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I paid an unannounced visit to the Lily Palace a few days after the party. If I notified them ahead of time, they would almost certainly prepare for anything, but if I launch a surprise attack like this, they will not be able to get anything.
Oh, my. I didn’t even realise I was cussing. Stan was there to meet me with a lie as soon as I walked in.
A true stalker. Is it okay to show that you are watching every single thing I’m doing from where I am? I didn’t dare to stop anymore, so I got out of the carriage with Stan’s escort.
“What are you doing here?”
“You came to see me. Let’s go to my palace, Morrigan has prepared a special gift for you.”
When the name Morrigan was mentioned, I slightly averted my gaze.
The Marchioness of Baldr is fine, even though she should have passed out. Since I passed out, Morrigan must have been in trouble.
She might want to give me medicine instead of hurting me, but I have something else to do today.
“I’m sorry, but I came to see a friend today.”
“A friend? Who else but me?”
Stan, claiming to be a childhood friend, purposefully ignored Regina’s presence. He can’t possibly have such a stranglehold on me. I snorted and ran away.
“I’m kidding. It’s a joke. Are you talking about Lady Netias?”
“I’ve been having some trouble hearing lately.”
“I will take you. You don’t know much about the Lily Palace.”
You’re doing it on purpose so you can look around and act like you don’t know, you idiot. Anyway, Stan is useless even if you try to use it for medicine.
“Not there. Come here.”
With Stan in the lead, no one stood in my way. With the human free pass in front of me, I quietly noticed.
“Did Your Excellency know everything there was to know about the rabbit the other day?”
I wanted to say something out of the ordinary, but when I thought about it later, I came up with a picture to some extent. Princess Lotte had to have said something to her son. This would not have happened otherwise.
When Stan questioned Princess Lotte’s wrongdoings, he hung his head in shame.
If he apologises so truly, even though it’s not his fault, he must like me a lot. This hurts my heart. These days, I don’t do anything mean, so I decided to let it slide just this once.
“You should instead help me in the future. Got it?”
I quietly dropped my words, like in the long-ago past that I don’t even remember.
After all, Stan brought it up to help me. He doesn’t have to make enemies, so staying as a good childhood friend isn’t really that bad.
“She’s said to be in the garden. Let’s go.”
Stan’s men found Regina’s whereabouts. We walked quietly into the garden after being told not to let us know in advance.
In the pavilion in the Lily Palace’s backyard, five or six ladies were enjoying tea together.
I let her dance with the popular Isaac on purpose, so now they can’t just ignore Regina, could they? With a little excitement, I crept behind the bushes and spied on people.
One of the ladies, who looked older than Regina, raised her voice.
“Have you seen Lady Alhar? The atrocities committed by Princess Valentine.”
Why do you talk about me now? Not only did I not understand what was going on.
“What does that mean?”
“Shh, be quiet.”
I had to spy first, so I hid with Stan and overheard what was going on.
“Of course, Lady Dahlia. What should she do if she doesn’t have an older brother? It was upsetting to witness her treat her family like slaves.”
Talking to each other. As I watched them point out all of my flaws, I realised that no matter how much the world changes, human beings do not.
They said it was atrocities, so I wondered what kind of great mistake I had committed, but the contents of the issue were really, really nothing.
“How foolish she was. She acted as if she had already become the Crown Princess.”
“I mean. Did you see him leaving the place in the middle of being embraced by His Majesty the Emperor? I’m really dumbfounded.”
I can’t say that I passed out after eating poison. Then the story drifted to the wrong place.
“She is lucky to have good parents. To be honest, I heard that Lady Ciel is the half-daughter who can’t even use magic properly?”
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw His Highness Alex clinging to her and wagging his tail. I was at a loss for words.”
“Where would she be if it weren’t for the name Valentine? So that’s how she flirts with His Highness Stan.”
When my name was mentioned, he was about to run out with his hand clenched. I grabbed Stan by the arm and stopped him from leaving.
“What do you do with all of this? I’d like to hear more.”
To be honest, what they say means nothing to me. If you want to talk about something, talk about it. In a sense, speaking as if you know everything about something about which you know nothing is also a talent.
What I was more interested in was how Regina would react. When I’m not around, what will Regina say about me?
“If you get mad for no reason, I’ll end our friendship from that day on.”
“Yes. Ciel. I’m sorry.”
I told Stan to calm down and looked at Regina as she quietly drank her tea. Regina, who kept her composure without sympathy or response, opened her mouth cautiously only after their words were all over.
“I think there’s something wrong with what you say.”
Regina looked at them calmly and quietly expressed her thoughts.
“Miss Ciel hasn’t even made her debut yet. This is her first party since entering the palace at the imperial family’s invitation, and I think she did an excellent job in an unfamiliar place.”
When everyone is saying bad things about me, it’s not easy for me to say those things alone. In the big picture, she was right. The only problem is that the people of Lily Palace hate me.
“So she did the right thing by arguing with His Highness Stan over His Highness Alex, Lady Regina?”
“Miss Ciel said that. His Highness Stan and her are just childhood friends, nothing more.”
