Outside the door, after closing it quietly, Pon pulled at his collar to loosen it a bit. It was expected that the Lady of the House would be furious, but he couldn’t have gone around gossiping about his noble guests. It would have been against his principles as a butler. Besides, defamation of the royal guests was considered treason. He could only do what he was told and not dabble in matters that didn’t concern him.
Amethyst was new to the mansion. Perhaps he should have helped her more. Pon felt sorry for the duchess. Soon though, he was summoned by Alexcent to his office. As always, Gen was by Alexcent’s side.
“My Lord,” he said as he knocked and entered the office.
Alexcent glared at him and Gen. “Explain how this happened,” he demanded.
Gen was the first to answer. “I had passed the responsibility to Madam, as officially, she is the one who is in charge of planning the festival. I believed it was right for her to make the full arrangement for the festival.”
Pon sighed at Gen’s answer. Gen was pointedly looking at him to continue. “Yes, My Lord,” he said, “I informed the Madam about the details.”
“And?” asked Alexcent.
“Madam instructed me to arrange everything to be exactly the same as the year before.”
“Exactly the same…,” he said.
“Yes,” said Pon.
“So, Ash just did that without any qualms?”
“Yes, but I am at fault as well for missing out on details. I apologize. I will ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
Alexcent didn’t seem to hear. She ordered everything to be like the previous year, he thought. Was she not aware of the rumors? Or, did she not care about them? Alexcent felt frustrated. Sometimes she drew these lines around her that he could not cross. He didn’t understand her. He was well aware of the rumors surrounding him and Count Glacia. He had ignored these rumors before because it had worked in his favor. That is, until he was married.
Either she was unaware of the rumors, but that seemed unlikely because everyone knew about it, including himself. Or, she was just not bothered with the scandalous rumor between him and Count Glacia. Is she really not bothered because it’s all just a contract marriage and nothing more?
As that thought crossed his mind, his calm demeanor crumbled. Count Glacia was rumored to be the mistress of the Duke of Skad before his marriage. He had never cared for the rumors because it had helped in keeping ladies at a distance and had stopped the flow of endless marriage proposals.
“That’s all, leave,” he said. It seemed this annual festival to make him feel worse than ever before.
“Madam, I am sorry. At least, I should have told you before…,” said Lunia, attempting to console Amethyst. Even after Pon had left, Amethyst was full of rage and frustration.
“Where is that document?” he thundered.
“Sorry?” asked Lunia, confused.
“The detailed personal report of all the collateral relatives. Bring it to me immediately!”
“Yes, of course.”
Soon, Lunia rummaged through the documents on the table and handed her the paper. Amethyst took it. “That’s all, you may leave,” she said.
Once Lunia, Roman and the other maid were dismissed, Amethyst sat on the sofa and opened the document folder. She couldn’t care less about any other relative, she just wanted to know about Count Glacia. Amethyst flipped the pages when she reached the part and her eyes widened. Count Glacia is dead?
Count Glacia, as it turned out, had died a year after his marriage. He has no heir, so his title was passed onto his wife. The vast age difference indicated that his wife had been sixteen when she married. Sixteen! That’s too young,she thought. Amethyst was even more appalled when she saw the next bit of information. The Count had married a commoner. Amethyst wondered if the poor soul had been sold to the Count for marriage. Amethyst read every detail about her. Her name had been Arwin. Countess Arwin.
Pon was right. If she had read the document, she would have a much clearer perspective and she would have asked how the Count died. She sighed. And here I thought I would have nothing to worry about. Even the slightest complacency could mean that she would be losing the bearing of the household, like sand slipping off from between her fingers. Everything would fall apart. She wondered what Count Glacia would be doing right about now. Begs the question if Alec and she are in that sort of relationship. No, I must not be bothered about that right now.