Citrina was returning back to Ronata Atelier once more.
This day would lead to a complete redirection of Elaina Foluin’s path in life.
As the meeting at the knights academy was forgotten, Citrina had a bit of unexpected luck.
Soon after, she experienced some success for her craftsmanship .
After a busy day, Oslo gave her a task.
“Instead of only putting together accessories, why don’t you try crafting gemstones as well?”
“Thank you for the opportunity.”
Citrina bowed politely.
It was her first time crafting gemstones.
– Citrina, do you want me to put my blessing in the gemstone?
-It would be strange if a gemstone suddenly had a spirit’s blessing on it.
At Citrina’s words, Gemma’s wings drooped a little.
-Next time there is a good gemstone, I’ll give it to you.
Please bless it.
-Yeah, I got it!
Citrina took the rough gemstone and started cutting it before stopping to take a closer look at it.
It was perfect and lovely, like it was going to make a mark on the world…
but that didn’t happen.
She was brilliant at discerning the quality of gemstones, but she had no genius for cutting them.
‘Wow, what a mess.’
-What a mess, Citrina!
“What a mess.”
The dwarf said.
It struck her that she was hearing the same thing as she had been thinking.
It’s very good, Citrina!”
Only Adilac was saying such a blatant lie.
Citrina nodded her head with tears in her eyes.
“There are very few people who are good at everything right from the start.”
You were good at running errands at the academy.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“I’ll take this stone and make it into jewelry.”
“… what do you mean a stone.”
The dwarf took the gem from Citrina’s hand with a sulky look.
Nevertheless, his gruff attitude now seemed cute.
Oslo was just inexperienced in expressing his emotions.
But he still displayed her work.
For Citrina who had only been studying for two years, it was an honor.
“You don’t have to thank me.
It won’t sell anyway.”
But it’s better than sitting on a shelf gathering dust.”
Citrina remarked, not beat by the dwarf’s sharp remarks.
“Someone out there may buy jewelry that is cut so roughly.”
Even as she said that, Citrina didn’t really expect anyone to be drawn to it.
It was also that even in her eyes, the craftsmanship was terrible.
However, sooner than expected, a buyer arrived looking for Citrina’s work.
It was at a time when Citrina was out for a while.
That very day, the dwarf Oslo felt as if an unspeakable terror was headed towards him.
It was not common for Ronata Atelier’s door to open without even a knock.
A dangerous looking man with a robe covering his face and a sword in his hand came in.
The sword looked clean at first glance.
However, Oslo could tell that it was soaked in blood.
And besides, it looked like a sword with a mind of its own, not a normal sword.
‘A human has a sword like that? It’s an awe-inspiring sword.
Is that really a human?’
Because he was a dwarf rather than a human, Oslo had a well-honed sixth sense.
An unmistakable and overwhelming aura pulled at his skin.
Oslo greeted the stranger with his body on edge.
The man did not reply.
He just walked past everything indifferently.
Some nobles that were standing near the counter also went stiff with anxiety.
Oslo instinctively looked around.
Since Citrina was gone at the moment, he was alone.
“What are you looking for?”
The man did not answer him.
His eyes were buried so deep in the hood that Oslo couldn’t tell which direction he was looking.
The man slowly walked towards Oslo.
He swept through the shelves with a glance.
Silence hung in the air for a moment.
Despite Oslo’s worries, the man appeared to be a genuine customer.
“I want to buy this piece.”
The low pitched voice was murky.
However, it was clear where his hand was pointing.
The dwarf was silently appalled as he saw where the man’s fingertip led.
The dwarf’s expression was tinged with astonishment.
The nobles were also on high alert.
“He must not have an eye for jewels-“
The nobles shut their mouths as their eyes gleamed with interest.
The dwarf was inwardly embarrassed too.
What the man had chosen was a necklace made with Citrina’s first craftsmanship made of peridot.
“That’s not something you should flap your jowls about.”
The young voice was monotonous and cold.
The design was beautiful but anyone who knew the value of jewelry would never buy it.
Citrina’s craftsmanship was shoddy.
