His hair on my fingers is very soft.
Maybe his hair is better than mine.
I tend to take care of myself.
A little dazed about being pushed by a boy in his hair, and my eyes met Perez, who was gently giving up his head.
And his hand took my hand.
It was a moment of embarrassment at the touch of roundness, holding my hand like it was in his hand.
I felt something in my hand.
When I opened my hand, there was a round flower on the palm of my hand.
It looks like a mixture of lilies and roses and its color is red.
But why are the flowers so hard?
Are you sure?
"Is this... is this Ruby?"
What do you mean yes?
Ruby's too good to nod so simply!
The weight and volume felt by the hand are considerable.
I walked to a brighter place and looked at the ruby in my hand.
A ruby, a little smaller than a ping-pong ball, was carved into a flower shape.
But the shape of the petal was a little strange.
As if the first person to do sculpture was clumsy at first and became proficient at a fast pace.......
"Did you carve this?"
"Yeah." He nods so blandly, just like before.
"Uh, how? No, why?!"
Why is the Second Prince so busy studying swordsmanship carving rubies like this every day after day?
"Thank you, first of all! Thank you! Sigh....... How the hell did you carve rubies?"
It's not easy to cut down with a knife like a tree.
Perez answered my question in a tone of no big deal.
"With a small knife."
"Ah, if you want to come...Wait, you carved it with aura?!"
He nods again.
Oh, my God.
I've never heard of jewelry cut into oracles.
The price of the ruby itself is huge, but it's carved out of aura.
"You've come in handy."
It was as if the only use of the aura he drew was to carve rubies.
Surely his mindset was somewhere very peculiar.
I sighed softly and looked at Ruby, who lay still in my hands.
"Thank you, I'll take it."
Someone might say it's a burdensome gift and say no.
What's wrong with this?
Later, Perez becomes Crown Prince and Emperor, the value of this ruby will not be translated.
A ruby carved by the emperor himself using an aura in his childhood.
I'll put it in well.
"The truth is......."
Perez also rummaged something out of his pocket.
It was a long string of gold.
"It was a necklace."
Looking closely, there was a small ring at the back of Ruby.
How's that ring stuck in the jewel?
I asked because I thought it might be.
There's nothing I can't do.
I stood still and watched Perez thread the necklace.
"If you don't mind, would you like a necklace?"
He asked very carefully.
"You said it was mine. Isn't that obvious?"
Why are you even asking me that?
I held out my neck quickly.
Unlike adults, the necklace came down long and the ruby flowers dangled a little above the solar plexus.
As it moved, several sections sparkled, reflecting the light.
Rarely did Perez say first.
"You're right. You're good."
In the beginning, the clumsy cut was making the flowers more colorful.
I said it again.
I liked Ruby so much that I thought I could say it ten times.
Perez said something unexpected again.
And there was no conversation between us for a while.
But it wasn't awkward.
I watched the lighted garden and listened to music in the cool breeze.
"Why do you keep looking at me?"
My face is going to be pierced, man.
"You know what?"
Perez said something else instead of answering my question.
"Is there any way we can see each other from time to time?"
"What do you mean?"
"I wish we could talk like this sometimes."
It's not like Perez to express what he wants directly like this.
I asked carefully to sound out my intention.
"It's a letter, isn't it?"
"There are a lot of things I can't tell you in a letter."
Perez's tone was cautious.
You don't want to write important stories just in case someone sees the letter.
"Don't worry. Caitlin is never the one to open the letter, and she travels in and out of Lombardy's carriage, so there's no need for anyone to steal it from the middle."
Perez had been listening to my explanation for a while, and after a while, he shrugged and replied.
"......if you say so."
Come to think of it, it's been a while since we came into the balcony.
"Get out of here first."
I spoke to Perez.
Since he first appeared at the banquet, there will be a lot of eyes watching.
Somewhere he doesn't have a good answer.
Anyway, Perez broke through the balcony curtain first.
Left alone, I went back to the banquet hall after counting to about 100 listening to music and people talking.
* * *
Someone talked to me while I was wetting my throat after receiving a drink I was carrying.
Looking back, it was a red-haired girl about Larane's age.
Next to her stood a similar-looking sister my age.
Who is it? I've never seen her before.
When I turn around wondering, the two grab the hem of her skirt and greet politely.
"Oh, hello, Lady Lombardi, Florentia. I'm Patricia of the Gus family. And this is my sister......."
