Home Post 1117-chapter-178


In an instant, all eyes turned to the scene.

The young nobles soon dispersed, cursing and causing a commotion, wondering, ‘What the heck is with Evynart’s dresses.’ Some went as far as flipping tables and breaking bottles. In no time, the banquet hall quickly descended into chaos.

The sound of breaking items and falling furniture mixed with the screams of people trying to avoid the havoc.

Just then, amidst the confusion, everyone turned their attention elsewhere.

“Hello, thank you for coming. But what shall we do now?”

Matilda was taken aback, her hand flying to her mouth as she noticed Laria standing before her. Despite the uproar, she remained composed, even appearing slightly amused with a little puffed cheek.

Laria surveyed Duchess Lespia and her entourage with a concerned tone.

“It seems you’re all wearing dresses from Evynart’s dress shop… There’s been a scandal involving the card house and the shop, causing quite an uproar. Apparently, some nobles have lost a lot of money there and are quite agitated. It might be wise for you to leave promptly.”

With the chaos of the mansion in the background, she added with a sly smile.

“I’ve been around gamblers for a long time, so I know… Once they get worked up, there’s no reasoning with them. It’s best to keep a low profile for a while.”

“What happened, Laria?”

As Matilda asked with a trembling voice, Laria explained calmly with a grin.

“Evynart’s dress shop commissioned a magic item from the Magic Tower. It turned out to be… a card capable of cheating.”

“Oh my.”

“And recently, a new card appeared in the card house, and many nobles lost money because of it. They’ve just found out, and that’s why they’re in such a frenzy.”

As her words continued, the aggression of the nobles, who had lost a significant amount in gambling, seemed to worsen.

Laria shrugged and went on.

“It seems they think everyone wearing Evynart’s clothes is a part of it. I told them it’s not the case, but do you think they’re in a state to listen now?”

“My goodness…”

“I had to reveal the distinctive lace of Evynart’s to avoid ruining my debut, but it seems it’s already causing trouble now. Ugh, I’m upset.”

Even though she said she was upset, Laria’s expression was almost mischievously cheerful. Duchess Lespia’s group, surrounded by Matilda, flinched and tried to cover their lace, though it wasn’t easy.

Laria’s eyes widened as she continued.

“You better run to the back door now, quickly! Everyone has drunk strong alcohol and is out of their senses!”

That was indeed true. The alcohol prepared for her debutante ball was all strong. Eventually, Duchess Lespia’s group scrambled toward the direction Laria pointed.

As Laria took a step towards Matilda, she accidentally stepped on the fan the Duchess had dropped.

“Oh my.”

Without showing any surprise, she then picked up the fan and handed it to a passing servant.

“Please send this to Duchess Lespia’s residence. It’s a bit damaged, but since she dropped it, I’m sure she can overlook that.”


“Shall we go to my mother, Lady Matilda? She must be quite panicked right now. Please stay by her side!”

Saying so, she cheerfully linked arms with Matilda. Although Matilda was kind, she wasn’t naive.

With a bewildered expression, she whispered to Laria.

“Laria, is this perhaps… no way….?”

“Did you enjoy it, Lady Matilda?”

Laria smiled slyly.

“I wanted my debutane to be enjoyable for the people I care about. Not for those others.”

At those words, Matilda looked a bit dazed but eventually smiled warmly and gave her a tight hug.

“Really, Laria… thank you so much. Still, what about your debutante looking like this?”

The mansion was already in disarray. Intoxicated nobles, after turning the place upside down in search of those wearing Evynart’s dresses, were now storming out to the gardens, scrambling for carriages to head to the dress shop.

“What’s the problem? I’m having fun, Fred’s having fun, and, well, I think Mother will, too. Did you notice the note on the invitation? It says that any damages must be compensated tenfold.”

Indeed, Laria was quite amused. All these events were right up her alley.

From the moment she heard about the embezzlement at Evynart’s dress shop, she sensed something was off. The money one could make from cheating on fabric quality was minimal. Moreover, in the long term, such business practices would inevitably lead to losing customers.

So, Laria surmised that Evynart was gathering small sums now to invest in a bigger scheme…

After some investigation, she uncovered the connection between the Magic Tower, the card house, and Evynart.

The rest was easy. She incited some hot-headed nobles frequenting the card house to place large bets.

Being well-connected in high society and knowledgeable about people’s weaknesses and character traits, Laria could easily orchestrate such affairs. Concocting schemes behind the scenes for the people she cherished was one of her greatest pleasures.

And having dealt with the nobles who bothered her in one fell swoop, even Fred would be pleased.

