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Chapter 18, Part 2
It was a little embarrassing to invite Jean, the owner of such a beautiful estate, into the small and humble Farenheit mansion, but she knew that he would not judge her on such matters.
The viscount's mouth dropped open as he greeted his daughter and her husband at the house entrance. He hadn't seen his daughter in several months.
The Viscountess stood next to him, her eyes already watering at the sight of Clarisse in a beautiful dress.
They both looked cautiously at Jean, the Margrave, with his large physique, who was at least 30 centimeters taller than Clarisse, and stood protectively next to her. They had exchanged letters, but they had never met him in person, so it was only natural that they were surprised to see how handsome and robust Jean looked.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Viscount and Viscountess Farenheit, and thank you for inviting us. We also extend our hearty congratulations to Miss Farenheit on her engagement."
"Oh, thank you..."
Her parents were completely bewildered when the nearly expressionless Jean greeted them clearly and without hesitation. They must have never imagined that the man-eating Margrave who married their second daughter was such a splendid person.
"Let's go to the tea room... Matilda should be coming down shortly."
Since Matilda was a late riser and took a lot of time to get ready, she never made it to the tea party on time. Clarisse held onto Jean's arm, thinking that Matilda was still the same as ever, and followed her parents to the tea room.
"Well...Clarisse... I'm glad to see you happy."
As they sat down on the chairs in the tea room, her father, who sat across from her, spoke to Clarisse in a confused manner. Clarisse tightened her grip and replied to her father, who seemed to think it was surprising that she looked happy.
"Yeah, the Margrave is treating me very well."
"Indeed, I can see it in your face."
Her mother added. To Clarisse, it was a surprise to find that her mother, who rarely spoke to her in the presence of her father, was actively speaking to her. Her father almost snickered, and then, perhaps remembering that he was in front of Jean, made a slight gesture in an attempt to cover it up.
Then the head maid brought in the tea, and the four of them had a boring conversation. To begin with, they were invited to the Farenheit house for Matilda's engagement, but since she was not there, her parents could not discuss it.
Clarisse, who had gradually calmed down with the presence of Jean sitting next to her, noticed a sight of her parents that she had not seen before.
'Father doesn't like me much after all... but mother seems to care about me...? But I wonder if my father has always been this hesitant when talking?'
Whenever Matilda was around, her parents' attention - especially her father's - would turn to her, and Clarisse would always feel lonely and despised, struggling to appease the pain in her own heart, never able to look at her parents objectively from a distance.
'The fact that Mother is so reserved... Perhaps what Sid said yesterday is true...'
Finally, thirty minutes later, Matilda opened the door to the tea room.
Clarisse's heart pounded, and she looked towards the door to see the "Jewel of Fahrenheit," the one her parents had loved so much, standing there with her golden hair neatly curled, her blue eyes shining as beautifully as sapphires, her sharp nose, and her plump red lips.
Today she was again wearing a new dress, a pale pink one that Clarisse had never seen before. She must have gotten it after Clarisse left.
"Oh, Matilda, We've been waiting for you... come here quickly."
Matilda stood there as if she hadn't heard the words of her father, who was so happy to finally see his lovely daughter.
Matilda glanced first at Clarisse, then at Jean, who was sitting next to her, and then slowly back at Clarisse. She looked at the dress she was wearing, the necklace Jean had just placed on her, and, of course, the ring with the violet gem on her left ring finger.
As she observed them all up, the smile on her face utterly disappeared, and she looked like a noh mask (tl not: look it up if you don't know how it looks lol). However, she quickly pushed that expression away and put on a bewitching expression that can only be described as befitting the Jewel of Farenheit.
She came over to stand in front of Jean and Clarisse and, ignoring Clarisse, held out her left hand to Jean.
"I'm Matilda Farenheit, Clarisse's sister. Please, call me Matilda."
Clarisse was overwhelmed by the beauty of her sister, who looked even more beautiful up close. She glanced at Jean to see what he thought, but his expression remained indifferent as usual. He completely ignored Matilda's offered left hand and simply returned the verbal greeting.
"It's nice to meet you, Miss Farenheit; I'm Siegfried Gutenberg."
'Wah...what a greeting.'
It's just about as rude as you can get. Matilda narrowed her eyes and put her left hand back as if nothing had happened, but Clarisse noticed that her face was flushed with red for a moment. That Matilda, who was always being pampered, must have never been greeted in such a careless manner before.
Her parents were seated on the double sofa, Clarisse and Jean on the opposite side, and Matilda on the single sofa around the table. However, Matilda didn't choose the sofa near hers or their mother, but the one near their father and Jean.
'What are you planning to do, sister Matilda...?'
As Clarisse took a deep breath, Jean's right hand moved gently to touch the back of her left hand. When she looked at him, Jean nodded slightly while still looking forward, so she pretended not to notice and decided to keep her hand in contact with his. The warmth of Jean's body was reassuring.
"Clarisse, your dress is adorable."
Matilda's voice echoed through the tea room.
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