TWB (Novel) Chapter 102

C102

Celine, who was by her side, felt her father's anger.

Celine's face turned pale. Her face seemed to drown in fear. It was clear how Viscount Volne treated Celine.

Bianca frowned. It would be a lie if she wasn't bothered by the rumors about Celine, and she even went so far as to try to insult her in front of everyone else. But it wasn't that she didn't feel sorry for her.

What can a woman do in these times?

If you don't get married, you must serve your father; if you get married, you must serve your husband. Even then, there is nothing you can decide.

It was that situation that Bianca felt sorry for. She is happy now, but Bianca in the past was not. How terrifying it was for her while she was bound to ruin by an unsuitable marriage...

Bianca, unable to stay still as she watched Celine tremble, sighed deeply. Viscount Volne was not a good father in any way. It was clear what would happen to Celine if she was expelled with Viscount Volne in this manner. She pitied herself for not being able to remain indifferent until the end.

"I have come up with a good idea. Your Majesty, could you please grant me your attention?"

"Go ahead, Countess Arno."

His Majesty responded generously. Even looking at the faces of Count Blanchefort and Count Arno, who were public servants, he was going to give Bianca the most desired judgment.

When Bianca stepped forward, Viscount Volne's complexion contracted. It was natural for him to feel anxious as Viscount Volne's fate fell into a ditch every time he opened his mouth. Bianca ridiculed Viscount Volne in that way.

Bianca knew she wouldn't receive a word of gratitude from Celine. It's not like she was giving her a bottle or medicine. On the contrary, it was possible that Celine would harbor even more hostility towards her. Either way, this wouldn't help her much. Instead, it would be a wise choice to let her be expelled along with Viscount Volne...

However, she had already made a decision.

"Despite hurting Your Majesty's honor, Viscount Volne still insists on his personal selfishness and wants to remain in the capital. Isn't this absurd? But as he said, the young viscountess is still a young woman. I think it is cruel not to give a woman a chance."

"Mmm...."

"The Viscount Volne's infrequent education has caused a problem for Your Majesty, but considering Viscount Volne's attitude, it doesn't seem significant to entrust the education of the young viscountess to him again. This is the result of what has been taught so far. What significant result will be achieved by teaching more?"

"So?"

"Why doesn't Your Majesty show mercy and let Miss Volne stay in the palace?"

"The palace?"

Everyone was surprised by the unexpected comment.

To leave Celine in the palace after spreading rumors about Bianca all over the place?

Everyone seemed bewildered, unable to understand Bianca's intentions. The same went for the people surrounding Bianca. Rather, they assumed that Bianca had other motives in mind, without thinking that Bianca would have made such an offer out of pure goodwill.

Bianca calmly spoke, capturing everyone's attention.

"Yes. It would be best to stay in the palace to serve the ladies of the royal family and teach her palace etiquette. Of course, there's nothing we can do if the queen, the first princess, and the crown princess don't welcome her, but..."

"Mmm...."

The king groaned sadly. Viscount Volne's attitude was very unpleasant, and the girl's rash behavior shook Sevran's reputation, but as a father, he didn't feel comfortable taking away the possibility of marriage from a young woman.

When Bianca reached out first, the king's guilt was relieved.

"Not bad. But who will take care of that young lady?"

The king looked around. At that moment, a soft voice tinged with boredom slowly resonated in the banquet hall.

"I will take her, Your Majesty."

"Odelli, you?"

The king was astonished. Surprisingly, Bianca was too. It's about having someone with a bad reputation around you. As it is difficult to do it willingly, she also considered the situation where all the women of the royal family wouldn't step forward. Of course, if that happened, Bianca wouldn't be able to do anything more for Celine, but...

Princess Odelli's permission was truly unexpected. Moreover, Princess Odelli was not interested in others to the point of being comparable to Bianca. Everyone in the banquet hall was surprised by the fact that she took a step forward.

But if you think about it, there was no one more suitable than Princess Odelli. Compared to the rather weak Crown Princess or the Queen Mother, Princess Odelli was stubborn and had a strong personality. As she is not a calm opponent, she will be able to handle Celine well.

Odelli blinked her long golden eyelashes and responded straightforwardly, as if she didn't care.

"Unlike the Queen Mother, who takes care of His Majesty, and the Crown Princess, who takes care of my brother, I have enough free time. Thanks to your grace, I live freely, so it's only fair that I take charge of this and ease His Majesty's heart."

"Very well. In that case, Odelli will take care of the viscount Volne's daughter."

"Thank you for accepting my offer, Your Majesty. Your Royal Highness."

Bianca bowed her head to express her gratitude. A satisfied smile appeared on the king's face.

This was a quite plausible solution. Although the banquet showed a dispute among the nobility, it was an opportunity to showcase the generosity and power of the royal family over the nobility.

"Viscount Volne. The young viscountess is also a member of the viscounty. As the head of the territory, you must be punished for disrupting the banquet, and therefore, the viscount will be banned from entering the capital for a while. You should keep a low profile in your territory until called upon by Jim."

