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“Feel free to take a look around.”
I walked around the store and looked at the colourful jewellery.
“Ciel. Come here for a moment.”
Alex called me. When I got closer to see what he wanted to show me, I saw a pair of sparkling emerald earrings that were the same colour as my eyes.
“Wow, it’s really beautiful.”
The store owner spoke humbly in response to my praise, which I couldn’t stop admiring.
“It makes me feel shy to hear so much praise for jewellery made by an unknown craftsman.”
“What’s the point? It’s so beautiful.”
I have often looked over my shoulder at items from renowned jewellers in the capital. There are many jewellers who would like to line up with the Duchess of Valentine, who has two daughters, but only a handful can pass the mother’s strict screening.
Even to my eyes, the jewels here seemed to be of higher quality than those from the best jewellers in the capital.
Even though those emerald earrings were dark green, they were still clear. As I spoke, Alex placed a ruby hairpin with a butterfly shape on my head.
“How about this?”
Since I also did something for Your Highness, I decided to try everything that caught my eye. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and brooches. There was even an anklet that was prepared for the dress with a slightly transparent ankle. There are so many gorgeous accessories in the world.
As I was picking out things for myself and my family, Alex quietly came over and placed a tiara on my head.
Although it was a bit big for my small head, the tiara studded with diamonds was said to be something that the queen of a certain kingdom actually used.
“The tiara suits you very well.”
There is no reason to wear a tiara unless you are an empress or crown princess. My mother never wore a tiara outside of weddings and other special occasions.
I tried it out with the intention of using it again sometime in my life, and it fit me perfectly as if it were made just for me.
“Wow, that looks great on you.”
When I saw the tiara on top of my shining blonde hair, I felt greedy for no reason. I think it would be great to wear it to the debutante ball. Should I ask my dad to buy me a birthday present?
“Excuse me, is it possible to make a reservation for this?”
“If you want, I will just accept the promised certificate and wait without selling it to someone else.”
“If I’m going to sell it, I’d like to sell it to someone who looks good, a lovely lady.”
If it’s not too expensive, I should ask my dad to buy it for me to commemorate my social debut. Feeling relieved to hear the owner smiling brightly, I checked the price of the tiara.
One, ten, hundred, thousand, ten thousand. Oh, it’s not this. I gulped and froze in the endless feast of numbers.
“Uh, well, that’s it.”
If I had known it was this expensive, I wouldn’t have used it recklessly. I’d rather turn back time.
Alex took a step back because he didn’t know how to deal with the situation, but he stepped forward with a calm face.
“I’ll pay for it.”
I grabbed Alex’s sleeve. Even if it was a gift, the amount seemed too much to buy willingly.
“Please take the things I saw from there to there and give them to Duke Valentine. Take the other things I saw to the imperial palace.”
“Thank you as always, sir.”
After finishing the story without any time to stop, the jewellery store owner handed the bill with the total amount written down to Alex.
I tried to sneak a peek, but that too failed. Alex ended up hiding the receipt and not showing it.
“This is an act of service.”
The store owner pulled out velvet boxes from behind the counter and showed them to the customers. From diamond earrings that look vaguely familiar to ribbons with transparent ruby decorations that can be tied around a teddy bear’s neck.
Even in the smallest details, there were enough jewels to support a commoner family of four for several months, so I was speechless.
Leaving behind the store owner, who told me to come again, he took me to a clothing store in the alley across from me.
The owner of the dressing room with cute ribbons was a plump woman wearing a busted dress.
“Oh my, some cute guests have just arrived.”
“Ciel. Try wearing this.”
It seems like the right fortune has come to His Highness today. As if he had made up his mind, Alex started choosing clothes that would suit me.
“Is Your Highness taking care of me on purpose?”
“Isn’t it natural since we are friends?”
If I had many friends, I would have to pay a lot for household expenses. As if he were really taking care of his friend, Alex picked up a mature-looking light pink dress.
“I think your sister would like this.”
“I still have to see Clara’s dress, but this is nice.”
If you’re giving it to Clara, you can send the bill to my brother, Theo. Now that the money issue was resolved, I felt relieved and looked at the pretty dresses one after another.
“Is there a cravat that matches this dress in colour?”
“Yes, but wouldn’t it fit with your partner?”
The shopkeeper pointed to Alex and asked. I laughed and shook my head because I thought we were lovers.
“I’m going to give this to my brother as a present.”
I’m sorry, but I’m giving this to Brother Theo as a gift, not to His Highness. Theo would be willing to pay for the items if he knew how much I wanted to help Clara and me match the look of the couple.