I’m fine, but it hurts too much for Stan next to me. But it’s not a lie, so I chose not to say anything.
“It always comes out that way, right?”
“You’re in good standing because she let you dance with Young Master Isaac. Do you want to look that good on Ciel? How unseemly.”
“There is no way you can save the Netias family by taking such sides. As expected, she seems like an opportunist who sticks with Her Highness, then with Miss Ciel this time.”
The level of verbal abuse gradually went too far. Are they aiming for Isaac’s wife position, or how much money did she get?
“Anyway, what’s so great about Ciel?”
“I mean. To be honest, she doesn’t even have a good body. Well, Ciel’s dress would really suit Lady Regina.”
They didn’t call me by any of my names, like Princess Valentine. Instead, they just used my first name. When they insulted me by talking about the dress I gave to Regina, I couldn’t take it any longer.
Regina didn’t blink an eye, even though she was in a bad situation.
I never expected her to take my side in my absence. Rather than sympathising with them, I would have assumed that if she had simply ignored them and gone on, we would have been good enough friends.
Regina’s life would be made even more difficult if she ventured to side with me while she was living in the Lily Palace.
Thanks God. It’s not like I don’t care about people. There could only be one reason Regina had to endure such an insult in the first place.
Because she is so close to me. So, this time it is my turn to step forward as the cause.
“You’ve been here, Regina. I’m missing you!”
I purposefully squeezed into the bushes, leaving the main road alone and came out. No one would have thought I would show up here. Everyone was shocked, just as I had thought they would be.
I walked over to Regina, ignoring the leaves that were stuck to the thick frills.
“Ciel, what are you doing here?”
Regina still had no idea what had happened. You are mistaken if you believe this is the end.
Stan, who had been watching from behind, followed me out of the bushes as I showed up.
“I brought her here. Ciel wants to meet Lady Regina.”
“Your Highness Stan!”
Even if I take it lightly, Stan won’t be able to. Because, at the very least, everyone in the palace knows that Grand Duke Winterbaum, the one person Princess Lotte loves, likes me.
Stan walked towards me, gracefully removing the leaves from his body. Then he removed the leaves from my blonde hair.
“Thank you, Stan”
I don’t care if it’s unclean and nasty as long as I’m in the Lily Palace, but if I go against Stan’s heart, my life will be pretty uncomfortable. Since they were caught red-handed, their lives will be quite difficult in the future.
Accuse me, accuse me. I introduced Regina to Stan as if he were listening on purpose.
“Stan, I was going to introduce you at the last party. This is Regina, a friend of mine.”
When I talked to Stan in a casual way, the eyes of the ladiess standing over there widened. Thanks to that, they will be able to fully recognise who we are.
“I heard a lot about you from Ciel. If you are friends with Ciel, you are also my friend. Lady Regina, if you feel any discomfort in your future life, please come to me anytime.”
“Th-Thank you. Your Highness Stan.”
Apparently, Isaac has a lot of fans, so it seems to have had the opposite effect.
Stan comes in handy at moments like this. Regina also unexpectedly spoke with Stan while standing next to me.
“Did you tell me last time? Your Highness Stan and I have been childhood friends since we were babies.”
I’m not sure whether she articulated it exactly, but Regina is a wise young lady who notices and accepts it even if they just throw it away.
“Of course, I do know.”
“There’s no one in this palace who doesn’t know that we’re childhood friends. Isn’t it, Ciel?”
“That’s exactly right.”
After making a short deal for Regina, Stan and I went into a face-off operation on purpose.
He put his arms across his chest and started arguing, and the two young ladies who had been arguing in front immediately shut their mouths and dropped their heads.
I was annoyed without even realising it because they couldn’t say anything in front of me.
For Regina’s safety, I decided to enlist the help of Stan, who was so devoted to me.
“Stan, I’ll go with Regina first then.”
“Okay. Let me handle the rest.”
I hated it at first because I had an accident, but Stan wasn’t polite enough to ignore the person who swore at me. I left the garden with Regina’s arms crossed and told Stan to take care of everything.
“What are you really doing here?”
“I came to see you. I can’t wait for you to come every time.”
Because that is how friends are. When I answered that, Regina seemed to be somewhat lonely and saved her words.
Regina asked me as we entered the room after an awkward silence.
“Did you hear everything?”
Yes. I heard everything. Everything without omission. Regina would be upset if I mentioned that, so I simply nodded.
“I apologise. Because of me.”
Why is Regina apologising to me when you’re not the one who should be? Stan was about to take on the real wrongdoers, so I ran my fingers over Regina’s downcast hair.
Even when they cursed at me, I wasn’t very pleased. Should I say I was kind of shocked? I never thought Regina would take my side after hearing such nasty things said about me when I wasn’t there.
I expressed my gratitude for our friendship.
“On the contrary, thank you. I think it was good to be friends with you.”
To be very honest, neither of us had good intentions. Regina acknowledged outright that she was Princess Lotte’s spy, so I chose to befriend her so that she would be on my side in the Lily Palace.
But now something has changed. We sat next to each other and held hands.