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Chapter 28 Act 4: Good relationships, bad relationships

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Author: Starving Wind Original Source: Joara Word Count: 5231 characters
Translator: Anonymouss English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 3184 words
Editor(s): Silva

It was around the time for it to become dark. From within the garage of the mansion came out two supercars. One of them was my Ferrari Enzo, which felt like it would be my daily driving car, while the other was the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera1, which was brought over and being driven by Katalina.

The colours I see applied for Lamborghinis were usually yellow, but the milky colours that hers had didn’t look bad‌. Even though I had an Enzo myself, I was tempted to get one like that too. I grabbed my handle, tutting to myself, thinking humans really have limitless greed. Thanks to its classification as a sports car, the two-seater Enzo reached 380kmph at top speed. It’s way too much of an overkill if you consider that you can only go up to 60kmph2 inside the city, and even highways don’t let it go at top speed3.

But there aren’t many people that would buy a sports car solely for their top speed.

Because of the butler’s constant begging for me to bring along the security, I had to give in and allow 4 teams of security placed alongside just to get permission to go out. Since Katalina was also coming along with me, it meant that he would have suggested at least 8 teams of security personnel to come along with us, so I had to negotiate hard just to bring it down to 4.

Because of all the preparations that the security personnel had to make, Katalina and I waited for them in front of the entrance. With the Enzo and Lamborghini parked side by side, we looked at each other.

“Ellie, will you be okay? It seems like you’re going to be driving for the first time since you had lost your memory. Do you still remember all the signs and what they mean? I’m still worried though. How about you ride in the same car as me?”

Katalina asked with a slightly worried look on her face. Of course, logically Katalina was making sense here. But I had a proper driving license and 3 years of driving experience in the past4. I also couldn’t swallow my pride and sit on the passenger seat as a woman drives either5.

Although the situation has now definitely changed, I still proudly have the mind of a man who had lived for 30 years in South Korea. People may think I am being way too prideful in not wanting to sit as the passenger, but I still won’t change my mind. Why? It’s because everyone has their own philosophy that they live by!

Not long afterwards, several Audi vehicles drove out from the garage and drove behind us, and an ‘OK’ sign was given out from the front entrance. Katalina and I immediately went to each of our respective cars without even a word.

“Ellie, you don’t know the directions anyway, so ‌follow right behind me the whole time, okay?”

Katalina rolled down her windows and said to me, as if she was still worried. I also rolled down my windows.

“I have navigation installed, so why should I care about directions?”
“Oh~? You know how to use that thing?”
“Of course!”
“All right, then. Just make sure to be safe.”

Seeing that her persuasion didn’t work on me, she shook her head and started driving forward. I also started driving forward right behind her, eager to be ahead.

Two supercars roared as they drove down a dark and quiet road. As the mansion wasn’t located right in the city, the roads were mostly empty. Because it was a rich neighborhood, the cars that were on the streets were expensive and luxurious, but they all moved aside to give way for us, perhaps due to them being surprised by the number of cars following behind us, or that they are being considerate.

Even though we weren’t even driving that fast, the wind still felt very cold against my skin, so I closed the window. As I was just ‌driving my car forward, I felt a little bored, so I turned on the car radio.

Tunes of modern pop songs rang out, which had much higher sound quality than the speakers of the average car. Just as I thought, the high price really brings high quality all around.

Ring ring.

My phone started ringing. The caller was, of course, Katalina. I accepted the call by using the voice activation feature of the phone so I won’t need to use my two hands to take it.

“What is it?”

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  • Ah, yeah. I decided our destination is at Harrods6. Is that okay with you?

As someone who only has basic and trivial knowledge about England, I couldn’t tell what she meant by going to Harrods. But I had the amazing features of searching within the navigation screen of the car, and my phone to look it up. Modern technology is really handy with things like this.

Search.

The Harrods department store was the most famous one among the ones ‌at Brompton Road, which was already famous for having the greatest department stores. Through its long history of 160 years, it didn’t lack in any part in holding the shops of the most luxurious brand shops.

