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Where Victoria shows her true colours and Theo makes an appearance.
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Episode 170. About 10 months (47)
Elias Mansion. Afternoon.
Victoria frowned when she saw the letter handed to her by her dedicated maid.
“What is this abominable thing! I told you not to pick up anything!"
The high-pitched shriek resounded throughout the drawing room, making the shoulders of the maids standing by the wall flinch.
"Jason... Since it’s a letter from the young master..."
When the most courageous maid among them spoke up, Victoria quickly ran to snatch it up.
"Oh no! My son!"
She ripped open the twisted envelope and unfolded the letter with her fingertips.
“My precious son, my precious son…”
Victoria Elias held the letter and trembled.
There were a total of five letters from Jason, who had left for Gaion.
Jason, who had yet to reach Gaion itself, sent the letters by express mail immediately after arriving at a small island country with a stop-over port.
He probably paid a pretty penny to do so.
The letter, a series of useless lamentations, was permeated by anger towards a specific person throughout.
Victoria's hand, which clutched the letter tightly, turned white.
[… I need to get that bitch out of the house somehow. That vicious thing threatened my mother and surely used trickery to drive me out.
How dare she try to take over my place as a lowborn commoner. Mother! You must never leave that evil bitch to her own devices.
What the hell is she up to? What kind of vulgar trick did she use to deceive father and Chloe, to send me, the eldest son of this family, to this beggar place?
You never know what might happen to you as well, Mother.
What the hell did we do so wrong? Was it wrong to work night and day for the benefit of the family? And to try to obtain a monopoly on trading rights?
Even if that incident caused a small problem, how could they send the eldest son to such a filthy place in order to resolve this?
It is clear that the bitch must have manipulated Father in some way.
Mother. I can't stand that bitch taking away what’s mine piece by piece. Mother! Gaion is full of savages, Mother.
But your eldest son, Jason Elias will never give in and will return alive. Until then, please, please, protect yourself from that bitch. Take care and stay healthy, Mother.
Your only son, Jason Elias.]
After reading his letter, Victoria clenched her jaw.
"I won’t–I won’t let it happen!"
She marched straight into Lloyd's office.
“Do you really intend to leave my son like this!”
Lloyd furrowed his brow at Victoria’s sudden entrance.
The five vassals who were with him in the office got up immediately, offered their apologies, and quietly escaped.
“… Have you decided not to protect dignity of our family at all, Madam?"
“Is dignity even important? The Elias' eldest son is going through such hardships. Look at this! My son, my precious son, is about to die!"
Victoria roughly hurled Jason's letter on the table in front of Lloyd.
Lloyd, stared at the crumpled letter, took it and read it slowly.
Then Lloyd's expression distorted more and more as he read.
After reading everything, Lloyd slowly got up from his seat and glanced over at his wife, who had stormed in unannounced.
Dressed in her housecoat and slippers, with untidy hair, and a face devoid of makeup, he could smell alcohol lingering on her even though it was still morning.
She had broken into his public office space with such an appearance. This was by no means an appropriate state of dress for the Countess of House Elias.
"You should be thankful you only paid this much for your sins. You're going to coddle the son who wrote such a daft letter to his mother so he could avoid consequences? If it wasn't for Tara's actions, the Elias family’s would have fallen deeply into a quagmire. I can't thank Tara enough for that. Yet he spits out such unspeakable things. Haha… So please, wake up, wife!"
Victoria's eyes widened, and she trembled with an internal scream.
She flinched, but Victoria wasn’t the kind of person to back off easily.
“You can’t do this to me… My family, do you know how many sacrifices I've made for you! Besides, Jason is your son and the eldest son of this family!"
“That is what I am saying!”
Startled by Lloyd’s roaring, Victoria took a step back.
“Our eldest son almost destroyed the entire House, Madam! So please do not disturb my work with this kind of thing again. You are in no position to shout. Are you not the one that added fuel to this fire?"
"Oh, how could you? Jason..."
Lloyd left the office, leaving Victoria trembling with anger.
He did not intend to deal with her anymore.
Victoria was so angry that her body trembled and shook. Tears that she had never shed in her life filled her eyes.
They were tears of pure anger.
