The Alyssum’s Inferiority Complex
Chapter 5: Despair
Letting out a sigh with a melodic voice, Lucretia looked outside her rooms window, as she sat at her table. Her sparkling amethyst eyes locked onto chattering figures below, in the garden.
Was she the weird one?
Everybody seemed to be fawning over Charlotte as soon as she had arrived, expect her.
The mood in the manor had definitely become more vibrant with her appearance. The maids that used to shrink away and tremble at the sight of Lucretia were now humming joyfully, after tending to Charlotte.
Seeing this, Lucretia at first thought it suited her, since Charlotte must be used to mingling with the commoners. However, as this treatment continued, she couldn help but feel as though everybody in the estate was an eyesore. Maybe that was why her mood had gotten even worse since Charlotte had arrived.
Lucretia turned away from the window, having become sick of watching her would-be sister get along with even the gardeners. Her gaze landed upon a couple of stacked books by her. Her brows knit once more, as she clicked her tongue.
Lucretia had never had to study too seriously. She learned the basics of etiquette required for a noble, but she didn see any need for more education, as she didn enjoy it. Why would she need to do anything when she had the support of her family?
Thats what she had thought, but now shes being forced to pick up her studies once again.
Forced to by her own pride, to be exact.
Charlotte had to go through many lessons when she came back, to catch up, before debuting in high society. It was expected to take nine to ten months for her to learn everything needed to uphold the family name, but she had completed it by the fourth month. As if it was in her instincts, etiquette came naturally to her, and she was extremely adept at learning new things.
Before Lucretia knew it, Charlotte had already caught up to her in studies. Hearing the whispers of maids comparing them, Lucretia couldn bear to face the reality in front of her.
She wanted to prove that she could do it too.
Lucretia had always believed she was the flower of high society. People had even called her the rose of nobility.
However, despite her debuting only a year ago, Charlotte had become the center of every banquet and tea party she went to.
In these situations, shouldn she have been bullied by the other nobility for living her life as a commoner before? Lucretia couldn understand why the people that used to surround her would now gather toward Charlotte so easily.
She was sick of this.
How many times has she seen this scene? Even the couple of noble ladies, that used to follow her around and sing praises to her every day, have made their way beside that girls side.
How did they accept her so easily?
How did everybody accept her so easily?
A couple of noble girls noticed the look on Lucretias face, as they saw her gaze on Charlotte. One of them smirked as she scoffed out a light giggle.
It caught Lucretias attention, and she tried to listen to what they were whispering about to each other.
Usually one wouldn be able to hear such conversations, but Lucretias had her ears trained to be able to hone in and focus on these types of discussions.
”Look at her watch Lady Charlotte. I wonder if shes jealous? ”
”I wouldn be surprised. Lady Charlotte is basically in the role she had been trying to fake this whole time. ”
”She really is just a fake on all fronts, huh? ”
Lucretias eye twitched, as she heard them speak. She was already trembling with anger, but the last part they said snapped something in her.
”The fake daughter really can compare to the real one. ”
As the girl with auburn hair laughed at her final comment, she suddenly froze, as she felt a wet sensation start at the top of her head. With the feeling of red wine trickle down her face and onto her dress, she didn move an inch, as her gaze turned to the girl with an empty wine glass in her hand.
”Ah… oops. I slipped. ”
The auburn-haired girls green eyes looked in exasperation as she couldn believe the smile that the girl had in front of her. Lucretias cold eyes could cause chills to anyone watching, as her grin never reached her eyes. With a giggle, her melodic voice only sounded more unnerving, as she looked down at her opponent.
”Though, I think that it looks much better now? ”
The whole banquet hall that was loud and boisterous soon turned completely silent, as everyone witnessed what had happened. No one knew how this started, so they only knew to judge that Lucretia had caused trouble once again.
Lucretia could hear murmurs in the crowd, but she only kept her usual arrogant and haughty smile. She had done similar thing many times before, so feeling the stares of the audience didn move her at all.
However, this time it was different.
Lucretias eyes remained widened, as her head titled to the side. Her beautifully stylized hair became slightly loose from her hair pin, as she felt an unfamiliar sting on her cheek. Reaching her hand to lightly touch her throbbing cheek, she seemed to be stunned into silence.
”What… what did you just do. ”
As her fingers traced the side of her face that had become slightly red, her gaze shifted onto the drenched girl in front of her. Usually her unwavering gaze would make anyone look away from her, but the girl in front of her this time didn shy away.
