Translator: Skye Editor: herkawaiidramas
Frankly, I became flustered by the unexpected predicament, but if I showed my uneasiness, it would only show that the rumors were true.
So I calmed myself down before shooting the man in front of me a glare.
“Who told you that I am in a relationship?” I asked him, concealing my agitation, however he only shook his head.
“I’m afraid I don’t know the details either. I just know that there are rumors going around that you are seeing someone…”
I frowned. If the identity of the man I was supposedly in a relationship was still unknown, leaving me to be the only one exposed, it was obvious this was just a malicious rumor meant to slander me alone.
‘If the rumors really had my father’s apprentice as my supposed lover, there would be many trying to guess his identity and that itself would have started all sorts of rumors. Of course, there would also be talks about his extremely good looks.’
Having figured out the gist of the situation, I deliberately raised my voice as if I was still dumbfounded.
“That’s ridiculous. I’ll have you know I’ve actually been recuperating at home these days. There are visitors who have visited the mansion, so I can call them forward as my witnesses.”
Hearing my firm denial, he released a sigh.
“I see it was just a false rumor after all.”
“Yes, so you can relax,” I said, smiling. But I was further surprised when the young lord stood up and got on his knees in front of me.
“Lord Rowain, what is the meaning of this?”
But he remained kneeling, staring at me with a solemn look.
‘Is he about to drop another bomb?’
As I stared at him with slight anxiety, he lowered his head and spoke in a grave voice, “I’m sorry.”
I frowned at his sudden apology.
“Pardon? What are you apologizing for all of a sudden…”
Then, he raised his head and stared at me with heavy eyes.
“I have made a big mistake.”
“Mistake? What do you mean?”
“I thought you had turned down my partner request…..so I have already agreed to attend the party with another lady as my partner.”
After hearing such an unexpected remark, I felt like I had received a blow to the head.
‘So, you’re saying you went ahead and acted rashly, not even waiting for my reply?’
In high society, the proper etiquette when it came to requesting partners was that the receiver had to return a response, regardless if they were accepting the request or turning it down, while the requester had to wait until they received a response before trying to find another partner.
It was a relief that I hadn’t sent a reply to the other two yet, I would almost have had to attend the party alone.
‘Then my father would definitely bring up marriage talks.’
The young lord’s face crumpled.
“I’ve always dreamed of the day where I would be able to be your partner, I never thought things would turn out like this. It’s all because of my lack of….no, it’s all because of my incompetence.”
Seeing the look of torment on his face, it seemed he was truly apologetic. Still, on the bright side, I was able to learn about the rumors going around thanks to him.
‘It’s troublesome, but if I just leave those rumors alone, it may pose trouble in the future….I’ll need to look into them.’
I forced a smile to show that I was all right.
“It’s alright. I can just find another partner, so please rise.”
“Oh…are you an angel?”
His murmur was rather absurd, that I even doubted my own ears, so when I asked him to clarify, he hurriedly added, “Ah…I-I meant that you are very kind like an angel.”
‘Hm…to think a character like me, who is clearly a villain, would be called an angel.’
Others would have laughed at the thought, so perhaps this man was just exaggerating because I forgave him.
“Still, I can’t help but regret how it turned out. This is truly the biggest mistake of my life.”
It was obvious why he was going so far with such a burdensome apology–You don’t want me to tell my father.
‘But I have no plans of telling my father even if you didn’t go this far.’
Burdened by the guilt-ridden expression on his face, I was going about to tell him that it was okay, but he continued in a somber voice, “More than anything, I worry that my rashness may have offended you.”
I was starting to get tired of his excessive apologies.
“It’s really all right, I was able to learn about the rumors at least. Thank you for coming all the way here, Lord Rowain.”
“Thank you for your forgiveness, Lady Floyen,” he said with a bitter smile.
Just when I thought he was going to take his leave, he suddenly leaned in and whispered softly, “I was upset to hear that I wasn’t qualified…but I feel comforted by your kindness, milady.”
‘Huh? Not qualified?’
I was about to ask him to clarify what he meant.
“In the future, would you like to–huk!”
He was in the middle of asking me something when he suddenly cut himself off, clamping his mouth shut. Turning pale, he seemed to be staring out the window behind me, a terrified look on his face.
‘What’s wrong with him? It looks like he saw something he didn’t want to see.’
I turned around to check but didn’t see anything in particular that would have drawn such a reaction from him.
“Lord Rowain, what’s wr–”
“Lady Floyen, I apologize for my rudeness, but I must be on my way immediately,” he interrupted, standing up in a hurry.
It was considered rude for a guest to suddenly leave before the tea was even brought out. I stared at him in bewilderment.
‘You’ve already done a discourteous thing, but to think you’re about to add another to the list…’
“I forgot I had urgent business today. It’s all because I’m incompetent…please forgive me.” He said with a miserable voice and ashen-faced.
‘Well, I guess it can’t be helped.’
Although it was very rude of him to leave so abruptly, I didn’t want to hold on to someone who looked anguished.
