Knox's POV

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Above is the picture of Anna. Credits to google. And thank you to @lilgoody @BoredNerdd @Sleeping_In_Heaven for correcting the niece part. I thought I changed it already but I must've forgot to hit the publish changes button, T-T so thank you!

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Garden

Ever since I was young, the only people around me were the ones that wanted to use me and the ones that wanted me dead.

I was made the Crown Prince as the first-born son of the Empress and this title continues to burden me even until now. Poison was almost in every food and drink of mine to the point I had gotten immune to it. While assassins would appear here and there, I had to survive just so I could live another day. Weakness was now something I loathe.

The only one person I did not have any clue to categorize was the Duke's odd daughter, Jade Evangeline Smith Kensington.

The first time we meet, I imagined her to be the fickle weak type of girl and I was determined to hate her because father was actually planning to let this girl marry me just so he could be family with his friend Duke Smith.

How preposterous.

Why doesn't he ask my opinion? He's telling me I have to work hard to become the Crown Prince while she, this weak and gullible girl gets to be the Crown Princess with no suffering?

And sure enough, I had thought she was too kind and nice and look at her, saying compliments to the King. But shouldn't you at least acknowledge me? Am I nothing to you?

And why are you smiling so happily to your father but your face feels rigid when you face me?

The more I spend my time with her the more I hated it.

"Why don't you two take a walk around the palace and have a chat while we catch up on our work?" I nod in agreement. There was nothing to do here while this girl was snacking on things.

We walked in silence until we were both out of sight. Jade was far from me and I had to slower my pace just so I could close the distance.

Suddenly, I felt annoyed and irritated. Why does she stir these feelings into me? I think this is the first time someone has behaved this way, ignoring me to the bone.

"What are you up to?" I turn around to face this girl and was surprised at how cold she could speak.

"I only want to get far away from you as much as possible" she glares at me and continues to speak, "You can say whatever you like to your father but I will not spend any more time with you. Heed my words, it is better if we do not have anything to do with each other, Crown Prince Knox."

She turns to walk away but I instantly grasp her hand perhaps a little too strong as I pulled her over to my chest.

Putting both hands on her shoulder, I look into her eyes and ask, "Why do you hate me so much?"

She was taken aback by my behaviour and so did I honestly. Why do I care about her feelings? Is it purely due to curiosity as Jade was behaving oddly or is it something else? She quickly collected herself and pushes me away.

"It does not matter what I feel towards you, Your Highness. For our bond is one that does not require much interaction. It is enough for our family and lineage to be loyal to you. Please, do excuse me"

With that she ran away and I found myself staring at the little girl's back as she fades out of view. Perhaps a time away from each other would do good but I will have to search for her as this was her first time visiting the palace and she might get lost.

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