Chapter 21 – Killing Two Birds with One Stone
“What do you mean?”
Tiana was able to present her suggestion as effortlessly as the panel gave their full attention; unexpected to say the least. It was a proposal that would deem to satisfy both Edwin Celeste and Marquis Calvino.
Edwin, who had been listening attentively, proceeded to nod his head and spoke. “Yes… your suggestion will put me at ease.”
“But I’m not so sure Marquis Calvino will accept it so doubtlessly, he is a rather stubborn man. Your confidence is all the same— as I thought it would be.”
“Then I shall meet with him myself. I’m sure it’d be harder to refuse in my presence, all while asking for his understanding, as opposed to you relaying it for me.”
“Very well. Let us proceed as such, and I will go with you. If we tell him that this is the most responsible alternative offered by the head of a family, I’m sure it’ll be quite difficult to refuse.” He declared. “More than anything even, the reasons for value, and how you managed to portray things are exceptional.” Edwin continued, frowning at the memory of Marquis at the same time. This reaction made her laugh in return, as it spoke volumes of what kind of person Marquis Calvino ought to be.
“He must be meticulous.”
“Not only that. He is from a long-established household; as powerful as its age. I’m sure he carries himself well like royalty. But still, I wouldn’t address him as a good man.”
“I see.” Simply put, he was an authoritative blue-blood. This was a common trait and there had always been individuals with characteristics like him existing throughout. It was particularly easy to speculate who Marquis Calvino was. These people were best-faced and head-on; fast in their calculations. He’d certainly know the proposal would be of great benefit.
“Since he came to visit us first, maybe it’s just as appropriate to return the favor and visit him ourselves this time.” Tiana encouraged.
“I agree. It should’ve been us visiting him the first instance. But to be fair, I never guessed he’d come unannounced anyway.”
“Father, you were busy at the time so it’s understandable. But I’m sure the word would spread like wildfire.” She smiled lightly, and it was contagious enough to have the same effect on him as well. Tiana finished her milk tea, sensing that the conversation was finally coming to an end. Talking for too long in one go had made her ready to settle.
As she placed down her teacup, looking longingly at the handle, Edwin rang the bell situated on the table. Alerted by the clear, alarming sound, Alfred, who had been outside, entered shortly in an instant.
“Yes, your highness?” He remarked.
“Will you please bring us more tea? And accompany some papers along with, I need to send an important letter.”
“Certainly, your highness.”
Alfred returned very soon after, accompanied by a housemaid who looked to be carrying freshly-steeped tea. He carefully placed a tray of stationeries and writing materials on the table, and stepped back. The paper possessed an elegant feel; aromatic and ornamented with blue flowers. The Duke dipped the nip of the pen and started to write his calligraphy with usual flourish.
“I will send a letter to Marquis Calvino.”
“Do you think it’s right to visit them?”
“What do you mean?” He paused at the unexpected question with a confused look, swiftly placing the pen down before its ink starts to drip, spoiling the clean slate.
“It is definite to visit the Calvinos and suggest my proposal. I’m sure the Grand Duke will be present as well?”
“Indeed.” Came the keen retort.
“Then should the meeting location be at the Grand Duke’s instead?” She pointed out, although unsure.
This insinuation was influenced by a small, greedy part of her, but it wasn’t entirely nonsensical.
Lucius was of a higher rank compared to the Calvinos. Even if it was them who exhorted the marriage, the Grand Duke’s opinion was well prioritized still.
And to be frank, Tiana wanted to see Lucius again. She considered it a good opportunity to look in on the Grand Duke’s family who’d soon be her in-laws; familiarizing herself with their faces, while earning some good impressions at the same time.
For a second, she thought her covetous intentions were too obvious; spewing from her mouth like a self-serve. Although there was no way they’d be able to know. If one took a minute to think, the choice was sensibly logical, and it caused Edwin a while to ponder on it before eventually nodding his head.
“Well, that is true. If the Grand Duke is present, then it is only fitting to meet at his place. Despite it being under Marquis Calvino’s hand, the final decision ultimately lies with his highness.”
“Exactly. And since I may end up staying there someday, I believe it’d be a good opportunity to visit the place beforehand and socialize with them.”
This was how you killed two birds with one stone. It was an absolute catch; showing herself off at the Grand Duke’s for a change of image, and it’s especially beneficial to the housemaids who served importance in these places too. Hopefully, they weren’t as familiar with the previous Tiana— or more so, dislike her for treating Lucius quite harshly.