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Ran shuddered in surprise and looked straight at Yustaf.
“What do you mean?”
“Why do you want to know about the second prince, now of all times?”
“I want to know what kind of person he is.”
“Yeah, I mean, why?”
She sighed and leaned over the chair.
“The Crown Prince may not become the Emperor.”
“Now you’re saying something that sounds like treason.”
“Honestly, I don’t want him to be the Emperor.”
“Now this is treason.”
“But he’s a son of a-.”
Ran was about to say something, but she bit her lips. She didn’t want to tell Yustaf that the crown prince was chasing her.
It’s not a story worth telling.
Besides, she didn’t even want to think twice about the crappy Crown Prince’s voice and what he told her.
She supports the poisoning of the Crown Prince.
It was fortunate that she didn’t make a banner supporting that plot.
“That son of what? What’s next?”
“It didn’t sound like it was nothing.”
“At least it’s not something I can tell to my younger brother.”
“More reason to tell me then. I’m not your little brother.”
At Yustaf’s words, Ran nodded, swallowed her breath, and finally let out a sigh.
Yustaf stretched out his neat fingers. He stroked her bangs behind her ears as gently as if stroking a small kitten.
It was a soothing touch.
Tickling and shy, Ran pulled her upper body back.
“Just a little.”
“Just a little?”
Yustaf didn’t seem willing to back down. Ran let out a sigh.
“He was just sexually harassing me a little.”
Yustaff’s face hardened slightly.
“What did you say?”
“We already know that the Crown Prince is a scoundrel. He seemed to like me, and for some reason, the Crown Princess was acting as if I was going to steal him from her.”
Ran, who had been silent, took a deep breath and confessed about the Crown Prince’s assault. Such a story cannot be told to one’s subordinates, and when I complained to Yustaf, I felt rather refreshed.
“He rubbed my back and touched my ass-”
Yustaf quietly listened to Ran’s story as her voice grew louder and faster.
“He said that my chest looked big and that he would give me underwear as a gift.”
Ran felt light and refreshed after spitting out everything she was saving.
“Well, that’s what happened.”
“Okay, then let’s meet the second prince in person.”
‘Wait a minute,’ Ran thought as he looked at Yustaf. She was about to meet the second prince purely out of curiosity.
She has no intention to meddle with the imperial family’s history.
But now, doesn’t Yustaf’s ‘Let’s meet’ have a completely different meaning??
“What are you going to do when you meet him?”
“I’m going to see who he is.”
Yustaf said as he lightly grabbed her hair, swept it down, and let it go.
“And then we have to think about what to do next.”
“What about you, sister?”
Why does the question come back to me?
“What were you going to do after meeting the second prince?”
“I’m thinking of building a little friendship.”
“Well, that would be great.”
Ran looked at Yustaf with a suspicious face.
‘Weren’t you talking to me about treason when I mentioned him?”
Ran looked at Yustaf’s statue-like cool face. This stone-like guy will get so smitten with Sina that he’ll change his behavior 180°.
Love is amazing.
Ran rose from her seat thinking so.
“Everyone’s going crazy.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, Yustaf. Everyone is dying to see you but Yus is not an adult yet, so you can’t enter the society.”
“That’s why everyone’s dying to see your face somehow.”
“They’ll see me soon enough. I have to finish up my job with Marquis Cameron anyway.”
Before realizing, Ran asked.
“Yus, did you really…”
When she started and couldn’t finish, Yustaf nodded.
“If you’re asking me if I really killed his son, Yes, I did.”
Ran took a breath and looked at him. Blue’s gaze was silently fixed on her. She couldn’t find any trace of madness or bloodlust in it. She could barely say it jokingly.
“Should I say I’m glad you didn’t hang his head on a spear?”
“You don’t have to do that to a man you killed in a duel.”
Does that mean you’d do it if you hadn’t killed him in a duel?
“More than that, I thought you’d ask me a different question.”
Ran was taken aback by Yustaf’s words, and her green eyes widened.
“Another question? Like what?”
“If you don’t have anything to say, that’s fine.”
Ran smiled bitterly at his remarks, while he backed away neatly.
“If you’re talking about the viridescent shadows, I didn’t want to talk about it.”
“That’s how you bring it up.”
“Well, it’s fine. No wonder you took so much money from your allowance.”
“Yeah, well, I have about a year left, no, less than a year? Anyway, I’ll be done with my work as the head soon.”
Yustaf looked at Ran without saying anything, and she looked back as if to say ‘everything was really fine.’.
Yustaf said, sighing lightly.
‘I’m not sure why, but the atmosphere around Yus changed.
Ran was thinking this as she watched Yustaf. Of course, he was taller now, his voice was deeper, but he seemed more approachable now.
‘Is it my mistake to say that the sharpness of the past has softened because now I’m used to Yus?’
