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Lily, in the original novel, always ran into Fabian or the Third Prince when she went to the temple to get a clue about the curse.
Fabian, at that time, was in the temple as he recalled his memories with Celia, and the Third Prince went to see the guild master, who was disguised as a priest.
‘It’s possible that Fabian won’t be there, but it’s also possible that they’ll go out and say they’ll run into me….’
That was the first place Celia went to after getting engaged to Fabian. Celia used to go to the temple two or three times a month to find peace of mind.
Despite the fact that she has recollections of her previous life, she does not wish to go there now.
‘Let’s donate after the banquet.’
If they tried to approach her like Fabian did at the banquet in the original, she would cut them off and reject them.
✦ ✦ ✦
“Princess, you can’t come here anymore.”
Amelia shook her head at Lucy’s words. She still didn’t understand why Lucy had to work here.
The second imperial palace was bursting at the seams with maids and servants, and she had only ten servants in her palace as a princess. Even then, her idleness made it difficult to get proper attention.
“The only one I have is Lucy.”
“Please don’t say that. You have to forget me.”
Lucy realized that she was like shackles on Amelia’s feet. When Phil, the Second Prince, saw that Amelia cared for Lucy, he took her away.
When he was the winner of the hunting contest and requested Lucy as a prize, Emperor Orkan readily agreed. He said the princess was all grown up now, and claimed that she didn’t need a nanny anymore.
Lucy was only six years older than the princess, but she was her nanny. It was because Amelia’s mother liked Lucy and made her the nanny of the princess.
It was also because Amelia’s mother was the Emperor’s powerless concubine.
Since she was a child, Lucy has looked after Amelia as if she were a younger sister. She was the only one who stood by the princess’ side when her mother died of an illness.
Even when she was starving as a result of the emperor’s indifference, she was the one who bought her own food and carried it to her.
‘How can I get Lucy back?’
Amelia knew why Phil had taken Lucy. He was wary of her because she was showing the mysterious power inherited from the imperial family.
The princes dismissed Amelia’s power as insignificant, but the emperor admired her power. He was only disappointed that her power was not strong.
It was a warning in advance in case the emperor might have affection for Amelia.
Because the throne was conferred upon one of those who possess the mysterious powers of the imperial family.
That was the reason why Amelia’s fiancé was not chosen even after coming of age. Because if she were to become emperor, she would have to marry someone deserving of the title.
She was a powerless princess at the time, and no family had proposed marriage to her.
‘I don’t want to be an emperor. I just want to get out of this imperial family with Lucy.’
Amelia knew Phil was abusing Lucy. He didn’t drag her into the bedroom just because she was plain, but he did seem to beat her when he was drunk or in a bad mood.
She only hated herself for not being able to save her even though she said Lucy was precious to her. Amelia spun around, holding the muffin Lucy had given her.
‘I am not a kid. However, you continue to treat me as if I were a child.’
‘….I couldn’t even save Lucy.’
As she started to leave the second imperial palace, tears welled up in her eyes.
✦ ✦ ✦
Ironically, only one-third of the forces needed to succeed in rebellion. The Empire has a large number of nobles, but uniting their hearts together was difficult. Because neither side could gather half of the power, it was divided among the three princes, even with the neutral nobles.
The Second Prince, who was most likely higher because of his position, was resented by the nobles because of his behavior, and the first prince, Michael, who was still on the outside looking in, did not have the mysterious power that was the imperial family’s most distinguishing feature. The Third Prince had a personality problem and was a man of low calibre.
There was also the fifth princess who had not yet married, but she was ignored by the nobles. She was the princess of a commoner concubine who could not even wield proper power.
‘I’m not sure if the Duke of Cardian supports Princess Amelia.’
It was possible if the Duke of Cardian married the princess and made her the emperor. However, it was rumored that the Duke was already married and had fallen in love with his wife.
There was also the issue of the curse of the Duke of Cardian to consider. Even if he would have children with the princess, the people would never accept a cursed crown prince or crown princess.
‘What would His Majesty be thinking? Or, who will the Duke of Cardian side with?’
It was thought that the daughter of the Marquis of Montague, who was once known to have sided with the Second Prince, married the Duke of Cardian to strengthen the support of the Second Prince.
However, after the recent incident with Countess Clayton, that would be no more.
There would be no way to deal with the Second Prince’s face if he had even considered it.
It served as a warning and an example. Do not touch the Duchess of Cardian.
It could also be interpreted as a sign of love for the Duchess.
