Chapter 13 - Almost Time
Three years ago, Luciella began training to be the next empress, and all of her teachers complimented her for her intelligence and diligence.
“She learns faster than any student I’ve ever taught. She’s also so intelligent that I even have trouble answering her questions. I’m actually learning from her myself.”
“It’s astonishing how she thinks so maturely at the age of 13. She’s going to be someone special in the future. I’m looking forward to seeing her by his highness in the future.”
All her teachers gave her the best compliments. Soon, even the emperor heard about it, “Now I can see why Duke Constance deems his daughter to be so precious. She’ll be the future empress of the Duffspe empire. She must be special. Yes, indeed.”
The emperor was completely satisfied by all the compliments Luciella received. He was so satisfied that he brought her to the palace every two to three months. This helped to solidify her position as the future crown princess. After closely watching her growth over the past year, the emperor allowed her to study psychology.
Psychology was a subject that only members next in line to the throne were allowed to learn. The emperor, however, allowed Luciella to learn it secretly. She was allowed to because of her hard work and because she was almost guaranteed to become the crown princess. In order to repay the emperor for his generosity, she vowed to work even harder. As such, the duchess couldn’t stop her from trying harder as she feared she might disappoint the emperor by reducing her lessons.
Ranhee understood her worries, so she respected Luciella’s effort. She didn’t want to procrastinate and waste all the labor she had been building up until then. At the same time, she enjoyed seeing the results of her labor. Ranhee, on the other hand, was having fun with her studies. She always thought studying was boring, but now she enjoyed it. Learning for her was like second nature. She had thought these people were weird up until now…
‘Dammit. So, I was just dumb before.’ Sad realization aside, she enjoyed her studies. With all that said, the duchess’s pleas didn’t work with Ella. At last, the duchess had to take some extreme measures.
“I can’t let you debut like this. If you skip tea time once more, I will reduce the number of lessons you’re taking.”
This time, the duchess’s warning forced Ella to participate in the tea party. Ella couldn’t participate in this event in order to continue her lessons. Everything she knew about a tea party was from Countess Weshill. She assumed it would be a fierce and competitive event similar to the one she experienced with the countess, which made her want to run away. The actual tea party, however, was different from what she expected. The duchess, using her influence, invited many noblewomen to her tea party. The noblewomen brought their daughters to the party for Ella. Although many of these daughters already had their debutante a year or two ago, they treated her with the utmost respect. Everything about the tea party was different from how Weshill described it.
“I’m so honored to be here with you, my lady.”
“I’m looking forward to your debut, my lady,”
They sat around with Ella in the center and shared interesting stories with her, telling her that they wish for her to debut soon and become the center of their group. Luciella wasn’t aware of the pain or suffering that would soon befall these ordinary girls. Feeling nervous over meeting ladies close to her age, Ella shouted in her mind, ‘Great job! You’ve done so well! This is the best place to be at!’
It was an exceptional choice. Ella took a sip of tea as she sat elegantly and brightly smiled. Even though this wasn’t the ideal situation, it was still good. Everyone was friendly to her, so she felt she lacked nothing. She was now confident that she had perfectly adjusted to this world. It was almost funny how worried she was three months ago. It didn’t matter anymore if she was Luciella or Ranhee. She loved her life and was sure that this perfect life would go on forever.
Time flew by quickly. It was the morning of Ella’s debutante when Ethan, her third older brother, returned home. Although it was early in the morning, it was almost 10, and as he sent a prior message that he would be coming, Ella, the duke, and the duchess came out to the front of the mansion to wait for him even if it was early in the morning.
Soon, a giant black warhorse approached the mansion’s gate and gracefully stopped. Ethan hopped off the horse in a nimble movement and formally bowed to his parents. He then hugged his sister in such a natural manner and asked, “My princess! How have you been?”
“Wonderful. How were you, brother?”
“Every day, I missed you so much.”.
Ella laughed at her brother’s exaggeration. Out of her three brothers, Ethan was the one who teased her the most. He was also the one who loved her the most. Although he teased her a lot when they were younger due to his spot of being youngest taken away by her, Ethan now protected her from Evan’s pranks. To protect his sister from Evan, she was always in his embrace. Ella wasn’t a little girl anymore, but to Ethan, she was still a child. He walked into the mansion with Ella in his arms. While the duke and the duchess were watching them with a smile, Maylin was shocked.
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