“It’s Melina Lutent.”
Melina was greeted with a high-pitched greeting. Then Avelin smiled.
“Nice to meet you. You’re beautiful as I’ve heard.”
“Thank you. Miss Hazel is also very… You’re beautiful.”
As she responded, she felt her self esteem injured.
She was sincere when she said she was beautiful. Her gracefully curly, voluminous hair added to her elegance, and her distinct, densely set features resembled a doll.
Melina thought she was immune to most beauty because she had seen Anastasia for a long time, but Avelin was a beauty with a different feeling from Anastasia.
If Anastasia was like the elegant goddess Rosenia, Avelin was like a lovely fairy living in a forest.
She lived with pride that she wouldn’t kneel to anyone with my beauty, but compared to the two, she didn’t seem to have a chance.
“Stay close to Miss Lutent, Miss Hazel. She’s a childhood friend of Her Majesty’s.”
“Oh, I see. It’s an honor to meet someone very high in stays.”
Melina felt compelled to be flattered when Avelin looked up to her value.
“It’s only been a while since I’ve seen you with Her Majesty the empress.”
Melina was now condescending, forgetting that she had fallen out with Anastasia.
“She’s a good woman. If you ask her anything, she’ll listen to you.”
“If you’re an old childhood friend, of course you would. I envy you. I wish I could be friends with someone as high as Her Majesty.….”
“By the way, did Miss Lutent enter the palace as the empress’s maid?”
Then came another young girl. Melina replied, recalling her rejection of Anastasia’s offer last time.
“She suggested it, but I turned it down.”
“Oh, why? That was a great opportunity!”
“I’m not sure if I can serve her well.”
That was the same answer she gave to Anastasia. And that was Melina being sincere.
She didn’t have the confidence to serve Anastasia as a lady-in-waiting.
Anastasia was a contrast to herself in many ways.
A father who loved her unconditionally and a daughter of a prestigious family.
Her confident and outspoken personality was pure, unlike herself, who made up her cheerfulness in order to not be abandoned.
She was even chosen by the goddess, so she was forced to develop a sense of entitlement.
Since she approached her through longing, she had lived without recognizing that feeling until now.
But the moment she received the offer of being her maid, she realized. The fact that she had harbored a deep sense of inferiority toward her from the beginning.
For a long time, under the guise of a friend, Melina had been claiming to be fairly equal to Anastasia.
However, being a lady-in-waiting officially meant that she had to live every day facing the fact that her status was below her.
She didn’t have the confidence to do that. Her pride has been hurt. Maybe she would do something bad to her.
“Anyway… I don’t think I can work as a maid.”
“Well, I see what you mean.”
Avelin nodded and agreed.
“Actually, if you’re in the position of Miss Lutent, the Emperor’s lady-in-waiting would be more suitable for you.”
“His Majesty the Emperor’s… Lady-in-waiting?”
“Yes, the Emperor’s lady-in-waiting is higher in rank than the Empress’ lady-in-waiting.”
“Oh, Miss Hazel…”
Yousfe, who was listening at the time, hurriedly stopped her.
“This is not the Vaudar Empire. You don’t seem to be fully acquainted with Rosenberg yet. The position of the maid, whether the emperor or empress, is the same here.”
“Oh, I see. I’m sorry. I just came from the Vaudar Empire, so…”
“Anyway, if Miss Lutent became His Majesty’s lady-in-waiting, that’s no good either. Your friendship is breaking up. In Rosenberg, the emperor’s lady-in-waiting means a paramour.”
“Oh, I see!”
Avelin was surprised and hurriedly apologized.
“I didn’t know. I made a big mistake. I’m sorry.”
“No, you wouldn’t have known if you’ve lived abroad.”
“In Vaudar, the Empress often has her lady-in-waiting as the Emperor’s mistress… I need to study more in many ways. I still don’t know much about Rosenberg.”
“Oh, I can’t even imagine it in Vaudar. What’s it like there?”
“There’s no one empress like Rosenberg. It’s kind of a power struggle with other empresses. The Emperor’s favor is power, so he deliberately pushes his aides as paramour.”
