Author: alyalia Editor: popcorn

Cersinia turned her head at the familiar voice and saw Ben walking with a large stride. Somehow, he looked very angry.

 

“Oh, he came earlier than I thought.”

 

The Crown Prince frowned and muttered to himself.

 

“Your Highness.”

 

Ben, who was approaching, stood in front of Cersinia. Her vision was blocked by his back.

 

“Alex, don’t overdo it. What if Lady Cersinia gets surprised?”

 

Limapheus shrugged humorously. It made Ben hide Cersinia behind his back even more. It seems that he didn’t want to show even a single strand of her hair. His expression was colder than ever.

 

“What are you doing here without notifying me?”

 

Ben clearly followed etiquette, but his tone was aggressive. It was as sharp as a piece of broken glass. Cersinia was stunned by the sudden situation and only looked up at his back.

 

“You wouldn’t let me see her, so I had to come.”

 

Perhaps Ben’s attitude was expected because Limapheus didn’t seem bothered by the Duke’s tone.

 

“Cersinia.”

 

“Huh?”

 

Surprised by the call, she replied quickly.

 

“I’m sorry, but could you please leave? I would like to have a conversation with the Crown Prince alone.”

 

“Ho…”

 

Limapheus burst into laughter at the words. Ben wanted to talk only with Limapheus. He didn’t need to ask for Cersinia’s understanding. But Ben was making a mistake. He overlooks that the more he explicitly cared for Cersinia, the more interesting Cersinia became in the Crown Prince’s eyes. Limapheus looked at him with his arm crossed as if he was watching something fun.

 

“Please.”

 

Cersinia rose from her seat. Then Limapheus, who was hidden because of Ben’s back, came into her view once again.

 

“Your highness, I’ll be on my way now.”

 

“It was fun talking to you, Cersinia.”

 

Limapheus smiled with his eyes. He called her name on purpose to provoke Ben. As expected, Ben’s face hardened even more.

 

It was unusual for Ben to show his feelings to the extent that they could be felt by another person. He was always expressionless and cold-hearted. Limapheus suspected that something was up when he came to visit him at dawn. And as expected, he doesn’t hide his feelings in matters related to her.

 

“Ben, no, Grand Duke, have a nice conversation.”

 

Cersinia left the strange atmosphere.

 

‘Is it going to be okay?’

 

She didn’t know what was happening, but she thought that it was better for her to leave, so she heads to Verne’s room. She was worried about Verne, who was shaking earlier. Perhaps it was too much to go out to Fabian Street for today.

 

“Ben? Is she addressing you like that?”

 

Limapheus looked at Ben with a strange face.

 

“What are you doing right now?” 

 

Ben asked as he made sure that Cersinia had left.

 

His voice was colder than the winter wind. Cersinia was someone he didn’t want Limapheus to know about. Because he knew well that Limapheus would definitely be interested.  The Crown Prince was a person who took and looked at things or people as long as they were beautiful.

 

“You don’t seem to have any intention of telling me about why she called you Ben. All right, then that’s enough.”

 

“Your Highness.”

 

“Cersinia, I recognized her at a glance. I didn’t know you had such high standards.”

 

“Stop it, please.”

 

Ben rolled up his fists and clenched them. The prince’s smiling face turned expressionless instantly.

 

“Alex.”

 

His voice becomes harsh. Limapheus was the second most powerful person in the Empire after the Emperor.

 

“I said I wouldn’t let it go if you have any small interest in her.”

 

Ben did not lose his composure and confronted him. He faced Limapheus’s eyes fiercely without averting. A spark erupted from the eyes of the two men.

 

“Ha, I have no hobby in coveting other people’s women.”

 

Eventually, Limapheus sighed first and said. He was worried that his close friend, whom he cherished, would suffer from love someday.

 

“Aren’t you hiding her too tightly in your arms?”

 

“Don’t worry about it.”

 

“Don’t you know that she will become your weakness later?”

 

At Limapheus’s words, who caught him off guard, he shut up.

 

“Anyone who is jealous of you will try to target you even more. So, don’t show your feelings to others, even if it doesn’t matter in front of me.”

 

Limapheus was irritated by Duke Kailos the whole time. Clearly, he was not a great man seeing how he easily abadoned his vassal, who did the dirty work for him.

 

“Is this advice?”

 

“I’m only worried about you.”

 

Limapheus smiled again. Alex sat down in front of him, who was genuinely concerned. It was unsightly of him to show emotions as childish as jealousy. He isn’t Cersinia’s lover, and that fact made him choked with bitterness.

 

“Where is Verdik? A man named Murchen introduced himself as the butler.”

