Even if Philomel couldn’t get Jeremiah to her side, she wanted to at least prevent him from falling in love with Ellencia.
It is impossible to control other people’s emotions, but Philomel had knowledge from books. About how Jeremiah first feels a crush on Ellencia and how he falls in love.
‘What would happen if I let him go through that beforehand?’
He may not have deep feelings for Philomel, not for Ellencia either right now, but he will definitely build up feelings for Philomel. She gave him a cookie yesterday and his attitude hadn’t gotten any worse.
Philomel rummaged through the plans in her head and pulled something out of her bag. And she called Jeremiah after she was ready to go out to the square.
“Jeremiah, shall we go now?”
“Uh, yes… you! What is that!”
Jeremiah turned to Philomel and shouted in surprise.
“That thing on your face.”
“Ah, it’s a mask to hide my identity. As you know, everyone knows my face by now.”
‘So I armed myself with the hood and mask I brought beforehand.’
Philomel was confident that no one would notice her, even if she wandered around in the middle of the plaza.
But Jeremiah made an impression as if he didn’t like Philomel’s appearance at all.
“Take it off.”
“You look more suspicious with that.”
“…. Do I look very suspicious?”
“Very, very, very.”
“I’m sure everyone knows that the mask is for blocking the sunlight.”
“It would be fortunate if you didn’t get a puck or an involuntary check because of that suspicious mask.”
Philomel weakly touched the mask.
‘Is it that strange? I heard that all the young ladies of the capital who care about their skin always wear this kind of mask these days…’
That was the case in a magazine front page specializing in romance novels that Nancy had lent her.
“But since it’s a third-rate magazine, it’s generally unreliable!”
Come to think of it, Nancy added this to me when lending me the book.
The news viewed by the common people would often make a fuss about false or exaggerated information about the lives of the aristocracy. It is to write anything in the interest of people who yearn for high-class life.
‘I thought masks were in fashion again, and just the young ladies didn’t tell me…’
Most of the noble ladies were friendly towards Philomel, but there was always this invisible wall separating them and Philomel the Imperial Princess. So it was difficult for Philomel to make genuine friendships.
When Philomel was sullen, Jeremiah scratched the back of his head and came closer.
“It’s true that it looks suspicious, I can’t help it.”
He took a necklace out of his pocket and put it around Philomel’s neck. Then he took off her mask and led her down the street.
“It’s okay now, no one will notice your presence anymore.”
Just as Jeremiah said, no one passing by the Plaza paid Philomel a glance.
Instead it was Jeremiah who caught the attention of the women nearby. They whispered, blushed, and came this way.
“Sheesh, this is why I don’t like crowded places. Let’s go quickly.”
Jeremiah pulled his hood further down and grabbed Philomele’s wrist to lead her.
Philomel fumbled with the necklace around her neck.
On the surface, she could see a silver locket necklace embossed with the shape of the mask.
She already knew about this necklace through <Princess Ellencia>.
It was a necklace always worn by Jeremiah, who wanted to avoid people’s attention.
“Your face looks different to others while wearing it.”
Jeremiah explained why he was bothered by Philomel fiddling with the necklace.
He went in front of the store windows and pointed his finger at their reflection on the windows.
A strange girl dressed as Philomel was reflected in the window. Not only her appearance, but also her hair color and eye color were all different.
Philomel, who was slowly examining the window, caught the eye of a profile face resembling an ice statue that had been painstakingly carved by a craftsman.
His voluminous silver eyelashes, reminiscent of snowflakes, fluttered every time he closed and opened his eyes.
‘I can understand why he was nicknamed the Prince of Ice. Beauty must have a lot of hardships.’
No wonder that he would carry an item like this.
As Jeremiah slowed down in the central square, Philomel spoke to his back.
“Thank you for the necklace.”
“I’m lending it to you.”
“Thank you, either way. I know it’s an important item for Jeremiah.”
It’s nothing. It is listed as a national treasure-level item in <Princess Ellencia>.
Philomel pouted, invisible to Jeremiah.
“It was rolling around in Le Guin’s room, so I just picked it up and brought it with me.”
Is it really no big deal to these people…?
In any case, it was a good sign that he lent Philomel an item he always carries around.
‘It won’t be that hard to get a good impression at this level.’
