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 In the carriage, which was proceeding quietly, Ortansia gulped and looked again at the invitation in her hand.

 Tonight, Ortansia is going to an evening party hosted by the Duke of Linie.

'I've asked Janet about it, but even her quick ears haven't been told about tonight's soiree. He must be very selective about whom he invites.'

(TL (Reminder): Soiree means Evening Party)

She wondered what kind of conversations took place at these secret soirées. 

Ortansia thought to herself as she took deep breaths, feeling her heart pounding with nervousness.

'Maybe I will find a clue to the Occult  group. I must be careful.'

Whenever she thought back to the time when she was captured by the Occult group, she still shivered.

But she will not be able to save her brother if she remains frightened.

Ortansia gently stroked Tyrol, who was disguised as a fur around her neck, and made up her mind.

The stage for the evening party was a small palace owned by the Duke of Linie on the outskirts of the royal capital.

After nervously passing through the entrance, Ortansia stared at the people gathered in the grand hall.

'Some of these people I've seen at social functions, but some of them, I've never seen at all.'

At first glance, the evening party looked no different from the kind of evening parties that Ortansia usually attends.

However, she couldn't help feeling that there was an air of tension between them that was somewhat peculiar to those who share secrets.

Those who were acquainted with Ortansia noticed her and called out to her.

But they repeated harmless conversations, and their attitudes seemed like they were hiding something and probing Ortansia.

Those in the hall glanced at them, and clearly kept their voices down as she passed by.

It was as if there were things they didn't want Ortansia to hear.

'As a newcomer, there must be things they can't talk about with me.'

The only way to get information is to gain their trust or eavesdrop. 

 Fortunately, Ortansia has a skill for listening in on people's conversations without them knowing.


While listening to the casual conversation of the aristocrat who approached her, Ortansia activated her Listening Skill.

"I didn't expect the Duchess of Verite to show up"

"I wonder what on earth the Duke of Linie was thinking"

'Ugh, they're talking about me…!'

Apparently, Ortansia's arrival at the evening party was a surprise to them.

'I need to gather more information'

Ortansia, in cold sweat, listened to the conversations of various people.

"If they get wind of this through the DuchesVerité…"

"But if we can win over the Verite family, it will be a great help."

"For the sake of our plan…"


Ortansia tried to listen further, but…

"Oh my, what do we have here..."


Suddenly, Ortansia was startled by a voice coming from nearby and drew her attention back to her surroundings.

The Duke of Linie himself was walking towards her.

"Thank you for inviting me, Duke."

Ortansia demonstrated the perfect curtsy that she learned from Annabelle, and Duke Linie's eyes narrowed in satisfaction.

"It is my pleasure to welcome you, Duchess Verite. We have many different people here, and it will be a good opportunity for the Duchess to broaden her knowledge."

The Duke of Linie smiled gently as he said this.

 However, from the depths of his eyes, she couldn't help but feel that he was looking at her in a somewhat appraising way.

'You're still testing me to see if I'm someone you can share your secrets with)'

It seems that he has no intention of simply bringing Ortansia into his group.

To draw more information out of him, Ortansia must demonstrate that she is a worthy presence.

With a light nod, Duke Linie walked away to another location.

Watching his back as he left, Ortansia  sighed.

'I need to find out more about his intentions for inviting me here, and his 'plan' "

But with Ortansia nearby, the participants' became more tight-lipped.

'If that's the case'

Ortansia quietly slipped out of the hall so as not to be seen and went out onto a convenient balcony.

She then quietly closed and locked the curtains of the door leading to the hall.

'According to Annabelle, the balcony was one of the places often used for encounters.'

So Annabelle said, "Listen, Please be careful, Miss. You must not approach carelessly."

'Sorry Annabelle. This is also to save my brother… and by extension, the Verite family...!'

If she disguised herself in this way, she would be left alone for a short time.

Ortansia quickly touched Tyrol around her neck and called out.

"Tyrol, please, can you go back to your original form?"

"Is it safe to do so?" Tyrol asked.

"Yes, there are things only you can do, Tyrol!"

When she asked, for a moment the fluffy fur trembled.

And then…


The next moment, it was Tyrol in his original form in Ortansia's arms.


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