Rosetta, with Evelyn in tow, headed towards the Valentine Duchy’s barracks.
After telling the maids to prepare two sets of clothes, they went to the rest area and changed.
Evelyn changed her clothes after Rosetta, and once they’re finished, the maids who assisted them bowed their heads and left.
Inside the rest area, which was decorated like an elaborate drawing room of a mansion, Evelyn’s eyes looked this way and that.
‘As expected, high noble households are of a different caliber…’
Who would believe that this place was a tent in the middle of the barracks, she wondered.
It was so well-decorated that she couldn’t believe that it was a place that was meant to be dismantled after just one day.
She felt that it was a shame for this place to disappear tomorrow.
And about the clothes she borrowed.
It’s been quite a long time since she wore such soft clothes.
After her household had fallen, it became difficult to buy even just one set.
Far from the high-quality fabric she was wearing now, the clothes she usually wore were made of rough cloth, so she felt a bit burdened.
Wearing clothes like these made her feel like she had returned to how it was in the past.
Back to those days when she could stand tall with pride, when she could live in abundance without worrying about her grumbling stomach.
“Um, thank you once again, Your Ladyship.”
Feeling overwhelmed by an emotion she couldn’t quite pinpoint, Evelyn thanked Rosetta.
In turn, Rosetta smiled and shook her head.
You were in trouble, so of course I should help you.”
The tone in which she spoke was of humility and elegance.
Evelyn’s cheeks flushed red.
She felt so shy in front of this great beauty.
And in one corner of her mind, her conscience was being pricked.
‘Towards such a sweet and kind person…’
While she recalled how those other three had gossiped about the two daughters of House Valentine, Evelyn forced herself to smile as she nodded.
She kept her head down at that time because it’s the best option she could choose in that coercive atmosphere, but she couldn’t help but feel apologetic for doing so.
Evelyn clasped her trembling fingers and lowered her gaze.
“How can I ever repay the grace you’ve shown me…”
Her voice towards the end of her sentence quivered just like her fingers.
Rosetta quietly stared at Evelyn for a moment, then took a step closer to her.
Smooth, pale hands wrapped over those trembling hands, holding them tight.
The sudden warmth made Evelyn raise her head.
Up close, Rosetta was as beautiful as ever.
With long lashes, with the golden eyes underneath them.
Then, her mystically shining silver hair, her pale, slender countenance and her red lips.
When those lips drew a curved arc, her rather sharp impression turned gentle at once.
“No need to talk about ‘grace’.
But if you feel uncomfortable, would it be alright if I ask you for a favor”
And here, a saccharine voice that had the power to mesmerize.
Evelyn’s mouth asked back like that, but without realizing it, her head was already moving up and down.
With her lips still drawn up into a smile, Rosetta spoke.
“If you don’t mind, please come to my family’s residence often and be my and my sister’s friend.”
“As you may know, we’re not very outgoing, the two of us.
We don’t have any friends our age.”
For a moment, Evelyn was paralyzed by the situation as she thought.
‘So then, you’re suggesting that I be your friend’
Oh my goodness.
While Evelyn carefully processed Rosetta’s suggestion, she chewed the inside of her cheek.
She just might scream for joy if she didn’t do this.
She felt apologetic towards the innocent ducal ladies, but this was an opportunity that would never come to her twice.
It was a chance for her to somehow build connections with the big shots of high society.
Of course, she also had the pure intention of wanting to be friends with the two sisters.
They were the ones who pulled her out of hell.
Who wouldn’t want to be friends with such good people
“Perhaps, would this trouble you”
While Evelyn was rejoicing in her mind, Rosetta added cautiously.
From the slight wrinkle on her forehead, she was clearly worried.
“Of course not!”
Evelyn answered loudly as she shook her head.
“Yes, Your Ladyship, I’d be honored to be your friend!”
At the spirited answer, Rosetta let out a smile.
The smile of relief also made the other person smile with her together.
While chuckling shyly, Rosetta spoke again.
“I’m so glad.
Actually, I heard a little about you.”
“Huh About me”
To be precise, I heard about your family… Your father has a guild, right Mainly selling magicware.”
“Yes, that’s right.
Evelyn wondered how Rosetta knew about her father’s guild.
She immediately knew that the guild that Rosetta was talking about was the small shop that her father was running, but it’s a bit embarrassing to call it that.
It wasn’t even a proper business in the first place, but because it was a shop owned by a noble, it was being called a ‘guild.’
And what her father was selling there were usually handmade ‘magicware’.
Her father personally invented most of the shop’s goods, and they were of excellent quality.
She had no doubt that the shop would start to prosper if only her father could receive a proper investment, and also if the shop could get a little more well known through word of mouth.