Yustaf, puzzled by her gaze, turned to face her.
“Why do you look at me like that?”
“Did Yus change?”
“Come to think of it, the sap of the snow white tree you asked for.”
“Right, how did it go? I was so distracted by the battle that I forgot completely about that.”
“I brought a prototype.”
“It should be in my luggage. The sugar you want.”
Those words instantly brightened Ran’s face.
Yustaf chuckled as he repeated her words but Ran was so distracted with sugar that she didn’t notice his smile.
‘Sugar. Now I can eat as much sugar as I want!’
Free sugar for all the people of Lachia!
‘But then I’ll have to teach them how to brush their teeth otherwise, all the young people of Lachia will be toothless.’
Ran couldn’t stop laughing at that thought.
Yustaf had the impression that she was happier with sugar than ice crystals, but he didn’t bother to say it out loud.
Anyhow, the Crown Prince…’
Yustaf narrowed his eyes.
He’d also heard the Crown Prince was a scoundrel. However, because Yustaf was not a member of the Imperial social circle, those rumors were just that: rumors..
* * *
The compensation after the battle between the Duke of Lachia and the Marquis of Cameron involved tedious work.
However, there was a lot of gossip about it in the social circle.
Yustaf Raban de Lachia.
It was because of his existence.
“Oh, my God, did you see the face of Lachia’s next head?”
Of course, no one was allowed into Crystal Hall while compensation was being discussed, but the entrance and exit are different. On days of compensation negotiations, far more people gathered in the Crystal Hall than on any other day.
Ran took a long breath and left the Crystal Hall.
It was difficult to hear the marquis’s cries and hatred after losing his eldest son, in whom he had faith. In comparison, Yustaf defeated all of Marquis’ words without batting an eye.
Furthermore, Yustaf’s popularity in social circles was high, so the marquis’ defeat was like a stab to the emperor.
“Are you all right?”
Yustaf asked Ran and she nodded her head.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
He came to a halt, his cloak draped over one shoulder, and looked at Ran for a moment. Yustaf only turned around and began walking after she grinned at him.
The people who were talking in the hallway scurried up their way. The women blushed and waved their fans gently.
“Good morning, Duke of Lachia. I’m-”
“Dear Duke of Lachia, may I have a moment of your time?”
Ran spoke firmly to those who spewed words.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to stand here right now talking. Please request an audience through the viridescent arch if you so desire.”
It’s no use listening to each story.
Then a shrill voice was heard.
“Duke of Lachia!”
People closed their mouths and looked away as Ran, surprised, raised her head. Two women were dressed in black mourning clothes.
One was an old lady, and the other was quite young. The younger of the two screamed.
“Give me my older brother back! Bring him back!!”
When the young woman started yelling, people immediately realized who she was.
Marquis Cameron’s young lady.
The girl screamed bloodily, her entire body shaking. The older woman next to her seemed to try to stop her, but failed.
Cameron’s young lady let go of the arm that was holding her and ran to that side. People backed down from side to side.
The young lady stood in front of Ran, raising her hand while staring at her, completely ignoring Yustaf.
Her vision shifted as her body lifted slightly. A brief scream was heard at the same time.
Looking at the situation in bewilderment, Yustaf wrapped his hand around Ran’s waist and moved her to the side, holding the young lady’s wrist.
“What is the escort stupidly looking at?”
Blaine bowed embarrassedly at Yustaf’s cold words.
The trouble was that he, a knight, hesitated for a moment because he couldn’t touch Cameron’s young Lady.
“Hey, let go of me! Insolent!”
The lady tried to pull out her wrist. Yustaf slowly tightened his grip and her face turned pale.
“Hey, let go of me! It hurts, you murderer! You wanna kill me just like you killed my older brother! Murderer! Murderer!”
Yustaf became irritated when he saw the young lady yelling evilly. A scream erupted when he grabbed her wrist and turned it.
He twisted her arm as if to suppress a criminal and the young lady of Cameron screamed with a mixture of fear and pain.
Everyone in the hallway was bewildered at the chaotic situation. Subduing a young lady like that was absurd.
Panicking, Ran pulled the hem of his clothes. Yustaf sighed and released the lady’s arm, she fell dramatically and began to cry.
The old woman ran over and tried to soothe her while glaring at them.
“I’m not the one who killed your brother. Your father’s greed swallowed his child.”
A cold, ruthless voice echoed through the hallway.
“If you’re going to blame me, what good does it do?”
At his sarcastic remark, the young lady began to cry even harder. The cry was followed by Yustaf’s voice.
“Also, raising your hand on my sister rather than directly attacking me is exactly what Marquis Cameron would do.”
The long hallway was silent, and while the high palace was filled with only cries, Yustaf spoke to Ran with a calm face.