Home Post 944-chapter-151


Andra now had a better understanding of the confidence that had overflowed from Stephanie since earlier. She also began to comprehend why Stephanie could always emerge victorious. Andra could only look at Stephanie with a slightly astonished expression.

“I don’t consider Lady Avelin as my rival. From the beginning, Lady and I have different desires. So, I hope you didn’t misunderstand. I don’t dislike Lady. I’m personally inclined to like you. Again, we are neither rivals nor enemies.”


When Andra asked, Stephanie suddenly burst into laughter. It was as if she found the question amusing. Stephanie withdrew the hand she had tucked into her pocket and extended it to Andra.

“Avelin is a good business partner. People who can understand each other well in this circle are rare. So, I sincerely hope Lady finds what you truly desire.”

Stephanie’s voice carried sincerity as she spoke. Therefore, Andra couldn’t refuse the hand extended to her.

After shaking hands, Andra lowered her gaze to her and then raised her head again at the bustling noise of the crowd.

Stephanie was exchanging greetings and smiles with Lady Venetolia. People were quite surprised by Lady Venetolia’s gentle attitude towards Lady Jewelie. Consequently, those around Andra glanced at her with curiosity.

At that moment, Lady Venetolia made eye contact with Andra. It was just a brief moment, but the lady seemed to express a faint apologetic look towards Andra. Her complexion seemed a bit pale. Regardless, it became evident that the lady sided with the other faction. Realizing her debut had failed, Andra felt weary and let out a sigh inside.

‘She’s already moved on, hasn’t she, Lady Venetolia?’

Would Lady Jewelie have fanned Lady Venetolia with her words? Or perhaps, did she turn her towards her own side? Moreover, how did Airak manage to draw Lady Venetolia in? Without realizing, Andra found herself fixating on Airak, who was gently wrapping his arms around Lady Venetolia’s waist and whispering something in her ear.

Dustin was smiling. The forehead that had always furrowed in defeat was now smooth, and his emerald green eyes were tenderly relaxed. The rough touch that used to be so blunt now seemed remarkably delicate and affectionate. The young women surrounding Lady Venetolia were glancing at Airak so obviously to the point that it could be felt here.

Andra only now realized that this audacious face could express such expressions and attitudes. Every time, he only presented a rugged and menacing impression in front of her.

‘Damn it….’

At every word from Lady Venetolia, Dustin responded with a smiling gaze. It made Andra’s stomach churn. The man, who seemed like he would carry a sword for a lifetime, had a woman by his side, and Dustin and Lady Venetolia showed no discomfort with each other.

Therefore, Andra felt even more uneasy. It was as if she had faced an aspect she never wanted to see again.

Then, Dustin’s gaze turned towards Andra. Alarmed, Andra quickly turned her head away and left the ballroom.

‘Cursed Airak.’

* * *

Upon seeing Andra, Adego immediately spoke. ‘Are you okay?’ Andra nodded as she accepted the coat handed to her by her second brother. Adego felt a sigh escaping him at seeing Andra, who seemed unchanged and calm. Taking off his bowtie, he sat down beside Andra.

“Forget about it. Lady Venetolia will retire soon anyway…”

“It’s okay. I knew from the start that it wouldn’t be easy for me to fit in. Lady Venetolia’s position. It was never meant for me in the first place.”

Perhaps it was due to Stephanie’s straightforward advice, but even though Andra had blatantly lost her position, she wasn’t particularly upset. Instead, she felt a bit annoyed.

Why couldn’t she hold on to any position? If she had paid a bit more attention, she might have been able to impose some restriction on Lady Jewelie. If she had acted with the same desperation, the outcome might have been different.

Looking back now, there were many things Andra hadn’t said to Lady Jewelie. She couldn’t deny that she had grown up preciously, but she wasn’t always treated like a princess. She had her own efforts, her own struggles.

She should have countered more firmly. It was a stark contrast to Stephanie, who confidently expressed what she wanted. Through this incident, Andra realized that she still had a lot to learn.

“…Father wanted to give you that position as a coming-of-age gift. It doesn’t mean you’re lacking, Andra.”

“No, I’ve realized it through this incident. Adego, I’m still lacking. Look, I couldn’t even properly bring the board that father laid out for me. It was too much for me from the beginning.”

“Andra, you are more than qualified. Why are you talking like that?”

In response to Andra’s self-deprecating words, Adego gently reproached her. Andra stood up from her seat and looked at her second brother.

“Adego, don’t make me out to be an ignorant fool. I know my capabilities and what I lack very well. I could never have seized this opportunity if I weren’t Avelin. My qualifications fall short; I just rode on Avelin’s name.”

The sole daughter of Avelin. This was not a position Andra had earned through her efforts. In contrast, what about Stephanie Jewelie? She had solidified her position from a young age.

She had worked hand in hand with her sister, pushing aside others and climbing to the position of the family’s heir. As mentioned earlier, she had left no stone unturned for the family’s business. Jewelie was revolving under Stephanie and her sister.

“I need some fresh air.”

“Where are you going?”

