Chapter 58: Birthday
The autumn is gradually deepening. The days are getting shorter and the mornings and evenings are getting cooler, around the time the leaves on the trees in the garden are losing color.
The social season is ending and many nobles are returning to their country houses.
Madetoya… no, Miss Ina Periknen also headed for one of the country houses belonging to the Duke family, along with the Periknen family.
Surprisingly… that’s unexpected. I never thought that His Highness Elias would separate her from his side, and I think she still has a lot to learn inside the palace.
According to the information from the servants, a number of tutors accompanied her to the Duchy of Periknen, where she would be educated to become a queen.
“Are you ready?”
One day, Lex announced that he would take a break from work and research and go out.
That date was my birthday.
“Yes, I apologize for the wait.”
Today’s Lex wore a silk hat and a long coat of candy color. With a cane tucked under his left arm, he looked like a wonderful gentleman from any angle.
“Master, Madam. Have a good trip.”
“Have a good trip.”
The people in the house see us off as we all leave together. Their movements are impeccable, but I can sense an atmosphere where they are trying not to show their smiles or emotions.
Normally, they wouldn’t see us off like this.
“Give me your hand.”
I place my left hand on his right hand and get into the carriage.
The sound of the whip, the sound of the wheels turning.
“What’s wrong with you today?”
“I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Happy birthday.”
“Well. I’ve never been taken on an outing to celebrate before.
“Is that so?”
When I was young, my parents used to celebrate my birthday at home, but after my mother passed away and my stepmother came, I haven’t celebrated on my birthday. Lord Elias used to give me handwritten message cards and gifts when we were engaged, but the cards became written by his servants and eventually, I didn’t receive any words of celebration.
“Mina and I went out together many times…”
But Lex looks away from the window.
“But, this is the first time I’ve ever asked you out on a date.”
That’s right, we do go to the central bank in the capital and go shopping for clothes, but it’s always for work purposes.
Come to think of it, we may not have ever gone out with the purpose of just playing.
“Well, so you asked me out on our first date.”
His eyes start to turn red.
Thus, the two of us enjoyed walking around the city. Walking along the paths in a park blooming with autumn flowers, eating lunch bought from a street vendor sitting on a bench, window shopping and buying small items or souvenirs for the servants…
And then, we got back into the carriage and moved to a dinner restaurant.
A high-class restaurant that even nobles go to, with a dress code. A shop where the former palace chef is the chief chef.
It seems that he had reserved a private room.
Saying that, we raised our glasses for a toast.
The meal was a coarse meal. The reason the number of dishes was a little less than a full course is because it was not a dinner party but a restaurant.
We enjoyed the meal while reminiscing about the past half year with Lex. After finishing the meal, he said in a firm tone.
“Mina, I have a present for you, would you accept it?”
“Is it a birthday present? Of course.”
He stood up from his seat, stood beside me, took a small box from his pocket and knelt down.
“This is for you, Vilhelmina.”
He said that and opened the small box, and a rainbow-colored light leaked out. It was a ring.
I took a breath.
The light was a precious opal. Opal is a stone that can greatly change in value depending on how it shines, but this one has the highest shine of all.
The smooth cabochon cut and polished colorless transparent stone shimmered as if it had trapped flames inside, and its surface sparkled in rainbow colors reflected from the room’s lighting.
Around the opal are small crystals… or rather, magic stones. They are scattered on the ring.
“We’ve been together without an engagement, without a wedding, without vows, so I wanted to tell you, even though it’s a little late for that.”
I extended my left hand.
Lex gently took my hand from below with a kind touch and passed the ring through my ring finger.
Flames danced on my palm.
My voice trembled and became hoarse.
“It’s my birthstone.”
“Yeah, the magic stones around it are… mine.”
The fact that the small, transparent, and attribute-less magic stone called opal, which is my birthstone, is surrounded by Lex’s magic stone means that I am surrounded by Lex’s love. Is it right to think that this is the meaning of the stone?
“It’s a small magic stone, so it doesn’t have much effect, but I had a preservation spell applied… Oh, um, to make sure the love of our life never fades away.”
He scratches his head and presses his face.
“Ah, I bit it in the end… despite practicing.”
“Alex,… please with your words.”
“…Vilhelmina, I will always love you.”
I got up from the chair and hugged him.