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Seeing Alex interrogate him as if he were my boyfriend somehow made me angry. I deliberately pretended that he was exaggerating.
“He was a very nice and beautiful man. He was a shining person like the morning sun.”
I knew he would be like this. I thought he would notice me just by talking about Stan, but Alex just shot an arrow of doubt at the innocent priest.
I don’t know how he can be the emperor of an empire when he is so narrow-minded, but I guess I can’t help it because he is still young.
Alex’s fluctuating emotions were amusing, so I shuddered as if to listen.
“When it comes to priests, I thought they were all grandfathers with white beards. But the person I met today was such a beautiful person.”
I thought it would be easy for him to figure out who he was if I told him what colour his hair and eyes were, so I didn’t try to be fake and used a lot of rhetoric.
Whether it’s the way his hair shines or the way his eyes look like jewels. When I used some old-fashioned words, Alex’s face got colder.
“I was just saying that it was like that among priests. However, in my eyes, Your Highness is the best.”
Even though I have common sense, I would never dream of having a love line with a priest. But Alex doesn’t trust me at all, so I can’t help it. I let go of Alex’s hand, which I was holding tight, and he was stunned.
“It can’t be helped if Your Highness doesn’t believe in me.”
“No, Ciel. I don’t mean that…”
He lowered his head with a deliberately sad expression, and Alex began to noticeably panic.
Alex, not used to living with his siblings, was easily fooled by my thin lie.
“That’s sad. You know I like you a lot.”
He smiled even though he had a tear in his eye. After I said this, Alex could no longer ask me anything.
As the youngest of five siblings, Alex is like soft tofu in front of me, who has learned all the tricks.
Still, I thought he’d make me feel better, but Alex grabbed my hand and brought me to the carriage.
His hand, which got calluses from practising swordsmanship, was very different from my soft hand. The joints are hard, and much longer. His fingers were gently wrapped around the back of my hand.
Since when, if you think about it? The distance between us feels like it has shrunk to nothing. Alex sat down in the middle of the wide carriage, like nothing was wrong.
Obviously, he will lose his leadership skills in the future if I let this go too easily. I sat in the corner and hugged the ugly doll that looked like me to get away from the empty seat next to Alex’s.
“I’ll see you downstairs later.”
As soon as I arrived at the palace, Burnett changed him into pants he would wear to sparring.
“When I’m ready, he wants to see me at the training ground.”
“… … I’m not fit to use my body.”
I knew that the seasons were changing when it started to get pretty cold. Now that I think about it, the three months I promised my parents won’t be far away.
I should tell Alex that I want to leave the palace because I can still help him after I leave.
I made up my mind and opened the training ground. As the sun went down, it turned everything red.
After coming out dressed lightly, Alex was standing on one side of the training ground reading documents with his assistant, unbuttoning several shirts on the neck, as if he were not getting cold.
I took a step back from the door so as not to get in the way. When I had to wait, I liked to look at Alex’s side profile. If I go home, it will be hard to see this again.
“Then let’s handle it this way… Ciel”
“I’m sorry, Your Highness, but I’m running late getting ready.”
Alex noticed right away that I was there. I knelt down and bowed to the crown prince, just as the emperor had told me to do in the imperial manners code.
This is also kind of angry, but Alex’s face didn’t change. He just walked up to me and put his hand out.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
When Alex escorted me, the maids didn’t know what to do.
I can’t help but sigh because everyone thinks Alex is crazy about me.
The reason I called him here in the first place was that I listened to him and thought about speaking out, so I calmly followed Alex.
“I heard that you have something to say.”
“Yes. That’s right. I have something to say. That’s what I said earlier.”
Does he want to say sorry? I looked at Alex in a calm way and nodded. But after hesitating a few times, he opened his mouth with such difficulty.
“I told you to stay still, but you just went wandering around the inside and got lost. This is a big mistake.”
“Please excuse me?”
What do you mean when you say that, even though I’m not guilty? I was stunned when he repeated the ending of the story he had just told.
“You’ve done something wrong. So I must punish you.”
Doesn’t that turn out to be the case? It’s mean and unkind. I slammed my lips together and gave Alex a mad look.
“Okay. It’s a huge payoff. Bring it in.”
Are you saying that now? I gave Alex a hard look and felt like I should do something if I could.
