Chapter 21 - Rose’s Gift
‘Is it because she’s only a teenager? The letter is really cute.’
A condensed version of it was as follows:
Dear Lady Floyen,
I am writing to you on a sunny day. You have further brightened up my day by accepting my invitation and decorating your letters. I look forward to seeing your beauty and elegance at my birthday banquet!
If you don’t mind, I also hope that you will call me ‘Rose’ the next time I see you. If that makes you uncomfortable, please don’t feel pressured and forgive me with an open heart.
I look forward to seeing you, Lady Floyen.
In the elaborately designed letter, she had also written praises about me and details about how magnificent her banquet was going to be. As a result, it amounted to three pages.
‘Seeing how she wrote back to me in such detail, it is clear that she is expecting a nice gift.’ I sighed and folded the letter.
“Please make preparations to go downtown,” I told Marilyn.
“Do you have something that you need?” she asked with a puzzled expression. “If so, I can just call the trader here.”
“No, I want to choose something myself.”
Merilyn continued to look at me with a puzzled expression, but I was full of determination. ‘Rose will surely be disappointed if I give her an insincere gift. Even if it’s a hassle, I must choose something myself.’
I could tell why she had praised me so much in the letter, even though we weren’t close. Rose was probably hoping that I would give her something special for her birthday banquet. This wasn’t surprising, considering my powerful status, but it was still burdensome to meet such expectations.
I began to think about a suitable gift and left the mansion.
* * *
High society was once again thrilled to hear about what Lady Floyen had been up to.
“My goodness! It’s a surprise that the brazen princess didn’t ignore the invitation!”
“She used to ignore every invitation that wasn’t sent by the imperial family… It’s truly amazing.”
“Count Arlo’s daughter is rather ordinary. What kind of charms does she have to make Lady Floyen behave like that?”
“I heard that many women are decorating their letters with pressed flowers and ribbons these days!”
“Does Lady Floyen know that she has started a trend?”
A young man who had been quietly listening to their conversation turned around and pursed his lips. ‘Count Arlo, huh.’
After leaving the banquet hall, he went straight to his carriage. “Let’s head home,” he told a servant.
His carriage arrived at Marquess Hessen’s townhouse.
“Welcome back, young master.”
Instead of acknowledging the speaker, the man took off his coat and handed it to him. The servant bowed his head and took his coat, then stilled upon hearing his master’s cold voice.
“Tell the butler…” There was a brief moment of hesitation before he continued. His domineering voice spoke over the other man’s bowed head. “…I will be going to Count Arlo’s banquet.”
“Yes, young master.”
The servant was about to leave the room when the man spoke again, more urgently this time. “Oh, and… are there any letters that came for me?”
“No,” the servant replied with a shake of his head. “Are you waiting for something?”
“No, you may leave,” the man said, evading his question with a cold tone.
When he left, the man gritted his teeth and narrowed his eyes. ‘How can you do this… Jubelian!’
Although he believed that she had faked her illness, he sent a letter out of consideration to the days when they were engaged. The woman who used to annoy him like a stupid dog still hadn’t answered him, but he couldn’t accept this fact.
‘Does she want even more attention from me?’
He tried to come up with an explanation and understand her intentions, but it only frustrated him even more. He gritted his teeth and hit the wall out of resentment.
‘What in the world are you doing, Jubelian?’
* * *
‘Living quietly is a difficult thing to ask for…’
I counted how many people were following me. ‘Geraldine, Owen, Castro, Todd…’ The top ten knights of my family had surrounded me like walls.
‘I’m just going shopping… they didn’t need to do this.’
I had planned to go with just one or two escorts to avoid unnecessary attention, but there was nothing I could do about my current predicament; my father refused to let me go outside unless I was accompanied by all of them.
‘There’s good security near the capital, so I don’t see why I need this many escorts…’
I had stayed quiet and kept out of trouble recently, so I thought I would be able to shop peacefully by myself. This was clearly not the case.
‘Well, I’m glad that there aren’t many people today. Where is the workshop, anyway?’
I surveyed my surroundings. There were three workshops that produced handicrafts for women in this area. Kerin Workshop, the largest and most famous one, was located at the center of downtown. However, I had another place in mind.
‘If I give her something from Kerin, Rose will end up disliking me.’
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