Chapter 384 - One Promise
Cladis took the watch out of his pocket, checked it, and stood up with a gesture of regret. But still, he didn’t encourage Ella to stand up. Ella tilted her head at an angle and stared at him, who was curiously wishing she would continue to sit. At her actions, as she had just noticed his heart and listened to his wishes, his face brightened. Following his smile, Ella’s face also had a gentle smile. That tender heart was felt through the fingers that caressed the back of her hand. After hesitating, again and again, Cladis gently pulled her hand.
“I don’t want to let you go.”
In the end, Ella let out a burst of laughter. She put her arms around him tenderly and leaned against his forearm. She then looked up at his lips as they still protruded from his sadness.
“I don’t want to go either, but what can I do? It’s my brother’s one-time Welcome Party. If I don’t attend, my brother will have to go to the party without a partner.”
“Why doesn’t he have a fiancée yet?”
“Well, Tilly, you don’t have one either.”
Cladis wasn’t engaged yet, so his faithful courtier didn’t have a fiancée yet either. Ella, who was trying to talk, was unable to continue her words. She had said she wouldn’t break up, but she wasn’t ready to talk about the engagement yet.
I’ll be working and working in this life too. Hmm.
She already felt like she was overworked, but it took her time to acknowledge and accept it. A conversation like this wasn’t good. Whether he knew what Ella was feeling, Cladis glanced at her briefly and smiled alone. He would have been anxious with that reaction if Ella had been insisting she would never be engaged to him, but he wasn’t anxious now. If she goes to him someday, he could have waited for that kind of hesitation. Instead, she only needs to give him confirmation.
“Well, you are right. Do we need to get engaged earlier for him?”
“Oh! More than that, what about the Welcome Party for Tilly if we leave? Even if we rush and go, we won’t be able to come back for the anniversary of the foundation of the Empire.
Knowing Ella’s troubles, Cladis still asked a difficult question to her, but she skillfully avoided her answer and instead suggested a different problem that he couldn’t ignore. His schedule has been forgotten by him as he was too focused on solving the problems he faced.
“I will take care of that.”
“Did you come up with a solution?”
“There’s a way that has a lot of potential. But it might not work, so I’ll let you know after I try it.”
“You can fix it. I believe you.”
Ella looked up at Cladis with her faith-filled eyes. Now she didn’t even think of a time when she didn’t trust him. His thoughtful answer was enough for her. At Ella’s trust, the corners of Cladis’s lips rose without hesitation. His love was shown when his hand was caressing her hand that was around his arm. Looking at them, who were looking at each other and walking together, it seemed as if a sweet scent had been left behind in the places they passed.
Would they be able to deceive the Emperor?
Narwin, looked at them with disbelief. And at that moment, the Duke, who came to hear the news of Ella’s visit, looked at them with similar thoughts.
“Well, I’ll have to rearrange the negotiations for them.”
The Duke knew the Emperor’s thoughts and plans, so he began to worry for his beloved daughter. Still, the smile did not leave his lips. Leaning on Cladis’s arms as she walked, Ella grinned several times and playfully slapped his forearm. Each time, Cladis looked down at Ella with his supremely loving eyes and smiled. Seeing his eyes without authority and seeing him looking at Ella with pure love was a great relief. He felt better giving his daughter to Cladis and believed he would make her happy. The troubles that had haunted the Duke for months could only be let go now.
Now, I need to take care of the matter with the Emperor and the Empress.
His smile faded a moment. It broke his heart whenever he thought about them. His head hurt and was sick thinking about them. He couldn’t understand why he felt this way, although he tried to understand. Understanding them and knowing their thoughts would help Ella be at peace even in this Imperial Palace. His troubles deepened. But even that deep concern was forgotten by what happened the next moment.
While playing with Cladis, Ella accidentally turned around and found the Duke. Seeing his daughter running as softly as a flower and seeing her burying herself in his arms, he reaffirmed his will to solve any serious problems. There was nothing impossible for such a precious daughter.
“Did you come out because of me?”
“It was time for me to leave the palace, so I thought we might go home together. Are you on your way back?”
“Is the meeting over?”
While the Duke was enjoying the conversation with Ella, Cladis approached. It was a completely different face from when he was just with Ella, so the Duke was pleased. The Crown Prince, who the Duke hated day by day, recently supported and stayed with Ella so perfectly that it was hard to believe he was the son of the Emperor. If he continues to support Ella in the future just like now, he was also willing to break an oath that he had not allowed even to the Emperor. He recalled the oath he had put aside and told Cladis of the meeting that had just ended.
“It’s been decided to protect the village first from the list that Evan organized, where we could get there in the shortest amount of time.”
The secret meeting, where the three Dukes had always been together, was held for the first time except for Duke Winsroll due to this incident. He used probation as an excuse, but it was also due to Dayson’s attitude at the last meeting.
Everyone looked at them suspiciously. And that doubt grew as the meeting continued. So, even during the countermeasure meeting, no one was looking for them. While the meeting was ongoing, there was a feeling of tension that the cooperation that had been built for thousands of years might be shaken. As a result, the expression on the Duke’s face as he conveyed the contents of the meeting to Cladis gradually darkened.
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