Citrina’s pupils trembled slightly.
She was not accustomed to Citrina talking back, who was usually a quiet and respectful daughter.
The baroness looked at her with a puzzled look.
“… Huh? What are you talking about?”
Citrina was going to break ties with the baron family, so she wanted to make sure everything that needed to be said was said.
“Ah, I guess you are still sick.
You’re an adult, so you recovered from the illness really well.
I hope you will be able to work now.
Did you know? Elaina sent news that she will be on vacation for a while.
She is still so young.”
“..Elaina and I are only a year apart.”
“Citrina, from a parent’s perspective, the youngest is always a baby.”
The baroness smiled warmly as she thought of Elaina.
Compared to the baron, the baroness cared a little more for Citrina, but it still made Citrina angry to see how little they thought of her.
How had Citrina been buried in all of this absurdity? From an outsider’s perspective, the favoritism and discrimination was clear.
“Yes, I guess so.”
The toast had become room temperature and Citrina’s appetite had faded.
Citrina bit her lips.
There was nothing more to look forward to.
“Our kind eldest daughter, believe us.”
“Yes, I believe you.”
Citrina repeated back.
The baroness nodded in relief at Citrina’s response.
Citrina held back what she really wanted to say.
‘Watch carefully to see what happens when you force only one party to make all of the sacrifices and see how the relationship deteriorates.’
“That’s right, our daughter.”
Citrina stood up and ignored the baroness’s thoughtless reply.
She pulled on an old shawl that had been hanging on the back of the chair.
The covered her raggedy black silk dress that had holes in the sleeves.
When she was about to leave the dining room,
Citrina turned around with her patience hanging by a thread.
Still, she thought the baroness may want to say something nice to her daughter for the last time before she travels to the duke’s.
“You didn’t forget to send the money for Elaina’s academy tuition, right?”
But the baroness didn’t have any parting words.
Instead, she brought up Elaina.
Citrina bit her lips.
So basically, all she wanted out of Citrina was to work hard for the duke and bring in money.
“It Elaina succeeds, all of our hardship will be worth it.
Hang in there for now and work hard.”
The baroness put more pressure on Citrina after Citrina’s lukewarm response
Citrina bit her lips.
While the baron might threaten Citrina, the baroness trapped her with sweet words, calling Citrina the ‘good daughter’.
Until now, Citrina had blindly followed the baroness because she wanted to live up the her expectations as the ‘good daughter’.
But she wouldn’t fall into that trap now that she was aware of it.
‘You say you love your good daughter? Then why are you throwing her to the wolves?’
Even if she had not been aware of the original plot, Citrina already heard plenty of rumors about the Duke of Pietro’s twins.
Besides the superstition that twins were bad luck, there was a rumor about the twins unpredictable magic that could cause destruction.
That was why many were afraid to go near them.
In a word, Citrina was playing a scapegoat by acting as the twins’ companion.
“I’m going to survive.
I’ll make sure that I succeed.”
‘I’ll never come back here again.’
The baroness did not understand Citrina’s words and tilted her head in confusion.
She left the baron’s table after giving a silent bow.
The baroness left her alone, watching Citrina’s back with a blank face.
Finally the time had come to meet Aaron, the male lead, and Desian, the villain of the original story.
Leaving the baroness behind, Citrina boarded the Duke of Pietro’s carriage.
Since Citrina was the only passenger, the carriage sped quickly to the Pietro Duchy and the scenery flew past the window.
Citrina looked out at the scenery for a long time and leaned back on the velvet cushions inside the carriage.
With only her suitcase sitting in front of her, her mind began to clear.
‘Let’s rehabilitate Desian and then meet the genius jeweler, the dwarf, and the jewel spirit.’
Failing to rehabilitate Desian would increase her chances of dying.
Desian and Elaina did not have a very good relationship in the story.
Therefore, if Desian could not be rehabilitated, Citrina’s chances of survival as Elaina’s sister were not high.
“I still have time, so it’s ok.”
She was on my way to meet the ruthless villain, but somehow she had a feeling that everything would be ok.
