Chapter 36: Summer party 3
“Countess Parelto, may I ask you for a dance?”
Serion made his way through the crowd and approached Countess Patricia of Parelto.
Patricia smiled and took Serion’s hand.
He had met Patricia at an evening party he had attended shortly before.
At the party, which was attended by many merchants from other countries, he was approached by the head of the Parelto family, a ducal family that specialized in diplomacy.
Patricia, the Duke’s granddaughter, was also present and was introduced to him as a fellow student at the Academy and asked to dance.
Serion, who was going to be a Duke but has no fiancée, keeps receiving offers of engagement.
The most promising among them is the Parelto family.
They are of equal rank. Granquiece for internal affairs and Parelto for external affairs. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. They have the power to control even the royal families.
Survive, Faritina said.
Survive, even if it means becoming a puppet. The day will come when you can smile, and Serion’s talent will return.
Faritina is right.
Serion agreed ruefully.
Granquiece was a deception.
When the eldest daughter of a great faction was held on insufficient suspicion, no family wanted to come to her aid.
The deputy duke’s mother only hesitated, she did not consult any of the faction families, she did not pressure the Ministry of Justice or the royal court, and she did not seem to take any action anywhere.
She was only sympathetic to Serion’s claim that it was a false accusation and made no serious effort to find a way to save Faritina.
Serion, for his part, held back.
As Faritina said, Serion was still a student and had no authority.
Even if his mother is willing to abdicate and relies on Serion, a 15-year-old student has no connections.
All that was available was Serion’s reputation as a genius.
“It’s a beautiful night, Master Serion.”
Patricia, the Countess of Parelto, was a confident girl.
‘She was like Faritina,’ Serion thought.
Faritina also made such a confident face when she went to the soirée. She looked proud, her face half covered with a fan, and her eyes alone seemed to say something.
“Yes, Countess Parelto. This is your first time at an Academy summer party, isn’t it? Are you enjoying it?”
“Of course I’m enjoying it. I’m happy to be here, with all the friends I’ve made since I’ve been at the Academy. A lot of us don’t go to the same social events that often.”
‘Well, that’s probably true,’ Serion thinks.
Patricia’s father is heir to a dukedom, though he’s an earl now. He will be treated like a duke,
When the dukes are present at the banquet, there will be more than just the earls. Only the best and most successful noble families will be invited.
The Academy makes it clear that it does not matter what family you come from as long as you are a noble.
The reason for this is that the goal of the school is to compete based on merit and regardless of status.
Only in this academy can the lowest baronet be equal to the nobility.
“I’ve heard that this year, thanks to Master Serion’s fame, many former students are attending.”
Patricia laughs expertly as she dances, “Ho ho ho.”
“No. It’s the prince. His Royal Highness Gideon is in charge of the executive committee this year.”
“You say that, but I am sure of the people’s movements… Master Serion was surrounded by so many that it was difficult to get through to him. I’m glad you called me. I would not have dared to speak to you if you had been so surrounded, though you promised me you would.”
The resemblance is striking.
Serion suppresses a laugh.
It’s like Faritina’s conversation in a ballroom. She is polite and taciturn, but has the power to get her way with others.
She is also a respectable Duchess in her own right.
I wonder what true face is hidden behind the mask of this haughty-looking lady.
Faritina is a woman with an air of innocence, but in reality she has the strength to face reality. She seems self-centered, but in reality she is loving and ready to sacrifice herself.
She is not a hard worker. Rather, she is lazy and careless. Serion finds this zeal endearing.
What kind of woman is Patricia Parelto, one of the four Duchesses of this land?
Serion smiled gently.
“If you were to call my name, I would come to you at once.
Patricia’s cheeks flushed.
He sensed a reaction to her first answer.
It was the Duke of Parelto who addressed him, for he realized there was nothing he could do to spread the ugly news about the Dukes of Granquiece.
By marrying Patricia to Serion, who has no backing, he can take control of Granquiece.
