‘That much money?’
The children of the Grand Duchy had disappeared, and the Grand Duke was crazy because of it.
“I wonder if they’re still alive.”
“Wasn’t the imperial family who kidnapped them?”
“Shhh! Keep your voice down, man. I’m not talking about that.”
‘Oh my god, keep talking.’
If she were to lose her children, her blood would dry up day by day. It was good to see the Grand Duke was the same, even if she had never seen his face she had heard he had become a wasteful person, abstained from eating and drinking, and was looking for his children.
‘Shall I use my abilities to find them out?’
“Hey, what do those kids look like…”
It was the moment when she poked her head out the butcher’s door and asked the ladies.
Luna suddenly screamed.
“… There is a cat! Thug!”
“Isn’t that thug a rabbit?”
Why was she so agitated suddenly? Luna wanted to sing, but immediately pretended not to have done so, and shut up.
She smiled, turned her head again, and then sullen. The seat where the ladies were sitting was swept away. They ran away while she was distracted for a while.
‘It can’t be helped.”
She took the kids and headed to the next shop, the dressing room. After all, she went out to buy clothes and shoes. Of course they were for the kids since she thought they would be together for quite some time.
For her, feeding them was fun, but dressing them too. She wanted to dress them with prettier and more luxurious clothes than the ones she made.
As soon as she opened the door to the costume room, the owner who greeted them cheerfully became contemplative. It was the same face she had seen in front of the butcher a moment ago. They ran away to the store because of her, and they were as surprised as if she had chased them there. Besides, she had never set foot in a dressing room. Her clothes were always handmade, and her shoes were made by the fairies who visited her from time to time. So the owner would have been more embarrassed.
She deliberately widened her eyes and smiled sweetly.
“I’m going to buy some clothes and shoes for the kids.”
The owner took her gaze off Hazel’s face and widened her eyes even more. A girl with her arms crossed next to Hazel and a boy hiding behind the hem of her skirt caught the owner’s eye.
“Can you show me some things for the kids?”
She gently lifted her bag of gold coins on her hips, indicating to the owner she didn’t have to worry about money. From a distance, it looked quite heavy, but blood turned on the owner’s face again.
“Oh, absolutely. Of course.”
The owner nudged the clerk standing next to her on the side.
“But she’s a witch.”
The clerk stepped back with a white face.
“If they bring money, they’re guests. Sell things quickly and send them away.”
“No, why me?”
“Hurry. What if she turns us into frogs because you’re offending her?”
“You’re turning my bad mood on. Shops in the countryside treat their guests disrespectfully.”
Luna, who crossed her arms and looked at the red shoes on the shelf, interjected bitterly.
‘Oh my gosh…’
Even if they were children they should listen when she told them to be respectful when talking to adults. They should have a conversation about that, it wasn’t a good idea to do it in front of people at that moment. She quickly defused the situation, hoping for a time when they were alone to talk.
“This kid is into playing princess these days, haha.”
‘That’s why she’s talking back. Ha ha ha…’
But her clumsy efforts were to no avail.
“Hazel, turn those guys into frogs right now.”
Luna’s fingers turned to the two women standing behind the stand, and the women curled up in surprise.
“No, I don’t do that, I don’t do that.”
‘Don’t give me more problems with people here…’
“Done. If you don’t want to sell it to us, don’t do it. We’ll just go.”
One kid pulled her inside to pluck flowers from the vases on the stand, and the other pulled her out to go. Was it realistic for her to take care of two kids and go like that without buying anything?
An old lady who was sitting in an armchair in the corner and watching them with stiff eyes came over and showed her something.
“Seeing that the children are neat and have a good complexion, I don’t think she is a bad person…”
The grandmother, who glanced at the clerks who whispered that they were trying to fatten up and eat them, was the mother of the owner of the costume room.
“Little lady has hair that resembles the night sky…”
Grandma paused, choosing a dress of the right color for Luna.
“Your eyes are purple…?”
Luna, who was looking at the dark green dress to see if her grandmother’s gaze was burdensome, lowered her head.
Hazel patted Luna’s shoulder, who was as timid as Luca, and gave her a pat.
“Yes, it’s really pretty, isn’t it?”
Purple eyes weren’t common, but they weren’t absent either. In the past, it was said to be the color of the imperial family, but now it was mixed with a lot of blood, and she heard that it appears even in commoners. Luna’s ancestors must have been members of the imperial family.
