1.10 The Struggle of a Reincarnated Marquis Daughter
Larissa and Stephanie, the mobs, were like dying, injured, soldiers, while Sasha looked like the medic who supported them.
“S, Sasha is too beautiful, she’s too eye-catching, the venue was instantly fixated upon her…”
“She’s beautiful, indeed. So, the beautiful Sasha got a lot of attention? But why did you return early? It isn’t like we planned, what happened?”
Larissa, who flashed her teeth, looked dumbfounded. Well, it was understandable. After all, only three weeks ago, it was strictly forbidden to praise Sasha in front of me.
“Uh, Sasha seems to be extremely shy.”
Stephanie, the one with a hunchback, answered.
“You’re extremely shy?” I frowned.
Sasha was sitting on the sofa in the living room. Her slender body was trembling.
“O, older sister, I can’t! I just can’t! I can’t stand being stared at by so many people!”
“What!? Why are you acting so spoiled?! You’re the daughter of the marquis! If you can’t stand being in public, you can kiss your chance of being a bride goodbye! Do you want to embarrass me?!”
“B, but, I’m scared!!”
Sasha covered her face with her hands and burst into tears.
What a mess. Although, it was probably because I had hindered her social debut and locked her in the mansion. Thus, she had become socially inept.
“Well, I won’t rush you. Basically, get used to it. It was a casual party, but perhaps there were too many people. Let’s try to get you accustomed being around people through small tea parties.”
“I, I’m not like you, older sister! T, their cold, pointed, gazes… they are piercing!”
“I don’t remember being so good at it. But, I also don’t remember being as bad as a water flea.”
“Ohohoho, basically, I’m incomparable to you!”
I felt guilty and my heart shrank, but still, I laughed like a villain.
“Do you want to hear something good? Beneath the surface, women are always fighting. You’re just hindering yourself. It isn’t evil to stand out—it’s a woman’s instinct. Your appearance is already good enough, so no matter what kind of attitude you take, men will worship your feet.”
I grabbed Sasha’s shoulders, and shook her. Sasha had to become the future queen. Therefore, I wanted her to get used to socializing and gather more courage.
Well, considering Sasha’s beauty, even the grand duke of the neighboring kingdom, someone famous for his high standards, would be knocked off his feet the moment he laid eyes on her.
After returning Sasha to her room and rewarding Larissa and Stephanie, I sat down on a chair and looked up at the ceiling of the living room.
My motto was to reward my minions. Except, I couldn’t waste any more money. So, I gave Stephanie a homemade stoop belt, and Larissa a handmade mask for straightening teeth.
They stared dubiously at me. How foolish. When they got home, they’d be amazed at how effective those were, and would be driven to tears!
“Ah, I’m in trouble. The person who has it has the trouble of a person who doesn’t have it, and otherwise. What a waste of time…”
Sasha’s beauty was at the level where it could move castles and countries. Had I possessed her beauty, my life would surely be free of problems. It’d be to the point that I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing.
“She’s so beautiful, but she’s terrified of the attention. What a shame… What should I do, at this rate, she wouldn’t be able to become a bride. I have to train her so that she can get used to it.”
No matter how poisonous the line of sight was, if Sasha couldn’t prevail through being thick-skinned, it wouldn’t be possible for her to become an aristocrat’s wife, let alone a princess.
“Well, not only that, her heart is also too beautiful. There isn’t an ounce of slyness to it. Women are gathering around Alfred like ants. I have to teach Sasha some dirty techniques to topple them.”
The royal family was temporarily poor, but Ruderva itself was a rich kingdom. A daughter with a gorgeous appearance such as Sasha was suitable to be a crown princess.
For the time being, should I partake in the next tea party with Alfred? Well, I’m sure he won’t meet me, anyway. But, I want to confirm the atmosphere of the royal castle with my own eyes.
I felt more at ease when I thought of it as testing the waters for Sasha.
I did it so Sasha could become my perfect substitute at the next tea party. Although, it might be a little risky.
Regardless, if the rumors about my sickness were to escalate, the marriages for Sasha and Kyle would be hindered. Amalia would also start plotting her next move. So, for the time being, I had to push through under the notion of being lightly depressed.
“Hey, Liz. Go with Jack and find the simplest dress in my mother’s storeroom. Afterwards, please hurry and remake it. It must be done in a week.”
