Ferdian gazed down at her and let out a sigh.
“Thank you, Ferdi!” Mia’s smile widened.
“Ferdi?” He raised an eyebrow.
‘Oops, my mistake. I shouldn’t have called him by his nickname.’
With a quick and unnatural smile, Mia hurriedly made her escape, waving her hand.
“I have to go now because Adillot is waiting for me! Ahahaha! Ahahaha!”
Ferdian called her, but she pretended not to hear and swiftly ran away.
‘What if he kills me next time I see him? I have to stick by Adil’s side no matter what!’ Mia thought as she opened the door to the main palace’s office and took a deep breath.
Why? Because Adillot was too handsome.
He was still as handsome as ever, poring over papers at his desk. The sunlight on his silver hair shone like a crown.
And with the addition of his navy blue robe with all sorts of fancy decorations, he looked like he came straight out of a magazine.
“Adil… What do you eat to look so handsome?”
“What does it have to do with it?”
Ah, she really want to sew his mouth shut…
However, despite her thoughts, Mia couldn’t help but admire his looks. She went and sat next to him.
“Well, I was thinking about feeding it to my son later… so he can at least look half as handsome as you.”
Adillot let go of his documents and let out a dry laugh.
“Is this also part of your role as a pet?”
“Of course! I have to joke around to make sure you keep me alive!”
“I’ll think about it.”
He said he would think about it, but Mia didn’t sense any more tension coming from Adillot. She knew that he was starting to look at her differently.
‘It was worth pretending to be a pet.’
With a content smile, she opened her mouth again. “So why did you call me today?”
“There’s something I need you to do.”
“Something I need to do?”
“Yes.” Adillot got up from his seat as he answered. “Follow me.”
At first, Mia wandered around, taking in her surroundings with a carefree attitude. But as she made her way through the secret passage for the fourth time, her demeanor shifted to one of seriousness.
It was clear that Adillot didn’t want anyone else to see what he was about to show her. It was more than just a hidden room; it was a carefully orchestrated process to conceal something.
Through it all, Adillot was completely oblivious to Mia’s anxiety. It was enough to make the lesser Mia exclaimed, “You’re showing me something important now, but you’re planning to kill me later. I know it all!”
Mia’s voice trembled as she closed her eyes and turned her head away. Finally, they reached a grand door, unlike any they had encountered before. Adillot pulled out his trusty dagger and slid it into the gap in the door with a soft clang.
The door opened, revealing a sight that left Mia in awe.
“Your Majesty… is this…?”
Adillot responded casually, “It’s where we keep the national treasures.”
‘Why did you bring me here?!’
Mia’s shocked expression was met with a nonchalant response from Adillot. The golden glow emanating from the vault mesmerized Mia. She stood in place as Adillot continued walking ahead.
The space was vast, almost as big as a palace. But what was truly remarkable were the piles upon piles of glittering treasures that filled the room. There seemed to be no end to them.
‘If I sell all of this, could I buy a country? It’s not impossible…’
As Mia counted on her fingers, Adillot marched ahead.
“I- I’m coming with you!”
Mia grabbed onto Adillot’s clothes, her voice trembling.
‘It’s a maze here! If I get lost, I’m done for!’
It suddenly dawned on Mia that Adillot had brought Serenity to this very place in the novel.
‘He promised to give her everything and never leave her side…’
As a reader, Mia was excited to read this part, but the problem was, she wasn’t Serenity.
“A-are you going to bury me here? Use my skull as a decoration!?”
“You sure have a wild imagination…” Adillot replied in disbelief and continued walking.
As they passed by stacks of coins haphazardly piled on top of each other, they came to a more organized area.
Inside glass cases, there were countless dazzling pieces of jewelry on display. They looked even more valuable and exquisite than the coins at the entrance.
Mia thought to herself, ‘The jewelry had three sizes. And on top of that, the cuts and clarity are like works of art.’
While Mia was still trying to make sense of everything, Adillot leaned against the door as if he were quite familiar with this place.
“What? Me!? You want me to choose one of these?” Mia’s eyes widened in shock.
She couldn’t understand why Adillot was asking her to pick something. Did he want her to be buried with it? But that would be such a waste.
