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“Originally, it was such a precious item that even that price would not be enough, but since the Lady wants it, I have no choice.”
“Are you selling it?”
“I hope your most precious person is happy.”
Even though I was about the same age as his granddaughter, the store owner must have thought I was cute because he put a beautifully wrapped gift in my hand.
“Thank you, grandfather.”
I remembered my grandfather on the estate, and I kissed his cheek with gratitude. This is a common greeting in the empire.
My grandfather smiled happily at my unexpected reward and even shook my hand, saying goodbye.
“Are you going to give it to your brother as a gift?”
Since Isaac was used to holding a sword, it seemed like he thought it was a gift for him. I should take this opportunity to make it clear. I know Stan likes me, but I can’t let him get his hopes up any longer.
“No. For Your Highness Alex.”
For some reason, he said he would help. Stan had a very upset face and kept looking at the gloves in my hands. I thought it would happen if he went back and got a refund, so I just played it off and hid it in my bag.
“Where do we go now?”
“There’s a store I’ve been looking at. Let’s go there.”
Stan put aside his disappointment and escorted me. Stan seemed to know how to deal with Lady better than Alex, who was still very clumsy.
“So, what do you mean? Is there anyone you like as a partner for Clara?”
Uh. There is, but it’s a bit awkward to tell you. The fact that Theo likes my older sister is a secret that only those in the know know. If the rumour got out for no reason, it would be easy to get caught up in a strange scandal, so I deliberately played it off.
“No. Not yet.”
What. Did she actually like Clara, not me? Stan was embarrassed by my suspicious eyes, shook his hands, and made excuses.
“No, Ciel. You’re the only one for me.”
I looked out the window with my spoon in my mouth. Now that my sister’s problem seems to have been resolved, the time has come to seriously think about my future.
If I make my debut in the social world in the future, I will be flooded with suitors. Looking at the situation now that Princess Lotte has taken a step back, it seems unlikely that her position will be shaken even if I do not maintain a fake romantic relationship with Alex.
But I can’t choose Stan. No matter how disappointed he was, that boy is Princess Lotte’s son. If I even hold Stan’s hand, Princess Lotte might raise her head again and threaten Alex.
Even though they only stopped for a moment to look at the situation, they still have a lot of power.
“Would you like to have some more sugar?”
“Yes. Thank you.”
It’s very comfortable to have Stan next to me who takes care of everything from one to ten. I remembered a story that my mother told me about Clara holding my sister’s hand tightly during my last summer vacation.
It’s important to like what you like, but you also need to find someone who loves you as much as you love yourself.
When I look at what my father says to my mother, it seems like he has a point, but finding someone like that is harder than looking for a star in the sky.
“Why do you like me, Stan?”
Stan must have been taken aback by my sudden question, so he hurriedly put down the teacup in his hand.
“Can we meet like this again next time? Until then, I’ll think about my answer.”
I was speechless at Stan’s natural speaking skills. Stan read my troubled expression and quickly changed the topic to another one.
“Shall we leave soon?”
“Yes. I’m full, so I’d like to go for a walk.”
Stan deftly handed over the tip and stood next to me, holding out my hand. I don’t know much else, but if I’m with Stan, I think I can at least live with this kind of treatment for the rest of my life.
I wasn’t sure about Stan, so it was hard for me to accept him.
When I walked out of the restaurant after eating, Alex was standing there.
“The jewelry store owner contacted me. You came to the store.”
Alex told Stan to congratulate him without giving him a chance to say something awkward.
“It was a lot of trouble escorting Ciel. It’s late, so you can leave now.”
Even though Stan was in front of him and said it was his turn today, he didn’t look like he was going to give up. But when Ciel turned her head away, he took a step back as if he had no choice.
“Let’s go around here.”
Alex grabbed my hand tight because he was afraid I would get lost.
“Why do you have such rough hands?”
“I used up all of the cream you gave me.”
“You should have told me if that’s the case. Wait a second.”
I searched my bag and took out the cream he was carrying. Then, a gift that was beautifully wrapped fell out of the bag and onto the floor.
Probably not mine. Clumsy expectations only lead to disappointment, so Alex handed the dropped envelope back to Ciel with regret.
“It looks like you bought a present for your family.”
“No, this is a gift to Your Highness.”
Even after hearing me nod cheerfully, Alex couldn’t hide his doubts.
“You didn’t buy it to give it to Sir Isaac?”
