Chapter 21 - Shopping
“How much is it?” I asked.
“It is 200 gold, my lady. We need a deposit of 50 gold upfront. You can pay the rest when you take the dress,” stated the employee.
Reveline and her lot wore a big smirk hearing the employee mentioning the deposit. I figured that they thought I wouldn’t be able to pay the money, so I replied, “Here’s the full 200 gold payment. I will pay it all upfront.”
They watched me in disbelief. Even for them, it seems that this dress was too expensive to purchase. But as for me, I currently had 5000 gold right now, so it was manageable. I would have found it almost nerve-wrecking before, but now I realize what it feels like to be wealthy. Not only that, I realized that this pointless spending was kind of a show of strength.
Even if it is costly, this show of power was necessary to not be looked down upon in the capital. I also needed this, so this kind of expense was to be permitted. It was also a good time to show my power of wealth in this capital where hollow greed and vanity are rampant.
“How long will it take for the alteration?” I asked.
“It won’t be long, my lady. Please wait for a moment, and it will be done.”
The employee was doing the best she could to work in my favor. It was understandable, as that dress alone was more than half of this shop’s day sales. Then, the employee scurried out. I believe many will be put to work so that I don’t have to wait too long.
“What bluff is this…”
The women were in disbelief that they were in denial and mumbling. I smiled, “I’m not bluffing. I’m only spending what I have. Do you think I can’t even spend this much like some people?”
My sarcasm made them shut up and grit their teeth. I then calmly smiled as I added, “At least my family isn’t poor anymore. We have enough that I can have a wardrobe full of these dresses and still have enough to spend.”
My show of strength had seemingly damaged their pride. They didn’t even try to argue back and left the boutique. It was like a dog running away with its tail between its legs. Green showed itself out of my lips. After waiting for a bit, the employee came back to me.
“My lady, the dress is prepared. We just needed to work on the waistline since you have perfect body lines already.”
It wasn’t bad to hear the employee praising me. She was grinning as best as possible. It was a grin that had been bought with money. Was this why money is power itself? The workers loaded the dress into the carriage. It felt like it was a spoil of war.
‘Of course, it is. I protected my pride in exchange for money, and this is the prize that I got from it.’ And I didn’t feel bad about it. It was a pretty good feeling seeing them look at me with such envious eyes. I learned about the pleasure of spending money for my own sake.
“Marina, I heard a ruckus out there. Did something happen?” asked Lumi, who just came running after me in a not-so-perfectly dressed state. It seemed she had quickly changed when she heard the noise.
I smiled as I replied, “Oh, it’s nothing. There were just some flies. I guess it became noisy chasing them out.”
With a curious look, Lumi frowned, then innocently smiled as if she did not know anything else. Then she said, “I see. This shop needs some upkeep to do. Shall we go, then?”
We both left the boutique. After that, Lumi had me visit a jewelry boutique to order some accessories, then to other places for more dresses, cosmetics, and other accessories. Soon, the carriage was full of stuff that we purchased.
“This should last for a while,” said Lumi.
I smiled bitterly at Lumi’s casual comment. I lived my whole life in financial hardship and this much expense was enough to make me uneasy. But to Lumi, it was just normal spending. Maybe this was how you feel relative deprivation.
“Alright, let’s return home then.”
“Good idea,” answered Lumi as she wrapped her arm around mine. My slight inferiority complex died down.
I wasn’t a pitiful noble daughter who had been sighing about the financial hardships of my poor estate anymore. From my rank, position to my finances, everything had changed. I had to adjust to my new life. There was no need to dwell upon my pitiful past anymore, like my ex-fiancé, who is worse than me.
“From now on, you should teach me. I’m too used to being modest, so I don’t know much about shopping and spending.”
“Of course!” Lumi replied with a bright smile then she leaned on my shoulder. My cousin didn’t let me feel any deprivation, and I couldn’t even think about hating her.
The carriage filled with my spoils of war entered the gate of the Reclan mansion proudly like a war general returning from a victory, and I saw a wonderful rose garden. I missed that garden when I first arrived because I was greeting my uncle back then. Roses were flowers that were hard to raise in the cold northern region unless there was a greenhouse. My heart pounded at the realization that I was truly at the capital now.
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