Chapter 18:

Radio Silence (Season 2 Start)

Hated by the Evil Lady

The marquess, marchioness, and Cecile all cast a dubious look at each other as they watched over their son slash brother. They were sitting together for dinner for the first time in a while, but Lucien was zoning out, his long blue hair uncharacteristically left untied and messy. His hand kept moving to pick up the food from his dish, but he didn’t even seem to notice that he was scooping up air from an already emptied dish.

“Lucien…?” the marchioness called out to him. Only then did Lucien snap out of his daydream and turned to face his mother.

“Yes, Mother?” he said with a smile. Even then, he wouldn’t stop playing the empty dish with his spoon.

“Are you feeling unwell?”

“No, I’m feeling just fine. What’s the matter?”

The marchioness pointed at the dish in front of Lucien.

He blinked in confusion before looking down to see that his dish was completely empty.

“Oh,” he grinned sheepishly before placing the spoon down.

It had been two weeks since the ball. Two weeks since Giselle dropped the “bomb” on him and never elaborated before she retreated for the night, never coming back to the ball that she herself organized.

Lucien had to return to the ballroom by himself and explain to everyone present that Giselle had to go back first because she was feeling under the weather.

Contrary to his expectation, no one seemed to be surprised. No one questioned Giselle’s sudden withdrawal, except for Siegfried and Clara, who seemed to do so out of genuine worry.

Moreover, he hadn’t heard anything from Giselle in the entire two weeks. He got a notice from the palace attendant after the ball that he should wait for her contact, but that was it.

Was that the extent of their relationship? He pondered. He thought that they were already amicable now.

“Clara is going to hold her engagement ceremony in three months?”

Lucien looked up at Cecile, who was sitting across him, as soon as he heard that. Her eyebrows were knitted together, showing her confusion.

“Why so long? Why not now?” she asked.

Their father, the Marquess of Renand, shrugged.

“They might just want to take more time to prepare,” he said as he dabbed his lips with a napkin after his meal.

“Lucien, you’re done helping the princess, aren’t you? Do you want to accompany me to oversee the Garet mine tomorrow?” the Marquess asked with a smile.

The Garet mine was the mine that the Renands recently discovered. They hadn’t been able to completely explore it yet, but they were expecting an abundance of iron inside.

Lucien kept silent. Done helping the princess. Right, he supposed this state of not being contacted by the princess would mean that he no longer had to attend to her.

After some time, Lucien raised his head and nodded at his father.

“Sure, Father. I’d love to.”


Children of nobility usually attend the imperial academy from the age of 15 to 18. Both male and female children are welcomed to attend, though sometimes some heirs of the families opted to learn at home so they could immediately get educated on how to manage their territory.

Cecile and Lucien both attended the academy, while Clara chose to get educated in her territory instead because she was already helping her father manage her household in place of her mother.

Although Lucien was the heir of the Renand family, he still attended the academy because he wanted to experience a lot of things before he had to take on the tasks of an heir. The Marquess agreed to that, too, saying that the connection he formed in the academy would be beneficial to him.

Lucien himself had started to help his father here and there ever since he graduated a year ago. Exclusively attending to Giselle for the past month might have distracted him from this for a while, but he was glad that he could now focus back on his tasks as the heir of the Renand march.

Visiting the mine with his father last week was a good start to that.

He got to see firsthand what his father was working on and how it was being done. There wasn’t much to see because the expedition was just starting, but he could see that everything was going smoothly.

It was a good thing he went there.

His father got to introduce him as his heir to the team of miners employed under the march, and Lucien got to meet the people he would lead in the future.

The experience humbled him while also motivating him at the same time.

As a result, Lucien was more fired up than ever to do his job as the heir. He had to give up on his childhood dream of being a knight because he realized his shortcomings early, but he knew he could do a good job as a marquess—something that he was always meant to do anyway.

After all, he had always admired his father’s work.

He had been working so much that Cecile complained she had no one to accompany her shopping anymore. Clara was already busy with her engagement preparation and now Lucien was busy with work. Lucien just snorted at that.

“Can’t you take a break for a day at least? Let’s go to Clara’s house,” Cecile said one day while sprawling on the couch in Lucien’s study.

“Can’t you go by yourself? Also, you’re wearing a dress! Don’t sit like that!” Lucien scolded her from behind his desk. Cecile just shrugged him off.

“Mother still won’t allow me to go out without company.”

Ever since that kidnapping accident, their mother had been very protective of Cecile. She was not allowed to leave without a company and a guard each, and she must report where she was going to every time. Especially if she was going to go to a place far away, like Clara’s house, she would have to bring along a family member with her.

Though judging from Mother’s personality, she’s probably going to give in to Cecile one of these days.

“What do you even want to do there? Won’t we just bother her while she’s busy with her preparation?” Lucien asked.

Cecile, still in the state of lying down, suddenly raised a finger up in the air and waved it left and right in a disapproving manner.

“Silly question, brother of mine. We’re obviously going there to prevent her from getting too stressed out.”


Lucien made a face at the ridiculous mental gymnastics his sister was doing. What in the world was she saying?


But here he was anyway, inside a carriage on the way to Benois county.

Cecile was very fast on her feet. The moment she said all that, she immediately took his silence as an agreement and began arranging for the trip the next day.

This was why it was honestly a matter of time before their mother would give in to Cecile’s whims.

Compared to the distance Lucien and Cecile had to take to go to other nobles’ territories from their house, Clara’s territory was not that far. It only took half a day to go from the Renand march to the Benois county by carriage, even with breaks in between.

“Stop making that face, you clearly need this break too!” Cecile said in defense when Lucien kept giving her a dirty look. “Oh, here we are.”

Lucien looked out the window. Sure enough, he could see the Benois residence from afar. A modest building painted in ivory, showing the humility and kindness of the lord.

As they got closer to the residence, Lucien was able to see the silhouette of people waiting for them.

Just a single glance and he could tell that at the front, with her shining golden hair, was the siblings’ best friend, Clara Benois.

When the carriage finally stopped in front of the Benois residence and they could see the other people behind Clara, Lucien froze in his spot.

“Ooh,” Cecile mused, her eyes locked on the same thing—the same people—as Lucien.

The door opened, letting the Renand siblings alight and be greeted by a curtsy from Clara.

“Welcome to our house, Lady Renand, Lord Renand,” Clara said with a mischievous smile.

When Cecile replied with a curtsy back, they both let out a little giggle. It was always funny for them whenever they had to speak and act formally to each other.

Lucien had hardly any time to pay attention though. He was busy looking surprised at someone else.

“Oh, I hope you don’t mind His Grace’s and Her Highness’s presence today.”

Duke Siegfried Hann Karron and Princess Giselle Evia Ollandis were standing right behind Clara.