Home Post 1521-chapter-26


Her dresses were always the talk of the town, and the parties she hosted became events that every noblewoman longed to attend.

Of course, Duchess Fontaine had never been invited to one of her parties. Even if she had been invited, it would only have been to cause more trouble.

“Emma, get rid of all these newspapers.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Noticing Eve’s discomfort, Emma quickly cleared away the papers and set down a plate of snacks. It was Eve’s favorite: eclairs.

Eve was savoring the crispy exterior and the creamy filling when a knock interrupted her.

“Eve, it’s me.”

“Ah, come in.”

Seeing Eve welcome Charles without hesitation, Emma thought they had completely reconciled. When Eve decided on the divorce, Emma had resolved to follow her to the end. Now, it seemed the Duke had matured, and the two had made peace, which was a great relief. The only issue was that their relationship felt more like a business arrangement than a marriage.

“I’ll be outside, ma’am. Call me if you need anything.”

“Alright. Thank you, Emma.”

Knowing she should leave when the Duke arrived, Emma quickly exited the room. Charles smiled lightly at her and then beamed at Eve.

“Hello, Eve.”

“Didn’t we see each other this morning?”

“Hm, my lady seems to be in a bad mood.”

Eve quickly changed her expression. Whether it was because of Arsen’s face or Charles’ easygoing nature, she often forgot that the man before her was the Emperor.

‘It’s not that I forget; I just feel comfortable around him…’

Charles, noticing her thoughts, sat across from her and spoke.

“Relax. I’ve told you I prefer it when you’re yourself.”

“…Why? You’re the Emperor. It’s only natural that everyone treats you with utmost respect.”

“Because it’s expected, it sometimes feels suffocating. At least with you, I want to feel at ease, Eve.”

“I’ll try…”

Charles nodded. He then took a bite of the eclair she had been eating.

“Mmm, delicious.”

“You should have a new one…”

“What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours, right? Besides, it’s time we get moving.”


Charles then placed something in front of her. It was an invitation stamped with the imperial seal.

“What is this?”

“An invitation to Cecilia’s tea party.”


Seeing Eve’s displeased expression, Charles smiled and explained.

“I told you, I have a way to stop Cecilia’s marriage.”

“What’s that?”

He popped the rest of the eclair into his mouth and said,

“We’ll incite her close associates. Actually, we might not even need to do that. She has plenty of chattering ladies around her these days.”

“Incite them…?”

“Cecilia is intoxicated with her current popularity and power. We’ll use that to push her into an engagement.”

“An engagement…”

“Typically, engagements are followed by a wedding a year later in the Tournai Empire. Of course, there are exceptions, but she won’t miss the chance to flaunt her luxury.”

She was so desperate to become the Duchess that she even resorted to poisoning herself. At the root of it all was her greed for power and wealth. Eve, knowing this all too well, nodded.

“…Of course, if it’s Cecilia.”

“Sure, it will strain the treasury a bit, but given the circumstances, we have to be prepared for some sacrifices. Bonaparte has halted the construction of the palace for now, so we’ve avoided major expenses.”

Understanding Charles’ point, Eve summarized it.

“So, what you mean is, you want me to shape public opinion around Cecilia, steering it toward her engagement.”

“Exactly. And do it without Cecilia noticing.”


“She knows you, right?”

“Yes, she does.”

She probably wouldn’t try to poison her again, but if it were after she had met Arsen in her previous timeline, she would surely know about his wife, Eve. That’s likely why she hadn’t invited her to any tea parties.


After some thought, Eve spoke.

“Then I need to stand out more.”

Charles’ eyes widened at her unexpected statement.

“What do you mean…?”

“It’s normal for me to act like I don’t know her. At least she won’t think I recognize her. So instead of inciting her close associates, I’ll become one of them.”

Charles looked worried at her plan.

“…Eve, are you sure about this?”

“I’ll do anything for revenge.”

Seeing the fierce determination in Eve’s eyes, Charles smiled. She truly was extraordinary.

“It’s a shame I won’t be able to join you this time.”

“I can handle it alone.”