The child had crafted it badly.
“That, hmm, there’s a lot of other good jewelry.”
The man replied in a blatantly serious tone.
“I don’t need that.”
“It wasn’t for sale, so I don’t have a price on it.”
As he spoke, Oslo opened up the display case and carefully took out the jewelry, along with the craftsman’s tag attached to it.
On the tag was scrawled the name, ‘Citrina Foluin’.
Focusing on the atmosphere around him, Oslo didn’t notice the man’s peristent stare directed at the name written on the tag.
‘I don’t know the reason, but it seems like he really wants it, so how much should I charge?’
Oslo began to worry about the business details.
But his worries were actually useless.
The man threw a thick pouch down.
“I’ll pay with this.”
Oslo reached his hand out for the pouch.
The man snatched the jewelry and tag at once.
His eyes widened as he opened the pouch a smidge.
“No, this, I don’t need this much gold…”
“The work is worth this much.”
The man who valued the piece so much seemed to be done speaking with Oslo.
Oslo gave a vacant sigh as the man turned around and left him behind.
Oslo stared blankly at his back.
The man opened the door, ready to leave.
At that same time, Oslo heard footsteps behind him.
“Oh, we have a customer.”
Citrina patted Oslo on the shoulder and spoke in a bright voice.
When the man heard her voice, he paused.
“That’s right, this customer is the one who bought your work, so you should at least say hello..
“Ah, is that right?”
Citrina’s eyes went round in surprise.
Even though he had heard her voice, the man immediately closed the door and hurried away.
The pressure that had appeared when he first came in disappeared like melting snow and it almost seemed as if he was embarrassed from his posture.
This was the impression the shrewd Oslo got from the stranger.
“Do you two know each other?”
Citrina seemed indifferent at first, but there didn’t seem to be a big reason behind that.
He didn’t feel any insidious vibes behind it.
‘This, I think there’s something I don’t know.’
Oslo’s eyes narrowed.
“Why did he leave in such a hurry?”
Citrina asked cheerfully.
Oslo was looking elsewhere.
Oslo looked down at the floor.
There were blood drops.
The drops of blood clearly did not belong to that man.
Not looking that way, Citrina tilted her head in the direction of the empty shelf.
The jewel had been cut roughly, and not many wanted to buy it, refusing to buy anything but perfectly cut jewelry.
She couldn’t believe that her first clumsy work had been purchased, chosen instead of the elegant designs around it.
It was a good thing for her anyway.
“That person has good eyes, like me.”
Citrina whispered cheerfully.
He said he absolutely wanted to buy this.”
“I knew I was going to be a big hit.”
She didn’t want to assume any other meaning to the sale.
It wasn’t a bad thing that her first piece sold at a high price.
It didn’t matter if the customer was someone without a good eye for jewels or an extremely rich person who had cash to burn.
Anyway, the main thing was that she’d gotten a lot of money in her hands.
That was all that mattered.
“Since we made money, let’s eat something delicious today.”
I learned that when you sell your first piece, your supposed to treat people.”
The dwarf Oslo looked flustered.
“… Sounds good.”
He coughed and sighed as he gave his permission.
‘I wanted to give my first work to Aaron or Desian, but it’s already been sold.
I’ll just have to give them a better one, right?’
Citrina settled on that solution.
She didn’t think she would arrive at a better answer if she thought about it longer.
While Citrina was away, Desian was learning how to be “kind and friendly”.
Aaron returned to the duchy every time the knight’s academy had a vacation.
He was truly a sweet and kind person, so every time he came back to the duchy it seemed a bit warmer and brighter.
That didn’t exclude him from the overgrown rumors about the Pietro Duchy however.
“Your Excellency, Aaron has requested an audience.”
“Really? Bring him in.”
Desian watched the attendant tremble.
Desian’s face remained blank as the door opened.
Aaron looked at his older brother admiringly.
Desian’s appearance had changed in what felt like a few moments.
When Desian Pietro finally became the duke, he did not seem to weild any power.
But now he had built himself a fairly solid position.
