Chapter 61 - Cladis's Secret
Ella couldn’t get back to her feet after experiencing a seizure for the first time in a while. For a long time, she hadn’t had one even before her arrival to this world, which made it unbearable. Just as she was about to collapse, Ethan came over and picked her up. He was about to run over to Baron Hillis, the family doctor, but she stopped him.
“Ethan, I’m alright,” said Ella.
“You’re not okay if you’re about to collapse! We must visit the Baron and-”
“No, no. I’m okay. I already know why this happened. We should continue talking.”
“What do you mean you know why! Does mother know about this?”
“Evan knows. We didn’t let mother know because she would get worried. I’m not sick. There’s nothing to worry about. I promise,” replied Ella reassuringly.
Ethan found it difficult to believe she was telling the truth. From a young age, he was trained to bring Ella to Baron Hillis whenever she felt ill. Even if she refused, he had to bring her to the doctor. Still, he wasn’t sure if Ella was currently sick or not.
Ella laughed as she continued, “You can go ask Evan if you don’t believe me.”
Turning to look at the door, Ethan let out a long sigh and put Ella down. He didn’t want Evan to know about the conversation they were having earlier. ‘Evan will kill me if he finds out, and he’ll never let his highness ever come close to her. Ever. He should never know about this!’
Ethan then sat on the couch as he looked at her with a weary look. Ella glared at Ethan doing so and asked, “What are you so afraid of?”
“W-what? I’m not- what are you…”
“Speak now. You brought these because you wanted to say something to me. I’ll keep it a secret from Evan, so tell me.”
“What? Oh, I mean- Uh…” Ethan seemed visibly relieved when Ella said she wouldn’t tell Evan. But he still looked nervous. He was afraid of her reaction. Then, he began to explain what happened at the Academy.
It wasn’t clear when Clara began hanging out with them. Whenever they came across Clara, she had something that Cladis liked. Ethan grew suspicious whenever she intentionally approached them at first, but there were times when she brought things that Ethan nor Cladis knew that he liked.
She was especially welcomed by Cladis’s friends when she brought pickled fruit that was never formally imported into Duffspe. They were teenage boys, so they naturally came to like a beautiful and kind girl who always brought tasty snacks to them. As such, Clara had been deemed a good person in a short period of time.
Cladis’s friends weren’t in contact with any women because Cladis shunned any girl who approached them. So, Clara was like a breath of fresh air to them. Eventually, it was Ethan and his friends who persuaded Cladis to allow Clara into their group.
Then, one of Cladis’s friends said maybe Clara was meant to be with him because she brings things that he likes even though he wasn’t aware of it. At first, it was a joke, but soon it became a reality. They thought Cladis also liked Clara because he never rejected her.
Whenever Ethan asked him about it, Cladis’s only response was, “Nothing has changed. Ella is my empress.”
That was the only answer he needed to hear. To think, Ethan was almost persuaded by those around him to think otherwise. He replied, “Of course she is. What I’m asking is what is on your mind. I heard that it’s best if you experience a once in a lifetime romance here then somewhere else.”
“What rubbish are you talking about?” Cladis asked.
“Most marry who their family chooses for them after a year or two when they return home, you know. It’s best that you fall in love with a woman you choose before that.”
“And they don’t look for another woman after they’re married?”
“Well, an affair is different from a first love,” exclaimed Ethan proudly.
Cladis shook his head at such a sight. Ethan was going through an issue that many others were going through in their second year. Thanks to Cladis, they never got the chance to date a girl, whereas other students in their first or second year had already experienced it. Although he couldn’t understand them, Cladis didn’t say much to his friends, who were mesmerized by Clara. All he wanted from her was her stories on Ella.
“She has gotten so beautiful that I’m sure you will fall in love with her at first sight. She’s like an angel descended from heaven. I become awestruck every time I see her at Baroness Setin’s salon,” exaggerated Clara.
“Is that so?” replied Cladis, who always gave Clara a doubtful look as she praised Ella’s beauty. It was good to hear some news on Ella, but he couldn’t imagine what she would be like. Although the prince could imagine her as a cute, angelic girl, he had a hard time seeing her as a beautiful lady.
“There are days when I spend the entire day just watching her trying on countless dresses that she bought!” Not knowing what she was talking about, Clara spoke as if she could vividly remember that day.
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