the country, what do you mean by a disturbing voice?”

Her smile subsided bitterly.

“I can’t tell you the details, but her majesty has a lot of burdens. There aren’t many people to comfort her.”

“Her highness and madam. Don’t you exchange letters with your highness from time to time? I think your highness will be very reassured to have madam.”

I answered back and lowered the corners of my eyes.

It’s not easy to get a grip. I need more method acting.

Harmonia’s lips were lonesome.

“My power is very poor to help her. And the limits are clear.”

“Hmm…”

“In the end, her highness has no choice but to overcome it herself. All I can give her is a little bit of advice.”

“Madam must be very upset because you care about her.”

“Whoo… but she’ll do a good job. She’s done that before.”

Harmonia has shown infinite trust in Diana.

I laughed but felt uncomfortable inside. The novel is already over, but how long will she give this unconditional affection to Diana?

So I asked Harmonia a slightly provocative question.

“But what if the crown princess can’t live up to madame’s expectations?”

In fact, it might be better to shut up and stay still to disguise my true feelings. But if I stay still, I’ll feel sick to my stomach.

Harmonia’s eyes also narrowed slightly.

“Like the story that goes around the rumor?”

“Well….”

The rumor started with a word that Countess Erinnis dropped at a social gathering.

It was the fear of Diana’s lack of qualifications and incompetence and the prediction that the commoner-born crown princess would be obsessed with stratification and ostracize the nobles.

I rolled my eyes with embarrassment.

“I didn’t want to listen, but there’s a lot of talk here and there….”

Harmonia stared at me with her back straightened.

“From what I’ve seen for a long time, her majesty was well qualified to be the national mother of this country. It’s hard to meet everyone’s expectations at once. But over time, everyone will have to admit it.”

“I see….”

She gave me a sneer at my disagreeing tone.

“You don’t seem to believe my words, marchioness.”

“Well, it’s not like that. It’s just an appreciation from my personal experience….”

I deliberately wore a lonesome smile then.

“Oh….”

Only then did Harmonia seem to recall my pink diamond ring incident. Diana recognized the ring I was wearing at the time at once, and hinted to me that it was something that had a connection with her in the past.

“Even if you just want to think you made a simple mistake, that’s how people will feel.”

Her eyebrows drooped at my bitter tone.

“Lady Hestia, please don’t worry too much about it. Her highness has certainly recognized you, and she is a good-natured man, and she probably won’t repeat the same mistake.”

That’s enough to hear Harmonia speak for Diana.

“Phew, I hope so.”

I grinned on purpose.

On the day of Diana’s tea party, it was held a little after noon as a tea party.

Preparations were naturally made early in the morning, and thanks to this, the marquis were very busy.

  The dress, which was reborn in the hands of the tailor, Tekima, finally came to life.

  “Wow…”

It was a sight that I couldn’t help admiring honestly. Not only me but also the  lady-in-waiting Clarice, who introduced him, was full of laughter.

“It’s a wonderful change, marchioness!”

“I know. I don’t even remember what this dress was like.”

I had no choice but to respond. The dark purple fabric stayed, and a translucent silver frill flowed gracefully over it. And thanks to the glass powder all over the fabric, even if you move a little, it sparkled under the light. The skirt hem, which was spread somewhat abundantly, was slightly folded, giving off a more mature atmosphere.

Like declaring myself no longer a noble love, but a noble lady leading a family.

Tekima displayed his talent with incredible confidence that he was first commissioned by an aristocrat.

“Great job, Tekima.”

There was no need to make a fuss over a compliment. Tekima responded by bowing.

“I am very grateful to the marchioness for her satisfaction.”

“Oh, I’m sure everyone would believe it was a new dress.”

She said, careful not to look too excited. Then Tekima’s answer was another masterpiece.

“If you had ordered me to do so, I would have shown the marchioness a satisfactory work. If you ask me again sometime, I’ll meet your expectations.”

  I quite liked his confidence. Next time, I should really order a new dress.

In time, I began to dress up in earnest.

Without a word, I sat in front of the dressing table and entrusted myself to the hands of the ladies. As I tried to close my eyes still, When I tried to close my eyes, I had a lot of thoughts in my head. They’re gone.

“…”

The tea party was basically a place to go alone without a partner. But only one person was likely to break the practice.

Diana.

What if Helios, who has a strong love for his wife, showed up together to help Diana, ignoring the custom?

If she really does, Diana will avoid a war of nerves with the aristocracy right now, but after the tea party, she will be considered as an incompetent royal who can’t do anything alone. If she knows how to think, she’ll never bring Helios to a tea party.

Today, I’m going to show you how petty your morality is, Diana.

“Madam marquis, how do you like this hairstyle?”

“I like it. Alright.”

A dexterous young maid smiled and nodded at the answer. Encouraged, she went back to work with a face full of enthusiasm.

