“You asked if I was afraid of taking risks. I believe in the Lady. But I just want you to fix one thing… I think you can have a little confidence. The Lady doesn’t seem to realize it, but it’s very difficult to gain our trust.”
“… Thank you for your kind consideration.”
“Haha, you just keep saying thank you. Are you a shy person?”
Then, I wondered why he complimented me when I complimented him.
I didn’t know why he asked if I was a shy person when I couldn’t open my mouth because I didn’t have anything to say.
“Your ears have turned red.”
Crown Prince Enoch whispered in a low voice.
I didn’t know why he kept teasing me like this. I came here to talk about the business.
“Ah, I see… But what I told you last time…”
The topic was a little cumbersome, so I changed it. And as I did, the crown prince lowered his head as if to hold back his laughter.
‘What is so funny…’
I continued without paying attention to it, but my head was a little complicated.
I didn’t know why these siblings trusted me so much. I had no talent for speaking and only uttered words of gratitude.
As I told Princess Vivian, this was my first time doing business. I had nothing but theory.
I was looking for a business partner so that I could make less trial and error.
‘He’s Crown Prince Enoch in the first place. Thinking it was a reward for helping Princess Vivian, would I, a novice businesswoman, have been stopped if someone had made him accept me?’
Even now, I said I wanted to hide my identity, but he didn’t seem to intend to threaten me with that.
Of course, I didn’t know anything else, but I wasn’t going to be easy on the matter of being free from the Primrose duchy… Why did he have to value emotional labor? It was a mystery.
“Ah, I’m sorry I laughed during your business talk.”
Although he had belatedly stopped laughing, the crown prince apologized with a smile still on his face.
“Well… You can be careful next time.”
All we had to do was talk about business, so it bothered me that he was laughing.
‘… But that doesn’t mean I feel bad.’
The way he bit his lips under the shattering sunlight was honestly likeable.
The crown prince should be thankful for his face, which many people say is wonderful. In any case, it was a beauty that had nothing to lose by laughing.
‘I should be careful not to talk about anything other than work as much as possible in the future.’
I never imagined that the next emperor could smile like that.
No, in a way, maybe it was an advantage.
If he smiled like that at something so trivial, he would easily shake it off even if something depressing happened to him.
It was worth giving him extra points in terms of high resilience.
The meeting ended when I unexpectedly discovered the crown prince’s qualities.
My mother was lying sick.
She was going out often, which used to be rare for her, and I consulted her while researching the products… It seemed that her body couldn’t handle it.
“Don’t worry, it’s just a light fever.”
“When I go outside, I feel alive. I feel like I’ve been too trapped until now.”
What was most fortunate was that my mother’s expression was bright, as opposed to her heated face. My mother muttered,
“I didn’t know the world was so wide…”
That’s right. My mother always stayed in the castle because she was ashamed of her skin. Perhaps that was why she was even more obedient to my father’s words. The duke’s castle must have been my mother’s whole world…
Maybe it wasn’t just my mother’s skin that the cosmetics changed.
After a while, a doctor who came from the temple checked my mother’s condition and thankfully said something good.
“You’re in much better health than you used to be. I was worried because the Duchess has a lot of worries even though your body is like that…”
In short, she was stressed out and stored up all her anger inside her.
Yes, how stressed my mother must have been about my father. She looked calm and seemed to be fine, but there was no way she wasn’t upset.
“My body feels light these days. Getting up in the morning is also easy. But I guess I’ve moved too much.”
It was only then that I was able to relax. I thought that it was fortunate to see my mother being more energetic than before.
“Don’t worry too much, I’ll adjust it appropriately from now on.”
But my mother’s words didn’t end there. When the doctor left, my mother took my hand with serious eyes.
“Yuria. You don’t know how proud I am of you doing business.”
I told only my mother that I had started a business. A secret that no one else except Princess Vivian and Crown Prince Enoch knew.
My mother was trustworthy because she was good at keeping secrets. I told her not to tell my father and brother, and my mother simply nodded, without even asking why. She was someone I could trust, after all.
“I also feel like I’ve been swayed too much because the duchy and my husband are my whole life… I hope you won’t be like that. And it will also help you forget about Sir Vieira.”
Though I had long since forgotten about Sir Vieira… In any case, I was happy because my mother was happy.
“If I want a cosmetics business, I need a shop to sell products, a land to grow plants… There is a lot to do. Can I do a good job?”
“Of course. You’ve been smart since you were a kid. I thought you were a genius several times.”
“I don’t think I’m a genius…”
Even before I was constantly called a dumb villainess, my mother always said only positive things to me. I grinned at her warm words.
But there was a person who broke that good moment.
I looked back at the knock on the door.
“Mother, are you all right? I heard you weren’t feeling well, so I came to see you.”
The person who entered my mother’s room was Lilika.
‘My time of peace after a long time seems to be interrupted.’
Of course, I held back a sigh. Now, it wasn’t difficult to manage my expression to this extent.
“You seemed fine for a while… When I heard that you had a fever again, my heart sank. Still, your complexion looks better than I thought, so I’m relieved. And… Your skin is definitely better. The dead skin is also gone.”
With that, Lilika put down a bouquet of flowers she had brought.
“People were asking how lavishly you spent your money to make your skin so clean. I heard they were saying that you were pretending to be good. But don’t mind them. I believe in Mother.”
I chewed on Lilika’s words, and as expected, it felt wrong.
‘What do you mean, I believe in Mother? You’re just pointing out to her not to spend money. What if Mother used the money as rumored?”
She had to say something that bothered her in front of someone who was sick, for no reason. While not even telling her to rest well.
“Mother is suddenly going out to social gatherings, which is something you didn’t use to do, so you must be getting a lot of attention. Everyone was curious about your change of heart. However…”
My mother’s jaw stiffened.
I wanted to ask for what purpose she was saying that, but I didn’t want to cause more disturbance here.
Seeing the timing, I pulled Lilika by the arm.
“Lilika, let’s go out so that mother can rest in peace.”
I said, being evasive, but Lilika didn’t listen.
“Do you think I’m a nuisance to Mother?”
Rather, she raised her voice with her eyes wide open.
“It’s not fair. You’ve been with her all this time. I also want to talk to Mother more…”
“Yes, I’ve been bothering Mother for too long. You don’t need to do the same. The flowers you brought are enough to convey your sincerity…”
As my mother was ill, I didn’t want to reproach Lilika.
But at that moment, my eyes fell on the bouquet that Lilika had put down. Upon confirming what kind of flowers they were, I immediately froze.
‘… I thought they were flowers commonly brought when paying a sick visit.’
They were white Lepias, a flower offered to the dead.
Yes, this happened in my past life… Even in my previous life, Lilika gave my mother Lepias, which you bring to a funeral, when she was sick.
As soon as I saw that in my previous life, I sharply struck Lilica’s cheek.
“You, are you telling Mother to die now? What are you doing! Are you giving her white Lepias, a flower given to the dead?”
“I-I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I’ll take them away right now.”
Lilika cried and burned the flowers in the fireplace. And with really good timing, my brother saw Lilika getting slapped and crying.
“You, what are you doing to Lilika!”