Philomel thought with a grin.
Jeremiah then asked, looking around the crowded plaza.
“So, where are you going? It’s too loud to talk here.”
Consistent with its nickname of being the heart of the capital, the Central Plaza was overflowing with countless crowds.
Seeing Jeremiah frown already, Philomel quickly took the lead.
“I know a good place, so I’m going there. Now, trust me and follow me!”
“Hey, wait for me!”
As Philomel made her way through passers-by like a squirrel, Jeremiah followed. Fortunately, the structure of the plaza was not complicated, so Philomel was able to find her way by recalling the map provided in the magazine Nancy had lent her.
After a while, Philomel was standing in awe in front of a building with a pink exterior.
An extravagant signboard with the words <Cresion Bakery> flashed exceptionally.
But how far is the long line of people from the entrance?
It stretched out. Everyone wanted to enter the Cresion Bakery.
“Too many people “
Jeremiah answered with a frown on one side.
“When can I get in if I get in line now?”
The question was quickly resolved.
[Three hours from here]
It was because the clerk holding a sign with that written on it was standing at the end of the line.
Philomel clasped her forehead.
Three hours was too long.
If you’re patient, you should be able to get inside the store before it’s time to go back.
But the important thing was Jeremiah, not the snacks.
Snacks are just offerings to break down the walls of his heart and bring about a harmonious conversation.
But you want Jeremiah to line up at a place like this just to feed him some snacks? Jeremiah, who hates people, in a densely populated place?
‘I never thought there’d be so many people.’
This bakery was created when the ancestors of Count Cresion sponsored a young and talented patissier.
[Delicious snacks for those who desperately want them.]
This was the founding philosophy of Cresion Bakery.
According to its founding philosophy, Cresion Bakery served cookies only to customers who had made reservations long ago or who had lined up.
They didn’t even pay attention when a respectable aristocrat came with money and demanded that they sell the snacks separately.
But exceptions are everywhere.
They did not dare to tell the emperor to wait, so Philomel could always eat freshly made hot cookies from Cression whenever she wanted.
‘I knew the line would be long, but I was optimistic that I would be able to get in if I waited for 20 to 30 minutes.’
Jeremiah narrowed his brows and said.
“Now that the situation is like this, what can we do? Let’s go somewhere else.”
“Still, the snacks here are rumored to be the most delicious in the empire… “
“Even if it’s delicious, it’s just a snack.”
“It’s because Jeremiah couldn’t eat it. How soft and crispy is the common egg tart made at Cresion… I really wanted you to taste it.”
A dark melancholy overtook Philomel.
‘Why am I always like this?’
The escape plan prepared for 7 years was also caught and ended in just a few days. Philomel’s efforts were futile, as if they were nothing.
Come to think of it, since she was young, it seemed that almost nothing went the way she had planned.
After struggling to live and not die, she managed to get an evaluation that was about half of the praise Ellencia heard in the book.
Maybe wanting to know the truth of the book is also a vain curiosity.
A criminal like herself might have to live contented with not worrying about her life anymore. Give up useless adventures for nothing.
Jeremiah shouted as Philomel’s expression grew darker.
“I don’t care about that either, so… Why are you?”
Just then Jeremiah’s eyes landed on another building.
“Let’s go There!”
At Jeremiah’s fingertips, there was a small, shabby shop.
Only the peeled-off signboard that read “Rainbow Cookie Shop” revealed the identity of the store.
The store was so obscure that Philomel wouldn’t have even noticed that it was there if Jeremiah hadn’t pointed it out.
It was a great gut to open a store of the same type right across Cresion.
“Somehow, I don’t think the sweets there will be delicious. It looks like there are no guests.”
“Then it’s rather welcome to me. There must be no one inside.”
Indeed. That might be a good place for Jeremiah.
Philomel reluctantly decided to give up the taste of sweets from the Cresion bakery.
‘I just need to do it, well.’
If she were to look for it, she’ll find a good pastry shop besides Cresion, but she felt sorry for continuing to drag Jeremiah around.
“Great. I’ll treat you, so eat to your heart’s content.”
Jeremiah smiled briefly at Philomel, who took out her wallet in her bag and spat it out solemnly.
This chapter was translated by Bree.
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