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    The green eyes shone with kindness, making me wonder if I had gotten angry for no reason. Liras was truly an inscrutable person. He straightened up from his crouching position and finished his farewell to Karhan.

    Before leaving, Liras turned around and waved his hand at me. I watched with a sulky expression and reluctantly raised my right wing to bid him farewell. Liras burst into laughter again at the sight and left.

    Karhan said he had to escort him to the mansion’s main gate and also stepped out of the room. I nodded when he told me to wait here obediently.

    Left alone in my room in bird form, I noticed it was quite spacious. It seemed to be a room size comfortable for living as a human, but for the time being, I planned to remain in bird form. Mentally, this form felt more comfortable than being human.

    Waddling on my bird feet, I looked at the mirror hanging on the wall.

    Come to think of it, I… seem to look quite similar to that bird. The image of the bird deeply etched in my memory flashed through my mind. Although it was a bit hazy as it had been several years, I remembered the bird’s appearance quite fondly.

    I slowly approached the mirror from a distance. Flapping my wings, I flew up to the dresser where the mirror was mounted. With a tap, the sound of my talons hitting the dresser echoed. Landing safely, I raised my head and looked at the mirror.

    “Chirp.”

    Similar. No, it could be said to be identical. The overall white body, black eyes and beak, and the wingtips slightly tinted with gray were exactly the same. Blinking my eyes, I observed the bird in the mirror.

    It felt like I had to say it had been a long time. Even though the bird in the mirror wasn’t the one I knew, I wanted to ask why it hadn’t come to see me all this time. I gazed at the mirror with a face full of concern, without a trace of resentment.

    Lost in thought for a long time, I suddenly heard a commotion from outside. Snapping out of my daze, I turned around. Through the slightly open window, I could hear the loud chatter of children.

    “Chirp.”

    Thinking I should go close the door, I flapped my wings vigorously. Flying swiftly towards the window, I landed and saw a familiar navy-blue head of hair. Tilting my head in confusion, I poked my head out through the open gap to take a closer look below. About five or six people with colorful hair were standing there. Judging by their raising voices, the atmosphere didn’t seem very pleasant.

    Based on their loud voices and physiques, they appeared to be teenagers, not yet adults. Each of them had an animal companion by their side. It seems like it’s quite trendy for young aristocratic children, not just adults. Shaking my head, I was about to stick my head further out the window when I heard the sound of the door opening.

    “Cheep?”

    Through the door that opened without any knocking, I saw Karhan. He looked at me sitting on the windowsill and then turned around, saying something. It seemed like there were other people present. He stood there and talked for a while, and then the door swung wide open. Along with Karhan, a few people entered.

    “Chirp chirp!”

    Who are they? I asked, flapping my wings up and down. Karhan approached me, lightly grasped me in one hand, and spoke.

    “Stay still so they can take your measurements.”

    Measurements? I tilted my head in confusion. Karhan placed me on the table, and the people standing behind him slowly approached me. They surrounded me and brought some strange measuring tape, measuring the size of my head and body. They touched me here and there, jotting something down on paper.

    “Cheep.”

    Ah, what the heck. I narrowed my eyes fiercely at the hand slyly fondling my bottom. Raising my wing, I slapped the naughty hand repeatedly. The person who had been touching my bottom glanced at me and then withdrew their hand. Hey, don’t go around touching other people’s bottoms without permission.

    After that, the people around me quickly measured my body and left the room. What’s with the sudden measurements? I looked up at Karhan, having never experienced this even when I was human.

    “They say you need to wear at least a small accessory to attend the social gathering. It’s common to do that much.”

    I’m cool even without it. When I blinked slowly, amusement flickered in Karhan’s silver-gray eyes. He picked me up from the table where I had been sprawled out and stroked my head. Just like cats humming when they feel secure, I also sang a “chirp chirp” song.

    “I don’t want to trouble you, but the higher your position, the more likely you are to be picked on.”

    “Chirp.”

    Ah. Is it similar to being a celebrity? Having to be mindful of people’s eyes no matter what you do. Why do people take interest in every aspect of famous individuals’ lives? They’re not displayed dolls but the same human beings.

    It was a bit unexpected for Karhan, who seemed like he would ignore what others said with his usual expressionless face, to be concerned about it. But seeing him work hard, I tapped his palm with my wing to comfort him. It occurred to me that this might be the reason why Karhan disliked attending social gatherings.

    🐤

    A few days had passed since I became able to transform freely. The day of the social gathering was just around the corner, and I heard that my accessories were completed. Today was the day to try on those accessories. With the determination to pull it off stylishly to live up to Karhan’s expectations, I stood proudly on the table.