“And what if a paramour pushes the queen away?”
“That’s often the case.”
Avelin stared at Melina. Melina was surprised by the sudden gaze, but Avelin did not move her eyes away from Melina.
“This happened just a while ago. An empress brought her father’s beautiful illegitimate daughter as the emperor’s paramour, and the emperor fell in love with her and eventually deposed the empress and put the paramour in her place. The Empress was originally put to death.”
“Oh, that would be so unfair.”
“They can’t help it. For women, the emperor’s favor is power, right?”
Everyone nodded as if she were right, but Avelin laughed as if she was embarrassed.
“Oh, my God, I shouldn’t have said that. It has nothing to do with Rosenberg.”
“No, it’s fun. I’ve never been to Vaudar. Tell me more stories.”
Avelin told an interesting story that she had heard in the Vaudar Empire for a while after that, and all those at the tea party listened to Avelin’s story with concentration.
She was a natural storyteller and had a knack for telling small stories in a funny way. Melina fell in love with Avelin’s story before she knew it.
“Maybe it’s just my feeling…”….’
Sometimes she thought it was strange that Avelin made eye contact with her, but she didn’t think much about it because she thought it was just a habit.
Then it was time to wrap up the meeting.
“It’s already time.”
“That’s too bad. I had so much fun today thanks to Miss Hazel.”
“You’re welcome. I’m so thankful that you enjoyed listening to my story.”
Melina felt a strange sense of crisis when she saw Avelin, who quickly grabbed people even though it was her first tea meeting today.
She might lose her presence at the meeting.
So, it was a time when brief fondness for Avelin in the beginning was about to be replaced by a sense of vigilance in an instant.
Avelin caught her who was trying to leave to ride a carriage.
“What’s going on, Miss Hazel?”
“You’re going too fast. I almost couldn’t even say goodbye to Miss Lutent.”
Avelin walked in a hurry and said with her breath quickened.
“It was so nice to see you today. I’d like to be closer to you in the future.”
Melina’s position in the meeting had always been high due to her friendship with Empress Anastasia.
Melina was always proud of the fact, but sometimes she felt indescribable displeasure.
It seems that people only see her as Anastasia’s friend, and not Melina Lutent.
‘Is this woman also attracted to that?’
It was when Melina was about to wrap up their farewell with a smile as if there was nothing surprising.
“It’s good of you to reject the offer of a lady-in-waiting from Her Majesty.”
The sudden words caught Melina.
Melina looked at Avelin with a face asking what that meant.
Avelin continued with an impure smile.
“Do you remember what I told you earlier? It’s a story about an illegitimate sister taking over her sister’s position as the empress.”
As she said that, she came a step closer to Melina.
Melina suddenly recoiled in reflection at the close distance, but it was no use. Avelin laughed and came close again.
“Miss Lutent is so beautiful that maybe such a mishap will happen.”
“… It’s not common.”
“You don’t know the relationship between a man and a woman.”
“You don’t know about relationships.”
Avelin added with a significant smile.
“There are also many people who have unique walls.* Oh, well, I’m not saying that Rosenberg’s emperor is.. I’m just saying.”
“Then go home safely. Let’s meet again.”
In a carriage separate from each other, a single thought controlled Melina’s mind very strongly.
‘Maybe I can take the seat next to the Emperor.’
The story she heard from Avelin ignited her long-standing resentment towards Anastasia, her deep-seated inferiority complex to her origins, and her lust for power that she was unaware of.
‘Even if she is a woman of the oracle, she cannot ignore the bloodline of Lutent, who gave birth to the imperial children.’
So when she arrived at the Marquess of Lutent, Melina immediately went to Marquis Lutent and said,
“I want to be the empress.”
At first, Marquis Lutent was bewildered. However, he gradually accepted it. Melina’s eyes shining with ambition and the specific plans she brought up.
So now Melina had safely stepped on one of the steps to become Empress.
“You’ll see, Dad.”
Melina said with determination, her cheeks still throbbing with red swelling.
“I will definitely be the Empress.”
Melina’s eyes were blazing with an irresistible desire.