Although he was thought to be a genius, he was only 15 years old.
The Duke of Parelto is the head of the faction that includes Viscount Gavle, an accomplice to the injustice of Granquiece.
He knows the relationship between his mother and Viscount Gavle, although he cannot confirm that Gemini is even known to him.
He has given no hints, but he has praised Serion and said rather directly that it would be to his advantage to join Parelto.
Wherever the Duke of Parelto’s ambition led, it was easy to foresee that he would perish, as Faritina had feared he would if he refused to betroth Patricia.
As they passed each other, the distance between the two couples narrowed, and Serion suddenly put his hand on Patricia’s back and turned her around.
They met at a very short distance, and when they looked at each other, it was the second prince and Baroness Rejon.
The prince bowed to her, as was customary at the dance, and Serion returned the bow.
“…Master Serion’s sister…”
Patricia opened her mouth as she looked after the couple, the second prince and the baroness.
“I heard that she didn’t participate last year.”
“Yes,” Serion replied shortly.
“I haven’t seen her since last year either… How is the Lady, Master Serion?”
“Well. I haven’t seen her much lately.”
Patricia didn’t need to ask. How could she not know?
Patricia lowered her eyebrows and gave him a sympathetic look.
“I understand. I can’t wait to see her healthy.”
“…Are you sorry for my sister?”
Patricia looked up at Serion’s words.
“I understand the difficulty of her situation.”
Hmm… Serion was impressed.
She could probably imagine the truth about Faritina, who had a bad reputation.
If Faritina was not the second prince’s fiancée, then Patricia would certainly be next in line.
Almost all the leading nobles had daughters slightly older than the prince. Therefore, there were few great nobles right enough to take on Gideon.
If Patricia had been the fiancée of the second prince instead of Faritina, Patricia would have been affected by the rumors about the love affair between the prince and Amanda Rejon.
She was intelligent enough to put herself in Faritina’s position.
“I understand,” Serion said.
She is like Faritina. A well-bred Duchess.
“I sympathize with her, Master Serion. If there is anything we can do, you can count on Parelto. My grandfather and my father are very fond of you.”
Patricia’s cheeks were taut with tension. That must be her goal today.
Serion pulled his eyebrows down to look a little weaker.
“…You know everything, don’t you?”
Patricia’s hand squeezed Serion’s hand as they touched.
It’s an open secret that Faritina is in custody.
There is no one in the academy who doesn’t know, and word has already spread in social circles.
The quarrel between the second prince and the baroness he is in love with, which is the reason, is also common knowledge.
However, it is not common knowledge that Serion does nothing.
A month has already passed since Faritina’s imprisonment, but he has not yet been able to see her.
Serion’s requests to see her have been ignored, and the acting duke has not protested.
The acting duke does not protest because she fears that a protest would expose Faritina’s transgressions.
She says that the reason she cannot get a visit or release is because she has actually committed a crime.
Serion believes in Faritina’s innocence, but her mother does not. And now it is the mother who has the right to appear before the royal council and get an audience with His Majesty the King.
All Serion can do now is to rid the Duke’s estate of its desolation and clear the dust so that he will not be trapped when he ascends the Duke’s throne.
This is the only way to save Faritina.
“Thank you, Lady Patricia. This gives me some hope. I am a little boy who has not yet seen the rough seas of reality. But it is encouraging to hear someone as wise and beautiful as you say that.”
The music has stopped.
The first waltz is over.
“I would love to visit you in your home soon. I will also take you up on your father’s latest offer.”
Then Serion reverently kissed Patricia’s fingertips.
I will accept the engagement.
If Parelto is after the granquiecer’s fortune and Serion’s talents, Serion wishes Faritina and her siblings well.
To that end, I will swallow some poison.
Since I am called Serion, the genius, I will take full advantage of the connections I have made in Parelto.
That’s what a political marriage is all about.
Serion smiled beautifully.