When a smile spread across Chloe’s face, Alice sighed so hard the ground almost shook. She could understand Chloe’s mind. If she were Chloe, she would religiously attend parties in the city to find a husband so she could save this debt-ridden household. If… she could only do that.
“When I think of you, I need to get my head on straight.”
Alice lifted her wilted head, raised her body, and sat down. Then, after hugging Chloe’s waist and lying down side by side, she stared blankly, blinking.
“Sis. But I thought I would marry someone who would sweep me off my feet.”
“You never know. Tomorrow at the party there could be a marvelous gentleman who steals your heart.”
When Chloe lowered her voice, Alice sucked her teeth and laughed, reminiscing on their childhood when they used to giggle on the same bed.
“I can’t forget Father’s face when he checked the invitation. It was like he’d been summoned by the kingdom.”
No matter how far away from politics the aristocrats in the countryside were, they couldn’t help but get nervous at the mere mention of Damian Teece’s name. Perhaps all the best aristocrats will attend the party tomorrow, so it was natural that their father, who cherished the invitation, was nervous. Chloe didn’t want to put any more pressure on Alice, so she only ran her fingers through her hair.
“At first, I was puzzled to see what Damian Teece had to do with our family, but then I later remembered what Mr. Chester said in the past.”
“What did he say?”
“During the war, Father lent the castle to Damian Teece’s soldiers. Then Damian complained that the value of Father’s property dropped because he fed and treated those who were injured and looked like beggars.”
Chester had a bad habit of mouthing off whenever he got drunk. He seemed to have said pointless things to Alice, who was not familiar with the situation because she was studying at the monastery at that time. Well, actually though, you couldn’t say that it wasn’t true.
“All right. However, Father is grateful that I was invited because the Duke did not forget and remembered that.”
Chloe suppressed a sigh. As the night deepened through the window, her heart felt heavier knowing tomorrow was approaching closer.
“Sis,” Alice began, “You don’t want to go, right?” When she suddenly raised her head and asked, Chloe blinked without realizing it. She never suspected her sister as someone so sensible. Right, sisters thought alike.
“I was reluctant because the rumors aren’t that good.”
“Only ‘not good’? They said there are more than one or two love children born between governments. And that they’re killing them without letting a word out.”
Chloe could guess where Alice’s rumor had come from. Recently, it was obvious that the capital had acquired a gossip newspaper published without the permission of the royal palace.
“They said Damian’s personality is a total mess, and if he sees something wrong, he’ll completely trample over anyone or whatever. Some wished he died on the battlefield…”
Eventually, Chloe placed her soft hand lightly over Alice’s lips.
“Anyway Alice, it is true that it is an undeserved invitation in our status.”
“But why did you ask Father if it’s okay if you go?”
Chloe winced before making a puzzled face and asking back.
“He said that I said?”
“No. Mr. Chester.”
It looked like the butler was out of people to gossip to after a few of the servants had quit.
“Actually, I was surprised that you said that, Chloe, but it’s even stranger that Father didn’t listen to your request. It’s because he doesn’t want you to leave the house.”
Viscount Verdier never welcomed the idea of Chloe, who had had serious problems in her leg after catching a virus, leaving the castle. And he had become more serious after his wife had died.
“Father respects and follows your opinion, sis.”
After their mother’s death, Chloe had to act as head of the family on behalf of her heartbroken father. Her normally meticulous and calm attitude had intensified due to the surrounding environment.
“When you said you wouldn’t attend, I heard that he told you to go even though you had thought deeply about it…”
Alice paused for a second, giving Chloe a sidelong scowl.
“Father is something like a horrible matchmaker!”
Chloe burst into laughter while hugging her sister. Now, she held her much taller sister in her arms and patted her hair as their mother always did in the past.
“Should we just wake up super early tomorrow and go back home?”
“Pcht. You’re pathetic.”
Alice muttered in her arms in a slightly tired voice. It was only natural for her to be tired after spending most of the day dragging her aunt around and trying on dresses.