Chapter 3.1

It had been a week since Ariel declared that she would change and behave differently from the past.

Compared to the past, her daily routine hadn’t changed drastically. The change was trivial. She changed the one-piece pajama she wore every day into her new dress, and once or twice a day, she would take a walk in her patronage. Other than that, she still stayed in her room a lot.

One thing she could say that had definitely changed was her attitude.

Ariel, who abandoned her reticence, greeted the people in the mansion first and even made small talk with them. Considering the past, when she was confined to the room all day, it was a change at the level of heaven and earth.

However, if asked if her personality was completely different compared to before, it wasn’t. She was still expressionless, and her tone was quiet. The end of the change was that she only had a conversation with the servant.

Still, she seemed to have changed greatly. It was because the previous Ariel was too insipid.

Meanwhile, the servants who had worked in the Count’s family for a long time welcomed the girl who had become a little talkative. They thought it was a sign that peace would finally dwell in the cold family of the Count, whose conversations were cut off.

After the Count, her husband’s death, the County was always in a funeral-like atmosphere. As the brightest person disappeared, the already desolate mother-daughter relationship grew further and further away. Though now that the young lady had changed, they hoped that the Countess would change along with the flow.

After all, a friendly atmosphere was better for work than an ice castle atmosphere.

However, the situation surrounding Ariel didn’t go as smoothly as the servants expected.

Ariel, her only daughter, who had met Countess Huckley, touched her fingertips as she bowed her head. Her face, reflected in the clear tea water, was stiff with tension.

It was the most difficult to talk to the Countess, even though she was related by blood to her. Her way of speech, sparing no more than she needed and having only a fixed conversation, discouraged her desire to talk and made Ariel timid.

Ariel forcibly moved her tongue, which kept getting entangled, to open up the conversation.

“Mother, how are you today?”

“It’s always the same. How about you?”

“I’m always the same, too. And… I took a simple piano lesson yesterday. It was my first time learning an instrument officially, and I really enjoyed it.”

“Yes. It’s not bad to learn one or two songs with culture. Shall I assign you a teacher if you need one?”

“Oh, no! I’m not talented, so I think it would be too much for me to learn formally.”

“All right. Do you need anything else?”

“It’s okay. This is enough now.”

“Yes, I see.”

The Countess stared blankly into space and uttered a perfunctory answer.

A white drawing room with several landscape paintings by famous artists and clouds passing low through the long window cast shadows in the room, and the time when the touch of a soft sofa felt uncomfortable again.

The words the Count addressed to her daughter were blatant, as if they symbolized indifference. Even after her personality changed, the conversation time between Ariel and her family, which was only nominal since Ariel was silent, remained the same.


Asking and answering trivial matters once every two days…

It was literally ‘work.’


Even when Ariel chimed in with her chatter, the Countess mechanically gave her the necessary words. It was an obligatory conversation. Who would consider this a mother-daughter tea time?

Ariel, who had her gaze fixed on the teacup, glanced at the Countess.

Usually, at this point, the conversation stopped, and the Countess would leave first. But today, for some reason, she was still holding onto her seat with her gaze staring out the window blankly to see if there was anything she hadn’t said.


‘…What’s going on?’

“Mother, I…”

“The prince has decided to come to the County today.”

The moment she was about to ask the reason for the Countess’ unusual appearance, she brought up a rather difficult story.

Trying to hide her surprise, Ariel tried to calm herself down.

“Prince… His Highness?”

“He seems to be paying attention to our family’s growing influence. He’ll be with us until the evening.”

“…I see.”

Ariel nodded her head obediently, thinking it had nothing to do with her anyway. Even though she was embarrassed, she wouldn’t have any reason to run into him after just saying greetings in moderation.

Even while she was convincing herself, the Countess’ words continued.

“He’s the same age as you. You’ll also run into him again even when you go to the academy. There’s nothing wrong with keeping an eye on them in advance, so greet them with courtesy and build up your connections while doing this.”

The truth of what the Countess had been putting off talking about, the most important topic, was thrown like a bomb. In addition, an unreasonable request to her only daughter, who has just begun to recover social skills, to strengthen her friendship with the royal family…

Ariel’s calm eyes twitched. On the other hand, the eyes of the Countess, whom she had been watching from a distance throughout the tea time, became clear.

“He’ll arrive in three or four hours, so you’d better get ready now. If you need anything to prepare, just let me know.”

After four hours…

Then, it would be around two o’clock in the afternoon when the prince would arrive. As she stared at the teacup, Ariel stiffened at the Count’s words, which ended with a focus on time. Nevertheless, she had no choice but to nod her head to her mother.

As usual, the Countess finished her business and got up first.

On the other hand, Ariel sat on her seat for a few more minutes before she left the drawing room with mixed feelings. The Countess mentioned that the prince was the same age as her and even added that if she went to the academy, she would run into him.

‘If this is a real dating simulation game, it’s a very good situation for an event to happen.’

It was an encounter with an outsider who suddenly came upon her, who had been living cut off from the world. Moreover, she was placed in a position where she had to work hard to become acquainted with that outsider.

It felt like… an opportunity.

An opportunity to make friends and increase favorability.

‘Maybe… this is the answer.’

Ariel bit her lip in nervousness.

There was a high possibility that the prince, whom she would meet today, would be one of the targets—a high position, a sudden encounter, and constant elements to bump into—there was no way that a person who had all three elements that could be linked with the female lead was an extra that just passed by.

Her steps speeded up through the hallway.

It was only a little over three hours until she met the prince.

Ariel returned to her room, quickly locked the door, and turned on the cell phone, which she had hidden under her clothes.


Since the first day she woke up, a system window appeared on the screen, displaying the same phrase and giving no information. It seemed to be a structure that wouldn’t proceed unless the target was directly met.

A structure where she couldn’t be prepared if she didn’t meet anyone.


A long sigh escaped Ariel’s mouth. It was because she had to face the prince, who might be the target, without any useful information.

‘There’s nothing I can do.’

In the end, she readily agreed. She hid the cell phone inside a mahogany chest of drawers and locked the padlock on it.

In fact, noises such as system windows reflected on the screen of the mobile phone and vibrations weren’t recognized by anyone other than her. It was a fact that Ariel had confirmed after several experiments with her maid.

However, the phone’s appearance was a problem. The mobile phone had a foreign appearance that was difficult to find in this world.

This was a world where magic existed, and various magic tools were traded at high prices. So, with the appearance of the cell phone, a unique and valuable item, there was a high risk of it being stolen. Therefore, it was necessary to hide it separately when she had to get dressed up.