“Theres some money I have collected personally.
If you need it…”
“Have you been hearing nonsense all your life” Apollonia cut her off and put something small in Adrians hand.
“Your Highness… this is…” She gasped.
It was a clear diamond.
The color and translucency were perfect.
Anyone would covet it if it was made into a ring or necklace.
“Ill give you 20 more of that after finishing the work tomorrow so it wont be inadequate.” Apollonia smirked.
“In case its too small an amount compared to the money you have saved.”
Adrian blinked a few times and examined the jewel in her hands.
The emperors unwanted daughter, the lord of the worthless, deserted estate, someone who struggled to take care of her own body.
Apollonia gave her an amount that even rich people couldnt comprehend.
“Im Prince Eckart of Bjorn.” A tall man with wide shoulders kissed the back of Apollonias hand.
Although the man was twenty-three, he looked much more mature than that.
He wore a neat tailcoat, but his tanned skin and muscular body made obvious the immense strength he had.
He had chiseled facial features, and he looked a little intimidating because of his thick beard.
To put it bluntly, he resembled a bear.
Not a cute, doll-like bear, but a huge bear that could crush five people with its paws.
“Would you like to dance” He awkwardly marched toward Apollonia.
The pair had met for the first time at Eckarts welcoming party, which was held a few days before the hunting competition.
They didnt get along very well.
“Do you think the food is appetizing”
“To be honest, I dont really care about the taste of food.
I only eat lean meat to maintain my muscles.
It tastes the same everywhere.”
“Have you previously traveled to the empire”
“More than a trip, I once walked halfway across the continent while training as a knight.
But I quit because I lost so much weight and muscle.”
He glanced at her occasionally, as if he liked Apollonias appearance more than he expected.
But more often than that, he would examine his own arms and shoulders.
He flexed his muscles, pulling back and forth, as if he wanted to make sure they hadnt disappeared in the meantime.
The overall conversation was boring, but Apollonia was able to grasp his preference in the process.
She thought shed make the conversation as boring as possible.
“Do you like knights by any chance There are many great knights in the empire, including His Majestys knights.”
“Well, I dont like to get hot and perspire a lot.
I cant watch gladiator fights because Im too scared.”
“Steel produced by the empire becomes the best weapon on the continent.
Your Highness, do you know…”
“Gems produced in the Empire are the most beautiful things on the continent.
My aunts company only deals with the finest sapphires.”
Apollonia cut off the topics he was interested in and brought up only the topics that seemed the farthest from his interest.
Thanks to this, she could feel that Eckarts fondness gradually cooling down.
Just as shed planned.
They, who danced three songs with forced conversation and two more songs in an awkward silence, naturally parted ways when the mandatory exchange ended.
After the dance, Apollonia frowned, bit her lips, and returned to her table with a tearful look.
“I dont think he likes me!”
“What do you mean, Your Highness” Bianca, asked curiously.
“Hurry up and go dance with him! You have to be as graceful as you can be.
That way, wouldnt he feel good about me as your master” Apollonia looked like an immature little sister begging her older sister.
“Wheres your hairpin with the family pattern on it” She asked Bianca, who had been comforting her with trite phrases.
“Ive heard that feminine jewelry is more appropriate for the banquet… so I removed it.”
Aristocrats often carried ornaments with the family pattern because it could be used as an identification card in case of emergency, but it was rarely used as an accessory.
It was weird to wear an identification card on formal occasions.
The Keaton family pattern was in the form of a crude bow and arrow.
Bianca had considerable pride in it, but not to the point of wearing it at the banquet hall.
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