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“Do you raise a rabbit by any chance?”
“Pardon? What do you mean?”
He couldn’t have said what was really on his mind. Just in case, he asked, but Ciel had no idea what that meant. Foolish. Stupid Stan. Embarrassed, he immediately changed the topic.
“How is life in the imperial palace?”
“I’m doing well. I also enjoyed preparing for the party.”
It was the first party to be held at the Palace of The Crown Prince. In fact, it may have been due to the touch of the Duchess of Valentine rather than Ciel’s skill, but in the end, it seemed to flow in a way that helped Ciel.
Even though everything seemed to be going well at this moment, Stan couldn’t calm down. Morrigan, an aide to Princess Lotte, must be conspiring somewhere in the party. He looked around, and it was hard for him to open his mouth.
“So I mean……”
He was ready to warn her to be careful since his mother is plotting something with her, but there was a shadow between them at the time.
Alex interrupted him before he could complete his sentence by pressing his face in between them. Perhaps it was an uncomfortable seat for each other, Lotte was also looking at Stan with a disapproving face.
“Have you been there already?”
“It looks like they’re having a fight over Sir Isaac over there. Shouldn’t we go stop it?”
The hostess, who is throwing the party, is also in charge of setting up the fuss. Ciel left quickly because the entrance was still noisy.
“Oh no, I’ll leave now!”
Even as she was leaving, she didn’t forget to lift the hem of her dress just a little to greet Princess Lotte and Stan.
“Then please enjoy the two of you comfortably.”
Stan still had something to say, but he couldn’t do anything as he watched Ciel walk away from him. Alex, standing next to him, smiled ever-so-slightly.
“Then please excuse me as well.”
While he takes care of his mother, Alex will take care of Ciel. This fight was a clear victory for Alex. Stan couldn’t do anything but swallow his frustration as he looked at his cousin, who was winning.
* * *
I never thought it would be this hard to throw a party. My mother hosts three parties each year that are much bigger than this one, I thought she was amazing.
And even Isaac’s popularity. I knew he was popular, but I didn’t know it would be this much. Because the opportunity to be personally escorted by that prickly brother, Isaac, cannot come twice in a lifetime.
The party I hosted was a huge hit, with noble ladies who secretly admired Isaac.
So, some confusion was already expected.
“What are you bickering about?”
“There is no such thing as bickering.”
He must have come all the way here to stop the fight, but Alex said he was a shepherd boy without batting an eye.
What is this noise? Apparently being with Stan was annoying, so I rolled my eyes and tapped Alex on the arm with my finger.
“What? You’re not a kid.”
“What bothers you bothers me, too.”
Now, even if I make eye contact with Stan, he doesn’t like it, so maybe I like this kid. When Alex, who is usually dignified, but when I got involved with Stan in an odd way, he got jealous for no reason.
I have no idea why he’s acting this way. Besides, he’s so tough that when I poke Alex’s arm, it only hurts my fingers.
“Then I will excuse myself. Your Highness, please treat the other guests as well.”
“Huh. I will.”
Since this was the first time Alex had shown anyone his palace, a lot of different people showed up. There are some of them who do not like Alex. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are interested in getting to know Alex better.
Because he was the crown prince, it was necessary for him to cultivate his position while maintaining beneficial connections with people such as these. After being bugged to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore, I went in search of the Marchioness of Baldr.
“Madam Greta. You are here.”
“Miss Ciel. You’re just in time.”
Fortunately, Greta was with other guests. A mysterious woman with beautiful black hair was standing next to Greta.
“It’s been awhile. My name is Morrigan.”
“If it’s Morrigan, ah!”
Stan’s babysitter and Princess Lotte’s right-hand man at the same time! Morrigan’s performance was so good that it wouldn’t be too much of a exaggeration to say that Princess Lotte had Morrigan and I had Isaac.
In fact, she was the culprit of Princess Lotte’s nefarious act, and at the same time, she was also the culprit of the poisoning.
“You were so pretty when you were a baby, and you grew up so pretty. Do you remember me?”
They say even the villains of the world are good to my family and friends. When my mother was close to Princess Lotte, Morrigan had memories of taking care of me and Stan.
She came here to kill the Marchioness of Baldr, but she was happy to see me, so she was at a loss as to how to take advantage of this opportunity.
“Of course, I remember you. I also remember that you nursed me when I had a fever.”
Morrigan was the only person who could handle poison, and she was also the second-best chemist after Clara. In fact, I don’t remember any of it, but from what I read in the novel, it sounds like she was in charge of it.
“I can’t be this happy. Our His Highness Stan is feeling lonely because Ciel rarely visits us. So please stop by often from now on.”
It was. She was the one who told Stan right away that Morrigan had told her that she would always have Ciel if Stan married Ciel.
Morrigan, who was so kind to me, briefly opened her necklace and handed me something that looked like candy.
