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The Hero Proposed to Me
The Valentines’ new summer villa was located near Lake Nescal, quite far from the capital.
In order to avoid being noticed by Duke Valentine, Stan purposely followed about half a day behind them.
Setting off at dawn, they had just passed Lake Nescal when they spotted something flying over a ridge.
“What is that?”
It passed by so quickly that they almost thought they had imagined it. His men hadn’t been able to recognize them, but Stan had.
Flying through the air, the brown-haired man and the blonde woman were definitely Ciel’s parents, Duke and Duchess Valentine.
He had boasted of being eagled-eyed while stalking Ciel countless times. Stan instinctively realized that an opportunity had presented itself.
“Your Highness. A call has come in requesting that you return to the capital as soon as possible.”
It seemed that something had happened in the capital.
The report of Marquis Baldr’s death was heard through a magic tool.
The younger brother of Marquis Baldr was set to become the next Marquis Baldr. He had been on bad terms with his older brother, who had died of alcohol consumption, so it wouldn’t really be a problem if Stan didn’t attend the funeral.
“Tell them I can’t go because I’m injured.”
Stan gave an order to his men, then glanced down at his legs. He wanted to get closer to Ciel, but he needed an appropriate excuse to do so.
Despite the risk, there was only one way Stan could think of.
‘Surely she wouldn’t ignore a patient with an injured leg?’
If the Grand Duke came to their villa after injuring his leg while hunting nearby and they kicked him out, then there was a good chance that Princess Lotte would push for marriage, saying that they needed to take responsibility because it was their fault that her son was hurt.
If it really turned out that way, then Stan had nothing to fear. One way or another, Stan had to meet with Ciel and have a proper conversation with her before she formed a special bond with Alex. He swallowed hard and then looked down at his horse.
The sun had already begun setting over the mountains. She wouldn’t just send the injured Grand Duke back at this late hour.
After letting out a long sigh, Stan intentionally jumped off of his horse. He made no attempt to break his fall.
Along with his scream, excruciating pain washed over him. His men shouted as they ran over to him. His ankle was sprained quite seriously thanks to his intentional fall.
His men were perplexed as to what they should do with Stan.
“Duke Valentine’s villa is nearby.”
He was well aware of how close it was, but he acted as it had just come to mind. In a state of emergency, his men quickly loaded Stan into the imperial carriage and hastened off towards the Valentine’s villa.
Ciel’s older sister was an exceptional pharmacist, so there was no need to worry about his medical treatment. Additionally, the thought of a cute Ciel personally taking care of him made the pain in his ankle bearable.
Stan had secretly hoped that Ciel would come out, but it was her scary older brothers that came to meet him.
“Grand Duke Winterbaum has fallen from his horse. He requires treatment.”
In the absence of the head of the household, Theo, the next duke, considered the situation. In light of the past animosity between them, it would be reasonable to toss Stan out. However, there were no villages in the area where he could receive proper treatment, so it became somewhat unclear as to what should be done.
Theo gave Stan’s injury a cursory once-over. Seeing that his ankle was swollen, he wasn’t faking it. He seemed completely unable to walk because it was severely sprained.
“Please come this way.”
While Theo talked with Stan’s chief aide, the other two brothers kept an eye on Stan.
Known for being overprotective, Isaac, a rising star in the order of the Blue Dragon Knights, and Louis, who was virtually Ciel’s best friend, regarded Stan with displeasure.
Neither of her brothers would be easy to deal with. Frightened by their sharp looks, Stan deliberately frowned and let out a pained noise.
“Your Highness, are you all right?”
“The surrounding area is part of our family’s private land. Why did you come here without contacting us first?”
Isaac Valentine’s question was extremely pointed. With no clear excuse, Stan grabbed his ankle and began screaming for no reason.
Even among Ciel’s older brothers, Isaac was infamous for being overprotective. It was said that, in contrast to his beautiful face, he was a monster with frightening abilities.
The spitting image of his beloved Ciel, he was already grinding his teeth and glaring at Stan as if he were his parents’ worst enemy.
He was scary. He was really scary. But Stan had to persevere. In the midst of the commotion Ciel finally appeared.
“Stan was injured?”
Dressed in a nightgown embellished with lace, Ciel came into the foyer, where Stan was, holding her sister’s hand.
She was normally quite standoffish, but she was kind to patients.
“For now, please come in.”
No matter how much they hated it, their opponent was the son of the Imperial Princess, Grand Duke Winterbaum. Seeing Stan with a sprained ankle being carried in on a stretcher, Ciel willingly approached his side.
“It seems he’s not faking it.”
He had intentionally injured his body because he had known that a lie wouldn’t work.
Seeing that his ankle was actually sprained, Ciel clicked her tongue and gently tapped the injured spot.
