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* * *
A very busy day is over. After dinner, Alex couldn’t return to the palace until late at night. Perhaps because the entire palace was in an emergency state, today the palace of the crown prince was completely silent.
“Ciel, good night.”
“Yes. Sister too.”
My sister rushed back from her daily activities and laid down on the bed in my cosy room for the first time. I looked at my sister’s face as she slept on my side.
“Am I doing well now?”
According to the original story, by now Alex is poisoned, attacked by the princess’s faction, and suffers. However, I changed the future, and now an unexpected thief has appeared.
As has always been the case, the big event remains unchanged and somehow continues. Then what will be my fate?
It was said that the night was exceptionally dark today, and the falling moon was covered by clouds. Looking at the dim moonlight, I thought of Regina, who had disappeared.
“What was it?”
I can’t even go see her. Feeling frustrated, I sighed and turned around. As I was closing the door to the terrace and getting ready to go inside, I heard a voice behind me.
“Why aren’t you sleeping yet?”
A thin, high-pitched voice came. When I hurriedly turned around, Regina was standing there. This is the third floor, but normal people can’t get here without magic because the security is so tight.
Regina answered with a smile at my bewildered question.
“Are you afraid that even if I go in and out of the Lily Palace casually, I won’t be able to just because you are here?”
At first glance, she sounds very cocky, but it can’t be denied. Compared to the palace of the lily, the palace of the crown prince is no different from a neglected boundary and is open to the public.
Furthermore, most of the guards are out looking for the phantom thief today, leaving the prince’s palace defenceless.
Regina seemed very different from who she usually was. Her face, voice, and even her eyes reminded me of Regina, but my friend, who raised the hem of her dress gracefully to greet me, seemed to have vanished from this world.
“Are you using me?”
A court mage would have rushed in and set up a barrier with more than ten people. Regina and the others would have been stealing one or two from Princess Lotte on her way to and from the treasure house if I hadn’t released the magical barrier.
“Yes. I used you. I’m not on the princess’s side, though.”
“Why did you steal Princess Lotte’s treasures?”
“Because it’s a pity that beautiful jewels are locked up in such a place.”
Regina searched her pocket and took out something. A huge diamond, about the size of a fist, that fit in a small pocket gave off a dazzling sparkle.
“This is enough. It’s better to put it on Ciel than to put it on her neck.”
After she said that, Regina took a step behind me. Regina quickly put on the necklace, gave me a light smile, and ran her finger through my hair.
“It looks good on you.”
For some reason, Regina, with her cool, sad face, touched the diamond hanging around my neck.
“Hello, the precious Princess of Valentine.”
Why are you staring at me like that after telling me you used me to steal jewellery?
Regina jumped lightly onto the balcony railing, wearing the shawl I gave her.
“Wait, I still have something to say…….”
Shh. Regina raised her index finger and placed it on my lips, looking at me when I was about to shout something. Be quiet. Regina, who smiled lightly, disappeared over the air as it was.
My sister woke up from her sleep and rubbed her eyes. Then, maybe because she heard people talking, she looked for me.
Also, if the princess caught her giving me something like this, what would she do to her?
Regina ran off into the darkness, leaving only a diamond necklace around my neck. I had no time to be angry with her.
* * *
Every morning, Theo Valentine left the house early. He went to the Crown Prince’s palace, where Clara is now, to meet his unrequited love, whom he has raised alone for more than ten years.
Clara, who had long, three-layered hair pulled back neatly, also greeted him today.
“Just call me Theo.”
“It’s because I’m still not used to it.”
We know each other’s positions better than anyone else. As Clara left the house, the excuse of a good adopted daughter disappeared. Theo had a great time with Clara again today.
“I heard there was a commotion in the imperial palace?”
“Unfortunately, Ciel has been sick lately. Seeing that she couldn’t write a letter again today, I think she is going to rest for a while.”
Her parents are also my parents, but it would be more accurate to say that the reason Ciel writes letters every day is actually because of Theo rather than her parents.
I’m trying to find a way for them to get along. If Ciel ever stops writing letters, Theo will also have no reason to come see Clara.
Worried more than anything about Clara’s state of concern, Theo gently reached out to her.
“Are you okay?”
“I’ve never changed. I got to know a lot of new people and learned a lot here. I like it. It’s cool and fun.”
“……Is that so?”
Theo tried to laugh with Clara, who was smiling brightly in front of him. If Clara is happy, he should be happy, too, but he feels very lonely when he thinks he has to go home alone.
“What about you?”
“I’m feeling lonely.”
There were plenty of excuses to make. Isaac and Ciel are also in the palace, along with Clara. He didn’t talk much with Louise because they didn’t get along.
“So do you. If something is hard, it’s okay to say so.”
“I’m always worried. Since you’re the eldest son, you’re trying to carry everything on your own.”
That’s not why it’s really hard. Didn’t realise how fast she was, Clara, dug through the drawer and gave him a bunch of healthy supplements that wouldn’t hurt him.
“You have to cheer up. Ciel is also sick, but what if you are sick, too?”
“Why is she sick in the first place?”
A few days ago, Princess Lotte’s treasure store was stolen by the phantom thief. Lady, who was caught up in the situation and became close to Ciel, also went missing. Theo went to the palace of the crown prince himself to cheer up his sister, who must have been sad.
“The Young Duke of Valentine ate it.”
The door opened with a voice mixed with crying. When Theo entered the room, the barriers in the room shook.
Ciel, who was usually lively, sat still on the bed and greeted him in a weak voice. The huge amount of mana that moved around the room showed how Ciel was doing. He walked over to the bed and sat on the edge.
Since she was seriously ill once when she was young, she was a child who had never been sick like this unless it was food poisoning, but Ciel today was very strange.
“You must be having a hard time.”
Ciel’s eyes were already burning red, and her green eyes were filled with tears as she was embraced by Theo.
I’ve never seen my younger brother cry so much. He, who always kept a cold attitude by shouting neutrality, did not hesitate to stretch out his arms and pat her on the back to comfort his sick sister.
“Brother. I’m so frustrated here.”
“Would you like to go home?”
“That’s not true.”
Ciel said something unexpected, shedding tears pitifully.
“I miss Louise.”