Madame had to say sorry twice more before regaining her composure. She grabbed the tape measure again and focused on her work. An exclamation almost came out from the serious expression that instantly changed.
Following Madame, who checked my neck circumference, neckline, shoulders, and upper chest in order, I quietly entrusted myself to her.
“Madame is really a good person. You’re making it easier for your staff. Ah, I sincerely compliment you.”
Madame raised the corners of her lips slightly.
“My staff left her child at another house when she was working, but the boy seemed to cause trouble everywhere he went. She couldn’t concentrate on her work, so I asked her to bring him, and I found her child to be very cute. When he solved his curiosity, he would soon become quiet. He didn’t cause a big accident, but I guess he was particularly excited today.”
“Isn’t a child always like that at that age? I don’t know much about children because I don’t have any younger brothers or sisters.”
“They’re the most active at this age. It seems because this particular child became like that because he’s curious.”
“I heard the more curious a child is, the smarter they become.”
“I hope so. Could you turn around?”
I slowly turned around. Madame began to measure again with a rustling sound behind me.
I opened my mouth, staring at the curtain where the boy was hiding earlier.
“Madame’s kid is around his age too, right?”
Her busy hand suddenly stopped. Is she looking at me from behind? I slowly turned my head back.
“Or not? I could find him.”
When I turned back completely, I could see the figure of Madame shut her mouth as if she had swallowed the words that had reached the tip of her neck. Her face became pale that it couldn’t be compared to when the boy secretly pranked us.
“Madame, I’m the only one here.”
You locked the door, didn’t you? I touched her again.
Madame, who was suffocating her breath, raised her back stiffly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I will measure you again.”
Her hand holding the tape measure on my waist trembled.
“Do you want me to find him for you?”
“The child that your father took and abandoned. Shall I find him?”
Eventually, Madame dropped the tape measure to the floor. Confused eyes met in the air.
“Where did you hear that?”
“Is that important? Weren’t you trying to save money to ask help from Sir Shubart or anyone else?”
“The sooner we found him, the better. How many times have you been blocked by your father?”
Madame closed her mouth again as if it was hard to breathe and breathed so hard that her chest went up and down. Her eyes were watery with a pale complexion. I waited for her to calm down.
In fact, Madame was a woman who appeared briefly in the original story. Most of the stories were talking about my ruthless mother and Sir Shubart, but one of the chapters tells a story about them being kind to a child who was young like me.
In the original story, her child was saved by Sir Shubart. Madame is known to have paid her father quite a lot to get her lost child back. I can’t remember the exact amount, but it was probably enough money to open a few more stores.
After waiting for a long time, Madame’s expression softened again as before. She seemed to have a mental breakdown inside and skillfully covered it.
“I think Lady Ariandel heard false rumors.”
“Yes. It was a bit embarrassing for me, so I almost made a mistake again. If you don’t mind, can I continue to take the measurement? I will finish it soon, so please bear with it a little more.”
I looked at her and nodded. You can’t do it if you don’t like it.
And the room became very quiet. It was natural as Madame nor I said anything.
Taking the last measurements, she put down the tape measure.
I nodded as she handed over the coat.
“Madame doesn’t have to come in person to send it out as you did back then. Just send someone when it’s done.”
Madame nodded as if she understood. And we didn’t say anything until she opened the door and led us back to the lounge.
Madame left her seat as I drank the fragrant tea the staff gave me. I could have pointed out her behavior, but I didn’t. Rather, I slowly savored the scent and drank it, then got up leisurely from my seat.
“We will contact you as soon as it is complete. Thank you so much for entrusting us once again.”
I didn’t complain as the Madame didn’t even come out to say goodbye to me.
“Lady, are we going home right away?”
“Well, it’s been a while since I came out, so should we get some fresh air? Nina, do you know any good places? Lisa and I don’t know about it because we just come from the North.”
“I know a famous place!”
Listening to Nina’s loud voice, I arrived at the boutique’s entrance. I could see Ian waiting through the window. As soon as Lisa opened the door, loud footsteps were heard from behind.
“Ex-Excuse me! Lady Ariandel!”
As I was about to leave, I stopped and turned around. Even though we only moved a few steps, I saw Madame breathing heavily.
“You’ve already taken all the measurements, but is something wrong?”
Madame, who grabbed the hem of her dress with both hands, walked precariously like a deer taking a baby step, trembling her lips. It was evident she was swallowing back her words.
“I think I made a mistake in taking the measurement. I’m very sorry, but could I retake your measurement?”
The staff of the boutique looked at Madame, who had never made a mistake, in turn with surprised eyes. Lisa and Nina were no different. It was only me who had a calm expression in the boutique.
“It’s not a difficult thing. Lisa, can you keep my coat?”
“Wait for me a little bit. I will be right back after taking the measurement.”
When I glanced at her, Madame took a step back, calming her breath.
“Back to the place earlier?”
“…Yes, I’ll take you inside.”
Madame locked the door as soon as I entered. She locked the door the same way earlier, but she turned the doorknob repeatedly as if to ensure it was locked properly.
I sat down on the sofa first. Madame didn’t move her foot easily. She took a step with difficulty and asked somewhat cautiously.
“What do you want, Lady Ariandel?”
At those words, I stared at Madame and burst into laughter involuntarily. She flinched.
“Why are all the people around me so calculating? Is it because they can’t take it for granted… or because they have a lot to hide?”
“… I’m sorry if I offended you.”
“No, not really. I’ve only known about it, so I don’t want anything.”
Sooner or later, her child will be under Iskar’s protection. Then it won’t be easy for her father to notice it or even try to touch her child. That way would be safer and better for Madame as well, so I thought I should tell her when things are completely settled.
Madame slowly approached me and sat on the sofa opposite me. She raised her head with a somewhat sullen look.
“But I can’t guarantee that I can do what Lady Ariandel wants me to do. I don’t have any special abilities…”
“Aren’t you too insecure as you ask for my help?”
“…child, can you find my child?”
“If Madame trusts me.”
“…what can I do for you, then?”
Madame was really quick to grasp her situation. It wasn’t a wrong choice that I liked her from the beginning.
“It’s not a difficult thing. I want you to deliver my message to someone, but aren’t you dealing only with Bei?”
“Is that all I have to do?”
“Don’t let Sir Shubart know. It has to be delivered by the morning of the next day.”
“Who is the recipient?”
When I said the name, Madame’s eyes widened.
* * *
“I feel tired.”
As soon as I got home, I lay down on the bed. I couldn’t refuse Nina’s twinkling eyes and stopped by three cafes as things were settled in the boutique.
It was good to let them know that I was using all of the places of their connection, but when I did something I didn’t need to do in a row, it consumed a lot of my stamina.
Still, it would be reported to Sir Shubart as a lady who relives her suffocation of being banned from going out. Should I regard it as an advantage?
“I wish it could be delivered well.”
I gave the information, so it’s up to them to believe it or not. And if it still can’t save their lives… Then it’s very unfortunate if they turn your back on their sins. I was doing everything I could to prevent it, but if it really happened, it was regrettable.
I left a note to Shale at the cafe I visited for the second time, asking Shale to prevent it, but it’s unclear whether it will be resolved as the time is so tight.