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I don’t know if I’ll do something bad, but if I don’t, Alex will definitely be on my side. At least, I was sure he wasn’t someone who said one thing and meant something else.
“You seem to think too much of me.”
I held Alex’s hand tightly and said it was not true. Alex may not have heard this from anyone because he lives alone.
That’s why I have to do it. It’s an embarrassing story, but Alex, who is still sad, has no better medicine than that.
“Your Highness always worked hard.”
Having said that, I flipped Alex’s hand over. Scars and calluses on his hands from holding a sword don’t happen in just a day or two of practice.
Why can’t he believe in himself when there is such clear evidence here? I put my hand on the rough palm of Alex.
“I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as Your Highness in my life. I respect you.”
These hands, which are still rough even after Alex has applied hand cream, are like a medal that shows what he has accomplished up to this point in his life.
But that’s not the only thing I like about Alex. Even when I confronted Princess Lotte a few years ago, Alex tried to hide and protect me.
They might have interpreted my question as a request to visit the imperial palace and shown it to me as such. Some try to shift blame away from themselves and place it on others, but Alex did not show that side at all.
“I tend to accept things that aren’t fair.”
“There would be no reason for me to go first if I didn’t avoid it. It’s not fair to do that to a daughter of a mediocre duke who hasn’t even made her debut yet.”
If I were to swear to destroy Princess Lotte in the imperial palace openly, that would be a nuisance and a violation of my authority. My status as a mere “guest” does not entitle me to that.
That was the only explanation for why he behaved in such a submissive and patient manner in front of Princess Lotte. In contrast to me, Alex never neglected his responsibilities as crown prince.
Just the last time, Alex came forward and gave it to me so I was able to stop the poison from spreading. It looked like the right moment to say “there, there,” so I stood on my tiptoes and put my hand on Alex’s dark blue hair, just like I did the last time.
Pat pat. I’m sure that no one but me would do this. I chose to praise Alex as much as I could.
“Your Highness is doing well.”
“I know that you are always working hard in silence where no one is watching. I’m sure that Your Highness’s mother will be happy for you and tell you how proud she is of you now.”
No matter what anyone says, Alex is the crown prince. He seemed to lose control when Stan was around.
When the topic of his deceased mother came up, he parted his lips for a moment, then fell silent again. He seems to have so many things he wants to say, but he seldom reveals his true feelings.
Alex lowered my hand that had been stroking his hair and took a step closer to me, and Alex avoided my eyes. His ears are especially red today.
“You must be very interested in me.”
“Of course. I liked you so much!”
Of course. It’s full of love for the character who used to be my favourite. I worked hard to cheer up Alex.
This is all I can do for you. But Alex, who actually heard me, asked me back in a disapproving way.
“Why is it in past tense?”
“Oh, that was a mistake. I still like you.”
It may have a different meaning now than it did before. Alex was looking at me with a big smile, but now his whole face was red. It was funny to watch him get embarrassed alone because he was not immune to embarrassing words.
“Uh, eum. So, thank you.”
“Don’t mention it.”
While Alex was embarrassed, I made an impromptu bouquet by plucking flowers that had bloomed around me for a while. Then I put them by the grave of Alex’s mother.
Hearing his heartbreaking story made me even more determined to keep going. Now that this has happened, I have to find a way to break into the princess’ storeroom and get the keepsake that Alex’s mother kept. Even though my dress was dirty, I bowed before the tomb according to imperial etiquette.
“I promise you. I will protect your Highness.”
“I-I have to protect you!”
Laughter erupted at Alex’s roaring response. Do you hate being protected by me? Well, no one would have bothered to protect the incredibly strong Alex first.
“Then let’s protect each other. Your Highness, if someone bothers me, do you have to go and punish them instead?”
I was just saying it, but Alex’s expression suddenly became serious.
“Who dares to bother you?”
I felt bad because he tightened his fist even though I wasn’t even being serious. His Highness, the Crown Prince, took everything very seriously and held my hand tightly, ready to run at any time.
I didn’t like it, though. I slipped my arms around Alex’s and comforted him.
“Your Highness, I am hungry.”
“Yes. When we return to the palace… Bake me another cookie.”