Mia exclaimed in disbelief, “I think it’s too early for this!”
“Stop talking nonsense.” Adillot cut off Mia’s words with a sharp tone.
“Hurry up and choose. We have to leave soon.”
“Y-yes. Because you’re busy…” Mia looked around anxiously.
Each piece was more beautiful and dazzling than the last. Mia could picture herself wearing them.
‘Mia Celestial is considered pretty… but if I wear this, the jewels will be the only thing people see, right?’
Seeing Mia’s troubled expression, Adillot stepped in.
“Would you prefer a ring?”
“What? These aren’t cheap…I don’t know much about jewelry, but with just one of these, you could probably buy a whole castle…”
“It’s all mine, so it doesn’t matter. I have no use for money anyway.”
Here comes the male lead’s exclusive line…
Mia gazed at Adillot with a sense of wonder, her admiration for him radiating through her eyes.
“Your Majesty, you truly possess immense wealth… You are undoubtedly the most exceptional husband of our time.”
“Why do you always shower me with such unusual compliments?” Mia’s peculiar way of praising him puzzled Adillot.
“Well, I can’t help it! It’s just the way I am.”
As Mia expressed her enthusiasm, she realized the need to restrain herself from being overly ostentatious. She had no desire to meet a gruesome end. Surprisingly, after removing all the flashy items, there were only a few remaining.
“Your Majesty, isn’t this one beautiful?”
Mia, with her eyes shining brightly, approached Adillot. Mia had chosen a platinum ring. In the center, there was a square ruby embedded, and on either side, small diamonds were delicately adorned.
Adillot crossed his arms.
“This is unexpected.”
“What do you mean?”
“I expected you to choose diamonds.”
“Aren’t diamond rings too much?”
“I mean, they’re common and solid.”
Right, he was the emperor.
Adillot shrugged his shoulders and opened a glass lid. He casually extended his hand, revealing a ring that seemed to be worthy of a national treasure.
Mia also naturally extended her palm. And then both of them hesitated simultaneously.
A man requested her hand be held to put on a ring. A woman responded to his request.
‘Doesn’t this situation seem a bit off…?’
Mia’s cheeks flushed slightly. Adillot seemed to have the same thought as he let out a slightly embarrassed cough.
“Put it on.”
“Okay.” Mia swiftly received the ring and slid it onto her finger.
The ring didn’t fit on her index finger or middle finger. But when she tried it on her ring finger, it fit perfectly, as if it were tailored to her size. Witnessing that scene, Adillot and Mia fell into silence once again.
“…It’s… beautiful?” Mia forced a smile to dispel the awkward atmosphere. Adillot turned his head and coughed unnecessarily, seemingly flustered.
“Give it to me again. It needs adjustments.”
“Adjusments? It already looks beautiful enough, doesn’t it?”
Even as she said that, Mia obediently took off the ring and handed it back to Adillot. It was only then that Adillot returned to his usual lazy and carefree demeanor.
“We need to enchant it and call a mage.”
“Wow! Protective magic?”
“…Tracking?” Mia doubted her own ears.
“In case you escape during the ball.” Adillot replied briefly.
In his mind, he envisioned the scene where Mia and her fiancée, as if by destiny, crossed paths again.
…He felt quite uneasy. It seemed rather audacious that someone would dare touch the emperor’s possession.
“I can’t leave it like that.” Adillot murmured.
Meanwhile, Mia trembled at his words.
‘He still suspects me! When will he ever trust me?!’
It truly felt like a scene from a dream.
* * *
From that day on, Mia had her own tasks to attend to. Adillot kept sending various people to her.
One day it was hair care, and another day it was a full-body massage. Fortunately, they were not unfamiliar to her.
She had received such treatments before as the count’s daughter. That day, someone knocked on the bedroom door.
“Ah! Come in!” Mia answered and then felt awkward by herself.
Although she shared Adillot’s bedroom under the pretense of being a pet, it didn’t feel like her own room anymore. The door opened, and several women entered the room.
“Lady Mia, we are tailors who will fit you with a ball gown. Please leave it to us.”
“We may not be able to make it tailored due to the time constraint, but we will try our best to find a dress that suits you.” Read ahead here.