“We met by chance and were chatting.”
Then the Crown Prince looked at me this time.
“Now you don’t even acknowledge me or greet me.
Roxana, are you becoming more and more like Elvin because you’re hanging out with him?”
“I’m seeing the Crown Prince.”
After my reluctant greeting, the Crown Prince’s expression worsened even more.
His gaze searched around me.
‘What are you looking at?’
I remembered the existence of the hairpin that Elvin had placed on my hair earlier.
Other than that, there was a bracelet and a necklace.
I thought that the Crown Prince wouldn’t recognize the small change in the degree that the accessories were changed.
But looking at that expression, it was clear that he knew.
Just as the Crown Prince was about to speak, Joan walked up to us from afar with an urgent expression.
“I see the Crown Prince.”
She greeted the Crown Prince first.
Then she looked towards me.
“Lady, who is next to you…?”
Joan recognized Elvin and was surprised.
When I gave her attention with a wink, she quickly regained her composure and spoke her original purpose.
“Lady, His Excellency is looking for you. The auction will start soon. He’s worried because you haven’t come back after a long time.”
I turned to the Crown Prince who stood in silence.
“Your Highness, did you hear it? My father is looking for me. As a daughter, I can’t help but go. So if you have something to say, we’ll talk later.”
“Wait. I still have something to say.”
“Don’t worry. I also have something to tell you. See you later at the fountain after the event.”
I turned around without hesitation.
As I was about to return to the banquet hall with Joan, Elvin caught me.
“Princess, wait a minute. You dropped this.”
He held out something wrapped in cloth.
It contained the bracelet I was originally wearing before he gave me a new one.
The Crown Prince looked at us with a glare, wanting to know what was going on.
“I almost forgot. Thank you.”
“No. I’m just returning what you dropped. Then I’ll go. Enjoy the rest of your time.”
“All right. Goodbye.”
After leaving a brief greeting, Elvin disappeared.
Thinking that I wouldn’t be able to see him for a while, I felt a bit sad.
On the other side, the Crown Prince’s hot gaze was felt.
I ignored him and entered the banquet hall.
“His Excellency is already inside.”
The auction was held in a separate room inside the banquet hall.
Joan whispered quietly as I went to find a seat.
“Lady, it was Young Master of Croix earlier. I thought I saw you left with the second Prince…… what happened?”
“We met by chance.”
“By the way, from whom did you get the bracelet and the hairpin? What’s the hair? Did you do it yourself?”
Instead of answering, I handed her the bracelet I was holding in my hand.
“I have this.”
Joan opened the cloth with her puzzled face and checked what was inside.
She still had a lot of questions to ask, but didn’t ask any more, knowing I wouldn’t answer.
“Let’s go to the terrace or the lounge first. I’ll fix your hair.”
Before entering the venue, as Joan said, we headed to the terrace.
“Stand for a moment.”
While Joan touched my hair, I checked my reflection in the glass.
It looked like she had my hair part in half and the hairpin secured at the top.
“Okay, that’s it.”
After fixing it, it felt completely different from before.
Compared to earlier, it was better because she had good dexterity.
However, when I recalled Elvin’s hand that had been concentrating for a long time to insert the hairpin, I thought his efforts had gone to waste.
When I went back inside, the auction had already started.
Looking around, I saw the Duke sitting at the top.
A little further away, the Crown Prince and the second prince were also seen.
Unknown where she went, Claire was nowhere to be seen.
“You are late. Have you been with the second Prince until now?”
As I sat down next to him, the Duke asked.
His expression was full of suspicion.
“No. I met a friend in the middle. It’s late because I forgot the time as we talked for a while.”
“I see. Anyway, from now on, don’t go alone. I think I’ve said this before, but if it’s too much to bring escorts, take your maids with you.”
The duke’s nagging continued for a long time.
I nodded my head moderately, thinking that it would be longer if I argued.
“You always answer well.”
The Duke looked at me with a helpless expression.
“Wherever you go and what you do, that’s fine as long as you like it. But don’t do anything dangerous.”
This time, it was not easy to answer.
Somehow, as if my throat was clogged, words could not come out easily, so I nodded my head a bit late.
On the podium, Marquis Flynn was personally presenting old masterpieces.
It was difficult to understand because the explanation was complicated with terms I didn’t know well.
However, the paintings seemed quite expensive even to me, who was not familiar with art.
The painting sold for ten thousand pounds.
Considering that an ordinary house in the capital costs £50,000, it was a huge sum. (*I don’t think it used “pound” in this period of time, but that’s all I got.)
After the first painting, there were many expensive objects that could be seen in museums or exhibitions.
Various kinds of precious objects, such as paintings, statues, ceramics, and ornaments, appeared one after another and were sold.
It was my first visit to the auction house, so I was initially interested in the sight I saw for the first time in my life.
As time passed, it became more and more boring.
But it couldn’t be skipped.
