At Lillian’s words, Nisha, who was waiting beside her, accepted the words with a smile.
“Yes, these are all ordered by the Duke.
You can take as much as you want, lady!”
Thanks to that, Lillian was a little stunned.
The reason was simple.
Because there were so many dolls in front of her!
The dolls were of various sizes, shapes, and types.
From a teddy bear that is so big that you can’t hold it even with Swan’s arms open, to a small canary doll that can be placed in the palm of your hand.
All the dolls even wore small ribbons or bow ties, and all the doll accessories had the same pattern on them.
It was the pattern of the most famous doll workshop in the empire.
Occasionally, it was featured on the advertisement page of the newspaper, so it was impossible not to know.
Even if it’s because of the amount of zeros attached.
―0 is one, two, three, four, five, six…
Maybe I misread the number? Who buys this doll with this money?
―But Lily, this doll is extremely high-end.
The only jewels in the eye buttons are opal and obsidian, diamonds…
―Even if you take one eye off and sell it, you will make a lot of money.
— Is it? Moreover, even if it’s a doll from the same workshop, the ones with this pattern are more expensive because the artisan made them personally.
I can draw those patterns too.
As Lillian said, she drew a crooked pattern with charcoal on a piece of paper and held it out.
As for Lillian, it was a pattern drawn with great care, but Swan did not allow her to draw the pattern on her only doll.
‘I never thought I’d actually see this.’
Lillian stepped down from Mary’s arms and cautiously reached out and touched the bow tie on the large teddy bear.
She had reached out to an unfamiliar heart, but there was a stir around her.
“Oh, I guess you like that.”
“My lady, you have eyes to see.
That doll is made of microfiber that cannot be found even in the imperial city.
The craftsman had a hard time working so as not to ruin her fabric.”
“Looks like she likes the cat doll too!”
The servants were all engrossed in their own discussions about the dolls, and those who came out of the workshop had their own stories to tell.
Their main concern was what Lillian would choose.
Thanks to them, Lillian was able to understand how precious the dolls were and how much effort went into making them without saying a word.
However, Lillian’s hands didn’t easily pick up anything.
Unlike the friendly surroundings, it was because she was alone, and her heart was broken.
‘I was very nervous because so many strangers came and went.’
To suddenly receive a doll sent by Cedric.
It was almost laughable that I was so scared and nervous.
When Lillian just stood there without any reaction, Mary spoke cautiously from the side.
“My lady, do you have anything you like?”
“… it’s not that.
They’re all just so pretty, it surprised me.”
Finally, Lillian snapped out of her reverie.
She felt the eyes of those around her suddenly fixated on her.
Which doll should she choose? All eyes were filled with anticipation.
The kind people and the luxurious goods.
If only Swan had lived a little longer, or if she hadn’t fallen for the headmaster’s trick, she would have enjoyed all these things without a care.
‘Now I have to take them for myself.’
Even when drinking a glass of milk, Swan came to mind, and having empty hands still felt awkward.
She had to live for Swan, with everything that Swan had to have and all the time that Swan had to live.
‘It’s a strange thing, Swan.’
I started this for you, but the more time passes, the more I feel like I’m moving away from you.
Lillian picked up a doll made up of a pair of a swan and a black swan.
The doll was quite large, so holding it in her arms was just enough for one.
“I like this one.”
“You have excellent taste, miss! If I were to describe that doll, I would say that the eyes are made of black pearls…”
The person who looked the oldest among those who came out of the doll workshop clapped and gave a verbose explanation about the dolls, while the maids who were with him played along with the hand drums and interrupted to comment on how pretty the swan that Lillian held was.
“It seems that the lady likes the bird more.”
“The curve of the swan is really beautiful.”
Among them, Mary stroked Lillian’s swan once and suddenly explained the reason for receiving the doll gift.
“His Lordship had to leave the mansion for a few days.
Since you will feel lonely staying alone, he left doll friends for you instead.”
No wonder, she suddenly received such a nice gift.
When Lillian nodded her head without showing any special reaction, Mary smiled as if relieved.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be back soon.
You’ll sleep with this today, Miss.
And when His Lordship comes back, you can thank him.”
“Yes, I will.
“Oh my, what did I do?”
Lillian laughed and nodded her head.
And to appear as a good child, she greeted the people in the room, but suddenly realized that something was strange.
“Um, by the way…”
“Yes, what is it?”
“Well, you have a kind heart.
There are four more people here.”
“I see… thank you for letting me know.”
It was really strange.
There were definitely five strangers that Lillian saw.
“Did I see it wrong?”
“No, there were definitely five people, excluding the coachman.”
Although there was some distance, and she couldn’t see clearly because of the carriage, Lillian saw the shadows on the ground.
There were five shadows coming out of the carriage.
“Then where did the remaining one go?”
On a day when even Cedric wasn’t there, there was not only a stranger wandering around but also a missing person.
Lillian became uneasy in an instant.
Of course, she didn’t show it.
She could have immediately asked Mary about her doubts, but then she would have had to mention that she went up to the tree.
‘Adults don’t like children climbing trees or playing around.’
The daycare teachers always scolded the children for climbing trees.
On the surface, they said that playing on trees would dirty their clothes, but children like Lillian who were skilled at climbing trees knew how to do it without getting dirty.
Perhaps it was because their behavior was considered improper.
And the people in the manor wouldn’t like such a child either.
Taking advantage of the busyness of the people from the doll workshop who were organizing their belongings, Lilian quietly pulled on Nisha’s clothes.
“Nisha, may I go play in the room?”
“Oh, of course.
Shall I escort you?”
“No, thank you.
I want to show the mansion to the swan.”
Then be careful and if you happen to get lost, ring the bell!”
Of course, she wouldn’t get lost.
Lilian knew both the inside of the mansion and the intricate paths of the garden by heart.
However, as always, Lilian bowed politely and headed straight to the hallway.
At first, the faint sound of footsteps grew louder in tandem with the anxiety in her head.
‘This is a mansion.
Even if one person sneaks in, no one will notice.’
And what if that person was someone sent from the orphanage to catch her?
The face of Curtis, who had threatened to sell her to slavery, vividly flashed in Lillian’s mind.
Back then, there was Cedric to protect her, but there was no one here.
If she was unlucky, she could be dragged away without ever getting Swan’s revenge.
‘I have to make sure.’
Lillian went out to the garden and headed towards the carriage that came from the doll workshop.
She climbed up into the driver’s seat and looked inside, but no one was there.
‘Then, could they be inside the mansion?’
No, if that were the case, she would have been able to see them too.
So the answer was simple.
‘They are still in the garden.’
Are they hiding?
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