The festival period flew by like wildfire.
Citrina was busy as it took place near Dartrin Street.
She released half of the ready-made jewelry and accessories, including designs that were becoming famous among the gentry class.
It was also among the ladies of the aristocracy.
They came by the atelier from time to time and sent letters of request.
However, the ladies with titles of count or higher did not stop by.
‘The harvest is less than predicted since only daughter of viscounts and lower are showing interest.’
The situation was clear.
But she guessed she would have to keep an eye on the situation a little longer.
But Citrina still had one more card up her sleeve.
A card that was happy to be used.
Desian and Aaron would be there together on the last day of the homecoming ball, and it was certain the Blue Ocean would make the news.
“It’s already night.”
For tomorrow’s ball, Citrina planned to go back to the townhouse where Adilac would be.
She locked the atelier doors and stepped out.
‘Will I be able to get a public carriage on a festival day like today?’
She had a sense of frustration.
The day before the ball was a festival night.
Exquisite lanterns covered the entire area, including the capital square.
Everyone was able to enjoy the luxurious festival thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears of the imperial palace wizards.
“Dartrin Street is quiet, but…”
Citrina slowly leaned against the atelier door.
On days like this, it felt like she was alone.
‘Happy festival day, everyone.’
She worked diligently and had a home to return to.
Citrina recalled the family she was connected to by name alone, with whom she had severed all communication.
It’s quiet, Rina.”
A man leaned by the atelier doors.
Citrina looked at him in surprise.
He was too tall for Citrina to look him straight in the eye, and a smile bloomed like a flower on his pale face.
It was her childhood friend.
A man with a cold appearance, surrounded by disturbing rumors.
He was a person who was somehow sharp, an unknown part of him like the dark side of the moon.
It felt like calm waves were rolling in.
On a lonely night, just a trivial fact that he was by her side made her feel this way.
“What are you doing here?”
According to the plan, they were to meet tomorrow morning.
“Del, the ball is tomorrow!”
“Do you know it’s a festival night today?”
Looking at Desian, Citrina scrambled through her recollections.
The festival night was a special celebration for the people of the empire.
That’s because this was a time to enjoy a beautiful night with family, lovers, and friends.
Citrina opened her mouth vacantly.
“I’ve never experienced festival night, so I kind of forgot.”
Desian took a step towards her.
The smell of wet grass hit her nostrils.
Citrina guessed that he had been standing here for a long time.
Love permeated his every action.
Feeling her heart throb, Citrina whispered softly.
“Let’s go together.”
“Then lead the way.”
“How should we get there?”
“If it’s okay, I’ll use movement magic.”
Citrina held out her hand casually, as she would for a large dog to give her their paw.
It was an unconscious act.
As he gently held Citrina’s hand, Desian muttered an incantation.
She and Desian were very close now.
Her warmth spread into his fingertips.
She closed her eyes as the magic took affect, and when Citrina opened her eyes, the spell had been cast.
Grass spread around them everywhere.
It was not the noisy downtown center of the festival, but a quiet contained space.
They were on a mountain.
A small chair appeared in front of her.
Citrina walked slowly.
“The wind is refreshing, Del.”
“And also the wind.”
“Yeah, the wind is cool too.”
Citrina looked at Desian.
The wind murmured in her ears.
In Citrina’s previous life, she often took walks at night.
In her current life, Citrina had never had the chance to enjoy this type of simple pleasure because she was too busy living.
Citrina smiled, cherishing this soft comfortable feeling instead of the way she regularly had to stay sharp and aware.
But…aside from that, there was just one problem.
Although she only held his hand for the movement magic.
‘Um…I’m suddenly conscious of it.’
Once you know that someone has feelings for you, you can’t go back to being oblivious.
That was natural.
Citrina slowly withdrew her hand.
“The view is really pretty.”
She heard a controlled voice stating that the view was nice.
If she listened objectively, there was no self-consciousness in her voice.
So Citrina pretended to be unaware.
“Yeah, it’s pretty.”
After he replied to her, Citrina jabbed her the tip of her tongue out of her lips.
She thought he was a normal friend, but it was odd.
She felt a little…nervous.
They were at the top of a mountain where all of the capital’s festivities could be seen.
A couple of large villages could be seen from up here.
