Sponsored by Nila 💖 (2/10)
Roxana and Elvin had been friends since they were very young.
So, this was the first time Elvin and I had officially met and talked. In the first meeting, they were just together when I fell from the terrace, and in the second meeting, we just met in the garden and passed without a greeting. Finally, in the third meeting, Elvin was hiding his identity, so there was no friendship between us in the eyes of others.
But despite that, Elvin’s attitude toward me now was quite friendly. Unlike me, who was worried about how to treat him, he was very open-minded.
“Elvin Croix. What the hell is this? Can’t you see me in your eyes?” (CP)
While I was choosing an appropriate greeting, the Crown Prince asked sharply. At the voice full of displeasure, Elvin turned his head to the side as if he had recognized the Crown Prince’s existence just then.
“Your Highness, long time no see.”
Looking at it now, Elvin’s face looked really arrogant.
Elvin also has royal blood, so it may seem natural to him, but he had an arrogant atmosphere unique to the imperial family. Unlike his slightly raised lips, his eyes seemed to be looking down at everyone because of his cold eyes and tall height. He was both overwhelming and terribly beautiful, but he didn’t seem to impress the Crown Prince.
“What are you doing to my fiancée?”
“I was just saying hello. I don’t know why Your Highness is so agitated?”
Was he mad at Elvin’s attitude that seemed to ignore him? The Crown Prince contorted his face.
And, on the contrary, Elvin maintained his cold face from start to finish.
‘Aren’t these two cousins? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a bad relationship.’
I was puzzled.
I didn’t know why, but looking at it now, it seemed that the Crown Prince and Elvin had a worse relationship than anyone else. I couldn’t understand the Crown Prince, who was easily aroused as usual, and the attitude of Elvin, as if he was deliberately trying to pick a fight.
I sighed. Neither of us was a child, so we wouldn’t have fist fights over these things, but more and more people’s attention was focused on us. People looked at us with interesting or anxious eyes.
Annie also had an anxious face.
The shop owner, who was restless with a pale, tired face from a distance, was also concerned.
As if worried that his own store might be in trouble, he looked like he was about to cry when our eyes met.
He looked at me as if asking for help.
It was the first time that a large, middle-aged man had looked so pitiful. Although I didn’t know what had happened between Elvin and the Crown Prince, I couldn’t stand by and watched as things got bigger.
I put my hand on the Crown Prince’s arm and squeezed it slightly.
“Your Majesty, there are many eyes watching. So please stop here.”
I spoke in a low voice that only the Crown Prince could hear. The Crown Prince was very concerned about his face and reputation, so he would understand if I said this much.
Fortunately, the Crown Prince closed his lips and said nothing more.
However, his gaze, glaring at Elvin, added to his ferociousness.
As I stood next to the Crown Prince, I had the illusion of hearing the sound of his teeth grinding.
Of course, Elvin didn’t seem to care at all.
“If you’re done talking, I’ll be on my way.”
Elvin glanced at the Crown Prince with his indifferent face and greeted him dryly. He looked at me once before turning his body and said,
“Princess Lillian, I hope to see you again next time.”
Leaving his meaningful words behind, Elvin left the shop.
“You cheeky child!”
As soon as Elvin left, the Crown Prince looked at the door and let out a small cursing. His clenched fists were full of strength.
He could see a lot of strength in his hands, clenching his fists on the table. Be kind to someone who is not even your lover in front of your fiancée……kissed the back of her hand…
Did the Crown Prince not realize that was what he always did to Claire in front of Roxana?
I looked at him with an expressionless face and looked away. I had just entered the store, but I was already feeling very tired.
“Crown Prince and Princess, it is an honor for you to visit us.”
Turning away from the Crown Prince, I made eye contact with the owner of the jewelry store, who was frozen in the distance.
As soon as our eyes met, he approached us with a bright smile.
It wasn’t the usual, natural, commercial smile, but an awkward expression full of strength. With a smile on his face, he looked sadly at the Crown Prince and me alternately.
The Crown Prince took a sip of the tea on the table, still with a stiff face. The atmosphere was of course heavy when the Crown Prince, who was in the highest position, openly revealed that he was uncomfortable.
With a troubled look on my face, I beckoned to the bewildered shop owner to bring what I had ordered.
Seeing my signal, he left the place as if he was running away, and came back with my belongings in less than a minute.
Originally, he would have ordered the staff without moving himself, but seeing that the standard was tight, it was evident that he was more nervous than usual.
The shop owner placed an elongated box and a small box about the size of the palm on the table, opened the lid and showed the contents inside. One was a small dagger studded with jade, and the other was a brooch studded with reddish-red rubies.
The objects were very colorful and beautiful on the outside.
The owner of this large and luxurious shop was a greedy man, but the goods boasted a certain quality. But because the Crown Prince next to me was concerned, I couldn’t look at it for a long time and closed the box.
