ike they would become lovers, and was asking how much more did he have to do for it to be over.”
“Then does that mean that she forced His Grace to act? No wonder.
Everyone was surprised that he was acting so differently from the Grand Duke Inver we kno… Ahh!”

The Baroness, who had belatedly found Adeline, screamed.
Because of the unrefined scream, everyone in the hall looked at the Baroness, and, next to her, Adeline and Vanessa.

‘But why? Why would Vanessa do this? Gossiping about me? Is it because of the Grand Duke?’

Adeline couldn’t understand at all.
In the original work, Vanessa was a young lady with a reputation of being no different from a saintess.
She had a virtuous heart and was kind to everyone.

She even tried to forgive the Adeline from the original work, who aimed for her life.

But looking at the situation now, Vanessa was a villainess and Adeline was like a heroine.
Someone who had no need to do this at all was doing something wrong.

“You must have heard everything, Lady Tien.
I don’t know how you’re holding His Grace down, but please let him go.
Why is the lady of an excellent family doing such a bad thing! Why are you threatening His Grace?”

Vanessa was very determined and looked at Adeline with a resolute face, perhaps as she was about to leave.
Adeline frowned and tried to grasp the situation.

‘So… She has been going around saying that it wasn’t a proposal, but it was me threatening the Grand Duke? And that the fact he has been paying uncharacteristic attention to me was also because I was threatening him?’

As she put the pieces together one by one, Adeline’s face crumpled.

‘What in the… Vanessa is doing something like this? I am the villainess, not her… Hold on.
That’s right.
I’m the villainess! Exactly! I was a villainess, right?’

Adeline, who had been pondering, suddenly realized it.

“Lady Tien.
The bad things you’re doing…”
“Lady Felix.
That’s it.
Why didn’t I think about that? What you were saying just now, I want you to spread the word as much as you can.
Can you at least tell everyone that is here today?”
“… What?”

Vanessa’s eyes shook wildly this time.
From Vanessa’s point of view, it was natural.
Although she had been spreading malicious rumors, she couldn’t believe that the person in question was asking her to spread them even more.
She was nervous about whether Adeline was thinking hard and trying to attack Vanessa.

However, Adeline was sincere.
She sincerely hoped that this rumor would spread.

‘According to this rumor, it is easily understood that the Grand Duke has feelings for me and that I am a wicked woman who can have the great Grand Duke Inver under my control, so there won’t be any trouble.
The more she talks, the worse my reputation will be, and the Grand Duke won’t be able to talk about the marriage contract or whatever.
Because it would look like he was threatened to marry me.’

The more she thought about it, the more perfect it was.
It was unbelievable why Adeline didn’t think of it first.

“You’re the best.
Lady Felix.
This would be perfect.”
“W-What are you talking about?!”

Adeline even grabbed Vanessa’s hands tightly with an indescribably satisfied face.
Vanessa was taken aback and didn’t know what to do.

“Hahahaha!”

At a moment when the two women’s expressions were the complete opposite of each other, something unbelievable happened.

Surprisingly, Kael was the owner of the sudden, energetic laughter.
Not only Adeline and Vanessa, who were talking without realizing he was approaching them, but everyone in the hall who was watching them opened their mouths and looked at Kael.

The ruler of the North, famous for his cold character and his ruthlessness on the battlefield, laughed so brightly.
It was a scene that no one had ever seen, and no one had ever thought of seeing.
The smile on his impressive face, who had the reputation of being like the son of God, was so wonderful that everyone was out of their minds while looking at it.

“Do you not want to be involved with me that much? To the point that you welcome a rumor that will only bring bad results?”

Adeline stared blankly at Kael, unable to give any answer.
The words were hovering on the tip of her tongue, but her voice didn’t come out.
It was as if she had been trapped in the afterimage of the laughter she saw just a moment ago.

“I didn’t think it was a big deal even though I found a rat listening to our conversation, but if I knew it would go around talking nonsense like this, I should have cut off its tail.”

A voice completely different from when he spoke to Adeline was directed at Vanessa.
Vanessa’s face turned white at the cold voice and eyes that everyone knew.
No, they were even colder than that.

Kael retrieved his gaze at her without a second thought and approached Adeline.

“I was bothered by what the Lady said earlier, but seeing how you were a little while ago, I need to change my strategy.”
“What do you mean, strategy…”
“I need to win some points.
From you.”

Still not understanding what was going on, Adeline looked at Kael.
Seeing the look on her face, Kael grinned and crossed the hall.

“Lady Delphine.
Would you please allow me the honor of your debutante’s first dance?”

As soon as Kael asked Sophia to dance with a wonderful gesture, both big and small exclamations of admiration poured out from all over the hall.
Grand Duke Inver was her partner for her first dance at the debutante.
It was an immense honor, and something that would make her look great.

“Of course, Your Grace.”

Sophia smiled shyly, feeling both joy and surprise, and grabbed Kael’s hand.
Grand Duke Inver, who never attended a social party and only danced when either the Emperor or Crown Prince ordered him themselves, became the partner for the first dance of the lady of an ordinary family.

Only for Adeline.
Just because she said she didn’t want to be the ugly older sister who stole Sophia’s spotlight.

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