Chapter 50 – Am I Dreaming (2)
The next day, Aderon and a couple of servants came to her with an armful of samples. She listened to him explain for a long time. A bumpy glass with a greenish-glow, a smooth and clear glass, a coarse but beautiful glass with silvery light… Describing their own pros and cons, Aderon soon moved on to fabrics.
“It’s better to use thick fabric for the curtains in the banquet hall. How about mahogany? Imagine mahogany curtains with rose patterns embroidered in gold thread. I think it would make the banquet hall look very luxurious. You can also opt for the gold silk curtains. Gold curtains would even fit comfortably into the banquet hall of a royal palace. It’s fancy, yet modest and elegant.”
Max hectically scanned through the numerous pieces of fabric. Rudis cautiously put down the tray of tea as she looked at the samples Aderon brought over. She decided to seek some help from a fresh pair of eyes.
“R-Rudis, w-what do you t-think?”
“…Unfortunately, I don’t have quite the artistic taste, madam”, she replied.
Seeing her puzzled expression, Max couldn’t ask her more questions and fixed her eyes on the table. After a moment of thought, she finally chose the mahogany curtain with rose patterns. The curtains had gold tassels on the end and complicated embroidery in the middle, making it pretty expensive.
After choosing the curtains, everything was fairly easy. On the floor, she decided to place a red carpet to go along with the curtains, and a tapestry of a legendary knight, Uigru, riding a white dragon, to hang over the walls.
“Have you given a thought on the floors, madam? Would you like to change them to marble tiles?”
“I-it will l-lead to a big c-c-construction, s-so I need m-more time to t-think about i-it.”
“No need to be haste, madam. It will take some time for the materials to be delivered from the city anyways, so do take your time thinking about it.”
Max nodded her head, glad to have note been pushed into the decision.
Next, the merchant pulled out a miniature model of the chandelier. When she made an exclamation at the tiny thing, the size of a palm, he arrayed several models made of marble onto the table. A unicorn standing on its back legs, a dragon with its wings spread out wide, a knight of armor riding a roaring lion… Max admired the figures modeled with extreme delicacy when there was a knock on the door. When she ordered the person to enter, Rodrigo appeared behind the door.
“Madam, the tailor called in by the lord is ready for you.”
She tilted her head. She remembered Riftan promising her to get her a new dress made for her. Max turned her head with discern to the merchant, but Aderon was already putting his samples away.
“I will come back later in the week, madam. Ah, I will leave the figures with you to decide.”
“I-I’m sorry to have w-wasted your t-t-time.”
“Oh, please! It is not a problem, madam. I can come back whenever it suits you.”
When the merchant left the castle, she walked to the dressing room with the servants. Amidst a pile of fancy fabrics, colorful skein of thread, and a weaving frame, there stood a skinny man in his forties and a woman in her thirties. The two straightened up and bowed respectfully to Max as she entered.
“it is a pleasure to meet you, madam. My name is Roan Serus. This is my wife, Linda Serus. We were given the honor to sew you a dress.”
“N-nice to m-meet you,” Max mumbled in reply.
“The lord has ordered us to make whatever the number of beautiful dresses that suits you, no matter the price. Do you have any style you prefer?”
“I-I don’t have a-anything specific i-in m-mind.”
“Then we will gladly show you what is in trend right now.”
The tailor pulled out a scroll from his bag and held it to her. Max looked at the drawing on the yellow parchment paper, certain she was dreaming. Although she didn’t understand what the scribbled figurines, she found herself growing more excited by the minute.
She saw Rosetta surrounded by tailors and seamstresses many times, but she had never stood in the middle of that before.
Max listened to the tailor explain, while she had herself measured, study the different fabrics and tried on a hats, veils, and belts. When she looked into the mirror, she saw a lady with sparkling eyes, truly looking like some semblance of a proper lady. She was wearing a pointy hat, tall enough to touch the ceiling and various overly fancy accessories; she thought she had never looked so silly before.
“I-I think a smaller h-hat would be b-better,” she said as she gently took off her hat.
The tailor nodded his head and wrote something on the parchment. After deciding to make three dresses, she left the dressing room.
The flurry of activities had taken most of her time and it was no sooner that sundown was on them. Max immediately returned to her room after her duties were over. A sense of overwhelm still tingling over her heart on accomplishing things she has never done in her life.
She sat on the chair and massaged her exhausted shoulders, tensed up all day from being nervous.
Her gaze flitted around the room and landed the inconspicuous small vase by the window. The flower buds have bloomed a little more than yesterday. The image of Riftan appeared on her mind as she kept gazing at the flowers.
A weird man, he is…
The first time she saw him, he did not strike as a person that would be picking wildflowers in a field for a woman. The man she saw standing in the middle of a hall in castle Croix with an emotionless face didn’t look like a visiting guest, but rather an intruder. Who would have thought that cold man had such a… gentle side in him?
He’s been so kind to me… It’s too good to be true.
Her face clouded over. The flowers, the dresses, polite people, a kind husband. It was quite unnerving that everything had changed so much in a day. She feared she would wake up the next moment, back at the cold tiles of castle Croix, her father’s crane looming over her.
Max held her shoulders in a shaky grip, a sliver of hope coalescing into her usually jumbled thoughts.