The cluster of buildings that formed the villages twinkled like fireflies.
At the top of the mountain was a large crimson bench.
Desian led her over to it.
Citrina and Desian sat side-by-side.
After a moment of silence, Desian whispered.
“When you were young, you wanted to see this nightscape.”
It was strange to hear a recollection she didn’t even remember.
He seemed like he remembered every sentence she had ever said.
When did his feelings begin?
Citrina was unable to fathom the answer and paused before speaking.
“… I don’t remember.”
A gust of wind chilled her cheeks.
“Forget all of the bad memories.
Only think about the good things.
“Then I’ll only think of you.”
Her eyes were calm, but her manner was quite brazen.
This sharp man became blind and docile.
Maybe this was the magic of the night.
Slowly, Citrina turned her head and looked at Desian sitting next to her.
He also looked at her in the dark night.
“There are many beautiful and good things in this world.”
“Is that so?”
Desian asked in a questioning tone, but Citrina knew it wasn’t a question.
Looking at his midnight-black eyes, Citrina opened her mouth slowly.
I’m sure of it.”
This friendly villain and the strange feeling inside her aroused by the night kept agitating her mind.
“Then let me know what it is you like.”
Desian had an infinitely friendly and gentle face.
She couldn’t believe this man was the villain in the original work, and that he was a man hounded by ferocious notoriety.
“I’ll let you know.”
Citrina didn’t think about the gossip.
Instead, she faced the man she saw in front of her.
“I look forward to what you’ll tell me.”
It was a docile and friendly attitude.
His kind gaze held none of the sharpness that she felt at first glace not long ago.
“I used to…before I thought to go to the festival with my family.”
Desian listened silently.
Citrina slowly opened her mouth again.
“But today… it’s nice being here with you.”
She smiled at him.
Citrina’s heart was weakened right now, and the word family was her trigger.
He even knew that at the word and his friendly conversation, Citrina’s wariness collapsed.
Of course, Desian had no intention of becoming her family in that sense.
Desian smiled grimly.
It was clear what thoughts were going through Citrina’s head right now.
She wasn’t aware, but Desian knew.
It was polite to clear up her confusion at this point.
That’s because he was a ‘kind’ friend.
“Look at the sky, Rina.”
Twinkling stars poured down from the sky.
Sparks flashed down like a meteor shower.
Citrina stared at the glittering fireworks in the night sky.
It was an intense flash that made even the lights of the villages feel shabby.
It was breathtakingly beautiful.
Citrina spoke, barely breathing.
“It’s like being in a fairy tale.”
Way back… when we danced together.”
It like she was back in a fairy tale, riding in a pumpkin carriage, like the pleasant feeling of returning to simpler times.
They were under a night sky full of fireworks.
If this was a cliche romance novel, they might have kissed.
However, Citrina did not love Desian yet.
“Del, when you like the world…”
Citrina spoke slowly again.
If he treated her as he had been, as his precious loved one…well, that would cause her to grow closer to him.
“Don’t be too nice.”
“What about to you?”
“Don’t be too nice to me either.
This a world where you need to watch your back.” [T.L.
Note: Citrina literally says, “This is a world where you open your eyes and cut your nose”]
Listening to Citrina’s mischievous words, Desian laughed softly.
“I still want to be nice to you.”
Even though it sounded corny, his voice was strangely powerful.
“Why would you?”
… He smiled with a drowsy look in his eyes, but she was persuaded.
Citrina shook her head lightly and burst out laughing.
“…Del, I guess I can’t beat you.”
Upon hearing Citrina’s response, Desian nodded his head.
Then he reached out one hand and gently ruffled her hair.
“I always lose to you.”
Seeing him like that, Citrina cast her eyes down.
She was enveloped in a strange sense of agony.
For example, her thoughts drifted to these things:
Should she fix her messy hair? Was fixing her hair crossing a line?
She had never been conscious of these sorts of things until now.
They were special to each other.
It could been because they were like family, or it could be that they were the first people to share significant feelings with each other.
Anyway, Citrina…smiled as she closed off her thoughts, which had been flustered since earlier.
‘It makes me feel strange.’
Night seemed to make people more sentimental.
But Citrina knew she couldn’t blame her feelings on the night.
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