Meanwhile, a week had passed since Citrina had left.
The Pietro Duchy had been in a quiet period of upheaval.
Desian, the center of the rumors, quietly and subtly seized control of the Pietro Duchy.
The flow of things was changing.
Everything was due to his basic desire.
Reaching her was his sole true desire.
It was strange.
The further she was from his side, the more suffocating and deep his desire became.
“Desian nim, the family knights have sent thanks for today’s meeting.”
Desian nodded indifferently.
The duke’s knight flinched.
As a matter of fact, it was rumored that the Duke of Pietro was as good as dead.
‘There’s no use crushing them further when the knights have already been broken.’
He had broken the duke’s knights.
There were knights that were the loyal dogs of the former duke and questioned his death.
And that was the reason for their deaths.
The ones that were left had followed Desian when the power tipped in his direction.
It was an exceedingly short and natural process.
If you didn’t want to die, you had to submit.
The knight watching Desian bowed his head.
Desian looked at his bowed head.
It was funny to see them falling to his side after everything that had happened.
“A, and…I have learned about the cruise ship as you ordered.”
“The cruise ship seems to have almost arrived at the Drip Empire.
I’ve sent a few guards to keep an eye out.”
“They must protect, but not stand out.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
The knight left after bowing.
Desian didn’t completely trust the knights who had caved to his might either.
He was lost in thought with his chin tilted back.
His thoughts focused on a method to completely protect her.
Aaron came in and filled the space when the nameless knight left.
He was meeting Aaron a week after Citrina had left.
Desian’s eyes that looked at his brother without any emotion had become strange.
In Aaron’s hand was the sword Citrina gifted him.
Aaron set his sword on the table.
“Citrina’s room smelled good.
It was always like that.
Do you remember, Brother?”
Desian had a gruff face.
There was not even a slight change in expression.
“Brother, I can’t smell anything now”
The talk was completely one-sided.
Desian stared into his eyes.
“Get to the point.”
“I’m going to become a knight.
I want to protect Citrina with this sword she gave me.”
“You don’t have to protect Citrina.”
It was Desian who bared his fangs at his brother.
It was surprising since he showed such a friendly attitude towards Citrina.
Aaron gave a small smile and whispered.
“Yeah, but I still want to go the to knight’s academy.’
“Do as you will.”
Desian nodded without much emotion.
Aaron grinned at the sword in his hand.
That was because Citrina gave him the sword.
As Aaron stared at the sword, he said
“How far has Citrina gone? I’m curious.”
‘Rina, how far can your feet reach?’
He heard she was going to the Drip Empire.
They hadn’t specifically spoken about it.
He was sure she would have a new life there.
She would be with new people, without him.
The desire in his stomach twisted again.
Should he have trapped her then?
Desian shook his head slowly.
If he did that, he would never see her lively eyes again.
The sight of her dying would not be pleasant at all.
Desian whispered her name unfamiliarly, as if it was his first time saying it.
The words that no one could hear broke over his mouth like foam on a wave.
‘How much more will it take to reach you?’
Citrina said it would take years.
She said they would meet again later.
But he wasn’t the type to wait and endure everything.
Desian cynically thought.
If he couldn’t get her back, he had to go.
The answer had been so simple the whole time.
At the same time that Desian was taking over the duchy step by step, Citrina’s ship finally anchored in the Drip Empire harbor.
Adilac and Citrina were busy meeting Oslo, the owner of Ronata Atelier and one of the only dwarves to remain on the surface and work with humans.
“Here is Ronata Atelier.”
Citrina knocked lightly on the atelier’s door first.
-knock, knock- A sound was heard from inside after the knock.
“Who is it?”
They could hear someone walking around inside, growing closer.
The sound quickly grew louder.
It wasn’t long before the door opened.
As the door opened, they saw a man standing before it, staring fiercely at them.
“So who are you knocking on the door in the morning?”
The man had a husky voice.
But it wasn’t his voice that was surprising.
