The Lord Who Played [Flemington #2]

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V. Intruder of Lessons

The first lesson was that Lady Ashley showed Darla how to speak her words carefully so that she would not flinch or become rude when in the presence of the young lords.

"Now, I want you to rephrase this sentence: I disagree with you, my lord, since your point was wrong," she said as Darla was trying to think the ways that she could address that sentence in the way that will get her point across.

"I must object, my lord,"

"No,"

"I cannot see what is the point—"

"No,"

"Why are you telling me to do this?" Darla asked before Lady Ashley was arching her eyebrows.

"It is to train you to school your expression as well as being polite. Not everyone would agree with you as you would likely think. I know that you might be brilliant in your education but I must digress with you that you will not be having a match if you cannot control that spitfire out of your mouth," Lady Ashley said before Darla gasped. Then, she scowled.

"Fine," she said grumpily before she was clearing her thought and looked at the sentence even more closely. She said that I have to rephrase it but make it polite so they don't see that I was not agreeing to their point, Darla thought before she was smiling as she was looking at Lady Ashley.

"I must say, my lord, even though you are representing the point fairly, would it be much easier if you think what the other lords would think? I would not like to think that they would have a different opinion in this matter," she said triumphantly before Lady Ashley was sipping on her tea. Then, she was smiling as she put the tea down onto its saucer and put it away on the table.

"Very good. Now, you're learning but we must keep going forward if we want you to be on time for the graduation ceremony from the academy before you can spread your wings and fly, girl," Lady Ashley said before Darla was smiling as she was listening to the older woman was talking about the manner, the way of the fans that could be translated into many things and how not to sass anyone without being polite.

And the last part was intriguing to Darla for she would love to sass Lady Ashley to think that she would daft much of not being able to graduate on time.

She will tell the world that Lady Darla Lockwood will do anything—everything—to make sure that her dreams of helping the children of Norkins will be fulfilled and no one will stop her.

Not even the graduation ceremony of her education.

*****

The routine for Darla's weekend was pretty much the same. She would be up early and went to make her way to the town to get her lesson in tow. Then, she would discuss with Lady Ashley about something that she would learn from The Times as Lady Ashley would love to read the gossip columns from the papers.

"Huh, I would have told them that Warydeval was not the best place to raise the family. But did they ever listen? No of course not!" the old woman was mumbling before the butler was carrying another sort of goodies on the tray before setting it in front of them.

Darla was eyeing the chocolate tarts before she took one and nibbled on it. it was sweet and very much creamy that she ought to get another one when the old woman spoke to her.

"Do you have anyone in mind that would come and make an offer for your hands, girl?" Lady Ashley asked before Darla stopped on her nibble as she was focusing on her etiquette tutor.

"Pardon me, my lady?"

"I asked you if you have any childhood sweetheart that would likely to sweep you off your feet and make an offer to have a family with you? Are you sure you're not daft in the ears, girl?" Lady Ashley said before Darla was scowling at her. The old woman just smiled wickedly at her.

Darla dabbed on her mouth with a napkin before she was sipping on her tea. Then, she spoke to her tutor about the prospect of her opinion on marriage and what will she do after finishing her education.

"I don't think that I have anyone that would be doting on me after my education. I am yet to make my debut ball and I was only eight and ten. It was too early for me to be settling down and have children of my own. Besides, I still have something that I need to be doing after my education and before I offer myself to a potential suitor," Darla said before the old woman was arching her eyebrow.

"Oh, and what is that?"

"Surely you remembered that I told you about my plan on helping the orphaned and the poor from Norkins. It would be best if I gave them a chance in life to have a better life for them. Not just wondering around in sickness and poverty for the rest of their lives," she said as she was nibbling on her chocolate tart before the old woman was smiling at her.

"You have such a wonderful heart, even when your mouth thinks on its own. But aye, I agreed. The court should do something about the poverty in Norkins. If I was to govern the court, I would spend some of the treasury on the improvement of Norkins. Not to fill more of the lords' fat pouches," Lady Ashley said with a detest before Darla was smiling at her.

"I would support you all the way, my lady. All the way," and she meant it. Sure, Darla was not used to having to talk about politics openly when her papa was a baron himself but of course, he restricted her from having to mess around with them.

Especially she was a young woman that was on the marriage mart. No lord wanted his bride to be taking interest in politics, only on gowns, jewels, and their management on the household. Darla gripped the tart in protest.

A woman can do so much more than that, she thought before she was looking at the clock and sighed. It was time for her to go home and she will be returning on the weekend next week. Darla loved to spend some time with the old woman for she had a very different view from anyone else that Darla met in her life.

Having to talk to Lady Ashley was actually quite nice, for a change of her routine in education.

"I must get going then. I have classes tomorrow," Darla said before she was sitting up from the divan in front of the fireplace. Her skirts moved with her before Lady Ashley nodded at her.

"Have a safe journey, girl. And watch out with your mouth, will you?" she said before Darla kissed the old woman on the cheeks as the butler gave her bonnet and gloves before taking her parasol and went to the parlor before making her way to the academy again.

*****

Lord James Flemington, Viscount of Kent, was the most notorious rake that the academy has ever seen. He did not know that he will be a rake when he entered his education when he was eight and ten and he was known to be playing around, chasing skirts and all that, he was called upon by his grandma to meet her in her townhouse in Hamptor.

And that was his first month in the academy.

Now, being ten and ten, he thought he would be left alone by his grandmother but it only got worse for she was asking him to visit her in town.

Knowing that his grandma did not approve of his way of life, James has to present himself to the townhouse so that no one would be the wiser as she would give James an earful but of course, he just endures it till the end.

Not that he has any objection when he was at the academy at the moment, waiting for his brother, William, who was now six and ten before he will be joining him two years from now.

James can hardly wait.

He took a hackney to get to the town before he was looking at the town that was bustling and hustling with people. He smiled before he saw some of the maidens that would definitely catch his attention later on.

But first, his grandma.

He paid to the driver before he got off from the carriage as he was looking around. He was smoothing his coat before he was making his way to the townhouse that was turned into his grandma's private class that she taught on etiquette and manners to the young ladies.

He would not be expecting to see anyone there as it was the weekend and he was just going to say hello to her and then get moving to the nearest tavern or gambling hell to get his mind off from the education that he was receiving for months now.

He knocked on the door as the butler, Mr. Lincoln, was answering the door before he was smiling at the old man.

"Master James, Mistress was expecting you," he said before James took off his hat and gloves before giving it to him. He was beaming at him.

"You've been looking well, Lincoln. I daresay the country was doing you good, yes?" James said before he was moving into the parlor before he was making his way to the drawing-room. he might not be visiting his grandma often but he knew his way around.

And James stopped at the door as he was looking at the small figure that was sipping on the tea while looking outside the window.

A maiden.

But as she turned to look who was at the door, he sucked on his breaths as he did not expect her to be here.

Lady Darla Lockwood, his mortal enemy.
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