Mommy Villainess Chapter 32
32 A Villainess Wears Red Lipstick
TILLY was dressed to kill.
Well, she wouldn't kill people literally but she would make sure that the nasty rumors about her with end today.
In her past life, she had witnessed high-ranking noblewomen bullying the low-ranking ladies by spreading false rumors. As a duke's daughter, she never experienced that. Well, at least not until her crimes were exposed and she was shunned by the high society.
[I will not let them bully me.]
So for today's tea party, she wore a black draped off-shoulder backless A-line midi dress and paired it with stiletto sandals that were starting to become popular these days.
Anyway, her dress was from the collection that Kiho got her from Pillas Islands. Since Pillas was a tropical country, she wasn't surprised to know that the women there wore clothes that exposed "too much" skin by Moonchester Empire's standards. Thankfully, the weather in the Royal Capital right now was warm enough to be used as an excuse to wear a "revealing" dress.
[Again, my outfit is only revealing because the current trend in the empire is still the heavy and conservative types of dresses.]
Princess Nia had only started to wear light dresses recently so it would take a while before the other ladies copied her style. There had to be a demand first before the tailors in the empire start to make light dresses.
[Hmm should I import clothes from Pillas Islands and sell them in my store along with the jewelries I'm currently designing?]
Wait, this wasn't the right time to think about business.
Tilly looked at herself in the mirror once again.
For her makeup, she asked Leni and Lani the twin maids with light chocolate brown hair and eyes to make her lips as red as possible. The current trend here was equivalent to the "no makeup makeup look" that was quite popular in the modern world, particularly in the Asian countries. In the empire, ladies put makeup as light as possible to make them appear "innocent."
To hell with that. She wanted to express her anger in bold red lips. Thankfully, her "mature charm" matched it.
As for her hair, she told Leni and Lani to tie it in an elegant braided bun. Then, she wore the layered necklaces that she showed Kiho that morning. She also put on a pair of pearl earrings and a bracelet with a dainty thin chain. She didn't wear a ring because she was waiting for the one that Kiho would give her.
[Yes, I'm assuming that he'd give me an engagement ring one of these days.]
"How do I look?" Tilly asked the twin maids. She stood up and twirled around in front of them. "Do I look beautiful?"
"You're very beautiful, Lady Prescott," Leni and Lani said in unison.
The twins were a year older than her and had different personalities. Leni was prim and proper while Lani was kind of tomboyish and energetic. But both girls were nice to her and Kiho. Even in her past life, the two served her with respect despite her terrible attitude.
"Thank you," she said to the twins. "You did a good job."
And that was true.
Leni and Lani gave her one of the best baths she had in her life. Plus, they meticulously chose a perfume that complimented the rose scent that she got from her bath a while ago.
"Thank you, my lady," Leni and Lani said at the same time, again.
Tilly giggled at the twins' amusing rapport. She wanted to talk to them some more but the communication device on her table rang. "You may leave. I'll call you when I need you."
The twins bowed and answered at the same time. "As you wish, Lady Prescott."
When the maids left the room, she sat in front of the mirror and picked up the dangling earrings that also worked as a communication device. She put her on her ear like a bluetooth earpiece. Since the jewelry had a spirit stone, it had the magical ability to attach itself to the user's ear for easier access.
"Yes, Father?" she politely answered the duke's call.
"Tilly, I've heard the rumor about you and Captain Denver," her father said on the other line, his voice filled with worry. I don't believe it but it will surely hurt your reputation. If this goes on, the business you're planning might get doomed as well. But most of all, how would Captain Kiho feel if he hears the rumor when you're just about to get married?"
"Don't worry, Father. Kiho won't believe the rumors," she assured her father. "And I've already came up with a plan to use this opportunity to promote my upcoming business."
"Daughter, I don't think this is the right time to think about business."
"Bad publicity is still publicity, Father," she insisted. "The "spotlight" is currently focused on me so I won't waste the chance to promote my business for free. But I need your help."
"What do you want me to do, daughter?"
Tilly smiled while her brain was busy working out exciting scenarios in her head. "Father, we know people in the newspaper industry, right?"
KIHO made an ice sculptures out of the men who dared to talk dirty things about Tilly.
Thanks to Amilo's information, he was able to track down the people who were spreading the nasty rumor about his fiance. He ended up at the mansion of Baroness Alphonse in Blanca. Apparently, one of the baroness's servants saw Tilly and Captain Denver at Mount Elea. When the madam heard it, she didn't think about spreading the rumor without verifying it first.
