34 - Wook's Teahouse
8-10 minutes 24.09.2022
The imperial palace.
Lark immediately went to his aide, Ren’s, office.
He remembered Rubette’s advice not to delay even for a second.
“I remember the verdict when Your Highness’ aide was beheaded.”
“How was it”
“He didn’t admit to plotting treason until the end despite the obvious evidence.
He admitted he had all the evidence but didn’t plot treason…”
“Ren didn’t make excuses even though it wasn’t his fault He didn’t defend himself and just died unjustly”
“In life, there are times when you can’t speak even if you have a mouth, and there are times when you shouldn’t speak.
Perhaps your aide is in the same situation”
“Your Highness needs to find out the reason for his silence.”
When Lark arrived, Ren’s office was somehow empty.
Lark asked his attendant.
Where is Ren”
“Ren left 10 minutes ago to visit Asto Palace.”
“… What Asto Palace”
Lark’s eyes narrowed at this sudden course of action.
This splendid and gigantic palace, named after a “star,” was home to dozens of female imperial family members who had not yet left home.
The fifth princess, thirteen-year-old Lisbeth van Rashmagh Descarde, was also one of the princesses of Asto Palace.
She was the only princess birthed by the empress and the only biological sister of Crown Prince Lark.
Lisbeth stood in front of the mirror and looked gloomy.
The finely braided silver hair and big eyes were quite cute, but she didn’t like the short height and chubby hands and feet.
“Mm… Well, Princess is pretty cute.
You’re not as fat as Rubette.”
“Y-You think I’m cute”
“Yes, well… I like thin girls.”
Lisbeth was very sincere for the boy who had expressed his clear refusal dozens of times.
The boy who had set young Lisbeth’s heart on fire was Ricky Diollus.
Lisbeth had been in a desperate crush on him since last month when she first saw him at a social gathering of aristocrats.
‘He’s so cool…!’
His soft blonde hair and pure white skin were like a young boy angel.
‘My older brother is also famous for being handsome, but honestly, he’s not comparable to Prince Ricky.’
Lisbeth, thinking of her brother Lark, shook her head desperately.
Then, with a determined expression, she clenched her fist.
Today was the time to finish what had been interrupted in everything.
‘At this social party, I must give the present to Prince Ricky.
Without it, I wouldn’t even be able to attend the party…’
The social party.
This secret social gathering, hosted once a month by noble ladies considered the best in the capital, was not accessible to anyone.
As a party aimed at showing off each other’s wealth and promoting friendship, the scale of the event was enormous even though it was held for just one day, and access was strictly restricted unless it was an “invited” aristocrat.
However, it was not a place where you could go unconditionally just because you received an invitation.
Lisbeth opened a luxurious invitation decorated with gold leaf on black paper and sighed.
We invite you to a social gathering in August.
– Organizer, Ricky Diollus
The host of the social party was Ricky, and Lisbeth had received an invitation.
But there was a problem.
Each invitation contained a gift that the host wanted, and the invited nobles must get the gift to attend the party.
The gift that Ricky had requested from Lisbeth this time was ‘Pharma Crystal’, a national treasure of the imperial family…
‘There’s no way Brother will give me this…’
Crown Prince Lark now owned it.
While he was very affectionate and generous with his only sister, Lisbeth, he was a man of firm distinction.
If she cried and complained, there was a chance that Lark wouldn’t listen…
But what if she asked him to give out a ‘national treasure’ just as a gift for a friend
After being rejected with a snap, she’d be nagged for an entire hour, asking why she was so immature.
And Ricky wouldn’t be unaware of this either.
‘He will just tell me not to come.’
When you no longer wanted to allow a noble of a downtrodden family to visit a social gathering, or when you had someone you did not like but had to send an invitation to as a courtesy.
Organizers used to control visits by demanding this kind of outrageous gift.
Lisbeth knew that too.
Ricky, who felt pressured by her, told her not to come to the party.
‘But I will go.
I want to go.
I want to get to know Prince Ricky…’
However, Lisbeth could not break her will, and she found a way.
“I am sure I will succeed today.”
Lisbeth, who had made up her mind, began to touch the teapot on the table with clumsy hand gestures.
A fragrant smell quickly came up when she poured hot water over the green tea leaves.
‘Magic Tea Leaves! If Brother drinks this, he will surely give me Pharma Crystal.
The sorcerer said he would nod no matter what I ask.’
Without anyone knowing, she had to be careful, so all her maids had already been dismissed, and she dealt with the tea by herself.
Before long, with a teacup in his hand, Lisbeth left the room to go to Lark.
Squeak, when the door opened.
Lisbeth was startled by the man standing with his arms folded as if he had been waiting.
It was Lark’s aide, Ren.
Ren swiped his blonde hair with a tired expression and took the teacup in Lisbeth’s hand.
“Ah! Give it to me!”
“I knew this would happen.”
Ren came in with the door closed, put the teacup on the table, and looked around Lisbeth.
“I knew it.
I figured the last time wasn’t everything.
How many do you have”
“What rudeness is this!”
“All the damn tea leaves are confiscated.
Hurry up and give me the rest.”
“There’s no more! That’s the last one!”
As Ren raised his red eyes fiercely, Lisbeth cried in surprise.
“There’s no such thing… Why do you keep interrupting me in everything”
Ren, who bent his knees in front of Lisbeth at eye level, pointed to the teacup on the table and said.
“I told you.
That’s not magic tea leaves.
It’s a poisonous plant.”
“Stop fooling me!”
“You don’t believe me I already knew what those tea leaves were.
It’s not food.
If you eat it, you’ll die.
Do you want your brother to die after eating that”
Lisbeth said as she folded her arms and raised her chin.
“You mean to scare me.
I know it’s not poison.
I drank it myself.”
“I beg your pardon Are you crazy”
“I’m not crazy.
And don’t lie to me.
You said I’d vomit and die if I ate, but it didn’t happen.”
“Ren, don’t do that and help me.
If those aren’t magic tea leaves, there’s nothing I can do about it.
But it’s not poisonous, so I’ll feed my brother just once.
Hearing Lisbeth’s immature voice, Ren slowly closed his eyes and sighed.
Does this young princess know What she believes to be magic tea leaves is a deadly poison.
Put out all the rest, and tell me exactly when, where, and from whom you got this.”
“I will never tell you.”
Lisbeth burst into tears in front of the scolding Ren.
Ren soothed her with a soft voice.
Now consider yourself lucky that it’s only me.
It is a felony for the princess to bring such a thing into the palace.
You’ll be locked up in a dungeon with a bunch of scary prisoners if caught.”
“It’s not poison! You won’t die!”
“It’s not about dying…!”
Ren, who was screaming, bit his lips.
As it turned out, the tea leaves were poisonous.
Of course, as Lisbeth said, it has nothing to do with life, but…
‘How the hell did you get this!’
A poisonous plant that could cause males to lose fertility and become sexually disabled.
If Lisbeth, a woman, drank, there would be no problem, but if Lark drank, it was a different story.
Wasn’t it a deadly poison for Lark, the heir of the imperial family
Of course, a man without his fertility was excluded from the fight for succession.
The first heir, the crown prince, was no exception.
“Then you can bring me the Pharma Crystal…!”
“It is a national treasure.
Princess, do you have any thoughts or not”
“Oh, I don’t know! I really need it!”
At that time.
“… What does all this mean”
At the familiar voice, Ren and Lisbeth hardened at the same time.
Ren gulped and raised his eyes.
Lark, who had come in without a trace, was standing with his arms crossed and leaning against the doorway.