BBYW Vol. 3 Chapter 5 (WN)
Chapter 5 – Here Comes the Villainess
【POV: Duke Rosais】
“Oh heavens, dear count! You and your jokes”
“Hahaha, oh no…these lips speak nothing but the truth!”
“Hoho, our count Louz is here on a mission!”
A group of youths was sitting at a round table, enjoying tea and biscuits.
All the men present belonged to powerful noble families of the central province, either as the current head or heirs. In other words, the generation that would one day lead the future of the Lamperouge Kingdom: though right now they surrounded a single woman, lauding and singing her praises.
“…what are you people doing?”
My tone ended up more brusque than I had planned.
Even without a mirror, I was sure my stare at that moment had to be chilling.
The scene before me was simply that unbearable.
“Oh? Whatever is the matter, dear father?”
The woman surrounded by nobles was Marianne Rosais — my own daughter.
She used to be a role model for noble daughters everywhere, my pride and joy, but she had undergone a drastic change in recent times and started surrounding herself with fawning men.
“Oh dear, where are my manners?”
A well-dressed man, whose dazzling suit stood out even among the other nobles, bowed and greeted me with impeccable form.
“It has been too long, dear Duke! Truly, I am blessed to meet Your Excellency on such a fine day, I…”
“No need for greetings. Instead, may I ask you what you are doing here? Count Louz?”
The man who approached me was Count Louz: among the men in my daughter’s entourage, he had the highest title.
This man, who had inherited his title at the young age of 20, was from a noble family of the central province, just like us — but belonged to our enemy faction.
What sort of absurd circumstance had led him to visit my residence, and flirt with my daughter to boot?
“That is quite a curious question indeed. Do I perhaps need a reason to visit a dear friend?”
“A married man indeed needs a reason to visit another woman, yes. I am afraid Lady Louz would not appreciate seeing you here.”
The hostility in my words was palpable, but Count Louz did not seem to mind; he instead flipped his hair, in an irritatingly snobbish manner.
“We were discussing the future of this kingdom, Your Excellency. Our soon-to-come age.”
“Your age? What on earth are you talking about?”
“Hahaha, oh my! Our esteemed chancellor cares about the fantasies and dreams of children like us? Now that is a peculiar pastime!”
The count’s overly polite speech sounded nothing but taunts to me: I felt the veins on my forehead bulge up.
What I could tell from his words, however, is that he did not have the slightest intention to switch sides to my faction.
The man’s words and attitude clearly showed that he saw me as a political enemy.
Even if we belonged to opposing factions, I was still His Majesty the King’s representative, the kingdom’s chancellor.
If I wished to, eliminating a nuisance like that young man was easy work.
“Dear father, please, that is enough.”
I was going to threaten Count Louz to put him back in his place, when my daughter calmly placated my rising temper.
“They are all friends I personally invited. Any disrespect will bring shame to the host, don’t you agree?”
“Marianne…what are you thinking…?”
Marianne dodged my question, instead covering her mouth with her fan.
Her real intentions were hidden behind a coquettish gaze not even I, her father, could see through.
“I’m afraid the mood is gone…shall we continue another day, gentlemen?”
“Oh, how unfortunate. I am very much looking forward to next time, o flower of Lamperouge.”
Count Louz made a show of kissing my daughter’s hand, then shot me an insufferable glance as he left the room.
“W-Well, we should be on our way too!”
“With your permission, Your Excellency!”
“Until next time, Lady Marianne!!”
The rest of the entourage quickly followed the count out of the room.
Among them awkwardly fleeing young men, I recognized the son of the captain of the knights and the son of a cardinal. The younger brother of one of the capital’s most powerful merchants, and various other leading figures.
As all the men left, only my daughter and I were left in the room.
“What is the meaning of this, Marianne!? What exactly are you plotting!?”
“Oh, dear father, why in the world are you so angry?”
“What did you say!? Have you fallen so much that I have to explain something like that!?”
Marianne replied with a bewitching smile. She crossed her legs, as the daring cut of her dress exposed her bare skin. Her tongue caressed her lips, in a gesture that badly matched a maiden just 18 years old.
“Fallen? I take offense to that, father. You should say I have grown, advanced…maybe even ascended to greater heights.”
“Grown? You? How is any of this…!!”
Marianne had always been dignified, graceful, virtuous, a daughter to be proud of.
Certainly not someone who would befriend a married man.
“Dear father, I am simply doing my part to protect this country.”
“Protect? What are you saying…?”
“Soon enough, you will see, father. You will see that I was right.”
Marianne did not say anything else: she snapped her fan shut, ending the conversation. She stood up from her chair and left the room, her heels punctuating her exit.
“Marianne…what happened to you…?”
I looked at my daughter’s back, dumbfounded, as anger and hopelessness grew in my heart.