Chapter 4 - Request
She put the altered fabric over her shabby clothing. The fabric was plain and void of any patterns, but it was thick enough and had the best quality out of all the other fabrics available to her.
With her anxiety lessened, Laila finished getting ready. Before leaving, she preciously placed her bottle of painkillers in her chest then silently pushed open the door of her room.
The room she exited was half buried and used to be a storage room. Once it became too old to serve its purpose, it was given to Laila to use as her own space.
At that time, Laila felt as if she was walking on clouds and was ecstatic for a week. She wasn’t necessarily in need of her own space, but she was feeling more hopeful after receiving it, believing that something big such as this was granted to her.
‘The hope that her life was changing.’
Laila wore an empty smile as she blankly recalled the incident that had occurred once she came into the Duke’s family. Soon after, she decided to take a chance in the middle of the night and started moving.
“It’s a good thing the ball is taking place outside of the palace.”
If it was held inside, then she wouldn’t have even dreamt about trying to secretly sneak in. Another reason why holding it outside was good was because some commoners went in and out of the palace throughout the night as they received commands from the noble family.
“As long as there is a chance.”
She muttered quietly and swallowed, trying to relax her tense body. She walked fast and quickly approached the entrance that the commoners were using.
She paused at the guard’s words and glanced towards his tired face. The night of the ball was always like this.
As if she was in a hurry, Laila whispered, “I’m a client—the person who was in charge of makeup and fashion for noble families. My Lady summoned me and said that she was in a hurry.”
The guard gave Laila a rough glance over. By the appearance of the material of the fabric, he was able to make a judgment about whether the person was a part of the noble society or not. The clothes seemed really old and shabby, but the fabric seemed like it was from a noble family.
‘I guess she’s a client for a poor noble family.’
Soon after, the guard nodded after examining her appearance.
“Tsk. I’ll let you in, but write down which lady you are working for.”
Laila nodded as a sign of gratitude and wrote down the first name she could think of, ‘Lady of Devon,’ then quickly rushed inside. The guard didn’t even bother checking the visitors’ book and closed it, releasing a yawn. It wasn’t going to be necessary to investigate the Lady of Devon as long as nothing crazy happened.
The night of the ball was getting darker.
* * *
As a precaution, Laila placed a basket containing a bundle of fabric in a corner of the garden, catching her breath as she looked around. Since she wasn’t invited, she couldn’t afford to be caught by anyone and had to arrive at her destination successfully.
Her destination was the Garden of Gold—a place known for its spectacular view during winter. The golden leaves combined with the always green bushes was a sight to behold. However, winter hadn’t arrived yet, so it didn’t make sense to describe it as golden. When it was introduced in the original work, it was the place where the female lead, Amelia, met the Duke for the first time.
And the Duke always visited this place whenever a ball was held at the palace.
‘I should just wait until he shows up. I must see him.’
Her heart was beating fast. She had already come all this way, but didn’t know why she was so nervous. Laila let out a sigh and unwrapped the cloth that was hiding her hair. In the palace, when someone hid her hair inside a garment, that easily grabbed someone’s attention. Unlike her family, whose hair was close to silver, her dull gray hair fell on her shoulders and down her back.
She had never planned for something like this before so it was hard for Laila to know whether she was carrying out her plan well or not. She was just trying her best.
“Excuse me, could I ask you a question?”
“What is it?”
“Do you know how to get to the Garden of Gold? I just want to look around there before I go home.”
It wasn’t hard to get to the Garden of Gold. Night had already fallen and the only lit places were the buildings outside of the palace. Laila didn’t have to hide inside since there was some distance between the Garden of Gold and the buildings, but it was closer to the exterior wall.
Laila had never been to the garden before, but it was a place that welcomed anyone who wanted to just look around.
“Thank you for the information.”
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