Citrina glanced at Desian by her side and whispered.
Desian’s voice was indifferent.
However, Citrina was able to read the subtleties of his emotions now.
‘How should I bring it up? That I want to leave the duchy? That’s too straightforward.’
Citrina wordlessly opened and closed her mouth.
She had something she needed to do before she left the duchy.
She wanted to give them one last present before she left the duke’s estate.
She wanted to give them a gift that expressed the importance of her time here.
“Do you have time now?”
Desian was quiet for a bit at her offer.
“For you, always.”
He smiled and squinted his eyes as if sunlight was shining into his eyes.
Desian’s smile seemed quite ordinary in recent days.
Anyway this moment now felt like it would be the most memorable, Citrina thought.
He always was smiling when he spoke to her.
“Is it ok to go out together? Even if Duke Pietro is ill… he might get better again.”
Citrina whispered, afraid she might trigger him.
The duke may be bedridden, however no one seemed to interfere with Desian’s business these days.
Was it because he killed everybody and only the duke’s lifeline remained?
“Duke Pietro will die soon.”
“Is that so?”
“Therefore you can do what you want.”
It was as if he was calling for the death penalty with such a composed voice.
They say his symptoms are getting worse day by day and that the disease is serious.
Is it alright to get out?”
Desian sluggishly nodded his head.
His eyes trailed off.
It was odd for his gaze to flicker past her.
“Del, normally people go outside to change their mood.”
“Do you do that too?”
He said it as if he didn’t care about other people.
Desian spoke as if he were asking for the right answer to a quiz.
A cool gaze was directed down at her.
It was as if he was trying to learn everything about her one by one.
So I’m also going to try that.”
Desian didn’t inquire anymore.
“Then shall we go, Rina?”
Citrina faced him.
Today as always, Desian looked put together, as if the blood-soaked figure was false.
“Ah! Can you wait just a bit? I need to get ready.”
“I’ll always wait for you.”
It sounded like he waited for her all the time.
As she had that strange delusion again and again, Citrina nodded her head a few times.
A cool wind came in from outside the window.
She had arrived at the duchy one summer day, and now she could no longer hear the cry of the cicadas.
That’s how her time leave was growing gradually closer.
It had been their summer.
Before leaving the duchy, Citrina needed some time to prepare.
She she called for the butler Harold.
Up until now she had never needed a maid to help her get ready.
However, today she needed the help.
“Please wait for a moment.”
As a loyal butler, Harold called the maid without any further questions.
As she helped her in the room, Citrina was surprised.
‘Even though I’m from a barony, I’m not used to a maid’s help.
I’ve never experienced this before.’
Citrina wore a slightly more formal dress with a white fan instead of her normal simple dress .
The maid helped with the embellishments and politely retreated after she finished arranging Citrina’s clothes.
She checked the mirror.
The dress had a wide boat neck that did not reveal her chest and was not too tight, which appealed to her.
Citrina looked in the mirror and giggled.
Today’s outfit suited her quite well.
“Alright, I need to go now.”
Citrina opened the door as she tried to shake off her awkward feelings.
Desian was waiting for her in the corridor.
Desian stared down at her with his eyes unmoving.
“…I think so too.”
But Desian nodded silently.
Somehow, she was a little embarrassed.
“Do you know where you want to go?”
Desian asked first.
Citrina put her white lace gloved hand in Desian’s hand.
He made an elegant escort.
“Yeah, I do!”
Now she was used to the feel of their hands brushing.
While she was not used to this warmth, Citrina smiled as she spoke.
“I want to buy a sword.
Is there a place to buy a sword in the capital? I think there’s a boulevard like that.”
The line trickled out slowly.
His tone was odd.
Citrina explained lightly to him.
“Yup, I want to buy something for Aaron.”
Desian’s languid voice was weighed down a bit.
Citrina was at a loss.
His fingertips tightened a bit.
It was a tiny difference, but it was evident.
Citrina tilted her head to the side.