"......"

"But, as the viscount said, the young viscountess is still young and lacking, so the first princess will teach her to become a virtuous lady, so that she may cultivate her character by appreciating the generosity of the Countess and the first princess."

"... Yes, Your Majesty."

"I will keep that in mind."

Unexpectedly, Celine also bowed her head, but she looked around with a bewildered expression as if she hadn't fully grasped the situation yet. Things had changed too dramatically and too quickly for her to understand.

At first glance, it seemed to have been warmly arranged, but the interior of Viscount Volne was on fire.

Following the claim that he was concerned about Celine's marriage, staying in the capital would be an advantage to cover up this frenzy.

The position of a maid to the royal family was only available to a few select nobles, which is why Viscount Volne felt great greed for the position of the first princess's maid.

As the process to be selected as a maid unfolded in this way, Princess Odelli wouldn't be too close to her, but her mere existence as a maid to the popular Princess Odelli was a position that men couldn't help but be interested in.

But the humiliation of being deceived by the words of Bianca, who is younger than his daughter! It made it impossible to rationally accept the present outcome. Viscount Volne clenched his teeth with all his might. But he had no choice but to accept reality.

What else could he do?

The king was on Bianca's side, and Bianca had Count Arno, Count Blanchefort, and the first prince behind her. Viscount Volne hastily left his seat to avoid the king's displeasure.

Celine stood there, shuffling her feet, not knowing what to do about her father. In the end, she couldn't bear the gaze of the people and followed her father as if fleeing. Mocking laughter erupted behind the two.

The culprit who had ruined the atmosphere of the banquet had disappeared, but the atmosphere was still tense. The people who reproached Bianca for Celine's words looked at Bianca. The nobles realized it, and the musicians noticed it too. The sound of music lay quietly beneath the noise, and the noise was suppressed by silence.

Now was the time to make people focus on her. Bianca took a deep breath and controlled her expression.

Bianca wasn't very good at hiding her innermost thoughts, and she didn't like getting involved with people. However, it was after living for over a decade in a monastery where there were only women.

At this point, she might have done enough.

"The atmosphere has become uncomfortable. I didn't mean for this to happen..."

Bianca's words were sadly blurred. A deliberate expression and tone. But people easily opened up to that small pretense. It wasn't Bianca's sincerity that mattered to them, but a gap they could dig into.

The aristocratic women around, finding the gap that Bianca had given, spoke with Bianca one by one.

"No. It's because the young viscountess of Volne was careless. She was hypnotized by the maid's cleverness..."

"That's right. Countess Arno is the victim. She didn't do anything wrong."

---

"Thank you for consoling me."

Bianca smiled faintly. Just by looking at that gentle smile, you couldn't believe that she had been locked in Arno Castle, hitting walls in every direction.

While Robert observed Bianca dealing with the noblewomen, his eyes widened in disbelief, and Sauveur laughed at the naturalness of the lady he served.

And those who were more surprised than anyone were Gustave and Johaseng. The Bianca they knew had stopped at the age of seven, and although she returned to the capital to restore their relationship, she was still accustomed to being tortuous and shy. The fact that the late Bianca's mother was not sociable reinforced their prejudice.

Bianca, who was like that, didn't lose a word when facing Viscount Volne and naturally took the lead in conversations with noblewomen!

Seeing Bianca start a conversation with flexibility, they opened their mouths.

"By the way, did they ask about lace earlier?"

"Is it called lace?"

Lace, lace. They all pondered over the word lace. How could they get something made of lace?

The handkerchief was too coveted, but the white shawl draped around her back was truly a work of art. All involuntarily opened their mouths and looked at Bianca's shawl. It had been a long time since they had forgotten how Bianca had cornered a noble with nowhere to run.

Seeing those women, Bianca humbly lowered her head with a shy smile and said.

"Yes, that's what I call it. It's embarrassing, but I made it."

"Oh, the Countess herself?"

"Weaving and embroidery are her hobbies, but she's really skilled with her hands. It's truly amazing."

"I would trade a few pieces of silk for something like this."

"I feel a little flattered that you saw it as something so precious. Thank you."

The surprised people shuddered at Bianca's words. Despite the small compliment, Bianca silently lowered her eyes. When the response they wanted didn't come easily, they all looked at Bianca.

What they wanted was clear. To have that lace! In front of Bianca's lace, the silk handkerchief embroidered with golden thread faded as well. If they had known where they could get it, they would have bought it even if it cost a billion coins. Bianca said she made it herself, so there was no choice but to flatter her. Everyone who wanted Bianca to sell the lace rushed to praise Bianca's craftsmanship.

The baroness Guildard's gang, who had cursed Bianca along with Celine, were stunned.

It was hard to believe that the arrogant Bianca, who refused to speak to them when they met in the garden, was the same Bianca who was now surrounded by people. Their minds were complicated.

It was one of two things. Either Countess Arno is a great actress, or what they saw at that moment was an illusion filled with prejudice...

They also wanted to join the conversation but hesitated, unable to speak.

