“Give it a try first.
If you find any problems with it, please contact me right away.”
“Alright, I’ll do that.
You worked hard on making it.”
“Yes, that’s right.
I worked really hard on it, put all that effort in it.
My kids and I went through so much making a sword that we’ve never heard about before.”
[ t/n: she calls her subordinates her ‘kids’ ]
What I said was just for formalities, but then Blanca’s reply quickly followed.
She said it in a quick, clear tone, her brows raised as she smiled a picturesque smile.
Whenever she acted like this, I could feel that something unpleasant was about to happen.
Sure enough, the next moment.
Blanca covered her lips with one hand as though she was very, very hurt, then she said,
“I went through so many difficulties, but you didn’t even come to receive the item in person.
You know, I’ve just been here, waiting patiently for when you’ll come to see me again.”
Her words instantly gave me a sharp headache.
Despite me scoffing at her, she continued her charade.
She suddenly raised her other hand, the one that wasn’t covering her mouth, then fluttered her fingers theatrically.
“You even put a ring on me.”
The diamond ring glimmered brilliantly on her right ring finger.
It was the ring I gave her as commission payment back then.
‘I shouldn’t have given a ring.’
I should have given her something else.
“Right, I gave you that ring.
I even gave you the gloves you’re wearing now, right”
My eyes were narrowed as I replied to her, and Blanca removed the hand that was covering her lips.
There was a refreshing smile on her lips as they were revealed.
“Yes, thank you.
It’s a truly rewarding gift in exchange for making the sword.”
In response, Blanca stroked the back of one of her gloved hands as though she were caressing a baby’s cheek.
Every time her hand moved, the lace and tightly embedded jewels in the fabric glittered lustrously.
The gloves were made by a master artisan.
Indeed, that pair was worth a fortune.
“I’ll use this well, too.”
“Yes, so enough of that nonsense.
Let’s just proceed to discussing the next thing.”
“Oh my, nonsense, you say.
Casually ignoring that, I brought up the next topic.
“The item to be auctioned that I asked you to look into last time.
How did that go News about it should be going around these days.”
“Yes, it’s on the list of the Arcano auction.
It’ll be held after the hunting festival, towards the beginning of winter… Ah.
It just so happens to be around your birthday, Lady Valentine.”
‘Rosetta’s birthday is around early November, I think.’
I nodded and repeated Blanca’s words.
“The Arcano auction.”
It was the name of the largest covert auction in the empire.
It was the auction I asked her to look into, and at the same time, it was the one that would supply us the key ingredient for Lia’s medicine, which I promised Zobel.
The ingredient was yet to be named, and it would be first revealed through the Arcano auction.
But there was a problem.
Through the original novel, I could roughly guess around when it’d be held, but not the exact date and time.
That’s why I had to entrust the matter of investigating it to Blanca.
After all, there was no such word as ‘secret’ in her vocabulary.
“And the auction house’s location”
“It hasn’t been announced yet.
The Arcano auction’s event details aren’t usually released to the public until just before the event itself.”
Certainly enough, the method in which they hosted this event was true to its reputation.
I rummaged through my mind, trying to see if there was any other relevant information I could glean from the original work.
In the meantime, Blanca added as though she was trying to set me at ease.
“But you don’t have to worry.
I’ll find out a week before the auction.
I’ll even look into the number of seats they’d have inside.”
As she said this, she winked gracefully.
At the suggestive wink, I rolled my eyes and shook my head.
“Then, please do so.
It’s an auction that cannot be missed.”
“Yes, of course.
Is there anything else you need”
“No, not anymore.
That’s already a lot for you to do.”
“It’s no trouble.
One hand was waved in the air as she said that it was nothing, but it slowly went back to its place.
She leaned that one arm on the table and propped her chin with her hand.
With her eyes narrowed, her silver irises were touched by a ray of sunlight.
“What is it”
“I have a question.
May I ask”
Blanca’s curiosity was likely to tire me out once again, but since she was juggling many responsibilities this time, I nodded in response.
One finger tapped on her cheek.
“How… did you know”
Towards the vague question, my answer was likewise an inquiry.
I tilted my head to the side.
Even through the crystal ball, her silver eyes twinkled clearly.
“About the item that will appear in the Arcano auction.
It’s not even a piece of information that we obtained, so how did you know about it so quickly…”
I’m just curious.
She added in a whisper.
Beyond the crystal ball, she looked at me expectantly with her torso slightly tilted forward.
And beneath that playful smile, there was a hint of genuine curiosity.
No, actually, her excitement just couldn’t be hidden.
For a moment, it crossed my mind that this might be the reason why she goes around wearing a veil.
If she constantly showed that kind of curiosity, who on earth would want to entrust her with a commissioned request
They’d just run away instead.
I leaned back against my seat.
Only then did the space between us return to what it was before.
“Why, are you afraid that I’m two-timing you with another guild”
As I asked, Blanca shook her head as though it was far from what she was thinking.
“No, I didn’t get a tip-off about something like that.
Who would have gotten that intel first anyway.
Even if you were two-timing, they wouldn’t know that information.”
“Still full of confidence, are we.”
“That’s my charm.”
“Yup, sounds about right.”
After I answered briefly, I blinked in a daze.
Look at all that confidence.
Of course, I couldn’t tell her the truth.
