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These days, dress shops in the capital draw pictures of the latest designs, show them off to the customers who are considered to be the best, and then take separate orders for each one. Alex was also shown the catalogue that Ciel had, and he was told that it came from the Duchess of Valentine.
“It’s pretty, right? Regina asked me to go see the dressing room with her sometime soon.”
Even after the restriction on her leaving the palace was lifted, Ciel continued to keep a close eye on Alex and was hesitant to let her go out. Alex finally had the light bulb moment when he realised why the emperor had said such a thing after seeing the uncomfortable expression on her face.
“Do what you want to do.”
He had no intention of confining her by force. He just wanted to put her somewhere safe. At best, he needed to keep it within reach of his eyes so that he could keep an eye on her in order to feel comfortable.
“Are you angry?”
There isn’t really a problem as long as she doesn’t go to Stan, but for some reason, Ciel gets so intimidated whenever she’s in front of him.
Alex asked Ciel, with his usual frown, what in the world could have made him so angry?
“Hey, I don’t think you want me to go out.”
Even though he didn’t like it, he thought he never let on. Ciel knew right away that he was mad.
“I don’t hate it.”
“Are you serious?”
“You don’t need Lady Regina’s help. If you want, I can take you there myself.”
Ciel asked Alex more than once if he was serious when he said he would take her anywhere.
He wonders if he should do this, but he can still try to clear up the misunderstanding.
However, even if it is okay anywhere, Lily Palace is difficult. Aside from the princess, there is also Stan.
‘What is this… Could it be jealousy?’
It was never easy for him to confront the strange feelings that were in him. However, he does not feel confident that he won’t become angry in that moment if he sees Stan pretending to be close to Ciel in front of him.
“There are problems at your home right now.”
“No way. No way. When I finally get back to my house, I’m sure I’ll be in a lot of pain.”
Preparing for Lady’s debut requires a tremendous amount of time and effort. After making their way back to the tea room, the two of them warmed themselves up with the hot tea that Burnett had prepared.
Alex gently put his chin down as he saw Ciel sigh and say that dance practice was really boring. On the day of the meeting, he saw a figure that looked vaguely familiar in a back alley he hadn’t met in a long time.
Even down to the blonde hair that was visible through the robe on the tiny back of the person. He couldn’t take his eyes off it, as if he were possessed by something.
It was a familiar sight as if he had seen her somewhere, and it remained in his mind, and he could not easily forget her. After putting the robe on Ciel, his feelings finally turned into confidence.
He knew the voice of the leader of the thieves’ guild, who said she would take Ciel.
The person whose voice made him angry and frustrated just by hearing it was closer than he thought.
Regina Netias. If that woman was the leader of the thieves’ guild and the real culprit of this incident, all his expectations were met.
He felt like his blood would start to boil again just by thinking about that time.
‘You must have known.’
Considering that she brought the ring, Ciel must have taken her hand a long time ago. Alex looked down at Ciel, who was sitting next to him.
Even though it was to deal with the princess, he was upset by the fact that Ciel had made a secret from him.
“Do you have any other plans for tomorrow?”
“Particularly nothing, why?”
Alex swallowed a bitter sigh. His face was reflected in those emerald-colored eyes. Ciel will make her social debut next spring at the earliest.
He knew in his head that the power of Princess Lotte’s faction had been completely defeated and that since Regina was in the palace, she had to be sent back as soon as possible, but for some reason, he couldn’t say anything.
“I leave it empty for you. Is there something you want to do?”
There isn’t much time left to be together. Alex’s mind kept going back to how the Emperor had scolded him, so he pretended to be kind to him. But the person in question, Ciel, hesitated as she held the catalogue Regina gave her.
Alex spoke more persistently because he was surprised by the unusual appearance of Ciel.
After clapping her lips several times, Ciel looked around for a moment and then had trouble opening her mouth.
“There’s a place I want to visit.”
“Tell it. I’ll go anywhere with you.”
Except for the Lily Palace and Valentine’s house, of course. Alex kept going on and on, so Ciel sneakily looked at him and waved to him. Alex put his ear next to Ciel’s mouth on purpose because he didn’t want them to hear what she was saying.
Alex’s eyes widened when he heard the secret location being whispered. Ciel was shocked and sad when he looked up at him.
“I apologise. I shouldn’t have said that to you.”
“That’s not true.”
“Are you sure?”
He doesn’t know why she wants to go there, but he can take her there as often as she wants.
Ciel smiled unusually happily in front of Alex, who readily agreed. Ciel had told Regina many times that today’s meeting was a secret, but he couldn’t hide his happiness as he hummed.
Is she that happy? When Alex saw how happy Ciel looked, he called Heine, his secretary.
“Send them a message. I said we would see them soon.”
“I will take your word for it.”
Everyone moved busily at the prince’s command. As this is a golden opportunity to make up for the past slump, even a mistake as small as a fingernail cannot be tolerated.