There is a great truth throughout all times and times, and that is that there is no one who hates gifts. As soon as those words were out, Alex put on his gloves.
“Do you like it?”
I barely breathed a sigh of relief as I saw Alex nodding his head.
I was shocked when I heard that they even bribed Meryl to investigate, but I never dreamed that Alex would come to catch me in person.
Still, Alex must have liked the gift so much that he relaxed his frozen expression and kept looking at his gloved hands.
“Let’s just go in.”
After getting into the carriage, I watched Alex’s excited expression. Does he know what kind of expression he is making right now? Even Alex, who is usually scary, has a cute side to him when you look at him like this.
In that sense, I emphasized it to Alex once more.
“Stan and I are really just childhood friends, nothing more, nothing less.”
So, I was going to use this chance to tell him not to worry too much, but Alex thought for a moment and then asked back.
“And what about me?”
Oh, I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to say when I was asked the question out of the blue, so I took a moment to think about it.
“… I’m sure you are much more precious than His Highness Stan.”
This is all I can say right now. With my vocabulary, I couldn’t think of any answer to get through this situation safely. Fortunately, even though it was a bit vague, Alex showed excellent reading skills and understood it perfectly.
“Can I take this to mean that I am special?”
“Yes. Of course.”
Perhaps because he was overflowing with emotion, Alex quietly sat down next to me and touched my hand. Then he took off his gloves and put his bare hand on my hand.
“I can hardly sleep since you went back.”
Alex shook his head with a worried face and caressed the back of my hand for no reason.
“It seems like the palace is empty. Everyone is sad without you.”
It seems that everyone has become bored with nothing to do because I, who was enjoying an unemployed life in the Crown Prince’s palace, have disappeared.
“Is it so? I guess I’ll have to go play sometime soon.”
“Will you? Everyone is excited to see you again.”
Hmm. I’m sure my mom will be sad, so I’ll just go out and play. Or it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go to work under the excuse of going to see my sister.
If I drag Theo along with me and say that they can’t let me go alone, I’ll have a perfect alibi.
“Okay, then. I’ll tell my mom.”
“I’ll let her know with you.”
Alex nodded his head and suddenly walked towards me. When he looked at me with a very serious face, I naturally closed my eyes. For a moment, I felt a warm breath.
You’re not going to kiss me like this, are you? Does he really like me? As I was thinking about that, Alex’s hand touched the corner of my eye.
“There’s something on your eyelashes.”
I shouldn’t have liked it. No, it’s not this. What did I think.
When I saw Alex, who was just around the corner, my heart stopped.
As his wet lips got closer to my nose, unhealthy thoughts kept stirring in me. Honestly, I’m also curious about what kissing feels like. But it hurts my pride to attack him first.
As I watched Alex’s lips move further and further away, I couldn’t help but swallow a sigh of regret.
“Why are you doing that?”
Unlike me, who was nervous, Alex, who was calm, became cheeky. It’s against the rules to shake people’s hearts like this. Feeling pouty for no reason, I clenched my fist and punched Alex in the chest with all my might.
“Why are you doing that?”
Alex’s chest was harder than I thought, so my hand ended up hurting. Alex was confused and asked how I was doing, perhaps because it wasn’t itchy at all.
I swallowed his embarrassment and looked out the window to see that we had almost arrived at the mansion. The jewelry and clothes would have all been delivered by now, so I gladly wrapped my arms around Alex.
“While you’re here, please have dinner before leaving.”
“Is that okay?”
There was no news since I followed Stan, so Meryl couldn’t wait for me to come and came out to meet me at the entrance of the mansion. She stopped the carriage a little distance away and with Alex escorting me, I got out of the carriage.
“Meryl, I’m here.”
“Miss! Heok, Your Highness!”
Our Meryl, who had gritted her teeth the last time when Alex had pushed into her money bag and told her to betray the girl, asking if she would fall for just a few pennies, looked embarrassed when Alex walked in with me.
“Your Highness came to meet me. I spoke to Stan well, too.”
“I see. That’s not the problem now, miss.”
Seeing the fuss, it seemed that the jewellery arrived much earlier than scheduled.
“Why are you making such a fuss?”
“It’s important. A marriage proposal has been sent to Miss Clara.”
I heard there were a lot of people in front of the mansion today. Of course, my sister’s stock price has reached its highest level now, but how on earth would such a big guy dare to come to my house and propose to my sister?
Level 1 alert, DEFCON 5, emergency I hurried into the mansion with Alex.