Once they were in the waiting carriage, they stared at each other for a moment, eyes locked.
Then Michael spoke first.
“Ugly, you’re pretty good.”
“What about the young master? I really didn’t expect that. How can you use magic in a place like this?”
“Have you noticed?”
“I don’t think you should use it outside.”
Lila brushed her hand lightly across Michael’s eyelids as she spoke.
“When you use your magic, your eyes glow with a golden light.”
Michael’s eyes widened in surprise at her words.
“My eyes change?”
“Yes, so you have to be careful.”
Michael was puzzled by what he didn’t know. The only person who knew about magic was his uncle.
His late father had known, too, but now it was just Lucas and Lila now.
“He never said anything like that.”
“It’s not that obvious, you’d have to look very closely, but just in case.”
“Okay, but are you going to call me young master again?”
Lila raised her eyes at the wistfulness in his voice.
“Can I call you Michael?”
“Tsk, do you have to ask that?”
Michael pouted his lips, and Lila moved to his side and hugged him tightly.
“Ugh, so cuuute!”
The cuteness was irresistible. He was like an angel, whimpering with his pouty lips.
Wrapped up in her chest, he slowly lifted his arms to face her.
They held each other for a long moment before the coachman’s voice from outside the carriage broke them apart.
“Take us to Kate’s dress shop.”
Lila replied to the coachman, who asked where they were headed. As the carriage slowly picked up speed, Michael asked in a slightly dazed voice.
“You know… What perfume do you wear?”
“Yeah. It’s a very, very sweet scent. I’ve never smelled anything like it.”
Lila scratched her head at Michael’s words.
“I don’t wear perfume.”
“Really? Then what is this scent?”
“Um… I don’t know?”
Shortly after setting off, the carriage stopped.
Michael got off in front of Kate’s dressing room, which was not far from Doreen’s dressing room, and hesitated for a moment as he looked at the shop, which was much shabby than Doreen’s, but Lila saw the dresses displayed in her window and decided to enter.
A faint bell jingled as the door opened.
A woman with dark burgundy hair rushed in with a cheerful voice.
Covering her mouth with her hands in surprise as she approached, Kate’s red eyes narrowed and she couldn’t take her gaze off Lila.
If someone else had done that, she might have been a little offended, but Kate’s eyes were not tinged with contempt or disgust.
There was something so sincere about the gaze that Lila’s eyelids fluttered involuntarily.
It was a gaze she’d never seen before in this place.
The only thing she was embarrassed about was that she couldn’t speak and she only let out exclamations.
“How could this…”
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Michael shot back in a displeased voice. Then, her red eyes, which she didn’t know were going to fall from Lila, rolled and stuck into Michael.
Kate’s eyes widened as if to tear up, and she muttered through clenched teeth.
“Oh, dear Lupus.”
Lila wondered if she should leave the store, leaving her looking anything but normal.
But as if reading her mood, Kate said.
“Come this way, you two beautiful peonies.”
Feeling a little out of place, Lila couldn’t help but follow. Michael was no different, looking uneasy.
Although a bit shabby, her sturdy black leather sofa was unique. In the Vassium Empire, the fashionable and preferred sofas were made of velvet and were characterized by splendor.
But this black leather sofa had a design that dripped at right angles. It was modern, and Lila felt a sense of familiarity.
While they were looking at the sofa, Kate, who had just served tea, spoke up.
“I apologize that I don’t have anything special to offer such a precious guest.”
“Um, it’s okay.”
Lila replied, her eyes sparkling with excitement as Kate murmured.
“Well, you do sound like a voice from the heavens, with your clear, fine tones…”
Michael, who was beside her, said with an expression of agreement.
“Do you think so too?”
“Yes, it’s a voice that once you hear it, you can never forget!”
“Right? She’s my aunt.”
“Ah, if this kind of person is my aunt, I don’t think I will have any regrets even if I die. However, in my eyes, even the young master is formidable! Eyes with flower petals! Both of you are so beautiful that I would go blind!”
Lila and Michael blushed at the overreaction. And a suspicion began to creep in.
Should I really be wearing a dress made by a woman with such a unique aesthetic?
Of course, she didn’t feel bad. Lila liked that Kate was more concerned about Michael than she was about her.
“I came to see the dresses.”
“I see, just give me a minute!”
Lila’s eyes widened slightly as she watched Kate’s back as she ran off with the dress.
She hadn’t seen it before because of her behavior, but the dress she wore wasn’t a style that was easily seen in the Empire.
It wasn’t one of those overly heavy dresses. It was light and flowy.
However, it was accented with lace and ruffles, giving it a cute and playful feel.
She also liked the way the dress was brought in by displaying it on a hanger. Even if it is a method devised because there is no one working.
“May I introduce myself?”
Kate asked as she retrieved the hangers. Lila nodded lightly, smiled brightly, and bowed politely.