It was so well known for the best luxury brands that millionaires from all over the world often come here just to shop. Its high recognition was thanks to being known as the shops that the royal family of England uses, which helped it stay up to this day.

-Ellie, is it not to your taste? Shall we go somewhere else?

Maybe I was too focused on searching Harrods, Katalina asked in a worried voice as if I was not liking the destination she chose. I came to my senses, realizing that I was way too focused on the search results. Well, considering that I was trying to drive, research, and call all at the same time, I was probably overloading my dual-core brain.

“No, it’s fine.”

-Hehe. I bet you don’t even know what that place is.

“I searched it up, you know…”

-Aha. So that’s why it took you so long to respond. You don’t know the place that well, so for today, I will be the one leading. Okay?

I felt reluctant to say that I still felt confident in being in the lead when Katalina explained it that well.

“Okay.”

-Kay!

We soon arrived in the downtown area, where we were met with severe traffic. It wasn’t like there was a dedicated lane for supercars, and the roads were unexpectedly more terribly laid out than Korea, which further made the traffic situation worse.

‘Will we be able to arrive there by tonight?’

It was enough to make me have that question without being hyperbolic. And during this time, I felt the gazes of other England citizens all turn towards us in interest as the cars lined up tightly together. Well, it is pretty rare to see a Lamborghini and Enzo lined up next to each other unless you were at a car show‌.

It felt like we were going slower than a turtle at this rate. Even though the destination wasn’t far at all, we had to endure an hour long boredom before finally arriving at Harrod department store.

“Wow!”

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Seeing the entire view of the Harrods department store from within the car window, I couldn’t help but admire out loud, even though I was pretty immune to being surprised by now.

My assumption that the building would look similar to the large department stores that were ‌in South Korea was completely shattered when I saw it‌.

With the outer appearance similar to the old National Museum of Korea and lightbulbs decorated all the way across like a Christmas tree, it was a delightful fusion of both modern and medieval styles of buildings.

Seeing an Enzo and Lamborghini stopping in front of the entrance of the department store, several employees who wore green clothing ran towards us.

“Welcome to Harrods, Duchess Elizabeth. I’m Cromwell7, the general manager of this place. Though it is not much to brag about, I had received the knighthood from the queen.8
“Thank you for the grand welcome, Sir Cromwell.”

Though I wasn’t an actual Duchess yet, I was going to be one, so he had addressed me with the title, which I was thankful for as I replied ‌to him with a smile.

Considering that everyone was still very strict about calling others by their title, I was glad that I had studied about the title system by myself in the past.

“Hmph. So because of Elizabeth, I don’t matter, huh?”

Katalina announced her presence, who looked a little annoyed as she came up next to me.

“Lady Katalina. How could we ever ignore you? We were extremely surprised when we heard that the two of you were coming over here without giving us a message ahead. Haha!”
“Are you planning to keep us standing out here in the cold like this?”
“Ahh, my apologies. Please, ‌come in.”

Receiving guidance from the general manager, Katalina and I headed inside the Harrods. The lobby inside did not differ from the usual department stores. But the indoor decorations ‌reminiscent of Egyptian designs made it stand apart from other department stores in terms of designs. With high-quality decorations in every corner and designs for the wall, ceiling and everywhere, it made me think ‌this place might as well be a museum. Inside of the department store, the people walking around were more millionaires and oil barons from the middle east rather than just usual shopping citizens. Among the shoppers were several high-status people who recognized who we were and greeted us as we looked around inside the department store.

Even though we were VIP guests, the department store itself is dedicated already to the rich population only9, so it wasn’t like there was a particular course only for us. I guess the only difference is that the actual general manager of the place is ‌guiding us.

I looked around, getting the feeling that it’s more of a grand tour of the building rather than coming here to shop, as I courteously listened to the stories that the general manager told with great interest on my face. Seeing how I was enjoying all this, the general manager couldn’t help but keep smiling as he continued speaking about the long history and many interesting things that had happened in the last 160 years of Harrods.