“Just around here. Maybe a walk around the garden will cool down this heated mind a bit. Don’t, Adego, go to Tanya.”

Andra said, stopping Adego from standing up. Tanya was Adego’s wife, and she was from a capital family, still lingering at the ballroom. As soon as the banquet started, Andra had confirmed her presence through greetings and asked about her grown stomach.

“Thank you for coming for me. But Adego, it’s probably better if you pay more attention to Tanya.”

“But, Brother Ansel…”

“I’m not a kid anymore. And besides, Ansel is coming as soon as things are sorted out. Do you really think anything significant will happen in plain sight in the garden?”

Andra, having handed over the coat to Adego, responded with a carefree laugh. Adego seemed a bit concerned about his sister, but faced with Andra’s resolute desire for solitude, he had no choice but to return to his wife.

“Be careful, no matter how public the place is. You never know what might happen. Got it?”

“I got it. I don’t know why you nag me more than Father and Ansel, Adego.”

“It’s because Father and Brother Ansel are soft on you. Don’t go too far. If you need anything, call a servant or call me.”

Andra pushed his back, and after Adego left, she headed towards the garden.

Once the figure of her second brother disappeared completely, Andra stepped briskly towards the garden. She wanted to find a quiet place, sit down like she used to in the East, and gaze up at the night sky.

While the capital might not offer as many stars as the East, it was still decent. And now was the time for her to have some time alone.

‘Adego told me not to go too far, but… What can I do if there’s no place without people?’

The guide mentioned that there was a small lake nearby. He praised the moon’s reflection on the water, describing the lake’s scenery as beautiful. The protagonist’s position for this coming-of-age ceremony had already slipped away. It was likely that they would be discussing the relationship between Lady Venetolia and Dustin Airak now that Lady Avelin was quietly enjoying her time at the lake, away from others’ gazes.

‘I don’t have desperation, just as Lady Jewelie said. It’s natural. I don’t get attached to the capital.’

Andra admitted it to herself.

Just as Stephanie said, she wasn’t meant for the capital. For Andra, the capital was a stifling place. The gaze of people, the constraints between families… Despite going back and forth between the capital and the east several times, there was no place as comfortable as the East. It might sound feeble, but that’s how it was.

As she walked through the garden toward the lake, she unexpectedly heard voices from another path. Andra unconsciously muted her footsteps and stood still, listening intently to the voices. One of the two voices was familiar to her. Then, a dull sound, like a thud, followed. Andra instinctively restrained herself from making a sound.

“I told you not to act recklessly. How dare you cause such trouble?”

“…your punch really hurts.”

A familiar voice. The sound of Dustin Airak muttering and spitting. Andra recognized that it was the Airak brothers conversing. Since the Airak family head couldn’t make it to this coming-of-age ceremony, only the brothers came down.

The person who punched Dustin was probably his elder.

“Who told you to act on your own accord? Do you know what you did? I almost got caught.”

“…Brother, it was unavoidable. Still, it was somewhat successful, wasn’t it? No one suspects my relationship with the Lady.”

“You’re still not thinking clearly. What if the Lady rejected you because of your play?”

“She couldn’t have done that. What about Her Majesty who is behind us?”

“Shut up. Don’t speak lightly of that person.”

“Oh, alright.”

Got caught, success, Lady’s relationship, play… Andra momentarily lost herself in the conversation that echoed from beyond. It was clear what they were talking about. Andra wasn’t so dull as to be unable to discern that from the conversation of the Airak brothers.

What they meant. Dustin Airak and Lady Venetolia’s relationship was thoroughly staged.

“Did you see her reaction? Avelin looked flustered. Everyone had a disgusted expression.”

“It’s understandable. Because of your intrusion, they were all left with a bitter taste. Be grateful to Lady Venetolia. If it weren’t for her, you wouldn’t be unharmed either.”

“No one suspects me now. They’re all deceived by the imitation of a fool in love. Well, I’m satisfied just breaking Avelin this time.”

“Don’t be so obsessed with defeating a mere young lady. Don’t act rashly. I didn’t come here to clean up after you.”

Gradually, the voices of the Airak brothers faded away on the other side. Even then, Andra couldn’t move from that spot.

Breaking Avelin? Did that mean he deliberately did such things to hinder her? Airak? The absurdity and the boiling anger made her body tremble. To be attacked by Airak of all people.

In truth, when Dustin and Lady Venetolia appeared together, she had thought it might be a ploy. Their relationship seemed too abrupt.

However, on the other hand, she hadn’t thought that Airak would directly plan and participate. The Dustin she knew was unbelievably foolish. Airak’s strategy was that the body moved before the mind. That was a fact Andra, who had often been pushed aside by strength since childhood, knew all too well.

The sound of footsteps approaching Andra as she stood still reached her ears. However, Andra didn’t run away. She simply waited, holding her head high, for the man who appeared in front of her.

Eventually, Dustin Airak revealed himself before her.

“More trouble than it’s worth, really…”

Dustin muttered while rubbing his jaw that had taken a hit, and as he shifted his steps, he seemed a bit surprised to see Andra standing on the opposite side.