Exclamations burst forth from the crowd.
They craned their necks to see the magic potion.
The Emperor held the glass bottle even higher.
The elegantly curved glass bottle was exquisitely adorned with intricate patterns, as if crafted with great care by a master artisan.
The glass bottle alone was already a valuable item.
More valuable than that was the green potion that was bubbling inside the glass bottle.
‘A magic potion? The one I made?’
Laura’s eyes widened.
No matter how closely she looked, the contents of the glass bottle seemed to be a potion made with juniper tree leaves.
‘A potion that can be easily made with juniper tree leaves…’
Laura was so surprised that she almost burst out laughing.
But the imperial people looked at it as if it were an incredibly rare object.
“This potion of magic is very valuable. It became impossible to obtain after the death of the magician ‘Laura Tauler.’ It’s a really unfortunate thing.”
“I can’t receive such a precious item. Please take it back.”
“No, no. Don’t refuse the heart of an imperial citizen who is grateful to the Lucendorf family.”
The Emperor put the glass bottle back into the box and handed it to Killian.
“Then I will gratefully accept it.”
“Please use it for a good cause.”
The series of awards between the Emperor and his servants was solemn and filled with a pious atmosphere.
When Killian stood up with the box, cheers rang out.
Both Emperor Hermont and Archduke Lucendorf sent their praises to each other with a firm faith.
Laura watched the scene with a bewildered feeling.
She had never seen her magic potion praised so highly.
She knew that magic potions had become very rare.
After she, the magician, died, the price skyrocketed to the ceiling.
She understood that there was no one else who could make it.
Still, such a warm response was amazing.
Laura, who witnessed it firsthand, felt her face getting hot.
“It’s much easier than lying down and eating cold porridge…”
Laura licked her lips and murmured.
Killian, holding the golden box, suddenly approached Laura.
“Your Majesty has given a very… splendid gift.”
At her words, he glanced briefly at the box.
“It’s an unexpected gift. I heard that it was barely found by scouring the Phaede Kingdom. Now there is only one of these potions left in the world.”
There are several of them though…
They were displayed side by side on a desk in Lucendorf Archduchy’s glass garden.
Even without that, it can be continuously made…
“Come to think of it, the liquid in the glass bottle on the madam’s desk seems to have a similar color.”
Killian said, holding up the golden box.
Laura raised her head.
Their strange gazes met.
For a moment, she was surprised, wondering if he had secretly peeked into her mind.
* * *
Lucendorf Archduchy’s glass garden.
Laura carefully examined the glass bottle, turning it around in the bright sunlight.
With her eyes wide open, she watched as the light scattered around.
Suddenly, a voice shouted, and Laura blinked.
“Yes? What did you say?”
Laura turned to look at Mellisa.
Mellisa, who was putting a simple snack on the desk, raised her head and looked at her.
“You said you wanted a refreshing drink.”
Laura lifted the cup and drank it all at once. She put ice in her mouth and chewed it loudly.
“Uh-oh, doesn’t it hurt your teeth?”
Mellisa shuddered as she watched Laura chewing ice.
‘I did it again. I always say I shouldn’t do this, but I keep doing it.’
“Do you have something to worry about?”
“Your expression looks a bit troubled.”
Laura gently touched her cheek.
“Oh, by the way, how was the dinner party? I heard the fireworks were much more magnificent than ever before.”
“Yeah, they were.”
Laura nodded absentmindedly.
“But that… there was a rumor that Madam did it. Is it true?”
“Yeah, it is.”
Laura blinked and looked at Mellisa with a strange expression.
“Well, forget it. They say it might be the influence of the phoenix, not something you did. But why can’t you focus?”
Mellisa scrutinized Laura’s face.
Of course, there was more than just the fireworks that day.
There were many other things that happened after that…
* * *
At the time when Killian expressed doubts about the glass bottle on the desk.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?”
Killian frowned and looked at Laura.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear you well because of the noise around me. Where should we go now?”
Laura subtly changed the subject.
Looking around, she saw that the Emperor and the nobles were leaving and heading somewhere.
“I think the next place is the ballroom. Let’s go.”
Laura grabbed Killian’s arm and pulled him gently.
But he didn’t budge.
Perplexed, Laura glanced at him for a moment.
“Why… are you doing this?”
“I don’t know why you seem to be evading the answer, wife.”
“Did you ask me a question?”
“Oh, I see. What was the question?”
“I said the magic potion is similar to the one on your desk.”
“Come to think of it, the magic potion was also green, wasn’t it? That’s interesting.”
Laura feigned curiosity, pretending to know nothing.
“Isn’t it just a common color?”
“Even the tea I drink and the vegetables I grind are green.”
