‘This must be the lowest unit of currency he carries.’

After receiving it, she went forward and put the bill into the clown’s hat.
Then the clown started juggling around her, and the violinist behind her played even more passionately, embarrassing her.
It was probably the largest amount of money they ever received.

She shrugged and looked back at Killian.
He was smiling lightly at her.
It must have been funny to see her holding a bouquet of flowers in one hand and candy in the other because she was afraid she would ruin the clown’s juggling.

“Now let go of my wife.”

When Killian spoke in a laughing voice, the clown thanked him repeatedly and withdrew, and she was finally able to return to Killian’s side.
People around them kept glancing at them as if surprised by Killian’s appearance.
It tickled her strangely that he referred to her as “my wife,” so she couldn’t keep her mouth shut.
Why do happy times pass so quickly? Their evening, which melted away as quickly as 50 sena candy, ended with a sweet aftertaste and the smell of fresh wildflowers.

“You may not believe this because you don’t believe me, but I had a lot of fun today.
Thank you.”

At the door to her room, she turned to Killian and greeted him.

“It was an outing that was nothing special, wasn’t it?”

“Everything was a first.
It was a great thing for me.”

“Yes… Is that so?”

She nodded.
She had never felt such a happy feeling before.
Maybe, maybe there wasn’t.
But beyond that, she couldn’t think of anything more to say.
It seemed rude to hold him too long.

“Then… good night.”

Killian gave a small nod, and she smiled one more time before closing the door.
A sigh leaked out only when the door stood between him and her.

‘If you do this, you’re going to keep getting greedy…’

The first thing she promised after marriage kept shaking.
In her desk drawer, the paper she circled on ‘Be grateful for what I have’ several times was still stored…

* * *

Edith closed the door without looking back at Killian, so she didn’t see him raise his hand.
Edith closed the door without seeing it, but Killian knocked on the door again and did not call Edith out.

‘Why am I like this?’

Lifting it up effortlessly and then opening and closing his lowered hand again, Killian slowly moved his steps towards his room.
Everything he did with Edith today was her first experience, and a new experience for Killian.
It’s been like that since , the opera he chose just hoping for a smooth date.
Odelette was such a famous opera that even Killian had seen it several times.
It was just a little different that the lead soprano of today’s opera was a particularly famous singer, but it was just going to be the same experience for Killian.
If the person he went with wasn’t Edith.

At first, he was dumbfounded for Edith not knowing even this famous opera.
It almost made him wonder if she was pretending to be naive and lying.
However, tracing his memory, he had seen Rigelhoff’s people a few times at the opera house, but he had never run into Edith.

‘Could it be that she hasn’t been to an opera theater before?’

He wondered if she didn’t like opera, but Edith’s reaction after the opera started was truly surprising.

“Oh, no!”

She involuntarily covered her mouth and breathed in, sighed along with the agonized Odelette, and shed tears at the despairing soprano’s song.
After wiping away her glistening tears, Edith smiled slightly in surprise, as if she hadn’t noticed that she was crying.
It couldn’t be seen as a reaction from someone who didn’t like opera.

‘What the hell happened? There’s no way Rigelhoff stopped going to the opera.’

He had such a question, but Edith’s opinion about the opera was even more surprising.
Edith said she would choose Hubert out of the two men and would not kill herself and that Laslo was a badass.

“He tested love.
Even though he knew what Odelette’s situation was like, he didn’t reveal his identity because he was testing her love.
Son of a bitch.”

He had never thought of it that way.
Until now, he thought it was just a story of a foolish woman who missed true love because she was blinded by material things.
But after hearing what Edith said, she seemed right.
Testing love was a very arrogant act of considering oneself to be above the other person.
And Laszlo was arrogant.
If he really loved Odelette, he should have reassured her before she struggled with her anguish.
And Edith made another unexpected statement.

Have you ever been without money? To say it’s just money… There are so many things that can be solved with money.”

