The one who welcomed Dominic back from the university was not the king and queen of Weyburn, nor the royal secretary or the chief of staff, but rather a messenger from the queen.

Dominic picked up a letter that was placed on the oak desk in the study. Seeing the blue seal of the queen, it seemed to be an official or an order that should not be refused.

Unable to hide his annoyance, Dominic opened the envelope. The beige stationery contained only concise information that needed to be conveyed, as usual.

“Nothing has changed.”

In summary, it advised him to faithfully fulfill the role of the crown prince for the time being, as the vacation had ended.

He was instructed to visit Sonnet Hall in Loomwood Garden.

“I was going to pick you up.”

Tsk, as Dominic silently expressed his dissatisfaction with the contents of the letter, a slightly hoarse voice mixed with discontent could be heard from the entrance of the study. Turning his gaze away from the letter, Dominic discovered a man standing at the door.

Dressed in a flamboyant lace cravat, adorned with gold embroidery on his vest and trousers, and silver hair that fell to his clavicles, topped with wired glasses. The somewhat extravagant appearance seemed as if looking at someone from a century ago.

Even in the midst of summer, the man was wearing pointy velvet shoes. Dominic responded indifferently, feeling a sense of familiarity with the man’s unique attire.

“Well. That’s not something someone who left me alone and came to the capital first would say.”

He didn’t add that he had almost ended up in an awkward situation. After all, it would surely reach the queen’s ears.

“Haha, what can I do when the queen is urgently looking for you? Anyway, safely… Oh? You’ve already seen it.”

The man who descended the spiral staircase as if sliding down gestured with a letter and spoke.

“Yes, the queen wants me to go to the Sonnet Hall.”

“It’s a beautiful place. The last king was very fond of it, and the current king is taking great care of it. He hasn’t visited in a while, and it’s causing him some regret. There is a caretaker, of course, but wouldn’t it put your mind at ease if you visited yourself, especially when the king has shown an interest? When His Majesty’s attention is on it, you could pay a visit…”

“Sometimes, I can’t help but think you might be my mother’s child. You nag just like her.”

Dominic interrupted the man as he explored the shelves filled with books in the study and explained about Sonnet Hall.

However, the man didn’t stop. He continued with unnecessary details, mentioning how Sonnet Hall had a deep history, how the summer scenery was magnificent, and how he himself wanted to stay there at least once.

In summary, it was essentially a suggestion for Dominic to spend the vacation there, no matter how much he tried to persuade him otherwise.

“No matter how much you persuade me, I won’t be staying there for the entire vacation, so you might as well give up.”

Dominic firmly replied to his honeyed words. The man, although with a disappointed expression, didn’t insist further. Instead, he left a bit of room for consideration.

“I expected as much, but it’s a shame. Well, at least for a day, make it look like you’re trying. I mean, if you were to stay at Sonnet Hall for the entire vacation, it would be a perfect opportunity.”

“It’s just a vacation.”

“But you’re the crown prince.”

Dominic turned his sharp gaze toward the man, who was tilting his head.

“You really won’t yield an inch, will you, Chris Reynolds.”

“Of course not. This is why I receive a salary from Her Majesty, after all.”

The man, Chris, seemed familiar with this kind of situation and responded calmly, even folding his eyebrows.

Chris Reynolds was a handsome man with a tall and dignified figure. His pale white skin, which could seem delicate, stood out. He had been Dominic’s childhood friend and attendant, and as someone appointed by the Queen, he was the only person besides her who knew about Dominic’s condition.

After briefly making a mischievous expression, Chris asked with a concerned face.

“But do I really need to accompany you? In fact, I have a lot to do now that I’m back in the capital after a long time. Especially, I need to check the budget for the Vermalon Palace.”

“Why are you managing that? I thought you said you hated managing money?”

“Ah… Well, the chamberlain tends to do things carelessly, doesn’t he? Even the queen has commanded it, and if I become old and unable to move, I’ll have to sit in the position of the chamberlain when I get old and have difficulty moving. It would be good to learn in advance. Or maybe I could become a librarian at the royal library.”

Unless, of course, you intend to pamper me in my old age. He swallowed his last words and replied, taking out a thick book.

With an air of hesitancy, Dominic, who was fortunately unable to detect the rolling eyes, tilted his head as if asking a foolish question.

“Who told you to do that?”

“So, were you just planning to suck the marrow and leave? That won’t do at all. I’ll contact all the newspapers right away and report a very significant flaw to Her Majesty.”

“I’d be happy to see whose neck gets chopped first.”

“Oh, come on, it was just a joke.”


Dominic retorted with an indifferent expression. It was a face that showed no signs of mischief.

“Please, refrain from making such harsh words with a serious expression. Do you know how startled I get whenever I hear joking words that seem like jokes but are not?”

“It was just a joke.”

When Dominic tapped Chris on the shoulder, he scratched the back of his head.