“Hmph….”

Obviously, it’s gonna be a great tea party.

After finishing all the tailoring, I tried to go down the stairs as I was, but suddenly I stopped walking.

“…”

I wore a new dress for the first time in a while and my hair was smooth, but it felt a little wasteful to just go out.

I stared at the bedroom door of Kaelus, which was opposite my room. As usual, it was not completely closed and slightly opened. If I show my face even for a moment before I get in the carriage…?

The young maid next to me looked at me alternately and spoke to me.

“Shall I see if the marquis is in the room, ma’am?”

“…Should I?”

Whether she knew or didn’t know that I was a little hesitant, the maid walked to the other side of the hallway at a bullet-like speed.

She pushed her head into the open door, delayed for a while, and soon turned around me and smiled. Then she quickly came back to me.

“Stay inside!”

It was a whispering tone, but I felt enough excitement. I think she likes it more than I do.

Eventually, I headed to Kaelus’ room in a full outfit.

“Kaelus.”

When I appeared, the servant inside immediately rose to greet me. Kaelus was enjoying the mild weather on the terrace.

A white face, always expressionless, glanced at me.

“Was today a tea party?”

“Yes, I’ll be back.”

I don’t want to ask you how the dress is and if my hair looks good. However, I am satisfied with just showing him my well-decorated appearance. In fact, the person I want to show the most beautifully dressed up is my precious favorite. Not Diana or any other aristocrats.

Kaelus responded with a light nod.

“Okay, go ahead.”

A very simple greeting. Without that common compliment, it was just saying, ‘Have a safe trip.’

But I don’t have to be upset at all. Because there is only one woman that Kaelus said was beautiful. It’s the heroine of the novel, Diana. His love, the only one in the world, that took the whole heart of a second male lead-

So I really think this is enough. By the way.

“That dress looks good on you.”

“!”

My heart sank.

“……Thank you.”

Truly I, this is enough.

Thanks to my foresight that the emperor was about to collapse, Diana’s tea party was held in the main palace where the emperor lived, not in the residence of the Crown Princess.

The ladies entering the hall one after another expressed considerable surprise.

“His majesty must have quite a lot of faith in her.”

“Even so, it’s incredibly shocking I’ve never heard of the crown princess’ tea party being held in the emperor’s residence.”

“Is his majesty going to appear?”

“Oh, I really don’t think so!”

A little further away from them, I was still listening to a fussy conversation.

“….”

Those who do not know the prophecy naturally took it that way. It’s getting on my nerves for some reason.

I don’t even like this little moment when Diana’s skill is praised by the nobles. This is not her ability. It’s all thanks to my prophecy.

“Whoo….”

I was a little surprised at myself. In fact, Diana was not this unlikable when I read the original novel.

A confident and clear-minded heroine. A refreshing character who gives you cider every time. To be honest, who would read the rofan novel to the end if the heroine was too busy to be immersed in the plot? One of the reasons why I was able to binge read this novel nine times is, of course, Kaelus, but it would have been impossible if the heroine was in the way every time I binge read it.

However, now I am deeply realizing the realistic reality of Cider Diana in rofan. A naive idealist who has walked a flower path all her life without much hardship.

Just as I was lost in my thoughts, Countess Erinnis arrived.

“Lady Hestia.”

She walked straight to me, lightly responding to greetings from all over. Naturally, people’s attention was also directed toward us.

With a calm smile, I also responded to the countess.

“You’re here, Countess Erinnis.”

She whispered in a low voice.

“As promised before, I will be your true ally to the marquis today.”

“Whoa, I remember that. The Countess must rescue the holy lady today.”

When I push Diana into trouble, Erinnis will cut in at the right time and save her. It was what we agreed upon when I visited her house the other day.

Society is literally a battlefield. Even if it is temporary, it is quite reassuring that there is an alliance.

Nevertheless, Erinnis said in a slightly worried voice.

“But in his majesty’s palace, will it work?”

“It’ll be fine. I don’t think his majesty or the crown prince will guard the tea party. That would only prove the crown princess’ incompetence.”

Perhaps my words were quite helpful, because the corners of the Countess’s mouth crept up.

“As expected, you are the marquis’ wife. He’s an extraordinary man.”

“Well, since the countess, who is known for her skill, says so, I’m at a loss.”

It must have been interesting to see us talking secretly. Before I knew it, there were a lot of people around. I and Erinnis exchanged significant glances and turned to the people who approached.

“Everyone, this is Marchioness Hestia. There are a lot of people you’re seeing for the first time, right?”

I posed with dignity to the introduction of Erinnis.

“Nice to meet you all. I’m Hestia, Marquis Kaelus’ companion.”

“Oh…!”

The attention of the hall was focused on me  in an instant. Curious eyes directed at me, but fortunately, I don’t feel much malice. Maybe it’s because I have Erinnis next to me.

