I stopped at Annie’s words.
And I looked in the mirror on the other side.
Did I look happy like she said?
I frowned as I recalled what happened in the Imperial Palace today.
Looking back, there was nothing that made me feel good.
I was threatened by the emperor and witnessed the conflict between the Crown Prince and the second Prince.
Come to think of it…
As I recalled what happened today, I realized belatedly.
Again this time, with the help of Elvin, I overcame the crisis.
He always showed up to help when I needed it.
And from some point on, I, too, naturally accepted Elvin’s help.
“Did I say something wrong…?”
Annie looked at me with a cautious expression.
It seemed that my expression didn’t look very good to her. I felt uncomfortable again. But unlike before, the mood subsided.
“It’s not like that, so don’t worry about it.”
When Annie left, Tien brought hot tea. She set the teacup in front of me.
“It’s ginger tea. It’s good for warming up, so go ahead and drink it, Lady. I also brought honey here.”
I picked up the mug and took a sip of the steaming tea. The spicy ginger scent mixed with sweet honey gave the body a warm feeling.
“It seems that Marquis Flynn has prepared well this time. I’m already looking forward to seeing how great things will come out of this event.”
“Whatever it is. It will be similar to what they do every year.”
At a charity event, Marquis Flynn would put out rare items every year. And then they auctioned off the items and donated the profits. It was fun for customers to participate in the auction, and it was fun to watch even if you didn’t participate in the auction.
It was enough to satisfy the vanity of the Marquis, as he could show off his wealth and pride at the gathering of key figures.
“Aren’t you excited, lady? I heard that the Crown Prince and the second Prince also attended this event. It seems that the imperial family is also paying attention to this event, so of course there will be a lot of guests, right? Should I order a new dress?”
Joan, who came to my side, chattered.
As I sat still and listened to the maids, I suddenly noticed something different from the morning.
There was a vase that I had never seen on the window sill, and in it were beautiful fresh flowers. The reddish petals looked so fresh that if you touched them, they seemed to drip with water. Looking at where my gaze was, Tien said as if she remembered belatedly.
“Oh, come to think of it, a person from Hermes came earlier. He said it is a rare breed of flowers that was newly imported this time, and it is only for special guests. I’ve heard roughly that a flower is worth ten gold coins.”
It was not known for sure if it was sent by Elvin or Noah or someone below him.
But it was definitely a luxurious gift.
It was definitely lavish and pretty, but it was so expensive as if it was made from gold.
I couldn’t understand it.
Elvin said he wouldn’t accept money from me from now on no matter how many requests I made, and then he sent a gift like this.
“It’s beautiful. It looks like a variety I haven’t seen in the garden. What’s the name?”
Tien smiled brightly.
“It’s Lisianthus. You may not have seen it, but there are some in our garden.”
“Is that so?”
“The Lady didn’t recognize it because the ones in the garden are different from these. This is the first time I’ve seen such a deep red color. It’s a new breed, so it definitely feels different.”
Joan also looked at the vase and admired it.
“At first, I thought that Lisianthus was supposed to be put together with other flowers, but it’s amazing how gorgeous and pretty even if they are by themselves like that.”
As me and Tien stared at her puzzled face, Joan made a ‘why’ face.
“A bribe or information? What does all that mean?”
“Did the Hermes send flowers to the Lady as a bribe when they heard that Marquis Flynn is going to hold a charity event? Because if the Lady wears their dress, the Hermes’s reputation will increase. The dress is definitely beautiful but it’s already a bribe attack.”
It was a truly absurd idea of Joan. She said this was probably because she was a commoner and didn’t know the status of the Hermes and its wealth.
Did Elvin even know that he got this kind of comment? He probably couldn’t even imagine it. I was truly grateful that he was not here now.
“Lady, maybe the Hermes’s owner is a woman. Or she’s a high-class person who’s met a lot of women.”
“Why do you think so?”
I was genuinely puzzled and asked.
“Otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to understand women’s feelings so well. But it’s a little strange.”
Joan crossed her arms with a serious face.
“Last time was a dress, this time it was the flowers, they are just too expensive to send as a sign to continue doing business with them. Even if the scale of the organization is large, it is just a business for ordinary people.”
“I think it’s really strange. I think it’s too much to wrap it up with the words that the Hermes’s kindness is good. Could it be that they have other conspiracies? Maybe….”
Joan’s face grew more serious as she continued her words. Her thoughts always steered in unexpected directions.
“Seeing that they have been sending precious gifts since last time, doesn’t the Hermes’s owner have a different heart for the young lady?”
I don’t know if I should call it smart or absurd, but she always had her own logic.
Most of it was close to nonsense, but sometimes it felt sharp.
That’s why I sometimes get confused whether Joan’s brain was good or bad, and now was the time.
Joan looked at me as if asking for consent.
But she continued to speak even though she didn’t get an answer from me.
“They have good service, so there’s nothing wrong with that, but they are ignorant not knowing their place…. Hmm… What do you think, Lady?”
“Joan, you’d better stay as quiet as possible from now on.”
Joan had a puzzled face.
I warned her once again.
“In the future, when there is a banquet hall or other people, don’t say anything other than necessary words. It’s an order.”
Joan looked at me with her unhappy face.
She then turned to Tien, who was beside her, as if she was asking for help.
