Chapter 64 - Clara
After not being able to eat for a few days in her depressed state, Clara collapsed. It was also their last day at the Academy. Cladis, who promised Clara to return to the capital, visited her with a troubled look. The girl’s dormitory was empty, with Clara left alone.
“Wow. There’s no one here,” said Ethan.
Ethan had walked around the entire girls’ dormitory just in case, but no one was there. Normally, a few maids were left behind to clean up after their ladies, but they weren’t there. Bazel, who had to go to the boy’s dormitory for a doctor, replied, “Even the nurse’s office was empty.”
In disbelief, Ethan asked, “What? How’s that possible?”
“They’re on vacation for the Week of Beginning.”
“Don’t they at least pack their things?” said Ethan as he looked around the messy dormitory where things were lying around everywhere as if people would return.
Frowning, Bazel looked back at Ethan and replied, “And I’m sure you packed yourself?”
“Well… I’m returning after a week.”
“Then they must be as well.”
“I guess they hated working so much, then?”
“Not as much as you hate to clean your own room.”
“Quiet, both of you,” Cladis spoke to the both of them. Then he turned to the doctor and asked, “So, how is she?”
The doctor wiped his sweat from his forehead then glanced at Clara. “She needs to rest, your highness. I will prescribe her medicine so she can get up soon. She should be up on her feet by tomorrow.”
“She should be okay tomorrow?”
“Yes, your highness. But she will still need to rest… she probably can’t travel- uh, I mean she can but will need to be careful. She also needs to eat and sleep well.”
“What medicine makes a person recover in a day? That’s amazing. Can I have it too? Just in case,” interjected Ethan, which made the doctor a bit nervous. His hand shook as he handed five bags of powdered medicine over to Ethan. Ethan then shoved it into his pocket.
Cladis then turned to Bazel, who awkwardly smiled back. Then, Bazel suggested, “I’m sure Clara is sick because she’s sad to say goodbye. Why don’t we give her another day? She will need time.”
“A day… Will a day suffice?” Shaking his head, Cladis looked at Clara as she mumbled his name in her sleep. Although he wanted to walk away, he couldn’t leave her alone in her current condition. He regretted accepting her offer back then.
“A day should be enough. I’m sure we can make up a day in our schedule,” said Bazel as he joined in on their conversation. Even a day was a lot for their current schedule. Then, he asked Bazel, “Don’t you know that Ella’s debutante party is in four days?”
“It will only take two days to get there if you move quickly,” said Bazel.
“Yes, but we can’t go fast with Clara in our carriage. Haven’t you heard what the doctor said? She needs to be well-fed and rested on the way!” Ethan almost shouted.
“Hey, calm down. Your voice is too loud.”
“You don’t understand!”
“Come on. Shouting won’t change anything. We’ll only slow our departure if we bother Clara’s recovery.”
Ethan couldn’t respond to him, so he huffed. He glared at Clara, blaming her for being sick on such a day. Then, he gave up and looked for Cladis, who might understand his frustration.
Cladis, who was already sitting on a chair with a tired look on his face, asked, “So, what’s the solution?”
“We can’t lighten Clara’s belongings since she won’t be returning, so we’ll have to lighten ours to speed up the carriage,” said Bazel.
“Then do that. Just pack my dress suit and the boutonniere,” answered Cladis.
“I’ll just take my sword. We should downsize as much as we can,” said Ethan.
“Then I will pack a few things just in case, your highness. We might have to get prepared at the hotel near the capital to get there right away if we run late,” suggested Bazel
Nodding in agreement, Cladis responded, “Right, that should be good. Get on it.”
At that moment, Bazel left the room, leaving two of them behind. As Cladis looked at Ethan, he said, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be, your highness. It was me who said we should bring Clara along. I shouldn’t have fallen for her sad expression,” Ethan shook his head as he spoke.
“Was she depressed?”
“Didn’t you know? I only knew when Bazel told me. I heard she hasn’t eaten for three days. She started crying when I told her I would ask you if she could come along with you when we come back. But only if she starts eating and… Ugh. I don’t know what to do when a girl cries.”
“Right. It is hard.”
“So I thought she was okay… but here we are.”
“Here we are, indeed,” replied Cladis.
But they were far from being done. The next day, they were able to depart for the capital once Clara woke up. Unfortunately, they encountered a large tree blocking their way, and the inns were full of traveling merchants. Bazel suggested revealing Cladis’s identity to receive a room, but Cladis refused.
As a result, they were even more behind schedule. They even had to sleep in a small empty lot in a nearby village instead of the city they were supposed to be in by now. The next morning, Ethan, who had been frustrated from their constant delays yesterday, woke the party up early to move. As soon as they arrived at the city where they should’ve arrived the prior night, he hopped on a horse to leave on his own.
“I can’t stand this any longer. We won’t even get to the party in time like this! I don’t even have any clothes with me. I can’t attend Ella’s party looking like this. I’ll head on first,” cried Ethan, the appointed guard of the crown prince and a future Royal knight. He then left in a hurry leaving Cladis behind.
Cladis smiled bitterly. He wanted to go along with him if he could. But then, Clara walked over to him and grabbed his arm.
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