“And the liquid in that glass bottle is tea?”
“Well, it’s actually water infused with juniper leaves.”
Laura said confidently.
It wasn’t a secret either.
Besides, not everyone could make the magic potion just because they knew what it was made of.
“What are you going to do with it?”
“Of course, I’m going to drink it.”
As if trying to uncover the truth, he narrowed his eyes.
“You make tea with juniper leaves?”
“Yes, I do.”
Of course, she had never heard of tea made with the leaves.
Maybe if it were juniper fruits.
But Laura shrugged her shoulders.
In any case, she had to drink the magic potion anyway. So it wouldn’t matter even if she made it into tea.
As she shamelessly confronted him, Killian reluctantly averted his gaze.
At that moment, when he secretly sighed and turned his eyes away,
Warren appeared at the distance.
Warren was looking at her with a calm, penetrating gaze. No, was he carefully scrutinizing her face?
Laura slightly wrinkled her nose.
She couldn’t tell since when he had been observing her with that expression.
His face had always been overshadowed like someone immersed in regret, but now it had regained some color and even a hint of fervor.
As the gloomy aura dissipated from his handsome face, people started showing interest.
Passersby stole glances at Warren with admiring eyes.
Warren seemed completely oblivious to it all.
He hesitated for a moment while standing still, then took steps towards her.
‘Why is he acting like that? Does he have something to do with me?’
She wondered as she watched him with curiosity.
“Who are you looking at?”
When Laura’s attention was diverted elsewhere during their conversation, Killian asked coldly.
Before she could finish her sentence, he swiftly turned his head.
Then, he lowered his head to the person who had just approached them.
“I’m a bit late.”
It was Marquess Jensen Wyatt.
Isabella’s father and Killian’s father-in-law.
Laura was so preoccupied with Warren that she didn’t even realize Marquess Wyatt had come closer.
Glancing sideways, Warren halted his steps upon the arrival of Marquess Wyatt. After a moment of hesitation, he turned and disappeared into the crowd.
Laura felt oddly concerned about his behavior.
As she was feeling uneasy, Marquess Wyatt, who had finished exchanging greetings with Killian, turned to look at her.
A soft voice called out to her.
Laura hesitated for a moment, about to raise her arms to embrace him with a bright smile, but stopped abruptly.
No. The relationship between Marquess Wyatt and ‘Isabella’ is quite different from that of an ordinary father and daughter.
Laura recalled her first meeting with him and lowered her eyes quietly.
“Long time no see, father.”
“Yeah, it seems like you’re doing well too.”
“When did you come to the capital?”
“Just a little while ago. I’m glad I’m not late for the dinner party.”
The conversation was still awkward and stiff.
After exchanging simple greetings, they couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Laura glanced briefly at Marquess Wyatt. His brow furrowed as if he, too, was uncomfortable.
Why is this pair of father and daughter so formal with each other?
Even if Killian could participate in the conversation more gently, it would be nice.
Laura also looked at Killian. He was watching her with an expression that was hard to read.
“How long can you stay in the capital?”
Fortunately, Killian spoke to Marquess Wyatt.
“I don’t know. I can’t guarantee it.”
“I heard that things are quiet on the Enrir side these days.”
“That’s right. It seems to have settled down to a peaceful state. It would be best if there were some internal conflicts, but we have to keep an eye on it.”
“Perhaps you should stop by my manor.”
“I see. By the way, congratulations on receiving a very valuable item from the Emperor.”
“After the death of that magician, the magic potion she made dried up. I heard she had made the potion before she died.”
“The nimble ones must have taken it away.”
“That’s right. I expect that would be expensive.”
Laura stood there listening to their conversation.
She didn’t mind that the two men are having a boring conversation. It was better than feeling awkward.
The courtier approached Killian and conveyed the Emperor’s statement.
Killian furrowed his brow for a moment and then turned to look at Laura.
“I should go to the ballroom first, Father.”
“Don’t worry and go ahead.”
Marquess Wyatt spoke for Laura.
After Killian left, an awkward silence hung in the air.
“We should go in now too.”
Laura stared at Marquess Wyatt.
It was their second meeting.
It was difficult to judge someone based on just two meetings, but he was very gentlemanly despite his appearance.
His silver hair contrasted sharply with his sunburned face, but his violet eyes were intelligent. His straight nose and thick jawline exuded a strong and masculine vibe, not unlike that of a young man.
Despite the vertical scar running down the center of his left eye was a flaw, it was more attractive than terrible.
Although he seemed cold to his daughter, he did not seem like a bad person.
‘We’ll continue to bump into each other in the future, so I can’t continue to be uncomfortable like this. Besides, if I can get Marquess Wyatt on my side, I’ll have more support.’