Author: alyalia

With Ben’s icy tone, the Murchen bowed his head and spoke. He wanted to tell him later, but it couldn’t be done like that.

 

“It’s… Your Highness the Crown Prince has come.”

 

Cersinia and Ben both frowned at the news.  It’s still morning, but why is he coming into someone else’s house in the morning?

 

“Huu…”

 

Ben swept his hair roughly over the rising annoyance. It was not only because of the Crown Prince but also Murchen who had no choice but to deliver the news.

 

“See you later.”

 

Cersinia lifted herself out from the chair. Fortunately, the hot breakfast time has ended, thanks to the Crown Prince. No wonder Ben felt stuffy and annoyed by it.

 

“Just tell him to wait,” Ben said without a single hesitation.

 

Cersinia looked up at him with an amazed look. No matter how powerful Ben is, he can’t make the Crown Prince wait. It’s not like Ben is busy with his work, but… he’s busy with her.

 

“No, you can’t keep the Crown Prince waiting.”

 

“It’s okay because he’s the one who suddenly came without an appointment.”

 

‘What kind of logic is that?’

 

Cersinia tried to say something, but Murchen intervened first.

 

“Your Highness wants to meet Lady Cersinia.”

 

“…Huh?”

 

A question mark was drawn on Cersinia’s face with unexpected words.

 

“Why?”

 

Ben’s face was crumpled more than before.

 

“I didn’t know about that either… He must be waiting in the parlor room. He also told me to bring Cersinia alone.”

 

“Get out.”

 

“Then, goodbye.”

 

Murchen hurriedly left the dining room before Ben’s anger broke out.

 

Cersinia felt a little embarrassed.

 

Of course, she thought Limapheus came for Ben, but she didn’t know he came for her.

 

What is his reason for doing that?

 

‘Is it the matter of Verne?’

 

No matter how much the chapter was supposed to happen in the original story, Limapheus wouldn’t even try to reprimand her for having Verne, who was neither invited nor noble, attend the banquet. That action was no different than insulting the Imperial palace.

 

Cersinia didn’t like seeing Limapheus anyway, but she had to go.

 

“I’ll be back.”

 

“I will go with you.”

 

Ben held Cersinia’s hand. He didn’t want her to meet Limapheus alone. So he couldn’t let her go as he was anxious thinking about it. Even though he knew they would just be talking to each other, he hated it even more because he knew Limapheus’s behavior.

 

“No. I think he has something to tell me, so I will go by myself.”

 

Cersinia saw a little anxiety in Ben’s eyes. He was anxious about her being alone with Limapheus. However, she knew that the possibility of what Ben was worried about was zero. It was obvious to who Limapheus’s heart belonged.

 

“Don’t worry.”

 

Cersinia smiled and lightly kissed his cheek. He seemed to be worried so much that she had to hint where her heart belonged.

 

Ben opened his eyes wide, perhaps surprised because it was Cersinia’s first time kissing him first. But then, with a soft smile that could melt snow, he clasped their hands together. Cersinia was trapped in his arms.

 

“Did that mean not to send you to go?”

 

A peculiar voice pierced her ears.

 

“No, it means I will be back.”

 

Cersinia giggled and leaned her face against his arms. As if she didn’t want to let her go, he hugged her waist a little tighter and breathed out a hot breath.

 

“I’ll be waiting for you in my room.”

 

It was a word with numerous meanings, dizzying enough to make her barely stand up.

 

“…”

 

Cersinia thought it was over, but she bit her mouth because of the words that came from him. She was ashamed to say yes, and her heart couldn’t say no to it. One thing is for sure, she likes spending time alone with him.

 

Ben smiled kindly, perhaps expecting Cersinia’s reaction.

 

“When would you like to have an engagement ceremony?”

 

His lips lightly touched and fell on her forehead.

 

Cersinia raised her head. His gaze was as warm as the morning sun.

 

“Even if it’s tomorrow, it’s fine.”

 

It didn’t matter to her. It was also good to hold an engagement ceremony today with just the two of them.

 

“However, let’s hold the wedding when winter passes and spring comes.”

 

When the original novel was all finished, she wanted to make a promise to him for the rest of her life with a light heart. There is not much time left until spring. At least a month later, the snow will melt, and plants will sprout.

 

“I want to do it on a warm day.”

 

Unable to talk about the original story, Cersinia just added that reason. It was better to do it on a warm day than on a cold day.

 

Looking down at his lovely soon to become his bride, Ben briefly kissed her on her forehead, sparkling eyes and nose.

 

“As you wish.”

 

Then finally, he put his own lips on her red lips.

 

* * *

 

“I greet Your Highness the Crown Prince.”

 

Entering the parlor room, Cersinia greeted him while looking at the back of Limapheus standing at the window.

 

“You’re a little late.”

 

Limapheus turned around and smiled brightly. There seemed to be a thorn in that smile, so Cersinia shivered inside, but she didn’t show it.

