Chapter 37 - Sudden Visit
“I agree with you. In fact, I will support you with anything that you wish to do,” said the duchess.
Ella was surprised by the duchess’s unexpected answer and approached her. Luciella always loved her family. In recent years, however, she held back her displays of affection only because she wanted to act like a crown princess. With that out of the picture, she had no reason to hold back her love. Then the duchess hugged Ella.
“Really?” asked Ella.
“Yes. Your father will play along if I say so. You can do whatever you want so that you won’t have any regrets in the future. I don’t want you to wither away in the palace. If it’s possible, you don’t need to stay there. Otherwise, you should do everything you ever wanted to do before you leave. That way, you won’t have any regrets once you accept your role as crown princess. I know what it’s like from my experience.”
It was a story about the duchess that was never described in the novel. Seeing that Ella was highly interested in that story, the duchess smiled. Ella inherited her beauty from her elegant mother.
“Of course. Do you think a gorgeous woman like me married your father out of love? I insisted on marrying someone I loved even as I married your father. At the time, there wasn’t anyone that I loved. I went to every party that I could go to, and I even snuck into the training grounds for knights. Now that was a huge problem.”
It was difficult to believe the duchess’s story. She never seemed like the person to cause so much trouble, let alone sneak into the training grounds.
“I never knew that,” said Ella.
“Of course, you wouldn’t. Your grandfather tried so hard to hide it so that your father would never find out. Now, it’s my time to look after you. I’ll always have your back. Don’t tell Evan about this. He’ll faint if he hears what I just said.”
“Yes, mother. I will succeed!”
“Yes, you will. If you need any help, just ask me.”
It was a promise between mother and daughter that would make the men of this house be dumbfounded if they ever found out.
After the duchess had left, Ella was relieved to know that she had a powerful supporter and began to read a book on the couch. Except for her meeting with Countess Setin, all of her classes were pushed a week back during the Week of the Beginning. In the novel, Cladis would have come to stay for the day, but…
“He wouldn’t come. Why would he? He’s not coming.”
Ella snapped and laid flat on her back on the couch. She didn’t have a dress to wear if she wanted to go outside, so it was best to stay home and relax. There were events waiting for her starting tomorrow. If she wanted to find a solution to her predicament, she needed to work even harder. Maybe she had to go as far as helping Clara become the protagonist instead. Whatever the case was, she was destined for busyness tomorrow.
“If so, it’s best I spend the day taking a nap instead.”
Ella then threw away the book and was about to lie down for a nap when Smila came running in.
“What is it?” asked Ella.
“My lady, we’ve just received a letter that his highness is on his way here,” said Ella.
Surprised, Ella took the letter from Smila and read it. There weren’t any formal salutations in it. It simply said that he was on his way here to see Ella. By the time she had received the letter, Cladis was already on his way over. It was too late to turn down his visit. Frustrated by his rudeness, Ella shook with anger.
“My lady, shouldn’t you get ready?” asked Smila.
Ella couldn’t understand what Smila was saying due to her anger, so she looked at her. Then she realized what Smila meant. She was asking Ella to dress up for the crown prince. ‘Why should I?’ thought Ella. Ella came to the conclusion that she didn’t need to torture herself by wearing a corset for that man. Actually, she would be thankful if he saw her dressed improperly and stopped the marriage altogether.
“It’s fine. It’s not like he’ll compliment me for trying hard to dress up for him. I’m sure he’ll just give me a sarcastic comment instead.”
“Just let me know when he arrives. Until then, I’ll be taking a nap.”
Smila was shocked by Ella’s indifference towards the crown prince’s visit and ran out of the room. She was going to ask Maylin or the duchess for help. Even at Smila’s request, both of them only nodded and told her to leave Ella alone. While Smila was busy not knowing what to do, she heard that the crown prince had finally arrived. Smila’s face became pale, ran into Ella’s room, and shook her to wake her up. Under ordinary circumstances, she wouldn’t have dared to do this, but this situation wasn’t normal.
“My lady! My lady! His highness is here! Wake up!”
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