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Isaac and Louis came running only after the situation had settled.
Louis recognized Count Ruben, who had foamed at the mouth and collapsed.
“What? This guy was behind this?”
“Do you know him?”
“I told you before that the day Clara debuted, there was a guy who bullied Ciel and I beat him up.”
He didn’t exactly beat him, but it was a blow to a vital spot.
“Did you bully Ciel?”
The scary thing about Isaac was that he held a long grudge. Even more so if it was related to me.
“You’re… my enemy… Louis Valentine…!”
“It is said that he is one step away from being kicked out by his wife after becoming a eunuch. You need money, so now you’ve even put your hands on something like this?”
Our Louis had a relationship with the information guild, so there was nothing he didn’t know.
Ruben’s face heated up when his disgrace was revealed to the world.
“Hey, you get rid of this bastard… Ugh!”
“What a good job you do at screaming!”
Isaac grabbed Count Ruben by the collar and dragged him out of the building.
We needed to investigate the mastermind, so I hope he keeps him alive.
After some tidying up, I grabbed Alex’s hand and headed to the backyard.
QC/N: I’m loving how she just casually grabs his hand
The backyard was full of the dark pink flowers that had disappeared from the last mansion.
It was dizzying to think that, if we were even a few days late, these flowers might have become drugs and spread throughout the capital.
“Is this all?”
“Probably. When I saw it last time it was about this much.”
Oil was poured over the flowers to prevent them from blooming any longer.
“Mr. Heinz said it was a difficult seedling to grow, so he said he needed my help and brought all the supplies he had.”
With the testimony of Clara, Count Ruben and his crew were safely arrested.
To be honest, I couldn’t help but think that Marquis Romford and Queen Lotte were behind Count Ruben, but there was no clear evidence.
Even the man who moved with Count Ruben, and received the address from me, seemed to have known that this was drug-related, but the men from the countryside who tried to feed me green soup were taken by the soldiers while crying that they didn’t know anything.
“We really didn’t know.”
“You’re noisy, you bastards.”
Somehow I felt pity for them.
They didn’t even know that the first thing they were doing when they came up from the countryside was committing a crime.
Even though I tried to force myself to eat the tasteless green soup, I didn’t think they were bad people, so I gently grabbed Alex’s sleeve.
“Your Highness, can you please listen to my request?”
When asked to listen, Alex deliberately lowered his gaze and listened to my story.
He might laugh at me, but I told him what happened honestly.
“That’s what happened.”
“It’s not like they’re bad people.”
“I’m jealous of hearing your song that I haven’t even heard before.”
Alex smiled and patted my head.
A few days later, it was revealed that the men really didn’t know anything, and they were released unharmed.
I asked Theo to hire the men, who suddenly lost their jobs, as janitors of the glass garden.
Well, it was only a little later that the men, who found out who we were, became stunned.
* * *
At the same time, Stan sat cross-legged and received the report.
“So, where did the Crown Prince go today?”
“Well, I mean, the Duke of Valentine…”
Before he could finish speaking, Stan’s foot slapped the servant’s cheek. Stan looked down at the servant who had fallen to the floor and trampled his hand.
“Ugh, ah ah ah ah ah!”
“I should have said it clearly. If something like that happens, you must let me know in advance.”
“Please, please, spare my life, Your Highness.”
“Useless bastard. Take him away.”
“Your Highness, Your Highness! Please give me one more chance!”
Stan ground his teeth towards the Crown Prince’s Palace in the distance, ignoring the screams that were getting further away.
He couldn’t even remember his childhood anymore, but he remembered the moment he met Ciel as clearly as then.
Small hands, green eyes, shiny blonde hair, and pale pink lips. He fell in love the first time he saw that adorable doll-like baby walking around. But the only time he could be with Ciel was when the Duchess stopped by the Imperial Palace.
– Can’t you sleep over tonight?
No matter how hard he tried, it was of no use. He wanted to be with her a little longer, but Ciel never looked back every time and returned to the Duchess’ arms.
He made every effort to get Ciel’s attention, but the more he did, the more Ciel hated Stan.
Stan, who had to have what he wanted to be happy, didn’t know that his actions were wrong.
– Put it down and play with me.
– I hate you. I’m not going to play with Stan anymore.
Ciel pushed Stan away as he forcibly pulled her cheek. Recalling the words of the servant girl, who said that when women said they didn’t like it, it meant they liked it, Stan tried to force Ciel to kiss him.
QC/N: This is so not true. Consent is important
But the servant’s words were wrong. At Stan’s sudden action, Ciel screamed and burst into tears.
‘Why are you rejecting my love?’
Stan was furious and slapped Ciel on the cheek as hard as he could.
The Duchess who heard the scream, ran and took Ciel. The children’s fight quickly turned into an adult fight, and Queen Lotte naturally sided with her son, Stan.
– It can be like that when kids play with each other.
– What are you saying right now?
Stan trembled with terror before the angry Duchess of Valentine.
