It was a week after Estelle’s party.
A week was a valuable amount of time to experiment with several schemes.

First, Citrina tried the newspaper.

“Lady Citrina! Our atelier’s story is in the social gossip!”
It was not on the front page of , but within the second page was a story about Citrina Jewel Atelier.
It explained that simple or kitsch designs were gaining popularity with a trend started by lower nobles.

goes all the way to the academy, right?”
“Yes, I’m sure! I recall that it was popular in high society because the princess subscribed to it.”
Princess Iana was still at the academy.
She was not the heir to the empire, but she must have a grasp of what is going on in the empire.

‘It’s just a passing advertisement, and I can’t make a good impression with these sorts of things.
I need a strong shot.
That’s probably Gemma.’
-Why are you calling me, Citrina?
…How did she read her mind?
She was unfamiliar with this feeling.
Perhaps as her understanding of her spirit increased, their minds became more connected.
For now, she calmed Gemma down.

– It was a mistake.
Lie down, Gemma.
– I’m bored, okay!
-Yeah, since you are the hidden card.
It’s still time to sleep.
At the word ‘hidden card’, Gemma began to happily roll over the jewels.
It wasn’t wrong to call it that.
At the point, Gemma was Citrina’s most powerful card.
Adilac’s craftmanship was artistic but unknown.

Adilac asked, sticking a jewel in front of Citrina’s face.
“Citrina, is this enough? It’s the necklace I’m going to send to Vonshe.” [TL Note: Lol.
I have no idea about how to romanize this.
It’s either Vonshe or Bonshe.]

The rose crystal sent by the dwarf and cut into the shape of a heart glistened on a neatly crafted chain.
It’s plenty pretty.”
“I think Estelle introduced our work to many places.
It’s getting busier! I’m so happy people are wearing the jewelry I made…my own jewelry!”
Their actions so far had been minor.
They were trivial moves that wouldn’t threaten another atelier on Dartrin Street.
Luckily for that reason, they were on the rise without an checks.

“Ah, Citrina, you need to make more drafts, right? I’m going to be more quiet and work now!”
Adilac made a zipping gesture and laughed.
Citrina went back to her design.
So far only a few people had visited the atelier.
Even so, it wasn’t a bad achievement.
Word of mouth was gradually spreading.
Citrina thought for a moment about the letter sent by a low ranking noble lady.
The letter was exceedingly polite to even call it a request.
Her attitude was also strange when she visited.
How could she put it, but…it felt like how you acted with a superior.
She wasn’t the only one who was weird.

“Citrina, why are your hands stopping?”
Adilac tried to start chatting.
“Um…it’s just a little strange.”
Citrina was getting to know the latest trends one at a time as she entered high society.
At the same time, was intended to find out about Duke Pietro.
She knew better than anyone else that her life was linked to Desian Pietro’s rehabilitation and his disposition.

“What is it?”
“I’m talking about Duke Pietro.” “…What? Duke Pietro?”

“Why are you worried about that?”
Adilac had left the empire with her four years ago.
For that reason, she was also completely ignorant of the rumors.

“I’m a little…curious.”
When she tried to hear rumors about Duke Pietro , not Desian, they shut up like a clam.
She understood that.
Estelle could have tipped people off about her connection to Duke Pietro.

“I can’t find any rumors about Duke Pietro or anything in the latest newspapers or in older papers.”
Citrina whispered, pointing to several morning papers on her desk.

“Oh, it that right?”
Adilac’s eyes opened wide as if she had noticed.
Usually rumors about nobles were covered in the social gossip papers.
Of course, there was no way there would be anything too critical of the aristocrats.

“Normally, if there’s no rumors about nobility it’s one of two things, right?”
“One of two things?”
No matter how powerful the duke was, people looked like they had sucked on a lemon whenever he came up on conversation.
Here, there was clearly something she didn’t know.
Citrina quietly chewed on her lip with her front teeth.

“Either there’s nothing to gossip about, or they have hushed it all up.”
Adilac once again let something slip.
“… yes, thank you, Adilac.”

Citrina smiled at her and began to color in the design she had drawn up.
“I should find out a bit more.’
The Desian she knew personally was an extremely harmless man.
His attitude towards her was also gentle.
Then the attendant carefully caught Citrina’s attention.

“Excuse me, Lady Citrina.”
“What is it?”
“There’s a guest outside.”
“Aaron, he said that you would know who he was.
Citrina tapped the pencil in her hand.
It was a familiar yet unexpected name since she hadn’t thought they would meet for a while.

“Tell him to come inside.”
“Hi, Citrina!”
However, before the attendant had even left, a good-looking man with black hair popped up behind the attendant’s back and waved at Citrina.
Looking at his drooping, smiling, cute eyes, Citrina thought that if he had a tail it would probably be wagging right now.

“Are you doing ok?”
“I’ve been ok.
Have a seat, Aaron.”
Adilac and the attendant left the room.
Citrina sat across from Aaron at a round table inside the atelier.

“How many years has it been? It’s been too long!”
“That’s right.”
The attendant brought some tea out and placed it on the table.
Citrina smiled at Aaron.

“I’ve tried hard till now to be worthy of the sword you gave me.”
The boy, no, the young man that Aaron had become responded maturely.
He was different from when she had seen him a few years ago.
At twenty years old, his voice had lost all traces of childishness.
He had broad shoulders and a strong build.
If they stood side-by-side, her neck might fall off from looking him in the eye.

“I trained really hard.”
“Well done.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Aaron smiled so that his eyes crinkled at the corners.
He was even like a puppy asking to be pet.
In the past he was more like a small fluffy dog, but now he was more like a big dog.

‘I can’t treat a young lord from a duchy like a dog.’
But he enjoyed it more than anyone else.
Citrina justified her behavior, then raised her hand to stroke Aaron’s hair.
Black hair delicately wound around her fingertips.
“That feels good…”
Aaron closed his eyes as he felt Citrina’s touch.
He murmured as if he were dreaming.

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