“You don’t just sell things, but you also do crafts?”
When the Crown Prince, who had been sitting silently for a while, spoke for the first time and asked a question, the shop owner nodded his head proudly with a happy face.
“Not only do we work, we also do repairs. The pendant the princess entrusted to me a while ago…… ”
The shop owner was very pleased with the interest the Crown Prince had shown and spoke up. For a moment, without realizing it, I frowned. He talked too much. As I frowned, the savvy shop owner shut his mouth at once.
I glanced at the Crown Prince. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to care much about what the shop owner had to say. The Crown Prince’s gaze reached the dagger lying on the table.
“Certainly not bad.”
At the Crown Prince’s praise, the shop owner, as if he had forgotten what had been a while ago, showed his pride in his store’s excellent products with an excited expression on his face. Obviously, the jewelry in this store was of excellent quality and the workmanship was not bad. So Roxana used it habitually.
However, in the Imperial Palace, countless treasures were piled up to be included in history books. The Crown Prince, who grew up seeing such things, could not have truly admired things in this shop. He was strangely sensitive before, but after the excitement subsided, he seemed to have regained his senses.
It seemed like he was trying to lighten the mood, but if he said it with that intention, it would be half the success. In any case, the heavy atmosphere has gotten much better by the Crown Prince’s praise.
But that didn’t mean I want to stay here. In the end, the shop owner was the only one who was having a good time.
“Is this the first time you two have come here together? You two look good together.”
This time he looked into my eyes and flattered me.
It was flattery, but the Crown Prince, surprisingly, seemed to be relieved a little by those words.
“Is that so?”
At the store owner’s words, the Crown Prince made a satisfied face and the corners of his mouth were slightly lifted.
“We should leave. I think it’s late.”
After I instructed Annie to pack the things, I got up. The Crown Prince stood up quietly, and the shop owner saw us off with a sad face. When he left the jewelry shop, the Crown Prince’s face no longer showed signs of displeasure. I thought he hated things like shopping, but seeing him quickly relieve his mood by saying nothing, I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh.
“Is there anywhere else you want to go?”
“Think about it. There must be at least one or two more. Or is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit?”
The Crown Prince’s gaze looking at me seemed excited, was it my mistake? In the end, I got a little embarrassed and asked.
“Your Highness, aren’t you busy?”
“Busy. Very busy. But I can spare this amount of time for you. And since we’ll be busier in the future, we don’t know when we’ll be able to come out together like this again.”
The Crown Prince’s sudden change of attitude was certainly a good thing, but I was still not used to it. He played the role of a sweet lover to Claire while trying to be nice to me at the same time. Sometimes more than necessary. I was skeptical, but soon figured out why.
‘Is it because of what I said last time?’
I couldn’t remember exactly when, but I asked the Crown Prince to fulfill his fiancé’s duties as I would not interfere in private matters. His strange change of attitude these days seemed to be due to that. Apparently, the Crown Prince thought that this was one of his duties as my fiancé. I did hope he would change, but honestly, I didn’t expect him to change this much.
Did the return of the second Prince affect the Crown Prince, or the news of the Duke’s victory?
To be honest, I was a little surprised.
“If there is no specific place you want to go, why not just walk together? I know a good trail.”
While I was pondering inside, the Crown Prince made a suggestion. Even if the kindness offered by the Crown Prince was an obligatory act, there was no need to make the atmosphere worse by refusing to do so. Even if there was no sincerity, a pretentious kindness rather than discord would be nicer to me as well as to others. In the end, I walked with him a little more and went for a walk.
The street scenery was very beautiful.
On the path the Crown Prince guided, there were a lot of unknown wild flowers along with freesia, hyacinth, cosmos, and lillies.
After walking for about an hour, we chatted lightly.
We did not bring up topics that would make each other uncomfortable, and we enjoyed the peace that was precarious like fragile ice.
After walking along the promenade, the Crown Prince made a very regretful face when I asked to stop and return.
After the walk, we went back to where we first got off and got on the carriage.
The carriage the Crown Prince rode on was large, but there was no separate luggage compartment. Since I couldn’t even put the gifts I bought on the driver’s seat, I put them next to my seat.
Soon the carriage departed, and I felt the Crown Prince glancing my way.
I looked out the window, ignoring his gaze, but the Crown Prince did not mind.
“Are those boxes a commemorative gift for the Duke?”
“Why did you prepare two? Usually, you can prepare just one.”
What the Crown Prince said was half right and half wrong.
One was a gift prepared for the Duke, but the other was not.
The Crown Prince seemed to have noticed that too.
Roxana and the Duke were not close. The present I prepared now was just a formal gift. The Crown Prince was well aware of that, so he must have said something like that. But the Duke was wealthy, so it was not surprising that I prepared another gift.
“Are they gifts for two people?”