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“Thank you. I’ll use it well.”
Right away, Regina cracked open the jar of cream and dabbed some of it on the back of her hand. Alex’s hands used to be rough, but Clara’s homemade hand cream has made them very soft.
“Actually, I met Lady Clara at a tea party before.”
“Really? What are your thoughts?”
It is the very first time that I have overheard someone else talking about my sister rather than my sister talking about herself.
What do socialites think of my sister? My inquisitiveness got the best of me, and I listened to Regina’s story with wide, glistening eyes.
“She was an interesting person. She is known for bragging about her young sister whenever we meet.”
“Pardon. Does my sister have a bad reputation?”
“No way. Everyone wanted to see Ciel because you looked just like Sir Isaac.”
Because I looked a lot like my older brother, a handsome boy who was famous in the capital, and my mother was rumoured to be the most beautiful woman on the continent.
It may not be the emperor, but other small and medium-sized nobles can only meet my family sitting at the high table in the size of a cotton swab, so it is not unreasonable to admire us.
But that’s true. Clara, too. I’m embarrassed. As is customary, Isaac’s popularity is skyrocketing, so, if you’re a fan of my other brother, you’ll want to make a good impression on me.
I don’t think so, but maybe Regina also targets Isaac and is nice to me? A pretty girl like Regina would be a great match for Isaac.
I decided to tap her opinion.
“What does Regina think of Isaac?”
“He looks a lot like Ciel, but perhaps it’s because he’s a man, which makes him very different from what I thought he would be.”
“Is that so?”
After stating in a calm way that Isaac was not to her liking, Regina gave me a friendly smile in my direction.
“I think Ciel is much prettier.”
You’re not being nice to me solely because you like Isaac, right?
“I’m embarrassed to hear such kind words.”
“I think I know why Lady Clara did what she did. I also wanted to meet you very much.”
The nice things Regina said made my cheeks red for no reason. If Stan had said this, I would have started swearing at him and told him to stop messing around, but it felt good to just hear what Regina had to say.
While I was happy with how my cheeks were blushing like that, someone approached me from far away, waving a cloak.
Alex, who at this point ought to have been hard at work, materialized out of nowhere in the garden.
Regina rose quickly from her seat, reached down and grabbed the bottom of her dress, and then quickly bowed her back.
“Regina Netias, greetings to Your Highness the Crown Prince.”
Everyone else in the area bowed their heads while also bending their bodies, unlike me who just stood there. Initially, this was this manner. It’s because I’m so comfortable when I’m around him, but Alex is chosen as the next emperor.
Taking notice of my surroundings, I stealthily grabbed the bottom of the dress and tried to bend down.
Alex, who was striding up, raised me up. He leaned down, but I stood up before we could even exchange a greeting.
“Don’t do that,” Alex shook his head. I’m not sure if I should be doing this, but I decided to comply with his request by nodding my head.
“What are you doing here?”
“I came for a walk because I had some free time, but I heard you were here.”
“I am just fine. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Lady Regina, a new friend of mine.”
Alex will eventually meet and fall in love with someone else. Seeing this as an opportunity, I decided to introduce Regina to Alex in order to find out his preferences.
Unlike me, who has features similar to those of a puppy, Regina has features similar to those of a cat, and her image does not overlap with that of Princess Lotte.
Because her father is a pitiful man whose business had failed, there was no reason for Alex to harbour any resentment towards her. I thought so, but he did not make any pretence of looking at Regina before approaching me from behind, taking my hand in his.
“Are you okay?”
“What do you mean?”
He seemed to think of Regina as a pawn sent by the princess, but this was not the case with the person in front of her. I sneaked a look at Alex and scolded Alex.
“You’re not jealous that I have a new friend, are you?”
“No way. I am not that petty.”
When Regina saw how seriously Alex was taking the situation, she could not help but break out in fits of laughter. Her smile was quite boisterous and energising, which was quite the contrast to the first impression that she gave.
“It looks like the two of you get along well. I have a feeling that I will be envious.”
Oh, does Regina like Alex? But Alex didn’t even make eye contact with Regina, who was smiling; it appeared as though he did not want to.
“I must have interrupted both of you.”
“I’ve been rude, too. Ciel, thank you very much for your tea. I’ll cherish the present.”
“Are you going back?”
