Lucia - Chapter 42
< — Damian — > (13)
TN: Couldn’t find an emoji that suited my mood translating this (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
It was a place that held more than a 100 people but it was quiet to the point that even the sound of breathing could not be heard. No one opened their mouth, laughed or touched their cups.
Covered with bright makeup and colorful dresses, these women eerily spotted the same wooden expressions. This began with the Countess of Wales.
“What seems to be the problem, Countess Wales?”
“I understood today’s party to be one for women. This purpose doesn’t seem to fit that.”
“It is just a child. Although a male child, one cannot say there has been no such precedence. Especially in the capital.”
Lucia replied with special emphasis on the last word. The northern high society could not compare to the capital’s high society whether it was in scale or people.
Even if one brags about being famous in the northern high society, one is simply big fish in a little pond. Lucia choose words that would hurt the Countess’ pride to give her a strong warning. How about withdrawing at this point?
“If you put it that way, then I have nothing else to say.”
The Countess of Wales answered, deliberately displaying a sullen expression. The sly Countess found the Duchess’ provocation about the capital ridiculous.
‘Just as I thought, the Duchess has been hiding her true colors.’
The gentle and docile appearance she showed at tea parties was also a lie. The Countess thought the Duchess acting as though she wasn’t interested in the northern high society was a lie.
To say she had no desire to use her status as the Duchess to control the high society? That was no way she didn’t have such desires. Sure enough, she was obviously in the process of passively exploring for now.
‘Duchess, if you think you can seize the north high society with just your status as a Duchess, you’re heavily mistaken.’
If there was world where status and rank did not have absolute reign, it was the high society. Just like the Queen could not dominate the capital’s high society with just her status, the northern high society also couldn’t be dominated with just status.
‘Becoming a Duchess after being a princess merely appears good.’
If the Duchess thought about it a little more, she would know that much. The Countess held a lot of interest in the capital’s high society so she was well-informed on the rumors in the capital and she knew what rumors were currently spreading in the capital about the Duchess.
Not all rumors were true but the Countess knew many things that the northern people did not know. For instance, she knew that the Duchess did not have a single relative and was merely one of many princesses in the castle.
There was also many suspicious points about her marriage to the Duke. According to a credible rumor source, the King and the Duke had some sort of contract.
When the Countess heard the rumor depicting the Duchess as a celestial beauty, she laughed her head off. She also deemed the rumor that the ducal couple led a happily married life to be a groundless rumor.
The Countess knew of the Taran Duke’s female exploits very well. The Duke was never a man to settle for one woman.
‘Duchess, if you want to hold on to that seat for long time, you have to place helpful people by your side. Not that old thing on her last legs.’
The fact that the Countess of Corzan was the first person to meet the Duchess and was requested to teach the Duchess about the high society, was pretty much the topic of discussion in the high society. Due to this, the Countess of Wales was dissatisfied.
Her influence was far superior to the Countess of Corzan yet people looked up to the Countess of Corzan and called her Godmother.
‘Nothing but an old thing in a back room teaching bridal lessons at best.’
Acting aloof and admonishing while using the reason that she was much older, the very sight of Countess Corzan sickened the Countess of Wales. Not being able to see the Countess of Corzan these days made her feel completely refreshed.
So in today’s garden party, the Countess of Wales intended to highlight her existence to the Duchess, no matter the means and just in the nick of time, the Duchess gave her a very good means.
The moment the young lord appeared, the countess made all her calculations in an instant then she began a silent protest. Her justification being the party’s purpose.
Damian had been announced as the successor to the Duke and it wasn’t something one could not formally question it. Hence, there was no one that did not know that the Countess’ justification was simply just that, a justification.
Beginning with the Countess, the elderly women acted together, the young ladies chatted cluelessly at first but as time passed, they became conscious of their surroundings and followed passively.
It had almost been an hour and a half since the party was declared as started but people sat like dolls without any expression.
Not everyone was in sync. In this situation, Kate appeared very casual, deliberately making loud noises, drinking tea and eating sweets. However, she lacked the ability to overturn the situation alone.