Although today might be slightly upsetting, Esther, who flaunted the Count’s residence’s wealth, would surely be quite satisfied after sending bills the next day. Even the nobles who lost money in gambling might find it beneficial as they could recoup their losses at the card house and eventually swear off gambling.

“It’s a pity Evan couldn’t see this…”

Laria smiled, feeling a slight twinge of disappointment.

In truth, she hadn’t anticipated Evan not attending her debutante ball. Of course, if urgent matters arose in the dukedom, it made sense for Evan to follow Kallaudin as the heir. But still, it was her debutante ball, and she was even wearing the jewelry he had given her.

At that moment, a lavish carriage arrived in front of the chaotic Count’s residence. It had the emblem of Duchy Icard.

“Oh? That’s…”

Matilda was the first to recognize it and pointed, blinking in surprise.

The astonished Laria jumped to her feet. The person who hastily got out of the carriage was the well-dressed Evan. He seemed bewildered by all the commotion.

Without even realizing it, Laria started running towards him. She was about to shout at him for arriving so late but stopped herself abruptly. After all, he had left at dawn for dukedom matters. Perhaps she should be asking why he was back so soon instead…

As she was thinking about that, her steps halted abruptly. She muttered in disbelief.

“….Fa, ther?”

The person who slowly emerged from the carriage, holding Evan’s hand, was none other than Count Rostri. While Laria was frozen still, Evan approached her with a puzzled expression.

“What is… all this about? I came here with the Count.”

“Why did you… my father?”

Evan quietly observed her for a moment, then glanced away, his gaze sweeping over the chaotic scene of the Count residence’s garden.

“I just remembered you being upset about your father not attending your debutante.”

“When did I say that!”

“….Let me correct myself. You didn’t say it, but it looked like you were upset, and you seemed worried about how it would look to others.”

Laria glanced at Count Rostri, who was staring blankly at the mess in his residence, and sighed. In the meanwhile, Esther was already running to the Count, nagging him to do something about the situation.

Laria decided to stop pretending she didn’t know her father and grabbed Evan’s arm.

“But even so, why would you bring my father…”

“Actually, early this morning, I received a tip that an illegal gambling den was set up in the dukedom… and your father’s name was on the list.”

As Laria’s mouth dropped open slightly, Evan continued, his gaze still fixed on the garden.

“As you know, Duchy Icard takes a strong stance on such matters. There was no need to let everyone know on the day of your debut that your father was in jail. So, before the gambling started, I rushed to bring him… It just didn’t seem right, not today.”

Laria clutched the hem of her dress and couldn’t say anything. She had never felt so lost for words.

“It’s not that I’m looking forward to it. Somehow, on that day, I don’t think Father will come… I’ve already given up on the expectation of him being loyal to the family. Still, if he doesn’t show himself at such formal events, rumors will spread in society.”

“Why does that matter?”

“It may not be important to you, but it is to me. Even if I don’t expect an escort from him, just him coming late and staying in his seat would be nice, but that’s my biggest worry.”

Despite the fact that it was just a passing comment, Evan remembered it and brought Count Rostri himself.

Laria was just moving her lips when Evan asked with a furrowed brow.

“What’s all this about? I hurried as much as I could…”

Indeed, the debutante ball had just started not long ago. From his perspective, he was only about twenty minutes late, but it seemed as if the whole event had already concluded.

At that moment, Matilda approached Evan and Laria.

“Let the adults handle this. Evan, you take Laria somewhere nice to eat. You can’t expect the star of the debutante ball to deal with the aftermath of all this, can you?”


As Laria looked surprised and was about to retort, Matilda gave her a knowing wink.

“I’ll help Esther out. I have a knack for this kind of situation—tallying up damaged goods and writing invoices for those responsible. The dress shop where I worked used to have its fair share of difficult customers. But Laria, today, of all days, you shouldn’t be dealing with this mess. It’s your birthday, after all.”

If Matilda had used the word ‘debutante ball’ instead of ‘birthday,’ Laria would have immediately refused, claiming it wasn’t a big deal to her. However, she deliberately used the term ‘birthday,’ a more thoughtful and personal touch, and while nudging Laria’s back, she quickly whispered to her son.

“I really didn’t want to get involved, but… do well today, son. If you can’t make Laria your wife with that earnest look of yours, Kallaudin and I might feel disappointed for the first time since raising you. Now’s your chance. Go quickly while Fred is preoccupied!”

Eventually, nudged by Matilda, Laria and Evan found themselves boarding the Duchy’s carriage that Evan and the Count had arrived in, leaving the Count’s residence together.