“It’s the first snowfall.”
The air in the carriage was stuffy, so Lara opened the window. It was snowing heavily. Konny held one hand out of the window with her mouth open. A precious snowflake fell on Konny’s small palm. It dissipated as soon as it touched her skin, leaving moist water in its place.
“These snowflakes are really big, milady.”
The snowflakes were large, the city was large, and even the entrance gate was large. There was no inspection, but as the road was blocked because of the snow, carriages still lined up and moved just as slowly.
“It’ll be quite a sight tomorrow if it snows all night like this.”
The wolves were also quite relaxed now. When they entered the city, they felt like the fatigue they had endured all this time had caught up to them all at once.
Dandelion was bigger than what they heard. The land was so huge that they could not see it all at just one glance. It was filled with complex buildings, the roads were intertwined like spider webs, and there were people everywhere.
The tallest buildings in Hautean were the Royal Palace, the temple, and Isadora’s hotel. But in Dandelion, there were even more buildings that were even taller than those in Hautean. Public carriages carrying dozens of people wandered in a line. People were so busy that one could spend the whole day just observing them.
“Just 8 silver! Luxury bag by an artisan! On sale for only 8 silver!”
“How dare you…Get out of my way! Do you have a death wish? Or are you still wet behind the ears?!”
“You bragging that you’re old? Huh?!”
It was noisy and complicated. They had just passed the entrance gate but it was already so hectic. Lara felt like her ears were tingling even though she was still in the carriage.
Compared to this place, Hautean was a quiet and elegant country. She now understood why scholars called Hautean a noble state on the border area.
“Whew, is it because of how big this country is? The people’s voices are loud too. Should I close the window?”
When Konny was about to close the window, Demian, who had been insisting to sit only on the coachman’s seat, approached them on his horse.
Unlike the other people who tightly wrapped themselves in cotton and fur coats, he was still wearing only light travel clothes and a cape.
“Did you call me?”
“Where are we going”
“Since everyone is tired… First of all, we’re going to my mother’s hotel.”
“Then, I will take Acerus to where you will be going.”
“Are you going right now?”
“Yes, I have to go meet him first.”
Lara was a little surprised but soon nodded. Demian came to Hautean at the order of the Crown Prince Acerus so there would be a lot to report and a lot to talk about.
“I’m planning to go to the sanctum tonight. For some reason, I think God will be anxiously waiting for me. Even though he would pretend that was not the case.”
“The sooner, the better. Besides, I’m not that tired.”
Demian seemed to be thinking about something for a moment. Then, after telling Lara to wait at the hotel, he quickly rode off on his horse.
Lara and the rest of the party headed to Isadora’s hotel in Dandelion.
The hotel was very big.
“This hotel…belongs to my mother?”
“That one too?”
“It will have already been 20 years soon.”
Lara stood in front of a huge and elegant-looking hotel. Rather than a hotel, it was more like a small castle. There were several such buildings alongside it. It seemed like all the most luxurious carriages on Dandelion street entered the hotel. The hotel’s general manager said he had been contacted in advance, so he came out to welcome Lara.
“The hotel’s name is…”
“It’s Lara’s Garden.”
The general manager was smiling brightly, but on the other hand, Lara’s face hardened. The heat that started from the back of her neck spread to her cheeks.
The name of the soon-to-be 20-year-old hotel was Lara’s Garden. It was such an obvious name that anyone could tell that Isadora was the owner.
“Milady, you’re embarrassed, right?”
Konny smiled brightly.”
“When you think that Madam Isadora suggested naming the hotel Lara’s Garden…with that solemn face of hers, hehehe!
“Stop it, Konny.”
“I heard she also has businesses in the Empire’s weapon and shield industry. Don’t tell me the sign of the store is ‘Protect Lara’…”
When she stood blankly, looking at the huge hotel, she suddenly remembered what Sebastian had said. Hautean was too small, so Isadora wanted to move headquarters to the Empire, but she would not move because Lara was in Hautean.
“I miss her.”
If Isadora was here, she would not care whether there was a demon in Prince Sidhar’s body or not, she would just grab him by the collar, slap him, and tell him not to bother her daughter.
“As you ordered, I have purchased a diamond mine that is filled with high-quality diamonds. When you have time, I will bring you there.”
“Was it Master Valentine? I heard he wanted to open a pharmaceutical store. I did not know how large he wanted it to be though, so I prepared by size.”
“We left the top floor empty for you, so you can use it as much as you want.”
“Can I do that?”
“Hahaha! It’s your house. Why are you asking for permission? Let’s go!”
The general manager was energetic, yet elegant and stylish. Isadora has opened many businesses, yet she never shows up in person, only sending her representative. So the manager said he wanted to show what he’s got. He held Lara’s hand and led her into the hotel.
“Milady is here!”
The uniformed guards in front of the main gate greeted her with a nice smile. As she entered the hall that was shining all the way to the floor, silver rays gushed out of the chandelier above her head. All the busy workers stopped walking and looked at Lara with curiosity.
“This is not right.”
Lara mumbled. She was wearing dusty travel clothes, leather boots, and thick padded clothes wrapped around her whole body. Her hair was messy and she could not even wash her face properly on that day.
What? Is she really the heiress?
She felt like she was hearing such a murmur from somewhere.
As soon as Lara arrived at the hotel, she asked for Prince Sidhar to be detained in a safe place. The general manager told her not to worry and took him to the mercenary wolves’ quarters.
“About 200 wolves are working in Dandelion.”
“There are more mercenaries who are not affiliated with the trading company. It’s already late today so I will leave him like that for now and contact the Imperial Palace tomorrow.”
“I will do that.”
Since Demian said he would bring Acerus, Lara was going to wait for him.
“Why did mother never tell me about this? I don’t think even my exiled father knew how much money mother had.”
“Well. If I were Madam Isadora, I wouldn’t tell you about it.”
“In case I would be arrogant?”
“No, in case it would be dangerous for you.”
The general manager smiled and winked. The top floor of the hotel that Lara would use was a special room for Isadora who would someday visit the Empire. The room was only opened when Sebastian sometimes stopped by the Empire.
“Milady, have you had dinner?”
“No, I’m hungry.”
“Then, please wait a little bit.”
The general manager walked quickly out of the drawing-room. Despite how big his strides were and how fast each of his steps was, it was amusing how there was barely a sound of a footstep.
“You’d better take a shower. You smell like a shoe.”
Shocked by Konny’s criticism, Lara entered the bathroom and took a bath. When she was done, a splendid dinner was prepared in the drawing-room. All of them were Lara’s favorites. Especially the soft lamb steak and grilled vegetables that she always ate in Hautean.
The bridge of her nose tingled. Her body was now 20 years old and her soul was much older than that, but after a month of leaving home, Lara was going to cry because of how much she missed her mother. She quickly picked up the fork and knife to swallow the tears that almost came out of her eyes.
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