But I don’t think she’d be happy if I’d tell her about some made-up reason.
It’s the same the other way around if she said nonsense to me.
After thinking about it for a second, I opened my lips to speak.
At the same time, there was a faint glimmer in the silver gaze that was staring intently at me.
“It’s possible after reading many books.”
At the matter-of-fact tone thrown at her, Blanca’s expression fleetingly hardened.
Her expression had grown awkward for that one moment, but a smile soon graced her face.
I just knew that she was going to laugh any second now, so I took the initiative to intercept.
“I’m hanging up.
I need to go and test the sword.”
“My oh my, how truly col—”
Her loud voice was promptly cut short, and the screen disappeared as well.
I stared at the blank crystal ball, then turned my gaze to the window.
The weather was good.
It was the perfect weather to test this sword.
* * *
With the sword fastened to my back, I left my room.
My hair was tied up in a ponytail, and I intentionally wore a skirt with a slit on the side since I had no pants here.
I should at least have one piece of clothing that I could move comfortably in, so I had this prepared.
Leaving the comforts of my room and going out the door of the detached mansion, I moved as fast as I could.
On the outside, Rosetta looked the furthest from a person who knew martial arts, but if anyone were to see me moving like this, they’d obviously think that I am practicing martial arts.
It’s better not to run into anyone.
Moving in that way, I went to the back of the detached mansion and took the first trail path I saw.
It’s the scheduled time for Cassion’s training at the clearing where he often went.
I can’t take up someone else’s training spot, of course.
Besides, I’m still keeping this sword a secret.
In a way, it’s a surprise gift for him, but since it’s not yet completely ready, who on earth would give an unfinished gift
So now, I needed to find another quiet place that wasn’t the vacant lot.
I think it would be alright if it’s a place good enough for training, and at the same time, that no one knew about it.
That’s why this was the path I found.
From behind the detached mansion, it was a path leading nearby the mountain and the gardens, and it was just at the border that’s not much frequented by people.
‘Well, it’s a bit too narrow to even call it a path, but…’
The path we usually took to the clearing was wide and well-maintained, but this one was the opposite.
There were thick bushes and unkempt trees here and there.
The only thing that would inform anyone that there’s a path here were the parts where the grass was growing just slightly lower.
Seeing as there were no traces of other people stepping on the grass here, there seemed to have been no one coming and going through this path these days.
‘It’s been a long time since I went this way.’
I trudged through the low-growing grace, walking along the dim path.
It felt much like I was walking on a snow field where no one else had walked through.
The smell of grass enveloped my senses.
The rustling of foliage echoed along with the steps that seemed endless.
From somewhere unknown, a bird’s chirping could also be heard.
I fanned my face a little.
I couldn’t feel the sun’s direct heat because of the trees’ shade, but the air was still humid.
Soon, I found a fork in the road.
There was a large tree dividing the path.
Compared to the left side, the foliage in the path on the right looked more overgrown.
The right one.
I took the path on the right on purpose.
Since I came here in search of a place that no one frequented, it’s better to choose the path that looked like no one was going there.
In any case, all I need is a wide clearing.
The grass growing on the path on the right was comparatively shorter.
Maybe it’s because the trees’ shadows here were denser, so the grass couldn’t grow taller.
The air was cooler here.
As I walked, the temperature unexpectedly made it feel like it was daybreak during early summer.
I wonder how long I walked.
Still, I soon found the end of the path.
I stopped at the edge of the field, blinking in a daze.
The scenery before me was so very different from what I was expecting.
To be honest, the picture I had in mind was an empty field.
Or perhaps a field wrought with the wilderness, full of tall grass.
However, the sight in front of me now was neither a wasteland nor an unkempt field.
Rather than that…
It was a landscape that was reminiscent of the world I lived in during my second transmigration.
Right, it felt close to that.
The grass over here was long enough, too, that they went past my ankle.
Except for that, however, the scenery here was worth admiring.
A small pond.
Flowering trees with delicate leaves, growing here and there.
Wildflowers that were blooming beautifully across the field, interspersed with a couple of boulders.
I took a careful step forward.
Tickling my ankles, the grass here was a little softer compared to the grass on the path I had been walking over so far.
Walking through the flower trees which were planted in a loose circle, I checked the surroundings.
‘It’s the same with the path, too.
Judging by how it doesn’t seem to be managed, it’s either a place where people don’t come and go…’
Or a place that’s been abandoned long ago.
The latter seemed highly likely.
The pond hadn’t dried up, but at the same time, it seemed as if it had been man-made somewhat.
The wide boulders also looked as though they’d been cut according to a landscaping design.
Touching the smooth side of the boulder, my hand got caught with a thin layer of moss.
I looked blankly between my hand and the boulder.
Then suddenly, I recalled my dream where I met Mogi Oraboni, and I smiled.
Of course, there was no moss over there.
‘I’ll do it here.’
An abandoned place that no one frequented, and yet it would strangely evoke nostalgia.
Where else would be a better place
I soon took out my fan.
Then, I swung it in a large arc, towards the direction of a myriad of weeds.
The sound of air being cut went off briefly, then it was gone.
Beneath where the sound passed, the grass was cut short.
Staring at the cut grass where a straight path had appeared, I clutched my fan.
Before holding the sword, it would be best to clean up this place first.