Ridrian was more intuitive than I thought he would be, I pondered in admiration.
He smiled at me and spoke, “Very beautiful indeed.
I would’ve hosted a gala way sooner if it meant seeing you like this.”
What was he saying Hearing him say sweet compliments, when he usually only spoke harsh words, startled me completely.
For a brief moment I was too stunned to speak, wondering if this man really was the emperor.
“T-thank you, my Lord.”
But you’re looking much prettier than I am.
I gave him a subtle once over.
He wore a dark red robe with gold threads, and it complemented his slicked back blond hair and golden eyes.
The way he presented himself right now was a work of art.
He said he would use magic to change his hair color, so I guess he chose blond today.
The combination of his golden locks and eyes gave him an appearance of an angel rather than a man.
I stood there, looking at him quietly.
I was only snapped out of my senses when the emperor slowly walked towards me with leisured steps.
He looks absolutely breathtaking, like a model at a fashion show.
What a magnificent sight I’m seeing.
He had the perfect head-to-body ratio; long limbs, with a lean yet muscular frame, the epitome of high fashion.
I’m thankful that I’m wearing an equally marvelous dress so I could at least present myself well at the gala, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed standing beside the emperor.
“Mm.” When he reached me, he brushed my hair behind my ear as if by instinct.
A small smile appeared on his lips, “I told them to tend to you well, and it’s better than I expected.
It will go well with what I prepared.”
“What you prepared”
He motioned for the valet standing in the back.
The valet followed briskly and handed him a small jewelry box.
It felt oddly familiar.
I remember when he gave me an accessory set with huge gemstones the last time.
He wouldn’t give me another set of the same design, would he I looked at the emperor worriedly and he chuckled at my expression.
“It’s nothing like that.”
Nothing like what Unfazed, the emperor opened the box and for a short moment I thought the box was emitting rays of light from the inside.
“Wow.” It caught everyone’s attention as they looked on, not expecting to see such a magnificent item with their very own eyes.
My mouth parted and closed,
“What do you think”
The emperor was slightly grinning.
He took the piece of jewelry out from its box and held it up in the air for everyone to see.
The jewelry was so dazzling you wouldn’t know it’s already nighttime outside.
It was a necklace that had diamonds the size of my fingernails, supported by a fine, delicate silver chain.
I remember having refused a necklace with large stones before.
So that must be why he prepared one with smaller ones this time.
The stones are small, indeed.
But if you put the stones together you’d have a handful of diamonds in your palms, fitting for an empire where such intricate craftsmanship was always expected.
There were also flower decorations spread evenly throughout the necklace, and meticulous engravings were on the silver chain itself.
It was clear that this was not just an ordinary necklace.
“M-my Lord” I heard the maid speak, her voice shaking audibly, “I-I don’t mean to cause any trouble, but….
Isn’t that necklace the national treasure of the former Liman Empire”
Asking such a question definitely puts her life at risk.
Hearing this, my face paled as a sheet of paper just like the maid’s.
“Ah yes, once upon a time.” The emperor said nonchalantly.
I know for sure this was not something that should be taken lightly! He’s not thinking of giving me an empire’s national treasure, was he I mean, he’s just lending it to me, right But there’s no need for that either.
My thoughts spiraled so much I let out an internal scream.
If I wore that around my neck I’m not sure if I really am wearing it or merely acting as its display stand.
“Iona, you said you didn’t like large stones, so I’m assuming you like this one better”
The way he said it made it seem like he won’t take no for an answer.
As I stared at the necklace apprehensively, the head maid spoke in a panicked voice, “M-my Lord, if she wears that necklace, your identity will be known instantly.
Wouldn’t it defeat the purpose of hosting a masquerade”
The emperor was still smiling as the maid cleared her throat and continued, “B-because the dress itself is already so extravagant, a necklace with a much simpler design would suit it better.
H-how about this one” She pointed at a random necklace on the table.
Deep inside I wanted to give the head maid a high five for suggesting an alternative option.
Who knew I would be so grateful towards the usually annoying head maid
The emperor responded, “Ah, the jeweler advised not to wear it as well.
This one is my gift to you, but I prepared something else for you to wear tonight.”
A quiet gasp filled the room as the emperor took out a second necklace.
This was a silver-tinted one with a relatively simple design: a sky-blue choker, decorated with a lilac-shaped lacing pattern and pearls that were made of gemstones.
Having seen the first extravagant necklace, I suppose this was much better, but I’m pretty sure this was also made expensively.
I let out a nervous laughter.
I don’t even know what to think anymore.
Sighing, I wished that the gala, which had not even started yet, would be over soon.