But Tien got up from her seat, ignoring Joan’s pleading gaze.
“I’ll bring some refreshments to go with the tea. Earlier, I noticed that the chef was baking the pumpkin pie, it must be done by now. I’ll get some before it cools down.”
Tien left her seat as if running away from a difficult situation, and Joan returned to her seat.
Seeing her mouth sticking out, she must be dissatisfied with my order.
She was quite diligent. She also had a lot of talent and skillful hands.
But whenever she opened her mouth, it’s like a time bomb, so it’s a big deal.
I turned my head again and looked at the Lisianthus.
The red flowers in the crystal vase boasted their beautiful appearance.
As I was looking at the deep and vivid red petals, I suddenly remembered someone’s face.
Maybe because I knew the sender, I thought that flowers and their owners resemble each other.
Especially splendid and dignified.
It was not unusual to exchange flowers with friends, but it was the first time I received flowers from a friend. When I first found out that Elvin was the eldest son of the Grand Duke of Croix, I obviously tried to distance myself from him. But somehow, I had come to this point.
I remembered Elvin’s face when he looked at me today. It felt more and more deviated from the plan I had initially made.
The Crown Prince’s palace.
Today too, the courtiers were very nervous.
The sound of things breaking could be heard in the room where the Crown Prince was staying.
The Crown Prince, who was the owner, was in a bad mood, so everyone couldn’t breathe much and walked cautiously.
Baron Cheston, who had come to deliver the papers, also stopped in front of the door and hesitated.
He couldn’t easily knock on the door with his clenched hands raised.
But he had to because of work.
Baron Cheston, pondering in front of the door, finally knocked carefully.
“Your Highness. May I come in?”
At that moment, the sound from inside stopped.
There was no sound from inside for a while. Anxiety crossed Baron Cheston’s face.
“…If you’re busy, I will come back later.”
As soon as he finished speaking, the door opened with a squeaking sound from the inside.
Baron Cheston was stunned by the scene inside the room that was finally revealed.
The Crown Prince liked to be neat, and because of that, his room was always neat and tidy.
But now the room was in chaos as if a storm had swept through it.
Fallen furniture and broken objects in the dimly lit room…
And the Crown Prince standing in the middle was like a ghost.
The white skin that looked unusually pale today and the expressionless face, but his gaze was full of madness.
The Crown Prince said with a cold face.
Behind his back he could see pieces of furniture and broken pieces rolling on the floor. The Crown Prince walked naturally as if nothing had happened and sat down on the sofa. He shook the bell on the table and called his attendant.
Baron Cheston swallowed dry saliva with a nervous expression on his face.
Just like Baron Cheston, when the attendant with a very nervous face entered the room, the Crown Prince gave the order.
“Bring some refreshments.”
After the last emperor’s call, the Crown Prince seemed to be getting worse and worse.
It also meant that he was mentally in a predicament. It was raining, so the sky was dark and the air was humid. Perhaps because of that, the atmosphere in the room was especially gloomy today.
Outside, the sound of heavy rain continued to pour, and with each step, fragments of something were trampled on and crushed.
Even though it was a place Baron Cheston set foot in every day, he felt alien and uncomfortable.
“Your Highness, excuse me for a moment.”
The room was too dark to have a conversation, so Baron Cheston carefully turned on the light.
As the interior became brighter, the landscape in the chaotic room became more visible.
He barely swallowed the scream.
Baron Cheston sat across from the Crown Prince, looking at his countenance.
“Do you remember not too long ago you conducted trade as a trial at the organization?”
The Crown Prince nodded his head.
“Of course, is the result back now?”
“Don’t hesitate, tell me. What was the result?”
Despite the Crown Prince’s cold gaze, Baron Cheston raised the corners of his mouth.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. There was nothing wrong with the product and the local response was very good. If it continues like this in the future, there is nothing more to hope for.”
Just then, the servant, who had gone to run an errand, returned.
He quietly set the tea and snacks on the table and walked away.
The Crown Prince held up the teacup with a happy face.
Contrary to him, the second prince was popular among the people who were not aristocrats.
In order to obtain the throne, the support of the nobles was important, but the public sentiment was also important.
Because of that, he launched a new business to capture the public’s heart.
It was a matter of importing textiles from the kingdom of Petanya, which bordered the Empire.
The fabric woven from plants only found there was strong and had good heat retention.
It could produce a large amount at a time and the price was cheap, so if it succeeded, the quality of life of the people would be greatly improved.
But there was one problem.
The kingdom of Petanya was excellent in culture, but it was a closed country.
Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the road was rough and there were pirates and thieves.
Of course, he sent mercenaries to serve as escorts because of that, but he could not be completely relieved.
As the expected profit was large, the risk was also greater than that.
However, the first trade, sent as a trial, was successfully completed.
The first start was good.
“The trade has been successfully concluded, but there is one problem. The Duke of Lillian stopped sponsoring this time.”
Baron Cheston paused for a moment as he saw the Crown Prince’s face hardened as he spoke.
He seemed to want to ask what happened, but the look on his face made it impossible to say anything. Baron Cheston paused for a moment before continuing.
“We need to find a new sponsor, but it will be difficult right now, right? It is impossible to find a sponsor in the name of the imperial family….”
Support us if you like what we do. https://ko-fi.com/rainofsnow/tiers