When he arrived at the mansion of House Alphonse and requested an audience with the baroness, the knights tried to make him leave by making fun of him. He didn't care when the foolish knights said that Captain Denver was better than him since he was a noble and the master of the Fire Wielder Guild.
But when a knight said that Tilly was a loose woman for seducing two captains of the Four Orders and the others laughed, he lost it. The next thing he knew, he already froze every single knight around him.
[I can't kill them though.]
Not yet, at least. He wanted these foolish knights to kneel and beg for Tilly's forgiveness first. Only after that could he kill these bastards.
Kiho was surprised to hear Tilly's voice in his ear. After that, the plain round silver earring in his right ear appeared. It was a communication device that was designed to be in stealth mode when inactive. But once someone linked to his device called, the earring would appear. It was very convenient and thus, the high price.
[Well, all the stuff in Prescott's Choice is expensive.]
"Yes, baby?" Kiho answered. "Is everything alright?"
"Not really," Tilly said. "Have you heard of the stupid rumor about me and Captain Denver?"
"Yes. I'm taking care of it."
"Whatever you're doing, stop it," she lightly scolded him. "But if you found the source of the rumor, bring them to the royal palace now."
He noticed that she sounded confident. That could only mean one thing. "Do you have a plan, Tilly?"
"Yes," she said. And even though he couldn't see her, he could hear the smile in her voice. He had always known that she was smart but now, he could also see that his fiance was cunning. And he liked that about her even more. "But I need your help, baby."
"Just tell me what you need me to do and I won't disappoint you."
"Kiho, I need you to use your connection to our emperor," she said, her voice more serious than a while ago. "Do you think you can convince His Majesty to help us?"
"Yes," he said confidently. House Prescott was a part of the Royal Faction so the emperor wouldn't hesitate to support Tilly. But other than political reasons, he was absolutely sure that Emperor Aku would help them because of his personality. "His Majesty loves meddling with other people's lives, you know?"
She giggled and he loved the sound of it. "Baby, I have one more favor. I'm sure you won't like it but please bear with it for me."
"If it's to clear your reputation and make people stop assuming wrong things about our relationship, then I'll do it," Kiho said determinedly. "What is it, Tilly?"
"I need you to work with Captain Denver," Tilly said. "We need his cooperation for my plan to succeed."
LIKE Tilly expected, the atmosphere in the tea party when she arrived was already hostile.
She was fashionably late because she had to take care of a lot of things before showing up at the Moonflower Garden. The amount of time that she was late was enough for the other ladies to talk about behind her back. And it showed.
Everyone was smiling at her but the look on their eyes told her that they were looking down on her. She could almost hear their nasty thoughts: "whore," "cheap," "a disgrace to nobility." She was a duke's daughter and one of the highest-ranking noblewomen at the party right now. Of course, those who felt inferior to her would use her "scandal" to make themselves feel better.
[Her Royal Highness isn't here yet, huh? No wonder these little b*tches are acting like they're above me.]
"How are you, Lady Prescott?" Lady Mara Belington, the sister of Sir Michael Belington, greeted her with a smirk. "Her Royal Highness excused herself a while ago because of an urgent matter that she had to attend to. Why don't you use this opportunity to leave before you spoil the princess's mood?" She motioned the other ladies around them. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news but no one here wants to be associated with you, Lady Prescott. Not after you brought disgrace to every noblewoman in the empire."
[Well, Lady Belington is the daughter of the richest marquis in the empire. Counting me aside, she's the highest-ranking lady here so naturally, she'd be the "spokesperson."]
Tilly stifled a laughter at Lady Belington's attempt to bully her. She was acting like a high school queen bee who didn't know that she was merely a fish in a small pond. "How cute," she said that obviously annoyed Lady Belington. "I thought you already learned your lesson after I ended your brother's whole career. But since you're coming at me like this, then I'll assume that you want to give me another piece of property from your family?"
Lady Belington looked pissed but she did a good job holding back. Maybe she thought she had the upper hand because of the stupid rumor. "My brother has nothing to do with this. I'm simply fulfilling my duty as a noblewoman. I can't overlook the fact that a disgrace like you will associate herself to Her Royal Highness. Just how thick-skinned could you be, Lady Prescott?"
"Disgrace, my foot," Tilly said that shocked the other ladies. Well, in this world, what she said was already considered foul words. But she didn't give a f*ck. "Pray tell me, Lady Belington. What did I do for you to gang up on me?"
