Citrina entered Cheyenne Hall, where Lady Estelle’s party would take place.

Citrina wore a bluish necklace and ruby earrings from Adilac.
Adilac’s delicate touch was seen in the gems.
Along with the rough gemstones that the dwarf Oslo had carefully selected, Gemma infused the gems with a vibrant shine.
Donning a formal dress, Citrina slowly got out of the carriage.
Inside the carriage, she had been appeasing an upset Gemma.

-Why are you borrowing the dwarf Oslo’s name? Borrow my name!
-Well, that’s because you’re my hidden card.
-I see.
I am the hidden card! I am the great hidden card!

Citrina walked calmly, leaving behind Gemma’s enthusiastic voice.

“Lady Citrina Foluin, right?”

It had been four years since she had heard that name- the name of a family that Citrina had not sought out.
Her family had not looked for Citrina either.
Perhaps the more famous she became, the more they would talk about her family relationship behind her back.
However, that wasn’t the case now.
Citrina faced the door.
The knight bowed her into the party.

There was a bit of tension.  But with confidence that Lady Estelle would not reject her, she entered the ballroom-style Cheyenne Hall.
Under the high-domed ceiling, a crystal chandelier adorned the hall.
The orchestra filled the hall with beautiful music, making it feel even more like a ballroom except that no one danced.
A number of ladies were gathered in twos and threes.
Citrina need to meet the host of the party, Lady Estelle, so she took a look around.
She had to say hello first and introduce the jewelry.

“Lady Citrina Foluin!”
Nevertheless, Citrina didn’t expect Estelle to call her name out first.
“I’ve been waiting for you.”

She had twinkling eyes and flushed cheeks, with an expectant expression.
Citrina rarely became embarrassed, but this was one of those time.
There was no reason for Estelle to wait for her.

‘Lady Estelle, did you like the dwarf that much?”
“Lady Estelle, thank you for inviting me to your party.”
“Nevermind that.
Go ahead and eat.
I’m the host of the party, so I have to go greet the other ladies.
I can’t stay with you.

She whispered secretly so only Citrina could hear.

“I’ll see you in a little bit after making the rounds.
I have so many questions.”
“I’m so grateful.
Is this about dwarf-nim?” [TL Note: I find this such an awkward way to refer to Oslo, but this is literally what they are calling him here.]

Estelle quickly denied it with a red face.

“Anyway, I really want to see you.”

Estelle frowned.
Citrina was naturally willing to accept.
If she built a good relationship with Estelle, that would help her become connected to the lower nobility and make things easier.
But everything was going too smoothly.

“Then chat with other people.
In about thirty minutes, I’ll see you on the balcony to the left of the doors of Cheyenne Hall.
Since it’s summer, it’s not too chilly out.”

Citrina was a bit embarrassed by the extreme warm welcome.

What the hell was Estelle thinking by treating her so special?
Anyway, it was good news for Citrina.
She moved towards the round table, watching Estelle’s back as she drifted away.
On top of the table was a variety of food and champagne.
Citrina wasn’t the type to drink to relax, but some lightly alcoholic wine would be fine.
She picked up one of the empty glasses on top of the table.

“Lady, this is Pontude San Red Wine.”
“That sounds good.”

Citrina nodded and the waiter poured some red wine into her glass.
Citrina chewed on her lips as she watched the wine fill the glass.
  She was about to drink when someone next to her spoke with a prickly, unlikable voice.

“You know who I am, don’t you?”
‘Who is this?’

Seeing her overconfident face, she must know this person.
Citrina squinted her eyes.
Memories played through her mind one step at a time.
‘When I was younger…I played the part of Young Lady Phantemang’s playmate’ [TL Note: I had no idea how to romanize this character’s name.]
When she was young, that was one of the only jobs she could do.
She helped the tutor with the children to make sure they grew up respectably.

“Long time no see, Lady Phantemang.”
“You remember my name, don’t you? I thought you’d send a gift to our family once you returned.
You’re quite indebted to us.”

