There was an implicit rule between Daisy and me.
When both of us go somewhere together, I’ll come to pick her up.
Then once our appointment was over, taking Daisy back home was of course my duty, which seemed similar to the job of a footman.
“Sienna, you’re a little late today, aren’t you? I’ve been waiting forever.”
Daisy leniently smiled before she climbed into my carriage.
Regardless of her mood, a bright smile would form upon her face and every bit as fake.
Notwithstanding, I remained calm and soon smiled exaggeratedly, mirroring hers.
“Forgive me, Daisy.
But if you think I’m late, you should’ve gone first rather than waiting for me.
Don’t you have your own carriage?”
“Oh, Sienna, you silly girl.
How can I go first when I know you’re coming?”
Do you think I’m your chauffeur? I want us to go separately for once!
I would have left Daisy behind if not for a fact that doing so would backfire and resulted in her making a scene at the salon.
Oh, how I wish for the opportune time to retaliate soon.
Along the way, I donned in a bland smile while listening to Daisy’s chattering.
I wonder if this would become my signature smile every time I met Daisy.
Then all of a sudden, Daisy’s eyes grew round after her sight fell upon my neck.
“Oh my, that necklace! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you wearing that one before.”
“Oh, this? I got it as a gift.”
“A gift? From whom?”
From your fiance? But I can’t say this, can I?
I laughed gently before answering her.
“From a man.”
“A man? Oh my God, Sienna.
Was that a jest? It’s impossible for you to have a man.”
Yes, I don’t have a man.
I don’t even have a fiance.
And I don’t have a single male lead interested in me.
Are you happy now?
Even though Daisy said it mockingly, I let it slide and forced myself to smile before saying.
“Of course, there’s no way I would have one.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Count like yours?”
I mentioned George indirectly because I must bring Daisy and George together.
The Count probably couldn’t catch the eye of Daisy, who aims to get engaged to a high ranking aristocrat, nevertheless, I’m still going to try anyway.
If my plan works well, and Daisy goes through the same ordeal as me, I might feel a little triumphant.
“I’ve seen him once before, and he’s a safe choice but I’m not sure.
You know me, I rather think carefully about my engagement.”
“Why wait? He’s in the jewelry business.
You can get as much jewelry as you want, and……
he’s more handsome than the rumors.” I barely managed not to choke at that last line.
“You actually saw him? When did you meet the Count?”
Isn’t he so tall and handsome? He’s still young and yet has immense wealth.
Wouldn’t that be great?”
I awaited Daisy’s response, but she avoided answering and only turned her head away with a look of displeasure.
Indeed, you can’t deny the fact that he’s young and rich because it’s true, but you couldn’t imagine the idea of him being handsome.
There was no way that Count Page would come into our eyes after meeting Logan.
It wasn’t until the carriage arrived at the Grint Manor that I finally stop ridiculously complimenting George, which was quite a struggle.
I’m afraid if I have to say any more compliments of him, thorns would probably sprout in my mouth.
We followed the butler in tow as we headed towards the drawing-room.
I felt a bit nervous because it’s been a while since I last saw them.
Only twelve young ladies from prominent families, including me, were invited to a tea party today.
After we entered the room, what came into view was a group of tittering young ladies, dressed to their finest and already seated in the table.
And the one who was at the center of the group was none other than the host of this salon, Lady Chloe Grint.
“Come and join us.
I’ve been waiting.” With a smiling face, Lady Chloe graciously welcomed us.
By hearing her name alone, everyone will know that she’s an esteemed lady of House Grint.
Duke Grint is her brother, and she’s a year younger than him.
She’s not only a lady from one of the most influential families but also the fiancee of the Crown Prince.
There was no woman in the kingdom aside from her who matches so well with basic colors.
A glamorous black hair, reminiscent of a raven’s glossy feathers, compliments her porcelain skin even more.
Lips that were vividly red like the color of blood.
The brown eyes were common, but it gave off a striking aura in itself.
And that piercing stare isn’t any different from the past.
I used to feel intimidated whenever I met her eyes that were raised at the tips.
With a glint in her eyes, Chloe was looking at us alternately, and then she gave a faint smirk as she said.
“I must say, you two look like sisters.
Do you always stick together every time you see me?”