Never confuse sugar with salt today. I laughed and teased Alex.
“With your bare mouth?”
“Instead of that, I’ll throw a party for you, and it can be anything you want. The chef and maids will give you as much as you want. You are the only one who gives orders.”
So Did you tell me to give up presenting my homemade cookies now?
“Could it be that my cookies don’t taste good?”
“No way. Party preparation is, of course, the responsibility of the hostess. Of course, you should host the party at my palace.”
Does it work like that? Anyway, I am the lady with the highest status in the prince’s palace. However, the word “hostess” makes me feel awkward……
Alex added a word as he looked at my reaction and saw that I was tilting my head.
“You can get help from the Duchess if you need it. I’ll tell you to keep Lady Clara’s schedule empty as well.”
“Can you do it?”
If my mom and sister help me. Somehow things work out too easily. Why is Alex so obedient today?
“Sure. Let everyone do as you please.”
The attitude of active cooperation is rather suspicious, but the smile on that handsome face makes me feel better.
I looked at him and smiled because, no matter who says it, being handsome is good.
* * *
Everything went swimmingly with the party’s preparations. My mother hurried over to the palace of the Crown Prince as soon as she got the message that I had called for assistance.
It was an emotional reunion for the mother and the daughter. As soon as she saw me, my mother, who had appeared to be getting thinner over the past few days, forgot about her body shape and started running, flapping her skirt as she ran.
“My baby, my baby. How much you missed mom.”
“Mom, too. What kind of baby am I? I’ve been really good. I wrote letters every day. Did you get it?”
To appease my parents, who complained that I was not at home, I wrote a full letter and gave it to my sister.
Could it be that Theo didn’t retrieve the letter because he was annoyed? I looked at Clara, and she shook her head, saying he wasn’t like that.
“It’s a letter. Theo brings it every day. But still, Mom missed Ciel so very much.”
“Mom, you’re really.”
“Clara looks good in uniform, too. You are really all grown up now.”
After mother finally realized, she fixed the dress, then went over to her daughters and squeezed her hand tightly. The respectable older sister was now progressively revealing to the younger sibling her role as a court pharmacist.
“I think you’re a little thin. Would you like me to give you some medicine to give you a boost of energy?
“Oh, Oh, that’s how sad and lonely it was for your parents when you weren’t around. That’s why.”
Hehe. It was like that. I thought it was because she wanted to see me again. I sneaked up on my mum and gave her a big bear hug from behind.
“Mom. I don’t want to have a younger brother.”
“Oh, my God. What are you talking about! It’s not like that.”
What do you mean by no. My mother hit me hard on the back as she tried to ignore my sneaky eyes.
The emotional reunion came to an end here, and I gathered my mother and sister together to tell them about the current situation. When my mother was done listening to my whole story, she started making plans right away.
“I wouldn’t dare let my daughter do something stupid at a party she’s throwing.”
“I trust only my mother.”
“Sure. Leave the poison problem to me.”
To my older sister, who was originally interested in rare herbs, the imperial palace was no different from paradise. Since ancient times, the imperial family has always suffered from the threat of poisoning, so the imperial pharmacists were more knowledgeable about poison than anyone else.
While I was playing with Regina, my sister had already prepared a number of preparations for poison. In addition, I came up with a plan to drag in my older brothers and treat them desperately.
“I think this is a great idea.”
“To throw your very first party before you have even made your debut. Did His Highness request it?
“Well, something like that.”
I told a blatant lie and averted my gaze. I lied and said that I did it because I didn’t want to be scolded by my mother. Lucky for me, my sister smiled and kept my little secret.
Therefore, there were no problems with any of the preparations. My mother’s assistance was essential in expanding the scope of the event from a modest tea party to a garden party.
Not only the Lily Palace but also influential aristocrats throughout the capital received invitations to the event. During this time, an unwelcome guest showed up at the prince’s palace, which was in the midst of hectically preparing for a party every day.
“Who did you say came?”
“The Marchioness of Baldr has come to visit.”
It came as a surprise to me that a visitor arrived at the palace without having made prior arrangements to do so and was waiting there. The party will begin in the morning. Alex, who just so happened to be working at the palace at the time, was more than happy to let me meet my guests.