I’m in a really bad mood today, but I have to say everything I want to say today, even if it means being kicked out of the palace.
Before I do that, let’s take a look at the punishment Alex prepared. I bit my lip and brought my head back up.
It was then. When I looked up, and saw round eyes and heard a neighing sound.
I was so surprised that I took a step backward. A white horse came up to me and licked my face as it breathed in warm air and clacked its hooves.
“Ugh, what is this!”
“I told you. This is punishment.”
It wasn’t until Meryl ran over and wiped my cheek that she saw the horse standing in front of me.
The seat and reins are big enough for a beginner. Alex used to ride that horse a lot, and the horse standing next to it had very clear eyes.
“What do you mean?”
“I heard your parents wouldn’t let you ride a horse even though you wanted to.”
You’re right. The only extracurricular activity on my mom’s tight list that I couldn’t do even if I wanted to was horseback riding.
When Louise turned 11, he got a pony for his birthday, and I insisted on riding it. But my parents got it right when they asked, “Which girl rides a horse?”
After three days of crying and crying, I was told I could ride a horse when I was almost old enough. But no one told me when, so time went by and I forgot all about it.
“Yes. Now you have to spend an hour every day learning how to ride this horse. That’s how you’ll be punished.”
What kind of punishment is this, a prize? Does that mean I’m getting this as a gift?
The horse that looked very gentle was a white horse with glossy white fur. It had solid muscles without flabby skin and a glossy mane, making it appear to be a piece of divine art that I couldn’t easily reach out to touch.
“Come and touch it.”
Alex came up to me, took my hand, and let me touch the horse. The soft mane had a grassy smell. The horse seemed happy, and while purring, he rubbed his face against my cheek.
It was the first time I had ever seen such a cute horse. The horse that came up to me and teased me was so cute that I stopped being scared of it and stroked its mane.
“Isn’t this a gift and not a punishment?”
I thought he was going to give me a present that I had forgotten about. I was so glad that the things I had been upset about earlier went away like melting snow. With him smiling brightly in front of me, Alex said with a blunt face.
“Sure. I’ll teach you how to ride a horse.”
“I beg your pardon?”
The good feeling faded away again in a moment. Alex’s brows were distorted again when I showed my dislike. This is not it, I forced the corners of my mouth to curry favour with him.
“No, I meant that Your Highness is a very busy person, so I was worried.”
“I told you. This is punishment.”
Alex gave me a clout on my forehead and lifted my waist up.
“Let’s start today off with a light turn.”
“Your Highness, please wait a minute!”
I climbed on a horse. Unlike stable waggons, it showed how the muscles of a horse moved every time it breathed. Alex was much better at getting into the seat and holding on to the reins than I was. I could barely even sit down.
“If you’re scared, you can lean on me.”
“It’s not all that scary.”
It really is scary. I knew the horse was moving because I had a good hold on the reins.
Even though there were two of us on the horse, it started walking around the training ground and showing off its well-groomed hair without batting an eye.
“Wow, that’s really cool.”
“You seem to like it.”
Before I knew it, the horse had me thinking about how I was going to leave the palace. Also, if Alex taught horseback riding every day for an hour, it would be hard for me to leave the palace.
I turned my head to see Alex sitting behind me.
“Are you feeling uncomfortable?”
Because His Highness’ shoulders are too broad. I can fit in the shoulders because they are big enough. If I said something like this for no reason, he would tell me to get off right away, so I decided to keep quiet and enjoy my first time riding a horse.
Also, that horse is very pretty. I want to take this horse with me even if I leave the palace. I sneaked out, looking at Alex.
Excuse me, but are you then giving me this horse as a gift?”
“I see what you do.”
I wish you’d be kind to me. Unlike my family, who are always soft on me, Alex rarely talks to me.
If I go home like this, I’ll say goodbye forever. I don’t like that, so shall I stay in the imperial palace a little longer?
By the way, I was just amazed at how the horse picked the guy that I liked.
Cluttering. Alex and I walked through the sunset garden with a happy hoofbeat. The bad feeling went away without a trace.
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
“Don’t mention it.”
He’s blunt. But I guess you prepared this for me even though I am clumsy, so I’ll let you off the hook this time.
I put my hand on Alex’s, who took the reins and kept the precious memory of my first ride.