"I'm Haley Gus, Lady."
She was a gentle, somewhat timid impression, but she was quite like the daughters of a high-ranking aristocrat, seeing that they were both wearing colorful clothes and accessories.
I also grabbed the hem of my skirt and said hello.
"Nice to meet you. It's Lombardi, Florentia."
I was just introducing myself normally, but the two of them were scared.
"You, you're being polite! You don't have to, or you shouldn't......."
Patricia's face quickly turned red, as if I had guessed correctly that she was timid.
"Speak comfortably, Lady Lombardi!"
Depending on the family's status, young lady and young master are also ranked among young noble.
Lombardi, in that sense, was the family at the top of the pyramid of nobles.
I, Lombardy's immediate lineage, spoke honorifics, and Patricia was at a loss for words.
But I replied with a slight smile.
"No, I feel comfortable saying this."
A person who is "higher" than him or her is more moved and grateful if he or she is a little kind in common sense.
Patricia wasn't acting, she was really impressed with me.
"Well, as a matter of fact...The clothes the Lady is wearing are so pretty. Can you tell me which dressing room you got it right?"
Hayley, her younger sister, clenched her fists as if she had plucked up her courage, and asked.
"I'm sorry if you'll excuse me......."
Although a quick apology followed.
If it's Gus, I've heard it a few times, so I know.
One of the Luman family's retainers in the east was a fairly profitable family, receiving tolls from the tops of the river, which had a small population and carried goods along it.
I looked around pretending to wonder whether to tell or not.
It wasn't just the two sisters waiting for my answer either.
Before I knew it, young people about the same age and their mothers were coming near me.
"Do others want to know?"
I was just asking straight out.
As if ashamed that they were listening to other people's conversations, everyone was embarrassed, but now that they were caught, they came a little closer.
"If you want to know, I can let you know."
People's faces have become noticeably brighter at my words.
In fact, social circles often did not tell the name of the dressing room or designer they hired.
It was to monopolize the design alone.
"This dress is......."
I took a moment and said.
"It's the clothes of a fancy clothing store."
"Are you saying it's a ready-to-wear outfit?"
A lady asked me in surprise.
"Yes, that's right."
"Oh my gosh, such pretty clothes are ready-to-wear......."
Already, the ladies are in a mess.
I watched their reaction and said with a smile in due course.
"Thank you for the compliment. Actually, this dress is ready-to-wear, but I also decorated it myself. I'm glad to hear that it's pretty and I feel like I'm being praised for my eye."
"The lady decorated it herself?"
The woman who was fanning my dress in the back asked incredibly.
I know who she is.
Julieta Avino, who came from a family that had already fallen in name but became an opera star with a beautiful voice and appearance.
Although she is well-known in society with indirect support from the Empress, she is hated by noble wives because her family is so humble.
Well, Julieta's behavior, which she's been having trouble with many noble men with her pretty appearance, was also a big part of it.
Later, she became the lover of Astana, the First Prince, and would be abandoned by the Empress.
"I got my father's help, but I chose the basic ready-to-wear dress, lace, silk and jewelry that I attached to decorate."
"......Young Lady has a very good sense of beauty."
Julieta said, squinting as if she didn't believe me.
Perhaps she thought I was lying because I didn't want to tell the name of the person who designed the costume.
Then a noble lady who disliked her snapped back.
"How rude of you to Lombardi's spirituality, Avino spirituality!"
"That's right, there's a long-standing rumor that Sir Gallahan's daughter is brilliant. So you're saying that Lady Lombardy is lying?"
"Well, I'm not saying that......."
It was a moment when Julieta's haughtyness collapsed.
It was because she became a liar who drove Lombardi's immediate lineage.
"That's how much Lady Lombardy was wearing. I'm sorry, Lady."
When I answered with a smile, Julieta's complexion was much relieved.
"How kind of you, too."
"Lady Lombardy is very generous."
The ladies still looked at Julieta and praised me dry-mouthed.
At this rate, I'll say the breathing sound is pretty.
I took a slip of the tongue and now I'm barely sighing and looking at Julieta, who is cooling off with a fan.
Obviously, the clothes she was wearing were a little out of style.
The Empress didn't seem to be such a generous patron.
Then it's me. Thank you.
I spoke to Julieta.
"It would be great if Avino's stage outfits were ready-to-wear. It just so happened that my father was looking for someone who could dress beautifully in ready-to-wear."