The Light Novel series is the source material for the adaptation of the Anime and Manga series. The information and terminology on the article will be based on the source material rather than the adaptions.
Christel is the member of a minor noble house who, out of necessity, try to stay neutral in the ever-shifting faction politics of Ehrenfest.
In the last few years they have slowly inched closer to the Veronica faction, while her influence was at its zenith. They even married Christel's older sister to a man of the Veronica faction. Since the Leisegang faction was so severely suppressed and ostracized, Christel's parents even forbade her from associating with their members. Despite this she became friends with the Leisegang noble Helmina at the Royal Academy, but had to make sure her family wouldn't find out.
When Veronica was imprisoned out of nowhere, they family fell in a panic and started trying to get closer to the Leisegang and Florencia factions to equal out their Veronica faction closeness and secure their neutral status. In these attempts Christel's friendship with Helmina paid off, allowing Christel and her mother to participate in Lady Rozemyne's concert, starring Lord Ferdinand.
Initially Christel's mother only agreed to participating solely for the opportunity to get closer to the Leisegang and Florencia factions, but once Ferdinand played the love song dedicated to Geduldh, she fainted like many other noble ladies, while Christel just barely avoided falling completely unconscious and being carried out for medical attention by a knight. Together with her daughter she bought three illustrations of Ferdinand, as well as some cookies. Due to each illustration costing five large silver coins, Christel's father was very angry, but his wife managed to calm him by claiming this was to get closer to the Leisegangs and restore their neutral position.
In a tea party with her older sister, the two discuss how much Aub Ehrenfest's imprisonment of his own mother has thrown all of Ehrenfest's noble society into chaos. When prompted by her sister Christel tries to describe the concert - or the harspiel tea party as she calls it - as well as she can, but finds it difficult to describe at times. For reasons she can't quite put into words, Lord Ferdinand's performance caused most of the female listeners to burst out in emotion, which is usually unthinkable for nobles. Christel and her mother even had to resort to using feystones to pour their upwelling mana into. She also shares one of her few remaining tea-leaf flavoured cookies with her. Christel herself tries to pace herself to eat only a single cookie per day to make them last as long as she can, usually while reading the program given out at the concert and letting the events play in her mind.
When showing off the illustrations, Christel's sister asks to be given one of them, but Christel has to refuse, since they belong to their mother and were so costly.
The sisters also discuss Christel's future. To regain their fully neutral status, the house would like her to marry a noble from the Leisegang faction, so Christel plans to get close to one and have him escort her at her graduation. The timing is a bit tight, since she is about to enter her final year at the academy the coming winter, leaving her only a few month time
During their tea party an Ordonnanz from Helmina arrives, inviting Christel and her mother to another tea party organized by Lady Elvira, exclusive to those that have bought all illustrations of Ferdinand, which Christel remarks makes the original investment even more worth it and will help to calm their father down. At the tea party Christel learns that Ferdinand has forbidden Rozemyne from printing any more illustrations of him, much to all the present women's dismay.