Chapter 21:

Just Wait

Hated by the Evil Lady

Lucien had to do a double take. He even rubbed his eyes to make sure he was seeing correctly.

No matter how much he tried to refresh his sight, it wouldn’t change the fact that Clara and Siegfried were arguing with each other. In the garden, this late at night.

When Lucien heard the sound of a tongue clicking, he immediately turned to Giselle. She was biting on her nail, looking extremely irritated as her gaze was locked onto the pair of lovers.

Lucien didn’t even have the time to wonder why she would be irritated instead of elated, since he suddenly heard Clara raise her voice so high they could hear her from all the way here.

“I TOLD YOU—-!!”

He was about to stand up on reflex and go out there before Giselle suddenly grabbed onto his hand and kept him down.

Lucien’s eyes widened in alarm as he tried to break free from Giselle’s hold.

“Your Highness! What are you—?!”

“Just stay still!” she said as she gave him a glare before turning her attention back to the arguing couple.

Lucien really couldn’t make sense of this princess. One moment she was unhappy about them getting along, another moment she was unhappy about them not getting along.

More importantly, he was concerned about Clara. Lucien took a glance at Clara and Siegfried again.

Clara usually wouldn’t raise her voice like that. What could’ve happened that made her so angry? Did Siegfried do something? He could only guess what was going on, since they weren’t anywhere close enough to hear anything the two were saying.

Lucien unconsciously fidgetted as he watched them argue. Looking at them now, both of them seemed to be the type to make a big motion with their hands every time they got worked up. Siegfried was so much bigger than Clara—what if she got hurt from an accidental swing of his hand?

Just when Lucien thought that, Siegfried suddenly stopped Clara’s hand from reaching out to him by grabbing onto her wrist, all the while yelling at her about something.

Lucien was about to stand up again, but Giselle pulled him back down, again. She used more force this time that Lucien ended up tumbling backwards.

“Why are you stopping me, Your Highness? She’s in danger…!” he said.

“If you dare disturb them, I’ll have your head right here,” Giselle said with a hiss as she pulled him in by his collar.

Her eyes looked clearer than ever as she shot a glare at him before pushing him off and going back to observing Siegfried and Clara.

Lucien blinked as he stared at Giselle’s side profile. What in the world…?

In his confusion, he heard Clara’s voice yell something. Lucien turned to see Siegfried walking away while Clara was trying to reach out to him.

After Siegfried was gone from sight, Clara dropped to the ground and cried into her hands.

Before Lucien could even do anything, Giselle took a hold of his hand tightly.

Now what? Lucien glared at Giselle and their holding hands alternately. He had given up on even speaking to Giselle now.

“Just wait,” she said as she nodded her head towards Clara’s direction, with her small and thin hand still not letting go.

Lucien couldn’t get a read of Giselle’s expression. She looked calm, yet also fretful at the same time.

It was as if she’d already known what would happen. The next thing they knew, Siegfried was making his way back to Clara in quick steps. He crouched in front of her as they talked. His face was looking frantic when he gently took her hands in his, his head hung down.

A moment later, Clara flashed a smile and wrapped her arms around Siegfried’s large body.

Lucien sighed in relief inside. He didn’t know what happened between them, but it seemed like they already solved it right away. He still thought that it was pretty messed up of Siegfried to even try to leave Clara alone earlier, but at least he came back.


When Lucien heard a small sigh from his side, he turned to look at Giselle. Her gaze was locked onto the couple and her grip on his hand had loosened.

She seemed to look relieved, as much as he was, but for some reason, there was also a hint of melancholy in her gaze.

After Siegfried escorted Clara back inside, Giselle immediately yanked her hand off of Lucien’s.

“Ow!” Lucien exclaimed and rubbed his hand. Not so much from the pain, since Giselle wasn’t strong enough to make it hurt, but from the shock. He was then surprised to see that Siegfried and Clara were already gone from sight.

Giselle stood up and dusted her dress off again while Lucien looked around in confusion.

“Why did you come here…” Giselle muttered under her breath, but Lucien couldn’t quite catch that.

“I’m sorry?” he asked as he leaned down, inching closer so he could hear her better. Even though there was still quite a distance between them, his face was right in front of hers as he lent an ear to her.