Desian’s life had changed quite a bit as he became the sword of the empire, leading them to victory in many wars.
“Long time no see.”
Desian said as he leaned back in his chair.
He was gaining nicknames like The Butcher and The Cold Heart Without Ignorance.
Rumors bubbled up about him.
“The knights academy is fun.
“Well, I can see why the previous duke became addicted to power.”
Desian replied with a cynical look.
Meanwhile, Aaron sat in the opposite chair.
Desian was lost in thought as he looked at her first work sitting on his desk in the office.
Desian stroked the jewelry affectionately.
Her technique was quite hurried, which had caused it to be cut sharply.
Nevertheless, he was satisfied that her fingertips had touched this gem.
“Brother! I met up with Citrina and got a sword.”
As soon as Citrina’s name was mentioned, Desian turned towards Aaron.
She was really good at explaining how it worked to me.
Citrina, she’s really cool.”
Aaron paused for a moment.
Actually, Aaron found Elaina Foluin unpleasant.
Should he tell his brother that Citrina met her younger sister?
‘I don’t think I should talk about Elaina Foluin.’
Since it was related to Citrina, Elaina Foluin’s life could be snuffed out like a candle in the wind if his brother found out.
His brother was still completely dangerous.
Thanks to the experiments by that dark wizard, he often sense his reasoning.
‘I’ll have to tell him later.
After all, Brother’s knights are guarding Citrina from the shadows…….’
Desian’s eyes rested on Aaron as Aaron held back from speaking.
Desian’s complexion didn’t change a bit.
In that moment, Aaron felt a mischievous streak and wanted to crack his brother’s iron expression.
“Brother, Citrina mentioned you.”
There was only one way to break through Desian’s cold and indifferent face.
“She said she misses you.”
While Aaron was trying to provoke Desian, he didn’t care about his brother’s attitude.
However, the problem was that his twin brother became a knight in order to protect Citrina.
And Citrina said she still likes kind men.”
Yes, that’s exactly what bothered him.
Aaron possessed a sweetness that Desian couldn’t’ have no matter how much he tried.
Desian’s eyes narrowed.
“Why did you ask what Rina likes?”
Desian wore his ever-present indifferent mask.
The only emotion that could be brought out from his dull face was, as ever, related to Citrina.
Was this dangerous?
Aaron knew it instinctually, to be honest.
“Ooh… are you curious?”
Maybe this was why?
His face twisted slightly at the end of the sentence.
Aaron struggled to smile.
Desian’s delicate fingers drummed along the table at a constant speed.
It stopped with a word from Aaron.
“I hope I look like a good person to Citrina.
Brother as well as me.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah! Citrina is a good girl, so I hope she only sees good things.”
When Aaron mentioned good people, he lowered his eyes.
The rough Peridot shone on the desk in the office.
Aaron smiled and shook his head when he saw it.
How had he gotten the jewel?
He probably bought it at the shop where Citrina worked.
He must have hidden his identity and obtained it.
Why had he hid his identity?
It somehow seemed understandable.
It was because Citrina said she wanted to leave.
His older brother never did anything that would displease Citrina.
Nevertheless, Desian didn’t seem to want to leave her alone.
His brother seemed to have imprinted on Citrina.
Everything was unconditional.
So it was probably natural if Citrina fell in love with Desian.
Citrina sometimes looked lonely and seemed to need love.
“It’s none of your business.”
Desian’s response was cynical.
Aaron’s eyes glittered once more at that answer.
The words from his mouth were unexpected.
“You’re too cold.”
He wouldn’t have responded if it was another word.
But Desian raised his eyes since she was involved.
Desian thought about what he had heard.
For a while now, he had been working hard.
Citrina held his leash, which strangled him painlessly.
“How to be a kind man? You want me to tell you how to do that?”
It was a more tempting offer than he thought.
Desian made eye contact with Aaron.
Aaron’s eyes were twinkling with eagerness.
It seemed like he had his heart set on this method.
Despite it obviously being a request, his attitude remained arrogant.
His brother was a natural ruler, so how could he hide his true nature?
Well…maybe he could hide it halfway?
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