“Is it that weird?”
“Is it strange? No! You’re amazing! It’s so wonderful I can’t even put it into words!”
Realizing that he had misunderstood what she was saying, Herietta burst out laughing and waved her hands. He seemed a little nervous, but when he heard that, his eyes looked relieved and his expression loosened.
“Edwin, let me ask you. How can you look so much more perfect after only five minutes of changing clothes than I did after a day and a half of preparing and dressing up?”
“You are exaggerating.”
“But I’m not exaggerating at all.”
Herietta insisted with a straight face.
“I can’t describe how cool you look right now.”
Her eyes scanned him up and down. Who could see that man now and think he was a slave? His figure, with his shoulders outstretched and his back straight, seemed more like a noble leader than a mere slave. Again, she remembered how great this man standing in front of her was originally.
Hearing Herietta’s words, Edwin looked as if he was thinking about something for a moment. Then, he tilted his head to one side.
“Do you like the way I look?”
“Of course. A young girl who wouldn’t get her heart pounding by seeing Edwin now is probably non-existent.”
Edwin sighed and continued.
“I was just asking if Miss Herietta liked me this way.”
Edwin answered briefly and concisely. When he looked down slightly, long eyelashes hung over his eyes. Both his expression and his actions were very relaxed. There was an atmosphere like that of a beast who was full and drowsy.
‘Isn’t that what it is?’
Herietta could not fully comprehend Edwin’s question. She even said that all the young girls in Brimdel might admire him, but why was he more interested in her thoughts than that?
With a puzzled expression, she nodded without saying a word. Then, a faint smile spread across his lips which had been a little stubborn until now.
“That’s a relief.”
He said in a whisper.
* * *
The summer cottage owned by the Richconnell family was far more luxurious and grander than Herietta had imagined. Clean, white marble floors and elaborately carved statues. A pillar that stands as tall as the ceiling. And even a crystal chandelier that sparkles like stars.
Herietta was so confused whether she was standing in a villa or a palace. Everywhere she looked, she saw a bunch of precious and expensive things. During her stay in Lavant, she visited the mansions of some quite wealthy aristocrats, but this one was particularly impressive.
Herietta was busy looking around the inside of the villa with her eyes wide open.
“Look at this. Edwin. Don’t you think the color of the painting is so pretty?”
Herietta, looking at a painting hanging on one of the walls, whispered to Edwin. Standing about a step behind her, he glanced at the work she was talking about with an indifferent gaze.
“It is the work of Mateo Den.”
“Yes. He was a painter that Lindel III was particularly fond of, and he was more famous for his abstract paintings than his portraits or his landscapes.”
Edwin spoke as if he was a very well-known figure, but it was the first name Herietta had ever heard of. She tilted her head and pointed to the picture next to it.
“What about that?”
“It is a work by Denzel Vanha. It’s called, ‘Lovers Under the Sunset’.”
“Then the one next to it?”
“It is the work of Mikhail Sendiz. He was also one of the painters whom Lindel III was fond of along with Matteo Den.”
Despite Herietta’s successive questions, Edwin explained it smoothly and without pause. Herietta opened her mouth. She may have been that way because she was not very interested in art, but Edwin, who recognized these paintings at a glance, seemed strange and wonderful.
“You must have been interested in painting since you know so much.”
“Ah. That’s not it. It’s just that I’ve grown up watching their work since I was little, so it’s just something I’m used to.”
At Edwin’s words, Herietta gave an understandable expression. No matter how great the Richconnell family’s wealth and fame were, they could not compare to that of the Redfords before their downfall. So, there must have been many more valuable works displayed in the mansion where he lived.
“Would you like some champagne?”
A well-dressed attendant carrying a tray of champagne glasses approached and asked. Instead of picking up hers, Edwin looked at her as if to ask Herrietta’s opinion. When she nodded that she would like one, he grabbed one of the champagne glasses and handed it to her.
“How about Edwin?”
“I am okay. Don’t mind me .”