The Countess of Wales was too strong an opponent for Kate. Kate had her great-aunt behind her so she could openly oppose it but the other young ladies could not.
It was an event of power struggle between the organizer and the attendees. (1). Or in the case where an organizer commits a mistake that should be socially or ethically criticized, the high society punishes them in the manner of party-breaking.
The method was simple. The attendees would just remain silent.
If the party-break wasn’t for the purpose of punishment but for a problem that occurred during the party, until the problem was resolved, the attendees would keep their mouth shut, as if declaring their absence.
When a person began to lead a party-break, unless someone else with similar influence to the leader opposes them, it was the rule that other people would turn a blind eye and follow along.
‘If great-aunt was here, it wouldn’t have become like this.’
Kate was overwhelmed with regret. Party-breaking was a war for women. There were no deaths or loud cries like in a man’s war but at times it was more cruel and bloody.
Also unlike a man’s war, in the high society’s struggle for power, status and rank were not absolute. If one approaches a situation by throwing down one’s status, gradually one would be treated as an outcast in the high society.
Lucia looked over the crowd with a frosty expression. The maids were pale with fright and had crowded themselves in a corner. Contrarily, Damian’s expression was the very placid.
Lucia had once witnessed the sight of a party-break occurring in her dream. A party-break was impossible in a very small tea party or in a grand ball where many people, both male and female, were in attendance. It was only plausible in a moderate meeting were only women were in attendance.
The party-break she witnessed happened just like today. From her experience in her dream, there had never been a party-break for rational or reasonable purposes.
A high society faction dispute, a confrontation between women’s cliques, a revenge led by the wife to punish the adulterous organizer. These were the reasons for most of them.
Lucia knew the way to conclude a party-break. If the organizer and the attendees appeared to have a plausible reconciliation, the party could finish up safely.
Usually, it was the organizer that took a step back. This was because if one’s party fails in the middle, it was a huge disgrace.
The way to resolve this situation was clear. Damian had to be sent out of the party.
(1). I originally wanted to translate this as: ‘It was a dick measuring contest between the organizer and the attendees’ but I refrained. Hah.
(2). ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ)
< — Damian — > (13)
The way to resolve this situation was clear. Damian had to be sent out of the party.
However, Lucia had no thoughts of doing so. The Countess of Wales had the wrong idea from the beginning. Lucia held no attachment to the high society. She already had her fill of acting graceful and conversational at social activities in her dream.
Lucia turned to face the crowd and declared in a cool voice.
“Everyone, I’m afraid we cannot have an enjoyable time today. This event is now dismissed.”
The ladies stirred.
“I won’t see you off, you don’t deserve it.”
Then she gave an order to the maids.
“Please show the guests out.”
The maids in the corner straightened up and answered resolutely. The confidence of their madam became the saving grace to the pride of the employees. When the maids began to move around in a bustling manner, the masks of the women broke and they started exchanging glances.
“Today, you have all deceived me, the Duchess and Lady of Taran. You will soon realize that this was not a wise move.”
Lucia’s cold threat did not conform to the rules of the high society. The expression of the older women in particular sank inwardly. However, no one revealed their discomfort.
Even if the Duchess had no influence over the high society, if one were to commit an act that disregarded her rank openly, one had to be fearful of the later consequences.
“Someday, your son or grandson will have my son as their master. I can see the saying of ‘parents ruining the futures of their child’ refers to a case like this.”
Lucia thundered icily then turned around and headed straight for the central tower, abandoning the crowd. After the Duchess disappeared, the buzzing of the ladies grew louder.
“Ah? What in the world is this?”
“Tell me about it, I didn’t think about the aftermath and just committed.”
“The Duchess is not the usual type to get angry. It’s scary when a normally gentle person gets angry. What should we do?”
The criticism was concentrated on 10 elderly women including the Countess of Wales who led the party-break. Ignoring their faults in following along, they shifted the blame to another, despite this pathetic behavior, they didn’t dare to voice their criticism to the Countess of Wales.
