Chapter 57

Citrina didn’t find many problems with the duke’s knights.
That is to say, she couldn’t find any problems.
So after the training grounds, Citrina and Desian sat down in his office.
The purpose was to produce a lucky stone and present the sample to him.

“Where is your draft?”
“I was going to show it to you now.
Did you read my mind?”

Citrina asked playfully, her eyes twinkling.

Your thoughts are hard to read.”

So he had tried to read her thoughts.
That meant he could read other people’s thoughts.
Either way, it was creepy.
Citrina once again realized that Desian’s abilities were the most powerful in this world.

“I wish I could also read people’s thoughts.”
“No don’t.”
“I want you to see.”

He wiped away the tears that had gathered around the rim of her eye.
His touch was so tender that it brought the tears back.

“I must have been squinting too much.”

Citrina said, trying to hide her embarrassment from the man who had wiped her tears away.
She’d never noticed it before, but these days his touch made her feel warm.
Was it because Desian was treating her with the kind of family love she had never known?

“Then I’ll make a matte bracelet that looks like this.
I’ll put a bit of platinum inside of the bracelet.”

Citrina made a rough drawing on craft paper.
She thought it would look nice if the circular bracelet was densely engraved.
This was a time when men didn’t wear accessories, but this should be acceptable.

“You took the measurements of the duke’s attendants, right?”
“I’m trying to keep the weight as light as possible.
Does that sound right?”

“Lighter would be better.”

Despite Citrina’s endless amount of questions, Desian answered them all dutifully.

“… Won’t they hate it if it’s too pretty?”
“Who wouldn’t like it when you’re the one designing it?”

Desian was serious.
Citrina burst into laughter.
It made her think of muscular knights wearing elegantly-crafted bracelets on their wrists.
Well, that wouldn’t be bad, but…
While Citrina was picturing knights wearing thin bracelets,
Desian said prophetically.

“Everyone will love it.”

At his adamant manner, Citrina started laughing again.

‘They won’t.’

Citrina shook her head a tad.

“I don’t think so at all.
Don’t get my hopes up too high, Del! Just something drawn up like this will do.”

After a quick chat with Desian, Citrina perfected the draft.
To keep it light, a synthetic metal would be good.
But at this time, unless you have an alchemist working with you it’s hard to get synthetic metals.
She would have to work with other rough gemstones.
Remembered the pouch she had brought with her earlier.

“Ah, I have a favor to ask you.”

It was a request as the owner of the atelier.
It was a trivial request, but somehow it made her feel nervous.

“I want to make a sample for you.
I’ve brought the spirit and a gemstone.”

Citrina took the pouch from her wrist and set it on the table.
Desian’s eyes shifted to it.
A small gemstone peeked out of the pouch.
Citrina pulled out a tape measure that was also inside.

“May I measure your wrist now?”

She gently grasped his wrist.
His wrist was thick, unlike hers, which she could wrap her hand around.
His skin was white and she could see blue veins on the inside of his wrist.
Citrina suddenly realized he was a real person in this world.

‘He’s not harming me, but he’s not harmless.
He’s just…a person who is here.’

She could feel a slight pulse from Desian’s wrist.

Thump, thump, thump.

She could feel his heart pounding.
The longer she held his hand, the faster his pulse beat.
It seemed like she could hear it in her ears.


Desian gently called to get her attention.
Citrina hastily wrapped the tape measure around his wrist.

I got it.”

Citrina replied as she tucked away the tape measure.
Something about it felt odd.
It felt as weird as being caught making out by a toddler.
It wasn’t even an affectionate gesture.

‘It’s nothing, but I keep thinking about it.’

Citrina chewed on her dry lips.
Desian’s feelings were clear, but her own feelings for Desian were getting confused little by little.
Then, Gemstone placed her hand on the gemstone and met Citrina’s gaze.
The gemstone slowly changed.
The bumpy surface of the stone smoothed out.
The gemstone flattened out, then elongated, and finally rounded out into a doughnut shape.
Because Gemma was connected to Citrina, the spirit was able to replicate the design in her head.

-Now I’m going to cast a spell.

Gemma spoke cheerfully in an energetic voice.
The sweet sound of the good luck charm rang in her ears.
A small vortex formed over the bracelet, which had been summoned by the spirit.
Desian watched, his jaw set.
His expression was blank.
Feeling his gaze, Gemma wiped the sweat from her brow.
She wondered if it was okay to cast a luck spell for someone who didn’t need it.

-It’s done!

A silver bracelet floated onto the table.
Citrina smiled contentedly and took the bracelet in her hand.
Desian looked at her bracelet and whispered.

“Help me put it on.”

For a moment, Citrina was puzzled, but then she quickly understood.

‘Come to think of it, Desian must not have worn a bracelet before.’

Men of this era rarely wore jewelry.
Even magical tools were rarely worn, except in times of war.
Nor were magical tools needed by wizards like Desian, for whom magic circles were pointless.
So the very idea of something like this bracelet would be foreign to him.

“Will you give me your wrist?”

Desian held his wrist out to her like a docile lamb.
Citrina unbuckled the bracelet and quietly slipped it on his wrist.
She was very careful, trying not to feel the pounding of his wrist.

“Is it comfortable?”
“Light and comfortable.”

Desian clenched and unclenched his fist a few times.
Was he trying to feel the luck in it?
Citrina asked carefully.

“Do you feel lucky?”

It was a simple answer, but also the one she wanted to hear.
To be honest, as a black magic warlock, the elemental magic had an opposing effect.
The degree of luck was too small to impact him.
However, Desian thought as he looked into her forest-green eyes.
He’d already been blessed with enough good fortune in her, so he didn’t need to ask for more.

“It will probably take about fifteen days to make lucky bracelets for all of the knights.”
“Will the craftworker also make them?”
“Yeah, Lita also knows how to craft, so he can make them.”

If the knightly order could perform miracles with the help of lucky gems, it would cause quite a stir among society’s lords and ladies.
It would also help her case for being knighted even though she didn’t have a territory.
If that were to happen, Citrina would be a success in her own right.
Her name, along with Oslo’s, would spread throughout the empire.

“How long do you think we have to deliver them all?”
“You can take your time.
I’ll make it work for you.”
“You can do that?”

Citrina narrowed her eyes.
Desian was so sweet.
There was that creepy tingle she felt now and then like it was screaming it was all a lie.
Desian smiled at the look in Citrina’s eyes.

I can do that.”

He quickly organized the plan in his head.
It would be easy to sweep it all up, but it would be nice to have some light action for Citrina.
She wanted her business to flourish, and Desian wanted to see her myriad of expressions.
“It wouldn’t hurt to arrange some press coverage.”
Citrina’s eyes sparkled at his words.

“That’s right.
I was thinking of contacting the press too.
We could make a video clip of the dark tower being cleaned up and send it to the press, right?”

Of course, Desian’s ‘arrange’ had the nuance of blackmail, while Citrina’s ‘arrange’ was a bit more literal.
Still, their thoughts were in agreement.
They would use the press.

“I hope it works out for both of us.
I hope it helps me as well as you.”
“You’re helpful all the time.”

Desian’s sincere gaze was always comforting to her.
Citrina leaned back slowly.
She felt at home, comfortable, and at ease.

‘I feel comfortable with Desian.’

This comfort was separate from the unsettling feelings she had for him.
Citrina had never had a place to call her own.
For her, it felt like a home away from home.

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