The noblewomen invited to Diana’s tea party were very excited. The famous Marchioness Garth would be showing her face in a social circle for the first time! It was by no means easy for her to gain such fame when she had not even started any direct activities in any social circles.
Thanks to that, Diana’s tea party today was more lively than ever. Though the tea party could not be held in the garden due to the cloudy weather, that did not deduct any points. The noblewomen who arrived early were talking to each other, the focus of the discussion was undoubtedly Valia.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
“I know, right? What is she like?”
“I heard His Grace Marquess Garth has fallen so deep for her.”
“Oh my, I heard that too. I heard he bought all the jewelry in the auction house.”
There were many things to notice about Marchioness Garth, Valia. Even just the fact that she was the bride of Marquess Garth was enough to make many people curious. It did not just stop there. They even held the ‘second wedding’ without notice. Finally, the fact that the Schuden Garth had swept women’s jewelry from the auction house was almost shocking.
It was a little while later when Valia arrived. The organizer of the tea party, Diana, came out to meet Valia in person. Valia came in a carriage engraved with the crest of the House of Garth. She was escorted by Shaun, who had followed her as her escort knight. Diana thought to herself.
‘This time too… As expected. How surprised would they be when they find out that the commander of the Knight of Garth came as Valia’s escort?’
Diana just smiled at the noblewomen who asked about Valia and said.
“You will find out when you meet her in person.”
She did not say anything about the fact that Schuden could not take her eyes off Valia all day and the fact that Shaun personally came as her escort. She did not want to talk about Valia, her ultimate goal was something else.
‘I can’t be the only one surprised.’
Witnessing it directly was more shocking than listening to it. Diana was quite naughty at a young age, and she was planning such a small prank. One disappointment was that Schuden Garth was not there, else everyone would not believe their eyesight if they saw the Marquess unable to take his eyes off his wife.
Diana greeted Valia while having a pleasant imagination. Valia smiled brightly.
“Thank you for inviting me.”
“I’m so grateful that you came. Now, shall we go into the annex? Everyone is waiting.”
“Am I late?”
“Oh my, no. Everyone came early today.”
The reason was, of course, because of Valia. But Diana did not even bother to talk about it. She was considerate to Valia, who was attending the tea party for the first time, so that she would not be nervous.
Valia followed Diana and entered the annex. The chattering voices suddenly stopped, the eyes of the noblewomen sitting at the round tea table all turned to Valia. Diana smiled and offered Valia her seat, complete with her name tag placed right next to Diana’s.
Valia took a seat while being attended by a maid and lifted her head.
“This is Marchioness Garth, who has agreed to attend our tea time from today.”
Overshadowing the fact that Valia was nervous, the noblewomen’s expressions looking at her were very good. They had a deep curiosity and a clear favorable impression. It was possible goodwill because it was a small tea party with fixed members, unlike banquets and balls attended by numerous nobles. This was the reason why invitations to regular tea parties held by high-ranking nobles were so precious. They would be Valia’s strong allies in the future of her social circles.
“You’re very beautiful today, Marchioness Garth.”
“I have been watching you since you first came in. Is that the work of your exclusive designer?”
“I felt it in your wedding dress last time but the lace decoration is really beautiful.”
When one had a good feeling for the person they’re dealing with, their words would come out softly. Besides that, Valia was the wife of Marquess Garth, who could be seen as the powerhouse of the noble in the Gel Empire. Their conversation flowed like water.
The noblewomen never asked rude questions about topics that Valia would find difficult, such as how could the daughter of a knight get married to Marquess Garth. Instead, they praised her dress and lace decorations. In addition, the diamond decorations shining on Valia’s skin were clearly…
“I heard that His Grace bid for all the jewelry in the auction house to give it to the Marchioness.”
“That’s right. The rumors are circulating in society.”
“My nephew said he attended the auction only to come back shocked.”
The noblewomen laughed. Valia drank her tea with a small smile. Unlike her calm appearance, she was honestly surprised. It was her first time to hear today that Schuden bought the jewelry at an auction house.
Schuden did not tell such a story. It was already a surprising amount if he bought them at a normal jewelry store. But how much would it have cost if all of them were bid at the auction house? Valia could not guess the amount at all.
“By the way, did you hear about the news? I heard that an Imperial banquet will be held soon.”
When Valia heard the word Imperial banquet, the noblewoman next to her asked back.
“There will be an Imperial banquet? I have never heard of it.”
“There will be a visitation from the delegation of the Eastern Kingdoms Union. The Imperial family had always hosted banquets on the delegation’s past visits. So my husband said it would be like that again this time.”
“Oh my. Then, it must be nearly certain.”