I also chose something for my awesome brother Isaac and my crazy brother Louise.
“Your Highness, have you chosen everything?”
“Is that all?”
My brother is one, two, and three. I thought this was enough, but I forgot one person.
“Right, I forgot about Dad!”
My dad is in the middle of his life, but he still looks like a handsome young man. He looks best in chocolate. As I cared for each man in my house while humming, Lord Wilhelm came up to me quietly and whispered.
“Miss Ciel, If you’ve already picked one, I’d like you to pick another one.”
Alex’s face didn’t look as good as it did before for some reason. He seemed overtly angry and started an argument with Uncle Mark, who was standing next to him.
“Why does this make you so uncomfortable?”
What’s wrong with the person who didn’t say anything even after eating salt cookies. Uncle Mark, who was suffering from Alex, looked at me and signalled for something to do. I don’t think it’s just me, Sir Wilhelm.
Did he get upset because I didn’t take care of everyone else?
“Please send all of these to the Duke of Valentine, and wait a minute.”
I picked up the clearest crimson of the finely stacked cravats. Among many colours, this one suits Alex the best.
Crimson Red, which is the same colour as his eyes. I called him with a cravat that would suit him best.
“Your Highness, could you come here for a moment?”
“What’s going on?”
Alex pretended like nothing was wrong and just stared at the cravat in my hand. Since I chose a new one after packing up my father’s and brother’s things, he must have known it was his right away. I can tell he doesn’t like it because the corners of his mouth are shaking.
“Could you put your head down for a second?”
I stood on the tips of my toes and reached out to put the cravat around his neck. After seeing my mother do it, I clumsily copied it, but it wasn’t easy to tie.
I stood in front of the mirror with Alex. It was a little wonky, but from this angle, I liked how it looked on him.
“Phew, it’s done.”
When I looked at Sir Wilhelm to ask if this was okay, he was happily nodding his head. Our shy prince seemed to like my gift, though, because he fiddled with his neck and looked in the mirror several times.
“Do you like it?”
Alex took a new look at me and wondered what I was talking about. He opened his mouth and then closed it again. Without wasting a single word, he calmly composed his mind and expressed his impressions.
“I like your taste.”
Maybe it’s a good thing for our prince, who has trouble even complimenting people. It’s enough to say it’s pretty or nice.
“I’m glad that you like it.”
All of the stores that Uncle Mark took me to were friendly. The store owners glanced at us and kept giving us gifts, saying it was a bonus or a prize.
“Cute lady, this is a gift.”
“Try this. It’s very delicious.”
It’s too bad that this change will only happen today. Maybe the time I spend with Alex will feel like my last summer vacation. Soon after the official start, “that thing” will happen.
“It’s a bell that only rings when there’s a crisis in the capital.”
I only saw a clock on the side of the palace or our mansion, so I didn’t know it had a bell behind it until today. Uncle Mark kept talking as if he were giving a tour.
In short, it’s an alarm for an emergency. When I came out of the alley and onto the boulevard, I saw a young blond man I had seen many times from far away.
“Your Highness. I’d like to eat some of those caramel candies over there, but could you buy them for me while I’m waiting in line?”
Today, Alex is ready to do whatever I ask him to do. Perhaps thanks to the cravat I gave him earlier, he was willing to do my favour. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I left Uncle Mark alone and ran to the entrance of the alley.
“There’s still a line waiting there!”
I pulled out my Leviathan just in case, held it in my hand, and ran to the entrance of the alley. As soon as I ran, someone was gone, but even if I had caught up with them, it was too late. The bottom of my dress was sticking out, so I pulled on it.
He can trick the eyes of other people, but you can’t trick mine. I knew this would happen, so I left on purpose without telling them where I was going, but they followed me again in this way.
Overprotection has crossed the line at this level. Isaac, who was at the scene and was caught, spoke with a cold sweat.
“Our Ciel, you look good dressed up like this.”
“It’s no use flattering me. How is my brother here?”
I’m sure Louise didn’t lie to me, right? Even if everyone else knows this, it’s strange that Isaac, a man of upright living who only knows the knights and home, came to his alley alone.
“Go in right now!”
If Alex sees two of us, he will definitely be disappointed. I pushed the two people into the alley as hard as I could and went back to where I was standing in line.
“What’s the matter?”
“Hey, I have something to ask. When I got closer, it didn’t look that great, so I just left.”
“I see. Take this.”
There was so much caramel candy in the paper bag that I had to hold it with my arms wide open. As if to inflame Stan’s competitive spirit, Alex also started bombarding me with gifts, and the amount was no joke.