Chapter 4:

The One Who Saved Him

Hated by the Evil Lady

Lucien sighed as he pulled the tie on his hair undone. He threw himself on the bed face first against the soft pillow.

He turned his head to the side as he thought back to the conversation he had about the collapsed Siegfried with the doctor.

“What do you mean?” he asked the doctor.

“It is as I say, my Lord. Physically, there does not seem to be anything wrong with him, so I am frankly quite puzzled as well…” the doctor said while scratching his head and taking a glance at the unconscious young duke.

In the end, Lucien had no other choice but to let Siegfried sleep until the tea party was over. Just as Giselle had mentioned, she sent a servant to collect Siegfried so she could take him back home.

Lucien didn’t meet Giselle at all even when the tea party ended. He only caught a glimpse of her inside the carriage from afar. She was facing forward with an unreadable expression on her face.

When he thought about Giselle, he was reminded once again of what she said.

“If I tell you to never meet Lady Benois anymore, will you comply?”

Lucien shuddered at the thought.

He first got to know Clara when he was just 7. The Renand family was having a picnic near the lake when the little, mischievous Lucien suddenly slipped into the lake.

Lucien had never been to such a large body of water by then, so he didn’t know how to swim and was about to drown.

The first to notice him being inside the lake was Countess Benois, Clara’s late mother, who was taking a walk with her daughter nearby. She immediately jumped into the lake to rescue Lucien while Clara’s scream alerted the Renand family about the situation.

Although he was already acquainted with the Benois family before, this incident pushed Lucien even closer to Clara and Countess Benois. He considered both of them his saviors.

That was why when Countess Benois passed away a few years ago, he made a promise to her that he would always protect her only daughter in her place.

Since the Countess’s death, he and his sister had been spending so much time with Clara until now because they didn’t want to let her feel lonely. That was why asking him to never meet her again was just plain unthinkable.

No, it was just ridiculous.

Lucien closed his eyes. He didn’t understand what Giselle was thinking. Why would she even suggest that? She didn’t even know them prior to that time in the boutique.

His instincts told him that he (and Clara) should stay far away from Giselle. Unfortunately, he still had to be involved with her all because of his idiotic action during the day.

At least Clara will be fine, Lucien thought to give some comfort for himself.

The next one week felt like forever to Lucien, maybe because he was too nervous about what Giselle was going to do about him. But then, the day before his promised audience with the Princess, he got the most shocking news of his nineteen years of life.

“Clara is what?” Lucien asked, wiping the water that just burst out of his mouth from his face.

“Engaged to Duke Karron,” Cecile said while taking a bite of the salmon she just cut.

They were having breakfast with just the two of them since their parents were out on business, yet Cecile just nonchalantly dropped such a bomb.

“How…?” Lucien muttered in disbelief. Just a few days ago, they looked like they were arguing right at this very residence. He saw that with his own eyes, and now they were engaged…?

“Love at first sight, she said.” Cecile shrugged.

Lucien looked down at his meal even though his mind was somewhere else. Love at first sight… Certainly, there did seem to be some sparks when they met at the boutique. Was that it?

“Come to think of it, that time at the boutique…” Lucien trailed off the ends of his words, but it caught Cecile’s attention anyway.

“What? What? The day I came down with a cold? Did something happen that day?” Cecile asked, her eyes sparkling with interest.

“Well…” Lucien began to tell her all about what happened that day, especially about how Siegfried caught Clara in his arms when she was about to fall. Hearing that, Cecile couldn’t help but squeal.

“So that’s why! Now it all makes sense. That really does sound like they fell in love at that moment!” she beamed, not even touching her meal anymore. “I had my suspicions about their engagement, but that is relieving. As long as Clara’s happy, that’s all that matters.”

“Yeah, as long as she’s happy…”


...? Lucien placed a hand on his chest. What was that pain?

Duke Siegfried Hann Karron was a highly sought-after bachelor. Although his parents had passed away when he was little, making him have to rise to the position of the duke at an extremely young age, he was known to be a very competent ruler in his territory. Not to mention his handsome face and red pupils that were just the embodiment of manliness and strength, on top of his black hair that proved his relation to the Imperial family. The fact that his good friend Clara got engaged to him was something to celebrate.

Yet what was this dissatisfaction Lucien was feeling?

“I just hope nothing bad will happen between her and Princess Giselle,” Cecile said as she went back to her meal. Lucien tilted his head at her words.

“Why Princess Giselle?” he asked.

“Why, it’s well known in high society that Princess Giselle is an evil lady who always drives off the women chasing after Duke Karron,” Cecile answered. “Though if you ask me, I think that’s—”

Wait, is that why she yelled at Clara not to touch him? Lucien wasn’t even listening to the second half of what Cecile was saying. Isn’t that… dangerous for Clara?

His mind was occupied with his own theories as he grew even warier of Giselle, that he didn’t even hear Cecile saying that it was probably an exaggeration.

Lucien clenched his fist and made a resolve. He would protect Clara against Giselle if he had to.

After what seemed to be the longest one day, it was finally time for Lucien to meet Giselle. He asked Cecile if she would like to accompany him (definitely not because he was scared), but she refused and told him to go by himself.

He had never come to the Imperial Palace by himself before, but it was unexpectedly simple to enter. He would’ve had fun looking at the exquisite interior of the palace if he weren’t there to receive his punishment for laying a hand on a royalty.

With every step he took, he felt like he was walking himself to the gallows.

After taking him through the hallways, the servant guiding him opened the door to the gardens. The moment the door was opened, Lucien could smell various kinds of gentle fragrances of flowers. The garden was well-lit by the sun, making all the flowerbeds look especially vibrant.

The servant then pointed at a white pavilion right up ahead.

“Her Highness is waiting for you over there, my Lord.”

Lucien gave the servant a slight nod before he made his way to the pavilion. As he got closer, he could see the Princess sitting in the round table inside the pavilion in a dignified manner while sipping on her tea. The moment she noticed Lucien coming closer, she put down the cup that she was holding.

“Greetings to Your Highness the Princess Giselle,” Lucien said with a bow.

“Raise your head and take a seat,” Giselle said in a curt way while pointing at the seat across from her.

Lucien complied and sat down on the chair across from Giselle. He steeled himself to hear what she was going to say, but Giselle just kept sipping on her tea without saying a word.

“Your Highness…?” Lucien finally decided to speak up.

“Are you informed that I am the organizer of the upcoming Imperial ball?” Giselle suddenly said.

“Pardon?” Lucien voiced out a question at her unexpected words, only to receive a look of scrutiny from Giselle. “I mean, yes! Certainly.”

He did hear that this Imperial ball would be the first social event the Princess would organize after coming of age just a few months ago. A pretty huge responsibility for an eighteen-year-old lady, but that was to be expected from the lady of the highest social status in the empire.

“Coincidentally, my trusted aide recently got into an accident and broke his right leg,” Giselle said while stirring her tea without sparing a glance at Lucien.

Oh, Lucien didn’t like where this was going.

“And so, as your punishment,” Giselle continued. “I want you to take his place as my aide until the day of the ball.”



“...Huh?” was the only thing that came out of Lucien’s mouth as a response.

He had no doubt that he was once again looking stupid in front of the Princess.