The three were walking along Fabian street. Roena left right away and said she’ll join them soon because she had something to do.
“I think this will suit Verne well.”
May said, pointing at the sapphire earrings displayed on the street stand. The silver earrings with tiny sapphire jewels had a design that resembled a star.
Cersinia nodded, agreeing with May’s words.
Of course, the gems were fake, but the design and the gems were harmonized together, making it look pretty.
“Really? Then shall I buy this?”
Verne, who was listening next to us, fluttered his thin ears.
“Does Verne think this is pretty too?”
May grabbed the earring and glanced at Verne. Her eyes constantly moved as if to grasp Verne’s opinion.
“Yes, I think it’s so pretty.”
“Please calculate for this!”
As soon as she heard Verne’s opinion, May quickly paid for the earrings.
“Ah, May liked it too.”
Verne scratched her cheek in embarrassment. May finish the payment, not forgetting to ask the owner to wrap it up meticulously and beautifully.
“Did you want to buy it?”
“Yes! I wanted to give it to Verne. Verne, this is a present from me.”
May answered Cersinia’s question and handed out the wrapped earring to Verne. Verne widened her eyes in surprise.
“Yes? A present?”
“I’m sorry. I wanted to present you something better…”
May’s words were blurred as to whether the low price bothered Verne.
“No, that’s not it… Wasn’t that what May wanted to have?”
“I really wanted to give you a present before you entered the palace. Although it’s small.”
Verne blushed at the unexpected gift.
May smiled happily as she saw Verne holding the gift she gave in her arms.
“Shall I wear it now? I think it’ll go well with this dress.”
Verne, who held back her tears by breathing deeply, approached the mirror hanging on the stand.
“Are you okay, May?”
“Of course! I want to see Verne use it.”
After unpacking the wrapping paper carefully, not tearing it as much as possible, Verne took out the earring.
“Wow, it suits you so well.”
May exclaimed when a pair of sapphire earrings hung in Verne’s ears.
“Yes, it’s pretty.”
Cersinia also exclaimed, and Verne smiled shyly with a blush on her cheek.
May’s earrings were an important point for Verne’s innocent and modest dress. It felt like her style, which could have looked plain, was completed with just one pair of earrings. The owner of the stand was watching with a smile.
“I’ll buy you everything you want to eat today,” Cersinia declared.
Material gifts are good, but when Verne enters the palace, she will have enough expensive items, so Cersinia wants to treat her with food that would be memorable. Even if it wasn’t expensive, it didn’t have to be a fancy or rare dish that can only be eaten here. The last meal they had together was not just to share food and eat but to share memories.
“Wow! Verne, let’s spend all the money in Cersinia’s wallet!”
May smiled humorously and crossed her arms in Verne’s arms. It meant to cooperate.
“Can I really do that?”
“Of course. Eat whatever you want. Let’s order snacks too.”
“Then let’s eat that first!”
When May pointed to the other side, Cersinia’s gaze moved along May’s hand.
Her eyes widened at the familiar food.
“The fruits are so pretty.”
Looking at the sparkling fruit in the sun, Verne approached the display stand.
Fruit syrup candy.
It was the food that she had eaten when Ben bought it at the harvest festival. At that time, it was said that it was sold only in that village, but it seems that they have come to the capital to do business.
Cersinia looked at the candy as she recalled the day of the harvest festival when she was with him.
“I think you’ll like it.”
She only showed interest in it once, but Ben quickly bought the candy for her. Since he had already bought it for her, she ate that a lot.
“You got something on your face.”
He raised his hand and gently brushed her lips. Cersnia remembered the feelings and excitement at that time. She also could feel the fast-beating pulse in the hands holding each other with their faces turned red.
‘It was only a while ago, but it felt like a distant past.’
Maybe it’s because their relationship has changed. At that time, she struggled with how to reject his confession. Before she knew it, they got engaged and promised to get married.
“Cersinia, hurry up!”
May has already urged her with strawberry syrup candy in her hand. At May’s call, Cersinia returned to reality and walked with a soft smile on her face. She thought that she should give Ben a present this time.
* * *
Roena, separated from the three, looked around and slipped into the empty back alley. Then, a figure wearing a black robe, which had been hiding in the dark shadow that had descended on the back alley, slowly appeared.
“Now, we can go ahead and execute the plan.”
Roena quietly whispered to the figure in the black robe. She didn’t forget to keep looking around to see if anyone followed her.
“Where did you stop the carriage?”
“The carriage is at the entrance of Fabian street. The horseman said he will be going away for a while, so we have to move now.”
At Roena’s words, the figure quickly moved. As that figure disappeared, Roena looked around her once more and walked out of the alley.
* * *
“I heard from the mansion servants that this restaurant is popular these days.”
Cersinia looked through the restaurant with an exciting look at May’s words. The restaurant, which exudes a luxurious atmosphere as if a small banquet hall of the Imperial Palace had been moved, was filled with customers. Small chandeliers were hung from the ceiling. All the tableware set and the candlestick on the table were of good quality.
“It’s hard to make a reservation in the first place, but the older brother of Billy, who works in the kitchen, manages reservations here, so I tried my best.”
No wonder. There was a line outside the restaurant, but they were guided straight to the table without lining up.
“Thanks to May, we came to this place.”
May smiled brightly at Cersinia’s praise. Because of her friendly personality, May tended to get along well with the servants. Cersinia heard all the rumors circulating in the mansion from time to time through May.
Verne also twinkled her eyes as if she was amazed.
“It’s a good thing to change the clothes.”
Looking around, everyone seemed to be well-dressed. It seemed polite to have some dignity in this restaurant.
“I’m sorry for being late!”
Reona joined after her business was over. Soon after, the appetizers were set on the table. Creamy soup topped with freshly baked savory croissants and crispy croutons. The delicious smell stimulated their sense of smell.
“Eat a lot. I’ll treat you today.”
At the words from Cersinia, the three picked up the spoons, answering like chicks.
The four had a good time chatting and savoring the endless food slowly.
“Ah, I’m so full that I feel like I’m about to burst.”
May leaned her body against the back of the chair, stroking her bloated belly.
“Really? So you’re not going to eat dessert?”
Cersinia said as if teasing May while looking at her.
May was startled and straightened her back. Verne, who was next to her, smiled as she looked at them.
“The desserts here are famous, so you must try them! I have a separate stomach for dessert.”
May’s eyes lit up as if she had fully determined to eat dessert.
“Yes, eat a lot.”
Cersinia laughed happily.
Shortly after, an employee dragged a trolley with a three-tier tray.
May looked embarrassed by the unexpected size of the dessert. Cersinia, who recognized the meaning, said, “I don’t think the dessert would be enough. So I ordered the tea set.”
Originally, they only served one piece of cake per person. Still, the tea set had cakes of each type, macarons, and various sweet cookies stacked on the three-tier tray.
“You said you have a separate stomach for dessert. You can eat it all, right?”
“Of course! Thank you. Hehehe.”
May smiled brightly and picked up one of the macarons. Cersinia picked up a piece of cake and placed it on the plate of Verne and Roena one by one.
The four of them had tea time with the black tea that followed. It was a leisurely and peaceful time compared to what would happen a few hours later.