The most important event still remained.
The servant brought the next item and placed it on the table.
Unlike the previous ones, it was covered with a dark cloth.
The marquis smiled with satisfaction as he received attention and questions from the people.
Then he reached out and removed the cloth that was covering the object.
A tiara was seen on top of a soft velvet cushion.
The tiara was lavishly encrusted with jewels, and the craftsmanship was very delicate and gorgeous.
People were amazed at the sight.
However, only one person was unable to fully appreciate it and was hardened.
“This tiara, which was a gift from the last of the now vanished Grand Duke of Baillette’s family when he proposed to the Grand Duchess, was coveted by many after her death, but was lost for over a hundred years.”
From the moment the tiara, which was covered with a cloth, was revealed, the Crown Prince’s expression was a mess.
He was barely holding it in to be conscious of people’s gaze, but I could see how embarrassed and angry he was.
“It is a very precious item with many legends. It was donated by none other than Princess Lillian.”
Marquis Flynn looked at me and added.
As soon as he finished speaking, someone raised his hand and shouted.
“One hundred thousand pounds!”
“One hundred and fifty thousand pounds!”
“One hundred and eighty thousand pounds!”
“Two hundred thousand pounds!”
“Three hundred thousand pounds!”
Every time people raised their hands, the auction price skyrocketed.
I was a little scared.
Then, the Crown Prince raised his hand and said:
“A million pounds.”
There was a moment of silence in the hall.
Soon, people murmured as if on fire.
To see a tiara the size of a palm being sold for the price of a castle, I too could not hide my surprise.
“If no one is willing to pay more than this, I will win the bid.”
After the Crown Prince, no one raised his hand any more.
The auction house, which had been overheated with the heat until a while ago, became quiet in an instant as if it had been covered in cold water.
Aside from his ability to pay a huge sum of £1 million, the Crown Prince stepped forward because no one dared to steal his belongings.
In the end, the tiara returned to its owner’s arms once again. (*it’s the tiara the CP gave Roxana but she refused to wear it, now she auctioned it.)
Throughout the event, the Crown Prince showed his displeasure.
Because of that, the people around him were sitting on a cushion of thorns.
Someone talked to him to loosen up the atmosphere, but after seeing the opposite effect, no one dared to continue.
Before the auction ended, I got up.
But the Crown Prince, who was watching me, also quietly got up.
“Where are you going again this time?”
The Duke asked me with a worried face.
“I have some unfinished business with His Highness. I’ll be back.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry too much. It’ll be fine. I’ll be back soon.”
I quickly left before the duke caught me again.
However, as he advised, I did not forget to take the knights to escort me this time.
While I was talking with the Duke, the Crown Prince came out and was waiting for me at the door.
When our eyes met, he walked forward without saying a word, as if to follow him.
“Lady, did you see the Crown Prince’s expression earlier? I am worried about it.”
Joan, who had been following me, whispered anxiously.
“He looked serious. You gave away his precious gift, he must feel bad. Let’s just skip today and talk to him again when his anger is over…”
I left her and walked away.
“Lady, let’s go together.”
Joan followed me as I walked after the Crown Prince without making a loud noise.
We finally stopped when we reached a place where no one around.
The Crown Prince looked back at me.
The complex emotions were seen in his blue eyes.
“What happened to the tiara? Why is the gift I gave you up for auction?”
“They donate the proceeds for a good cause, so of course we should help. Before I was a noble, I couldn’t stand still as an imperial citizen.”
The Crown Prince scoffed.
“I didn’t know before that you thought of people that much. I’ll return the tiara to you and make sure you keep it with you this time.”
“No, I don’t want it.”
“Are you disappointed with me about what happened earlier? I helped Claire.”
“Isn’t disappointment only when there is expectation in the first place?”
He looked at me like what nonsense I was talking about.
“I didn’t expect anything, so I wasn’t disappointed. Got an answer? Just do it as usual. I think I’m more comfortable with it now.”
After a brief silence, he spoke in a stifled voice.
“If you want to criticize others, why don’t you look at how you behave before you speak?”
I looked at the Crown Prince to see what he was saying.
His expression was not only serious, but also quite sad.
“The brooch you gave to Elvin, I pretended not to know while I knew it. But I don’t think that’s necessary now. I’ll ask again. What’s the relationship between you and Elvin?”
When I looked at him coldly without answering, the Crown Prince clenched his teeth.
“I just can’t let it slide like last time. I must get the correct answer today.”
“Didn’t I tell you last time? I have nothing to do with the young master of Croix. No matter what our relationship is, Your Highness has no right to interfere.”
“You are the Crown Princess. You will become the Empress in the future. If you keep going like this… I will consider breaking up the marriage.”
The Crown Prince opened his eyes wide as if he had heard something unbelievable.
“What did you just say……”
“If that’s what Your Highness desires, then I must obey your will.”