This is not a bad start.

“Her Highness Diana, the crown princess of the empire, is coming in!”

The murmur ceased. The nobles rose from their seats in unison. Following those who were modestly courteous, I bowed toward the saint.

The crunching sound of her shoes somehow feels arrogant.

“Stand up.”

I looked up at Diana.

Beautiful pink hair flowed gracefully, creating a goddess-like atmosphere. The sea-colored eyes literally shone like jewels.

She’s the best beauty in this world. At least there is no more beautiful thing in the world than Diana. Because the creator of this world, the author of the novel, wanted it.

I suddenly became curious. What would the writer think of me hating the heroine? Will they be upset?

“….”

I quickly shook off my thoughts. I shouldn’t think too much n the middle of this battlefield in front of Diana. I’m in trouble because I keep getting out of the habit of watching novels as an extra.

Diana sat down. Then the nobles sat down again.

“It’s very nice to meet you all like this. I hope everyone has a great time.”

The elderly women responded with dignity first.

“I wish the royal family and crown princess the best. Thank you very much for inviting me today, your highness.”

My seat was pretty close to Diana. It seemed to be a placement considering the status of my spouse, Kaelus. And next to me sat Countess Erinnis.

I also greeted Diana with a smile on my face.

“I didn’t expect to see you like this at the emperor’s palace. His majesty seems to care very much about you.”

Then she backed up my words as if she had been waiting.

“I know, your grace! Wouldn’t you be surprised?”

“It’s all thanks to your high reputation. Don’t you think so?”

Diana looked at me rather nervously. Is it because of the experience that made my heart ache every time I faced her? The lips are in the arc, but the eyes are not.

“I’m just grateful for your kindness. I was also very surprised.”

She answered the people in ceremonial terms.

Soon after, a tray loaded with refreshments came into each table. A splendidly plated refreshment plate was also prepared on our table, where I, Countess Erinnis and Diana were sitting.

But since then, the atmosphere has become strange.

“…”

“…”

The fact that refreshments are “fancy” was only evaluated by my personal standards, not for those who have lived as nobles all their lives.

The faces of the ladies hardened little by little. There were people who looked at the plates and exchanged glances between themselves, while there were people with significant smiles.

Diana had been said to have been at odds with the court lady, Madame Merope, over the preparation for the tea party, but she seemed to have “simple” as she wished.

“Well….”

I heard an exclamation from somewhere that I didn’t know if it was an exclamation or a sigh.

In fact, anything can’t be ignored as an expectation.

As for the tea party, it was the first official social event for the Crown Princess, except for meetings with close people. In addition, even the place was the home of the emperor.

Even if the invited nobles did not expect it, Diana should have had enough “fancy” to fit in as a host who knew in advance that the event would take place at the royal palace.

Before the tea party, the expectations were already high. All that was set up in front of them was plain cakes and cookies that emphasized frugality, and tea that was readily available to any rich aristocrat.

“…”

I looked silently at the dishes placed one by one on the table.

If Diana wanted to convey her message to our nobles, she should have been wiser.

Her intention to criticize the luxury of the aristocracy should not have been so blatant. She succeeded in turning all the invitations – all the good nobles – into enemies before she could even bring up a word.

Rather, there was a way to take symbolism from the ingredients of food, or to select a patissier from a commoner, not from a noble family. Or they could reinterpret the refreshments enjoyed by the common people in a aristocratic way.

If so, the nobles would have warmed up to the royal mercy’s hospitality and listened with a more open mind to what she was going to say.

The truth is that you have to respect the other person first to persuade them. You’re right, so you can’t convince your opponent by taking the wrong approach. Even if your thoughts are truly ‘right’.

We don’t want anyone to look down and teach us. We want to be respected for the way we’ve lived, and to be introduced to other paths that we’ve never known.

Therefore, Diana. You’re going too far.

It was arrogant.

The air in the banquet hall became cold before I knew it. No one opened their mouth first to break the ice-cold atmosphere.

Diana, on the other hand, smiled gracefully.

“These are the refreshments that I carefully chose for you. Please enjoy it.”

It’s time for me to step up.

I broke the ice with a loud welcome.

“Oh, these are really nostalgic snacks! Your highness must have prepared this for me, especially with my origin in mind. It may seem very simple to the others here.”

There is a bone in the horse.* Even I, a native commoner, hinted that this table setting did not fit in front of the nobles.

*TN: as in there’s something wrong

Did Diana prepare for this from the beginning? Her expression was grim as if she were going to battle.

“As crown princess who should set an example for all the imperialists in this country, I have prepared tea and cake in hopes that you will live the same way as me. It may be a little awkward now, but I hope you get used to it soon.”

First, I answered politely.

“Everyone here must have realized your deep meaning. I will always remember what you want us to do.”

However, I said I wouldn’t forget, but I didn’t say I would follow it.

