56. The Homes of Aristocrats and One’s Parents are Challenging (8)
Elena’s room was at the end of the corridor.
Albeit smaller than Luka’s room, the two rooms were still connected, and the space they offered was more than sufficient. However, an abundant number of bags were scattered on the desk and the floor.
Due to them having few employees, cleaning might be at their own discretion.
“I’m sorry… it’s dirty…”
“No, don’t worry.”
Watching Elena rushing to clear up the clutter, Tistye noticed a life-sized doll beside her desk.
It was of a human torso. Scattered pieces of paper that had been cut into distorted triangles and thin pieces of transparent paper were scattered around her feet. Tistye helped her picked them up.
Then, she found elaborate drawing underneath the cluttered documents on the table.
Drawn there was the dress Elena wore at the previous party.
A number of different dresses were sketched on the layered paper underneath. All of them had sophisticated designs. The details were to the level that it couldn’t just be thought as a pastime activity.
“Uh, this is—”
Elena widened her eyes the moment Tistye mentioned it. She immediately pulled the designs away.
Tistye, surprised by her strong reaction, she apologized a little. “I’m sorry…” Maybe she was embarrassed for being upset.
While Tistye sat on the couch, Elena left to get tea.
Tistye recalled the previous design.
That dress… is surely…
The dark green costume that was drawn on the second paper…
That was the same thing Sara Foster wore at the evening party the other day.
But the paper is old, and it looked more like Elena’s own drawing than an imitation…
Elena, who despised her own dress, also had a stubborn attitude which made her deny her involvement in dressmaking.
However, from the atmosphere of the room, Tistye felt certain—
—Elena was a ‘craftsman’ who made clothes.
Feeling that she could finally grasp the root of the incongruity she felt from Elena, Tistye quietly waited for her return.
However, suddenly, a voice of heart full of emotion flew from the other side of the door—
[“I just want to protect you… so why—“]
The voice of the heart was filled with confusion and longing. Tistye stood up in a hurry, and awkwardly opened the door.
Someone was arguing with Elena amidst the corridor.
It was none other than the young man who picked up Elena from the party the other day.
“Elena, think again. You’re just being taken advantage of.”
“I know that, but…”
“He has created a new brand! He just wants to profit off your skill! But still, even now, you…!!”
“Orbit, it’s okay…”
In front of the silent Elena, the young man, whose name was called, became silent. Elena was staring at the floor. She looked badly hurt.
Tistye, who heard the entire conversation, carefully returned to the room so as to not make a sound.
Unknowingly, sweat covered her forehead.
I saw something I shouldn’t have…
Eventually, Elena returned carrying a tea set.
Tistye was a little lost, but decided to ask about the sight she saw earlier.
“A, are you alright? You seem to have an appointment with other person…”
“But, Mr. Orbit is—”
Elena’s gaze wavered. She immediately sighed after taking a sip of her tea.
“So, you were watching. I’m sorry for the noise.”
“No, I’m sorry. I was wondering if your friend came.”
Elena looked down at the table again, while Tistye laughed—unsure what to say.
“—Orbit is my childhood friend, and also… a former fiancé candidate of mine.”
“Yes, but I declined.”
Elena lowered her hand, and put the cup onto her lap.
“Fortunately, I was able to maintain my countess title without getting married… I just want to continue helping my brother.”
Tistye, listening to her words, came to a conclusion.
She wondered if it was okay for her to say something. However, she remembered how distressed Elena looked when her dress was soiled.
Therefore, Tistye took a breath.
“Elena, I’m sorry if I’m wrong. But, are you the real designer?”
Elena immediately pursed her lips.
At the same time, Tistye had a realization—
—there was no doubt about it.
Tistye became convinced.
“The designs in your room, they are the finished products… you aren’t just helping your brother. All the dresses Luka is said to have designed until now… you are the one who designed them, right?”
The room was filled with a long and heavy silence. Eventually, Elena opened her mouth as if raising a white flag.
“…That’s right. I’m responsible for all the custom designs.”
—the trigger was a trivial matter.
Elena, who watched designers work in the studio before the business started to take off, said that she tried to draw a dress herself.
When her brother, Luka, noticed and commercialized it, a famous noble lady became very fond of it. Rumors then spread all at once.
Elena’s dresses became popular as she was asked again and again by her brother to design more. As a result, a lot of requests came in.
However, Luka was named as the designer, no matter what.
“Why is it Luka’s name, instead?”
“My brother said, ‘Something designed by a woman can’t be sold.’”
In Verscia, where ancient aristocratic customs remained strong, it was easy to think that a house which made money in business management was second-class. The reason why the Schneider family was fighting in such a world was probably because a mass of talent called Luka was famous.
However, the designer at the heart of it was in fact a woman.
In the royal capital, where men and women were still clearly defined, the credibility would change as much as Heaven and Earth. In fact, no matter how good her designs were, if the designer was named Elena from the beginning, the brand wouldn’t have taken off.
“I think so, too. What everyone wants isn’t ‘my dress’, but a dress designed by my brother…”
Tistye recalled the voice of Elena’s heart, lamenting that what she made was worthless.
Although they were designed by Elena, the people who bought them did so because the tag, ‘made by Luka’ was attached on them. On the other hand, Elena’s dress was mercilessly soiled and laughed at. Elena must be feeling truly helpless.
“Is there anyone else who knows about this?”
“The people in the workshop. But they all understand…”
“Is that so…”
Perhaps the young man named Orbit knew the truth and was appealing to see if he could do something about it.
Not knowing how to continue speaking, Elena continued to sit in resignation beside Tistye.
“It’s okay, even if it’s not my name, as long as everyone is happy wearing the dress…”
Eventually, there was a knock on the door. A servant was there to inform them that someone had arrived to pick up Tistye. In the end, Tistye had no choice but to leave. On the entire way back, she kept recalling Elena’s lonely face.
***T/N: The author still fails to make me like Tistye, but I’M ALL IN FOR ELENA. HER BACKSTORY AND CONFLICT IS DAMN GOOD. …I want to see her happy.
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