He will definitely make this outing a success, even if he uses all the means at his disposal. Alex steeled himself by staring at the door where Ciel had left.
* * *
The dream has come true. Before getting on the carriage, I thought Alex was just going to show me around the neighbourhood, but he ended up keeping his word.
“This is what the entrance to the back alley looks like.”
Last time, I couldn’t see it well because I had to go through a back passage after the sun went down. But when I came confidently to the main gate, where mercenaries were standing, I couldn’t help but shout.
“Starting from this point, each guild will have their own independent region.”
We came by carriage and heard about the circumstances. Due to this Thieves Guild incident, each guild was guaranteed autonomy in exchange for paying a certain amount of taxes.
In effect, it is a request to make nobles pay more taxes in order to stop them from freely running their businesses.
Alex didn’t get much out of seeing the nobles get rich, so he was happy to let it happen. It is a win-win situation, the leaves of mulberry trees are food for silkworms. 
Because of this agreement, the back alleys are no longer cloaked in secrecy; rather, they have emerged from the shadows and are now proudly open to the world.
If the black market starts up, it won’t be beneficial to the empire in any way. When the wrong people were full, he was called out.
I’m glad things worked out well. Indeed, he is a worthy candidate for emperor.
Alex asked for something in return for taking us to this interesting place.
Don’t tell Clara, Isaac, or Regina this. Even if it’s open to the public now, my parents might nag me if they find out I was taken to a busy back alley.
I rarely leave the mansion, so the secret back alley was amazing to me.
“Shall we go in?”
“Yes. Your Highness.”
An old woman who had only one eye was selling curse dolls from the back of a side alley. There were a few different kinds of tools displayed in the store window that I couldn’t recognize. A man with narrow eyes and a frock coat with swallow feathers was waiting for us on the other side of the entrance.
When we walked in, the man who, for some reason, immediately brought to mind a fox greeted us with a friendly smile.
“Welcome, Master Alex.”
Master Alex? Well, if they carelessly call him the crown prince, his identity may be revealed, so be careful.
“Who is he?”
“I am sorry for introducing myself late. I am the person who will guide you here today.”
He could have told me his name, but Alex just said that and looked at me in a way that suggested he didn’t like it. Even so, the man with narrowed eyes raised his eyebrows and looked at me with interest, wondering what was so good about it.
“I’ve heard a lot about you. You are a much lovelier person than I heard in stories.”
“Thank you for taking the time today. Please call me Ciel.”
I didn’t give you the name Valentine on purpose. He looks more like he is from this alley than the imperial palace.
“Should we just leave then?”
The man tried to start guiding with skill, but he forgot something important. I grabbed my dress coat’s hem right away.
“What should I call you?”
I clearly gave my name, but he didn’t tell me his name until after saying hello and leaving.
Aside from not being polite, it seems very unnecessary to call someone ‘Hey there’ every time.
When I asked him a question out of the blue, he tilted his head for a second and then laughed out loud, not sure what was so funny.
“Well. I don’t mind what you call me. Sebastian or something easy to call.”
“Can I call you Go?”
When I think of Sebastian, the only thing that comes to mind is telling them to get out. I protested by saying the wrong thing on purpose so I could ask for his name.
I deliberately made a false statement and put on a show to ask for his name.
What’s going to happen now? When the man with fox eyes heard my question, he laughed out loud and grabbed his belly button.
“You really are an interesting person.”
Alex, who didn’t seem to be having any fun at all, told me his name. The name was too long, so I gave him a nickname as I wanted.
“Then I’ll call you Mark.”
“That’s a cute nickname. I like it.”
It’s better than a dog’s name.
“Ciel. If you get lost, you’ll be in trouble, so hold my hand.”
I decided not to refuse Alex’s favour as his escort, as usual. However, what I felt while walking together was that, unlike me, who was just looking around as it was my first time here, Alex seemed quite familiar with the back alleys.
The two continued to tell stories that only they knew. At first glance, it looks like they don’t talk to each other. I went up to Alex and quietly asked.
“How did the two of you get to know each other?”
“He owes me for the last drug incident.”
“Even though I look like this, I’m very good at getting information in the back alleys.”
The man with fox-like eyes spoke with a light tone of pride. He somehow smells like a scammer, but is that okay? We walked down a fairly secluded alley, imagining the relationship between two people who did not seem to be friends.
The first place I went to was a jewellery store. There were many different jewels in the store, but no one knew where they came from.
“Wow, it’s pretty.”
“I can see that you like it.”
“Oh, a precious guest has arrived.”
To proudly display products of this size in back alleys, which are lawless, would mean that you are confident. The shopkeeper put down the long pipe and greeted us politely.
The shopkeeper seemed to recognize Alex. I finally took off my cape after I pulled down the curtain so they couldn’t see inside from outside.
 The leaves of mulberry trees are food for silkworms means they complete 2 missions at one time.