Diana’s sea-colored eyes turned straight at me.

“Yes, I was sure you’d understand what I meant, Marchioness Hestia.”

I smiled softly and bowed my head.

Diana raised her head resolutely and opened her mouth.

“Let’s enjoy the refreshments”

The party began in earnest with awkward smiles blooming at the order of the Crown Princess.

Tea parties could have been said to be successful only when laughter bloomed at each table. Everyone somehow filled the cups with tea, and each made a chattering sound, desperately continuing to keep the excitement from cooling down.

I opened my mouth as I glanced around.

“Today Madame Merope doesn’t seem to be taking care of you.”

Diana answered me with a rather stiff look.

“Yes, she’s doing something else. But why do you ask that?”

Oh, no. Are you really asking because you don’t know? Madame Merope has no idea what kind of position the court lady-in-waiting is.

“That’s because Madame Merope rarely leaves the most noble royal family. Especially on such a big occasion…”

When I took my chance, I wondered if it was time, and only then some ladies quietly added questions.

“Isn’t your highness the crown princess the greatest person in the palace while the empress is away? I’m not sure where she is…”

“Madame Merope is a very proud person. She was very proud of serving the noble people for decades.”

“But she didn’t show up here, so it’s very strange for us who have seen her in this palace for a long time, your highness.”

Everyone says this, but you may actually guess. Merope had been at odds with Diana throughout the preparation of the event, feeling uncomfortable with the occasion and either resigned from the tea party himself or was ruled out by Diana’s order.

Countess Erinnis gave me a sneaking wink. I’ll give you the floor quietly, so say what you want.

After receiving the signal from my eyes, I decided to start the plan.

“Your highness, may I ask you a question, but did Madame Merope go against your will?”

Diana slowly turned to me.

“Hestia. Does it look like that?”

I answered, bowing my head and avoiding her gaze.

“To be honest, yes. I’m afraid she didn’t approve of showing your will as a party.”

“You sound quite familiar with the Merope. I didn’t think you had much experience with the Imperial Palace.”

Does she think I’m not familiar with the palace? What the hell do you think I am?

“I can’t be ignorant just because I have no experience. I apologize if you find my question invasive, your highness the crown princess.”

Look at this. You shouldn’t be so obvious when you get an uncomfortable question. She may have practiced to look like the royal family somehow, but she’s just like she used to be.

At that time, Countess Erinnis, sitting at the same table, helped me.

“Yes, your highness. In fact, we’ve been curious all along. Madame Merope was a very loyal figure. I was worried about why she didn’t show up here and if she was sick.”

There is no way to avoid her as she has helped her with her reputation in society.

Diana was forced to speak.

“The old habits of the lady-in-waiting don’t fit me, so she’s not supporting me at this party today. That doesn’t mean she’s going to be very relieved of her responsibilities. She’s still doing her job elsewhere.”

Erinnis nodded with satisfaction.

“Well, looking at the table today, I see. I didn’t feel much of Madame’s touch.”

“I don’t think you’ll be too uncomfortable with it. The chef is still very good, and above all, I hope my will will serve as a model for you.”

Diana smiled softly.

She didn’t seem to think anything was wrong. No, she wouldn’t mind if things didn’t work out as intended.

Because the heroine of a rofan novel has her own characteristics. That is, to not care about the reaction of others at all.

During the original work, no matter what stubbornness she had – someone would accept it as a ‘faith’, all the results were in her favor. The route that can only be considered cider no matter what.

But now the novel is over. And the heroine doesn’t know.

“Marquis Kaelus has been away for a while, is there any reason?”

I naturally answered someone’s question.

“Didn’t my husband work tirelessly? He’s suddenly tired all at once, so he’s taking a break for a while.”

“Oh, my….”

People’s eyes sparkled with curiosity. What kind of person is the only marchioness of the empire who suddenly appeared one day? She seems anxious to ask me this and that.

In addition, it is a tea party at the Imperial Palace attended by all the noble ladies in the capital. All my social activities have been the invitation of Countess Erinnis and the entrance of Madame Harmonia’s salon. So there must be a lot of unanswered questions.

Their attention, of course, was focused on me. And the question that everyone was most curious about came out.

“Is Marquis Kaelus nice to his wife?”

As soon as I heard this question, I deliberately glanced at Diana. Those who have not taken their eyes off me may have noticed my movements.

I don’t have to pretend to be a beloved wife in front of them. Everyone knows it anyway. That Kaelus loves Diana.

“As a spouse, I am endlessly respected. I also respect my husband as a wise and wonderful person.”

Then the Countess of Erinnis pointed out in a stern voice.

“But he’s also a very cruel man. Her highness the other day was very angry.”

I admired it in my heart. I can’t believe she’s such a good team mate. The countess laid out the board with great skill so that I could start the conversation I wanted.