Victoria frantically climbed the stairs to her room and banished her dedicated maids outside.
She then trudged over to the bed and powerlessly crumpled against it.
“It’s all because of that bitch. If it wasn't for her... I can't leave her alone!"
Even as she said that she had no idea how to go about it.
Unsurprisingly, it was because Tara Elias had learned about her plans that she could no longer handle things the way she had been.
In fact, if it hadn't been for this letter, Victoria was going to leave it alone.
Although she had been resentful at Philippe’s plot to devise an arranged marriage for Tara, she had been generous towards the idea on the orders of the family.
However, when she received her son's angry letter, the blood had rushed to her head.
And as her memory often did, her thoughts went back to that day in the hall.
Back to the humiliation that Philippe suffered in public, with numerous vassals and servants watching.
[… You have arbitrarily misused the Seal of House Elias… I am taking back the ‘financial control’ that you have been in charge of…]
Fortunately for Tara, the 'financial control' that she thought would go to her daughter Chloe was instead entrusted to Tara’s clever mother. She must have been aiming for that from the start.
“I was too naive… Well, I will pay that back now. I will pay you back and return the humiliation I suffered.”
Victoria had been biting her index fingernail for a while.
For a moment, she was so surprised she stopped.
The habit of biting her nails, which she had broken 28 years ago, had returned.
In that moment, she remembered how she had changed the habit. As if spark had been lit, the memories reignited her mind.
"Yes. There is that!"
Victoria jumped up and paced back and forth in her room.
"Yes. That way!"
The way she buried her half-sister from the Philippe
family and forced Lloyd Elias to marry her instead.
Victoria was determined to get rid of Tara Elias using the same method she used 28 years ago.
As she bit the tip of her tattered index fingernail one last time, a sharp pain and vivid drops of blood formed.
Victoria looked at her nail and smiled softly.
“I will show her the price for daring to challenge me. I will show her clearly."
Victoria’s eyes, gleaming as if engulfed by madness, were bigger and clearer than ever.
Startled by the sound of a voice right next to her, she turned to see Theodore Stuart.
"Yes. It’s me. It’s nice to meet each other like this, isn’t it?"
He smiled pleasantly and casually took the stack of files from my hands.
"Ah yes. Although the Palace is large, it is also quite small.”
“Yes? Uh… Um!”
He made that boring comment, and as if it was natural, strode forward with my files in hand.
Startled, I reacted too late and followed a step behind him.
“Shall I go to the Second Imperial palace?”
"How did you know?"
“There was an announcement about your appointment posted in the Administrative Office. I’m surprised. I can’t believe you have already been promoted. Besides, it's the Second Palace, which is famous for not hiring people. My gosh…”
“Sir. Please give that...”
But he didn't even listen to me.
“Of course, I received an offer as well. I'm very talented, so I'm getting offers from many places. Hahaha. My Lady entered the 2nd Palace. It's quite surprising. Hahaha."
What about this was funny? Besides, he was so full of himself!
"Ah... Yes. Yes. That's right. I appreciate the favour, but please give it back here. I'll take it."
I tried to take it back, but Theodore quickly raised his arms high above his head.
“I have the dignity of an Imperial nobleman. I can't let a weak young noble lady carry this."
What did he say? This nosy...
"What does the dignity of the aristocracy have to do with this? How am I weak? Give it back to me!"
I reached out as high as I could to grab the files. But my arms were too short. He grinned down at me and leaned his body back.
"Oh my god. How do you see the Stuarts! I cannot ignore the suffering of a young noble lady who is connected with my family.”
“What do you mean suffering? And this my job. Isn't this supposed to be a relationship where we help each other out? I don't want this manner of kindness because it is entangled with our undesirable obligations."
I leaned on my toes, but my arms couldn’t even touch his wrists.
He was just as tall as the Second Prince. I stretched out my arms and fingers as far as I could, but still couldn't reach it.
No, why were these men all so damn tall?
“Don’t lose your temper. This kind of favour is nothing to me."
Theodore leapt backwards and grinned, seemingly intoxicated with the act of helping me.
"Hey! Excuse me?" She said, her jaw clenched. He looked back at her brightly.
“Don’t be shy. Come get it, My Lady."
I propped both hands on my waist, out of patience.