That’s why she kept going to societal gatherings in spite of all the humiliation she was facing.
“I’m actually a little interested in magicware, so while I was looking for places that sell good wares, I found out about your father’s guild.
I bought a few things from there before, too.”
After Evelyn asked in surprise, Rosetta answered with her eyes gently curved.
Besides that, Rosetta reached into her pocket.
Soon, the hand that was rummaging through that pocket pulled something out.
It looked like a small flute that was the size of a thumb.
When she saw that item, Evelyn’s eyes gradually widened.
I bought it from there.
It’s a gift for my younger sister.”
Just as Rosetta said, it was a small flute she bought from the Riddle Guild.
It was a light and compact item that Evelyn’s father had invented.
When it’s blown, the sound would project very far away, so it’s a good self-defense tool.
The name of this flute was ‘Velyn’.
It was an invention that was made in hopes that his daughter would always be safe, so it was an item named after her.
At the rush of emotion, Evelyn’s hands fidgeted.
‘Come to think of it, Father said that he has a regular customer who comes often these days.’
With brown eyes and gray hair, it was a woman who looked like a maid working for a household somewhere.
Thanks to that regular customer, her father was in good spirits lately, rejoicing at the small rise in sales these days.
Suddenly, Evelyn recalled one of Rosetta’s maids who helped her change clothes earlier.
That maid had gray hair and brown eyes.
“That customer was Your Ladyship…”
As she said this aloud, she felt a little choked up.
‘We finally have a regular customer, Velyn!’
The tip of her nose felt prickly and her eyes welled up as she remembered how her father smiled as he expressed his joy.
“Hm What did you say…”
When Rosetta asked because she didn’t quite hear what Evelyn said, Evelyn just waved her hand.
But unlike the urgency in that wave, there was a broad smile on her face.
The corners of her curved eyes had tears at their edges.
“It’s nothing, Your Ladyship.”
“Truly I must have heard it wrong then.”
Rosetta smiled, shrugging slightly.
“By the way, Lady.
Actually, it saddens me.
If the Riddle Guild was a little bigger, I’m sure that a lot more excellent wares could be sold.”
“Yes, you’re right.
If the shop can afford to do so, it won’t just be a wish for the future…”
After Rosetta, who Evelyn considered to be a warm person, murmured those words, Evelyn replied with her true feelings.
Rosetta fiddled with the small flute for a moment, not saying anything.
The look in her eyes turned serious and heavy, as if she was thoroughly contemplating.
After a brief bout of silence, her red lips slowly opened.
“Then, why don’t I invest in the Riddle Guild”
The words she uttered were beyond Evelyn’s imagination.
She was so surprised that she just gawked at Rosetta, her mouth wide open.
“A Va…Valentine is going to invest in our guild”
At Evelyn’s stuttering response, Rosetta shook her head.
“No, regardless of my family, to be precise, I would like it to be a personal investment.
Am I not allowed to do that”
There’s no way you’re not allowed to.
This was a huge opportunity that would never land on her lap once again, whether it’s an investment from House Valentine or a personal investment of Rosetta’s.
Since she was an esteemed daughter of a duchy, then it’s only natural that she had quite a lot of personal assets.
Perhaps, if Evelyn was her usual self, she would have nodded at once and shouted that she would very much appreciate it if the ducal lady would invest.
However, today’s Evelyn hesitated, unable to answer right away.
Any investment was, inherently, a risk to some extent.
For both the investor and the receiver.
And any hasty decision on its own would bring with it apprehensions, and a great deal of it.
On her part, Evelyn had nothing to lose.
However, she didn’t want to put Rosetta in a position that would make her anxious and would put her at risk.
Rosetta was too nice for Evelyn to put such a burden on her shoulders.
“Um, Your Ladyship.
Wouldn’t it be better to think more carefully about investing”
The hesitant Evelyn quietly expressed her opinion.
She naturally felt that it’s regrettable that she’s dissuading Rosetta here, but this was the right course of action.
Rosetta stared at Evelyn for a moment, then she smiled pleasantly.
“Thank you for your concern, Lady.
However, this isn’t a hasty decision.”
I’ve been thinking about it while using the Riddle Guild’s wares. Why don’t I invest is what I wondered.
But the Riddle County is a vassal of the Carter Duchy… So I was a bit hesitant.”
Evelyn had a surprised expression as she listened to Rosetta’s explanation, but her demeanor gradually darkened as ‘vassal of the Carter Duchy’ was mentioned.
Unconcealed hatred rose above her icy gaze.
And with a hardened expression, she spat out these words.
“Ah, yes, of course.
We are a vassal of the Carter Duchy.”
The tone of her voice was bursting with hatred.