“Still, you came all the way here…”
Herietta had a sad expression on her face as she trailed off. But she could also guess why Edwin said he wouldn’t drink. She was not willing to drink the champagne, so she only fiddled with the pitiful glass.
Edwin spoke as if he had read her thoughts.
“Miss Herietta, you don’t have to worry about me. Besides, I’m not that fond of drinking, to begin with.”
“Well, let me be clear, I’m not a big drinker either. It was recommended from the other side first, so I couldn’t refuse and just accepted it.”
Concerned that she suddenly looked like a drunkard to Edwin, Herietta quickly laid out her excuses. Edwin smiled faintly.
“Is that so?”
Herietta answered confidently. A strong force stopped her hand which was holding the glass.
“Be careful. You will spill it.”
Edwin who saw her unknowingly tilt her glass hurriedly warned her.
“Ah. I’m a little excited…!”
Herietta immediately straightened her back. This saved her from the embarrassing mistake of spilling her champagne on the floor.
Tiny bubbles rose from the yellow liquid in a long, narrow glass of champagne. With that, a sweet, sweet smell tickled the tip of her nose.
Herietta took off the mask she was wearing to drink her champagne. Then her face, hidden behind her mask, was revealed.
Maybe it was because of the hot breath blocked by the mask, but both of her cheeks were beautifully tinted with a rosy color.
Herietta tilted the glass she was holding and took a sip of the champagne in it. Then the bitter-sweet scent reached the tip of her tongue and spread into her mouth. Contrary to the tangy first taste, it was very soft in her throat.
‘Do the rich insist on the highest quality even for the drinks served in the hall like this?’
Herietta, who was slowly savoring the taste of champagne, thought in admiration. However, Edwin, who was standing next to her, quickly turned his head and was staring intently somewhere. Suddenly, tension began to spread through his body.
“Edwin? What’s wrong?”
Herietta, noticing Edwin’s change, asked carefully. At the same time, she noticed that a strange person had come close to them.
“Excuse me, but are you the Mackenzie’s Miss Herietta?”
The man asked quietly. Whether he was conscious of the gaze of the people around him, his attitude was very secretive. Who is it? She never met him before, but he didn’t seem to be hostile to her. Herietta nodded to confirm, and he leaned slightly towards her.
“Lady Vivianne wants to see you for a while.”
* * *
When he knocked on the door, permission was granted to come in from the inside. The man who guided them all the way here opened the door as if waiting. Then, the door was opened and revealed a room as spacious as the hall of the Mackenzie mansion.
There was a coffee table made of solid oak in the middle of the room. And in front of it was a young woman sitting alone.
“Miss Herietta. Come in, I was waiting.”
Vivianne stood up and greeted Herietta. Herietta hesitated for a moment before entering the room. A pleasant scent permeated the room.
“Did you feel uncomfortable on your way here?”
“Ah, no, I came in a carriage…”
Herietta, who was about to answer Vivian’s question, trailed off. Then, without realizing it, she held her breath. It’s because Vivianne’s full-fledged appearance was so beautiful that she was speechless.
As she entered the room, she was so nervous that she didn’t even notice it, but as her mind calmed down a little, she began to notice her dazzling beauty detail by detail.
She looked like a moon fairy the other day, but today she looked like a goddess of the night. She was so beautiful that it could not be compared with her, who spent all day decorating and dressing. No. Not only her, but within this kingdom or on the continent, there must have been few women of beauty who could stand up to her and her beauty.
“Wow. You… are too beautiful.”
Herietta let out an exclamation without knowing it. Hearing that, Vivian made a face that seemed a little perplexed. She’s met a lot of people of the opposite sex who praised her beauty, but it was the first time for a person of the same sex to praise her openly like Herietta.
Vivianne briefly smiled brightly like a flower.
“I’m flattered. Besides, Miss Herietta is much more adorable than someone like me.”
“No way. What do you mean? If they had eyes, they would know it’s a lie.”
Comments for chapter "Chapter 33"
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