“It has to be true if Countess Viviana said that, right?”
“I’ve heard rumors from about Lady Selby recently. I heard she was jealous of Lady Blaise, so she made up the story…along with the maid.”
“Oh, I heard that too. So it is true, then?”
Even without exact evidence and witnesses, the words of an influential socialite could immediately turn the tide. It was outcome that Elena had been aiming for, made easier because of Margaret’s presence. Margaret seemed a little surprised herself. Elena gave her a look of gratitude, and she returned a pleasant smile.
However, this was only the beginning of what Elena prepared for Helen.
“Even at the royal ball, Lady Selby threatened me when she lost the crown of Madonna.”
“When did I…!”
Helen tried to deny it, but her face colored. This was not a lie either. She had said to her, “Lady Blaise, laugh while you still can.” But Elena would do as Helen done and take it further.
Elena continued with as docile as expression as possible.
“And once she said she was…she was going to destroy my face.”
“What are you talking about! When did I do that!”
Helen was spitting flames, but Elena wasn’t finished.
“Not long ago, I was attacked by some suspicious men. My face was almost scarred, but fortunately I was saved by some knights passing by.”
Everyone’s horrified gazes turned towards Helen. Almost like a madwoman, Helen whirled her head wildly around as she yelled.
“This is a sham! I never did that!”
“When I questioned the men, they confessed that they were sent by Lady Selby. We can bring the witnesses here if you want.”
This was the trap Elena set for Helen. In fact, the men Elena referred to were the ones that followed her in the alley. They were witnesses, and it was consistent with Helen’s schedule. Just as Helen investigated Elena’s movements and used it against her, Elena paid her back in kind.
“Lady Blaise, I’ve not known you much, but you’re very good at lying. Do you not have guilt for your words?”
Helen had no self-awareness of what she’d done, and Elena was disgusted to see her so upset. Helen was the kind of person who cared only for herself. Elena offered Helen her coldest glare.
“I’d like to return those words to you.”
Helen’s eyes widened in realization before turning ferocious. She realized that Elena had dug the same trap towards her. She muttered to herself,
“So we’re doing this now, are we?”
She fixed Elena with a dirty stare and spoke in a louder voice.
“No matter what Lady Blaise says, there’s one fact that doesn’t change! Every night she goes around to meet men!”
“A falsehood fabricated by Lady Selby because of her jealousy.”
“How could a falsehood have so many witnesses and evidence? And even if I am jealous of Lady Elena, that is an unrelated matter.”
The surrounding people were becoming more excited these developments. The fight between the daughters of a Marquis and a Count was thrilling to watch.
“That’s true. Just because Lady Selby did something wrong, it doesn’t mean that all the rumors about Lady Blaise are false.”
In the end, it didn’t matter to the nobles who did anything wrong. Their only interest was in the fevered economy of gossip. Elena eyes hardened at the unexpected turn of events.
‘Lady Selby only intends to keep biting away at me.’
She still had more to reveal about Helen, such as the torn dress. But more and more, Helen was squeezing her tighter in her grip.
Curses hovered on the tip of her tongue. Elena had overlooked a crucial point. She tried to destroy the rumors by destroying Helen’s credibility, but everyone acted more indifferent towards it than she planned. It literally was of no consequence for those who had done wrong. A little reflection on their parts would reveal to them that this was all a lie by Helen, but they were not interested.
‘What do I do? If everyone really does believes the rumors…’
It would inevitably cause problems with her contract marriage with Carlisle. As much as she tried to stop it, a cold sweat formed on her body. What she had done should have been enough to destroy Helen and restore her own image.
She desperately turned her head towards Stella for aid, but Stella shook her head as if it was a lost cause. Stella could lend her strength, but she could not make the rumors completely disappear. Even Sophie’s words were enough to give Helen credibility.
Helen gave a wicked smile as she saw Elena’s defeated expression.
It was then.
Someone entered the banquet hall with steady footsteps. One by one, everyone reacted with surprise at the unexpected visitor.
Feeling a shift in the atmosphere, Elena turned towards where everyone was looking.
“Hail his Royal Highness the Crown Prince! Eternal Glory to the Ruford Empire!”
All those who noticed Carlisle’s appearance raised their voices to greet him and then bowed, irrespective of their rank. For a moment, Elena felt like she was in a completely different world. Everything around her seemed to freeze in the air, while Carlisle was the only thing that moved. He was striding straight towards Elena.
His blue irises burned with that mysterious heat that she always saw in them. He stood in front of Elena and looked around.
“What are you doing here?”
Elena suddenly remembered that he wanted to meet her today, but she had refused him.
“Your Highness, I–”
Carlisle interrupted her with a calm voice.
“Didn’t I tell you to reveal the truth to the other nobles?”
At the same time, he took her slender hand.
“Why don’t you say you were my woman?”
Everyone’s expression turned to surprise at his gesture. But it was Elena who was most stunned. She blinked like a goldfish.
‘If things go wrong, my identity as Len could be compromised…what is he doing?‘
She didn’t think he would carelessly reveal her…
She could not tell what was on his mind.
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