The day after brainstorming over new jewelry, Desian came to visit Citrina’s atelier.

“Are you doing well?”
“Yeah, it’s been two days but… I’ve been doing well!”
“Anyhow, I worry.”

It was a very sweet voice.
Desian whispered as he arranged Citrina’s flowing hair.

“Ah, and I have someone to introduce you to! We have a new member of our atelier.”
“Did you find someone?”
I hired someone.”

Citrina just nodded her head without saying anything else.
Desian’s gaze turned to Lita.

Lita looked small and delicate, like a rabbit in front of a lion.
But he had a strong, resolute face.

‘He’s good at speaking in front of Desian.
How cute.’

Citrina knew that people felt stressed when he looked at them.
Desian spoke briefly and turned away from Lita.


She was sure he was greeting him calmly, but why did he look so on edge?

“Get along well, you two.”
Citrina smiled brightly and winked at them.

“Of course, I really want to get along with you if possible.”
Desian smiled mildly at Citrina.

Desian had certainly changed.
It was not so easy for him to answer well.

‘… Do I have low expectations for Desian?’

Citrina thought as she tilted her head.
Oops, Desian had been talking to her.

“Did you say you needed something?”
“Yes, Rina.”
“For the party…do you need a dress?”
Desian smiled coolly.

There was not only one aspect to remembering a person.
However, Citrina thought of that smile when she thought of Desian.
She was grateful he had gone from someone who didn’t know happiness to someone who could smile so brightly.

“Shall we go then?”

Citrina reached out to Desian.
Desian took her hand.
For the moment, it was time to take a break in the daily life of designing jewelry.

“Just a moment.”

Citrina took a hat with a black veil from the studio and placed it on her head.
Her identity and appearance should not be leaked in advance.
The reason was simple.
She planned to announce everything at the festival, but if word started circulating about her beforehand, her plans would deflate like a sad balloon.

“Today is a secret operation.”
It’s a spy mission.”

Desian grinned.
“Then should I match it too?”

In the carriage, Citrina fell into a deep sleep.
Looking at her, Desian recalled the other variable- Lita.
He wasn’t a normal human.
He was a fox beast person.
He was still young, but as he grew up he could help Citrina quite a bit.
He’d let it go, but it was clearly annoying.
Just like that spirit [Gemma].
The fox boy clearly admired Citrina.
Desian loved Citrina, so he was particularly sensitive to other’s feelings towards her.

‘Rina loves the weak and young.
But she can’t give them all of her heart.’

Desian fully understood that she sympathized with the young, vulnerable, and pitiful.
So Citrina’s heart was half open to him as well.
He could pretend to be vulnerable easily enough.
Desian was fully prepared to do so.
If Citrina didn’t want him completely, she just needed to be won over bit by bit.
The carriage rattled once more.
Sitting side-by-side next to him, Citrina nodded forward in her sleep, unable to withstand the afternoon languor.
Desian slowly raised one hand to catch her head.


Citrina’s head rested on his shoulder.
Desian slowly felt her warmth seeping into his shoulder.
Feeling as if flowers were blooming, he immersed himself in this unconventional feeling.
He looked down at Citrina’s unmoving eyelashes.
But if she knew he wasn’t kind, she would run away from his arms again.
Desian had no intention of letting her out of his embrace.
So he could pretend to be sweet forever.
Desian Pietro was a person who was born like this.
He laughed cynically.

Inside the carriage, Citrina suddenly opened her eyes.
It seemed as if her fatigue had built up more than expected.
Anyway, what she felt when she woke up was Desian’s shoulder.

Her cheeks, which were not normally red, flared up for a moment.
‘I’m not crazy, really.’
No matter how tired she had been…
Citrina secretly wiped the area near her lips.
Just in case she had drooled.
That was how embarrassed she felt.

“Del, you should have woken me up.”
“You seemed tired.”
“Thanks to you, I slept a lot.
But didn’t I make your shoulder uncomfortable?”
“Since it’s light, it was okay.”

All of his words were smooth.
If Citrina hadn’t known Desian, she would have thought he was a player.
Where did he learn all of this?
What women like, what they want to hear.
Stuff like that.
Citrina and Desian got off the carriage and entered the boutique.
It was a beautiful space that seemed like something out of a fairy tale.
The first thing that caught her eye were the two attendants and the middle-aged man she presumed to be the store owner.
His hair was pasted flat to his head with what smelled like olive oil, including his greasy sideburns.

“We, welcome, lady!”

If he could set up such a boutique in the empire’s capital, he was definitely a skilled businessperson.
But he couldn’t seem to even meet Citrina’s eyes properly.
‘It might be because of the rumors about Desian.’

“I am Foges, the owner of the Foges Boutique.
Normally, I would visit you personally, but I have a special person here.
So what is the name of the noble lady I am serving today?”

The man looked up, speaking gibberish.

“Do you need to know the name?”
Having said that, Desian came to casually stand by her side.

“Shall we go in, Rina?”
“Yes, yes.
I’ll take you inside.”

Foges opened the door to the salon’s powder room with a puzzled face.
It was a quiet interior room where not even an ant seemed to be present.
Foges was the owner of the most promising boutique in the empire.
Yet he stood blankly with a surprised face.
He hurriedly stood beside Citrina.
He was unable to demonstrate his usual sociability.

“How do you like this dress? With the lady’s brown hair, brighter than a field of wheat…I believe you’ll look good in the opposite color, blue.”

Although he spoke in broken bits, he finished his thought.
Foges was perhaps the only person who could speak at length in front of Desian.
Desian was looking at Foges with a blank expression.
He was frozen with a numb, eerie mood.

“You would look good in blue, um…”
“Why? You don’t like it?”
While it sounded like a friendly sentence, Foges knew better.
If the lady didn’t like the dress, he would be on his deathbed.

“I like it, but what about you? What do you think of the blue dress, Del?”
“Are you asking for my opinion?”
“Yeah, because you’re my partner.”
Desian whispered the word as if he was swallowing it.
And these words followed.

“It will suit you.
Then I’ll choose mine first and then we can choose yours?”
The immensely prickly atmosphere softened as if it was dissolved in water.

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