So Baroness Foluin returned to the baron’s manor with a face as pale as a mask.
“Wife, what happened?”
Baron Foluin held a bottle of wine in one hand and a letter from Elaina in the other.
He likely read all of Elaina’s letters that the baroness had left behind.
“We got a letter from Elaina.
I heard Citrina has a man? The man, is he a rich man? Won’t we need a dowry?”
“Why are you silent, wife?”
“Did you get any of that money?”
When the baroness was silent, the baron pressed her as if he was in a hurry.
Baroness Foluin responded dejectedly.
“Wife, what do you mean?”
“What do you mean?”
The baroness bit her lip as she watched her husband repeat the same words like a broken cuckoo clock.
At some point they had become fallen aristocrats without even a territory.
Consequently, Baron Foluin must have had brain damage because he drank so heavily.
“I have a lot to say but I just regret it.”
“So -hiccup- no money then? Damn!”
Baron Foluin shouted, throwing the bottle away.
The bottle cracked on the floor.
Baron Foluin who had broken the glass tottered up the stairs.
“I think I used to call her Rina when she was young.
Come to think of it.”
Whatever she thought now…it was over.
You can’t put the broken pieces back together.
Baroness Foluin thought she should write a letter to Elaina.
We can’t buy you any more real swords.
Also, Citrina left.
After breaking things off with Baroness Foluin, Citrina stayed together with Desian.
Desian stayed by her side for a surprisingly long time.
Without saying anything, she sat together with him, comforted by his warmth.
Citrina’s voice was hoarse.
She sat still, feeling deeply comforted.
She took a short deep breath.
Though it wasn’t a cautious tone of voice.
“How about we do something you like, Rina?”
“… What I like?”
“…Alright, let’s change the mood.”
Citrina murmured quietly.
“You said you wanted to go to the summer ball, didn’t you?”
She said she enjoyed balls.
Citrina smiled a little as she said that.
She felt relieved already.
He had a good memory when it came to her.
‘He’s certainly attentive.’
Desian Pietro and the concept of being careful seemed to be completely remote from each other, but Desian seemed to be developing a softness to him as he became aware of his emotions.
“I’ll make you a ball.”
“Close your eyes.”
Citrina closed her eyes and imagined the ballroom from Cinderella.
Slowly, while her eyes were closed, the drawing room’s setting changed.
A snap of Desian’s fingertips caused a change that was both bold and amazing.
“Is this what you imagined?”
Citrina opened her eyes.
She admired it a bit.
It was so amazing that she forgot her argument with her mother, Baroness Foluin, for a moment.
“It matches perfectly.”
Citrina opened her eyes wide and looked around.
The wallpaper had become something splendid and the flat ceiling changed into a dome shape.
The chandelier hanging from the dome glittered brilliantly.
The plain sofas in the drawing room disappeared and a colorful hall with a crimson carpet appeared.
Citrina opened the window as she admired the scene.
There was a summer night breeze.
Even the small birds flying around perfectly reproduced her imagination.
“Desian, are you a fairy?”
… I’m not a house fairy.”
Citrina wiped her eyes and laughed.
She wanted to know where he learned the word house fairy.
Citrina was included in Desian’s ‘we’.
She covered her mouth as she laughed.
However, she felt a strange discomfort on her fingers.
On her hands were white lace gloves were there were originally none.
That wasn’t all.
Citrina looked down.
She was wearing a silver dress with glass shoes.
Desian’s image was just as Citrina imagined as well.
He wore a white uniform with gold decoration on the shoulders.
It was the same as a prince in a fairy tale.
Desian was the most beautiful man in the world.
So, on him…it looked amazingly good.
“Will you dance with me?”
Desian offered her his hand.
It was a prim manner.
This was a sentence she never thought she would hear him say.
He looked at her with a prim but heated stare.
Citrina thought that the whole situation was somehow dangerous.
Citrina smiled playfully and took his hand.
His fingertips were cold.
But she knew instinctively that his chill would not actually hurt her.
After she said that, they wove through the ballroom in a beautiful dance.
“Is this your first dance?”
“What about you?”
“It’s my first dance.”
“It’s the same for me.
I haven’t had my debutante yet.”
If the baron’s title was confiscated, she may never have her debutante.
They made a circle through the empty room and danced without stopping.
Citrina stepped on his feet now and then, but by the time the night had ended and the sun began to rise, they matched each other’s steps perfectly.
“Are you worn out?”
When their legs hurt from all the dancing, they slowed down.
Citrina thought as Desian gently wiped the sweat off her forehead.
Was it because of the night’s magic or because of the dance’s magic.
Somehow, Desian had attached a deep meaning to his relationship with her.
She had a hunch that he would have a deep impact on her life.
Her intuition was often sharp.
Citrina was frightened of it.
There was an obvious difference between a superficial friendship and a deeply intimate relationship.
‘I can’t save anyone else.
So let’s focus on my well being.’
She had to keep doing what she wanted.
While she was having the happiest time of her life, she had made up her mind to leave.
The night of their personal ball had passed.
After that dreamy night, Citrina had to return to reality.
Luckily, Baron Foluin’s family did not try to visit her anymore.
There was no news, so it was calm.
The strange thing was that the term of the duke’s struggle with the illness did not end.
As the duke’s absence lengthened, the Senate steadily began to meddle with the family.
Aaron told her he had heard that Desian offered to take over the ducal title and succeed the duke.
Desian seemed relaxed as he kept an eye on the situation because time was on his hands.
Desian gradually took control of the duchy.
It wasn’t difficult for someone with sharply-honed absolute power.
Little by little, time passed.
After the night of the dance, Desian and Citrina got closer bit by bit.
As the dreamlike time ended and her brain was buzzing with thoughts, it was a little awkward to be around him.
Desian was as proper as ever.
Citrina taught him ethics and introduced him to the good-hearted attendants.
Desian was strangely gentle at her words.
To put it another way, it was like a dog on a leash.
His kindness made Citrina feel at ease.
It had been well over two months since she came to the duchy.
Citrina received her salary again.
When she got paid this time, Desian was next to her.
As she counted the money, Citrina vaguely thought.
‘When should I leave?’
Citrina didn’t have much time left.
There were times when the dwarf did not accept disciples, and if the timing was not right, the jewel spirit might have already left the dwarf’s atelier.
‘I could live off of Desian and Aaron’s goodwill.
But I don’t want to live off of other people.
I have my own dreams.’
She wanted to touch, love, and learn about the gemstones of this world.
She wanted to start her own jewelry business and turn it into an atelier, while getting help from spirits, dwarves, and craftsmen.
She wanted to build her own career by making jewelry for people.
Her heart pounded with anticipation while thinking about the future.
‘When we meet again, we’ll have matured and be equal friends.’
In order to do that, she needed to grow up a bit too.
‘Then it’s time to leave.’
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