~ 49 ~
Eun-woo felt that cold sweats were running to her back. Wanting to avert the topic, she looked at the two men alternately and asked a question.
“Thinking about it, we still don’t know what kind of opera we’re going to watch?”
As she mumbled with an awkward smile, Diego quickly began to smack Tashian.
“Tashian, you’re such a brat that you don’t have any dirt on your little nails! It doesn’t make sense that you invited him to the opera and didn’t tell my sister what the opera is about!“
“N-no…! It could happen! I didn’t even ask him!”
Eun-woo hurriedly defended Tashian, but he seemed to have no intention of defending himself. Tashian said in a cool voice.
“It’s not something I would listen to from you, who went here without any consent and stole my seat.”
Even though Eun-woo tried her best to stop these two men from fighting again, they seemed unwilling to listen to her.
She buried her back deep in her seat with a feeling of half desperation. The two men’s arms were still encroaching on her from both sides, so it wasn’t a very comfortable position for her.
“Hooh, Eleanor. You have a lot of trouble there.”
It was Selena who had already foretold what would happen. Eun-woo’s kind smile piqued her interest to just bury her head to Selena’s shoulder for a moment.
“L-le… let me explain on behalf of them.”
Ikshid, who had been leaning hard on Selena’s seat as he listened to them, stepped out and spoke.
“Elli, you’re already familiar with the story of three treasures. Well, it’s a story that decorated one side of the history of Hellasium, so it’d be strange for you not to know. Hmm.”
“You are talking about three precious treasures.”
Selena, standing next to her, sympathized with Ikshid’s words.
The three treasures. It was the story she heard from Tashian when they were in the carriage. And one of the mysterious treasures brightens the night of Cremons as if it was day.
Eun-woo had vaguely learned the story behind them today, thus smiling slightly, neither confirming nor denying it.
Ikshid let out a deep sigh with his hazy eyes holding something beyond reality.
“Right… the three treasures. Lucius’ quill, Ginevio’s incense burner… and the candlestick of Fedellamon.
The voice of the prince who spit out the last syllable was as clear.
“The content of this opera is about one of the treasures; the quill of Lucius.”
“But among the three precious treasures, isn’t it only the candlestick of the Fedellamon imperial family whose whereabouts are known?”
Eun-woo asked that question as she was perplexed.
This was because she was taught that the other two treasures disappeared without any trace except for the Fedellamon candlestick. There was no history of where it could be. Ikshid nodded his head.
“Then this story must be a legend.”
“If I say one word, you know ten words, and you are so knowledgeable.”
“You’re exaggerating, Your Highness. I have not yet reached the depths of your knowledge.”
Eun-woo was so occupied at nudging Diego’s arm away with nauseous feeling and pushing Tashian’s arm, who was uncomfortable at what she was doing, that she didn’t even notice the male lead and female lead’s flirting.
“Just like what the candlestick lights up Fedellamon, the quill must have some mysterious power too, right?”
“That would not be proven as the candlestick, but it certainly has.”
Ikshid belatedly nodded at Selena’s question.
“The notoriety of Lucius’ quill is in fact the most famous of the three. It’s not just that this opera is famous on the continent.”
If it’s notorious, does that mean that the quill has some curse on it?
When Eun-woo asked her hesitant question, Diego had already answered her before Ikshid could, who was about to open his mouth, and made him stop from saying anything.
“In Genova, even a five-year-old knows something. Doesn’t it seem that even a crying child stops when he hears the story of Lucius’ quills?”
The quill isn’t some sort of tiger, but it’s enough to make a child stop from crying, since the story behind it is frightening.
Eun-woo tilted her head. At that moment, Tashian’s low-pitched voice was heard.
“Literally. Because the power of the quill is a curse.”
Eun-woo’s eyes widened. As much as Fedellamon’s candlestick is responsible for Cremons’ night, Lucius’ quill was also expected to have something beneficial to people.
Eun-woo was very surprised by the new knowledge she had acquired. She also even felt a little betrayed. She muttered,
“It has been said that Lucius was cursed with a terrible one, as there was an etymology that Lucius is the devil’s name.”
“Just what kind of miserable curse is that…?”
When Eun-woo asked a question carefully, Ikshid frowned and tried to answer. But Tashian was one step faster.