If then,

“Even so, I don’t blame my husband’s choice.”

My remarks, which came out rather boldly, turned things quiet around me.

Even high-ranking nobles need courage to openly express their opposition in front of the crown princess. But now that the duke of Orcus is extinct, there is no higher title in the empire than the marquis.

Although I’m a commoner and I have a handicap as an adopted daughter of the marginal lord of Elea, such a thing can easily be crushed into my current position.

Diana, who was deliberately dragged out by Erinnis. There is my opinion completely contrary to her usual beliefs.

  Diana’s sea-colored eyes were directed straight at me.

  “You seem to have something to say to me, Hestia.”

As expected, she came upfront. Indeed, even in the original work, Diana was good at popping cider by not saying what she had to say.

So the time to confront her is right now, without the Helios shield.

“With all due respect, yes. Your highness the crown princess.”

I returned a bitter smile to Diana, who accepted my challenge.

Her expression hardened.

“Okay, let’s hear it.”

I can feel the conceit of a person who has never doubted their morals. Confidence, or arrogance, that I can break everything no matter what logic I make.

Then shall we fight?

“In fact, I think the current imperial politics have been stabilized by the decision of my husband, Marquis Kaelus. As your Highness knows, wasn’t the power of Duke Orchus equal to that of the emperor?”

“…”

Diana waited calmly for my words. I continued, careful not to raise my voice.

“My husband has nipped the buds coldly, so I can enjoy the peace that I have now. In fact, everyone here knows how much the late Princess Letona used to look down on and confront your highness.”

Diana’s eyes were strained.

“The Marquis Kaelus did something very cruel. Whatever consequences it may have in the future, what is not right is wrong. The result should not justify the means, Marchioness Hestia.”

“Well, that’s strange. Your highness, some people say you reap what you sow…. Shouldn’t the words of the wicked deserve to be miserable? That’s the right thing, the moral end.”

The end of the rofan novel must be miserable. You must pay the price of your misdeeds.

There can be no end to forgiveness. In front of readers who want cider, there are only a series of comments saying that there are a million sweet potatoes.*

*TN: slang for something frustrating

It’s not a good ending to end up in prison with a moderate and realistic finish. The character who plays the villain must be punished mercilessly enough to never continue their life again.

Therefore, Kaelus’ decision in the novel is bound to be the right thing to do here.

I tried to suppress my anger inside.

“The world is very complicated by nature, so don’t they tell you to listen to both sides even if there’s a fight? What’s more, it’s my husband’s business?”

“It gets more complicated because I think it’s complicated. In fact, good and evil are not very complicated matters, Marchioness Hestia.”

Diana said, looking at me confidently.

I had no choice but to click my tongue inside. How can she be so naive? It’s a word that feels like a beginner in society who has never suffered in life, or more than that, has not experienced social life for a long time.

Perhaps she didn’t like my attitude of disagreement, Diana once again made her point in a patient tone.

“It’s not that hard to live right when you get to know it. We’ve already learned a lot from childhood to now, what’s right. You all know the teachings of the temple and the words of the old sages, or, if not necessarily, what good things are for all people, right?”

“So my husband, Marquis Kaelus, made a difficult decision for the righteous saint and for the royal family of this empire. The wicked Duchess Orcus’ actions were revealed with evidence to pay for their crimes.”

More explicitly, thanks to my favorite Kaelus, the emperor was able to kill the problem without blood on his hands. From the perspective of the emperor and Helios, he was clearly a loyalist to the empire.

Because he came forward and took the lead and punished Princess Letona, Helios was able to eventually hold his beloved Diana in his arms to avoid a terrible political marriage. At least Helios had the right to advise her, who criticized Kaelus, that she should not be criticizing Kaelus.

Because of Kaelus’ abandonment of his love affair, this world, this novel,

I was able to go to the “Right Way” of the rofan novel called “Happy Ending.”

Nevertheless, Diana shook her head.

“Even so, Marquis Kaelus killed the Duchess Orcus. You don’t think that’s acceptable, do you, marchioness?”

It would be unacceptable if it was an ordinary person who drank poison tea, but the problem was that they were thoroughly evil.

I deliberately lowered my head in a humble manner.

“So what was your idea? How the Duke Orcus and Princess Letona had to pay….”

“Isn’t there a national law? Of course it should have followed.”

Diana’s tone was emphatic.

A bitter smile came out of itself. How nice it would be if everything in the world was so simple that there was an answer.

I had a slow plan.

“As many of you know…”

I covered my lips shyly.

“I’m the daughter of Lord Elea in the distance. And I lived with commoners until I married the marquis.”

The banquet hall was so quiet that I couldn’t hear a breath. Before I knew it, everyone at the tea party was listening to me.

“I’ve heard about a terrible incident on that street. A woman brutally murdered a young boy.”

It’s a roughly made up story. I don’t know if this really happened in this world.

