AIWTRO Chapter 111
Raw Provider: Jessica
TL: Ms MTLer
“If things went my way, I would have been out of the capital a long time.”
“If I keep staying here, something annoying may happen. Ah, what a bummer!”
So that was the ‘annoying’ thing he was talking about.
Daphne Shore, as she knew, had no brothers. Instead of welcoming a son-in-law into the family, the Count seemed to have decided to hand over his title to a male relative, but it was impossible for the heir to remain single.
‘I guess his family is nagging him to get married, no, get engaged.’
Considering Erez’s personality, it was the most reasonable scenario.
Claire: “Yes, quite seriously.”
Claire replied, her cheeks stained red.
There was no way she would have liked his personality given how rude he acted, so Keira figured she might have fallen for Erez’s handsome face.
Keira suppressed the urge to sigh.
‘Don’t just look at the face; look at the man…’
It seemed that Claire had never fallen victim to the charms of a handsome rake before. However, Keira couldn’t exactly say in front of them that looks weren’t everything.
Claire: “But I didn’t know you were acquainted with His Grace.”
The power of love could really overcome fear. Claire continued the conversation even as she shook. She was probably curious how this alien of a man who lived alone in a lab knew Ludwig.
Erez: “Ah, that’s…”
Erez stammered, trying to think of an excuse.
“Of course, they’re acquainted.”
A voice interrupted the four of them.
Keira looked in the direction and saw a blonde woman approaching.
Claire: “Countess Rheol!”
Claire exclaimed, feigning happiness. The host of today’s event was here.
Countess Rheol: “Thank you for coming, Miss Claire. Oh, it’s a pleasure to see you and Your Ladyship. I was nervous when Your Ladyship sent me a reply, but I didn’t know that His Grace would accompany you.”
As a middle-aged woman with years of experience in social events, she did not freeze in front of Ludwig.
With a skilled smile, she curtsied.
Countess Rheol: “I hope you enjoy today’s auction. I have to greet the other guests, so, unfortunately, I’ll have to take my leave. Anyway, if I knew Her Ladyship would come, I would have held a tea party.”
Even though Keira knew the Countess had said it out of courtesy, she wondered for a moment if she meant it.
Countess: “Then, I’ll be off.”
Claire: “Ah, wait a moment, Madam!”
But then Claire stopped her just as she was about to leave. As if in a hurry, Claire’s voice was a little loud, drawing attention from people around them.
Claire: “I’m sorry for taking your time while you’re busy, but I was wondering about the first thing you said…”
Claire’s voice gradually became quiet, fearing that her question would sound like an interrogation.
Fortunately, the Countess wasn’t the least offended.
Countess: “Oh, I guess Miss Claire hasn’t seen it yet.”
No, her eyes even shone as if she’d been waiting for this moment.
Keira didn’t miss the glint that flashed in the Countess’s eyes.
‘This woman, did she trap Claire on purpose…’
Because of Claire’s loud voice, the crowd’s attention was on them. Anyway, it was impossible to avoid attention since today’s charity auction’s organizer, Keira, and the Grand Duke were together.
Countess: “It’s a bit embarrassing, but I often look at the gossip papers.”
Then she added that since her children were all grown up, she had nothing else to do.
Countess: “But isn’t there an article about Her Ladyship? Ah, it was around when the capital was abuzz with the news of Her Ladyship’s marriage. I know most gossip is false, but the timing was perfect, so I paid more attention to it.”
Claire: “Then… That article is…”
Gossip. When the capital was abuzz with the news of Her Ladyship’s marriage. That Ludwig and Erez knew each other.
Claire was able to draw conclusions quickly, but since she was in front of Ludwig, she couldn’t exactly say it.
However, just by looking at her slightly dejected expression, anyone would know what she was thinking.
At that moment, Ludwig, who had been silent until now, spoke.
Ludwig: “The article wouldn’t have mentioned my daughter’s name, let alone our family name, so how is Madam so sure?”
Countess: “That’s something anyone with a little interest in society would recognize. If I offended Your Grace…”
Ludwig: “I only know because my aide informed me if we should consider legal action.”
He smiled and continued.