There are still a lot of things that I would like to say. After receiving a cheery smile from Regina, she graciously decided to withdraw.
She has good judgment; I know she is stepping down right away because Alex doesn’t show interest in her, but I was disappointed that the relationship would end in such a manner.
“Actually, at breakfast earlier, Her Highness told me to find out when the tea party will be held at the Crown Prince’s Palace.”
When Regina finally got up from her seat, that’s when I realised what the issue was. She said that the princess asked the question herself, and judging from her expression, it was clear that she was in trouble. There’s no way the princess just sent her away for no reason.
I thought she was sent to accuse me of poisoning, but it seems that I was wrong.
“A tea party?”
“The princess said she wanted to see the newly renovated prince’s palace.”
Burnett had reported yesterday that I wanted to hold an outdoor tea party just to show her the garden, so he couldn’t excuse himself for not hearing it.
Alex turned his attention to Regina, who was standing next to me, and his face contorted into a puzzled expression.
“Tell her I’ll get back to Her Highness soon.”
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
I understand Alex is uncomfortable, but being isolated among the aristocrats is also detrimental to him.
Additionally, there are many ladies who come from respectable families who are close to the princess, so it ought to be simple to find a potential candidate for Alex’s wife.
One more thing, Alex glanced at Regina for a moment before saying willingly.
“Since travelling all the way there just to meet her would be a hassle, the next time you see her, invite her to the Crown Prince’s Palace instead.”
“Could we do that?”
“Because she is a friend of yours.”
I can therefore invite Regina to show me my room, look at presents together, and do a variety of other things, is that right?
Why does he allow it even though he is aware that she belongs to the princess, why does he allow it? I happily took Regina’s hand.
“Good for us, Regina. The next time we get together, I’ll give you a tour of my room..”
“I am indebted to you for the kind permission you have granted me, Your Highness the Crown Prince.”
After receiving confirmation from the prince, Regina will not be reprimanded by the princess when she returns to her palace. It was fine for me to stop conspiracies on my own, so I am going to increase Alex’s supporters little by little this way gradually.
“Then excuse me for today. Ciel, let’s go back to the palace.”
“Yes. Your Highness.”
After saying a sad goodbye, I drove away from Regina. When I gave it some more thought, I realised that there was a red ruby ring on Regina’s hand that I had never seen yesterday.
Even though it was said that she came from a family that was unsuccessful in business, the fact that she is well-dressed indicates that she must have a powerful family member supporting him. Because I was interested in learning more about my new friend, I returned to the prince’s palace with Alex.
“Did you bake this?”
“No. My sister baked it. It’s a biscotti, would you like to try one?”
I was about to hand it over, but Alex grabbed the cookie I had given him and ate it right away.
This was not something I intended to do.
We both froze as we saw our faces getting closer than we thought.
Suddenly, Alex’s face turned completely white. He covered his mouth and groaned.
Poison maybe? No, I’ve definitely checked everything out. Startled, I approached Alex. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the emergency supply of my sister’s unique general antidote that I had brought along just in case, and then I gave Alex’s hand a quick squeeze.
“Your Highness, are you okay?”
“Water, give me some water.”
Did you get choked? Alex tapped his chest and drank the tea I gave him in one gulp, which was strange, considering I was the one who was drinking it before.
“Are you alright?”
“The crumbs get down the wrong throat. I’m so sorry if I scared you.”
I felt my heart stop beating for a moment. If Alex dies like this, it will be truly game over; the male lead will also pass away; my sister will be the criminal who poisoned the crown prince; and she will be put to death.
Even if I am able to survive, it is the worst possible scenario, and I don’t even want to imagine it. I let out a groan and then struck Alex in the middle of his chest with the punch.
“You took me by surprise.”
“Sorry, I’m really sorry.”
Maybe he’s taken a breather now, but Alex laughed shyly. I thought it was all if I smiled like that, but maybe it’s because he’s handsome, but he’s really pretty when he smiles.
“Don’t surprise me this time.”
Because of your stunning good looks, I’m going to take it easy on you. When Alex handed over the snack like that and opened his mouth.
I’ve always heard that the person you like the most is the one who ends up losing first, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to beat this kid.
While Alex was beaming broadly in front of me, I pretended I had no chance of winning by stuffing a biscotti into his mouth.