RotFK Ch. 74 Madonna At The Ball (2)
“Congratulations! Lady Elena from House Blaise is the star of tonight!”
Applause burst forth from the crowd.
Her jaw dropped open without her even realizing it.
Even at a glance, there were far more roses before Elena than Yulia and Helen who were standing next to her. The expression of the people who applauded also varied. Some looked jealous, others looked bored, while others were took joy in celebrating such events. But the first thing Elena saw was Mirabelle’s expression of pure happiness. Mirabelle yelled out loud, holding out both thumbs in front of her.
“My sister is the best!”
Elena was so happy to hear her sister’s words and mouthed a “thank you.”
Just as Redfield had said, he approached her while holding the tiara. She did not know his reasons for it, but she wordlessly accepted the crown on her head.
“In my eyes too, Lady Blaise looks the most beautiful tonight.”
The words he whispered caused her eyes to widen. If it was her innocent younger sister saying this, she would think nothing of it. But he was Redfield, the second son of the Emperor. It was rather dubious of him to say this, unless he had an interest in her? But there was one thing that she could not understand here.
‘Why on earth?’
There was no reason for him to be interested in her. Elena wore the tiara as she looked at Redfield with a complicated expression. He raised the corners of his mouth and whispered in her ear.
“Dance with me next time. I’m better than my brother.”
A sudden thought came to her. The reason why Redfield would pay attention to her…
‘Is it because of Caril? ’
Although they hadn’t announced their marriage yet, the pair had been wandering all over the ballroom advertising their relationship. Was that the cause for his interest in her? Elena’s scarlet eyes shone in suspicion.
“I’ll send you an invitation to my party next time.”
He gave her a secret wink then strode down the platform, leaving her frozen solid. She couldn’t make understanding of it and simply stared at his retreating back. Helen, who had lost the title of Madonna, also descended from the platform, but not before leaving her a warning.
“Lady Blaise, laugh while you still can.”
They never had anything good to say to each other, but there was an ominous air to her tone. A frown formed on Elena’s brow, while Yulia looked at her with strangely shining eyes.
At last only the host and Elena were left on the platform. She was distracted by the suddenness of events, but she returned her gaze towards Carlisle at the far side of the room. His expression was fierce. She guessed it was because of Redfield, but she didn’t come into this position willingly.
‘…I couldn’t help it.’
Elena stood on the platform, complaining with her eyes. The host next to her spoke in a bright voice.
“Well, how about a few words on what you’re feeling?”
She was flustered for a moment before she composed herself.
“It’s an honor to be chosen as Madonna. I hope you will all continue to enjoy yourselves tonight.”
It was impeccable, but very short. In other cases the young ladies would normally be emotional and thrilled to tears, but Elena found herself quite embarrassed.
“Oh, yes. So that’s the end of the event. Everyone, please enjoy the rest of the ball just as Lady Blaise says.”
The Madonna ceremony ended successfully. Elena tiredly returned to her seat next to Mirabelle.
“Wow! Sister! I loved it.”
Elena smiled at Mirabelle’s joyous innocence. Her happiness was her only consolation.
“Thank you. It’s all because of you.”
“When we return home, I’ll tailor all the dresses to suit you.”
Mirabelle, in all her grand ambition, was still so cute.
The ball came to an end and soon the nobles began to leave the ballroom. They all went out like the tide, and Elena, Mirabelle, and Margaret waited together at the train of carriages. Elena spotted a carriage with the crest of Lawrence approaching first.
“Please watch your step when you go inside, Lady Lawrence.”
At Elena’s farewell, Margaret hesitated then spoke as if she made up her mind about something.
“I think you should beware of Lady Selby.”
Elena stared at her. Margaret’s remarks had good reason but were somewhat unexpected. She continued, her voice trembling slightly.
“I-I’ve been feeling for a while that Lady Selby is very jealous of you.”
Mirabelle nodded in understanding.
“Yes. I feel that every time she looks at my sister.”
While it was true that the atmosphere between them at the tea party was not good, Elena’s memories about Helen were vague now.
“Is that so?”
“You’ve quarreled with Lady Selby at every single party you went to, and now you’ve forgotten all about it?”
Elena didn’t answer back. There was no such memory for her. However it was true that Mirabelle seemed reluctant about Helen from the start, and that the two did not get along well. Margaret spoke carefully to the troubled Elena.
“Lady Selby may feel that…that the position of Madonna was taken away by you. I think you should be careful for a while, as she is not the type to lay still after this.”
Margaret glanced at their surroundings as she spoke, in case anyone was listening. That was how terrified of Helen she was. The innocent Margaret had been punished for making the wrong friend.
“Thank you for your advice. I will be more careful in the future. “
“Yes. Then I’ll take my leave first. I’ll see you both soon. Oh, and congratulations again on being chosen as Madonna.”
Margaret curtsied then boarded her carriage. She waved her hand out the window as she was carried away, and Elena and Mirabelle waved back. The carriage disappeared from view, then Mirabelle spoke with a grave expression.
“Lady Lawrence is right. Lady Selby has always been jealous of you, so you should avoid her as much as possible.”
She remembered that ominous feeling she felt in the ballroom tonight. A familiar carriage was now approaching the two.
“Mirabelle, let’s head back now.”
“Yes, I’m tired. Let’s go home and get some rest.”
“Do you feel sick? If you’re not feeling well, tell me right away.”
“I understand, Madonna.”
Elena chuckled at Mirabelle’s mischievous little mouth. As Elena held the tiara in her hand, she suddenly remembered the strange way Helen had said, “Laugh while you still can.” Elena shook the thought off her mind. Worrying about things that didn’t happen yet wouldn’t solve them.