It was a bittersweet smile, as if there was a miserable past due to lack of money.
Moreover, the moment she said that he should be able to understand Odelette, who had married for the sake of her family, his stomach flinched.
Edith knew that even though he loved Lise, he was forced to marry her for the benefit of his family.

Her pride may have been hurt, but she never showed it like that.
Rather, she forced herself to comfort him that he didn’t have to be nice to her, that he didn’t have to suffer from his sense of duty.

‘How could that be?’

Thinking about that, Edith said with a smile.

“As for the woman, she is much stronger than you think.”

She was.
Edith was a much stronger person than Killian thought.
She steadfastly insisted on her innocence despite the allegations pouring down on her, and defended the honor of her family even though she did not succumb to the violence of her maid, who seemed to have been instigated by her family.
It was doubtful whether it was an honor worth protecting.

Edith’s smile, looking back as if nothing had happened, was dazzlingly beautiful and heartbreakingly sad, yet it seemed as if it would never be broken.
However, when the woman who felt so strong appeared on the street, it seemed that she had become a girl. 

Even a cheap candy made a happy smile blossom.

“It is delicious.
It’s very sweet, but it also tastes sour.”

If the 50 sena candy tasted good, it would have tasted like melted sugar.
However, Edith seemed happy as if she was eating a dessert that she could not taste anywhere else in the world.
It would have been better if she hadn’t caught his eye on those lips that glistened with sugar water.

“Seeing you eat makes you want to eat, right?”

Asking if he was looking at it because he wanted to eat, the look on her lips was naive yet strange.
Edith didn’t seem to notice until the end what he wanted to eat.

‘It was me who was lustful, not Edith.’

He sighed, but this time she asked to borrow money to buy the flower girl’s withered flowers. 

Edith was probably the only lady in this empire who would buy flowers herself even with her husband by her side.
He bought an inconspicuous flower and tied it with a handkerchief to cover the broken branches, and Edith accepted it with emotion.

“Receiving flowers like this… It’s my first time.”

Her faint voice, as if talking to herself, contained the excitement of a woman receiving flowers for the first time.
Edith hurriedly turned away when asked if there was a man who sent flowers, and Killian began to suspect that Edith’s situation within Rigelhoff was very strange.

‘If there is a sender but the person in question hasn’t received it, where does the flower disappear?’

There was no way she would have abandoned it.
The men who courted Edith must have all been sons of well-to-do families, and Count Rigelhoff was someone who could not turn those families into enemies.
If so, it sounded like the flowers were stolen somewhere else in the middle… 

‘You stealing flowers from your daughter? Why?’

It was a ridiculous assumption, but considering the house where the maid who assaulted their daughter was taken in a carriage, it occurred to him that even that ridiculous assumption must be true.
And that was unpleasant.
He couldn’t even tell the juggling clown to get out of the way, and he was frustrated at what kind of past the woman who shrugged her shoulders was hiding.

“Now let go of my wife.”

Killian was surprised when he said so.

‘His wife.’

The echo of the word came to him like an impression.
Like Edith, approaching with a benevolent smile… The surrounding commoners stared at Edith, who was approaching him, as if possessed.
And only then did Killian realize that his wife, Edith Ludwig, was a beautiful woman who would stand out anywhere.

Go now.”

The whispering voice next to him was no longer irresistible and felt lovely.
It was such a fun time.
It’s been a long time since he had felt such excitement and serenity.
It’s the same thing he felt when he came out with Lise one day, but when he thought of her, he always thought of Cliff, and on the other side of his heart, impatience and inferiority complex always bloom.
But he didn’t have to think about that when he was with Edith.

Edith was Killian’s, because she was the woman for him.

As he was about to apologize for going out so modestly, Edith said she was really enjoying herself.

“It was a no-brainer outing, wasn’t it?”

“Everything was a first.
It was a great thing for me.”

Everything was a first.

He was sad but happy to know that.
It faithfully satisfied Killian’s desire for exclusivity with the fact that her first time was filled entirely by himself.
But that night, sitting alone in his room, thinking about his date with Edith, Killian fell deeper into the question he had wondered before.

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