The people’s interest gathered at the banquet hall has gone beyond the fact that ‘there are many jewels in that fountain’ and to the question of ‘what jewels will be in my glass if I toast to that fountain?’ Who gets the biggest and most precious jewels? Some people are drinking wine already and empty their cups in advance even though they haven’t even made a toast yet.
“This, the Duke of Jaxen, has prepared a great spectacle.”
Those completely distracted by Edmond’s wine fountain quickly stepped aside and greeted the Emperor and Empress.
The Emperor approached Edmond, who made his wife’s debut stage for the Crown Prince’s coronation, with a warm smile.
“Can I get a cup of luggage?”
“Of course, Your Majesty.”
Edmond greeted the emperor politely and whispered to Ezet.
“Milady, bring a glass to the second petal from the right on the third tier.”
Is it okay for his wife, Ezet, to hand over the cup to the Emperor himself? There was no judgment, but there was no justification for refusing anyway.
Ezet received the Emperor’s golden cup and placed it on a rose-shaped ornament on the third floor of the Crystal Fountain.
As the clear sound rang, petals opened completely as if flowers were blooming, and a large jewel fell into the glass.
It fell with wine, so it was hard to tell the color, but it was a transparent and large gem.
“Drink, Your Majesty.”
“Thank you for making this occasion shine, Duchess Jaxen.”
When Ezet handed the Emperor a glass, he thanked her with a gracious face and took the cup to the podium.
Edmond filled the Empress’ glass with wine.
After receiving grape juice, Prince Philip couldn’t take his eyes off the wine fountain but crept up the stairs after reading the Empress’ eyes.
“Come on, everyone else, have a glass.”
When Edmond’s permission was granted, people gathered around the fountain in twos and threes.
The dignity of the aristocracy did not mean to cut in line, but a tense fighting spirit was felt.
Countess Devon’s group, who had insulted Ezet, kept their eyes on her with fans covering their mouths.
No, it was more of a stare.
They did not move in their seats until the nobles, who brought their glasses to the fountain, returned to their seats one by one with wine-filled jewels.
‘Countess Devon, what do we do?’
‘I never thought the Duke of Jaxen would appear like this…’
‘What if he heard what we were talking about? Countess Devon, try to talking to her somehow.’
‘Right, His Majesty is here, and what if he finds out what we’ve done here?’
Countess Devon nonchalantly fanned and relaxed as the ladies, embarrassed by Edmond’s spectacular appearance, whispered.
“I don’t know what you ladies are talking about.”
“Were we just bringing the companionless Duchess Jaxen to the banquet hall and talking to her? You sound as if we’ve been harassing the Duchess of Jaxen.”
The ladies, anxious by Countess Devon’s words shamelessly added words, straightened up.
They only talked about rumors of the Jaxen, not directly disparaging the Duke and his wife.
All the crucial words were meaningfully hidden, conveying nuances in tone and eyes.
Countess Devon thought there was no need to bend over or read the room because simply what they said could not have been blamed.
‘The Duke of Jaxen is a commoner from a small family anyway.
I’ll let him know that there are things that can’t be done just by status.’
Countess Devon approached Ezet with elegant steps.
Then asked her with a bewitching smile in her eyes.
“The Duchess of Jaxen.
Can I have a glass of wine?”
It was a head-to-head match.
The family of Count Devon, a founding family, was a sizeable aristocratic family that exerts a very powerful influence in the west, although not comparable to the Duke of Jaxen.
There was nothing good about turning it into an enemy.
Of course, Edmond, who is not afraid of the Emperor, could have trampled entirely on the Count of Devon’s family at every word of Ezet, but if so, the reputation of the two would have fallen flat.
‘This lady is not a person who will use such reckless means for pride.’
Indeed, Countess Devon did not openly harm Ezet, so refusing to accept her request or showing a feisty attitude here will lead to Ezet’s reputation declining.
It was a dignified attitude that could have been seen in the belief that ‘The Duchess of Jaxen, who looks weak, would not be able to show such a reckless attitude.’
Ezet agonized for a moment over Countess Devon.
To refuse the hand was a bad move for both Ezet and Edmond.
However, it hurt her pride to hand over wine.
‘You ignored me so much in front of people earlier……!’
When she couldn’t resist because she had no power, she smiled and trampled on her, and as soon as her husband appeared, Countess Devon showed a shameful attitude pretending she never did that.
‘I know how to be angry.
If she had known this would happen, she thinks she should have read practical books such as 「These 50 ways, you can feed your opponent big shit Fifty」, not mystery novels.
“Did you say you were Countess Devon?”
“Thank you for congratulating me on my social debut.”
Edmond clearly said that the wine fountain was ‘laid out in gratitude to those gathered at the place where his wife was making her socialite debut.’
Receiving the jeweled wine, then, meant that she agreed to make this place the prince’s crowning celebration, the socialite debut of the Duke of Jaxen.
“This fountain is for everyone here today, so you can help yourself.
But I’ve already filled the Emperor’s cup, so if I filled the cup of Countess Devon myself, it would do him a great disservice.”
The emperor was the only one who she filled the cup for herself, and all the other nobles received wine from the fountain themselves.
But what if Ezet fills Countess Devon’s glass here? Doesn’t that mean she’s on par with the Emperor?
Countess Devon’s elegant eyebrows wriggled when she calmly treated Count Devon as a traitorous family who tried to match the emperor.
“No, I don’t…”
Ezet called out a maid who was in the corner to keep out of the conversation of the nobles.
“The Countess of Devon cannot fill the glass herself, so prepare the wine for her.”
“Y, yes… I will, Duchess Jaxen.”
The maid greeted politely and lifted the wine glass to fill the fountain.
The maid, who saw jewels in the glass and filled with dark red wine, blushed at the mysterious sight she had witnessed for the first time in her life.
And Countess Devon, who a maid handed a glass of wine, blushed with shame and anger.
‘You make me receive a glass of wine from a maid?’
She held the fan under her eyes to cover her face, but her flushed face and open eyes could not be hidden.
Initially, it was the work of servants to carry meals and fill glasses.
It wouldn’t matter if this were a typical toast.
But other nobles have already taken wine directly from the fountain.
That’s because the Duke of Jaxen described this wine as a ‘gift.’ Those who were thrilled with the heart and favor filled the empty cups and shared the gift.
Perhaps Countess Devon was embarrassed to approach and fill the wine glass without hesitation, so she tried to fill it with Ezet’s permission.
However, Ezet caught her ‘want a drink’ and hung over the image of ‘The Countess of Devon asking for wine from the Duchess of Jaxen.’
It was insulting to ask for gifts from others.
‘Surely… it’s not a good idea to ask Duchess Jaxen for it.’
‘Yes, it’s not just wine; it’s a gift.
If she received it like that, what will happen to us who took it directly?’
‘Or does she want to be treated like Her Majesty by the Duchess of Jaxen?’
As the surrounding murmuring turned to the Countess of Devon, the face of the four ladies, who was watching her gaze behind her, turned earthy.
Edmond taught Ezet.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, then you can link her deeds and rumors and return them equally to those who want to undermine their opponents in a dirty way.
Ezet loathed the way she held her tongue, but it was refreshing to return the insult to the person who insulted her.
‘Do I have to do nasty things to make me feel better?’
Feeling a subtle guilty conscience, Ezet picked up her glass and approached Edmond.
The banquet has begun.
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