Chapter 44: I Won’t Let Them Get Their Way
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Translated by lacusky.
“Nora, are you all right?”
As soon as she returned to the hall, Flora rushed over to her.
Elias and Allan weren’t far behind her.
“I was just about to check up on you.
You all right?”
Elias kept trying to talk to her but she didn’t want to see his face.
Even if he was worried, she couldn’t bring herself to speak to him like before.
Seeing that she answered briefly and immediately averted her eyes, Flora eyed Nora suspiciously.
Afraid that she might blurt out something unnecessary, Nora hurried on to speak first.
“Isn’t it about time for my first performance?”
“Well…” Flora’s face clouded over so Nora sensed that there might be something wrong.
However, the situation was far more serious than she had expected.
She explained that the sheet music she had prepared had gone missing.
It was the first song for the ball and without the sheet music, Flora wouldn’t be able to play it.
Worse, there was something wrong with the piano, and they might not be able to fix it in time.
“How cunning of them to hinder you with such dumb tricks!” Allan snorted in anger.
This was no mere accident.
“But we expected it.
We reported the situation and asked them to hurry up and fix the piano.”
A servant came to Elias’ side and whispered something to his ear, after which his face looked immensely displeased.
“It looks like other singers are scurrying to be on standby in case the Azure Nightingale is unable to perform.”
“‘Other?’ Could it be?”
Rebecca’s preparing to perform with the accompaniment of the violinist she brought.”
Allan clicked his tongue in disgust.
It’s not like you can carry the piano with you and play however and whenever you want.
I didn’t think they were foolish enough to tamper with things in the royal castle.”
After receiving instructions from Elias, the servant dashed away.
“I have asked His Majesty to have the piano fixed as soon as possible, however, it might not make it in time for the first song number.
It is tradition to perform two songs at the founding ball.
Hence, we may have no other choice but to let Rebecca sing the first one.”
Nora looked at Elias with an expression tinged with bitterness.
What in the world?
Nora didn’t even want to perform there at all.
She was forced.
And yet now she couldn’t sing as planned because she was resented.
They were all sarcastic with her, restricted her from eating and drinking anything, and she was even drugged and poisoned.
I don’t want to be treated like an idiot.
What temporary lover? What love at first sight?
It wasn’t her fault that she was poor and born into the lower-class nobility.
—I won’t let them get their way.
Did they think they could easily bully the daughter of a poor baron? Just because she didn’t have an accompaniment for her performance at the ball hosted by the royal family?
She’d had much more difficulties working part-time as a dye worker during winter.
Those foolish aristocrats had no idea how painful it’s like to feel as though your fingers would burst from bone-chilling coldness.
“What can I do for you?”
As Elias was saying something to the servant who came back to give an update, she raised her hand and stopped him.
“But there’s no sheet music nor is the piano available for use.”
“I’ll change the song.
No need for an accompaniment.”
Without giving another glance to the three surprised people, Nora headed for the stage.
Rebecca and the violinist were already backstage and had started to prepare.
“Please move out of the way.”
“What? You—” Rebecca was muttering something but she couldn’t make sense of it.
“You’re in the way.” She hollered and strutted up the stage.
The commotion at the backstage had caught the attention of the crowd.
Nora had originally planned to perform a song that wishes for the prosperity of their country.
However, it was a song that needed an accompaniment so she could no longer sing it.
She took a deep breath.
Her violet eyes sparkled with both anger and excitement.
—A song of courage.
A song that inspires one to persevere after a failure, betrayal or loss.
A song that uplifts those in pain and agony.
Infuriated by their unreasonable actions and propelled by her intention not to let them get their way, Nora sang with all her heart.
After she finished her performance, deafening silence filled the entire hall.
She had felt refreshed when she sang, but she now felt somewhat lightheaded.
They had expected her to sing for the prosperity of the country accompanied by a pianist, but was it a careless move on her part after all?
Andrea had said that she would feel lightheaded as a side effect of the antidote, so that must’ve been why.
In the meantime, she expressed her gratitude to everyone and motioned to step off the stage.
As she was about to go, a ripple of applause echoed across the hall.
She was surprised and thanked them all again, but the sound of applause didn’t stop.
“Nora!” She staggered as Flora hugged her tight.
“It was an unusually powerful song, but it was lovely and wonderful!”
“Really?” Nora simply sang with her heart, so she really didn’t think much of it.
Elias and Allan had also approached just as she was thinking about it.
“You’ve got such a lovely singing voice, Nora.
That was great!”
“It was awesome! Just look at Rebecca’s face.
She’s staring daggers at you with regret.”
The twins smiled at the same time.
Same face, same voice.
However, something was different.
Nora figured she had special feelings for Elias, but she wasn’t quite sure of it.
She hadn’t fully reflected on it, but did that mean she liked him?
That was all the more reason she had to ask Elias about the situation and properly put an end to it.
She had no intention of becoming his lover as a cover for his relationship with the queen candidate.
Even if she liked him, she still couldn’t do it.
She didn’t know how to end their relationship as temporary lovers, but that would have to be the right thing to do.
With a quick snap of the finger, she would certainly be able to return to her original life soon.
It had been such a mess, especially that engagement cancellation fiasco, but she was most grateful that their family had cleared their debts.
Feeling slightly clear-headed, Nora caught sight of Rebecca approaching in her direction.
Alongside her was Duke Lindell.
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