After saying that, she took her time looking around and memorizing the faces of the ladies who did nothing while she was being bullied.
[I hold grudges, you know?]
"You're feigning innocence now?" Lady Belington scoffed at her. "I don't want to say this but you're forcing me. Lady Prescott, we've heard the rumors about you and Captain Denver. How can you show up here and act like nothing happened?"
Tilly turned to the nosy lady with her head held high. "I am here because I've done nothing to be ashamed of. I can prove my innocence. But do you have evidence to prove that the rumors you speak of are true?"
Lady Belington was obviously taken aback.
"After I prove my innocence, I will ask compensation from everyone for trying to ruin my reputation by spreading false rumors," she declared with a smile. "I hope you don't go bankrupt once I start coming at you."
The ladies started to whisper loudly to one another. Everyone was obviously shock and scared by her threat.
"How can you do that to us?" Lady Belington asked in rage. "We're not the ones who started the rumor!"
"But you're the ones having fun spreading it," Tilly said with a smirk. "I thought all noblewomen received proper education since childhood? You were all educated and yet, you can't even verify a news before sharing it? Are you stupid?"
She heard a collective gasp from the ladies.
[They're offended, huh?]
Tilly laughed at their reaction. "A person who starts a baseless rumor is stupid. But anyone who believes and spreads it is a bigger moron. I'd rather be a disgrace to the nobility than become an idiot who'd definitely bring downfall to the empire."
"I will sue everyone who spread the nasty rumor about me and Captain Denver," Tilly declared firmly. She didn't raise her voice but it was firm enough to shut everyone up. "As a noblewoman, it's my responsibility to get rid of the idiocy that some morons spread among us."
All the other ladies fell silent. Fear was evident in their eyes and they were even looking at her like she was a villainess. Hah, the irony!
[They probably didn't expect me to snap back at them.]
"What's the commotion here?"
It was Emperor Aku who came and he was followed by Princess Nia. Captain Sherwood and Lahara were behind the twin royals. But her gaze was fixed on Her Royal Highness only.
[Oh, the "urgent matter" that Princess Nia attended to was probably His Majesty's surprise visit at her residence. If the emperor is here, then Kiho obviously succeeded. And His Majesty's presence also means that the other guests have arrived.]
Princess Nia was wearing a burgundy off-shoulder ruffles dress that fell elegantly below her knees. She completed her outfit with a pair of stiletto sandals as well.
[We have the same taste in clothes, huh?]
The difference was in their makeup.
Princess Nia's had her long silver hair down and she had a flower crown on top of her head. As if it wasn't enough to make her look like a fairy, she had to put on a light makeup that made her look ethereal.
If compared to one another, Tilly with her black dress and red lips would definitely be the devil while Her Royal Highness would be the angel.
"Greetings to the moon and the star that light up the Great Moonchester Empire," Tilly and the other ladies greeted His Majesty and Princess Nia with a curtsy.
"Rise," His Majesty said. When everyone did, he spoke again. "I heard a commotion a while ago. What's happening here?"
Tilly raised her hand confidently. "May I speak, Your Majesty?"
"Yes," Emperor Aku said while looking at her with amusement in his eyes. "I want to hear what you have to say, Lady Prescott."
"Thank you, Your Majesty," she said with a light bow. "I am currently being attacked by a malicious rumor spread by my fellow noblewomen." She heard the surprised and offended gasp by the ladies but she ignored them. Instead, she turned to Princess Nia who had a stiff expression on her beautiful face. "It's a shame that this has to happen during Her Royal Highness's tea party. But I would like to use this opportunity to prove my innocence. After all, as someone who serves His Majesty, my tarnished reputation could also harm the emperor." When the princess's eyes turned cold, she smiled at her. "Is that okay, Your Royal Highness?"
"Of course, Lady Prescott," Princess Nia said with a smile a smile that didn't reach her empty red eyes. "Your issue is more important than my tea party."
"Thank you, Your Royal Highness," Tilly said with a smile a smile that definitely made her red lips stand out even more. Then, she turned to Emperor Aku who was obviously trying hard to control his laughter. Ah, Kiho was right. His Majesty loved meddling with other people's affair. "Your Majesty, please allow me to invite the people who could prove my innocence."
Stealing the spotlight from a princess was a rude thing to do.
But did she care? Of course not. After all, she was the villainess in her past life.
[I am not a pushover like you think, Princess Nia.]
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