He Was Kind If I Stopped - Chapter 17

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“What did you say?”

 

Hazel jumped out of her seat, and the shawl around her shoulders fell easily to the floor.

 

“What do you mean? Call the chamberlain at once.”

 

“Yes, yes.”

 

Mary quickly picked up the shawl from the floor, draped it over Hazel’s shoulders, and went out.

 

The chamberlain was soon summoned and bowed before Hazel.

 

“Lady Pais sent me.”

 

“For what?”

 

“She said we needed more beautiful flowers to decorate the banquet hall.”

 

“…my flowers? What about the ones in the private greenhouse?”

 

“The flowers in the Rose Palace are especially beautiful. She also said that the flowers are intended to be displaced for important guests from the Empire, so don’t be offended.”

 

The chamberlain spoke quietly, avoiding Hazel’s gaze, which was fixed on him.

 

“What… what?”

 

It was Mary who spoke louder first.

 

“Take the flowers from the Rose Palace?”

 

While Mary exclaimed, the chamberlain smiled and answered.

 

“We used many fine roses to decorate the banquet hall. Lady Pais wants to bring roses, the symbol of Land, to the guests’ rooms as well, but we don’t have enough.”

 

The chamberlain calmly gave reasons without raising an eyebrow.

 

“It’s not just the Rose Palace that has roses! There are roses scattered throughout the gardens of each palace.”

 

“It’s been raining a lot lately, and many of the petals are damaged. Some of them have been eaten by insects. We can’t give such flowers as gifts to our guests.”

 

The chamberlain’s words spilled out very smoothly. Hazel watched him closely and said.

 

“How long have you been working at the palace, Carl?”

 

“Less than a year, Princess.”

 

“You’re very good at your job, even though you’ve only been working here for a short time.”

 

The people in the palace were slowly turning into Lady Pais’s people. This was all because of the king’s power. All of the households in the palace, large and small, were placed under the control of Lady Pais, so her influence in the palace was becoming greater and greater.

 

Although Hazel, the imperial princess, still had a higher position, all the people were busy pleasing Lady Pais because it was the way of the world to bow to the real authority.

 

It was not surprising that they did so, since her one word would change their salaries and treatment.

 

The more it happened, the narrower Hazel’s position became.

 

 

Lady Pais had become more and more rough around the edges since giving birth to her children, and she was able to wrestle her way out of everything mundane.

 

Even though the Duchess of Conces was a powerful noble family, the royal palace was strictly owned by the king, and the nobles could not act unnecessarily. If they do something wrong, it would be a good excuse for treason.

 

“I’ve heard that Lady Pais has taken great pains to assist the court on my behalf. I would be happy to help.”

 

“Isn’t that why the princess took such good care of the roses?”

 

Mary said with a sigh.

 

“The gardener did, to be exact. But the Princess waters it too.”

 

“Mary, give it to him.”

 

“Princess.”

 

Mary looked at Hazel in astonishment.

 

“It’s not a big deal. The flowers are for the guests.”

 

“What?”

 

Hazel smiled cheerlessly at Mary, who looked at her in disbelief.

 

It was a good cause too.

 

To decorate the bedrooms and banquet hall of the delegation from the Empire.

 

“Take it away. It would be a good idea to choose something especially beautiful to please the people from the Empire.”

 

Hazel gave an order with her eyes fixed on him, and the chamberlain left with a satisfied smile on his face.

 

‘If I don’t cooperate, my father will give me another lecture.’

 

It was only natural that everything would be decorated in the best possible way, as the eyes of the entire court, or even the kingdom, were on this big event. Taking the Princess’s flowers was nothing important.

 

Lady Pais was using her pregnant baby as a weapon to oppress Hazel. She thought it was her weapon and waved it around, that was all.

 

Hazel said with a smile.

 

“Select only the best ones and send them to Lady Pais.”

 

“For Lady Pais?” Mary asked in bewilderment.

 

“It’s a gift for her pregnancy.”

 

Hazel added lightly, and Mary whimpered.

 

“It’s a nice thought, a gift of flowers for Lady Pais.”

 

Mary kept her voice low and languid, but when her eyes met Hazel’s, she had no choice but to nod.

 

“Well, Princess. You have another visitor….”

 

“Visitor? Did someone come again?”

 

Hazel slammed the teacup she was about to drink on the table with a thud.

 

She thought she’d stay in the greenhouse quiet and let the time pass, but she didn’t understand why so many people were coming.

 

It was as if someone had decided to claw at her heart.