Letting out a deep sigh, Dominic leaned back against the bookcase and asked in an unfriendly tone.

“Just for a day?”

“At least over the weekend…”

“Mother is putting in quite an effort to test me.”

“Haha… Did you notice?”

“Well, yes. She sent me to college, praying that her only son, a failure, would overcome his weaknesses.”

Thanks to this brief escape from his boring daily life, it had become a rather enjoyable experience for Dominic. However, that fact twisted Dominic’s lips slightly, reminding him that he had only decided to set aside his troubles for a short time.

“…to safely place all Your Highness’ powers in the king’s throne, Her Majesty the queen…”

“That’s enough.”


Chris knew when to leave well enough alone. He stopped nagging and waited for a question.

“So, when should we leave?”

However, the answer was truly awkward, and Chris regretted stopping the nagging for a moment. With a slight grimace, he answered.

“Ah… It’s this weekend, right away.”

“What? In two days?”

“Yes, that’s how it turned out. No matter what you say, there’s nothing I can do.”

Chris grabbed his cravat and added,

“Nevertheless, I doubt there is anyone who knows Your Highness’ face there. Well, maybe one person, but I don’t think you’ll come across each other for at least two days. She hasn’t made any contact with you.”

It was obvious that Chris was talking about Bridget Dashwood.

Contact. Dominic, whose hand was poking into his pocket, stood awkwardly.

His interactions with Bridget had been more than enough, and he didn’t want to deal with any more annoying matters. After a moment of contemplation, Dominic chose not to mention their petty quarrels.

Meanwhile, Chris took out a few more books and added,

“It’s fortunate that Your Majesty’s face hasn’t been revealed yet. Ah, of course, even if you happen to come across someone you know, you don’t have to bother greeting them first, as they are not worthy of your attention…”

Dominic’s eyes, which had been fixed forward, lingered on him, causing Chris to trail off at the end of his sentence. He cleared his throat after catching Dominic’s gaze.

“Anyway, the fact that Sonnet Hall is a royal residence is still a well-kept secret. Of course, there are subtle rumors circulating among the upper nobility.”

“I can’t stand places where people talk too much.”

“But no one would go around openly revealing the owner of Sonnet Hall and challenging the royal family’s wishes.”

Chris seemed to be putting in a lot of effort to send Dominic to Sonnet Hall. He cautiously asked Dominic, who somehow seemed oddly unhappy from the moment he entered.

“But there really wasn’t anything wrong, right? You caught the train deliberately around the time when everyone had left Evansville, just in case someone pretended to know and all. Of course, that wouldn’t have happened, but what if you couldn’t recognize the face of someone you accidentally ran into… Nah, that couldn’t be. If that had happened, you would have let me know. Right?”

When he turned his head, Dominic wore an expression of extreme annoyance. Chris, who was monitoring Dominic’s reaction, quickly changed the subject. Nevertheless, he made sure to confirm thoroughly.

“Of course.”

Dominic, with an unchanged expression, replied calmly. Of course, if he claimed he hadn’t made any mistakes, it would be a lie, but it was something that no one would know about.

As long as he wasn’t caught, it was as if it never happened. Fortunately, Chris didn’t seem to notice.

“That’s a relief. I hope you enjoy Loomwood Garden. I hope you can stay there throughout the vacation.”

“Well, I’m sorry, but your wish probably won’t come true.”

“Don’t we all know that life doesn’t always go as planned? We’ll see when the time comes.”

Dominic narrowed his eyes as he suddenly recalled what happened on the train.

“…You’re right.”

He took out a cigar from his pocket and asked.

The arrogant crown prince himself agrees with my words! Chris, who had been looking at Dominic with a bewildered expression, finally frowned, then took out a lighter from his arms and lit the cigar.

Dominic sucked in the cigar deeply with an irritating feeling. A bright red spark flickered, and a wisp of smoke rose from the end of the cigar.

Bridget Dashwood, that woman.

Right now, thoughts of childish bets with her didn’t cross his mind at all. It just annoyed him that he almost revealed his secret.

It was fortunate that she wore a wide-brimmed bonnet. Her face was so unremarkable that it was a hindrance if he let his guard down.

Although her brunette hair and hazel eyes fell into the common side, she didn’t feel the need to distinguish herself as the only woman in the university. He thought he could at least distinguish her with her silber rimmed glasses, but she wasn’t even wearing glasses.

‘Damn it.’

It was a bit of a nuisance, but at least he wouldn’t have any contact with her during the vacation.

Loowood Garden. Dominic glanced down at the letters engraved on the Queen’s message and clenched his fist. The paper was crumpled without mercy.

“But it’s just a dream. There’s no way that will happen.”

The crumpled letter fell to the floor of the study.

Dominic, shaking off the image of Bridget’s backside, heavy from the effects of the drug, twisted the cigar in his hand. The hazy smoke that rose from the end of the cigar concealed his irritated face.

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