“How would you judge her?”

This case, ostensibly described as very simple. Diana replied with an expression as if she had nothing to think deeply about.

“She’s a cruel woman to kill a helpless child.”

I nodded my head.

“That’s what it looks like. But there was a very surprising truth behind it. Your Highness.”

“What’s that?”

“She had a little daughter. She was a pretty girl, one or two years younger than the boy she killed.”

Let’s catch our breath here.

“… It turned out that the boy was the murdered raped her little girl.”

“!”

“Oh, my!”

“Oh, my…!”

Sighs broke out all over the table. Diana also opened her eyes wide and did not hide her surprise.

In fact, it’s not a very fake story. In the reality that I used to live in, more disastrous events made the news day by day.

It’s been a long time since a child’s abuse has become a common crime.

I made up a fictional revenge play on an already existing event and made a slight adaptation.

“Your majesty the crown princess, how do you feel? Is the mother really cruel?”

I looked up and asked Diana.

“…”

Diana couldn’t open her mouth easily.

An excited lady’s voice popped out first.

“He deserves to die!”

Unrefined rough language popped out, but no one blamed it. Even Countess Erinnis said with a pale countenance.

“If I were that mother, I would have done anything to the person who trampled on my little girl, marchioness.”

“I agree, Countess.”

I nodded my head gently, taking her word.

“Well, let’s get back to that. Is the woman who murdered the little boy truly immoral?”

“….”

“…”

People became quiet.

I said, looking straight at Diana.

“What do you think?”

Diana’s fine eyebrows were slightly distorted.

“…I understand the mother’s feelings.”

She reluctantly managed to come up with an answer. But she added immediately.

“But if everyone does their revenge in private like that, society will be very disorganized. To prevent that, there is something called national law. To prevent the world from becoming lawless.”

“Aha….”

“In the case of what the marchioness said, the mother couldn’t resist the momentary anger. She should have turned the little boy over to the security office with a more sober mind. That’s the right thing to do.”

I tilted my head to the side.

“Of course she called the security services. But the boy was released because he was young. When you’re young, you can make mistakes without knowing it.”

This is also one of the most common events in my world. I made it extreme to make an impact, but anyway.

Diana’s expression slowly distorted.

I spoke coldly to her, who could not immediately refute it.

“Your highness knows well, don’t you? It’s hard to get the rich and powerless commoners to follow the strict laws of the country. Your highness, who once was with the common people, knows that there are many obstacles rather than help.”

“…!”

“We reported those who had broken the law, believing in justice, but the only thing that came back was coldness. How desperate the mother must have felt….”

Diana looked at me with a white face. Now you realize what I want to say?

“You can’t jump to conclusions about morality or dishonesty, your highness the crown princess.”

I purposely relaxed my voice.

“Your highness has condemned my husband as cruel, but I am sorry that you have said so, even though no one else knows.”

“….”

The sea-colored eyes had a complex glow.

I beg you, Diana.

 I hope you don’t judge too easily whether it’s your humble morality or justice.

My favorite tried to give up his life because of your hasty conclusions.

I looked around slowly and said.

“What is morality that we actually believe in? Doesn’t affection and injustice change here and there depending on what circumstances the person to judge has?”

I think I heard something like a low moan somewhere.

I continued with a slight sneer.

“Someone who only knows that a woman killed a boy in the previous incident will blame her, but someone who knows the other side will defend her. After all, this is the moral judgment that humans make.”

Diana’s complexion was frightening.

It’s the first time you’ve been so openly rejected, right? Even in the original novel, she didn’t get reprimanded very much. Who dared to say a hateful thing to a saint who has wonderful healing power?

But I am the only marquis wife in the country, official aide to the crown prince, and the only one who, like her, has a special ‘ability’.

I already saw the ending of the novel. The days when she was the main character are gone.

So Diana’s pop-up cider, there can be no more.

Now it was time to call attention.

“…”

I winked at Countess Erinnis. Recognizing my signal, she opened her mouth as she cleared her throat.

“Now that I see it, Marchioness Hestia, you are a great hostess of the marquis. I understood at once why Marquis Kaelus took the marchioness as his companion.”

“Whoa, don’t mention it.”

I gently covered my lips with my hand as I replied. Would it have looked like I was shy?

But the role of Countess Erinnis was not to lift me up, but to comfort Diana.

“However, I think you used some profane words toward the extremely high crown princess. Shouldn’t the marchioness treat the elders of the imperial family with respect as nobles like us?”

I bowed my head gently.

“Countess Erinnis is right a hundred times. I was young and I committed a great disrespect to the crown princess. Please forgive me, your highness.”

Diana remained stiff and said nothing. Inevitably, Erinnis once again spoke to me in a stern tone.

“I don’t think it’s the job of a subordinate to bring up a topic that your highness would be embarrassed about. The marchioness is also a wise woman, so please be a little more careful afterwards.”

