“It just happened yesterday, so I didn’t forget it. But what about that?”
A moment ago, Payne’s eyes, which had been soaked with thoughts, contained warmth.
However, when he woke up from his thoughts, his expression looked cold as usual.
Count Mason was puzzled, but did not express it.
Because there were more important things to do now.
“I found out that the tiara was purchased by the Crown Prince with a large sum of money for the princess’s birthday. The princess gave away her birthday present from the Crown Prince.”
Count Mason paused for a moment and watched Payne’s reaction.
He had a thoughtful face.
Count Mason kept on talking about his investigations before his interest waned.
“It is fortunate if it was done after asking for permission, but the Crown Prince paid a large sum to get it back. Isn’t it obvious what happened?”
“Right. Who else knows about that?”
“It’s my daughter and I grounded her. But why do you ask..?”
Count Mason asked suspiciously.
Payne looked at him and said calmly.
“Bring her tomorrow. I need to ask her something.”
“Are you talking about my daughter?”
Count Mason didn’t know if it was a good thing Payne had asked him to bring his daughter.
The fact that the Prince willingly set aside time to meet with him showed that he was interested in this work.
If he called his daughter to check, perhaps the Prince didn’t believe what he said.
He thought at best, but as soon as he heard the news he ran to report.
He was upset, but there was one bigger problem.
His daughter was beautifully grown, but she was naive and clumsy.
The 2nd prince was polite and kind to everyone.
Because of his beautiful appearance, his status as a prince, and his courteous attitude, he has no fiancee unlike the Crown prince, so his popularity among unmarried aristocratic ladies has skyrocketed.
However, the second prince was not as meek as was known.
He was cold-hearted and showed no mercy when it came to business.
If Eileen, Count Mason’s daughter, makes a mistake in front of the second Prince….
A cold sweat formed on the Count’s forehead just by imagining it.
Unable to disobey the prince’s orders, Count Mason reluctantly nodded his head.
“There won’t be tea because I’m busy with a lot of work.”
“It’s okay. I understand.”
Payne stood up to see the Count off.
“Count, you worked hard today. Be careful going home. Let’s meet another day.”
“Yes. Then I’ll leave now. Rest well, Your Highness.”
After Count Mason left, Payne sat back down and looked at the papers with a complex expression.
He sat for a few more hours after that, then lifted his head.
It was morning when he looked out the window, and the sun was already rising in the middle of the sky.
The sun rose high in the sky, scattering golden brilliant rays.
It was a brilliant gold color reminiscent of someone.
Payne stared out blankly for a moment, then woke up to the sound of a servant knocking on the door outside.
When he opened the door, the emperor’s servant stood in front of him.
He looked at Payne and bowed his head politely.
“I see you, Second Prince.”
“What’s going on?”
“I’m here to deliver the message from His Majesty that if you’re not busy, His Majesty wants to have lunch with you.”
These days, the number of times the emperor had called him had increased significantly.
It was one of the factors that sharpened the Crown Prince’s nerves recently.
The emperor did not look at him even when he was a child.
He was a heartless father, and he immediately realized that it was unreasonable to expect a close relationship of blood and flesh from him.
However, for some reason the emperor showed more interest in him these days.
This meant that he himself has become useful to him. As a child, he would have rejoiced and looked forward to seeing his father. However, he had already grown up to hope for his parents’ affection. He went through a lot, and those expectations and emotions were fuzzy. Payne looked down at the servant and said in a lowly voice.
“Tell him I’ll see him soon.”
“Good. I’ll deliver your message.”
A day had passed.
Today was an exceptionally sunny day.
The sky was clear without a single cloud and the sunlight was strong.
Under the hot and dazzling sun that could almost blind your eyes if you looked at it, the imperial palace was showing its majestic majesty as usual.
“The Second Prince is waiting inside.”
Eileen, guided by the attendant, cautiously entered the room.
In the parlor, Payne had come first and was sitting.
He had white, transparent skin and a fine face, and his eyelashes seemed to be longer than women’s.
He had a prettier face than a woman’s, and his shoulders were wide and his legs were long.
The moment she saw him, she stopped and was stunned.
The Crown Prince and the 2nd Prince, were all the imperial members so outstanding?
Just then, a breeze blew through the open window, gently swaying his mysterious silver hair.
The sight of the 2nd Prince sitting at the table and drinking tea was so beautiful that it was hard to believe that he was a human.
It was as if she had seen an angel who had just descended upon the earth.
But the moment their eyes met, contrary to her fantasies, she knew the Prince wasn’t a gentle Angel.
“I see you, Second Prince.”
Eileen was polite, and she bowed her head gracefully.
Today, she couldn’t find her usual sassy and lively in herself.