“My sentiments exactly.
That’s how special we are to each other.” Daisy answered Chloe with a pretentious smile.
Could you please stop sticking close to me right now? I have to make new friends today.
I glanced around the table, not even concerning myself of backing up Daisy’s claims.
Today’s gathering was primarily divided in half, except for a minority of ladies in the neutral faction.
And I’m not talking about politics here.
The two opposing sides of this gathering have the essence of the main character, Chloe and Daisy.
Most of the group were divided due to them.
Even though Daisy was showing her most amiable smile, she regarded Chloe with contempt.
As Daisy’s closest friend(?), I knew more or less how she felt about Chloe.
Perhaps due to Chloe’s status, Daisy felt a sense of rivalry towards her.
Daisy’s family certainly have vast wealth and many properties amongst other nobles.
However, there was a stark difference between a County Family and a Ducal House.
Whenever they’re in the same room, Daisy always glanced at Chloe’s direction, and her eyes had that unfailing flicker of animosity.
She was overly conscious of her to the point that I gradually noticed.
What’s more, even though they’re not close enough, Daisy seemed to know every little thing about Chloe.
Just like now.
“Oh my, Lady Grint is wearing a necklace I’ve never seen before.”
“Of course, I’ve commissioned a new one just for this gathering.”
The two, who had been engaged in a war of nerves since childhood, couldn’t get along with each other, even after Daisy became a member of House Grint.
Even now, both of them have already started clashing unbeknownst to others.
Daisy began to fiddle with her diamond necklace as she looked at Chloe’s blue jeweled one.
doesn’t it looks so simple? Though Lady Grint still looks pretty in it, you should try a bolder design.”
At Daisy’s words, Chloe widened her slitted eyes.
“Did you just say simple?”
If you’re from a renowned family of Dukes, shouldn’t you have requested for a larger sapphire gem?”
It doesn’t matter to me whether you wear big or small jewelry.
It also doesn’t matter if you start slapping each other.
When the tedious battle had started, I struggled to stifle a yawn.
I definitely can’t show myself yawning in a place like this, so I lowered my head and covered my mouth before succumbing to a spectacular yawn.
Before my return to the past, I used to feel quite nervous every time I did this, but it was so boring now that the same situation was repeating.
I tried to suppress a yawning sound at least, but doing so couldn’t help, but a few drops of tears come out of my eyes.
Why must I suffer like this?
I discreetly wiped the tears from my eyes before lifting my head.
However, my eyes met Chloe’s exactly after I straighten myself.
Chloe then gave me a knowing grin.
It seems like……
Was I caught yawning? Is that it? I could only blink at her.
Chloe was still grinning as she turned to Daisy and opened her red lips.
“Lady Moore, now I understand why you said mine was too simple.
Isn’t your friend here, Lady Nelson wearing a blue diamond necklace? It’s worth more than my sapphire necklace and definitely worth more than yours.”
Daisy furrowed her fine brows and instantly spun her head to look at my necklace.
Chloe nodded calmly and continued.
It’s a blue diamond.
I thought you’d know.
It seems like Lady Moore is less sensible to fashion than I would have thought.”
“Oh, it’s not that—”
“Lady Nelson, we seemed to have a common interest.
Don’t you think so?”
Then Chloe interrupted Daisy’s attempt to save her own embarrassment and turned to regard me with a friendly smile.
Was it why you were looking at me earlier?
After hearing Chloe’s words, all the young ladies’ eyes present today quickly turned to focus on me.
And what’s surprising was that Daisy, who always wore a fake smile, didn’t even conceal her stiffening expression and frowned slightly.
This is really unexpected.
* * *
‘What did you do? Why didn’t you tell me?’
If I had to interpret what Daisy’s expression was at the moment, this would be it.
Daisy usually hardened her face if things didn’t go the way she wanted it.
She wasn’t frowning at all, and she barely managed to maintain that sweet smile on her face, however…
Is it just me, or does it look kind of horrendous?
Hadn’t Daisy realized she’s directly showing a nasty sort of expression in front of these people? Well, I can’t fault her since she’s been blatantly humiliated by a person she despises.
To be honest, I felt great satisfaction right now.