“Yes, thank you very much for your generous advice, countess.”

This painting was not too awkward because Erinnis was much older than me.

After bowing to her, I looked at Diana again. I got up from my seat, bent my knees slightly, and lowered myself more firmly.

“Your highness the crown princess. I realize my mistake, so please take your anger back.”

“……Hestia.”

Diana struggled to speak.

I answered immediately.

“Yes, your highness.”

“I fully understand why you are so upset.”

“…”

“Kael is still struggling a lot.”

I almost burst out laughing. Who dares to abbreviate another woman’s husband’s name in public?

“I understand your sorrow, so leave it at that for today, Hestia.”

“I do not know what to do with your great generosity. It’s amazing.”

Let’s wrap it up properly. Let’s be satisfied that we pushed Diana this much today.

I decided to get out of the awkward situation. I asked for her understanding in a polite way.

“I’ll be back after I cool my head for a while, your highness the crown princess.”

“Okay, go ahead.”

Diana also gave the green light.

I walked quickly with an embarrassing smile toward the people looking at me. I felt the persistent gaze behind me, but I didn’t look back

I came out of the banquet hall.

“Ha….”

When I sighed out loud, the guards looked at me in wonder. But I didn’t care.

I sat on a platform supporting the corridor post.

I chuckled to myself.

I robbed Diana of her dignity in public. I felt like I did one of the big things I had to do here.

“Tsk….”

There are some things that are a little disappointing. I wish I were a character who gave a big shot of cider like Diana in the original.

But you can’t fill the first glass with everything. I’ve been beaten by a woman who’s like a crown princess. How can it be this big? There is another chance, so I don’t have to overdo it.

By the way, I hope Erinnis will definitely comfort Diana. That way, the purpose of the alliance will not be achieved.

“Phew….”

Sitting down for a while and killing time. While I was thinking about going back in at the right time.

“…?”

I could hear the footsteps of someone walking in the distance. It was not long before he showed up. 

“…Helios….”

The main character’s name lingered in my mouth.

Helios soon found me, too.

“The greatest of the empire….”

“Lady Hestia. Isn’t Diana’s tea party going on right now?”

A man who suddenly brings out his business even before I could say hello with all manners. There is nothing to be rough about who is not the heroine.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“But why are you here?”

Sharp golden eyes poked.

“I was being rude to the crown princess, so I stepped back for a moment to cool my head.”

“What do you mean rude?”

When will the barrage of questions end? A sigh came out.

“It’s a long story, so you’d better hear it from the holy princess later. But wasn’t the crown prince on his way to cheer for her holiness’s party?”

Helios raised the tip of one lip at an angle.

“You said you were rude to Diana a while ago, but are you going to be arrogant to me now? You’re always fearless.”

“…I’m sorry.”

Maybe it’s better to just shut up.

Whatever I thought to myself, Helios pointed to the entrance of the party with a chin.

“Let’s go in together, Hestia.”

“What?”

Why me?

An instinctive question almost popped out. Helios’ handsome eyebrows frowned furiously.

“Is it your hobby to spit on orders from your immediate supervisor?”

“…No. I see.”

This is the end of the break.

Unfortunately, I got up after taking my seat. Then, without looking back, I followed the Helios, who strode, and entered the banquet hall again.

“Greetings to the great empire’s little sun.”

As soon as Helios entered, the nobles in the hall stood up at once and greeted. I stood still behind him and lowered my gaze.

“Everyone, sit down.”

He nodded his head and simply replied. Then he strode towards Diana at once.

“Diana.”

“Heli, you’re here.”

Two who affectionately kiss.

I had no choice but to stagger back to my seat and sit down. Countess Erinnis leaned over and whispered.

“It’s great here.”

It was short, but enough to convey the meaning.

Helios settled next to Diana.

“Is everyone enjoying the party?””

“I can’t believe this. Everyone was talking in a friendly way, your highness the crown prince.”

Erinnis, who again straightened her posture, answered skillfully.

Helios had a ceremonial smile on his face.

“Treating the crown princess is like treating me. I hope that your respect will go for my wife without fail.”

“Yes, your highness.”

They bowed and answered politely.

No wonder I have a guilty conscience. I’ve already made a big mess of Helios before he showed up.

If there was someone who looked at me kindly at a time like this, I would have immediately told him what happened a while ago, but the banquet hall was calm as if nothing had happened.

Helios held up his teacup and began to talk softly to Diana. Starting with this, the tea time, which had been cut off for a while, continued again with a loud voice.

It was only then that I could talk to other ladies around me.

“Lady Hestia. You don’t look like it because you’re young, but you’re more thoughtful than I expected.”

“Oh, me?”

I asked back with an air of embarrassment.

“It was an opportunity to reflect on Marquis Kaelus. Lady Marquis’ words were very impressive.”