As Citrina thought about the original story, the carriage slowed down.
It was not long before she heard the carriage driver’s voice calling.
“We’ve reached our destination!”
Citrina stood up gracefully with her luggage in hand.
Because she had learned etiquette in order to survive, she was able to move well while her thoughts were still a jumble between Citrina’s past and the memories of her life as Kim Jooyeon.
Citrina got out of the carriage without cracking to pressure.
“Lady Citrina Foluin.”
A dashing middle-aged man with grey hair greeted her.
He held his hand out in a respectful gesture.
“Welcome to the ducal residence.
I am the duke’s butler, Harold.”
Citrina handed Harold her luggage.
“I will take you to the common room right away.”
She followed Harold out.
When she handed over her luggage, her shoulder felt much lighter.
Citrina smiled quietly.
The wind blew around her.
It was late summer, when the weather was starting to become blustery.
She may never be able to go back to her family after today, but Citrina had no regrets from her choice.
The historic duke’s mansion was elegant and colorful.
Crossing through the path and walking along an arched bridge made of marble led to the annex building where the duke’s twin sons lived.
“Citrina-nim is the companion of the two young masters, so you will live in the annex where they reside.”
It was common in this era for low ranked nobles to act as companions to higher ranked nobles.
Naturally, the annex would have at least one room for a companion to live.
The butler Harold walked a few feet ahead and explained certain restrictions.
‘I already know all of the contract’s contents, and the main point is to not draw the duke’s attention.’
Citrina walked along as she listened to him carefully.
The path to the annex common room was bright and spacious.
Five people could walk side by side along it easily.
‘If the annex is this luxurious, what is the main building where the duke lives like?’
Citrina looked around as she leisurely walked along the marble path.
‘There is a huge difference from Baron Foluin’s residence, like mud compared to marble.’
Citrina was lost in admiration as she passed through a hallway filled with portraits of the duke’s ancestors, beautiful ceramics, and colorful artifacts.
She was brought back to reality as the butler coughed.
She stopped walking and looked up at him.
As you already know, Citrina-nim’s only role is to act perfectly as the two young masters’ companion”
He stopped in front of a white door decorated with gold bands.
“Yes, I know.
I memorized all of the contents of the contract.”
This is where Citrina-nim will stay.”
The butler’s eyes widened in surprise before recovering.
Passing through a small, ornate door, the butler said briefly.
“I’ll return the luggage you brought after the maid completes an inspection.”
When can I meet the young masters?”
The butler took a few steps without answering and then stopped at a fancy door.
“Is it alright to meet them now?”
“Yes, that’s alright.”
“Then let me introduce Young Lord Aaron.
As you know, he is one of the twins of the ducal house.”
As she was about to meet the male lead, Aaron Pietro, Citrina reviewed the contents of the novel quickly.
The duke was strangely more obsessed with Desian.
She remembered that the duke hit and whipped him.
Probably, Citrina would only have a chance to meet Desian when the duke was out of estate for a while.
After finishing that short thought, Citrina responded.
“… I understand.”
“Then let’s go in.”
The butler opened the door halfway at her answer.
“As I have stated and as was written in the contract, you are not to speak about the duke’s actions.
You understand that, right?”
I already went through the contract thoroughly.”
Citrina nodded indifferently.
The butler’s words implied, ‘don’t pay attention to how the duke mistreats his twin sons’.
‘I can’t stop the duke’s actions.
I am in no position to save anyone besides myself.’
Even if the abused boy was right in front of her, there was nothing she could do to save him.
They would wind up dying together if she tried to intervene.
She could not risk her life to help others.
‘Let’s just get along together so that I can live my life after this.’
Citrina shook off her uncomfortable thoughts that clouded her mind.
“Then I hope you two have a nice time.”
As the butler finished speaking, the door opened completely.
Citrina Foluin slowly walked inside.
She was about to meet the male lead, Aaron Pietro.
After Citrina walked fully into the room, Harold shut the door behind her.
Now only the young Aaron and her were alone in the room.
It was time to start to win his favor.
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