“The power to permanently seal things or people.”
(TN: To some who didn’t understand, the ‘seal’ word can be replaced with ‘confine’.)
Eun-woo blinked her eyes, stunned.
Being sealed. It was an unfamiliar word for her. Tashian watched her expression calmly with his indescribable expression, before adding.
“… You probably think that the curse isn’t sort of a big deal, but in fact it’s a pretty strong curse. It makes a person inexistant in this world, making it like he hadn’t lived inside this world and prays to have the person’s achievements annihilated from history.”
After saying that, Tashian was silent again. As much as the content of the terrifying words, everyone present’s expressions hardened slightly.
However, Eun-woo noticed something different from usual in his expressionless expression. As she pondered what exactly it was, Diego then grumbled towards Tashian.
“No, dude! What did you do that the atmosphere I barely managed to make alive became gloomy again?!”
“Even after Marquis Miller came, the atmosphere doesn’t seem to have changed at all.”
“That’s right. Right, if you want.”
Selena made a point in a gentle but resolute voice. Ikshid, who was affectionately putting his arms on the back of Selena’s seat, was busy putting a chant in his words.
“I didn’t know that my long 20-year friendship with His Highness would crumble this instant…!”
“There was really nothing between me and you but hate in the first place.”
At Diego’s exasperation, Ikshid snorted his nose in response.
At that time, one of the prince’s attendants came calling from over the huge red-carpet entrance of the box seat where they were staying.
“This is a request from the Prima Donna, Crown Prince. Would you allow her?”
Eun-woo looked around in surprise at the attendant’s words.
Prima Donna is the real protagonist of today’s opera, the famous soprano and is known as Calista.
She sprang up from her seat, contemplating whether to stand or clap instead.
But when she came to her senses, it was after everyone else had gone back to their respective conversations. It seemed as if Calista’s visit was insignificant, and the crown prince didn’t even care.
Eun-woo was a little surprised by the naivety she has. She glanced at everyone and asked Tashian next to her.
“It seems like this happens often…?”
“When the imperial family visits the grand theater, it is customary for a performer or vocalist representing the troupe to visit and show courtesy. Of course, it is up to the royalties whether to allow the visit or not.”
Their height difference was a bit big, thus Tashian answered with his head lowered slightly. He was sitting so close that his short breath touched her air below her ear.
Tashian rolled his eyes with a sneering smile.
“Most nobles welcome this special treatment with open arms.”
She could hear Ikshid asking Selena softly, who was sitting next to her.
“What do you think, where would you like to meet?”
“She is a very interesting singer from Cremons who has achieved continental fame.”
Ikshid couldn’t stand still when Selena showed her interest. He ordered with a light smile.
Suddenly, the red carpet cracked with a rattling sound from side to side.
Eun-woo lifted her head up within the line of preserving dignity as much as possible. She also wondered what kind of person Calista is.
“My name is Calista. It is an honor to see the Crown Prince of Hellasium.”
Prima Donna’s speaking voice filled the seat. A tall, slender young woman appeared among the attendants guarding her sides.
Calista had her auburn hair braided to one side of her and draped over her silver blue silk dress. Eun-woo’s eyes carefully scanned Calista’s outward appearance.
Dark eyebrows and stubborn eyes came first. Her light freckles were covered with heavy makeup, and the large eyes on the neatly outstretched nose were gray. She was surprisingly beautiful. She couldn’t deny it, but she was a face that would be attractive enough in front of a stage audience.
Her fingers, with thick gold rings on her ring and index fingers, were gently covering the exposed ribs of her chest. With her impeccable and polite manner, she bowed before the Crown Prince and his guests.
“Hey, long time no see! How do you feel about returning to Cremons?”
It was Diego, neither the Crown Prince nor anyone else, who greeted the kneeling Calista warmly.
Eun-woo’s eyes widened when she saw her brother approached Calista, he grabbed her hand and lifted her up. Holding Diego’s hand, Calista smiled brightly and satisfied.
“No, what is this? Aren’t you Marquis Miller?”
There was affection in Calista’s expression as she turned her eyes at Diego.
Eun-woo paid close attention to the two people who seemed to be close with an interesting gaze.
Calista lifted one of her sharp hands with her jewel-encrusted ring, and gently covered her mouth, suddenly sulking.