“So did I. Now that I see you, you’re a very eloquent speaker.”

My face flushed slightly with the compliment I had been given.

“Don’t mention it…. I’m rather embarrassed. I’ve done something presumptuous in front of all the high-profile people.”

I bowed my head with some humility.

Then someone finally recognized my dress.

“By the way, what kind of designer is the dress that the marchioness is wearing? It’s pretty beautiful.”

“Oh, I’m very embarrassed in front of you, but fortunately, I was introduced to a good tailor whose name was unknown.”

“Oh…!”

Even if you don’t say it’s a dress that’s been reformed, those who have good eyes may have already noticed. I’d rather save my words here and look much more dignified.

Countess Erinnis smiled covering her lips.

“The marchioness is a very considerate person. I wonder why we didn’t know about this person.”

“Whoa, I’m flattered.”

I had a chat with the ladies.

Friendly public opinion at the party was generally inclined to me. Although I had a war of words with the Crown Princess, my presence was recognized quite favorably by the nobles. Even though I was a commoner, my confrontation with Diana on behalf of the aristocrats may have been the reason for my score.

Then.

“Hestia.”

I heard a very businesslike voice. It was Helios.

“Yes, your highness.” 

He asked the guests at the table for their understanding.

“I need to talk to my aide about something, so I have to take her for a while. Ladies and gentlemen.”

I glanced at Diana. She was lifting the cup as if to avoid my gaze.

You’ve been talking about me. It’s fast, too.

When I reached a quiet place, Helios swung at me.

“You…!”

“….”

I shut my mouth with no expression. I don’t want to bother Helios on purpose, and I don’t want to just answer.

Speak. I’m going to let it out through the other ear.

“I’ll listen to Diana slowly later, as you said just earlier, exactly what you said. But I want to know right away why.”

“Isn’t it the spouse’s duty to restore the honor of her fallen husband? So that’s what happened.”

He snorted at the mechanical reply.

“Do you think I’ll hear that excuse straight away?”

“….”

Think of it as an excuse or not.

Helios pressed down on his forehead.

“Tell me what you don’t like, Hestia.”

“It’s not like that.”

“So you’ve been determined to fight Diana since the beginning?”

“Fight? How dare I fight with her highness? I really just wanted to correct the public view of Kaelus.”

I have no intention of telling my real purpose honestly in front of the fox Helios. Even if it’s obvious that you don’t like the two main characters, you shouldn’t be caught having revenge on them.

“….”

Helios stared me in the face. That doesn’t mean you can see right through me.

A laugh leaked out.

“The reason why I committed profanity to her highness is exactly the same as why you are asking me this much. Please don’t get me wrong.”

Then this time he burst out laughing in vain.

“Your reason and my reason are the same? So what, do you love him?”

“Oh, of course. That’s a given.”

“Ha…!”

I really told the truth, but the man in front of me didn’t seem to believe at all.

Anyway, the reason why Helios is pushing me like this is because I said something bad to Diana after all. Why do you have to drag it out?

“If her highness feels uncomfortable, I will visit you separately and apologize. I didn’t do it out of malice.”

He stared at me for a long time and then spat out.

“…Keep that promise.”

Helios turned away from me.

Anyway, since the two of them were together, I asked about the emperor’s situation.

“By the way, is it okay for the holy princess to leave the emperor alone for so long? I’ve predicted it, but I don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen, so I’m nervous.”

“I’ve asked. In the event of the accident that you foretold, she can take immediate action.”

Helios replied with a sigh. He must have been nervous, to be honest.

“Please go back, your Highness, the crown princess will be waiting.”

“Yes, you should…”

He retorted, looking away.

The crown prince stayed with Diana for a short time and left the party.

“I think I’d better disappear because the main character of this meeting is my companion.”

Helios greeted Diana with a light kiss, as he had come, and returned.

Still, he is sensible. It’s Diana’s tea party, which means he knows what the society will say later.

I had been called separately by the crown prince, so I needed to deliberately show self-esteem. When I deliberately refrained from speaking to people, Countess Erinnis noticed my meaning and spoke to Diana eagerly.

“Your Highness is very much loved. I’m very jealous.”

“Heli is a bit worried. Whoo….”

Diana smiled brightly and mingled with Erinnis.

This completes the painting we hoped for perfectly. Erinnis, who embraced the depressed crown princess. The birth of a new friend that Diana could rely on.

I smiled secretly. Today’s tea party was a success.


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3 thoughts on “FMDF – Chapter 9”

  1. Thank you for your hard work! I enjoyed reading it

    I wish I was there to scream at the naive royals, especially the incompetent ‘saintess’/‘crown’ princess. They aren’t going to address the flaw in the law system? They aren’t going to reflect that they, indeed, had some influence on the poison incident? They aren’t going to apologize? At all? Gosh this is so frustrating

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