Giselle flinched and took a step back, making Lucien blink at her sudden movement. The way she glared at him really reminded him of a wary cat.

“Do you just have no sense of personal space?” Giselle said while gritting her teeth.

Lucien widened his eyes and put both of his hands up in surrender. “My apologies! I thought that much distance was fine—”

“Forget it.”

Giselle looked away with a huff. Now she looked even more irritated than before. But he couldn’t back down now, not after what just happened.

“Anyway, Your Highness. What just happened? What was that all about?” Lucien urged.

As anyone would expect, Giselle just stayed silent. Lucien was about to press her again—he wasn’t going to let her dismiss this strange incident anymore—when she walked past him to the direction of the manor.

“...Your Highness?”

“If.” Giselle stopped walking. She took a glance behind her, at him. “If you come with me to the palace tomorrow, I’ll tell you.”

Her gaze was piercing. The moonlight was reflecting on her black hair, giving it a slight glow.

The palace? It had been forever since Lucien came to the palace, but could this maybe be the moment he would get the answers to his questions?

The questions that had been haunting him for the past month, since the ball?

“...Understood,” he finally answered.

Giselle nodded and started making her way back to the manor again, leaving Lucien alone in the middle of the garden, where the night wind was blowing.


The next day, it was time for the royal guests of the Benois residence to take their leave in the morning.

“You’re really going with them?” Cecile asked, her eyebrow raised. Lucien nodded.

“I’ll go straight back home from the palace. What about you, Sister?” he asked back.

Cecile tapped on her cheek a few times.

“I think I’ll stay here for another night.”

“Really? You will?” Clara popped into their conversation with her eyes sparkling.

“Yup! It’s been a while since it’s just us girls!” Cecile said. The two girls squealed and discussed what they were going to do the whole day.

Ah, yes, it’s been a while indeed. Lucien was once again feeling left out as he watched over them with a weary smile.

When he turned to the side, he saw Giselle staring at them from afar while the attendants loaded her luggages into the carriage. She immediately looked away the moment their eyes met.

Lucien knew that it was time for him to depart when Siegfried escorted Giselle into the carriage.

“Lady Renand, it was really nice getting to know you,” Siegfried said with a bow. Cecile replied to him with a curtsy.

“The honor is mine, Your Grace.”

Siegfried then turned to Clara and—to everyone present’s surprise—smiled.

“I will be seeing you soon, my lady,” he said as he took Clara’s hand and placed a kiss on its back.

Clara showed a bashful smile as she nodded and said, “Please take care, Your Grace.”

It was obvious to everyone there that they were more lovey-dovey than they were yesterday, yet no one questioned it.

Cecile wouldn’t stop grinning at Clara though.

“Sieg,” Giselle called from inside the carriage. Siegfried took a glance at her before he bowed to the two ladies for the last time and got on the carriage himself.

“I might have to pick you up back here tomorrow,” Lucien sighed in an exaggerated exasperation. It would be a hassle to go back and forth, but he knew that their mother would be furious if she knew Cecile traveled back home all by herself.

“Yes, you will. Have fun, little brother.” Cecile grinned mischievously as she tapped on her brother’s large back, giving him a light push towards the carriage.

After saying their goodbyes, Lucien also got on the carriage. He was a bit confused on where he should sit, but he ended up taking a seat next to Siegfried because the latter gestured him to do it.

“Please have a safe journey, Your Highness, Your Grace, Lord Renand,” Clara led the final farewell for the guests. All of them bowed in the direction of the carriage as it started to move.

The journey to the palace would take only a few hours from the Benois residence since they would be using a teleportation circle. After all, the Benois residence was of a farther distance to the palace than the Renand residence was.

The silence between these cousins inside the carriage was, once again, suffocating Lucien. How were they able to stay silent for so long? He must’ve gotten too used to his sister’s chatty self now.

Maybe he should try to break the ice again today. Maybe yesterday was simply just not his day.

“Your Grace, why are you—”

“Lord Renand, I apologize, but can I have some peace and quiet please?” Siegfried said while massaging his forehead with his eyes closed.

“Oh, certainly,” Lucien nodded.

And there was silence again.

Giselle didn’t even spare them a glance. She was only staring at the ground the whole time.

God, take me away from here, Lucien pleaded earnestly in his heart.