She bought several clothes by color and use, and she also bought several pairs of shoes. In addition, she bought a headdress and a hat, and now her hands were really scarce. She thought she would have to move the luggage to the cabin, but groceries and meat were definitely a no-no. Daisy and Lady would eat all while she was gone.
“I’ll take this.”
‘Did you like it?’ Luna snapped her fingers to send the rest of the box of clothes home, leaving only the red shoes in her arms.
“Isn’t it kidnapping?”
The owner and clerk standing behind the stand whispered. Oh dear. She wasn’t sure if she was misunderstood for kidnapping the children. Maybe now a new rumor about a witch that abducted children would start. It was so annoying.
“That’s not it.”
She paused, trying to turn around and explain.
‘What do you say? My children?’
After all, the villagers didn’t know what she was doing in a cabin in the woods. Besides, who remembers what her body was like 6-8 years ago? Even she didn’t know.
Speaking of her children, it would be easy to avoid annoying stares and scrutiny. But… She looked down at the little ones. Children know the truth and lying in front of children is not good for education.
Eventually, she told the truth and walked out of the dressing room. Fortunately, seeing that both the owner and the clerk nodded, it seemed that they would not report it.
The last one was a toy store. Nature was a playground and animals were friends, but she wanted to buy something for the children. Best of all…
“Luca, how about this one? Does it look like Lulu?”
The idea was to buy him something to replace the attachment doll that Luca had left at home. He held up a large, fluffy stuffed rabbit from the basket, but the child was sullen.
‘Doesn’t it look alike?’
“Is this rabbit similar to Lulu?”
He picked up the stuffed white rabbit next to him and showed it. Luca shook his head, sucking his thumb red.
“Lulu is a big deal to Luca. This is not Lulu.”
She stroked his silky silver hair, covering his thumb that was about to go straight into his mouth.
“Then shall I buy it as a real rabbit?”
“A jingling bunny?”
“Yes, a real jumping bunny.”
The child’s blue eyes sparkled like a sunlit lake.
“Luna has never had a rabbit before… What?”
There was no one in front of the woodcarving doll shelf where Luna had just stood. Looking around the store, I didn’t see any black-haired girl.
“Where’s the girl?”
She squeezed Luca’s hand and walked out of the store. She didn’t think anyone had taken her. No human would be brave enough to kidnap a witch’s child.
Unlike Luca, who was always near her, Luna was self-reliant and fearless. As a result, I often wandered around alone.
She stopped as she walked around the market barrel and called Luna. Luna was standing in the fruit shop across the street.
“What are you doing?”
Luna was standing on a box of apples, tearing off the paper on the wall.
“Luna! What are you doing?”
As she approached, Luna looked back and hid the torn paper behind her back. Hazel didn’t have to ask what it was. On the corner of the paper that stood out from behind his back was written, “To those who seek, a case box will be provide…” Was it like a wanted leaflet?
“You can’t tear that up.”
Usually, when the security forces or the Grand Duke had something to announce, they would put up leaflets in the downtown area. If they touched something wrong, they would have to pay a fine amount.
“Why did you tear it up? Give it to me.”
“No, I don’t know what it was, but I don’t have paper anymore. I thought I could just take it because it stuck around.”
Luna slapped her hand at her while approaching.
“Do you need paper? To paint?”
“Then tell me beforehand. I’ll buy you some paper and crayons.”
“Say sorry to the fruit shop guy for that and put it back on quickly.”
After an unscheduled stop to the crater, dusk was already falling.
“Now let’s go home, chestnuts”
It was fun to go back while chattering about what to eat for dinner. It was a crazy but fruitful day.
* * *
The rumors about the Grand Duke being crazy were not true. Not yet at least. But if he can’t find the children in the end, the rumors will be true. The man on the bed in the gloomy moonlight was far from his usual perfect archduke.
The sight of him straddling the edge of the bed reminded the vision of a man standing on the edge of a precipice. The collar of his shirt, which was loosened as if to represent his frustrated feelings, was also not neat but unkempt. Under the hand on his forehead, the anxious purple eyes looked down at the object in the other hand.
The owner of the largest fiefdom in the empire and the military commander who made demons and enemies tremble with fear at the mere mention of his name wasat the point of madness…
Hello there! This is RJR.
What a week! Did you like to have so many posts in one week? Well this is the plan until we reach where last group dropped the story so… Let’s go!
Next post will be released on January, 9. See you then!
Thank you very much for reading, I hope you liked it 😀