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It was already quite late after all that talk.
After confirming that Louis had decided to stay home, Alex began preparing to return.
“Your Highness, hold on.”
It bothered me to just let him go. I took Alex by his hand and brought him to my room.
My cute room, decorated in light pink and white, always smelled good. I rummaged through one of the drawers and found the lavender-scented hand cream my sister had made for me.
“Take this one and use it.”
When I opened the round lid, the scent of lavender spread out. I scooped the white cream with my finger and put it on his palm.
Now he can spread it on his own, but he continued looking at me without moving.
“What do we do now?”
“This is how you do it.”
He’s not even a child, but I spread it thoroughly from the back of his hand to his fingers.
Before we knew it, our hands smelled of the same lavender.
“It’s moist, isn’t it? Sister made it for me.”
“Can you really give me something so precious?”
“Your hand is more of a problem right now.”
The hand holding the sword is bound to get rough, but if he doesn’t take care of his hands like this, they’ll be so pitiful.
He clasped my hand cream and gently put his hand on my head. A subtle lavender scent rose from Alex’s hand.
“I am always indebted to you.”
“I really appreciate what happened today.”
“I just did what I had to do. Excuse me.”
If you’re going to give Sister a present, it’d be better to give it to her yourself. Seeing that he’s here just to deliver the seedlings, the two seem to be pure friends.
“Think about my proposal carefully.”
The original is just the original, and since the other side has started moving, it might be safe for me to enter the Imperial Palace with my sister. So Alex left me to think over the difficult problem and went back to the Imperial Palace.
6. Misunderstandings lead to more misunderstandings.
Early in the evening, Theo came back. I grabbed Louis and went to meet big brother Theo.
“You idiot, if you promise to be nice to me and betray me later, I’ll really die.”
“What a jerk, so where the hell did you go, leaving me alone?”
“It’s… it’s nothing for you to know.”
I already know where you went. Even before taking the grade test, Louis was making pocket money in earnest by walking around the back alleys and making contact with an information guild.
Louis, who had got an A, had nothing to fear and was a rebel, a rare find even in the Valentine’s family. Still, he agreed to protect his privacy as he would take care of himself as much as he can.
“How’s everything today?”
“Brother, the thing is.”
Louis and I kept trying to pass the responsibility onto each other. Louis, who lost only after playing rock-paper-scissors, explained the situation.
While he was out playing for a while, a guest came and not only harassed Mrs. Lisbon, but tried to do something to me as well.
He explained it well, but he didn’t say who the guest was.
“So, who was the guest that treated Mrs. Lisbon that way?”
“Well, I mean.”
“Come to think of it, there was a man who said he saw the Crown Prince near our mansion today.”
That’s how he found out. I want to hide it from my parents somehow, but I have to tell Theo everything.
I cried and told the whole truth.
“So you left Ciel alone with Archduke Stan?”
“How could I have known that was going to happen?”
Theo frowned at the irresponsible reply.
“Louis Valentine, who are you?”
I thought we’d both get in trouble, but Theo really only stared at Louis, frowning for the first time in a long time.
His fierce eyes made the brat bow his head down.
Theo is the oldest of our five siblings, no matter what anyone says. Louis doesn’t ever listen to me, but he never ever disobeys Theo.
“I am the Duke of Valentine’s, Christopher Valentine’s, third son, and Ciel’s older brother.”
“Have you already forgotten what our father said?”
“I’m sorry, Brother.”
What did Father say for Louis to admit his mistake so readily? Theo scolded Louis with a serious face.
“Ciel is your little sister and she’s still young. It is the duty of those born in the Valentine family to protect their families.”
“If the Crown Prince had not come, what would have happened to Ciel?”
Although I could have stopped him with magic, if I hurt Stan, then I’m sure Father and my family will be in trouble.
Anyways, he came here knowing I’d be home alone, so it’s straight-up stalking, but if I become a target like this, I don’t have any countermeasures, so the best solution is to have the people around me take care of it.
