Today was the day that salon members gathered once more. Additionally, it was the spot where the real villain would eventually be exposed.
I held the book in my arms and prepared to sprint to Lausanne’s garden as soon as the carriage door opened.
The idea of showing Lausanne the book and clearing up our misunderstanding made my feet shaky. As soon as the door swung open, I got ready to flee.
I anticipated that Cheroke would reprimand me later. I stumbled as soon as I started to run.
“I’m gonna fall!”
It would be painful, wouldn’t it? But as I was having that thought, my body was grabbed. A recognizable voice then spoke above me.
“I knew this would happen.”
“What’s the hurry? Why are you running like this?”
Demimore’s red eyes, which seemed to be full of sunlight, had settled calmly; he held my shoulder and helped me stand up straight.
Cheroke stood behind with a rather complicated expression on his face.
It seems Demimore opened the carriage door himself while waiting for me.
I handed Demimore the book I was holding.
“Is this it?”
Demimore took the book from me, flipped through the pages easily, and smiled softly like a spring breeze.
“She said she’s not like that anymore, but her taste is the same. she still doesn’t like human men, huh?”
The spring breeze blowing on Demimore’s face left a playful smile. I was also familiar with that sly fairy-like smile.
It reminded me of Theodore’s smile when he teased me.
Demimore seemed very excited to think of making fun of Lausanne with this. Demimore is also someone’s younger brother…….
“We’ll finally catch the real culprit.”
“Oh, I’m so excited.”
“Have you considered the criminal’s punishment?”
I was questioned by Demimore as she led me to Lausanne’s garden.
Demimore naturally stopped when she heard my response. I also paused and turned to face Demimore.
“Rewrite the book 100 times!”
What do you think? Isn’t that cruel?
They will not be permitted to borrow magic. Until they have written it all 100 times, I won’t leave them.
Demimore, however, had a different suggestion.
“Is that it?”
“Huh? What do you mean that’s it?”
“Is that really sufficient?”
“………Well, I don’t know. Won’t Princess Lausanne decide on a different punishment?”
“You. You’re a victim, too.”
“I didn’t lose anything in comparison to Princess Lausanne.”
Demimore pouted as if he were going to say something to me, but he kept quiet instead. He then turned around and uttered,
“Yes, what can I say? I’ll talk to my sister about the punishment for the culprit.”
Oh, I feel a little ignored.
Naturally, I want to punish them severely, but I’m not sure if that’s really necessary.
These things seem like child’s play now after all I’ve been through. It’s kind of like playing with toys…
Well, I can’t send them to Nicor. I quickly seized Demimore’s arm. Demimore gave me a perplexed look.
“Why? Did you think of a punishment you wanted to give to the culprit?”
I shook my head.
“Demimore, just in case I make a mistake later…”
“Did you do something wrong? What’s going on? Are you once more entangled in something?”
“Well, it’s just a hypothetical situation.”
“Whatever mistake you make, I’m on your side…”
“If I mess up later, don’t send me to a cold place.”
Like Nicor, for example.
It may only be a dream, but the journey to Nicor is too bleak, lonely, and miserable.
The icy wind pierced my skin like thorns. However, I was more afraid of Mary in my dream, who cursed Demimore and Astina as she walked down the road step by step.
“Why are you asking me for such a favor?”
“Perhaps you have the final say…… If such a day comes, don’t send me somewhere cold… I can’t handle the cold, you know?”
Without saying a word, Demimore started moving once more.
The aura he gave off was dark, so I quietly followed him. What’s wrong with him? Do you like Nicor?
“Mary, we’re here. Let’s go in.”
“Yes, thank you…….”
“Let’s get this done first. Later, we can talk more.”
Demimore, who had been serious, suddenly smiled.
I nodded firmly, a strange courage rising up from my toes as I looked at her smile.
Lausanne was waiting for me when I entered the garden, so I ran up to her, greeted her quickly, and gave her the book I had been holding.