 

“Who was it again this time? Just say that I’m sick.”

 

“It’s….”

 

Mary was in a panic and at a loss at what to do.

 

“I insisted on coming in.”

 

Startled by the voice, Hazel turned and stared at the voice’s owner, bewildered.

 

“I heard the Princess was sick.”

 

“…….”

 

Hazel was a bit speechless at the sight of the man who had appeared in a grand stride behind Mary.

 

Prince Sisef. The man who would become the future Grand Duke of Avinov and Lorette’s husband.

 

Hazel had tried so hard to avoid him, but it seemed that her life would not even begin this time without meeting the brothers of the Emperor Demophos. Disappointed, Hazel gave a short sigh.

 

Earlier it was Achilleon, today it was Sisef.

 

Hazel had bad relationships with both of them from the past and she never wanted to see them again. One was the crazy husband who killed her stepsister, and the other was her first love who married her stepsister.

 

“I asked her to let me in. Please don’t be angry with Mary.”

 

Mary looked up at Sisef with a touched expression on her face.

 

“I’ll get some more tea. It’s been a while since the Prince saw the Princess. ….”

 

“I don’t have tea for the uninvited guest.”

 

Mary widened her eyes in surprise at Hazel’s snapping tone.

 

“You’re right. I came here rudely.”

 

Sisef nodded and accepted, and Mary stood between them, looking pale.

 

“No need for tea, but may I talk to Hazel alone for a moment?”

 

“Prince.”

 

Hazel stepped forward quickly and said, 

 

“Since when do you call me that?”

 

Sisef looked at Hazel with a slightly shocked expression on his face.

 

“…….”

 

Hazel and Sisef’s gazes collided in the void.

 

Mary, noticing the suffocating air, hastened to answer.

 

“Please talk comfortably. I’ll take my leave.”

 

Mary smiled broadly at Sisef’s gentle request and quickly left the greenhouse.

 

“Mary, you…..”

 

Without a chance for Hazel to talk, Mary quickly disappeared from her sight. Meanwhile, Hazel could hear the door of the greenhouse closing and Mary asking nearby maids not to go into the garden.

 

‘Mary, that’s not it.’

 

Hazel moaned in a low voice  and touched her head. But Mary did the best she could. She was only keeping her master’s word to make things happen with Sisef somehow. But Mary didn’t know that her master had changed.

 

(*In previous life Mary knew that Hazel liked Sisef and she didn’t know Hazel is a changed person now, so that’s why Mary tried to bring them together.)

 

“What brings you all the way here?”

 

Hazel stood up and the shawl on her shoulders again fell to the floor. She stared at Sisef as Sisef picked up the fallen shawl and slowly approached her.

 

“Hazel.”

 

She looked at him as he brushed off the dirt from the shawl. The gesture and the color of his eyes made Hazel feel emotional. Sisef was always so kind and gentle even when they first met.

 

“Are you the owner of this ribbon?”

 

It was from the time he helped her find the ribbon that had flown away in the wind and hung on a tree branch.

 

Yes, it was from that exact moment. It wasn’t because the person who found her cherished ribbon was an Imperial prince. Hazel just liked the hand that reached out to her. The warm look in his eyes, the gentle way of speaking. He left her world shaken.

 

Hazel sighed at the memory of the past that had come so suddenly to her when she saw Sisef picking up her shawl with the same nonchalance as that time.

 

He had always impressed her with such small acts of tenderness and consideration.

 

Knowing that it was nothing more than an acquired habit, she fell in love with him. At the time, Hazel thought that Sisef’s actions were only for her.

 

What a great illusion.

 

“Give it back.”

 

Sisef stared at her as Hazel spoke sternly, and Hazel stepped toward him, who was unresponsive.

 

“It’s a job for the maids to do. It’s not for you, Prince.”

 

When Hazel reached out and tried to grab the shawl, Sisef held it tightly instead of handing it over.

 

“Prince?”

 

“Don’t call me that.”

 

Sisef smiled disappointedly at Hazel’s gaze, which looked up at him as if confused.

 

“Are you mad at me?”

 

“…….”

 

Hazel stopped snatching at her shawl again and looked at Sisef.

 

“What makes you think that?”

 

“You didn’t even bother to look at my face like before.” Sisef said.

 

“You’re mistaken.” Hazel cut him off without hesitation.

 

“Is it because of Lorette?” Sisef asked.

 

“…….”

 

“Lorette is not like you. She’s like a little sister to me.” Sisef said calmly.

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