”You have the nerve. ”
The auburn-haired girls eyes were wide while she smiled. She had a look of disbelief and annoyance on her face.
”Lucretia. Get off your high horse. Do you think you can still get away with this type of thing anymore? Did you think we would always just sit still so you could have your fun? ”
The murmuring in the crowd only escalated, as the green-eyed girl stepped forward. Lucretias shocked face soon turned to an enraged expression.
”What did you say— ”
”I said what everybody else was thinking. The only reason any of us were willing to endure the things you did was because of your family. However, now that its revealed you aren even their real daughter, why should we try to placate you? ”
Hearing what she said, Lucretias face blushed from embarrassment and exasperation. She clenched her hands tightly, as her brows knit.
”I don think any of us were surprised when we heard about how you weren really a noble. After all, your pathetic attempt to try to imitate a dignified lady said it all. Compared to you, Lady Charlotte was quite easy to accept as a noble. ”
Lucretia had so many things she wanted to say back, but everything seemed to pile up as it choked in her throat. The auburn-haired girl noticed and had a smile on her face.
”Again. What else could we expect from a fake. ”
As if something broke, Lucretias arm trembled, before she gripped her hand tightly, biting her lip. She picked her dress up and ran out of the banquet hall, not wanting to stand anymore of this humiliation.
As the sound of the doors closing echoed throughout the hall, a brief silence followed after.
One of the noble ladies near the auburn-haired girl looked worried.
”A-aren you worried she won come to bother and target you now? ”
The auburn-haired girl stayed silent for a few seconds before scoffing.
”As if she has the means to do that now. Not to mention, her family aren the only powerful ones in this empire. ”
The girl looked at her ruined dress and hair for a second, knitting her brows, before whispering to the other girl with a smile.
”Also, i learned this from my brother recently… ”
The sound of quickly stomping feet echoed down a large corridor, only being drowned out by the long carpet laid out.
The silver-haired girl was slightly disheveled, unlike her usual appearance. Her amethyst eyes narrowed as they had a tinge of red to them, her hands clenching into tight fists. She just couldn believe the humiliation she had to go through!
”Did they finally decide to stop being lenient toward you now? ”
Her body stopped as she hadn even realized she had passed somebody. Hearing the familiar voice, she turned to see the platinum silver-haired man she called her brother.
”What are you… what do you mean. ”
Glaring at him, she watched as Lyons cold eyes led to a cynical smirk.
”Since I told a number of my colleagues that neither I nor our father will be picking up after you anymore, Im guessing people aren as compliant as before now, Lucretia. ”
”What do you!— ”
”I mean, didn you say that you didn need us picking up after you, after all? I shouldve done this a while ago, no? ”
Lucretia had a look of disbelief on her face. She didn want to listen to her brothers words anymore, but she wasn sure what to respond with.
”Didn I tell you this before? You couldn keep acting the same way you have been. How many times do I have to repeat myself before you understood. Isn it too late now? ”
As he took a step forward, his mocking demeanor didn change at all, as his downturned eyes looked down on Lucretias still figure.
”Don you have a comeback like before? ”
As if waiting for a response, he looked disappointed as he passed her by, muttering under his breath.
”Whatd I expect from a fake, anyway?— ”
The sound of an impact echoed through the corridors, as a long silence followed. Lucretias breath was short and heavy as she couldn hide the humiliation on her face. Her hand was throbbing, as she saw what she had done.
She had never hit Lyon before, no matter how annoying or rude he was to her.
”L-Lyon… I… ”
Lyon stayed still for a moment as his eyes widened in stunned silence. Lucretias long fingernails had created a small cut along his cheek during the impact, so the beads of red slowly started the seep through before trailing down the side of his face. Processing what had happened, he stood silent, before putting on a disappointed smile, as if to ridicule her further.
”Hah. Why do you looked so surprised? Isn this just in character for you, Lucretia? You don have to say anything else, since this is just the type of person you are. ”
With a frosty gaze more distant than he had ever looked at her, he turned and walked away.
The sound of footsteps followed him, and by the time the echoes had quieted, Lucretia could finally feel the throbbing burning sensation in her hand. As she clenched them into a fist, she looked down, trying to resist the urge to scream with her trembling body.
Replaying what her brother said to her, she bit her lip, many feelings filling her mind.
”Get off your high horse! You
e the one that picked a fight first! ”
Speaking only to herself, Lucretia still couldn help the gnawing feeling that kept on growing in the back of her head, as she couldn fully deny what he had said.
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