Chapter 65 - Backstory
“This is the crossroad that leads to my family’s estate. If we remove my luggage, the carriage will be able to move a lot faster. I’m fine now. If you hurry, you probably can…,” said Clara.
“I won’t leave you alone, so don’t worry,” Cladis said reassuringly.
“Yes, your highness,” replied Clara as she let go of his hand. Then she clenched her fist in frustration as she had to beg Cladis yet again.
“At least he didn’t let go of your hand, right?”
“What?” Clara became startled by a sudden cold voice from behind. It was Bazel.
“You’re the only woman allowed to be close to his highness. It’s the only reason why I’m leaving you alone. I hope you don’t abuse my generosity, Lady Mellin.”
Clara felt a chill running through her back. When she turned towards Bazel, he was already approaching Cladis with a sympathetic look, which was different from his cold look just then. She became annoyed and glared at Bazel, which she made sure never to show Cladis and returned to the carriage.
Soon, the carriage moved. With the load lightened, the carriage quickly moved towards the capital. Still, it had its limits, and the carriage arrived at a hotel two hours away from the capital. Cladis had planned to prepare at the hotel and head for the Constance family’s estate as soon as possible.
Clara tried to express her intention to join Cladis at the party, but he first denied her the chance, “We should part our ways here.”
“What- B-but…!” Clara tried to speak, but she couldn’t. She began to cry because her plans had failed. She already asked Cullan for a favor and had received an invitation. When she saw Bazel approaching her, she quickly smiled brightly as if nothing had happened.
“I think his highness’s baggage was mixed up and taken off the carriage along with yours. Go and find his baggage and quickly come to the Constance Estate. Oh, and try to dress up just in case,” suggested Bazel.
Unable to understand what he was hinting at, Clara asked, “What?”
“Lady Constance might see you when you bring that boutonniere. After all, you are his highness’s first love, so you might as well look like one.”
She soon realized what Bazel was talking about and looked at him in surprise. This was a chance of a lifetime for her. Clara quickly nodded and returned to her carriage. After she changed into the best outfit she could find, she headed for the Constance mansion. Of course, she didn’t bring anything. Instead, she filled her eyes with tears, which always made Cladis soft.
“I’m so sorry, your highness! My servants found out that the baggage didn’t belong to me and sent it back to the Academy. I could’ve stopped it if I was a bit faster… I couldn’t bring that boutonniere!” cried Clara.
The first dance was already over. Cladis let out a hollow laugh. It was too late, even if she did bring the boutonniere. It wasn’t like Ella would forgive him for everything he had done to her. All he could do now was to relieve Clara from her guilt for failing to bring the boutonniere. Trying to comfort her, Cladis said, “Don’t worry. I should have been more careful with it. I will send Ethan to bring it.”
“I will have to apologize to Ethan then.”
“At least he won’t be around to lecture me,” Cladis answered jokingly.
“What? How can he lecture you?”
“You saw him do that multiple times, didn’t you?”
“Oh, right! I remember,” replied Clara as she giggled. She then laid her head on Cladis’s arm.
Cladis thought about moving his arm away like he usually did. But because he thought that this might be the last time that he would be speaking to her, he stayed still. He felt his heart sink. Then, Clara called out to him.
“I have one last wish, your highness.”
“What is it?”
“Can you please take me to the Glass Garden tomorrow?”
“Yes. I wish to be at the most beautiful place.”
“We shall go there, then.”
Ella was at a loss for words after she heard all of Ethan’s story. Although his explanation was far from being perfect, it was enough to let her imagine what had actually happened among them. Clara acted on her schemes and faked an illness, a man named Bazel was somehow secretly involved with it, and the boutonniere and the dress suit suddenly disappeared.
Ethan truly believed that the boutonniere was accidentally mixed with Clara’s luggage and was sent back to the Academy. He was also truly sorry for the coincidental accidents that happened. Ella, however, thought differently. There were too many instances where someone could have removed the boutonniere. Perhaps it was never in the bag that was returned to the Academy in the first place.
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