Chapter 22:

Why Wouldn't You?

Hated by the Evil Lady

The teleportation circle was one of the last functioning magic artifacts left in this world. The main reason why it could withstand the dwindling magic was due to the fact that they only required minimum magic from nature to be operated by the court magicians.

Even though magic was disappearing from humans, researches had shown that it wasn’t disappearing anytime soon from nature.

Anything and anyone could be teleported via the teleportation circle as long as they were within the circle. Only the high-ranked aristocrats and the royalty were allowed to use them since they required the presence of a court magician, a title for magicians employed by the empire. There were only a few of them, so they couldn’t be dispatched just anywhere.

Lucien himself had used the teleportation circle a few times before, and all of them were for the sake of going to and from the imperial palace.

“Urgh,” Lucien quietly gagged as soon as they arrived at the other side of the teleportation circle.

No matter how many times he’d gone through this, he could never get used to the nausea caused by the teleportation magic.

He took a glance at Giselle and Siegfried to check on their reaction. Giselle looked unconcerned, probably because she’d gone through this all her life. He couldn’t see Siegfried’s face, but he didn’t make any particular noise either.

Was Lucien just the one with the weakest stomach? That would be very depressing if true.

The carriage stopped by the palace first to drop off Giselle and Lucien before it would proceed to take Siegfried to his territory up north.

Lucien alighted first and extended his hand towards Giselle. As the only son of a marquess and a younger brother of an older sister, it had been ingrained in his body that he must escort the lady.

Giselle took his hand without a word as she went down the carriage as well. As soon as she reached the ground, she turned around to face Siegfried who was inside the carriage.

“Bye, Sieg,” she said while waving her hand. Her expression looked so soft as she looked up at Siegfried, as if she was a meek kitten.

Lucien blinked at that sight, unable to believe what he was seeing. However, the next thing he saw was even more eye-opening.

Siegfried extended his arm out to pat Giselle on the head and smiled as he gave her bangs a light ruffle.

“Later, Giselle,” Siegfried said before the carriage took off again.

Lucien’s jaw dropped a little watching the two cousins’ interaction. The unapproachable, brooding, and dark royal family members were acting like… a normal pair of siblings.

Lucien closed his open mouth shortly after. That shouldn’t have surprised him. They were, after all, just humans like him.

“Let’s go,” Giselle said after the carriage left their sights. Amazingly enough, her bangs were already as tidy as they were before Siegfried ruffled them. It was like the meek kitten just now was never there and only the elegant adult cat remained.

Lucien shook his head. He should really stop comparing her to cats, he thought. That was discourteous of him.

He picked up his pace as he followed Giselle, who had already walked ahead. As soon as he reached her, he offered his arm for her to grab.

“We’re going to my room,” Giselle said as she rested her hand on Lucien’s arm.

“Yes… Yes?!” Lucien quickly turned his head, his eyes looking like they were about to pop out. “I cannot possibly—!”


What Giselle meant by her room was, in fact, the drawing room connected to her bedchamber.

Lucien was almost ashamed of himself for thinking otherwise. He sipped his tea silently with his usual elegant demeanor even though he was beating himself up in his mind.

“Leave us alone,” Giselle said to the maids attending them with a wave of her hand. The maids bowed at them before exiting the room, leaving the two all by their lonesome.

Silence enveloped them after the maids left. Lucien stole a careful glance at Giselle, trying to gauge her expression.

She seemed to get pissed at anything he said, so Lucien was fiddling on his teacup, contemplating whether he should speak up first or not.


Lucien jolted at Giselle’s sudden call. He blinked at her, waiting for her next move. Her teacup made a gentle clack as she placed it down on the coaster.

“What do you think about the relationship between Siegfried and Lady Benois?” Giselle asked.

That question came out of nowhere, so it caught Lucien a little off guard.

“What I think…?” Lucien repeated her question. He never gave it any serious thought, so he had to ponder about it for a moment.

“Well, I think they’re fine…?” Lucien began in a careful tone. “I had my reservations about them in the beginning, since they got engaged so quickly. I have to admit that seeing them together made me feel a little bothered at—”

“Bothered?” Giselle cut him off.

Lucien looked up at her and found Giselle crossing her arms with her eyebrows furrowed.

“I knew it, you like her, don’t you?” she said.

Like? Like who…?

Lucien gasped when he realized what she meant.

“Goodness, no! I would never!” he frantically denied.

Him, liking Clara? Unthinkable! She was basically like another sister to him. He never saw her that way, and neither did she.

In fact, it delighted him to see that Clara managed to find someone who would make her happy. It might be a little lonely for him and Cecile, but they knew how hard it had been for her all this time.

“Why wouldn’t you?”

And yet, Giselle kept on pressing about this matter.

“Pardon?” Lucien asked, confused.

“Why wouldn’t you like her? She’s beautiful, kind, cheerful, and perfect! Who wouldn’t like her?” Giselle glared at Lucien. Her tone made it sound almost like he was the stupid one for not liking Clara.

It frustrated him. He didn’t do anything to warrant such accusation or criticism, did he? In fact, Giselle was the one who was most questionable here. Lucien placed his teacup on the table and sighed.

“Your Highness, I just never saw her that way,” he said. “And if I may ask, why are you suddenly speaking highly of her after chastising her so much yesterday?”

Lucien finally brought up the matter that bothered him the most. Giselle spoke very rudely of Clara to him last night, but now she was complimenting her. What exactly was her feeling about Clara? Why was she always contradicting herself?

He could see that it caught Giselle off guard as well, since her previous ice-cold gaze had now turned unsure.

When she stayed silent, seemingly not wanting to answer, Lucien grew more impatient.

“Your Highness,” he called out to her. “What are you hiding?”