 

As he said, she was a little late. The source of her late arrival was that she liked being in Ben’s arms.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

Limapheus took Cersinia’s apology and sat down on the sofa.

 

“Let’s sit down.”

 

At Limapheus’s invitation, Cersinia sat down on the sofa opposite him. Limapheus, whom she had met in the morning, was neatly dressed. He looked brighter than ever, whether there were any other important appointments.

 

“You look better than before.”

 

Limapheus put down his teacup and drew a meaningful smile. Cersinia noticed what he was talking about when he told her the secret of the Grand Duke on Fabian Street. So, in the end, he wanted to say, ‘Looking at your face, didn’t you and Ben do well because of me?’

 

“It’s all thanks to Your Highness.”

 

She didn’t want to do that, but she thanked him.

 

Anyway, because Limapheus told her about the basement, she could know Ben’s past and understand him fully. Even though Limapheus knew the whole truth, Cersinia was grateful that he didn’t let Ben down and made Ben as his close friend.

 

“I heard an interesting story.”

 

“What is it?” Cersinia said, holding back her desire to answer that she was not curious.

 

Limapheus, who interrupted her time with him in the morning, had to look kindly at it.

 

“I heard rumors that the Grand Duke, who was expressionless like a stone, walked through his mansion holding a lady for days.”

 

Empress Dowager also knew about these rumors.

 

‘How far did the rumors spread…?’

 

Cersinia sighed inside.

 

No matter how many eyes and ears were there, she felt uncomfortable because it felt like her private life kept being leaked out.

 

“Seeing that you came to the banquet together yesterday, the rumors were true. I guess you found what I told you then.”

 

“It’s all thanks to your help. Thank you, Your Highness.”

 

“Do you trust me now?”

 

“Ah, I’m sorry for being rude at that time…”

 

“Hahaha, I’m just kidding.”

 

Cersinia’s eyebrows wriggled. It wasn’t because of Limapheus’s nonsensical jokes. He probably didn’t call her to play with words, but for some reason, it felt like he was spinning around without bringing up the main topic.

 

“It’s good to have Lady Cersinia by Alex’s side.”

 

At the sudden talk, Cersinia squinted her eyes at him.

 

“Since he is a strong person like a stone, there are times when that integrity is harmful. He needs some flexibility for himself. Lady Cersinia is the only one who can soften his temper.”

 

Cersinia didn’t think it was only a small talk. It was because Limapheus cared for Ben and thought of him as his true friend.  However, Cersinia couldn’t let go of her doubt. Somehow his smile hid something that kept bothering her. She couldn’t help but talk to him, who seemed to have no intention of telling him first.

 

“Your Highness, do you have anything to say?”

 

Limapheus smiled as if her question was correct.

 

“As expected, you’re quick to catch on.”

 

He looked satisfied with this situation.

 

“I like someone who knows how to repay a favor.”

 

At the added words, Cersinia realized. Limapheus was hoping for something in return for telling her the story of the basement at that time. She didn’t want to leave a bad feeling, so she agreed.

 

“If you ever need my help, please let me know.”

 

Limapheus nodded with a satisfied face and said, “It’s about Verne.”

 

“About Verne?”

 

Cersinia opened her eyes roundly, pretending not to know the familiar name that followed. She can’t believe Verne’s name came out of his mouth.

 

It seemed that dancing at the banquet yesterday was effective. As expected, it was the main chapter where they realized each other’s feelings.

 

Cersinia was a little relieved that things were going according to the original, as she had planned. If they confirmed their love for each other and saw the result, everything would be over. The novel will finally reach the end.

 

“Verne. I need her.”

 

“Could you tell more in detail?”

 

“I felt it. She’s my destiny.”

 

Limapheus blushed slightly and expressed his sincerity. He, who always had a relaxed smile, looked slightly anxious. It was quite unfamiliar to see him looking shy rather than smiling like a fox. It even made Cersinia feel goosebumps on her arms.

 

“I see.”

 

Cersinia nodded silently. If she comes to think of it, she has witnessed with her own eyes the scene where the male protagonist admits that he likes the female protagonist.

 

3 years ago, she wouldn’t expect to witness this… She just knew that she would quietly live without being involved with the original characters. But everything changed after meeting Ben.

 

It’s said that humans will not know even one second ahead in the future. The old saying was right.

 

“So, Lady Cersinia must help me.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

She was surprised by the sudden request for help.

 

‘In the original novel, they confirmed each other’s feelings without anyone’s help, so why did…’

 

Her crimson eyes shook briefly.

 

“Verne trusts and relies on you a lot. So, Lady Cersinia must step forward for me.”

 

It was she who said she would help him with anything, so there was no way she could refuse.

 

Cersinia, stuck between Verne and Limapheus, lifted her devastated face. Somehow, the more she struggled not to get involved with their matters, the more she fell deep into their matters. 

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Prince and Verne too forced, author holding on to the fate narrative too much…