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“How can I eat all of this? It’s too much.”
“Just this many?”
“Your Highness. I asked them to deliver the rest.”
Sir Wilhelm said something, and Alex nodded and took the envelope back from me. He then gave it to Sir Wilhelm. Soon after that, the owner of the candy store put a “sold out” sign on the door and closed the store.
“What, is it already sold out?”
“It’s only been an hour since they opened.”
While people who came to buy candy were leaving dissatisfied, even the products displayed on the wall inside the store were being packaged. I asked Alex, no way.
“Your Highness, there’s no way…”
“I asked for all of the candy in the store.”
How can that be so easy to say? Maybe I was looking down on Alex.
Alex shrugged his shoulders and asked what else I wanted when he had stolen from every store. Tiara, dresses, and now even a candy store.
If we keep going like this, we might end up buying all the alleys.
“How can I possibly eat all of that?”
“If you have any extra food, you can give it to other people.”
He said I could share it with everyone but Stan.
When I looked at Alex’s unusually serious eyes, I felt like I was going to be mistaken. Today, there is no way to guess what his intentions are, as he is strangely kind.
Alex didn’t say anything and just held my hand as if he was enjoying the way I looked at him.
I looked up at him, who seemed to have something to say. With eyes that seemed a little sad, he opened his mouth very carefully.
“We are in trouble!”
When Alex opened his mouth to speak, someone yelled.
The central clock tower’s bell, which had never rung before, made the ringing even louder.
The street quickly turned into chaos. After hearing the bell, both the store owner and the people on the street hurriedly packed their bags and the street vendors also began to hurriedly withdraw. In the midst of the confusion, Alex hurriedly picked me up and gave instructions to Sir Wilhelm.
“Bring me my horse.”
“I’m going to get it right now.”
Uncle Mark’s face lost its playful smile for the first time. He was gone in a flash, like he had never been here.
The attendants who had been waiting in the distance came running to protect us.
“What the hell is going on?”
“The plans for the afternoon are cancelled.”
Amidst the serious atmosphere, I tried my best to recall my memories. The day the unringing bell rang for the first time. This is definitely not the first time I heard this today.
“Your Highness, it’s a command to hurry to the palace.”
A white-faced messenger came to see Alex. White smoke rose from beyond the capital. Alex handed the day he was holding to Sir Wilhelm.
“Wilhelm. Take Ciel to Duke Valentine’s House.”
In the chaos of the streets, Alex got on his horse with just one word. I thought he was being particularly kind today. I guess that was why he was doing that.
Memories that I don’t want to recall now came back to me. Before my dad in my previous life abandoned my sister and me, he took us to an amusement park for some reason.
I had never been to an amusement park before, and the colourful parade made it hard for me to see anything but holding my sister’s hand and riding the rides. I didn’t know until it was almost time to close. My sister and I were left in that place that looked like a dream.
“Go back. Your family is waiting for you in their arms.”
Alex got away from me, leaving one word behind, like a man getting ready for something.
“You must leave right now. Come here.”
As the situation became more serious, Isaac and Regina, who had been hiding, also appeared. Following Regina’s guidance, we headed down a path that was relatively less confusing.
I tightened my grip on my fists as I watched his back disappear into the distance as if we would never see each other again.
No matter how hard I try, there is no way to avoid fate.
Soon, the chaos shaking the empire struck the capital, making all the worries about debuting in the social world seem meaningless.
Clara woke up in her dorm, drenched in cold sweat. It’s been so long ago that even remembering it has become meaningless, but there was a time when she definitely thought that way.
Clara’s morning started early. Even though she was an adopted daughter, the duchy had several maids to serve her, but now she only had one imperial palace maid who did chores.
Still, there were no particular complaints. She felt at ease when she thought that since she was not the biological daughter of a duke named Clara in the first place, the things she had enjoyed were not hers from the beginning.
Even in the crown prince’s palace, people were upset to hear that the duke’s adopted daughter was coming to work as an apothecary. On the other hand, Clara never used Valentine’s power to help herself.
Perhaps thanks to that, she now has quite a few friends. Even though some people still make fun of her and call her “Lady Clara,” the number of people who acknowledge her skills and respect her has grown a lot.
“This letter comes from Ciel.”