The man had a grim appearance.
What stood out more than anything was his height.
Citrina wasn’t all that tall either.
However, he looked smaller than herself.
He had a long red beard that fell below his chin.
‘Looking at it this way, I certainly understand this dwarf.
You seem like a craftsman and you’re curious.’
“What’s going on?”
“We came here to buy jewels and learn at Ronata Atelier.”
Oslo established his atelier in the empire with pride in his skills and the determination to shape his student’s skills .
His atelier soon became famous.
“I can teach you how to do it, but I can’t pay you much.
There are many people who want to learn.”
Oslo said flatly.
“I don’t need to be paid a lot.
I want a reasonable amount.”
“I won’t teach you at first.
And I won’t pay you if you can’t stand the work and leave halfway through.”
Dwarves were quite curious.
Adilac burst out as if she had been twitching to speak.
“I really don’t need money! I already have a lot.
All I need is to learn from you how to do it!”
All of a sudden Citrina looked up at the dwarf and showed off her money.
“You won’t become a disciple instantly.
You start as a new trainee.
The dwarf turned and opened the door to them.
Citrina began to speak with his back to her.
She tried to explain the reason she had chosen Ronata Atelier out of the many ateliers.
“What is it?”
Citrina winked at Adilac.
“I’ll go look inside the atelier!”
Adilac noticed and entered the atelier first.
The dwarf glanced back and fixed his eyes on Citrina again.
“I’d like to buy a gemstone.”
The dwarf seemed curious.
He rubbed the tip of his nose as he asked.
“What sort of gemstone do you want? Do you have any money to pay?”
“I’ve heard Ronata Atelier has a lot of Silmaril inside.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
His curiosity seemed to have diminished dramatically at the word Silmaril.
So he was one of the people in this world that thought of Silmaril as a lower quality stone.
Especially since Silmaril was as common as stars in the sky.
“Why do you want Silmaril?”
“It’s my favorite gemstone.”
It was not a particularly convincing excuse, but the dwarf did not seem very suspicious.
‘Who would think there is a gem spirit hiding in low-grade Silmaril.’
Citrina looked at him with a relaxed face.
I’ll give you one.”
Citrina thought a bit.
So far the conversation had been smooth sailing.
Now was the time to seal the deal.
“I’d like to pick one and pay now.”
This was her final move.
“You’re going to choose it yourself? Alright.”
It was a haughty voice.
Few people could distinguish between good quality Silmaril and poor quality.
Oslo grinned at the newcomer’s calm face.
If she could distinguish between the Silmaril stones, she would make a good student, and it wouldn’t hurt if she was bad at it.
It was a profitable deal for him.
“I’ll write up the contract tomorrow.
It will be a dwarf’s contract, which swears on the ancient Holy Kingdom.”
Let’s do that.” Citrina answered calmly, but felt her chest swelling with emotions.
Citrina loved jewelry, so it filled her with enthusiasm.
This was because her past as a jewelry design was still vivid as well.
Everything was for this moment.
“Anyway, let the friend who came with you stay in the atelier, and we’ll go in here.”
Citrina walked into a small room with Oslo.
“Here is the shelf with Silmaril, so look carefully.”
She fixed her eyes on the shelf.
At a glance, she could see scratches on one of the gemstones.
When she looked more closely, pink leaked through the cracks in the white gem.
Anyone could tell this was a lower quality stone from that.
And there had to be a jewel spirit hiding in that seemingly insignificant gemstone.
It was a sleeping spirit pretending to not exist while hiding all of its energy.
“Give me this one.”
Oslo smirked as Citrina tapped on the shelf.
It was a cheap grade stone.
That was apparent just by looking at the flaws.
“It looks like you don’t have a very discerning eye.”
“…is that so?”
Oslo glanced at Citrina’s smile.
“It’s plain to see you chose a low-grade stone.
You know you can’t break the contract, right?”
Her eyes were clear and calm.
The contract with the dwarf could not be destroyed.