“I know. I just wanted to watch. It seems like it’ll be fun.”


Ah, this man is really annoying.

As Eve grumbled internally, Charles spoke again.

“And there’s one more thing we need to prepare for.”

“What is it?”

Instead of answering, Charles smiled broadly.

“You’re going to be this year’s ‘Iris’.”

Iris. It was not only the national flower of the Tournai Empire but also a title given to the most prominent socialite of the year. At the end of the year, the newspaper ‘Le Monde’ would select the Iris of the Year. Although it was just a title with no actual benefits, its influence in the social scene was significant.

There were already rumors that the dazzling Cecilia would be this year’s Iris, but Charles had different plans.

“First, let’s get through this tea party smoothly.”


Eve opened the invitation and stared at the host’s name written inside.

‘It begins now. Cecilia, Arsen.’

And so, Eve’s revenge finally began.

* * *

The garden of the imperial palace, where the tea party was held, was extraordinarily splendid. Colorful flowers adorned the surroundings, lace curtains hung from the pillars, and the cute desserts on the tables lifted the spirits of anyone who looked at them.

And in the middle of women dressed in various colorful dresses, there was a woman reigning like a queen. She was the host of the tea party, Cecilia.

She wore a dress decorated with gold ribbons that garnished her chest, her black hair styled in an elaborate updo adorned with feathers. The fabric was embroidered with intricate designs, the sleeves were layered with lace, and her skirt was puffed up with a pannier.

A few years ago, this design would have been ridiculed as tacky and ostentatious, but now, thanks to Cecilia, it was the height of fashion.

The timing was perfect. With the Emperor having no Empress or official consort, there was no focal point for the noblewomen, and the Emperor’s frugality made it hard for the nobles to indulge in luxury. In this context, Cecilia’s excessively glamorous style captivated the noblewomen’s attention.

Of course, Eve, who had no intention of emulating Cecilia’s style, wore a much more modest dress compared to the others.

‘Is her hair a bird’s nest?’

Unlike the other nobles who had their hair styled like towering structures, Eve had her hair simply pinned up. While others came to enjoy the party, Eve looked like she was out for a casual outing.

‘Well, that’s intentional.’

“Oh my! Isn’t that Duchess Fontaine?”

As she lingered near Cecilia, someone recognized her. Though not directed at her, it was clearly meant for her to hear.

Despite the scandal about Arsen and the infamous incident at the Bonaparte Duchess’ tea party having died down, nobles never missed an opportunity to disparage someone.

Eve watched them giggle behind their fans.

‘Time to get started.’

She hesitated as she approached Cecilia. Although Cecilia’s face was half-hidden behind a fan, her sharp eyes were keenly observing Eve. Perhaps she suspected that Eve knew about her husband’s body switch.

Eve guessed this and, pretending to be nervous, opened her trembling lips.

“L-lady Girard. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I am Yvonne de Fontaine. Thank you so much for inviting me to your party today…”

Eve spoke pitifully, acting very nervous and subdued. Cecilia, instead of responding, asked her maid.

“Did I send an invitation to the Fontaine family? I don’t think I did.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Then how did she come without an invitation? Is that even possible?”

At Cecilia’s shrill voice, Eve quickly pulled out an invitation from her bag.

“I received the invitation, my lady…!”

“…Did you steal it…?”

“That’s unlikely, my lady. It seems there was a mistake in the process.”

At the maid’s whisper, Cecilia’s expression softened a bit. She looked at Eve, who was bowing her head apologetically, and then smiled.

“Alright, Duchess Fontaine. Even if it wasn’t intentional, you’re here now, so enjoy the party.”

“Thank you.”

Just as Eve was about to turn around, a noblewoman chastised her. It was Countess Dubois, who had been humiliated by Eve at the last tea party.

“But your dress doesn’t seem quite suitable for this occasion.”


Eve lowered her eyes and shrank back.

“I’m sorry.”

Seeing Eve’s meek demeanor, Countess Dubois pressed on.

“Did you come dressed like that on purpose? Are you disrespecting the future Empress?”