“Don’t be a crybaby. You’re the idiot who fell off of his own horse, aren’t you?”
It hurt. It really really hurt. Still, he was overwhelmingly happy to see Ciel in front of him. Gazing at her as if bewitched, Stan reached out towards Ciel as she stood beside him.
“I missed you, Ciel.”
Her bewildered reaction was understandable. Even after being reprimanded, he hadn’t given up and had come to see them again.
But how could he give up on his love so easily?
Placing himself in front of Stan, who was clinging to Ciel like a leech, Theo asked a question.
“Ciel. What should we do?”
“What do you mean, ‘What should we do?’ We can’t actually kick him out.”
Being a patient was a really good excuse. He harbored the absurd dream that Ciel would take care of him if he played his cards right.
In that moment he was drowning in joy, but…
“I had a feeling this would happen.”
All of a sudden, a familiar, icy voice was heard.
Alex, who should have been in the capital, appeared at the villa.
- Uninvited Guests
Alex was originally supposed to attend the funeral of Marquis Baldr.
“Stan is following Duke Valentine’s party?”
However, upon hearing the news from Sir Wilhelm, Alex hastily set off with just his closest aides.
His prediction of what would happen proved true.
Abandoning Stan, who couldn’t walk due to his sprain, Ciel bounded over to Alex with a look of delight on her face.
“Your Highness, what are you doing here?”
Alex glanced over at Stan, who was laid out on a stretcher, and gave a derisive snort.
“This stupid guy has caused you some trouble. I came to keep an eye on him because it seemed like he was going to do something foolish.”
Damn it. Stan spat out a curse on the inside.
‘That jerk Alex must be here to see Ciel too.’
It was obvious that he planned on using Stan as an excuse to stay at the villa.
A bear does a handstand and someone else takes the money . Stan was struck dumb by the absurdity of the situation. Theo Valentine greeted Alex graciously with a completely different attitude than he had shown before.
“It’s good to see you.”
Unlike Stan, who was treated as a nuisance, Alex was welcomed as a guest from the moment he arrived and was able to proudly enter the villa.
This was discrimination. How could they do that to him? Ciel’s brothers alone were enough of a hindrance, but with the appearance of a rival, Stan was really about to go crazy.
“I guess I’ll be in your care until this guy’s leg is completely healed.”
“We’ll prepare a room for you.”
“Your Highness, let’s go up together. I’ll show you my room.”
As if to show off, Ciel linked arms with Alex. Then she stuck out her tongue.
Bleeeh. You mad?
At a loss for words, he tried to get up, but he couldn’t stand properly with his injured leg, so he was forced to stamp his feet in frustration on the inside.
Alex, who was holding Ciel’s hand as they ascended the stairs, gently turned his head to look down at Stan.
Was this the embodiment of the phrase ‘cook rice porridge and then give it to a dog’? Alex deliberately cleared his throat and acted a bit sheepish.
“I apologize for interrupting your family’s precious time together.”
“What are you apologizing for? You’ve come all the way here for my sake. We’re truly grateful. Isn’t that right, Theo?”
In an instant Alex became a much appreciated savior who had come to stop Stan, their common enemy.
Stan only realized that he had been taken advantage of after seeing Alex’s haughty smile. It was the first time he had ever seen him smile.
“Oh my, Grand Duke. Your injury will get worse if you act like that.”
“What the heck is this?!”
Some people were willing to sacrifice their bodies for a brief glimpse of her face, but Alex was welcomed with open arms and was able to stand proudly by Ciel’s side simply because Stan was there.
The world was unfair. As he was carried on the stretcher to a bed, Ciel’s adopted sister, Clara Valentine, donned a mask and brought some foul-smelling medicine over.
“This is the best for sprains. If you apply this to the injured area and rest for three or four days, you should get better in no time.”
The medicine gave off a bizarre odor that was indescribable. The stench was like a rag that had been left to rot for ten days in the middle of summer. Stan’s face became distorted and he squirmed around as the medicine was applied to his body.
“Thank you, Lady Clara.”
Unlike his men, who were appreciative of Clara’s quick and precise treatment, Stan was not. Unable to walk around, he suddenly found himself confined to his room.
“What the heck is this?! This can’t be!”
To prevent the smell from spreading, Stan’s men kept him in the room and stood guard in front of the door. It was depressing that everyone had left him alone in the room, but why did his leg hurt so much? Stan suffered endless pain as he wept bitterly inside.
 This refers to a situation in which one person does all of the work and another person wrongfully receives all of the benefits. A similar expression is, “One man sows and another man reaps.”
 This means you did something difficult, but it was only for the benefit of others, not for yourself. It is similar to the previous expression.