Without any particular place in mind, we entered a jewelry shop recommended by Bella, which was popular among young and upcoming ladies. When Theodore was asked where he wanted to go, he replied, “Wherever Ester wants to go,” causing the princess to follow along with irritation. According to Bella’s contact, the meeting with Grose Baehr was not planned on Blitzen Street.
The warm interior of the shop, which did not have the heavy atmosphere of the luxury stores lining the street, made it seem more like a general store than a jewelry shop. However, all the jewelry on display was stunning in both design and quality.
“They’re all so lovely. I can see why they’re popular.”
“I’m glad you like them.”
What caught their eye in particular was a ring with a design resembling a flower crown. Delicate and glamorous, the gemstone used in the center of the flower shone brightly despite its small size. It seemed to be a one-of-a-kind piece, with a surprisingly high price tag.
“What, if you want something, should I buy it for you? As a nuisance fee.”
Diark, who had peeked from behind, spoke up, perhaps because he had stopped and stared at something carefully.
“. . .A ring, huh. That’s not something you give to someone else’s fiancé. How about these earrings? Your eyes are probably this color.”
“He said it’s thinner than Raymondo’s and yellower than Angelica’s.”
“Peridot?. . .That might be close.”
He pointed to a rather simple ear cuff for this store. The silver metal part was carefully crafted with the same pattern as the dress I was wearing, and a small gemstone was attached to it, swaying gently. There were several types of gems available, not just peridot, but also ruby, diamond, sapphire, topaz, and others, all with the same design.
“This is nice, it’s not too flashy. . .but I’ll buy it myself. You’re not buying it for me, right? You know that, don’t you?”
“Yes, yes, I’ll choose carefully.”
Thinking that it would be difficult for anyone to find fault with us in this crowded yet confined shop, I flutter my hand and go to browse the selection. With their golden eyes, a characteristic unique to the Verdean royal family, it’s quite obvious that they are not your average customers. Observing the scene, I can see the assertive shopkeepers tailing Diark.
As for me, my identity was easily recognizable due to my face veil. As a descendant of the saint, I was revered in other countries, but in reality, I was often treated like a rare animal and looked at from a distance.
I glanced around for Theodore and saw him watching the princess try on clothes with a blank expression. I felt sorry for him, but his eye color was still similar to paraiba tourmaline. . .
Before I knew it, I had called out to a shop assistant.
It seemed that Diark had found a necklace that suited his taste. Although his kol was spinning the necklace around happily, I hoped he would treasure it, even if it was just in his heart.
The princess’s shopping isn’t over yet, and Theodore hasn’t come out yet. If we’re going to talk, it has to be now.
“I’m sorry, Bella. I have something to discuss with him, so can you wait over there?”
“…Of course,” Bella bows politely, her smile contrasting with the anxious expression in her eyes, and she stands on the opposite side of the street. After making sure of that, I open my fan and cover my mouth.
“I saw a new vision, perhaps because the future has changed a bit,” I say.
“Well, that’s convenient. It’s a miracle that Acardi is a small country, to be honest,” he replies.
“He’s such an idiot for picking a fight with someone like him,” Diark comments.
“Don’t worry; I have no intention of expanding the country,” I reassure him.
Diarc seems more impressed than amazed. Honestly, I think I have quite a formidable set of magical abilities. Teleportation, in particular, allows me to infiltrate anywhere I want, along with a few other spells. It makes me grateful that I’m not an assassin by trade.
Well, I’m just a princess who wants to protect Acardi, so I have no intention of abusing this power.
“Bella disguised herself as me and made contact with Grose Baehr late at night. I don’t know the exact location, but. . .”
“We have to stop her from leaving the castle somehow.”
“Yes, or make her an ally.”
“I think that’s difficult. Uncle wouldn’t use someone who could easily betray him.”
He grimaces, and I sigh as well. Diarc, who has been targeted by assassins many times before, knows from experience what that entails. The pawn we captured in Acardi, the younger brother of the emperor, never revealed any information implicating his brother.
“Yes, that’s right. But in her case, I don’t think it’s about loyalty or anything like that. It’s more like. . .I saw fear in her.”
“Well, you never miss that kind of thing except when it comes to Sir Theodore. That’s why I couldn’t understand why you stubbornly refused to believe in his kindness. . .Did you see some weird premonition or something?”
Considering that he was conveying the knowledge of knowing someone’s inner thoughts as divination, that was almost the correct answer.
“Well, something like that.”
“I see. It’s been a long-standing question, but if it’s based on magic, I can understand it.”
He finally seemed to be convinced, nodding his head with a refreshed expression. Since the conversation had deviated, I tried to correct it.
“But what if she’s being blackmailed? If we can remove that leverage…”
“Will we have enough time? It might be faster to incapacitate her under the guise of an accident,”
“I’d prefer to resolve it peacefully, but… if Estelize is involved, we can’t afford to be choosy with our methods.”
Although he said something dangerous, I knew it was because he was concerned about me, so I patted his shoulder to reassure him.
“We’ll make it in time. It’ll be troublesome to deal with someone else, won’t it? Afterward…”
Suddenly, Theodore’s voice is heard, and before I realize it, he pulls my arm, causing me to stumble for a moment. But he quickly embraces me in his arms, and I cautiously lift my gaze.