Chapter 33 - I Will Not Marry Him
Evan couldn’t understand where his mother was going with this.
“Evan, do you think you can stop your sister?”
Evan couldn’t answer the duchess’s question with his eyes, avoiding her eyes, because he knew he couldn’t stop her. Ella always accomplished her goals. If things weren’t working in her favor, she found a way to turn things around. There were moments when Ella’s actions resulted in larger problems, which Evan found difficult to control. She was already trying to do something that was near impossible, so if he was to get in her way, then it was likely that Ella would use her intelligence to think up some extraordinary measures. It was sometimes best to let things be. It might be better to know what Ella was up to. His conscience was telling him that for a long time. Although he was aware of what she was doing, he couldn’t accept it. The reality that would appear because of Ella’s plan stopped him from doing that. The duchess shook her head as she watched her son with pity.
“I won’t try to stop her. You know as much as I do that it’s better to support her with this.”
“But mother, this is like disobeying an order from his majesty.”
“He won’t kill her if she bets her life on it. We can do it if things don’t turn out the way we want.”
“We’re talking about becoming the crown princess! Everyone within the empire is aware of this marriage. There’s no way we’ll be easily let off from this. We’ll lose a lot from this! I bet that his majesty will take away at least half of our estate!”
Evan always imagined the worst. There were times when he imagined himself ending his sister’s engagement after he saw how hard she worked. As time went by, those imaginations were more frequent. These days, however, he realized how impossible it would be to end that engagement. He couldn’t bear to imagine how the emperor might treat Ella for her betrayal.
“That won’t happen. I will never let our family get hurt from this,” said Ella in a stern voice, as if she was trying to remove Evan’s worries. But it was also a promise to herself.
If her greed was going to be her family’s downfall, she was ready to give up. She was ready to face hell for her family. But she didn’t want to accept it without trying. She wanted to do as much as she could, hoping for the best. Evan let out a long sigh.
“Ella, this is beyond your control. You don’t know his majesty that well. If he wants to, he can change who the crown prince is. Then…”
“NO!” shouted Ella.
‘Change the crown prince, not the crown princess? I’m ending the engagement because I don’t want to be the crown princess!’ She never wanted that to happen. If she had to marry someone, she would prefer to marry someone she knew already.
“No, what do you mean changing the Crown Prince? I don’t want that. I…”
“Ella. I know you always had your way with everything at home, but the world doesn’t work like that.”
Evan spoke to Ella like she was a child and Ella bit her lips. Ella knew better than anyone that the world didn’t work like that. If it did, Ranhee wouldn’t have lost her parents or fell victim to fraud. She wouldn’t have ended up here. The world moved on its own will, and the people on it swayed around it, trying their best to survive.
“I know that well. If it did, then his majesty would not have done what he had done. You won’t stop me from what I’m trying to do either. Do you think I’m that foolish?”
“I’m going to do my best and won’t let any harm come to our family. Don’t try to stop me.”
The winner of the debate was declared. The duchess was right. Evan couldn’t stop Ella. All he could do was tell her what she shouldn’t do among all the possible options she had so she threw her an endless scold instead. His list of what not to do was so long that Ella almost felt she couldn’t do anything. Anyhow, that’s how Ella was able to get permission from the duchess and Evan.
Act 5. In the Place Where the Wind Stopped
The next morning, Ella was preparing to meet Countess Setin, who was coming to design her a new dress. As she was changing with the help of some of the housemaids, Joanne came bustling into the room.
“My lady! My lady! I heard something shocking! My Lord! His majesty threw an ink bottle at his highness!”
It was a fight between the father and the son that never happened in the book. With the main female protagonist now trying to escape from becoming the Crown Princess, there was no need to be surprised by a different relationship between the father and son from the novel. Compared to Ella, who was grumpy, Joanne was excited.
“His highness went to his majesty’s office to say his morning greetings and came out with ink all over his face. I heard his majesty shout angrily even after his highness left the room.”
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