Chapter 34 - I Will Not Marry Him
Other housemaids began chattering in excitement as they listened to Joanne’s story. But Ella calmly looked at Joanne without changing her facial expression. After a while, Joanne realized Ella was quiet and became silent as she looked down.
“News travels fast. Who told you that? Was it my brother? Or Norland?”
Joanne became surprised and looked up. Then her eyes met with Ella’s, and she quickly looked back down. She was certain she made a mistake. These days, Ella’s easy-going attitude made Joanne careless. Careless to the point, she almost forgot Ella was her master. Joanne was afraid of Ella, who for a while hadn’t said a word, that she began to shiver.
“It… it was the head butler, Norland, my lady.”
“Ugh. Then, it must have been my father’s order.”
The duke must have heard what happened last night, but he hadn’t said a word about it. It was unlike his usual self. Ella hoped that he would agree to her plan, but it was the complete opposite. It was obvious the duke would oppose her plan. It seemed that he thought it would be better to pretend he supported her. In reality, he was going to convince her to give up. At the very least, the duchess told him to stay out of it, and he couldn’t go against her will. That was a good sign, at least. Ella never intended to throw this bomb at her family when she decided to end her engagement.
‘I’ll do my best on my own.’ If things were to go wrong and might harm her family after meeting the Crown Prince, she was ready to let her family know beforehand. She didn’t want to keep her plans a secret from her family because she didn’t want anyone to protest. She believed her family wouldn’t seriously try to stop her plans, maybe even help her. The duke had his opinions on this current situation, but it was certain that he wasn’t going to ignore Ella’s will once her plan went into motion. He was the type of a man who can definitely take a detour if a possible solution is proposed to replace the current one. Currently, Ella didn’t have the results from her plan to persuade her father, so she had noi choice but to wait. Until she could persuade her father.
Ella looked at Joanne, who was standing there looking afraid. It wasn’t Joanne’s fault at all. She only heard the news from Norland and was fooled into thinking that the news might interest her lady. She was too young to realize the intentions behind such news.
“Next time, I want to know who is telling you this information before you tell me what it is. Can you do that?”
“Yes, my lady.”
Joanne looked a bit disappointed, but Ella decided to let her be. She was usually the first one to tell her such news, and Ella needed her to do that.
“Get rid of these dresses, and get me the dress I wore before my debutante.”
“Yes? Uh, but… Understood, my lady.”
Normally, Joanne would have protested a bit, but she couldn’t do that in her current state. She brought some dresses to Ella. Ella chose the simplest dress that she could find and wore it. The maids tried to style her hair and give her accessories to overcome the dress’s dullness. Ella smiled as the maids seemed disappointed by Ella’s appearance. There was a limit with dresses that Ella had chosen. But she wasn’t going to the party, so she couldn’t cover it up with jewelry either. Best they could do was to have Ella wear simple jewelry with elegant ribbons of the same color from the dress, and work on her hair with various ties and knots with some red ribbons in between.
“We brought the shawl.”
Joanne brought a shawl that had gorgeous embroidery with small gems on it. It belonged to the duchess. Maids looked a bit relieved as they added the shawl to her outfit, and Ella smiled. It was great that these people were trying their best for her. It was a best if what they thought was honest. Ella felt that her relationship with her maids improved a lot, which made her happy. Why else would Joanne feel comfortable enough to burst into Ella’s room to share some gossip?
“Oh my. Ella, you’re always so beautiful.”
“As always, you’re fabulous, Madam Setin. Thank you for coming on short notice.”
“You’re welcome as always. I’m honored to be at your service.”
Ella entered the room where Countess Setin was waiting for her with the duchess, and they exchanged formal greetings. Countess Setin was a bit prideful because of her position as the royal family’s tailor. However, she never showed such arrogance to Ella. Ever since Ella became 10, she treated Ella as the crown princess.
“So… I heard you wanted a new dress, but… why were you looking for me?”
“I find getting a new dress to be boring and annoying. You don’t need to try too hard to get around to tell me that.”
It was difficult to persuade Ella to purchase some dresses before her debutante. Even when she had to be dragged in, she had a book in her hands. After all that work of bringing her, she chose a few designs without having much interest. Dress shopping for Ella took so much effort that it made the duchess and countess sigh multiple times.
This time, however, Ella wanted to create a custom dress for herself. Surprised, Countess Setin postponed every reservation she had and came to visit Ella. She couldn’t resist the chance to create a dress for the lady of Constance and fill her quota so she could remain as her tailor. How could she reject such miraculous day that might never come again?
“I have some special designs in mind for you.”
Countess Setin waved her arm, and her four apprentices brought out some gorgeous dresses. They were certainly eye-catching. Ella’s mouth shivered at the dress that was so long sideways that even required four people to carry it. Ella felt goosebumps rising all over her skin as she imagined herself wearing them. She was more afraid that she would end up looking good with those horrible dresses on. It was a scary world.
“Madame. I want a dress that is… a bit more unique.”
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