Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Leila blinked as if she had no idea what was going on.
Kalian also realized that he had asked a strange question and rubbed his face with his hand.
“I asked you because you followed me so obediently without asking where we were going. Some usually ask questions, you know?”
“Ah, weren’t we going to Greenery street?”
Greenery street was a place where shops selling all kinds of goods related to nature, such as seeds, trees, and flowers, were gathered.
Kalian asked, slightly surprised as if Leila saw through his mind.
“How did you know?”
“You said you were looking for plants. So, of course, I thought we would go to Greenery street.”
Kalian, who tried to provoke her, nodded bitterly.
Kalian took a step that had stopped. Leila followed him and said in a low voice.
“I hope you find what you’re looking for there.”
Kalian responded bluntly without looking back at Leila.
“What would you say if I used it for something bad? For example, I use it to kill someone.”
Leila, who was silent for a moment at the eerie words, replied in a still calm voice.
“If it’s Mr. Carl, I’m sure there’s a reason for that.”
“Does that mean you trust me?”
Kalian stopped walking again and looked back at her.
The serene black eyes and the confused blue eyes met in the air.
“Is that so?”
It was great disloyalty for the nobles not to trust their emperor.
So she had to trust him, and even if she didn’t, it was the right thing to say in front of him.
Of course, Leila trusted Kalian.
Not only because he was an emperor, but she found out that Kalian was a good person after a few conversations.
If he were a bad person, he wouldn’t have saved her and the girl from that rude.
He wouldn’t have comforted her by talking to her, who was crying under the tree.
He also opened the way for me to become an official.
She received so much help, so there’s no doubting him.
This might change depending on how he ruled the Empire in the future, but so far,
“I trust Mr. Carl.”
A calm smile was drawn on her lips with an honest, plain answer and with no technique at all.
That’s not awkward at all. It was a normal smile, but for some reason, Kalian turned his head, slightly frowning.
Leila didn’t know that his face had turned slightly red because of that.
Even Kalian himself.
The first time I learned about Quilts was about five years ago when there was a famine in our territory and others.
Since last year, I was worried because the precipitation had gradually decreased, but as expected, a terrible drought came that year.
Thanks to the pre-storage of grain, I could somehow get through that year, but the future was a problem.
If the drought continued next year, or maybe even after that, there would be no countermeasures for that, so I searched through all kinds of books to find a way to prepare.
That’s when I found the Quilt.
An amazing crop that grows well even in desert areas with little rain.
I was going to import the Quilts right away, but Muran, a desert country at the time, was at war with the Empire, so I couldn’t import them through the official route.
All I got was a little bit from the refugee nomads.
So I constantly researched and pondered what other plants could be other than Quilts.
So, although I knew more about plants than other people, I wasn’t at the level to help other people.
I was excited to help, but what if he found out about my lack of knowledge?
I was worried, but fortunately, he asked questions to the best of my knowledge. And I answered him with the utmost sincerity.
Every time I answered, Kalian looked at me with interest.
His gaze was burdensome, so I smiled awkwardly and turned my head.
Then I found a necklace inside a luxurious glass box.
A necklace with a blue jewel on a chain made of platinum without any special decorations was familiar.
Where did I see it? Did I see someone wearing it at the party?
I was staring at the necklace while looking back on my memories, and Kalian, who was talking to the store clerk, asked me.
“Is there anything you like?”
“No. There isn’t.”
I immediately drew my attention, but Kalian, who noticed that I was looking at the blue necklace, gestured to the store clerk.
“I want to see that necklace.”
“As expected, you have an excellent eye for your precious people!”
The store clerk quickly brought the glass box with the necklace along with flattery.
“As for this necklace, it is not an ordinary necklace, but a magic necklace made of spirit stone!”
Spirit stone is naturally a jewel with magical power, and because it is so rare, it is several times more expensive than magic stones artificially made by wizards.
Apparently, I heard that a spirit stone the size of a little fingernail is worth the price of a mansion.
Kalian, who was paying close attention to the spirit stone, asked.
“What ability does this spirit stone have?”
“I will show you. Conversion!”
The necklace sparkled when the employee picked it up and shouted the starter word.
What will happen?
I looked forward to it, but nothing happened. There was a serious silence in the store.
When Kalian said bitterly, the employee smiled triumphantly and held out his left arm.
It was then that I opened my eyes wide in surprise when I discovered that the employee’s left arm had turned as bumpy as the orc’s arm.
Kalian also looked at the employee’s arm with a slightly surprised look.
Seeing the expressions of me and Kalian, the employee smiled proudly and shook his arm.
