Home Post 941-chapter-16


12. Red Fingertips Amidst the Unraveling Thread

If the silence continued, it would have been unbearable, but luckily, Lucy began laying out an assortment of items.

“Liv, let me introduce you… This was bought for me by Brother Asher in Porcelain, this one by my father, and this… it’s a rabbit that changes clothes.”

The Princess, unaccustomed to playing with peers, continually presented and described her items, while Olivia, preferring this than to face the princes, nodded and played along. Moreover, Olivia found herself enchanted by the Princess’ exquisite dolls.

She gazed in pure admiration at a rabbit doll wearing a delicately crafted tiara.

“My goodness, it’s so cute. And it even resembles the dress you’re wearing, Princess.”

As she exclaimed with wide eyes, Noah, who was looking out the window, and Asher, momentarily distracted from his book, glanced over at them.

“Right, right?! Liv, you can also put this cape on the rabbit! The ears go like this!”

“I’ll try dressing it up. It’s adorable!”

Several dolls were placed on Olivia’s blue skirt. She seemed to genuinely enjoy playing with the doll in her hand. As Noah turned his gaze back outside with a brief chuckle, his smile quickly faded.

The carriage peacefully continued towards the palace.

Just when Olivia began to forget her initial awkwardness and discomfort, an unexpected problem arose.

Lucy, having finished introducing her dolls, pulled out a long thread.

“Liv, let’s play with this!”

Noah, resting his chin on his hand while leaning on the window, shifted his eyes to look at them. Lucy, recently fascinated with cat’s cradle, skillfully wove the thread and extended it to Olivia.


However, Olivia, seeing the unfamiliar pattern of the thread, was perplexed.

…What was this? What was she supposed to do?

Olivia, who had spent her school years among boys in a battle-like atmosphere, was no stranger to being unable to play with peers. After a moment of thought, she assumed the Princess was now showing off her skill with the thread.

Clap, clap, clap.

As Olivia suddenly clapped, Lucy’s face turned to astonishment.


Simultaneously, a suppressed laugh burst out from the side. As Olivia reflexively turned, she saw Noah covering his mouth with one hand and looking at her.

Their eyes met, conveying mutual surprise.

Noah eventually covered his eyes with the same hand and tilted his head back. His lips were curled upwards, and his broad chest heaved intermittently. The Prince was barely holding back his laughter. Actually, he let it out.


Asher, unable to watch anymore, tapped his shoulder to caution him, but Asher’s face, too, was on the brink of laughter.

“…Is this not it?”


When Olivia asked Lucy, Noah’s laughter grew louder. His sharply pointed Adam’s apple moved up and down as he leaned his head back. This time, even Asher couldn’t stop the laughter, as he was also laughing.

Was this a royal family tradition? How was she supposed to know?

Olivia thought as the Princess mumbled in confusion.

“But this is a game all girls in Herod know…”

Noah, who had been laughing behind his hand, composed himself and reached out to Lucy.

“Lucy, let me do it for you.”

At her brother’s suggestion, Lucy wove the thread again and handed it to her brother. He skillfully handled the thread after removing his gloves. His long, straight index and thumb elegantly bent and twisted the thread into a different shape.

To Olivia’s surprise, the thread took a new form in his hands. The next moment, as Lucy interwoven it into yet another pattern, Olivia could hear applause in her ears as if it were an illusion.

Clapping for this?

She, too, burst into a chuckle and covered her mouth.

The royal siblings’ eyes turned to her, who was smiling broadly. As she gazed at the thread on Noah’s fingers, she turned to Lucy.

“Princess, I haven’t spent much time in Herod. I thought you were showing me an art made with thread.”


Amidst the laughter, the royals joined in as well. Lucy, holding the thread that was on Noah’s hand, looked serious.

“Would I have presented this as an artwork?”

“That’s right. I’m sorry, but I really had no idea what you were suggesting we do with the thread.”

Asher, who was listening in, explained gently.

“It’s called cat’s cradle. It’s a game where you weave thread with your hands and pass it on.”

Olivia nodded slightly towards Asher and then confidently addressed Lucy.

“Please teach me. I’ll learn quickly.”

Lucy, with a triumphant look, wove the thread and extended it to her.

“See the crossed X? You grab it with your thumb and index finger… Yes, like that. Pull it down and then lift it up.”

“…Like this?”

After a few attempts, the top graduate of Herodington finally visualized the shape of the thread and created an astonishing pattern that the Princess had never seen before.

“I’ve never seen this before…”

“I’ll give it a try.”

As Olivia was about to retract her thread-laden hand, perplexed by Lucy’s reaction, a gentle voice from the front made her turn.

It was Noah, pointing at her hand with his ungloved long fingers.

Surprisingly, it was Noah, not Asher, who had played well with Lucy, and in that sense, he was much better at cat’s cradle than Asher.

Hesitating for a moment, Olivia extended her hand with the thread, and Noah, with a serious expression, looked at the thread. Then, weaving the thread skillfully with his fingers, he soon took it from her hand.

As Olivia watched the Prince’s graceful fingers, she was mesmerized. When she saw the thread reborn under his skill, her expression was one of pure amazement.

It was incredibly complex.

“Think you can do it?”

When Lucy asked with excitement, Olivia nodded firmly in response with a determined face.

“Just a moment.”

Noah glanced at Olivia, who was intently focusing on his fingers.

Underneath her delicate eyelashes, her dark eyes were serious. Soon, after a brief moment, Olivia seemed to find the answer, weaving her slender fingers carefully through the thread. Her fingertips, that was flushed pink, looked absurdly small.

Yet, her fingers skillfully unraveled the complex thread, eliciting an exclamation from Lucy.

Simultaneously, the carriage slowed down and eventually came to a stop. They had arrived at the palace without realizing it after being engrossed in their thread game.

“We’ve arrived, Princess.”

As Olivia removed the thread from her fingers and placed it in the basket, Lucy’s face darkened suddenly, though the young princess knew she couldn’t complain.

Asher, who had been looking sympathetically at his sister, stepped out of the carriage first when the door opened. Following him were Noah and then Olivia. And again, he extended his hand to her without exception.

The Prince’s polite gesture towards a guest made Olivia feel small and shy. Their touching hands felt awkward yet embarrassing.

After carefully stepping out of the carriage and bowing slightly, Noah nodded automatically. Olivia stepped back a few paces, still feeling the firm sensation in her right hand that she now hid behind her back.

When the Princess also took the Crown Prince’s hand to get out of the carriage, the royal family’s grandeur was apparent at a glance. The Astrid royal family, with the historic Herod Palace as a backdrop, was a picture of elegance and strength.

The Queen and Princess Margot, looking down at the young princess with smiles, were both affectionate and graceful. King Leonard and the two princes exuded a sense of reliability simply by their presence.

The young princess amidst them was endlessly lovely.

If this scene were captured in a painting, it would fittingly be titled ‘Comfort and Love.’