Diana’s eyes sparkled. A large number of high-ranking nobles, as well as Imperial households, participated in banquets hosted by the Imperial family. It would be by no means underwhelming for Valia’s first banquet debut. A noblewoman who thought the same thing as Diana said.
“Marchioness Garth will also be at the banquet for the first time then. You will attend with His Grace, won’t you?”
Valia shook her head. She did not know how many days it had already been since she had not met Schuden.
“I’m not sure just yet. He’s a busy man.”
“Oh… But then again, he’s indeed busy. Because he’s entrusted with many important tasks.”
“But it would be nice if the two of you could attend together. Coming together with your partner on your first banquet… How romantic it will be.”
“That’s right. Try to talk to him about this.”
Despite her smiling face, Valia had no intention of bringing up the topic to Schuden. She knew he was sweet to her. But her sweetness was rather shaking Valia.
She would never love Schuden. In order to keep that determination, Valia intended to stay away from Schuden as much as possible. Then one day, the day where she would get better would come.
I could just stay liking you. Like now.
The tea party went smoothly. There was a shower happening in the middle of the tea party but everyone was expecting it because the weather had been cloudy. Rather, the atmosphere of the annex became quiet thanks to the elegant sound of the rain. Around the time the rain stopped, a dessert decorated with real flowers heralding the end of the party was served.
“It’s already the last one. I will prepare a table in the garden for the next tea party. It’s a pity that I could not show you the beautiful roses in the garden.”
Diana said so, promising the next time in the garden. The noblewomen’s answers poured out, saying that it was such a fun tea party. Valia was also happy today because she indeed had a good time.
Then, a maid approached Diana.
“Madam, I have something to tell you.”
The maid delivered the matter to Diana’s ear in a small voice. Diana’s expression changed a little.
“Oh my, ladies, something suddenly came up, so I think I should end the tea party a little early. Will it be okay?”
“What’s going on?”
“It’s not a big deal. I will walk you to your carriages.”
Diana smiled. The noblewomen looked puzzled at the sudden end of the tea party. Diana’s expression was clear, not a crease on her face indicating that it was a bad thing whatsoever. No, rather, she was slightly smiling. Diana went outside the annex with Valia and the other noblewomen. The carriages that the noblewomen rode in were waiting in the same place they were left at. While walking toward their carriages, the noblewomen paused their chattering for a moment.
The rain had cleared.
A man with his arms folded was leaning against the black wall of the carriage engraved with the crest of House of Garth. None of the noblewomen who attended the tea party were unfamiliar with who he was.
At the same time as someone muttered that, everyone’s eyes turned to one place—Valia, who was walking softly next to Diana. Perhaps she also did not expect this situation, her silvery-gray eyes were wide open. Diana, who was smiling comfortably by herself, pushed Valia’s back slightly.
“I was told His Grace is here to pick you up.”
“…He’s here to pick me up?”
“Of course. Go ahead.”
Oh my gosh. I can’t believe that Marquess Garth is personally coming to pick up his wife. No high-ranking noble has ever done this.
Valia, whose back was pushed by Diana, hesitated and walked to Schuden. The distance between them was not far. After noticing Valia, Schuden walked up to her. His red eyes were getting closer, and his shoulders were a little wet.
Valia opened her mouth first.
“It rained a lot…”
Schuden’s cold hand held her hand. His hand had always been firm since the moment they first met, and those red eyes were the same as usual. Valia smiled as she made eye contact with Schuden, he flashed a smile back.
It was strange. She did not know why, but she thought she was going to cry.
“That’s why I’m here to pick you up. Because it’s raining.”
Valia could not say anything. This rain-drenched garden where everything about him approached again.
I hope you won’t smile as you please like that. I wish you wouldn’t be so recklessly sweet. I would prefer it if you stopped being so carelessly loveable.
Just rashly making me…
She realized it very suddenly.
She did not expect to uncontrollably fall in love like this.
A large brush wrote down on her world. It said that in the end, she fell in love with this man in front of her.
- Nobles i
Valia’s eyes fluttered slightly. The awareness of this vivid emotion that she loved him. Her heart, drenched with love, whispered to her.
Haven’t you already realized that you will eventually fall in love with this man?
She could not take her eyes off him. The place her heart was heading to was as clear as the red evening, she could not turn her eyes away. The moment she realized her love for the first time was so happy and affectionate. She thought she was going to cry, but on the other hand, she wanted to smile at him, who came to pick her up.
“…Last time I said I would be the one to pick you up.”
So Valia just smiled still. She flashed a smile with a drenched heart.
“…But you came again this time, Schu.”
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