It wasn’t logical, but she spoke with power.
In a way, it was natural for Phantemang to ignore Citrina.
The Foluin family were fallen aristocrats that were on the brink of selling their title while the Phantemangs were rising in status.
Aristocratic society was all based on power.

“I remember that my relationship with Lady Phantemang was cut off after that.”

Citrina was always intimidated by Phantemang’s sneaky gaze.
Viscount Phantemang was not one to treat fallen nobles well.

‘The employee-employer relationship has ended, so why are you doing this?’

Phantemang grinned and laughed at Citrina’s subdued greetings!

“I heard you became a disciple of the dwarf?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“That means you left the empire to work.”
“Is it a problem that I became a disciple of the dwarf, Oslo?”

Citrina brought up Oslo’s name.
From this point of view, attacking Citrina would be attacking Oslo.

“In this world, are you really a lady of society?”

Inside the beautiful Cheyenne Hall with the soft orchestra music playing, hackles were up.
Glancing around, attention was focused on them.
Phantemang was staring down at her.
In recent years, the gentry had begun to look at the work done by lower ranking noble ladies as ‘a disgrace to the aristocracy’.

“The noble lady of the Phantemang.”
“It’s not a profession involving magic, spirits, or an artistic endeavor, but work involving your hands! It’s no aristocratic at all.”
-Spirits? Did you call me?

-Who is this woman?
Thank you for your opinion.”

Citrina replied coldly.
After all, there were people that would be disrespectful of Citrina whether she put up with it or not.
“I don’t believe what I do will hurt Lady Phantemang.”
She understood Phantemang.
However, before Phantemang could open her mouth to retort, Estelle interrupted their conversation.
“What’s going on?”

Citrina’s heart was filled with frustration when she saw Estelle.
‘I made a mistake like this.
I shouldn’t have done this at Estelle’s party.’
She shouldn’t have focused on recollections of the past
Citrina looked at Estelle to try and repair the situation.
But Estelle wasn’t looking at Citrina.
Instead, she stood by Citrina with a red face, staring at Phantemang.
No, it was more of a glare than a stare.

“Lady Phantemang!”
“… Estelle?”

Phantemang looked at her with a perplexed face.
Estelle and Phantemang’s families were close.
In other words, they were on good terms on the outside, but she didn’t know what they were like behind closed doors.

“This kind of behavior is plainly disrespectful.”
“Now, are you taking Citrina-nim’s side?”
“I’m not taking any sides, but Lady Phan’s at fault.
I can’t forgive a quarrel in Cheyenne Hall.”
“Ha! That’s ridiculous.
Since when have you been so righteous.”
“I can’t stand by, so please leave.”
“You want me to leave? Me? Not that lady?”

Estelle issued the order to leave with a cold look.
Phantemang blushed, aghast.
She looked around with a bewildered look.
But embarrassingly, so did Citrina as she was stuck in the middle.
There was no reason for Estelle to come to her defense so much.

“I’ll remember this moment, Lady Estelle and Miss Citrina…”

Citrina answered first, calmly.
With a glance at Citrina, Phantemang turned around coldly.
Silence drifted through Cheyenne Hall.
It seemed as if people were choosing whether to follow Lady Phantemang or Lady Estelle.
Most struck up a new conversation and continued on as if nothing had ever happened, but a few ladies followed Phantemang out the door with anxious faces.
A while after the situation had been sorted out, the beautiful orchestra music began to flow through the hall once more.
Estelle was still with Citrina.

“… Lady Estelle?”
“Ah, Citrina-nim, please head to the balcony.
The fuss has ended, but I’ll clean up a bit first!”
“Yes, thank you.”

But at the same time doubts rose up in Citrina’s mind.

‘Why are you so considerate of me?’

Her steps towards the balcony were both light and heavy.
She felt a slight tension and dizziness as Estelle’s intentions were unknown.

“Are you Lady Citrina Foluin?”

The knight opened the heavy doors to the balcony as if Estelle had arranged everything in advance.
Citrina picked up the hem of her dress and strode forward.

‘What is she thinking of…’

As she looked at the view from the balcony, Citrina was lost in thought.
The soft summer wind tickled her cheeks.

