Chapter 40 - Where We Part Ways
“No, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go there. I was just surprised that you wanted to go there. I wasn’t sure if there was any correlation between me not wanting to become the crown princess and going to the garden.”
“Nonsense. I’m just interested in the garden,” snapped Cladis as he tried to hide his uncertainty and escorted Ella out.
As he walked out, hoping that the cold air outside could ease his doubt, his footsteps began to move at a faster pace. The quicker his footsteps became, the more Ella’s frustration grew. She was much shorter than him and wearing a dress, so she struggled to follow his pace. He was walking at such a fast pace that it almost felt like she was running.
As soon as they both got out of the mansion, Ella roughly let Cladis’s hand go and stood there. Cladis then turned to look at her.
“Your highness should go to the garden alone. It’s a nice place to look at by yourself. Please go home when you’re finished. This is where we part ways…”
Ella tried to choose words that weren’t too rude, but her anger towards Cladis’s inconsiderate actions made it difficult to control herself. Hearing Ella’s harsh words caused Cladis to realize what he had done, and he blushed. Although he was escorting a lady, he didn’t bother to slow down for the person he was guiding. He knew he was lacking when it came to escorting a woman. Still, Cladis was ashamed that Ella had seen first-hand his incompetence. That feeling of shame struck him in the heart with Ella’s last few words. What was on her mind as she ran here?
“So, you really want to end this?”
It was obvious that when Ella wanted to end this, she wasn’t only referring to the walk. There was much more meaning behind her words. Wishing Ella would think otherwise of her decision, Cladis said, “Your hard work will all be for nothing.”
Ella scoffed at Cladis, who was trying hard to be serious with his words. Her hard work was already for nothing. Her wealth, friends and everything she owned was gone. All she had was a soul named Ranhee. That same soul now lives in another person’s body. She had witnessed and experienced Luciella’s perseverance to become the ideal lady for Cladis, but honestly speaking, that was Luciella’s hardwork not Ranhee’s. There was no reason for Ranhee to feel so hurt for those hard works to burst away like a bubble.
Still, that wasn’t enough to convince her to choose a life of suffering. Ranhee was a selfish person who lived for the sake of herself. She would only endure the life of the crown princess if the duke and the duchess were to ask her to. Otherwise, she wouldn’t. Ella was aware, however, that they would never wish such a thing for their precious daughter. The duchess’s warm embrace was evidence of that. She looked back at Cladis and claimed, “I’ve done everything that I could up until now. I have no regrets, but this is as far as I will go. You’re on your own from here.”
Ella’s firm decision was hard to look away as it had such a strong will and Cladis began to feel nervous. Then he said, “What if I want you to come to the palace?”
“Is that an order, your highness?”
“Will you come if it’s an order?”
“Of course, what choice do I have? I am only the daughter of a mere duke to you.”
Cladis didn’t say a word as he thought about what she had just said. There was a certain question lingering in his mind, but he couldn’t spit it out. Although he wanted to know Ella’s response, he also didn’t want to hear it. Deep inside, he knew her answer would hurt him. Still, he couldn’t resist the urge. Ever since Clara had asked him that question, he wanted to know how Ella would respond to it. He carefully asked her the question he had been keeping in his mind.
“What if it is fate? What if it’s fate that you and I are together?”
Fate? Was it fate that Ranhee’s life unfolded the way it did, dragged into this world, and here to argue with this 19-year-old boy? Was she supposed to be forced to live in the palace because it was fate?
Luciella, in the novel, once answered Cladis’s question about fate in this way: I would be frustrated. What about all my hard work? Was all of this due to fate? I got to the place where I am now because of my decisions and efforts. I love everything we have accomplished together. Saying that everything was due to fate makes it feel like it was all for nothing.
Ranhee liked the way Luciella had said it. It would have frustrated her to find out her decisions in life were due to fate and not free will. Ella loved Luciella for her pride and positivity. That’s why she was sure that Luciella would understand if she decided to take a different route. It was her choice and not fate’s.
“That’s why I refuse to walk that path. It’s boring to follow fate. Since I had lived on a path that was destined for me, now I’m going to choose my own path. Your highness, you can follow your way, and I’ll follow mine.”
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