< — The Capital’s High Society– > (4)
“My wife is frugal. She thinks that it is a waste to buy a number of dresses.” (Hugo)
“Oh my.” (Antoine)
“But I think that my wife is deserving of the best as my Lady of the House.”
“What might you mean?”
“Ensure that you arrange everything you need, regardless of the cost. It is in your capability to one way or the other, manage to persuade my wife. Depending on the capability shown, I will decide on whether or not to continue working with you in the future.”
At first, Antoine didn’t understand what the Duke was talking about but slowly, understanding began to fill her eyes. She had sometimes heard of a husband, or a father, sending someone to try and curb the senseless spending of their wife or daughter, but this was the first time she was seeing someone requesting to have their money spent.
‘Oh my goodness. The Duke of Taran is such a romanticist!’
Antoine gazed at the Duke of Taran with an entranced look in her eyes. It was the same gaze she used to look at the gold in her secret safe.
“Are you saying…not to worry about the cost?”
“Unreasonable charges will be refused.”
“Ho-ho. We are not a senseless boutique.”
Antoine quickly wrote down her estimated figures on a memo. Antoine loved romance and at the same time, she was a realist.
She knew that love didn’t feed anyone. Only love based on gold was eternal!
Antoine’s mind cleverly mulled over how to make the ambiguous boundary of ‘regardless of cost’ clearer. She wrote down half of her considered maximum amount and placed it before the Duke. It was to her advantage to take the pride of her customer into consideration, just in case.
“What do you think?”
Antoine was asking if the Duke could handle a price of this extent. A dress was quite the expensive luxury. The newer the article, the more unique and exclusive the design, the higher the price skyrocketed. Antoine had seen people boast to their lovers about a dress and enter the boutique then their hearts would sink at the price and their prides would be damaged.
Hugo didn’t even blink at this challenge from Antoine. He smiled mockingly, picked up the pen and added a 0 behind the amount, dealing her a KO in a single blow.
When Antoine got back the memo, her hand shook repeatedly. Gasp. She felt breathless and grabbed her chest. Eureka! Fanfare burst out over her head. Luck fairies jingled tambourines as she hit the greatest jackpot of her life.
“I…I will definitely come visit in two days.”
“I look forward to seeing your capability.”
“Please, leave it to me.”
“Ah. I would also like you to introduce me to a good jeweler.”
It was too cumbersome to carry much of the family-owned ornaments from Roam to the capital. Above all else, the fact that she didn’t have much jewelry kept bothering him.
Like a hungry beast positioned before flesh, Antoine’s eyes sparkled and she gave a buoyant smile.
“I will guide Your Grace to a jeweler that loses out sli~ghtly when compared to the Duchess’s elegance but can never lose when compared to other places.”
Antoine went out of the building with all of her staff, and they gave a deep bow to send off the Duke of Taran. When the carriage was no longer in sight, Antoine gracefully straightened her waist and her eyes were ablaze with passion.
“The schedule adjustment goes into effect, right now! No matter what, the day after tomorrow shall be completely empty! Prepare every dress, shoe, hat, made so far to go into the design book!”
At Antoine’s instructions, her assistants began to move frantically. It was likely that from today till tomorrow night, light wouldn’t go out in Antoine’s boutique.
* * *
The carriage arrived the jewelry store recommended by Antoine. The manager of the jewelry was a close partner of Antoine’s. Being fully thorough, Antoine had placed someone next to the coachman to guide the path of the carriage.
Sepia Jewelry had already gotten news ahead of time, chased away their few curious customers and closed the door of their shop, preparing to welcome only one customer. When the carriage arrived, someone was already waiting to receive the Duke with the highest etiquette.
Hugo browsed through the display of necklaces and bracelets, pointing to a couple items as he looked.
The items in Sepia Jewelry were high-class and cost up to five figures in the capital but in the eyes of Hugo who had seen all sorts of jewelry, they weren’t much. In his mind, it couldn’t be helped that the quality was low since he was buying them in a hurry.
Who knew whether he was really buying, or just window-shopping for he simply glanced at the items brought out, and pointed to something else again.
But no one seemed uncomfortable. Even if they were not told by Antoine in advance, it was common sense in the industry that when a big-shot of this level visited, the income from the visit was not small at all.
Several employees followed Hugo closely, moving as swiftly as possible and at some point, the presenting table was filled with jewelry.
“Let’s go with this.”
“Which one do you mean exactly…?”
The general manager rubbed his hands, lowering himself subserviently. The items presented to the Duke were all high-priced articles so, selling even one or two was a big hit.
“All of it.”
“Do…D-Do you mean everything?”
“Isn’t it for sale?”
“No! No, I mean, you’re right! We will have it ready immediately!”
The general manager trembled with delight. When he thought of the commission from the sale today, he felt like bursting into laughter.
“How long will it take?”
“A…A little wait…it will be out soon.”
Hugo picked up a clear yellow teardrop-shaped sapphire necklace from the table(1). It resembles the color of her eyes.
“Pack this up now and deliver the rest.”
“If it is not urgent, may we deliver at daybreak tomorrow? These are high-quality items so we wish to guarantee their safety.”
After almost emptying a jewelry shop, Hugo finally went home.
1. Think straw colored.
*So I was of the (limited)understanding that sapphire necklaces are blue so I was stumped on this part of the story for almost 10 minutes till I googled it lol.
*So, I remembered I still owe you guys 9 bonus releases. Therefore: Coming soon to a center near you~
[I made a joke about dropping the novel hence the comments…lol]