The dwarf asked again suspiciously since the contract was based on an ancient kingdom whose people were disappearing.
It was a very ballsy act.
Olso seemed pleased with Citrina’s boldness.
He answered cheerfully.
Then let’s do this.”
Oslo handed over the Silmaril.
Citrina smiled radiantly.
Somehow she felt a bit uncomfortable.
“Now you are my trainees, we’ll need to get you your accommodations.”
Oslo began with quite an annoyed expression.
That was the first meeting between Citrina, Oslo, and Adilac.
In a way, it was a meeting that would change the fate of the the continent’s jewelry industry.
After signing the dwarven contract and collecting the Silmaril, Citrina headed to the atelier’s shared house with Adilac.
The atelier provided individual rooms for the disciples.
After saying goodbye to Adilac, Citrina went to her room and took out the Silmaril.
“What if this isn’t it?”
In a way, she had gambled away four years of her life.
Citrina’s lips opened.
“Hi, Gemma, will you appear?”
When the world tree had died, pieces of it had scattered all over the world as Silmaril.
The jewel spirit had hidden in this piece since the fall of the Holy Kingdom.
Unlike other spirits, summoners did not need special abilities to call her.
It was said you could summon her if you called her name close to the jewel.
But it was surprisingly quiet.
‘Oh, is this not it?’
Citrina turned the gemstone back and forth.
It was close to the depiction of Silmaril from the original work.
‘No matter how much I look, I think Gemma is the hidden boss.’
Citrina was deep in thought.
She thought that this gemstone was the correct one, but didn’t know how to wake her.
‘How did Elaina’s assistant call Gemma?’
She thought all she had to do was call Gemma’s name.
‘Should I do it kindly?’
‘Is being kind the key?’
Gemma was said to be a delicate spirit.
Citrina put the Silmaril on top of the small bedside table.
And she called the name of the spirit as if she were singing, friendly and quietly.
A little wind tickled her hair.
Citrina closed her eyes and felt the wind.
The calm wind was lovely.
-Who are you?
Citrina didn’t open her eyes or answer.
The warm, tranquil wind surrounded her.
-Are you the one who woke me up?
-Yeah, it’s me.
Citrina answer Gemma’s wary whisper with an extremely sweet voice.
-How did you know my name? Do you want to form a contract?
An insubstantial low voice reached Citrina ears.
It was a neutral voice- neither male nor female.
Do you want to form a contract?
What do you want, Silmaril? I’ll give you that.
What Gemma wanted was Silmaril from the world tree.
Only with that Silmaril could Gemma advance to an intermediate spirit.
-I like only the finest Silmaril.
Gemma didn’t speak for a while.
‘The spirit is sensitive to authenticity.”
In particular, the jewel spirit was good at measuring real and fake, true and false.
Therefore she could probably tell that Citrina’s words were not a lie.
The gentle breeze stopped.
Nevertheless the voice in Citrina’s ear was different from what she expected.
She had red cheeks and a doll-like appearance, about as small as Citrina’s palm.
A winged spirit appeared with twinkling hair and sparkling eyes.
– Give me Silmaril and the music box.
What will you do with it? I’ll usually sleep in your necklace, but sometimes I’ll sleep in the music box.
The magic in there feels awfully good.
Gemma whispered with a dreamy face.
Citrina looked at the music box.
It was the music box that Desian had cast magic on and Aaron had given her.
What kind of magic was in there that a spirit would admire?
-The contract is set.
I’ll help you in the future.
When is the deadline of the contract?
-Just until I die.
I’m really excited!
Gemma flew around the room.
Something glittery fell along the wing’s path.
Citrina was very happy to leave Gemma to her own devices.
The spirit was invisible to other people.
She was only visible to the person she protected.
Therefore she was fine leaving the spirit to fly happily.
Also, she thought about how she would begin learning about the process to make jewelry tomorrow.
It felt like the world she had dreamed of was opening up.
Her heart sang.
It was just enough to look forward to tomorrow.
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