the second night of the full moon.”
It was like a code word.
Cherryl narrowed her brows and pondered the meaning, and her eyes had widened at the thought that soon followed.
“Wait, if it’s the second night of the full moon—”
It’s today, right?
As soon as she realize that, someone knocked on the bathroom door.
Surprised, Cherryl and Lucy shrugged their shoulders and kept quiet.
The tightly closed door suddenly burst open.
Lucy stood up, screaming, and immediately covered Cherryl’s body.
She was already there in the bath after all.
What kind of senseless person would invade the Marquis’ daughter’s bath?
“What’s taking her so long to bathe?” A middle-aged woman with tied-up dark brown hair entered the bathroom loudly.
Through the open door, the rest of the maids blushed with embarrassment.
The woman, who dissuaded her and ignored the others, was Natasha.
She remarried Marquis Milose a few years ago.
“I’ve got a lot of work today, and someone here is relaxing and enjoying her bath,” Natasha complained.
“I’m doing this because I don’t have things to do.” Cherryl rubbed her temples as if that would get rid of the noise.
Angry at the bold reply, Natasha screamed.
“Who the hell are you talking back to?”
“Can you keep your voice down? You get excited about trivial things. It’s not like you are an aristocrat.”
“What did you say?”
“The same goes for breaking into the bathroom while someone is using it.”
Natasha, the second daughter of a minor baronet, had a massive inferiority complex in her status because her ex-husband was a mere commoner with money.
Whenever Cherryl talked about the noblewoman’s behavior and pointed out her insecurities, Natasha became speechless from her outrage.
As Cherryl’s stepmother glared, she stood up from the bathtub proudly without caring whether or not her wet naked body was revealed.
Her sheer white, smooth skin glistened subtly from the drops of water dripping down her curves.
Cherryl’s bright silver-blonde hair was wet and silky that people around her had admired its impeccable curly mass.
Her blue eyes flashed towards Natasha, exposing her pure, elegant figure.
“Oh, by the way—-“
At a loss for words, Natasha cast a disapproving glance into the air.
Lucy quickly put a gown around Cherryl’s body in silence.
“—you should have prepared yourself from the embarrassment before you kicked the door in.” Cherryl snorted and straightened her dress out.
Her imposing attitude seemed to offend Natasha.
Natasha took something out of her arms and she tried to hand it to Cherryl but threw it into the sink, instead.
The crackle of gold resounded sharply in the bathroom.
Colorful jewels—necklaces, earrings and rings of various kinds– filled the sink.
“Is it a gift? It would be more useful to your mother than me.””
Cherryl cast an uninspiring glance at them.
It was Natasha, not her, who liked to dress herself up with luxurious jewelry.
“Your father gave it to you, so keep it safe and wear it for dinner tonight.”
“I didn’t hear I had a dinner date.”
“I’m telling you now.
And you!” Natasha pointed to Lucy with her red-painted fingertips.
“We have an important guest, so take responsibility and dress her up.”
“The custom-made gown from the Capital has arrived, so make sure it’s not wrinkled and put it on her.
Do you understand?”
“Yes, My Lady.”
The stepmother folded her arms and scanned Cherryl up and down.
“It would be nice to have my hair braided in several strands and wear local flower hairpins to make the guests feel the atmosphere of the central region.”
Cherryl frowned at her tone, treating her like an item for sale that needed to be wrapped exquisitely.
“I’m sure you’ll like the dress, too.
I’ve mended it to fit your body on purpose, so he couldn’t help but like it.
Men are animals who covet things they don’t own.”
“Who are you talking about?”
Natasha gave her a meaningful look as Cherryl expressed her displeasure.
“Who do you mean who? I meant your guest today.”
She walked away with a smile of satisfaction.
“I’ll see you at the dinner.”
As the sound of heels went away, the bathroom door slammed shut.
Cherryl was sick and tired of that woman’s disrespect towards her.
She didn’t want to waste her feelings on daily arguments so she did her best to ignore such disrespect.
However, Natasha’s suspicious words got stuck to her head.
“My Lady.” Lucy’s worried voice clouded her ears as Cherryl stared down at the relics her father had delivered.
She had never received a gift from him for twenty of her birthdays but she was suddenly told to wear this precious jewelry tonight.
His father had smiled for the first time when the bandits secretly visited the mansion.
It was a puzzle that she didn’t want to solve and put together.
Only then did Cherryl realize that the time she had spent flowing like water has been twisted, and things have begun to change her life.
That night when the afternoon sun had finally set, large-bodied men rode heavy black horses entered the mansion of Marquis Milose at a rapid pace.
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