“As you can see, this necklace can transform any part of your body to your liking. Release.”
When the employee shouted the starter word again, his arm returned to normal.
“What do you think? Great ability, isn’t it?”
“It’s a useless ability.”
I glanced sideways at Kalian as he spoke what I was thinking.
The employee was sullen and drooped his shoulders.
“I think it’s a great ability…”
When Kalian confirmed it once again, the employee became even sadder.
It’s a useless ability, but I don’t think it’s necessary to say that.
I smiled awkwardly and comforted the depressed employee.
“Still, because it’s a spirit stone, the jewel is so pretty.”
At my words, the employee looked at me with a bright face.
“If it were a magic stone, it wouldn’t have been able to produce such a subtle color, but as expected, the spirit stone~.”
“You want it?”
Kalian cut the employee’s words abruptly and asked me.
I shook my head firmly.
“I don’t want it.”
My answer made the employee sullen again, but I couldn’t help it.
If I said yes, I thought Kalian would really buy it for me.
Even if it was someone else’s money, I didn’t want to spend money on things I didn’t need.
Where would I use that magic anyway?
And the reason I looked at that necklace in the first place wasn’t because I was interested in it, but because it was strangely familiar.
However, I still couldn’t remember where I saw it.
If I couldn’t remember, it’s probably not important.
I didn’t think much of it and looked back at Kalian.
“Did you find what you are looking for?”
If we couldn’t find it in the biggest store on the greenery street, the other stores wouldn’t have it either.
“That’s it for today.”
Kalian also thought so, and he said that we should part ways here.
“Thank you for your time. I’ll remember what happened today and pay you back next time.”
“No. I’m just glad to have been of any help to you.”
So, when I was about to say ‘I’ll see you next time’, Kalian held out a box.
Inside the box was a necklace with the blue jewel that I saw earlier.
When did he buy this?
No, more than that, why would he…
As I looked at him in bewilderment, Kalian said with a bright smile.
“This is a gift in return for your help today, so please accept it.”
He didn’t find what he was looking for, but I got such a great reward for lending him a little bit of my insignificant knowledge.
It was more than I deserved. I was bewildered and waved my hand.
“It’s an Imperial order.”
A modest refusal was hampered by abuse of power.
It’s an Imperial order, how could I refuse it?
I received the gift from Kalian.
Kalian smiled contentedly.
“It’s better than hearing you say ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘it’s okay’. From now on, just say thank you to everything I say.”
What a ridiculous request. How can I say thank you to everything you say?
“…is this also an Imperial order?” I asked carefully.
If it’s an Imperial order, then I should follow it.
After pondering for a moment, Kalian replied refreshingly.
“It is a request.”
Whether it was an Imperial order or a request, their weight was the same for me.
I nodded resolutely.
She’s doing exactly what I told her to do.
Kalian looked at Leila, smiling inwardly.
After the former Duke and Duchess of Williot died, he thought she was an impregnable woman because it was said that she was the timber that supported the precarious the Duke of Williot, but it turned out she wasn’t.
She was a naive, sentimental woman. She was also soft-hearted.
And at the moment when she had to step forward, it was amazing that she stood up straight without being shaken.
He was curious what else she would show him in the future.
She was pretty when she smiled too.
Kalian, who was looking at Leila, turned around when someone called him from behind.
One of his loyal escort knights bowed politely and said, “It’s time for you to go back.”
It’s time already?
Kalian glanced at the sky reddened by the sunset and looked at Leila again.
Leila looked slightly surprised, looking at the escort knight behind Kalian.
“Why do you look so surprised?”
“Nothing… Should I say thank you for this too?”
At the question asked carefully, Kalian grabbed his stomach and laughed out loud.
Leila looked at Kalian with a blank look on her face.
She has a dense side, too.
Somehow, Kalian wanted to tease her, so he replied with a mischievous look.
Leila was baffled by Kalian’s answer and rolled her eyes.
Her mouth that contained the words she wanted to say, moved slightly to the word ‘thank you’ repeatedly.
Seeing her like that made him want to tease her more.
However, Kalian’s wish was thwarted by his escort knight’s urging.
Tsk, Kalian clicked his tongue and waved his hand.
“I’m joking. I’ll take back the one I told you to say thank you to everything I say.”
Only then did Leila answer vigorously with a bright face.
Rather than pretty, her face was elegant and graceful.
She was by no means an eye-catching splendid beauty.
But strangely enough, he kept looking at her.
Is it out of curiosity?
Kalian tilted his head and turned around at the unfamiliar thing.
And for some reason, he dawdlingly took a regretful step.