AIWTRO Chapter 27
Paula: “You only read romance and horror novels, don’t you? One time, you were so scared that you couldn’t work the night shift.”
Emily looked slightly offended at the insinuation that she couldn’t possibly own a book that the lady would want to read.
‘No, of course it’s true.’
Truthfully, Emily’s bookshelf was full of interesting novels.
Emily: “You used to say that if you caught me reading these books again, you’d confiscate it, right? But you enjoyed reading it, too.”
Emily became more confident when she saw the embarrassed look on Paula’s face. It was the lady herself who asked Emily to recommend more books, and the one who said she enjoyed reading them.
Paula: “That’s impossible…”
Emily: “If you don’t believe me, you can go to milady’s room to see for yourself. I think my book is in there.”
Seeing Emily speak up with such confidence made it hard for Paula to dismiss her claim. She tried to imagine their lady reading a romance novel. It really didn’t fit…
A war novel sounded more likely.
Emily: “So, are you going to reprimand me for reading something that’s not academic?”
If she did that, then that meant their lady was also reading something unacademic.
Emily raised her chin triumphantly and received a light chop from Paula.
Paula: “I was mistaken, then. I’m relieved that milady has been kind to you. But be careful not to do anything out of line.”
Emily: “Yes, ma’am.”
Paula: “The same goes for you two! Got it?”
“I’ll be careful.”
Paula: “Okay. Let’s get back to work.”
The maids scattered as soon as Paula dismissed them. She looked anxiously at their backs and was lost in thought.
‘Milady borrowed the romance novel? Not confiscate it?’
She still couldn’t believe it. If it was a horror novel, she would have understood it a little bit. But ‘girly’ and ‘milady’ were two words she’d never thought to say together in a sentence.
She should check with Rose.
A day later, it was Friday. When Keira came up to her room after dinner, a letter was waiting for her.
It was a letter from Marchioness Francais.
‘Who was that again?’
After a moment, she remembered. Marchioness Francais was the person whose invitation Keira had accepted.
The Marchioness must have thanked her for accepting the invitation, but Keira was too preoccupied to read the letter properly.
She was worried about something else.
The book she had borrowed from Emily used the expression ‘wallflower,’ an insult used to call people standing alone in the corner of a ballroom. Loners, so to speak.
‘What if I look like that?’
What if she attended the ball, but came home after sipping drinks by herself? Nothing would be more embarrassing and depressing than that.
Her expression became somber. She felt like a student worried about the low grades she got at practical class.
“Why are you crying?” Rose asked.
Keira hesitated for a moment and replied.
Keira: “I’m worried about becoming a wallflower at Marchioness Francais’ ball.”
Rose: “Oh, my. You were worrying about that? A wallflower!”
Rose laughed as if she had heard a joke.
Keira: “Don’t laugh. I’m serious. If I come back from the ball just standing alone… I’d be really sad.”
Rose: “Don’t worry, milady. There will be plenty of people who will want to talk to you. And you’re not even going alone, so why are you worried?”
Keira: “What are you talking about? I’m going alone.”
Rose’s face fell when she heard Keira’s answer.
Rose: “…You’re going alone?”
Keira: “Yes, by myself.”
Rose: “You’re not bringing a partner?”
Why hadn’t she thought of that? Keira wanted to grab her head in frustration.
It was absurd for a noble lady who had recently become an adult would attend a dance without a partner… unless she wanted to become the center of attention, of course.
Whenever Keira had to attend a banquet, she was always accompanied by her father. This time, however, it was impossible.
‘…What should I do? I’m not close to anyone enough to ask them.’
She agonized with her head on the desk.
‘Zeke’s not an adult yet, so he can’t attend social events outside the house.’
The knights came to mind, but…
‘We’re not close enough for me to ask any of them to be my partner.’
They have just gone past the stage of misunderstanding each other. Except for Arthur, she hasn’t had a meaningful conversation with any of the knights since the last drinking party.
And even with Sir Arthur, she wouldn’t consider them close either.
Rose: “You didn’t think of that?”
Keira: “…I completely forgot.”
Rose: “What about going with His Grace as usual?”
Keira: “No way! And do you think His Grace will actually change his schedule for me?”
Rose: “Oh, that’s true. Then, why don’t you ask one of the knights?”
Keira: “We’re not close enough to ask each other favors.”
Rose: “I can think of a person who will be disheartened if he heard you…”
Before Keira could ask, there was a knock on the door.
Emily stuck out her head and said.
Emily: “Milady, I heard you had an appointment for dinner? I was surprised that you didn’t answer even after calling you for a long time. I was worried something might have happened…”
Keira: “Oh, is it that time already?”
Looking at the clock, it was almost 7. She had planned to take the carriage and leave at 7:30.
Emily handed over a butterfly mask.
Emily: “Here’s the mask you asked for. By the way, where are you going to even need a mask?”
Emily tried to be nonchalant about asking. Rose, who has taken care of Keira since she was young, was listening, too.
Keira couldn’t bear to say that she was going to the casino.
Keira: “Yes, um, just outside. People might recognize me.”
She knew she couldn’t avoid getting scolded, but she was like a child who was hiding their mistake.
Keira: “It won’t be dangerous because I’ll be going with the knights. It’s a Friday night, so I’m taking a rest.”
Emily: “Hmm… I won’t ask you any more questions, so have fun.”
Keira walked down the stairs, leaving the two pouting maids behind.
‘I’m really… going to a gambling house.’
Her heart was pounding, but she couldn’t back out now.
Keira looked around like a thief, worried that she’d get found out. Fortunately, it was time for dinner, so the people were busy–
Zeke: “Where are you going, noonim?”
Keira squeaked and turned around.
Zeke approached his sister who was rooted on the spot.
Zeke: “What are you holding? Oh, a mask? Where are you going at this hour with a mask?”
Keira: “Huh? So, um, uhh…”
She thought of saying she’s about to take a walk, but she knew it wouldn’t work. She was also dressed up to go outside, and she didn’t need a mask to take a walk around the mansion.
She broke out in a cold sweat. Keira, the big sister who should set an example for Zeke, would be seen by him as a sinful sister.
‘N-no! I’m not doing anything bad! I’m just trying to experience the outside world!’
Besides, it would be okay as long as she didn’t participate in gambling itself.
“I’m going out with the knights tonight.”