Thus, the banquet hall came back to life. The king seemed satisfied with the friendly atmosphere, and the musicians played their instruments a little louder.

Bianca laughed to herself as she responded to each person with a smile in response to their words.

"This should be more or less enough. Do I really have to go so far to run a business?"

At that moment, Bianca felt a hand brushing against her back. The hands that slid around her waist felt familiar as if they were holding something of hers.

Bianca looked at the owner of the hand, Zachary.

As soon as Bianca turned to him, Zachary leaned towards her and whispered softly in her ear.

"Have you finished the harvest?"

Bianca smiled gently and nodded, remembering her own words that the harvest is done when it's ripe.

"It's been a very prosperous year."

Upon Bianca's cheerful words, Zachary also nodded in satisfaction. Zachary whispered, drawing his waist close enough to embrace Bianca. Zachary's lips brushed against Bianca's cheek.

"That's a relief. Then I'll be back in a moment. Please stay seated."

"Understood, go ahead."

She wondered why Zachary would leave the banquet hall, but she didn't ask because she thought there might be a reason.

Bianca nodded, bidding farewell to Zachary.

Zachary gently brushed Bianca's cheek with the back of his hand and stood up. As soon as he moved, he raised his hand and restrained those who were trying to cause a commotion, and quietly left.

The noblewomen who saw Zachary's gentle gestures towards Bianca sighed deeply. They used to think he was a blunt guy, but he was more romantic with his wife than anyone else, as he had shown in the tournament.

But it was futile to be envious. There wouldn't be more than one man like that, and their husbands, let alone their lovers, were far from being compared to Zachary.

At least Prince Jacob is comparable to Zachary... However, it was a well-known fact that Prince Jacob had no interest in women, and even "that" Prince Jacob seemed very interested in Bianca. Envious sighs erupted here and there.

Although this tournament and banquet were held to celebrate the engagement of Prince Albert and Princess Navarra, there was no objection that the true protagonist was Bianca.

Everyone envied Bianca, but Bianca, the person involved, was tired of the excessive attention.

Normally, she would have made it clear that she disliked it, but today she couldn't do that.

Due to the dispute with Viscount Volne, she had to manage her image and maintain a favorable interest to help the Arno family's finances by selling lace.

Bianca pressed the corners of her lips as hard as she could and smiled.

"I should wait a little longer, and if it's really difficult, I'll have to leave for a while."

At the thought of that, Bianca's lips twisted.

Bianca quickly thought of an excuse to leave her seat. Those who had no idea about Bianca's thoughts continued to ask Bianca questions. Over and over again.

----

"All this happened because you're stupid!"

Suddenly, a sound resonated in the hallway.

Viscount Volne, who had escaped from the banquet hall, slapped Celine on the cheek. Celine's cheeks swelled up in red. Celine's eyes filled with tears, but Viscount Volne pressed Celine even more.

"Are you relieved by the meager favors of that bitch? You're happy to stay in the capital, aren't you? You're an ungrateful bitch who doesn't even care about the humiliation your father suffered because of you! They say raising a daughter is useless...! It wasn't my intention to pay for that dress for you to repay me like this!"

The raised voice was hoarse. The person who couldn't even speak a word properly in front of the king criticized Celine for her impulsiveness. Viscount Volne's eyes gleamed as he looked at his daughter.

"I don't even want to see you! Go back to your room right now and keep a low profile!"

In the face of Viscount Volne's displeasure, Celine returned to her bedroom sobbing.

"Useless thing."

Viscount Volne, who looked at her disapprovingly, gritted his teeth. And then he burst into anger as he spoke to himself.

"How did Count Blanchefort raise his daughter...?!"

Today's situation was the result of Viscount Volne neglecting the education of his children but instead blaming Count Blanchefort.

"Even Count Arno. Does it make sense for his wife to go crazy like a wild mare, and he does nothing?"

He also laughed without flinching as Celine spoke as she pleased, but again, it didn't matter. Viscount Volne continued to blame others without even thinking about what he had done.

"In some way... I must ensure to avenge today's humiliation. But behind it is Count Arno, and the first prince... opponents I cannot face... Then..."

His steps were quick as he walked, almost muttering to himself. At that moment, he encountered Jacob, who was outside.

The king firmly regarded the first prince as his successor, and behind the first prince was Count Arno, who was praised as a war hero, so it was obvious that the first prince would become the next king.

However, the Second Prince was superior to the First Prince in many aspects and was an ambitious man. If that had been the case, Viscount Volne would have sided with the First Prince, but what bothered him was the persistence of the Second Prince. If Viscount Volne were to be under the first prince and the second prince became king... He didn't even want to think about it.

Until now, he had been weighing between the 1st and 2nd prince, but as he caught the attention of Count Arno, he couldn't join the First Prince. Rather, now he should support Jacob, the second prince.

Jacob even appeared just as Viscount Volne was trying to find him!

The timing was perfect.

Viscount Volne smiled brightly and approached Jacob.

"Your Highness!"

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