The day before, she had been warned by her father, Count Mason, to be careful.
Count Mason was worried and anxious that Payne had called Eileen.
But even if he was anxious, he had no choice but to obey his order and send his daughter.
Fortunately, Eileen heeded her father’s warning.
She was trying to remain as docile and polite as possible, as advised by her the day before.
“Lady Mason, you must have been surprised by the sudden call, but thank you for coming this far without turning down.”
“No. Rather, it’s my honor, Your Highness.”
“I think you’ve already heard from your father why I called you.”
Eileen paused for a moment.
But she soon nodded her head with a calm smile.
“Let’s sit down and have a cup of tea and talk.”
At that, she lifted her head and walked slowly.
She sat quietly in the prepared seat opposite Payne.
Today, Eileen wore a bright pink dress and tied the same color silk around her neck.
With cute pearl earrings, and her hair was braided in a gentle yet charming style.
She woke up early in the morning for a private meeting with the prince and put a lot of effort into dressing up.
Her light brown eyes were lively and her cheeks were flushed pink, and she looked very lovely.
She gracefully lifted the cup and took a sip of her tea.
The black tea was soft and sweet, probably with sugar and milk, and the cookies that came with it looked cute and appetizing.
She felt a little bit better when she thought that the 2nd Prince had prepared for her.
“The tea smells good.”
“Cookies look delicious, too. Do you like tea or cookies, Your Highness?”
“I eat anything.”
Payne replied indifferently.
Unlike Eileen, he did not seem to have the slightest will to continue the conversation.
Seeing the second prince from afar and seeing him up close were quite different.
Having talked to him, he was very different from the other nobles in the capital.
He was on the battlefield for a long time, so his social life wasn’t long, so it explained his hard manners.
Eileen carefully lifted her gaze and looked at Payne.
Then she made eye contact with him.
The eyes of the second prince looking at her were neither warm nor cold.
There was a painted smile on his lips, but his eyes were indifferent.
His soft voice was kind, but there was still a sense of distance.
Eileen was a little disappointed at this, but she did not express it.
“Certainly, the Imperial Palace Chef is different. I envy you to be able to taste these snacks every day. It would be great if our house had such a great cook.”
“If the snack is to your liking, I’ll tell the chef to make plenty, so you can take some home.”
Payne said in an indifferent voice.
Eileen opened her eyes wide with genuine joy at those words nonetheless.
It was true that snacks were delicious, but what was more enjoyable was the consideration of the second prince.
“Really? If so, I’m not going to say no. Thank you.”
If she was dignified, she should have refused.
She felt a little embarrassed, as she seemed overly fond of a few pieces of sweets.
But she soon found her composure and smiled.
What was so important to her?
She didn’t have to care about other people’s eyes as she was the only one in this room with the second Prince.
Of course, if her father saw this spectacle, he would nag her for being ill mannered and thoughtless.
However, how could she refuse the Prince’s sincerity?
Eillen’s lips lifted slightly as she thought she would brag to her friends about today’s meeting.
However, the time of rejoicing did not last long.
“I don’t want to waste any more time, so I’ll get right to the point. Yesterday, I heard that at a charity event held at Marquis Flynn’s, you saw the Crown Prince and Princess Lillian talking in person. Can you elaborate on what it was once again?”
Payne asked with a calm face.
Eileen’s expression hardened a little.
Apparently, her father told the Prince that she ‘directly’ heard the secret conversation in person.
However, it was at the request of her old friend Sarah to speak to the Prince on her behalf.
Eileen thought it was not a bad idea at the time, and she said it was no problem, so she gladly agreed.
But now that the 2nd Prince was in front of her, she feels a little bit unsettling.
Would it be better for her to tell the truth now, or would it be better for her to hide it until the end?
Payne asked in a puzzled voice.
Eileen was in trouble for a moment, but Payne’s voice woke her from her thoughts.
The pair of blue eyes looking at her were as cold and transparent as ice.
That made him look scary.
If he found out that she had deceived him, the second prince would definitely be offended.
Perhaps he would get angry and wouldn’t want to see her again.
However, she would be able to get closer to him if the words she was about to say were helpful to him.
After all, the important thing was the content in it, not who heard it.
“I was going out for a walk to get some air, and I happened to see the Crown Prince and the princess together. Even from a distance, the atmosphere seemed serious.”
After setting aside her troubled thoughts, Eileen began to confide in everything she knew to the best of her heart, as she had practiced beforehand.
“The Crown Prince questioned the Princess about the tiara he had gifted her as to why she put it up at the auction. After the two of them quarreled, the Crown Prince inquired about the fact that the princess presented Young Master Croix a brooch.”