    I knew that the rank of a duke was very high, just below the royal family. I had to put in a lot of effort so that Karhan wouldn’t lose face at the social gathering. Moreover, Karhan didn’t really want to go in the first place, but I had persuaded him, so I felt an even greater sense of responsibility for success.

    “Chirp chirp! Cheep cheep!”

    I sang enthusiastically, imagining the social gathering. Although I couldn’t showcase flashy dance moves like an idol singer, I danced my best, taking steps with my short legs and shaking my bottom. Swinging my body in all directions, I felt like I was sweating.

    “Chirp.”

    One, two. One, two. Matching the rhythm, I finished the song of a famous beast-dol idol group while dancing vigorously. Perhaps due to a lack of exercise, I was breathless. Panting, I raised my wing and pretended to wipe the sweat from my forehead.

    Would this level of performance be enough to uphold Karhan’s dignity? My heart was pounding, either because of the intense movements or from imagining the social gathering. As I hopped around on the table, simulating various scenarios in my head, someone knocked on the door.

    “Chirp chirp!”

    Come in!

    As my voice was conveyed, the door slowly opened. One of the people who had measured my body with Karhan entered. In his hand was a large tray. He brought it in reverently and placed it on the table. Approaching it, I saw clothes and accessories in my size displayed.

    “Cheep!”

    I couldn’t help but gasp in admiration. From hats to necklaces, ties, and small tops, various clothes and accessories caught my eye. Each one had vibrant colors and small jewels beautifully adorned, looking very expensive. Seeing my reaction, the person who had arranged the outfits smiled confidently and said,

    “It’s my first time making clothes for such a small bird, but they turned out perfectly. Made with soft and strong fabric, they won’t be uncomfortable to wear and will look great too.”

    He enthusiastically boasted about the clothes he had made. Looking at the arranged outfits, I could see why and nodded in agreement. Karhan carefully examined each item and picked up a black hat. Perhaps because of the color, it looked very neat. When displayed alongside the other items, it didn’t seem extremely small, but placed on Karhan’s hand, it resembled a small eraser from my school days.

    Karhan, who had been inspecting the black hat from various angles, looked down at me and smiled. Then, he lightly placed it on my head as I stretched my neck and looked up at him from the table. The hat, crafted by a skilled artisan, fit my head perfectly, but the brim slightly obstructed my vision. I had to tilt my head up significantly to see Karhan’s face.

    “Chirp?”

    How is it? I spread my wings wide and walked around the table like a model. Karhan, who had been stroking his chin with his index finger and thumb, made a “hmm” sound. Judging by his hesitation to speak, it seemed he didn’t particularly like it.

    Sigh. Letting out a deep sigh, I lifted the hat with my wing and took it off. You’re out!

    After that, I tried on various hats and tops, but surprisingly, nothing stood out as particularly pretty. Trying on about ten outfits, my energy was drained, and I felt exhausted. If I had known I would be changing so many times, I wouldn’t have practiced dancing…

    “Peep…”

    I let out a big sigh. While Karhan was saying something to the flustered tailor, I sat on the table, lost in thought. Then, as if by fate, I noticed something very small left in the corner. Gasp! I took a deep breath.

    It was a very sleek black color, and due to its material, it beautifully glimmered in the direction of the light. Moreover, the golden jewel embedded at the corner as a point of interest caught my fancy.

    “Chirp!”

    I stood up, putting strength into my legs. Waddling and hopping, I opened my beak and firmly grasped it. Bouncing, I approached Karhan, who was engaged in a serious conversation with the tailor.

    “Cheep chirp!”

    I placed the item I had in my mouth on the table and called out to Karhan. Hearing my voice, he stopped talking and looked down at me. Put this on me! Put it on! As I stretched out my head and spoke, Karhan stared at me for a moment and then picked up what I had brought. He examined it from various angles and then bent down to put it on my face.

    Since I was in bird form, my ears didn’t protrude like a human’s, so it didn’t fit properly. However, it was crudely fixed in place by my beak and the small string hanging at the back. Feeling it stay in place without wobbling, I flapped my wings and approached the mirror.

    In the mirror was me, wearing cool sunglasses.

    “Chir… Chirp!”

    I couldn’t help but gasp in admiration at my stylish appearance.

    The sharp black sunglasses, with the sparkling jewel as a point of interest, emphasized the luxurious look. In the mirror, there I stood confidently, as if the sunglasses were a perfect match for me.

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