“This is a sweet that Ciel liked. Try it.”
I was ashamed even after receiving the strange sweets. I feigned to eat sweets and placed it in Greta’s hand, embarrassed that she only handed it to me while the Marchioness Baldr was staring at her.
“It is delicious. Madam Greta, I was supposed to present you to my sister, but I’m sorry for being late.”
“Then please excuse me first.”
Was it your plan all along to give me some candy? Morrigan withdrew faster than expected. Greta took the sweets I had placed in her hand and followed me to Clara.
“What were you two talking about?”
“I wasn’t really talking all that much. Why?”
“That person is the one who tried to kill you.”
Greta was taken aback and came to a stop. She must be surprised; I was as well. I approached my sister, taking a medication disguised as candy from the terrified Greta’s hand.
“Sister, do you know what this is?”
My sister, who was helping patients, excused herself from her seat for a little while in order to take a whiff of the candy that I had handed to her. While my sister was powdering and tasting it, she turned her head to the side.
“Isn’t this a poison?”
“It’s actually quite good medicine for the body. I think it would be good for Madam Greta to eat it?”
I inquired if she gave it to me on purpose to harm me, but she stated it was a good treatment for pregnant women and weak children.
I gladly passed the candy to Greta.
“Then Greta eats this.”
“Is that okay?”
“Yes. What my sister makes is enough for me.”
When my older sister, the main character, who is currently carrying the buff that the main character uses, guarantees her safety, only then will I feel relieved. Greta ate the sweets with suspicion because Clara had sampled them and was still fine.
“How is it?”
“It is delicious.”
“Wow, what a relief. Have you eaten any of the cookies?”
“Of course. It was delicious.”
Roenthal was offered an antidote-laced biscuit in preparation for the poisoning. The antidote that is found in the root can render the toxin that is found in Roenthal leaves harmless. You can prepare for a good quantity of poison just by doing this.
I overate next to my sister, and perhaps because I was busy today, I couldn’t get my hands on it after eating a bite in front of Stan earlier.
Nonetheless, the cookies cooked with my sister’s recipe were well received by the guests. I left the Marchioness Baldr in the care of my sister and went back to Morrigan just in case.
“Morrigan, try this too.”
“Oh my. Miss Ciel. This Morrigan is grateful that you look after me personally.”
Although it still upsets me that you regard me as a four-year-old kid, Morrigan took my biscuit without hesitation.
“My sister taught me how to make cookies, but I’m not sure if His Highness Stan will like them.”
I gave Morrigan an excuse that would be most effective in pressuring the Stan-Ciel marriage. When Morrigan told me that I would bring over some handmade cookies to him, she showered me with praise and thanked me profusely.
“Oh my goodness. You also have a good heart. What a treat it would be if Miss Ciel were to pay a visit to our Lily Palace!
“Is the flavour to your liking?”
“Yes. If Miss Ciel made it herself, he would definitely like it.”
That’s great news. Morrigan, a reputed poisoner, didn’t seem to notice the flavour of Roenthal root, which was used for detoxification, possibly because it was so full of herbs. Even if she noticed, she might like it more because it’s a healthy ingredient, right?
This solves the poisoning problem.
Greta was standing next to my sister, talking animatedly.
“We’ll put in the wine.”
Light beverages were provided to guests as the party atmosphere grew. Greta, a pregnant woman, and I, a minor, were served juice rather than wine.
“Madam Greta. Your dress is dishevelled.”
I snuck up behind her and handed Greta my glasses so that she could use them in case we needed them.
‘Pretend to drink, just touch your lips.’
Greta nodded at the words whispered in a low voice. No matter how much she ate the detox cookie, it was dangerous for the pregnant Greta, so I took the supposedly poisoned juice instead.
I’m not sure whether it is dangerous or not, but even if it is, I won’t be affected because I ate the detox cookie. I was now fully prepared. If I can get rid of Greta’s death flag like this, I’ll win this fight.
“Your Majesty the Emperor has come!”
Finally, the emperor came. The emperor handed over a short congratulatory speech and proposed a toast.
I’m not sure if it’s poisoned or not, but I took the antidote nonetheless because it would look strange if I didn’t. I swallowed the liquid all at once, closing my eyes.
Is it poisoned or not? As far as the taste goes, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I wonder if it was all my fault.
The emperor, who is usually tall, smiled kindly at me. Your Majesty, it’s been a while. I was trying to say that. Now that I’ve learned from my past mistakes, I am able to greet him appropriately; nevertheless, for some reason, my lips freeze up and the place begins to spin around me.
I saw my mother, and my sister, and my eyes blurred. It felt like my body was floating in the air. There was double the tension on both the emperor’s and Alex’s.
I ate detox cookies, so I thought it would be fine. It’s a relief, though, that the pregnant Greta didn’t take the poison.
As the poison began to spread, I became unconscious while being held in the arms of the emperor.