Ludwig: “But wouldn’t it be undermining the grand duchy’s prestige to respond seriously to such frivolous gossip?”
The Countess’s flawless mask slightly cracked, revealing embarrassment and awkwardness.
But soon, she smiled softly and waved her hand in dismissal.
Countess: “Of course. I thought so, too. I just read it to pass the time when I have nothing to do.”
Ludwig: “Then that’s a relief.”
The Countess excused herself and moved on to greet the other guests.
As Keira stared at her retreating back, she thought, ‘…This isn’t good.’
Despite Ludwig’s outspoken dismissal, the situation didn’t turn out to be favorable.
The problem started when she first met Erez. He had been overly friendly with her in many places where people saw them, and he had even gone to the terrace with her alone.
People would definitely remember that.
Unsurprisingly, the crowd around them started whispering among themselves.
“Come to think of it, I saw them together. They seem to be quite close.”
“How does he know Her Ladyship? Isn’t Erez Shore famous for being an eccentric magician? Someone said he lived in a lab.”
“I don’t know. He may have come across her by chance in social events.”
Nothing was more effective in sinking an unmarried noble lady’s reputation into muddy waters than this.
Her head throbbed at the thought that this was happening because this person approached her so carelessly.
“It’s just common gossip. Don’t take it seriously.”
Claire: “Oh, of course. I’m often bothered by false rumors, too.”
Fortunately, Claire wasn’t foolish enough to take offense to gossip that she didn’t even know if it was true or false and one that had taken place before the wedding.
It was a little awkward, but it seemed like there was nothing they could do about it.
Claire: “Then see you next time, Your Ladyship.”
Keira: “Since the weather has gotten warmer, I’m looking forward to seeing if Her Highness will hold another picnic.”
After parting ways with Claire, Keira and Ludwig headed up to the third floor under the guidance of the auction house staff. The entrance to the box seats was located on the third floor.
Ludwig: “How did you meet that young lady? Claire Neil?”
Keira: “We met while attending the picnic hosted by Her Highness.”
Ludwig: “I hope she’s a sensible young lady. If she went around and talked about this…”
Keira: “We’ve talked for a while, so I know. I don’t think she’s that careless. Besides, Your Grace hinted at it, so there’s nothing to worry about.”
Anyway, the rumor happened before the marriage came and went.
If Claire talked about it too much, she would be in an equally awkward position. She wouldn’t dig her own grave with unconfirmed and false rumors unless she’s insane.
‘The problem is…’
Only if there was someone lighting a fire around Keira.
Keira’s expression hardened as she recalled Countess Rheol. That woman, she obviously said those words on purpose.
Before the auction started, Claire left the room, saying she would wash her hands first.
In aristocratic speak, it meant she was going to the washroom.
Since it was a building frequented by nobles, the washroom was luxurious and immaculate. There was a separate space for chatting, and some noble ladies had already taken advantage of it.
‘I have to go back soon.’
She chatted with noble wives she knew but kept it short. She wanted to go back and talk to Erez a little more.
She liked her perspective fiancé. More precisely, she liked his face.
As someone born into an aristocratic family, she was aware that an arranged marriage was inevitable. She wouldn’t have a choice even if she ended up marrying an ugly and pathetic guy.
That’s why she was pleased with the groom her father had introduced.
Rumors said he had a quirky personality, but she believed his handsome face made up for it.
As expected, being handsome was the best.
Claire hummed and turned around. She had to go back quickly…
Did she rush too much? As she turned, she bumped her shoulder with someone.
A fan that seemed to belong to the other party fell on the floor. The auction house staff quickly picked up the item.
Claire: “I-I’m sorry! Are you alright?”
The other person raised their head and looked at her. It was then that Claire gasped.
It was partly because the person’s exposed face was stunning, but more importantly, it was because this person was a hot topic in the social world.
Claire: “Lady Cosette.”
Cosette: “I’m fine.”
As she spoke, her smiling face looked so angelic. She had white-silver hair and a light pink dress that reminded Claire of a twilight sky.
Above all, that gentle smile! It reminded her of a scene from a famous painting hanging in a temple.
As she admired the lady’s picturesque beauty, a question came to Claire’s mind.
‘I didn’t see Lady Cosette a while ago, did I?’