“Keu-heum.” (TN: Clearing of throat)
As the recipients of those uncomfortable gazes, the leaders were the first to leave with sour expressions.
The Countess of Wales’ expression stiffened.
‘It shouldn’t have turned out this way, why…’
This was because the Countess had purposefully tried to calculate the probable outcomes of the party-break. Even if one is seasoned and experienced in socializing, when actually faced with a party-break, one would fall into confusion.
The Countess saw that the newly married young Duchess had little experience in the high societal socializing and thought that she would be unlikely to know what a party-break was.
The Countess thought that the Duchess would be flustered and would surely send the young lord out to fix the situation. After all, the young lord was not the Duchess’ biological son.
When the Countess heard one day that the Duchess was carrying the Duke’s extramarital child and going around, she thought it to be impressive.
To her, the ducal couple was a couple in appearances only.
There was no doubt that the Duchess thought of securing her place as the Duchess using the young lord, hence Duchess’ comely actions to the young lord were not sincere.
After all, which sane women would do something to block the future of their unborn child?
She was deliberately trying to figure out what the Duchess’ hidden intentions were, so using the fact that she was young and inexperienced, she spoke cynically. It made people think that the Duchess was unhappy with the act of bringing the illegitimate child of the Duke around with her.
It was amateurish to think that a relationship between one person and another could only be achieved through meeting face to face and having intimate conversations. A true pro is one that know the heart of another without meeting face to face.
When party break happens, the Duchess would be unable to win and would have taken a step back first. Initially, her pride would be hurt and she would fume with anger however as time goes by, she would realize that the incident was not too bad.
In the view of others, the Duchess had done her best. She was humiliated in trying to defend an extramarital child, so no matter how one looked at it, she was be a generous mother with ample tolerance.
When the Duchess’ mind calmed down, the Countess would then lessen herself and secretly swoop in. After which the hurt pride of the Duchess would be restored and they would be able to cultivate a close relationship. This was all the Countess of Wales had calculated inwardly.
However, the Countess’ biggest mistake was not properly understanding what kind of person Lucia was. No matter how often the two of them met, the Countess and Lucia could not fully understand each other. The thoughts and beliefs of the two were inextricably parallel.
The tycoon of the northern high society who seemed to have shot herself in the foot by taking it a few moves too far was now putting her brain to work.
(TN: Random gossip)
“What should I do? If my husband finds out about this, he’ll give me a hard time.”
“Look at the place to lie before stretching your legs. You know very well what kind of person the Duke of Taran is, so why did you do it?”
“It’s a social thing for women. It’s not the case for a man to meddle.”
“Does everything always follow the same principle? Rumor has it the ducal couple’s conjugal relationship is pretty good. If a woman whispers coquettishly, can any man can resist?”
“Ah, I don’t know. I’ll have refuse any outings and stay quiet for a while.”
“Why ever did Countess Wales flare up over the Duke’s heir like that?”
“Did you not know? The Count of Wales took in an extramarital daughter like that and went around with her. In the end, the extramarital daughter was married off to the Count.”
“Oh my, then the Count and the daughter of the in-laws…”
“The funny thing is, the Countess of Wales squeezed out some tears from her daughter-in-law and then not long after, two extramarital grandsons were entered into the family register.”
Damian watched with cold red eyes, saving the actions of the noble ladies with his eyes and ears. Today, the boy graphically witnessed the figures of those he had to step on to advance in the future.
It was a completely different direction from what Lucia had hoped for but it was a great lesson anyways.
Some women unintentionally locked eyes with Damian, causing them to flinch and turn away. After clamoring in groups, the remaining women began to depart from their seats.
When the number of people in the garden decreased a lot, Damian also left the event.
1) The Korean saying, ‘look at the place to lie before stretching your legs’ means do something if you’re sure of it or you can perfect it, otherwise don’t do it.
*I’ll be travelling back to college this Saturday. Chapters for this week may/may not be delayed. If they are delayed (aka not in by Sunday) , I’ll do 5 chapters next week. Also, classes start nxt week.