The ‘rejection’ he experienced for the first time in his life was really painful. He cried because he was afraid and sad that Ciel would look at him with the same eyes as the Duchess after becoming an adult.
In order to appease him, who could not stop crying, his mother’s close associate, Morrigan, taught him the right way.
– If you welcome Miss Ciel as your bride, Your Majesty will have a monopoly over her forever.
Stan, who was relatively clever from an early age, could understand her words at once. Marriage was the most effective means of restraining the other; his mother was like that. Love was meaningless.
The father of Stan, the first Archduke Winterbaum, who killed the dragon and was called the mercenary king, was killed by the dragon’s curse before Stan was even born.
In the womb of the noble Queen Lotte, who had married a man she had never seen, there was a son with a clear ancestry from her husband.
After Stan was born, the Winterbaum estate was officially turned over to the Imperial Family. Queen Lotte, who brought enormous wealth as a member of the imperial family, said it like a mantra.
Marriage was just a means. It didn’t matter whether there was love between the two of them or not, so Ciel’s will was not that important to Stan either.
– I want to marry Ciel.
Queen Lotte burst into laughter at the words of Stan, who was so young that he did not even know the meaning of marriage.
– It’s not bad to have the Valentine’s behind your back. Their status is decent enough.
Queen Lotte also agreed, saying that she was not a bad choice for her son’s bride. And after a while, Queen Lotte directly brought up the marriage idea, but Valentine strongly rejected it.
A few years later, with the excuse that he was still young, Alex was suddenly appointed as the Crown Prince, and the atmosphere changed.
The Duke of Valentine began to support Alex. Queen Lotte sent many assassins after Alex, who went to the battlefield, but Duke Valentine even went out on his own to protect the Prince.
It was possible that it was the influence of the Emperor. After all, the Emperor and the Valentines are close friends. In addition, Alex said he was also close to Clara, Valentine’s adopted daughter and Ciel’s older sister.
– Since he’s someone from a vulgar background, he has a bizarre taste
Even Stan once misunderstood that Alex liked the older sister, and he was very happy.
But it was his mistake. Shortly after Alex returned victorious from the war, the Emperor summoned Stan and gave a stern warning; don’t go after Ciel.
The one the Crown Prince loved was not the older sister, but her younger sibling, Ciel.
The reason seemed obvious. It must have been a scheme to bring the Valentine family to their side.
Not knowing that, Ciel followed Alex sincerely. She was going to abandon her childhood friend and go to the Crown Prince.
At Ciel’s changed attitude, a sense of betrayal flooded in.
“Why did you choose Alex?”
Ciel, who had completely forgotten him as a childhood friend, linked arms with Alex as if it was only natural.
It was said that Ciel, who grew up under the overprotection of her father and brothers, rarely even went out of the house. Besides, she followed the adopted daughter who grew up with her so much that she had no relationship with a man.
‘Was the reason for establishing a friendship with the adoptive daughter to, eventually, win Ciel’s favor?’
If it was the sly Alex, that was enough. It was clear that he was trying to use the naive and weak Ciel to protect his position as Crown Prince.
Stan wanted to punish anyone who interfered with his love with such an impure intention, but now, even Queen Lotte couldn’t help him. It was not easy to even follow Alex because he had grown in power.
“How the hell did you do that!”
A loud shout was heard from his mother’s salon. The nobles, who were called the inner circle of the Empire, were busy waiting and glancing at the Queen.
“It is said that the adopted daughter of the Duke of Valentine intervened in this matter.”
It was clear that his mother had plotted something, but it seemed that the older sister, who Ciel liked and followed, was involved.
“So, they didn’t find out if it was us, did they?”
“Is there any possibility? It seems that we can’t act casually because it’s related to the Valentine’s Duchy.”
If this matter is made public, then it will be difficult for the other side as well.
“Both of you are preparing to enter the Palace. Look into it.”
His mother didn’t know that Alex had a crush on Ciel yet, and Stan sighed deeply as they discussed what would happen in the future.
“There’s still a chance.”
However, there was no way because they rarely met. If they left it like that, Ciel might fall into Alex’s schemes and enter the Crown Prince’s Palace.
‘What would Alex do if he stayed with Ciel?’
Stan, who was entering puberty, face exploded into a blush at his unspeakable imagination and said.
“That bastard, I’m sure he won’t leave Ciel alone.”
It would be really nice to be in the same Imperial Palace, but things would be different if she was with Alex. As long as the Emperor had accepted it, Alex could be considering marrying Ciel.
Stan stared at the Crown Prince’s Palace with resentment.
It had to be stopped somehow, but there was no clear way at the moment.
 What Alex means by her singing a song is that she’s repeatedly saying they’re innocent
 As in “it makes sense that he would do something like that”
 The phrase here 여부가 있겠습니까 is a very formal way of saying “Sure/You are absolutely right”. In this context it would sound weird and that’s because (from what I have learnt) if someone says something like “You didn’t tell anyone, did you?” in English you would say “No, I didn’t” but in Korean, it would be “Yes, I didn’t tell anyone”