The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 69
Chapter 69: Great Gifts
“Claire, the souvenirs have arrived. Would you like to take a look?”
It has been a week since Hillian informed me about the Four Gods Religion and 10 days since I acquired the Gems and returned.
The merchant who we requested the wedding souvenirs asked to procure them in Seanapse country. We had already decided to do so, and the merchant waited at the royal palace. After presenting them to His Majesty and the Queen, the merchant immediately flew to Seanapse country.
This merchant has extensive connections with the artisans in Seanapse and we entrusted him with the purchase because we had confidence in his ability to make a wise choice for us, rather than traveling there ourselves.
The process was seamless, and Auglia-sama and I headed to the receiving room.
“Rufus, it’s been a while.”
“My apologies for not staying in touch, Your Highness the Crown Prince, Your Highness the Crown Princess.”
“Despite the challenging nature of this task, you performed admirably. Can you share with us what you acquired?”
Rufus, the merchant, was a debonair individual with a slender physique, thin eyes, and golden hair styled back with pomade. He was dressed elegantly and among merchants who work with royalty and nobles, he was the most sought-after and reliable.
With a soft smile gracing his narrow eyes, Rufus sat down on the couch after we took our seats and delicately placed his bulky bag on the gleaming wooden table. It appeared to be stuffed with an ample amount of cotton as padding, and was a bespoke bag that could accommodate two boxes with interchangeable patterns within. It was said to be used for carrying jewelry as well as for transporting artisanal items.
“Here is the finest artisanal item I procured in a trade at a historic workshop in the Seanapse nation. It is not only an ornamental piece but also serves a purpose, though… I doubt many royalty from any kingdom would use it for its intended function.”
As Rufus unlocked the bag, two black boxes were nestled within the blue velvet stitched onto the cotton.
The boxes were much bigger than gems and I was intrigued by what was inside as I leaned forward in anticipation, and I could feel Auglia-sama giggling mischievously beside me. However, I couldn’t help but be curious.
The most prized of all treasures that never reached the Faithnum Empire. I can’t help but feel like a child on the eve of their birthday, wondering what’s hidden inside.
“Here, this is a jewelry box crafted over 100 years ago in the Seanapse Kingdom. It’s made of metal and gems and despite the passage of time, it remains unscathed and the unique paint won’t fade. Please handle it with gloves.”
With that, the speaker lifted the lid to showcase a intricate lace-like pattern crafted from metal threads and adorned with gems of various hues, in the form of an egg.
“The Seanapse Kingdom’s Brillante Egg…! Incredible, I’ve never laid eyes on something like this in either a catalog or in person…!”
“Did you know…?”
Rufus’ voice, tinged with a hint of disappointment, elicited a chuckle from Auglia-sama.
“Hey Claire, what exactly is a Brillante Egg?”
Being addressed with a playful tone, I wondered if Rufus was alright, then I leaned forward and settled back onto the couch, and explained to Auglia-sama who was seated beside me.
“The roots of this craft stem from Seanapse, where a craftsman used eggs for his training. They would pierce a small hole in the egg using a bamboo skewer, remove the contents, clean it, and then carve intricate designs into the eggshell. However, due to the fragile nature of the eggshell, it is difficult to control its strength, so the well-made pieces are given a protective coating as a test for apprentices and sold at low prices in the market. They later opened a larger hole and placed a saucer inside to create small lamps, among other things. Although it was originally sold in open-air markets, professional craftsmen became enamored with the beauty of decorating the uniform shape of the egg and started creating jewelry boxes and lampshades in the shape of eggs. Despite being over a hundred years old as a form of art, it has a relatively recent history as a craft. The elaborate pedestal adds to its appeal, but the case itself is truly worth the price of a single gem. It’s truly remarkable, Rufus. Thank you so much.”
“…I’m honored to be praised, regardless of being taken away with all my words.”
Rufus smiled wryly and gave a slight nod, seemingly resigned. I felt guilty for taking the job of the merchant, but I couldn’t deny that the item was truly awe-inspiring, no matter how many times I gazed upon it.
He handled it delicately with his gloves. The stand was designed like a dancing fairy with silver butterfly wings, the wing portion was thinly adorned with gems of different hues, resembling a swallowtail butterfly.
The metalwork, mimicking the breeze from a dancing fairy, upheld the Brillante Egg. It appeared to be securely fastened, yet the form of the fairy was so delicate and natural that it was daunting to think it might break if handled. Nevertheless, when Rufus extended his hand and said “Please,” he placed it on the table.
It stood sturdy without wavering. The metal ring resembling the wind spreading from the feet of the fairy seemed to be in perfect equilibrium.
In the center of the gem-studded metal lace body, there was a slightly thicker section for opening, and a gorgeous lapis lazuli was embedded in the center. When he lightly lifted it by pressing the lapis lazuli, a mechanism to open the lid was revealed.
Inside, it was a jewelry box, the velvet lining was soft to hold multiple rings and earrings, and grooves were created for embedding.
And on the back of the lid, a mirror was implanted to fit precisely when opened, reflecting the face buried in velvet.
To prevent damage to the jewelry inside, there was no metal ornamentation inside.
Although it serves a practical purpose, the thought of using this Brillante Egg in daily life is daunting. Even I, who am accustomed to luxury products, am intimidated just by touching it.
“It’s a remarkable piece. It’s bound to be well-received. Simply by displaying it, the room’s elegance will be elevated. The fact that it doubles as a jewelry box shows thoughtful design.”
Auglia-sama, who was observing from the sidelines, expressed his admiration.
But despite my knowledge, I rarely find myself able to offer such glowing compliments.
Nonetheless, Rufus and Auglia-sama appeared pleased, their eyes gleaming with excitement.
I gingerly closed the lid of the Faberge Egg and cautiously returned it to its box, feeling nervous handling it.
“I am delighted that you liked it. Now, allow me to present another item.”
Rufus firmly shut the box lid and proceeded to introduce another item.