Big brother, that’s pretty good. Theo, who usually kept his distance from me on purpose, came to me after scolding Louis to tears, perhaps because of the shock of this incident.
“Ciel, it must have been scary.”
It’s not that I’m afraid of Stan, but he’s just a little creepy.
“Well, a little? I was going to use magic, but as you know, I still can’t control my magic that well.”
There were no strong people earlier, so if I did something wrong, half of the house might have been blown away. Theo, who was staring at me, pretending to be calm, hugged me.
“Ciel, you’re still 15 years old, even if your magic skills have improved these days. You still need the family’s protection.”
“Big brother Theo.”
“It’s my fault that this happened while our parents were away. I’m sorry.”
Nothing all that bad happened, but Theo had a guilty look on his face.
After Theo spoke up first, Louis, who had been grumbling up until now, scratched his head as if he was sorry.
“Anyway, the fact that Archduke Stan showed up like that means that there’s a high chance that he will do it again in the future. If we don’t stop him at some point, things might get really messy.”
“That’s right. I heard Father and Empress Lotte’s forces are still in conflict.”
Louis worked hard to explain where he came from and what he had picked up. While Alex was out on the outskirts, Empress Lotte unwittingly conspired to kill him in many ways.
Despite such a terrible situation, Alex tenaciously survived.
“He was just about to wipe out all the enemies and come back, but I think Empress Lotte was trying to pull another stunt. It was Father who stopped it.”
“I heard that the Crown Prince and Clara are close? They say that the two are getting married later.”
The tactless Louis brought up the most unexpected nonsense.
Even though I said that the two were not like that, Theo looked at me with a hardened face for a moment.
On the other hand, Louis who is smart in other respects, is stupid in this aspect. I scrambled to soothe Theo’s mentality so that he wouldn’t collapse.
“They don’t have that kind of relationship.”
“Then why did he bring that seedling earlier?”
Please shut the hell up, you asshole.
“That’s because they’re friends!”
“You don’t know that. How can you do well when you’re not interested in common sense?”
I’m doomed. Our eldest brother, who is bold in everything else but only timid in front of love, fell into a state of panic because of our youngest brother’s words.
How the hell am I supposed to handle this?
If Clara were to become an Imperial Pharmacist at this rate, Theo would be devastated.
Ugh. There’s nothing I can do. Closing my eyes tightly, I decided to sell some really distant old stories.
“Big brother, can I borrow your ear for a second?”
It may be misunderstood, but I have to put out the fire first. I pulled Theo’s ear and whispered the secret so that no bastard would ever hear it.
“His Highness proposed to me.”
I’m not lying. It’s definitely true until the wedding. Even though I whispered with a voice like an ant crawling, Theo understood every single word.
I sighed when I saw his pupils getting bigger. Louis complained about why he was the only one who was left out, but now he couldn’t afford to care about it.
“Is that true?”
“Dad knows this. You know what’s going on here, don’t you?”
Theo is smart. Throw in just one bit of bait and he’ll understand. As expected, Theo returned to his normal state as if his previous state was a lie.
“Oh, what, why am I the only one who doesn’t know?”
“There’s a reason why Louis shouldn’t know. You understand now, don’t you Theo?
“Then that too, that’s what it was all about…that was it.”
Excuse me. I’m talking right now. It seems as if he’s reached the point where my words will no longer be heard, so I just shrugged my shoulders.
Your Grace, I’m sorry. I know it wasn’t on purpose, but I unintentionally sold you out.
“Anyway, I’m pretty sure they’re not in that kind of relationship.”
“Yeah, so you have nothing to worry about.”
“So please talk to me too!”
Theo and I exchanged stealthy glances, leaving the foolish Louis out.
Today the case of Archduke Stan will be brought to an end. Instead, to prevent this from happening again, I decided to stick to either Clara or Louis.
 The Empress’s side
 The word/phrase used here (그게 말이지) is something someone would say if they’re stalling because what they have to say is something they find difficult to say
 It actually used Leviathan there but I changed it to avoid confusion
 Tell a secret