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“Actually, Regina, the reason I’m here is to request a favour from you.”
“Yes. You can refuse. I have to ask you a difficult favour for some reason.”
I can let Stan know about anything else, but what I’m going to do from this point on is keep a secret that Stan can’t find it out about.
Still, from the standpoint of seeking cooperation, I felt obliged to reveal at least what I was plotting.
“I’m thinking of robbing Princess Lotte’s treasure house.”
When I mentioned this, it sounded like a massive robbery. Regina was surprised.
No, there’s only one thing there. His Highness Alex wants to get back her mother’s keepsake.”
A spy is someone who doesn’t know how much Princess Lotte hates Alex. When I said that I wanted to find the last thing left by someone who had already passed away, Regina expressed her willingness to cooperate without saying anything.
“So, what can I do for you?”
“Will you help me?”
I didn’t know you would be so willing to help. To be honest, it’s stealing the princess’s things, so it wouldn’t be strange if she refused. Regina looked me straight in the eyes and said.
“My mother died too.”
Similar to that, because her mother died, Regina will understand Alex’s feelings about having her keepsakes taken away far better than I do.
I thought this kid might make a good partner for Alex. I asked Regina this question seriously while holding her hand tight.
“What do you think of Alex, His Royal Highness, Regina?”
“I think he’s a small-minded man.”
What did I hear? I’m sure it’s not a compliment. Regina smiled and folded my arms without giving me a chance to ask what she meant.
“That’s how it was. I was nervous about what else to say.”
“What do you mean?”
“No. I thought that would be interesting.”
Regina even showed me a map of the Lily Palace, humming to me like someone planning a fun picnic.
But where the hell did she get the Lily Palace map that I couldn’t find no matter how hard I looked?
* * *
“Are you out of your mind?”
“Yes. It’s fine, brother. Just help me a little bit.”
The only one of my elder brothers who could possibly be persuaded by this argument is Isaac, despite that it is a contrived argument. My older brother, who believed in me even when I produced fermented soybeans with red beans, yelled when he read my great determination because he knew I would succeed.
“You have to be careful.”
The date that Alex is scheduled to depart for an outside inspection three days after the case is scheduled to officially begin has been set. All of my plans were done a long time before the operation began. While I waited for Theo to make me a fake ring, I practised getting through the magic barrier by going into and out of the Lily Palace whenever I could.
Breaking it down is actually quite simple. To expend enormous amounts of magical power and then reap it so that no trace of the magical power remains.
It’s almost impossible to track me down with only traces of magic power. Pure magic power doesn’t have any special traits, and in the first place, the only people who know my type of magic properly are my family.
Alex asked me this after he saw me practise a lot and drink many bottles of vitamins that my sister had given me.
“What are you so excited about?”
I don’t believe the person who created my practise area has anything to say. I polished my treasure number. 1 Laevateinn, which was full of my magical power, while polishing it to a shine.
“Why is Your Highness so free?”
The person who normally would have been bothered in the office, after the party, strangely followed me around.
“I’m keeping an eye on you to make sure you don’t do anything reckless again.”
That nonchalant response surprised me. It was a good choice for a day without Alex. I pretended nothing happened as much as I could.
That’s how bright the long-awaited morning of D-Day was. I purposely said goodbye to Alex in my pyjamas, saying I had been up all night reading.
“Take a break today if you’re tired.”
“I’m going to. I will be sleeping quietly in my room today, so have a good trip.”
“…… All right. I’ll get back as soon as possible.”
Alex didn’t seem like he wanted to go to work today. Even the crown prince appears to share the sorrow of office workers who have to go to work every day.
As soon as Alex left, I piled food all over the room.
“I’m going to read a book I haven’t read in a long time. Don’t wake me up because I have a lot to eat and will go to sleep when I’m tired from reading. Do you get it?”
“My lady, what are you planning again?”
Even if no one else knows, my maid, Meryl, can’t be fooled.
“All is well.”
I carefully shut the door and smiled at Meryl, who looked worried. In the meantime, there was bustle on outside.
“Hey, I need help! The horses have run off.”
It’s because Isaac, who listened to my request, released all the horses tied to the stable. While everyone else was looking for horses, I used magic to land softly in the garden.
“Ciel, come this way.”
Isaac, who came to pick me up, brought the waggon. The coachman stuffed us into a carriage disguised as a large cart with a heavy-mouthed horse and drove us to the vicinity of the Lily Palace.
We stopped the waggon behind the outer wall near the back of the Lily Palace. Isaac chose to wait outside after arriving at the appointed spot.
Perhaps he had heard the sound of the carriage, but he heard Regina’s voice from inside. Isaac gripped my shoulder firmly.
“Promise me. You’ll come out safely.”
“Yes. I promise.”
Isaac sent me away with an unreliable face. I gathered magic into my Lævateinn and carefully climbed over the wall, where Regina and her three maids were waiting for me.
“Who are these people?”
“They are my maids. Everyone’s mouth is shut, so it’s okay not to worry.”
They’ve never been to the Palace of Crown Prince before, so they’re all strangers, but judging by their expressions, they’re trustworthy maids.
With the help of the maid, I changed into a maid’s uniform belonging to the Lily Palace. My fair blond hair was pulled up and tucked into a hat, and my face was covered with bangs.
I tried to hide it, but if you look at my face straight on, you can see it. Fortunately, I chose to keep my head down behind the maids and creep as silently as possible near the treasure trove.
“No. I just have a bit of an ominous feeling.”
I still felt like Stan was watching me from somewhere, so I looked around for no reason.
Won’t he notice? With that in mind, I kept my head down and followed Regina as close as I could.
“Come with me this way.”
It can’t take long. Regina took the maids along the most deserted road to the building where the treasure trove was.
“It’s an off-the-beaten-path location, but it’s normally under heavy surveillance.”
I was walking deliberately out of the bush when Regina stopped me. We, who followed, also stopped side by side.
“What’s going on?”
Someone was talking across the bush. They must have been taken the wrong way. I took a closer look at that person while hiding in the bushes.
A black-bearded uncle stood next to a grandfather with a deep voice and a white beard. I thought I had seen their faces at a few imperial parties before, but it was hard to tell who was who.
“Did the Marquis of Baldr reject our offer?”
“They said they would go back to the estate the next day. Where the hell did the story get out? Everyone seemed to know what we were up to.”
“This. If Her Highness found out about this, she would be upset. I mean, what do I do?”
“The Marquis of Romford and the Marquis of Orsay. Both of them are close aides to Princess Lotte.”
The Marquis of Romford was certainly the aristocracy of someone who had been nominated for prime minister but lost, and who could no longer serve properly as the right man.
And next to him was the Marquis of Orsay. At first look, I knew he was a powerful southern nobleman who could have gotten a lot of power if even Marquis of Baldr had helped him.