“I’ll leave it up to you.”
Her colleague shook his head as he watched Clara accept the letter Burnett handed her.
“You’ve worked hard today too.”
It was also Clara’s job to deliver Ciel’s letter to the Duke and Duchess every morning. When a coworker said that doing that every day was strange, Clara just shrugged her shoulders.
Even though she is the duke’s adopted daughter, she will always be just that—the duke’s adopted daughter. Clara will never be Ciel. She has no desire to be.
“The master came back again today.”
It is Theo’s job to deliver the letter. Theo always went to the palace of the crown prince, even on days when Ciel didn’t write letters.
“Yes. Say, I’ll be there soon.”
Clara took one look at herself in the mirror, smoothed out her skirt, and then left the room. Her colleagues who had initially felt burdened by the Duke’s visit now treated Theo without any worries.
As the years passed, Theo became more like their father. Nothing has changed since she first met him until he became an adult.
“Good morning, Clara.”
After Ciel was born, Clara, who was no different from a rolling stone, suddenly became a person or thing that is looked down on. Old employees, including Madame Lisbon, often harassed Clara secretly, fearing that Clara would take away the share that Ciel deserved.
– Clara’s maid doesn’t seem to be doing her job well.
– Seriously? Madame Lisbon needs to know.
It was noticeable that her parents believed and respected Theo’s words.
Since they blatantly harassed Clara and Ciel grew older, and then Theo started taking care of his sister, the harassment from employees has decreased, and enough time has passed that it can now be considered a thing of the past.
“You look tired.”
“I had a dream when we first met. Time flies so fast, doesn’t it?”
No matter how young she was, the memories of that day were still vivid. Theo and Isaac, who were like princes, lived in a beautiful house with a kind couple. Looking at Clara, who was smiling bitterly, Theo tucked the side hair that had fallen behind her ear.
“When did I say I’d forgotten everything?”
“How could I forget? It’s the day I found such a kind older brother.”
Since she moved into the Crown Prince’s Palace, Clara has also put on a lot of weight. Even when he was joking, Theo’s only thought was about Clara’s safety.
“Is that because it’s hard to live in the palace?”
Most of all, her oldest brother was worried. Isaac and Ciel are standing up for her, and she has become good friends with Alex.
Even though there was no way anyone would go so far as to touch Clara, the prince’s friend, Clara smiled proudly every time she looked at Theo, who was full of worry for her.
“If it was hard, you would have gone home right away, right?”
When she reached adult age, the Duchess presented Clara with a bouquet of flowers as she became a lady. Since she built her greenhouse, the Duke of Valentine would bring Clara rare plants when he went on business trips.
It’s not easy to care that much about their own children. That’s why Clara never had anything bad to say about the duke couple. Because she loves them just as much as her own parents, whose faces she can’t even remember anymore.
Even though Clara was smiling at him in a calm way, Theo’s face was still stiff.
She can tell just by looking at his eyes. Even though Theo was always nice to Clara, he never thought of her as his real sister.
Theo was so strict that he would not allow his youngest child, Ciel, to be pampered at all. She can tell just by looking at him that such a person is especially kind to her.
When he was nice to her, her stomach would turn. Theo turned 22 soon, and the next Duke of Valentine was soon old enough to talk about marriage.
There was a reason why she left the Valentine mansion. Because she can’t rely on Theo forever.
If she can’t be a real young sister anyway, it might be better for her to be someone else.
Alex understood Clara’s situation. She, who had been mocking by saying that she would rather give up this position, brightened up considerably with Ciel by his side.
Maybe Alex will change, just like Clara did.
“Ciel will go home soon, so you’ll be free from this boring business.”
“You’ve done a great job. It must have been a hassle every morning. I’m fine now that Your Highness is here.”
Since Theo is a kind person, it would be better for her to be the first to say that he doesn’t have to come anymore.
A look of disappointment appeared in Theo’s eyes when he saw Clara in front of him, who clearly told him not to come anymore. Even Clara, who says these words, is not at ease.
“Are you uncomfortable with me coming?”
“That’s not true. No younger sister doesn’t like it when her brother comes.”
If they can’t be a real family anyway, it’s better this way. Even when Theo gets older and has a wife, Clara puts on a mask again to be by his side.