“I’m Kate V. Michelle. Thank you for coming to my shop.”
“It’s a pleasure.”
“So, may I show you the dresses?”
“Then let me start with this dress.”
Kate held the dress up for her to see: a dark blue skirt with an emerald overdress.
The skirt of the overdress was rolled up and pinned in two places to give it a fuller look with a ruffle in the back.
The neckline was embellished with ruffles and lace to create a delicate and elegant look.
“The beauty of this dress is that the top part of the overdress can be cinched in the front.”
Kate was right, an overdress that could be fastened in the front was exactly what Lila needed right now.
There was a wide variety of other dresses, including one-piece dresses with lightweight overdresses and dresses made of floral fabrics.
Kate’s dresses were all different, but there were consistent features. They were comfortable, with no need for corsets or panniers.
Lila couldn’t take her eyes off them all. Seeing the look of satisfaction on her face, Michael spoke without further explanation.
“Now give us everything you brought.”
Kate’s eyes widened at Michael’s words. She stammered for a moment, but then the words began to pour out.
“You’re doing me such an honor, I’ll never let you down. If so, would you come over here for a moment, as I need to take your measurements?”
At her words, Lila stood up from the couch and said to Michael.
“I’ll be right back.”
“That’s okay, I expected it, so I brought my book.”
Lila stared for a moment at the curious sight of him pulling a book out of the inside of his jacket. Michael smirked at the sight of her like that.
“I’m glad you have so many things for your aunt.”
Thinking that he should present a magic tool this time, Michael gestured. Lila then turned around and followed Kate.
Taking her measurements and trying on the dress she liked best, Lila smiled as she saw it fit her perfectly.
She was happy that it wasn’t one of those weird dresses that ruined her aesthetic.
She’d always loved to dress up, and now she could at least wear her favorite style.
Kate gasped again as she stood in front of the full-length mirror and looked at herself in the dress she’d been introduced to.
“You look so beautiful.”
She liked what she said, but Lila couldn’t help but wonder. Even though she stopped wearing her make-up, other people didn’t notice that she had changed much because her freckles remained.
Of course, she must have the preconceived notions she’s seen all along, and she might have reasons why she doesn’t make eye contact with Lila…
So she said.
“I’ve never heard that before in my life. It’s nice to hear, but too much is not good.”
“How could it be?”
Kate frowned, as if she’d just heard a nonsensical argument. Lila was intrigued by the look of disbelief on her face.
She reminded her of her teacher who recognized her skills when she was Yoon Seol and was frustrated because she couldn’t get a job.
“I just don’t understand. The evenly spaced freckles are cute, sure, but the flawless skin underneath, the big eyes, the cute yet sharp nose, and last but not least, the full lips that aren’t overly pouty – even I, a woman, can’t help but be mesmerized!”
She felt embarrassed as she listened to her praises. She couldn’t help but blush because she hadn’t heard it before.
“I would like to see a bonnet with a wide brim. And I will wear these clothes as they are.”
Kate smiled at Lila.
“Very well, then please wait for me on the couch.”
Lila couldn’t help but smile as she watched her run off again.
She hadn’t known it could feel so good to be treated with favor instead of malice by a stranger.
When she returned, Michael put the book down. His eyes widened and he jumped to his feet.
“You look so pretty!”
He exclaimed as he ran over and hovered around her.
“Is it pretty, young master?”
“Uh-huh! Very pretty. But I thought we decided you were going to call me by my name, ugly!”
Lila smirked as she watched him throw a disgruntled, fat face at her.
“If you call me ugly, I won’t call you either.”
“…Okay, I won’t call you ugly.”
Lila encouraged Michael, who was quickly becoming sullen.
“Sometimes it’s okay to call me by a nickname, but I have a name, too. Will you call me by my name from now on, Michael?”
Michael, who had been hanging his head, raised his eyes in surprise at her words.
“Yes, please call me Lila.”
Michael squirmed and gave a small whimper.
“Lila, you’re so pretty.”
Looking at the warm cobalt eyes looking down at her, Michael’s heart was moved.
“I didn’t know what to wear, so I brought everything!”
Just then, Kate came in with a bunch of big boxes.
She pulled something out of the largest box and showed it to Lila and Michael.
“When I was making these, I was hoping someone would wear them… I never thought I’d meet two of my muses at the same time like this…”
Still basking in her ecstasy, Kate held out a child’s casual outfit.
Lila’s eyes glowed fiercely as she took in the shorts, suspenders, socks, and tiny leather shoes.
“Show me all that.”
Michael stumbled backwards at the combative look that was completely different from when she was looking at her dress, and Kate’s eyes lit up with Lila’s. That day, Michael changed more clothes than any other in his life. But it was also the happiest he’d ever been, and he couldn’t stop smiling. Although he had his usual tantrums in between.
End of Volume 1.
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