AIWTRO Chapter Fifty-Four

AIWTRO Chapter 54

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‘What a total load of nonsense.’

Bella, instead of speaking her mind, waved her hands and grinned.

Bella: “I’m not sure myself why Miss Keira accepted my invitation…”

She was telling the truth, but everyone who was listening thought she was being humble or coy, a typical move used in the social world.

“Come to think of it. I heard she also attended Marquis Francais’ party. I wonder why.”

Then she stared at her, wide-eyed. Bella was stunned. She was curious, too. 

“Her grandfather, the Marquis of Edinburgh, was at the party. She might have come to see him.”

“Or maybe her brother’s upcoming coming-of-age celebration influenced her.”

“Ah, that’s probably it.”

So many guesses, but they were all wrong.

But it would even be stranger if someone actually guessed right.

The salon was in full swing.

Someone flattered her fan near her lips and said.

“I haven’t been able to sleep since yesterday when I found out that lady is coming.”

“Me, too. I thought she was too busy even to remember the face of a person she had talked to them three times.”

The ladies spoke in a displeased tone. Translated into everyday language, it’s like they were saying, ‘What’s wrong with that woman?’

‘That’s right.’

Bella agreed, but she just smiled instead. 

Perhaps the other ladies also approached the elementalist and instead faced an iron wall. The lady must have bruised their egos.

Bella sympathized, but she couldn’t get involved in the gossiping.

She clapped to lighten the atmosphere. 

Bella: “Now, there’s someone I’d like to introduce to you…”

It was a moment to show off a violinist who is famous for his face rather than his skills.

But then the person who had been the topic of gossip a while ago appeared.

“Her Highness the Princess, Lady Keira Parvis has arrived.”

The ladies who were gossiping froze. 

But Arabella skillfully averted the crisis. The twenty years of her life as a princess were not in vain.

Bella: “Escort her to the salon, then.”

She was smiling, but sweat was dripping down her back.

‘Please don’t remember my face.’

Unfortunately for her, Keira recognized her at a glance.

‘Ah, that person.’

It was one of the women who ran away as soon as their eyes met at the last party.

Seeing that she was sitting at the head of the table, she must be the owner of this salon.

‘I didn’t know she was a princess.’

While Keira was struggling with her thoughts, Bella continued to sweat profusely.

‘That look, I’m sure she recognized me. She recognized me!’

Ah, it’s that person? Bella thought Keira looked at her like that. She couldn’t have been mistaken.

Her muscles trembled as she tried to keep the smile on her face.

As the salon host and owner, she couldn’t ignore her guests. Bella managed to get up and welcomed the new guest.

Bella: “Welcome. I’m pleased to see you because I didn’t think the Parvises would accept my invitation.”

Keira: “I really appreciate the invitation.”

Bella: “It’s my pleasure.”

Bella clapped once again.

Bella: “Then, I’ll introduce a special guest.”

She beckoned, and a handsome man walked out of the back door. He was a handsome man with curly, reddish-brown hair. Keira immediately knew who it was.

Your name is… Jordan Whitehead?’

She couldn’t remember exactly, so she had to check the cheat sheet she had hidden in her sleeve.

「Joshua Whitehead[1]. Contrary to his surname, he has reddish-brown hair. He was more famous for his face than his skills.

He’s the hottest musician among young ladies these days. Given his popularity, there was a high chance he’d be invited for the salon’s opening day.

His most famous song is <Wolfgang’s Sunset>, which he performed at the academy graduation concert.

He was definitely a handsome guy. However…

‘He’s not my cup of tea.’

The rest of the ladies muttered in excitement around her.

“Oh, my! It’s Sir Joshua!”

“As expected of Her Highness’s salon.”

Keira was the only one who really didn’t expect him to be invited here.

Joshua bowed and said.

Joshua: “I am honored to be invited by the Imperial Princess. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the Emperor.”

He then kissed Bella on the back of her hand.

Joshua: “I don’t usually accept song requests, but if it’s the beautiful princess, it’s a different story.”

Keira thought she could understand why he was popular among young ladies.

Keira’s head cooled. He reminded her of someone she had recently encountered.

‘How cheesy.’

It was better for a man to be simple and honest than predictable. 

Yes, like Sir Joseph, for example.

It was a moment when her taste changed a little.

Bella: “Oh my, that makes me happy! But I want to give this honor to the guests. Lady Keira, perhaps?”

Keira, who was looking at the cheat sheet under the table, raised her head in surprise.

Keira: “Yes?”

Bella: “Is there a song you’d like to hear?”

Keira: “Ah, I–”

Keira was about to refuse when she remembered the contents of the cheat sheet.

「His most famous song is <Wolfgang’s Sunset>, which he performed at the academy graduation concert.」

Keira: “I would like to hear <Wolfgang’s Sunset>.”

As she said that, a look of surprise crossed his face.

Joshua: “How fortunate that <Wolfgang’s Sunset> is the song I’m most proud of.”

At that moment, she remembered the phrase scribbled all over the cheat sheet.

「If you don’t know, you’ll be treated like a hillbilly, so pretend that you know.」

I don’t want to be treated like that.’

Her self-esteem didn’t allow it. Trying to look nonchalant, Keira said. 

Keira: “I’ve heard rumors that you performed this when you graduated from the academy.”

Joshua: “Thanks to that performance, I was able to get a letter of recommendation from the chairman. It’s a meaningful song for me. It’s a great honor for me that the Grand Lady of Parvis and Her Highness the Princess will be listening to my piece.”

Arabella, who was watching their exchange, was shocked.

‘If you can answer that well, why have you always answered my words with short answers?’

She felt like a fool as she thought about what happened in the past.

Bella: “You’re surprisingly up-to-date with the latest trends despite rarely attending social gatherings. I was not expecting that.”

Bella’s eyebrows twitched as she said that.

However, Keira was just thrilled that the conversation was flowing that she did not notice the minute change in tone.

Keira: “I don’t usually go to the concert hall in the capital, but I often call in a band to listen to music.”

Bella: “I see.”

Bella has brought up various topics several times since then.

Fashion trends, the glamorous wedding of a Countess, the latest social gossip.

Each time, Keira happily used the knowledge she had learned.

‘Look at this? How many times have you been ignoring me in the past while being able to talk like this?’

The young girls seemed delighted to have had a friendly conversation with Keira, a person they thought was standoff-ish, but Bella wasn’t.

She was a member of the Imperial family. So no matter how great the elementalists were, they needed to show courtesy to the monarch.

If the lady’s attitude was like that, Bella had no choice but to question the loyalty of the Grand Duchy as her brother said. 

‘Well, I still to carry out my duties despite the offense I felt.’

By the time the conversation was moderately at its peak, she naturally broached the topic.

Bella: “Honestly, I was very nervous about today. I didn’t expect the Parvis family to accept my invitation, so I was curious about that. But I guess there was no point in being nervous because we’re having a lovely conversation.”

‘So why don’t you spill and tell me why you’re really here, huh?’

Keira: “Ah.”

Keira put down her teacup and opened her mouth. She remembered her excuse. The opportunities offered by the Grand Duke were not infinite.

Keira: “I just thought maybe I should start attending social events.”

Another lady asked.

“Oh my, but doesn’t the Parvis family consider it a virtue not to participate in outside activities?”

Keira: “Yes, that’s true. But you can’t marry within the family.”

“Hmm, that’s true–Huh?”

She tried to answer casually, but she was still embarrassed at the silence that followed. Did she drop a bomb?

She looked around, and everyone’s eyes were wide open—even Her Highness.