‘What, did they fight?’
It was a nonsensical idea.
‘There’s no way they would fight like little kids.’
“Ah, Aaron seems to be interested in swords.”
Citrina glossed over it, wondering if she had soured Desian’s mood.
‘I can’t say I read it in the original work, so let’s answer carefully.’
“Aaron, so it’s like that.”
At Desian’s whisper, Citrina gave him a quizzical look.
Citrina couldn’t read his expression.
But one thing was obvious.
It seemed like…he was sounding out syllables to words he had never learned.
Desian’s magic was clear-cut.
They arrived safely in the empire’s capital, in an area with a large concentration of shops.
After walking through the shopping district for a little while, Citrina found the shop she was looking for.
It was in shop with three floors.
It looked like a place that sold swords.
Citrina was deeply lost in thought, thinking it looked familiar that day.
‘Ah! Over there, I just remembered.
In the novel Aaron bought a sword from a retired knight here, probably.’
Citrina recalled the contents of
“Del, let’s go over there.”
Walking towards the store, Citrina laughed in delight thinking about the fat wad of money in her dress.
‘I have plenty of money.’
For some reason, she felt proud, as if a warm wind blew through her heart.
In that moment, she was clearly rich.
… but her pride in being well-off was soon shattered.
There was a display rack full of splendid ornamental swords.
Citrina found her favorite sword at the front.
It was a dagger, a short sword.
Rubies were embedded in the handle here and there.
‘I said I would give rubies to Aaron as a present! I just happened to come across the perfect one.’
Citrina pointed at the sword.
The shop keeper who had been standing next to her showing her a sword, took it out and handed it over.
“How much is it?”
She took the sword and asked haughtily as she imagined a rich person would.
“It’s 800 ceril for one.”
The shop keeper’s reply back was a bit harsh, but she smiled awkwardly and commented.
“Let me look a little more closely.”
‘Ah, that’s at the end of my budget.
That sword is certainly expensive.
I have to buy a gift for Desian too, so I have a tight budget.’
As she thought about the money inside her fancy dress’s pocket, Citrina frowned.
‘But this one is the prettiest.
It has significance too.’ The blade of the short sword flashed sharply in Citrina’s hand.
The sword was quite sharp from expert grinding, and the sword handle was also sophisticated.
‘It’s a pretty sword that even a beginner would be interested in owning, but buying it would delay my leaving the estate.’
Citrina pondered for quite a while.
She was stuck agonizing between her money and buying a significant gift.
Suddenly, a good idea popped into her mind.
‘Shall we haggle a bit?’
“Can you lower the cost a bit, please?”
Citrina raised her head.
The shop keeper rubbed his hands with a smile full of capitalism.
“Ah, the cost is already….”
The shop keeper looked at Desian, who was standing behind Citrina.
He shut his mouth in a hurry.
Abruptly his words stopped and an embarrassed Citrina asked back.
“Ha ha! Are you surprised?”
“I have no idea what I should be surprised about….”
Citrina was puzzled.
What’s so surprising?
“It’s free of charge.”
“Yes? Really? It looks like a valuable sword.”
“It’s free of charge.
There’s a special event at this time.
One-plus-one, so I’ll give you two.”
“Oh, I happened to need a sword.”
Citrina gave a little whistle.
The shop keeper was constantly wiping the sweat from his forehead.
The handkerchief that had been used to wipe his sweaty brow was soaked as if they were his tears.
‘Why is he sweating so much? His body is trembling.’
She thought he had caught a cold since his shivers seemed serious.
Anyway, the shop keeper’s health condition was not important right now.
Citrina scanned the entire body of the sword.
‘It’s suspicious that it’s free.
Is it a magic sword?’
If they were selling it this cheap, she thought there surely must be something of that sort.
A magic sword could cause the male lead Aaron to blacken.
That sort of development was a no-brainer.
She already had an immense amount of difficulty turning the villain into a law-abiding person.
Citrina opened her mouth.
