Chapter Nine: The Wheel of Fate

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As I expected, Uken also accompanied Duke Orion to our estate. At the news of his arrival I told Mariah to dress me in my most lavish gown and find appropriate accessories which compliments it. When I looked into the mirror, I felt a sense of confidence and superiority.

I guess dressing up can boost my morale quite a bit.

Before I headed out to greet Uken, I asked Mariah about Raelia's whereabouts and conveniently, she was in the Rosen garden making sure that my plan goes even more smoothly.

I would invite Uken to have tea at the garden and she will have a clear view of us from afar. She wouldn't dare approach us yet because of her shy demeanor so I don't have any concerns.

I entered father's study and with a deep bow greeted everyone who was present, "Greetings father. It is a pleasure to meet you again, Duke Orion."

With a huge grin, Duke Orion voiced, "We meet again Eliza. Don't be so formal with me, it makes me sad. Aren't we already close enough for you to call me uncle...maybe even fath- " to which my father almost choked him and protested, "Eli is my adorable daughter! Why will she call another man her father?!"

Father can you really try to choke the head of one of the two powerful ducal houses? What about the consequences father!?

However, Duke Orion seemed completely at ease with father's behaviour and complained, "Aww, what a shame! I wanted a cute daughter too."

After Duke Orion's nagging came to an end, my plan started to flow smoothly once again when father told me to keep Uken company. We walked to the Rosen garden where all the preparations were made beforehand by Mariah. I could spot Raelia in the distance but pretended to not notice her.

As we settled down, Uken started a conversation, "You look much more beautiful than the first time we met. I hope you have been in good health?"

"Oh my, you flatter me, and yes I have been very well. Thank you for your concern," I said, with a gentle smile on my face.

I feel disgusted receiving a compliment from him and having to smile at his despicable face but I must be patient. Raelia needs to believe we are close for her to be jealous.

"It's no flattery. I only bear honest words however your beauty can't be described with words alone," he said, sweetly.

The Uken I knew was a gentleman of few words but maybe that's how he was only around me after all he would sing Raelia's praises throughout the day in the future.

However, if that is how he was going to play it then I would gladly play along, "You are much more beautiful young lord Uken. Even the flowers in this garden pale in comparison to your beauty."

"Not at all, Lady Eliza. Your golden eyes shine brighter than the sun up in the sky," he replied, with a competitive smirk.

"Your green coloured eyes are far more attractive than the precious gemstone emerald," I said in response.

I felt Raelia curiously gazing at Uken and I, which I was satisfied with as I didn't expect her to be jealous from the get go.

Time went by with Uken and I complimenting each other. It was quite a fierce competition and I had no choice but to admit defeat because my brain had rotten from coming up with compliments for such a despicable guy. 

"It seems that I no longer can disagree with you, young lord Uken. Thank you for all the compliments," I said, exhausted.

With a grin, Uken responded, "Finally, we see eye to eye. You seem quite exhausted. Its fine for you to retire to your chambers right now."

"It would be very rude of me to not escort you back though," I said, acting flustered.

"Its fine. You can have one of the knights escort me back," Uken replied.

He said the exact things I wanted to hear because I can't possibly waste my time escorting him back. I need to talk to Raelia before she leaves the garden.

After Uken left with a knight as an escort, I acted like I finally noticed her presence and headed towards her excitedly.

I touched her hand and shouted happily, "Since when were you here Raelia? I didn't notice you."

"Oh sister, I have been here for some time. Umm...who was that boy, sister?" she asked.

"You should have joined us then. He is the young lord Uken who is the heir to the Valerio Dukedom. I am sure your teacher must have told you about it in the history lessons," I replied.

"He is really good looking and you guys looked like you were very friendly with each other," Raelia said, with a sour look on her face.

Trying very hard to look clueless, I commented, "Is that so? Well people do say we look great together. What did Mariah say again that day...something about us looking like a couple in a fairytale."

I could feel Raelia getting uncomfortable and although it was fun teasing her, I was too drained to continue further. I bid farewell to Raelia who had gone awfully quiet after my comment about Uken and I being a couple straight out of a fairytale.

I wonder, did Raelia fall in love with Uken at first sight like she had done before? Was it fate? For two people to be so evil and suit each other so much, perhaps it's a match made in heaven? God truly does work in mysterious ways.

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