So I didn’t put up with her mood and smiled at her—the sort of smile where Chloe always gave Daisy whenever it’s her victory— a wicked grin.
“…!” Daisy raised her eyebrows when I showed a rare expression.
Did she realize that I was mimicking Chloe’s smile?
I asked her calmly.
“You really didn’t know?”
Daisy laughed incredulously at my question.
But soon, the sound changed to a bright, crisp laugh.
Covering her mouth with her dainty hand, she turned her head towards Chloe.
“How can I not know? Since my best friend, Lady Nelson, has a blue diamond, of course, I have one as well.
It’s in my jewelry box.”
My word, I don’t think Daisy knew anything about pride.
Simultaneously, as I thought of it, Chloe stared at her with a look of ridicule.
She then said in a sarcastically slow tone.
“Is that so? Indeed.
There’s no way Lady Moore can’t tell that apart.”
“As far as I recall, there isn’t a single instance where I don’t know what Lady Nelson knows.
Daisy asked me for consent.
I think you just made a remark that seemed to regard me as inferior.
Is it my misunderstanding? It was absurd to ask me for help after saying such a thing.
Daisy probably expected me to respond to her, such as, “Of course, Daisy!” like a slow-witted underling.
However, Daisy’s pretentious smile faltered when I remained silent in my seat.
Her eyes were slightly glaring, probably to put pressure on me to get on with my act quickly.
“Well, then, there’s no way a young lady like you wouldn’t know since your hobby is collecting jewelry.
I think mine is too small for you to notice.
I’ll get a bigger one next time the size of a saucer so you can find it at once.”
I picked up my teacup after that refreshing comeback.
The taste of the black tea became even more delicious on top of enjoying a few sips.
Then my eyes met Chloe's again.
Her eyes were glistening, and her cheeks puffed, perhaps trying to suppress a laugh.
But she quickly composed herself and put on a well-pleased smile.
It seemed she was outright enjoying herself.
Well, if it's Chloe, who had a constant spat with Daisy, naturally would be delighted over my words.
It was at that moment that I suddenly thought of something.
I came to make friends at today’s tea party.
Does that friend have to be a different person? Isn’t Chloe a likely candidate who I can get close with?
Then I was convinced after a few considerations.
Chloe enjoyed Daisy's upset face, and she's the only person who can never be on friendly terms with her.
Also, she was the only rival in Daisy's life.
I haven’t talked to her privately yet, but I think we should gradually build up a relationship.
That earlier situation where Chloe and Daisy's clashing had already ended, and I started to participate in the young ladies’ conversation in earnest.
Unlike in the past, I would keep my mouth shut and held to my seat.
It’s so much fun talking to them freely.
Why didn’t I know of this back then? I was able to join a pleasant conversation with the ladies with a whole lot of tittering and giggling.
We talked about all sorts of things.
Of course, Daisy participated as well.
Daisy wasn't a person to be pushed out of the war of words with Chloe.
Even now, she was showing off even though there’s nothing to show off.
“Madam Taylor’s wardrobe needs to be booked a year in advance.
But I’m personally acquainted with her.
So I don’t have to wait that long.
She hasn't learned her lesson at all so I gave her a blithe response.
“Pardon? Aren’t you mistaken? Didn't you got rejected by Madame Taylor’s wardrobe when you booked last month? Haven't you got what you're wearing right now elsewhere?”
How fun it is to see Daisy and Chloe’s differing expressions every time.
Many times I threw cold water on Daisy and she no longer asked for my support.
Daisy was looking quite upset as she said, “You don’t have to take me home.
Go on ahead.”
Isn’t this how she draws a line after today’s gathering is over? Also, when did I say I’d take you home?
I shrugged before I headed for my carriage.
There’s no reason for me to be as weak as before.
When I sat alone inside, I could not help but smile broadly.
I can’t believe I did that.
It was the first pleasant tea party in my whole life.
Every time I spoke to Daisy, I remembered Chloe’s face, who seemed to be struggling not to laugh.
I don’t know when it will be, but I’m already looking forward to the next tea party.
Chloe and I talked earlier, and there were more words exchanged than for many years I have spoken to her in the past.
She wasn’t a difficult person to get along with.
I had a hunch that by next time Chloe and I met, I would become more comfortable with her than today.
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