The nobles’ attention was focused on this banquet because of the Duke of Cardian, who had insisted on being indifferent to society. The Duke of Cardian only usually showed up for the banquet and was the first to leave. He never asked a woman to dance and he never went with a partner.
Because he was cursed.
There were only a few people who could properly hold the gaze of the Duke of Cardian, with the exception of a few strong-willed individuals. The imperial family was an exception, but the majority of the nobles avoided making eye contact with him and fled.
It would have been difficult for him to stay in a banquet hall or party for long with such reactions.
However it was different this time. The Duke of Cardian is married and has a wife. Therefore, everyone expected him to dance at least the first dance.
Naturally, it was anticipated that the arrogant Duke of Cardian would ignore the Duchess and flee by himself.
When the terrifying Duke of Cardian leaves the innocent Duchess alone…. that’s when the real hunting begins.
✦ ✦ ✦
“…..How will you persuade the Duke of Cardian?”
Phil was sweating profusely and averting his gaze in response to the emperor’s question. The Emperor would have been aware of the rumor about Countess Clayton.
Naturally, he assumed it was nothing.
“Ah, yes…..I am still trying.”
He could not say that he didn’t even go see the Duke of Cardian.
When Phil, like the other nobles, saw the Duke of Cardian, he didn’t feel like a monster with blazing eyes. But he was afraid of him.
It was a rare experience for him, who had grown up without fear of the world as a prince.
So he hated the Duke of Cardian and wanted to make him bend his knees at Phil’s feet even more. However, Leonis looked at Phil with contempt from time to time and passed by.
Even after giving Celia away at the Emperor’s command, he tried to take her back out of an inferiority complex. This was because he thought he was the prince and therefore must be a higher being than that monster, but he kept thinking that he was falling short of him.
“There isn’t much time left before the banquet date. You’d better get the job done!”
When Phil flinched in response to the shout, the Emperor beckoned at him with pitiful eyes. It meant to get out. Although he was treated by healers, Phil walked out of the room limping because he was still not fully recovered.
‘It would have been better if Michael had received that power….’
As he walked out of the office, the Emperor stared at Phil’s back.
✦ ✦ ✦
As he walked with the assistance of a servant, even the courtiers who stopped and bowed their heads felt as if they were mocking him. They bowed their heads in surprise when Phil clenched his teeth and stared at them, but, to him, they seemed to be laughing at him.
“…..Phil, have you ever offended His Majesty enough to put up a thorn like that?” 
When he heard an unpleasant voice, he cast an upward glance. Michael was approaching him in the hallway across from him, accompanied by his servant.
It was common to have an escort knight for a prince within the Imperial Palace, but the princes did not have to carry one to show off their manliness.
“What do you want to say?”
Michael chuckled when Phil raised his voice right away. It was a real ridicule, as contrasted to the ones shown on the courtiers’ faces.
“I’m praising you. When the balance of power is shifting, the power of someone like the Duke of Cardian is absolutely necessary, yet you foolishly kick him out willingly.”
If it had been Michael himself, he would have persuaded him to side with him, even if it meant pleasing the Duke of Cardian. He appeared sincere with his wife so if he had used the Marquis of Montague, it would have been possible. Even if the Duke of Cardian was a monster that couldn’t communicate.
“Ha! Are you implying that I, a prince by birth, should bow my head to a monster? Indeed, it is the half-baked idea of someone who did not inherit the imperial family’s power! You have no choice but to make a wish. Pray to the wealthy and to the empress.”
At Phil’s mockery, Michael’s expression was slightly distorted, but that was all. Michael glanced down at Phil’s still uncomfortable legs.
“It’s a shame. Don’t you think His Majesty must have beaten you until you got a stiff personality and a lack of tact?”
Phil felt humiliated that he, the emperor’s son, had been beaten until he was covered in blood by the emperor. He tried to keep that fact hidden, but it was difficult because the evidence was still present in his body.
With pitiful eyes, Michael approached Phil and whispered to him.
“His Majesty must have been dumbfounded too. After all, a fool like you has awakened the power…. That’s why he’s still taking his time without crowning you as the crown prince.”
“This son of a bitch!”
Phil flared up and pushed Michael in the chest. But Michael maintained his composure and tightly held his arm, which he thought was probably injured.
Michael straightened the hem of his clothes as Phil pushed him away while screaming. Phil clenched his teeth as he dusted it off lightly, as if wiping away dirt.
“You can’t even heal your wounds, is that even called a power?”
Michael swept a scornful glance past him and headed for the Emperor’s office. Phil trembled violently as he glared at him.
‘I will definitely not let him go!’
 Putting up a thorn means someone that continually causes problems.