18. The Incompetent Villainess(?)’ Tea Party (2)
How could this be…!?
In response to that, Avril grasped Dylan’s arm tightly. Her confusion was apparent to Dylan.
“…My apologies, I hadn’t heard of any of this. While I was aware that Ms. Alexandra of the Count Lindbergh was named as a candidate for His Highness’ fiancée, I didn’t know that she’d be coming today. What is the meaning of this?”
“…For some reason, I feel like this is going to lead to a disaster.”
“Well, it’s only natural for you to think so.”
Dylan’s words did nothing to ease her anxiety. Regardless, Avril only had one option.
…It’s part of the contract! Besides, as a villainess, I need to get over it…! I’m sure that everything’ll be fine. Considering she’s the crown prince’s fiancée, we shouldn’t even have any opportunity to speak.
Avril regained her calm and spoke to Dylan.
“Let’s go. There’s no problem at all. I’m used to this.”
Of course, in all actuality, she had never imagined being in such a situation, let alone being accustomed to it. True to Dylan’s words in the carriage, the meaning of her previous words might be different.
Nevertheless, to be able to deliver such a line like a true villainess, Avril was proud of herself.
“…By the way, I haven’t told you this, but His Highness—Lawrence Geeson—is my close friend.”
“I came today with the purpose of introducing you to him.”
Then, Dylan went towards none other than the crown prince himself. Avril, who was holding onto his arm, looked like a lost child.
As they approached the middle of the garden, they gradually became the center of the attention. Confused by the growing noise, Avril turned deep blue.
—Well, isn’t this situation like, really bad!?
Even if Alexandra didn’t recognize her, it was still utterly problematic. Regardless, there was nothing she could do.
Soon, Avril found herself standing in front of Prince Lawrence and his fiancée, Alexandra, Corinna’s nemesis.
The two stared at them.
Lawrence’s deep obsidian hair, along with his tanzanite eyes were so beautiful, Avril could swoon. If she had recalled correctly, there was a time when Corinna desperately begged her father to arrange her marriage with the crown prince.
Corinna would surely have been overjoyed had she been here—wait, that’s not the issue right now.
First and foremost, Avril had to watch out for Alexandra. But surprisingly, there was no animosity in Alexandra’s eyes.
With her cocoa hair carefully-styled with flowers and ruby red eyes, Alexandra smiled gracefully but gently towards her.
…I’ve heard of how talented Lady Alexandra is as a prodigy. Truly, how magnificent.
Avril was about to swoon once again when a husky and dignified voice echoed from above her head.
“I’m Lawrence Geeson. Are you the wife of my friend?”
“…! Yes, my name is Avril Allingham.”
Towards the crown prince, she had no choice but to give her name. Then, while Avril was paying her tribute, Alexandra snapped the fan in her hand. She had been staring at Avril the whole time.
“I’d like to discuss something with Lady Avril Allingham. Your Excellency the Duke of Lancester, may I?”
T, this is it… is this the end?
At the very least, they’d be talking in private. With a smile, Avril released Dylan’s arm.
“To be able to talk to Lady Alexandra, an excellent noble lady, it’s like a dream come true. Lord Dylan, I’ll be going.”
After excusing herself, Avril and Alexandra moved to the salon in the hall.
The salon, reserved for the two, was luxurious.
Oh my, to be put atop of a white marble floor, that table looks so marvelous…! Those paintings, I’ve only seen them in books…! To top it off, Lady Alexandra Lindbergh is standing right in front of me! Dearie me, as a prodigy, she graduated from the academy at the age of 20. Moreover, she’s only two years older than me…!
It had never been mentioned before, but Avril had a penchant for objects that stimulated intellectual curiosity. Hence the reason why she loved to pore over books.
As Avril was looking around, Alexandra asked an unexpected question.
“Hey, do you know of a tutor named Hannah?”
Avril blinked at the familiar name. Why, if it wasn’t the name of the tutor who used to teach Corinna.
Despite being Corinna’s tutor, she sympathized with Avril’s circumstances and took it upon herself to teach her. Indeed, the one who secretly taught Avril various things was none other than Hannah. Incidentally, she was fired by Avril’s stepmother.
To Avril, who didn’t know how to respond, Alexandra went on.
“Not long ago, Hannah used to be my tutor. She’s now married and has moved abroad.”
I see… After leaving the Count of Allingham, Hannah was given charge of Lady Alexandra at the Count of Lindbergh.
Avril still couldn’t grasp the meaning behind her words, but things were getting worse. As of the present, not only was she accused of having an affair with Alexandra’s ex-fiancé, but also of banishing Hannah without as much as a word.
…Both are awful, yes, but I’d much prefer to be scolded directly!
Luckily, the salon had been reserved for them. Besides, Avril was often scolded for merely breathing, anyway. However, Alexandra’s intention seemed to be different.
“Did you know that I graduate from the academy highly-regarded for my abilities?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, to me, Hannah used to speak of a certain girl. She said that the girl was as talented as I was. Since it’s Hannah we’re talking about, the girl must actually be more excellent than I am.”
When Avril tilted her head at the unexpected turn of events, Alexandra cunningly narrowed her eyes and smiled softly.
“Hey, won’t you recite a poem for me?”
***T/N: Yeah, don’t slip up, Avril, don’t…
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