“Even amongst the long rich history of the Harrods family, this particular department store has a tragic past to it. It was a building made to commemorate the son of the previous owner of the department, ‘Dodi Fayed’, and Princess Diana.”

Showing us the two photos of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed on the underground floor wall, the general manager explained with a low sombre tone. Since I was definitely part of the royal family, this was definitely closely related to me, but I had mixed feelings since I heard about the controversies that happened around that time‌. However, I ‌felt the pain in my heart remembering their tragic end.

“I’ve heard many times, but there’s no tragedy greater than what happened to them.”

Katalina spoke with pity in her voice instead of me.

“Oh dear, looks like I’ve brought down the mood a bit too much. Since I’ve guided you through all the unique areas of the department store, how about you both enjoy some leisurely shopping now?”
“Of course. Thank you for the escort.”

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Hearing my courteous greeting, the general manager was surprised and couldn’t figure out how to properly reply to me.

“N… Not at all. It’s actually an honour that you found me helpful. Then please, have a great time both of you.”

And after the general manager had left…

“Giggle…”

Katalina had both her hands in her mouth, trying to stifle her giggles as her shoulders bounced up and down, which she may have had repressed until now because of being in front of the general manager.

I wasn’t sure what was so funny, as I stared at her with wide-open eyes and waited until she calmed down.

“Ah. Ellie, you really lost your memory, didn’t you? Pfft.”

Did I make a mistake or something?

“Why are you making that face as if you still don’t understand? I mean come on, you’re not only a high-status nobility, but someone that will receive dukedom‌, yet you lowered your head and bowed to greet someone who’s a knight. You were so different from how you acted in the past that I forgot to correct you and had to laugh instead.”

Katalina ended up laughing so much that she had to wipe away tears from her eyes with a handkerchief as she spoke.

“Hmph, so what if I acted differently in the past? I don’t understand why you’re laughing so much just for a greeting.”

I was ‌confused by Katalina’s reaction just for something so trivial.

“Just for a greeting? Hehe… Ah, I should stop here. My little Ellie will get angry again.”

Now she’s treating me like a child.

But what can I do? I have no way to figure out how the previous owner of this body had acted in the past. It’s a major pain for me‌.

And so, after Katalina had calmed down completely, we wandered around the department store once more. There were many types of stores, but the place was most famous for its food and delicacies, so most of the places we looked into were stores that sold unique food. As expected of the Englishmen who were famous for having sweet desserts along with tea, I saw many and colourful wide selections of chocolates, marshmallows and jellies all around.

The only famous chocolate brand I knew was perhaps ‘Ferrero Rocher’10, but even a brand of chocolate was selling many different products than what I saw in Korea.

Even though I am not particularly into sweet things, Katalina happily bought several different teas and chocolates. Naturally, the shopping bag filled with the bought products were given over to the bodyguards, which made me feel ‌sorry for them since their roles as bodyguards had changed to being just a baggage holder for us.

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On the side of electronic goods, it was interesting to me that there were quite a lot of products from the Samsung and LG brands. I did once hear that their TV and the products related to them were selling well abroad, but now I saw just how much that was true with my own eyes. It made me believe that one must always try to see things with their own eyes to see the scale.

And for the climax of our shopping spree, it was, of course, the clothing and shoes. It isn’t even an exaggeration to say that the majority of the shoppers spent most of their money on clothing and shoes. As Katalina happily bounced around looking over many brands, I could only just quietly click my tongue in annoyance as I followed her. Soon, all of the bodyguards were now holding many heavy shopping bags before Katalina finally finished shopping for her own clothes, then she turned to me and started picking out stuff for me.

“Ellie, how about this one?”
“Ellie, this will look so great on you.”
“This one is so beautiful!”

Like a mannequin placed at a show window of a shop, I kept changing into many different clothes. Of course, even though there were some clothing that I didn’t wish to wear at all, she half-forced me to strip off and wear them, though it was still less stressful than the shocks I repeatedly received from looking at the price tags put on the dozen of clothing that were bought to me.