“It’s all right, you can be on your way. Please take care of yourself, you don’t look so well.”
“Thank you, my beautiful and kind lady. I wish you all the best and hope that you will find someone worthy to attend the party with.”
He bowed deeply and said his goodbyes while leaving behind an exaggerated compliment.
‘Well, there are still others left that I can ask, so it’s not a big deal.’
It wasn’t long after he left that Marilyn came in with the tea cart. To be honest, I felt more comfortable drinking tea alone, so I didn’t think much about the empty seat across from me that Lord Rowain was occupying just a few minutes ago.
“Marilyn, as for the setting….”
As I was about to tell Marilyn she only needed to prepare one set for me, someone entered the sitting room.
Thankfully, I think I spoke naturally, hiding my surprise. He nodded in response to my greeting.
‘Don’t tell me he heard everything and now he’s here to talk about the marriage proposal?’
Surprised by his sudden appearance, I stared at him nervously as he slowly approached me and spoke, “Were you about to have tea?”
At my curt reply, he moved to sit in the chair across from me–and quite naturally, in fact.
“I was feeling parched so this is good timing.”
I glanced at the steaming cup of tea before staring at my father with trembling eyes.
‘You’re going to quench your thirst with hot tea?’
Frankly, I thought it was quite strange, but I didn’t let it show.
“The tea is quite hot. It’d be best to wait until it cools down a little before you drink, Father. If not, plain water would be good too.”
I was about to ask him if he would like some water instead when he spoke up, “Alright, then I suppose I can converse with you until the tea cools.”
‘I thought he would leave to go get some water but to think he’s going to be drinking tea with me instead.’
I swallowed in nervousness at the unexpected situation, but after seeing the teacups on the table, I suddenly realized,
‘Well, I ended up not having to have tea all by myself.’
Then, my father lifted his cup with an elegant hand gesture while staring at me. His eyes were sharp, as if he was observing me, but I only smiled brightly in response and reached for one of the cookies.
‘Although they say drinking tea can help alleviate nervousness, there’s a limit to how much it can help….’
“What did you just say?”
Madam Freesia opened her mouth with a bright smile at the deep voice.
“I said Lady Floyen sent a letter to Count Rowain’s son, accepting his partner request.”
Partner. It was something that had been bothering him for a while, but Max maintained his composure, replying with a nonchalant, “I see.”
Freesia then teasingly added, “On the surface, he’s a handsome, well-mannered young man, but rumors have it that Lord Rowain is actually a playboy who’s reduced several ladies to tears.”
As soon as she finished, a harsh frown took over Max’s face.
‘That woman, I told her to not only look at the faces and yet…’
Max felt a wave of anger that he could not understand take over.
“So, are they confirmed to be attending the party together?” he asked in a biting tone.
Freesia clicked her tongue. “Although I’m not sure if I should say it’s fortunate or unfortunate, it seems Lord Rowain turned her down–”
Max raised his voice before Freesia could even finish. “A mere count’s son dared to refuse who now?!”
Well, what am I supposed to do about it? Freesia let out a sigh, once again clicking her tongue at his response.
‘If you care so much about her, you could just request to be her partner yourself… “
Then, Max opened his mouth.
“Did you find the source of the rumors you mentioned earlier?”
At Max’s question, Freesia’s eyes lit up.
“Oh, yes, I found it.”
“Who was it?”
Despite the murderous aura emitting from him, Freesia spoke with a smile, “Oh, can you believe it, it was started by Viscount Doyle’s son, Lord Rydian!”
When Max’s face hardened at the remark, Freesia appeared to have expected this response, adding, “It’s quite amusing, isn’t it? The fact that Mikhail is just sitting on the sidelines, being a bystander while his own cousin is slandering the one who used to be his lover.”
Max remained silent in thought for a few moments before finally speaking. “Find dirt on Marquess Hessen and Viscount Doyle, as well as the ones who sent her partner requests.”
Before she could even say anything, the man had already left.
“That information has already been bought by the Duke of Floyen,” Freesia muttered with a sigh.
The atmosphere was tense, but I was actually feeling relatively calm.
‘Well, it’s not the first time he’s surprised me like this, I’m used to keeping my emotions in check now.’
I sipped my tea.
“Have you found a partner?”
At my father’s sudden question, I knew the inevitable had finally come.
‘It probably isn’t a good idea to tell him the truth.’
If I confessed that I had gotten rejected by the one who was supposed to be my partner, my father may take that opportunity and bring up talks of the marriage proposal, urging me to go on a blind date with the one I wanted to avoid.
‘I need to buy some time until I can figure out a strategy.’
I put down my cup and spoke calmly, “Well, I’m still thinking about it.”
“If, by chance, you’re unable to find a partner…”
My father paused, staring at me in the eye before continuing in a firm voice, “Be sure to tell me.”
‘Father, just what are you planning on doing if I tell you?’
thanks to hazelnothazelnut for this chapter’s raws!
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