“Well, then. I wonder if it should be blackish or navy blue. There aren’t many young ladies wearing such plain clothes these days.”
After Liz had left, I got up from the chair with a list of plans inside my head.
Because she was seriously thinking of marrying Jack, it was likely Liz would flirt with him and wouldn’t return for a while. I had already factored that.
I walked down the corridor towards Sasha’s room. It was a large mansion, therefore, there were several staircases. I was wondering where she was. That was when I realized how ‘far’ I was from Sasha.
I wanted to shorten not only our physical distance, but also the mental distance. Yet, even though the memories of my previous life had returned, in the end, I was still myself. If I were to appear before Sasha, I’d revert to my villainess mode reflexively. It was like a habit.
“Ohoho, Sasha, please don’t look so worried. I don’t have any malicious intent.”
Sasha’s room was crowded with servants coming in and out one after another. The maids, all familiar to me, recognized who I was and bowed all at once.
Sasha, who was drowning on the sofa, suddenly lifted her head.
Sasha was a neat, innocent, pure-looking, girl. Her body was brilliant and delicate, while her face was petite and bright. Her eyes shone as if they were wet.
She was already beautiful from the get go, so she should act more confident. However, Sasha always looked terrified.
I slammed the door open and broke into the room.
I planted my butt on the couch opposite of Sasha and snorted at her.
“Are Larissa and Stephanie useful? Because your status is higher, you can use them however you like.”
“V, very… they are really kind.”
“Of course, it was my aunt’s party, after all. I don’t think anyone would dare to insult or bully you.”
“Well, everyone was actually quite nice… they didn’t say anything mean…”
“Then, did the guys do something? Did they flirt on you? Or perhaps, did they do something worse? If so, tell me. I will bestow upon them divine punishment.”
“Th, they were all gentlemen… I was just a little scared when they glared at me…”
Inwardly, I looked up towards the heaven. That’s it—I put my hand on my chin. I pretended that I understood Sasha’s feelings. Well, there was no way an ugly person like me could relate to her, but for the time being, I wanted to avoid being mean.
“Anyway, prepare yourself to be unrelentless. Even if you don’t, your social debut is a year late, failing is not shameful. You’re merely gaining experience. So, feel free to go. You’ll surely find your own pace and be able to enjoy yourself. I’m sure of it.”
When she was little, Sasha used to look up to me.
However, as time went by, Sasha seemed to have gotten the inkling that she wasn’t the daughter of Baldie and Fattie. However, despite the fact that she was a member of Gessel family, it was me, someone extremely proud of being the next queen, who excluded Sasha.
I looked around Sasha’s room, thinking that I’d cherish her from now on.
A mahogany, claw leg, sofa. A black, walnut, armchair. A fluffy carpet with an intricate yet cute floral pattern. A white vase on the side table with elaborate decorations. There were large roses inside it, giving off a sweet and light scent. Both the mirror on the wall and the pendulum clock had slight delicate designs.
All that furniture had come from my room. My father and mother only doted on me. They did provide Sasha with clothing, food, and shelter. But, unlike me, whose furniture was replaced every year, everything Sasha used was old.
I really want to buy new furniture for her. Except, I want to do my best to save money and prepare a large dowry. You will have a massive dowry. For now, forgive me, but please bear with it.
I took a shallow breath and extended my hand towards Sasha.
“Ohoho, let me teach my little sister, who is unhappy, a secret technique. It’s a technique that hails from a faraway kingdom, alright.”
I drew the character ‘人’ (person) on my hand thrice, put it in my mouth, and pretended to have swallowed it. Sasha’s eyes went wide. I did it again for clarity, and made Sasha show me her palm.
“This is how you do it—draw this shape on your palm three times. Once you’ve swallowed it, you will be courageous and less nervous.”
Sasha slowly moved her fingers and then placed her palm before her mouth.
“…It’s true… my heart is no longer beating as fast…”
Is she scared of me?
That was understandable.
“Then, let’s do our best for the next tea party. You will be receiving spartan training from me for a while.”
As I left Sasha room, I waved slightly at her.
Shame. Reflection. Remorse. Those were the words that had been added to my dictionary since the memories of my previous life were restored.
I should’ve felt them long ago. Those feelings were very difficult to live with. But, once I was aware of them, I couldn’t ignore them.
***T/N: The heroine is on her way to win both her stepbro and sister!!!