“I will sell myself to you.”
At Adele’s words, the man raised a brow, making her realize what she had just said.
‘Oh my God.
What did I just say?’
Adele’s face turned pale.
‘Bang your forehead on the ground and pray he doesn’t misunderstand you, Adele Vivi!’
However, contrary to her inner thoughts, she calmly uttered the following words:
“Let me take on the role you just mentioned.
Please use me and I’ll become the noblest lady in Santnar.”
Sweat dripped from her palms, dampening the polishing cloth in her hand.
That’s how desperate she was.
But, the question is whether that earnestness had reached the man before her.
The man had dark blue hair that resembled the sea at night, which perfectly accentuated his distinct features like he was the product of a talented painter.
The man stared at Adele and quietly took out a cigar.
Tendrils of smoke quickly rose, creating a relaxing ambience, and soon Adele was surrounded by the scent of almonds and dark chocolate.
‘Did you not hear me?’
Adele opened her mouth to speak again, but stopped when her eyes met with his golden gaze beyond the smoke.
The man’s eyes were frighteningly cold.
For a moment, Adele forgot to breathe.
His eyes were refreshingly golden, like the midsummer sun.
However, the warm color was not enough to mask his coldness.
Instead, his eyes only seemed to hold the dignity of the sun while discarding all of the warmest parts.
Those were the types of eyes he had.
‘He is a man, who has received the greatest love from fate and God.’
These were the words the nobles used to describe ‘Cesare Buonaparte’, and Adele accepted it at once.
A man who had already become a Priori of the Signoria at an early age.
His father was of the great noble Buonaparte bloodline, and his mother was a member of the Orquenina royal family from across the sea.
Based on his lineage alone, no one in Santnar could compete, but fate and God had also blessed him with a splendid appearance.
A man that every lady in Santnar aspires to and the envy of every gentleman.
Adele realized much too late how ridiculous she had been.
The cloth, dirty with shoe polish, was damp with a cold sweat.
But, even if she could turn back time, Adele would have made the same choice.
“I need a woman.”
“A woman that can be used to deceive the Della Valles by posing as a Buonaparte.”
The moment she heard the words he said to his companion, Adele realized it was her last chance, an opportunity granted by the Sea Goddess.
That’s how dire her situation was.
“Adele, you’re a girl, aren’t you?”
Old Nino’s grumpy voice still resonated in her ears.
Nino was the old man in charge of the street shoe polishers in the Fornatier.
Anyone who polished shoes in the vicinity had to answer to him.
“You had been deceiving me all along, you rotten wench.
You’re stupid, aren’t you?”
“You better watch out.
I’m not the type of person to go easy on women.
If you can’t afford to pay the protection fee, you better be prepared for what comes next.”
His perverted gaze glanced over her chest as he spoke.
In the end, she was caught.
‘While I may not be a man, I’m no fool.’
Everyone knew that old man Nino was in contact with a pimp in the back alley of Kimora, a slum.
Adele could easily imagine her future after being dragged into the back alley.
It all could be avoided if she paid her protection fees, but from that day onward the other shoe polishers took all her customers, leaving her with no work as if they had been instructed to.
She barely survived the last few days on a piece of black barley bread.
She couldn’t even eat today because the protection fee was due the following day and she still hasn’t gathered enough money.
So, when Adele was brought to polish Buonaparte’s shoes in San Salina Square, she thanked the goddess of the sea from the bottom of her heart.
And when she realized that the Goddess wasn’t just blessing her with a few gold coins, her heart began to race.
“Are you serious? You’re really going to cheat the Della Valle family?”
“I am already looking for a
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