I could barely stop her from trying to pay for it and had to repeatedly swipe my credit card, which was limitless in the amount I could spend. The only solace I could find was that I was only swiping a card to pay for them instead of paying with actual cash.

“Thank you very much, Grace Elizabeth.”

I wasn’t sure whether it’s just her customer service smile or because we had spent an exorbitant amount of money, but the female employee gave a bright smile to us as she gave me back the credit card after finishing the payment.

I was also practically out of my mind at that point, but I had to give a similar service smile back to her as I took the card back.

But finally, all the shopping that needed to be done was over, and the thought of finally being able to rest my weary legs helped me barely have the energy to head towards the escalators, but Katalina stopped me halfway.

“Since we came all the way here, let’s go see some jewellery before we go, please?”
“S… Sure.11

Even though I wanted to decline, seeing her eyes flare up as if telling me ‘you cannot say no’ made me realize that I’ll eventually have to give up persuading her, so I thought it would be better to give up and save face than to fight against her.

And so, Katalina and I went to the jewellery stores again. I thought I could even hear a sigh coming from the bodyguards behind us12.

But as expected of professionals, their expressions didn’t look tired at all.

On the other hand, my expression would probably look like a cow being brought to be butchered at the slaughterhouse. This was why I didn’t want to go to the shopping department!

I despaired inside, but there was no one that could understand my cries.

“Welcome!”

The staff inside of the department all gave a grand welcome as if the rumours of our arrival had spread throughout the entire building. It didn’t matter to Katalina whether she greeted them back, but as a proper lady, I had to practice proper etiquette of greeting each of them back with a small greeting. Seeing me greet her back, one of the staff cast an unusual look back at me.

Ah, of course, she was a female staff. Not only that, she was an absolute beauty matching the qualities that the jewels inside of the store and…

“Huh?!”
“Oh!”

At that moment, voices of surprise rang out at the same time, both of which belonged to a woman.

I turned towards the source of the sound, wondering what had happened. There were two people pointing at each other with a surprised look. One of them was Katalina, and the other was a woman that I was seeing for the first time. However, her taste in attire and beauty was close to being on a similar level to Katalina.

Seeing both of them slowly lose their surprised expression and turn into one of annoyance as I looked back and forth between the two women, I could easily tell that the relationship between the two wasn’t good at all13.



References

  1. Robinxen: This name makes me laugh
  2. Robinxen: That’s actually a little fast for most city roads which cap out at 48
  3. Robinxen: Motorways have a limit of 113 for the record
  4. Robinxen: In a totally different country!!!
  5. Robinxen: Woah sexist much
  6. Robinxen: Jesus they’re not screwing around, that’s like the biggest name out there
  7. Robinxen: …
  8. Robinxen: Oliver is rolling in his grave. Oh wait sorry. Lord Protector I should say.
  9. Robinxen: That’s not technically true, it’s just as much of a tourist destination these days as it is a high class establishment. Of course they make sure to keep the tourist half from interfering otherwise it’d lose its primary function and if nobody rich shopped their anymore then it’d lose tourist value also. It’s a delicate blanacing act indeed.
  10. Robinxen: This is famous…? Sure they’re a little more expensive than other chocolate but I wouldn’t say they’re really luxury….are they?
  11. Silva: Ah… the horror of shopping with girls. Good thing my sisters aren’t that fond of shopping either.
    Robinxen: I have mixed experiences with this one, back in my day where I attended a girls school for two years I got to know many a female. My best friend is a bit of a mixed bag with shopping but she prefers to focus on efficiency since she doesn’t like wasting time, but she does enjoy stopping to look at things. You sort of know what to expect with her. My mum on the other hand….oh booooy……what is supposed to be a routine shopping trip turns into half a day of picking up items.
  12. Silva: Ganbatte, Fight-o, bodyguard!
  13. Robinxen: The same person from the guild?

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