 

Limapheus asked, remembering Murchen, who also introduced himself as the butler last time he came to Ben’s estate.

 

“He has been detained.”

 

“Where?”

 

“He won’t be able to get out of there.”

 

Instantly, Limapheus realized that it meant that the previous butler was now six feet underground.

 

“Something must have happened.”

 

It was Limapheus himself who stopped Ben from trying to drive Verdik out after Ben succeeded to the title of the Grand Duke and threw out all the people of the previous Grand Duke. Ben, who had just become the Grand Duke, needed at least one skilled man. But the fact that Verdik has been detained, something must have happened.

 

Verdik was a man of the previous Grand Duke, so Limapheus already expected this to happen at any time. He nodded without saying anything, looked at Ben more closely, and clicked his tongue.

 

“Did you get some sleep?”

 

Ben’s face, which he hadn’t seen in a long time, was more emaciated than before.

 

“I’m okay.”

 

“Why is your face getting worse when you only have to stay still after bringing her here?”

 

Even with the woman he longed for so much in his arms, Ben looked nervous and anxious.

 

Something happened with her, didn’t it? What happened?”

 

There was no answer. Limapheus lit up a sensitive topic. He noticed straight away that something was going on between the two.

 

“Did you guys have a fight?”

 

Limapheus took a sip of his tea that had cooled down leisurely. As usual, he had a languid expression on his face, but behind it was a strong curiosity.

 

“No, it’s not like that.”

 

Ben frowned. It would have been better if it was a fight. He could’ve kneeled down and apologized. He would’ve begged for three and a half days for her forgiveness if needed. But it wasn’t that kind of problem. It was a matter of the heart and mind. The problem was that his mind and her mind were different. Even an apology wouldn’t be able to solve it. It was a problem that no one could solve.

 

“If you need any help, tell me anytime.”

 

Knowing that he would not tell, Limapheus comforted him in his own way. Ben’s painful face was unfamiliar to him and that made Limapheus not feel well at the same time.

 

Limapheus thought that he should meet Cersinia one more time. If Ben knew, he might have swung his blade at him, but he was worried about his friend. Of course, he was also very curious about what happened.

 

* * *

The next day.

 

After a stormy day, Cersinia was out on Fabian Street with Verne.

 

“See you later.”

 

“Yes, see you later!”

 

The two separated up in the middle of the square so they could attend their own business. Cersinia moved in a hurry to go to the café, which was visited by many noble ladies. Verne told her that the day Cersinia went to the Harvest festival, she was helped by the Crown Prince.

 

‘Although the details are different, it is definitely how their first meeting went in the book.’

 

There were quite a few differences from the original story, but the context in which the Crown Prince saved Berne, the heroine in danger, was the same. From there, the story began to flow. It made Cersinia feel like she was being chased. 

 

After the first meeting between the female protagonist and male protagonist in the original story, the story flowed at a fast pace. So she had to learn more about what was bothering her and leave the mansion. When she arrived at the café, Cersinia sat down on the terrace, where she deliberately sought out many people.

 

“These days, they can’t sell items from Theodore workshops because they don’t have anything to sell.”

 

“I heard that they received an order from the Crown Prince to make a cabinet to store his decoration, right?”

 

All sorts of gossip were heard. Cersinia listened carefully and focused on whether there was any conversation about the information she wanted to know. However, there was nothing about the story she wanted to find out among the numerous topics of conversation.

 

“Where else should I go?”

 

She left the café and walked to another one. Without connections, she had no choice but to run on her feet. Though she had lived here for three years, she had not even a single proper friend. She lost Ben, who she thought of as her friend, so there was really no one left. As she was walking in search of a café, she noticed a sign that said information guild it looked very old.

 

‘Maybe that’s better.’

 

If she gives them money, they will give the right information, which is much more productive than what she is doing now. She entered the building. At that moment, someone grabbed Cersinia’s shoulder.

 

“Ugh!”

 

The opponent let out a low moan when she grabbed the hand on her shoulder reflexively and bent it.

 

“What?”

 

Cersinia spoke harshly. She was very angry since an unknown person carelessly touched her body.

 

“Will you let go of my hand?”

 

The man struggled to say because his bent wrist was hurting. She looked over at the man with wary eyes. He had his hat pressed tightly and was dressed in plain clothes.

 

“What business do you have with me?”

 

Cersinia tightened her grip around his wrist with more force and poked him. The man groaned and took off the hat he had been wearing.

 

“It’s me, Cersinia.”

 

Bright blonde hair fell gently. Cersinia’s surprised face was projected into his blue eyes.

 

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