Lausanne accepted the book and my greeting at the same time, her face growing stern as she looked through the book I had given her.
“As anticipated… the parchment has been swapped.”
Lausanne exhaled heavily. Whenever I returned to the Grand Duchy after the salon, I returned the parchment I received from Lausanne in order to prevent misunderstandings.
So even before seeing this book, Lausanne already knew that the parchment had been swapped, and through that, she had a rough idea of who the culprit might be.
“I knew it would be like this….”
There was awkward silence between me and Lausanne. She appeared distressed. I also had no idea what to say to her, so I just wiggled my fingers idly.
It was then.
“Oh, there were only two of you; what’s with your serious expressions?”
Finally, the culprit appeared among us.
Lausanne called Sophia’s name in a cold voice. Lausanne’s odd behavior didn’t seem to bother Sophia.
Despite my strong suspicions, I had no way of knowing it would actually be Sofia. How on earth did Sofia discover Lausanne was working on a book and devise this ruse?
“Did you happen to know that I was writing?”
I was curious. Lausanne didn’t mince words and asked the question right away.
Lausanne’s eyelashes trembled slightly. Maybe she was suppressing her anger and frustration.
“Writing? The invitation you sent me?”
But Sofia proved to be a more formidable foe than I had anticipated. Sofia waved the salon invitation while flashing a lovely smile.
She had the most beautiful smile, which only increased my rage. I had my doubts about Sofia already.
“Oh, my. Do you write novels?”
“Didn’t Sofia steal the book I gave Mary?”
“Why would I do something like that, Your Highness? Did Grand Princess Mary blame me for the crime?”
Sofia, who had been grinning the entire time, suddenly flinched and started to stutter.
I blinked as I stood on the sidelines and observed the altercation. Sofia approached me and took hold of my hand.
“Do you have to go this far? I’m sure I apologized back then. Do you still hate me?”
Wow, I thought I was Britina’s best actor, but I still have a long way to go.
I was briefly duped and felt pitiful even though I knew everything as Sofia stared at me with tears in her eyes.
I was so perplexed that I was unable to speak and simply stared at Sofia.
“Yes, because the Grand Princess was close to Astina, even though it happened when we were young, she didn’t like that I bullied her. I understand that even if you treat me coldly, you will know how I feel someday. But isn’t it too much to try to drive a wedge between me and the Princess?”
It’s like watching Sofia’s one-man show.
But since she’s so emotional, I can’t find anything to refute her. Ah, should I just collapse?
“You’re making an excuse out of the romance novel written by Princess Lausanne, which I had no idea about. I feel so wrong.”
“Wait. Did I mention the book’s genre?”
“……Of course it’s obviously romance!”
Why did she respond that way?
…. I wanted to inquire as to why it was so obvious, but I was unable to do so.
Lausanne closed her eyes and held her head. Her head appeared to be hurting excessively.
In Lausanne’s garden, I overheard a voice that shouldn’t have been there. Whoever calls Princess Lausanne in that manner is….
“What brings Brother here?”
Lausanne looked at me bewildered as Cameron rushed in and embraced her.
There was a look on her face as if she was saying, “What’s wrong with this guy?”
Sofia, who was present, appeared embarrassed as well.
Lausanne was still in Cameron’s arms when he suddenly started crying.
Everyone in the garden was in a state of shock when they saw the First Prince crying. Is it even permitted to witness this?
“I was crazy.”
“What’s up, Brother, and why are you acting like this?”
“I… I gave in to the temptation of that woman.”
Sofia’s face turned white at the sight of Cameron’s hand turning to her.
“I apologize to Mary and Lausanne. I’ll admit that I still harbor grudges. I was insane to believe that ruining Mary Conler’s engagement would help me move past it.”
“Your highness, what’s going on? You promised to get engaged to me if we just handled this matter well! And you promised to make the engagement ceremony more magnificent than Mary Conler’s!”