“The scenery is nice, right?”

Citrina heard a refreshing voice behind her.
It was Lady Estelle.
She heard the lady’s steps coming closer.

“Yes, I like it.”
“Don’t worry too much about today!”
“Thank you.”

Estelle stood side by side with her and looked out at the scenery.

– Citrina, that person is nice.
– Right, so don’t do anything bad.
-Got it! I’m the hidden card! I will hide well!

Inside of the pendant, Gemma fussed about with the phrase ‘hidden card’ in mind.
In fact, the spirit’s radar of what it liked and disliked was extremely simple.
It liked people who were favorable to their contractor, and disliked people who felt ill-will towards their contractor.
Unable to hear Gemma’s voice, Estelle turned away from Citrina.
The conversation took place while gazing outside, standing side-by-side.
It was a conversation that took place without looking in each other’s eyes.

‘There’s a lot I want to ask, but I think Estelle has a lot to say.’

Citrina decided to let Estelle take the lead in the conversation.
Estelle continued to speak slowly.

“Are you wondering why I sided with Lady Citrina Foluin?”
We don’t know each other all that well.”
“… I know Lady Simon, the young lady of the Hailey County, quite well.
That person has helped me out a lot.
The same goes for my family.”
You mean Count Hailey?”
“Yes, Count Hailey.”

It was a familiar name.
Count Hailey.
Hailey County was the place where the mine was located.
And the count was the former owner of the mine Desian had recently bought.
Citrina somehow already knew what she was going to say.
She was really interested in jewels.
That’s why she wasn’t bringing up the mine.
note: not clear who is the subject]
However, Estelle brought it up in a roundabout way.

“The count’s young lady was lucky enough to visit the imperial palace summer ball the other day and she happened to see Citrina there as well.
Well, and that young lady saw you near the count’s mine the other day.”

A keen and sharp gaze was directed at Citrina.

“Yes, that’s right.”
“And…you were w, with Duke Pietro.”

Estelle’s voice trembled.
It seemed like she was scared to mention the name Duke Pietro.
In response to her quivering voice, Citrina answered briefly.

“Yes, that’s right.”

There was no reason to lie.
Up till now, the Desian she knew was a good friend and a big help, so there was no reason to deny being familiar with him.

“…Rea, Really?”

Citrina nodded her head.
Estelle let out a colorful word.

“That famous Duke Pietro, you know him? How could you hang out with such a scary person?”
‘Such a scary person?’

Citrina was rather taken aback to hear such a diverging story about Desian from what she knew.
It was plain to see.
She thought he did good things and was friendly.

‘People…are they misunderstanding?’

That was what first popped into her mind.
The Desian that Citrina knew was a good person.
Though in the original work, , he was infamous throughout the empire.
Whether she could tell how much Citrina was troubled, Estelle answered in a low voice.

“Well, I think I made a slip of the tongue.”
“A slip of the tongue? Is there by any chance some bad rumors going around?”
“…it’s nothing serious.  I don’t believe those bad rumors!”
It seemed like Estelle couldn’t bear to say that it was about the curse of the devil.
‘…if it’s a bad rumor, do you mean it’s about the curse of twins? If that’s not the case…it’s suspicious.’
The ‘twins curse’ is terrible but you couldn’t fake such a primal expression of terror.
‘I’m sure the bad rumors have just tailed along.’
However, she thought it was suspicious, so she didn’t think Estelle would talk about it even if she dug further.
Estelle hastily changed the subject.

“How do you know each other? Lady Citrina.”
“He was a childhood friend.”
“Ha, ha, ha….
Tha, that’s so?”

Estelle smiled awkwardly, avoiding her gaze.
Estelle’s attitude towards Desian was strained.
Though the Desian Pietro she knew was gentle enough.
Citrina decided to listen and learn little by little.
“Then you’ve had a relationship since those days up till now…”
He has been a good person since then.
Even now, he is sweet.”
She crossed her arms.
There was no reason to inflate the rumors or deny them.
Unlike the enthusiasm of their previous conversation, Estelle gulped.

‘Sweet? Are we talking about someone else you know?’

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