“I appreciate that it’s free, but this isn’t a magic sword, is it? It’s a magic sword that you are trying to pass off on me.”
From Citrina’s view, she had to calculate everything precisely.
The shop keeper jumped up and down in frustration.
“F, Fraud! It’s not a magic sword.
Do you know how expensive that would be….”
“Really? Then thank you.”
Citrina gave a little shrug of her shoulders.
Well the sword was pretty.
The shop keeper handed her two swords in their sheaths.
With swords in hand, Citrina turned around.
“Yes? Is there something else….”
The shop owner looked like he was about to cry.
“Can I get one gift wrapped?”
The shop keeper’s lips froze.
“That should work.”
Desian, who was standing next to her, pointed out.
Ha, ha , ha.
Our shop specializes in gift wrapping.
You came to the right place.”
Citrina nodded vigorously as she heard the shop keeper’s voice tremor.
As they left the shop, Citrina spoke briskly.
“My luck is pretty good today.
I got a free sword for myself and one as a gift for Aaron.”
Citrina tried not to be too giddy with joy.
Desian’s calm voice was a contrast to her own.
Next up is….”
Nevertheless, she couldn’t hide her glee.
Citrina hummed as they walked past the shops.
‘Now I need to buy Desian’s present.’
As Citrina was walking along an alley, she suddenly stopped.
Fragrances lined the shelves of a huge, colorful boutique.
Various bottles of fragrance glittered under the colorful lights.
The huge building was called Meloque Boutique.
“I found it.
Desian’s Adam’s apple bobbed when he heard her words.
“Yeah! Let’s go.”
Citrina didn’t hide her excitement and smiled broadly.
As soon as they entered the boutique, she saw the fragrances on the shelves.
The clerk who was supposed to help them test perfumes seemed to be away.
So they could look around comfortably.
Citrina was struggling with a big display that was twice as long as her height.
‘Is there a strong, drowsy, indifferent, yet sophisticated scent?’
As she thought about it, she laughed inwardly.
When she worked as a jewelry designer in her previous life, she saw many clients who wanted a simple yet fancy design.
She used to curse those types everyday while working, and now she had become that sort of client.
“What are you thinking about?”
She heard Desian’s voice from behind her.
He was waiting for her a few feet back.
“Yeah, I’m thinking about a fragrance that suits you.
Forest scent is definitely a no.”
Citrina sang without looking at him.
She heard laughter behind her.
‘It’s not a mandarin or a citrus scent.
Oh, what could this be?”
Every other perfume was labeled with the top note down to the base note.
However this fragrance bottle had nothing written on it.
Curiosity flared up.
‘It’s open, so I think I can test it…but there’s no test paper.
Can I spray it directly on Desian? No, what if it’s a scent that doesn’t suit him?’
Citrina came up with a brilliant idea as she pondered this.
‘I can spray it on my wrist and let him smell it.’
This would teach him how to wear scent, so it was killing two birds with one stone.
She looked around.
The store clerk still showed now signs of coming.
Citrina approached a full-length mirror with the fragrance in her hand.
“I’m going to spray this perfume because I’m curious about it.”
Desian took a leisurely step towards her from behind.
She could see his reflection in the mirror.
“Del, listen, perfume once behind the ear.” -spray- A sweet smell spread behind her right ear.
“Spray it once on your wrist.”
She sprayed the fragrance on the inside of her wrist.
Citrina winked at him in the mirror.
Desian’s expression became odd.
“How is it? Is this scent okay?”
The air was mixed with the scent.
She could see Desian standing behind her in the mirror.
He showed no sign of smelling the fragrance.
Citrina decided to turn around and show him her wrist.
However, before she could gather her thoughts, he slowly bent his head towards her ear.
Slowly, inch by inch.
“…it’s sweet, Rina.”
A little more slowly, his face moved towards her neckline.
His nose brushed the scruff of her neck.
Citrina’s body froze.
Slowly raising himself, he laughed low.
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