Chapter 18 - Dances
Meanwhile, Ella wanted to throw her fake smile away. She thought something very interesting would happen if she were to do so. Ella was most curious about who the emperor would side with if the engagement were to be canceled. She knew from the novel that the emperor chose Cladis as his successor because of Ella. Although Cladis was a superb individual, his brothers were too. If Ella was engaged to one of his brothers, it was possible that the brother would become the crown prince instead. It was also possible that the brothers would fight each other to win Ella for themselves. There was also the possibility that the emperor would force them to go straight to marriage and skip the engagement entirely.
Although both outcomes sounded interesting to her, she wanted neither of them to happen. If any of those outcomes happened it would only affect her which she didn’t want. Now, all she wished was for Cladis to end his tantrum and fall in love with her. She wanted to live happily ever after. After all, she didn’t want to suffer in the future.
Ella knew how Cladis fell in love with Luciella in the original story. Cladis was supposed to fall in love with her looks at her debutante. Afterward, he would eventually fall for her charm. Instead, none of that happened. She wished that this day would end quickly.
‘Alright. Go on, do your thing. Anyways you can’t get away from Luciella. It’s a matter of time until you fall in love with me. Give me at least one week. I’ll make you regret this.’ It would have been easy if Cladis had fallen in love with her tonight. It didn’t matter to Ella that Cladis was being defiant. She knew she would eventually succeed, so she gave her brightest smile to Cladis. Cladis with a stern expression immediately took a step back. ‘That’s it for today, you bastard. Hmph!’ Ella walked away with light steps without any feeling of regret. She headed towards her parents, who were worried sick for her.
“Are you alright?” asked the duke who was waiting for Ella.
His eyes were fixated on Cladis, who didn’t even escort his daughter to him. Instead, Cladis walked straight to the balcony after the dance. The duke tried to hide his anger as he was wary of people around him, but he couldn’t hide his cold gaze that was unusual for looking at the fiance of his daughter.
“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?” answered Ella.
The duke looked at her worryingly. He then noticed that Ella was only speaking the truth and he returned back to being a loving father. The duke smiled at her.
“I see. I guess there’s no reason for you to not be alright.”
The duke’s words were true. If there was any reason, then all he needed to do was get rid of that reason. The Constance family had that kind of power. In addition, the duke knew how intelligent his daughter was, so he understood what she was saying immediately. He was proud of his daughter, who was level-minded even when things were getting emotional for her, and smiled.
“Tell me if you need anything. I’ll do anything to help you.”
“I will, father.”
The two of them ended their conversation and walked to the center of the hall. The second song for Ella began to play. It signaled the beginning of the traditional father and daughter dance. Unlike the first dance with Cladis, everyone cheered and gave their blessings to Ella and the duke. Afterward, Ella danced with Evan, Ethan, and finally with the Captain of the knights Peyden Constance. Even after dancing with her relatives and close acquaintances many others asked to dance with her. Ella was exhausted after dancing five times. She spun so much that she felt the entire world was spinning around her.
Ella needed time to recover. After politely refusing some offers to dance, she went to the balcony. On her way to the balcony, she saw Smila. Smila was chatting with her family who she hadn’t seen in a while. When she noticed Ella, she began to walk over to Ella who appeared tired. Ella, however, waved her away, so that Smila could spend time with her family instead. She didn’t want to interrupt Countess Tolin’s reunion with her daughter after such a long time.
Smila thanked Ella and returned to her family. The countess welcomed her daughter once more, hugged her, and gave her a warm smile. It warmed Ella’s heart to see such love within a noble family where it was considered to be rare. A smile reappeared on Ella’s face for the first time since her debut party began. She began to whistle to make herself feel better. As she walked towards the empty balcony, she noticed Cladis was walking out of the balcony. She immediately stopped. A girl was standing right next to him.
Ella couldn’t believe her eyes and began following them. Her smile immediately disappeared and she froze. Cladis’s expression was completely different from the one he had when he was looking at Ella. He was kind to her and smiling. ‘Cladis. That Cladis was smiling at another woman?’
Ella soon recognized the girl. Although it was her first time seeing her, she knew about a short girl with curly pink hair and eyes that resembled him. She couldn’t, however, remember her name. Ella tried to recall parts of the novel in hopes she could remember the girl’s name.
“Her name’s Clara D. con Mellin, my lady.”
Right! She was the daughter of count Mellin and the best friend of Duke Drolin’s daughter. Dumb and foolish, pink lover Clara! Ella was then surprised by the nice low voice who had answered her question from behind. She turned around. She soon found the man, the owner of the voice, smiling at her. It was a smile that resembled a long-time lover. They were now face-to-face with each other.
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