Chapter 69 - A Party At Winsroll's
Ethan’s darkened expression became filled with despair not long after he arrived at the party. He soon realized in full force the consequences of his wishful thinking and actions.
After entering the party alongside the duke and the duchess, Ella walked around the ballroom, astonished, then turned to Ethan and smiled. Ethan thought that it was her signal that she was going to kill him for this.
“My, my! Do you think Lady Mellin is somewhere among those girls? They’re all dressed the same, and I can’t find her anymore!” exclaimed Ella.
Contrary to Ella’s debutante party, many ladies at Duke Winsroll’s party were wearing chemise dresses. In just over five days, the current fashion trends had changed. All the unmarried girls wore white or close-to-white altered chemise dresses with a striking-colored waistband. Those who didn’t follow this trend were either too prideful or weren’t aware of it. Of course, among those exceptions were those who were too old to follow this trend to impress the crown prince. Seeing this, Ethan was dumbfounded by the situation.
“So, did you think I wouldn’t be able to hear what had happened because those girls at the Academy are lower-class nobles? Do you realize that they report to their bosses to fit into this society?” Ella asked.
Gossip about the crown prince’s first love was a nice gift for the girls at the Academy whenever they tried to get close to the noble ladies of a high hierarchy. Returning home during the Week of Beginning, they quickly spread the news about the prince’s taste in girls. It was thanks to Clara that they knew this information. As such, people crowded Morde Street, the center of all dresses.
The capital ladies’ ambitions blinded them into thinking that wearing Clara’s unique dress might give them the chance to befriend the crown prince. Today was the day to put that to the test. After all, he was going to attend this party. To prepare for this event, they had a lot of dresses made.
“It’s only been five days since those girls returned. With all these ladies wearing new dresses, I can say for sure that Morde Street had one of their best days in history. I’m proud of your service to the economy,” replied Ella sarcastically. Although she was smiling as if she was the kindest woman in the room, her voice was calm and stern. As she continued to speak, Ethan felt he was going to go out of breath from the pressure. He preferred to be treated as if he wasn’t there.
Soon, Ella’s smile disappeared. She looked coldly at her brother and asked, “Do you truly believe I wouldn’t find out? See for yourself.”
Ethan was speechless. He, Cladis, and the other boys didn’t understand the complexity of the world of women. They overlooked the power of dresses. They couldn’t have imagined that Clara’s modest-looking dress was going to cause this much commotion. Even Bazel could never have foreseen this.
Trying to find a comrade to share his frustrations with, Ethan looked around quickly, but none of his friends were there. He then realized that neither Bazel or his other friends were invited to this party. Members of their group were chosen because of their abilities and not their social class, and none of them were from upper noble families. The only one who could be here was Cullan, a prince from another country. Unfortunately, he wasn’t here for unknown reasons, which disappointed Ethan.
“Smile, brother,” said Ella as she faked another smile on her face. “You make it look like I’m bullying you when it’s you who bullied me here.”
“You still haven’t made your decision, I see. Then I have nothing to say to you,” coldly declared Ella as she turned around. “If you’ll excuse me.”
Ella had unleashed her anger onto Ethan and also pushed him to decide. She didn’t want to stay beside him any longer. The longer she stood near him, the more stress she felt from having to smile in this unbelievable situation, which wasn’t right nor justified. After her anger subsided, she faked a bright smile and walked to a group of girls who she had met at a previous party.
“Greetings, Lady Constance,” welcomed the girls.
“Greetings to all of you,” replied Ella.
“We were waiting for you, my lady,” replied one of the girls.
“My, how kind,” said Ella.
These girls were from noble families under the Constance family’s influence, so they welcomed her wholeheartedly. Ella also smiled and mingled with the group. Although they were welcoming, most of them were wearing chemise dresses and even the two girls who didn’t were wearing soft-colored dresses. She tried her best to hide her cynical expression as she noticed the hidden greediness of the girls in front of her.
‘I can see your greedy faces,’ thought Ella. Of course, it must have shocked them to find out that the fact that the crown prince who was known for his dedication to one girl was false and easily seduced. Rumors of Clara’s success brought these girls’ hidden desires to the surface. Even if their families were loyal to Constance, they couldn’t help themselves from their greed. Besides, these were young girls who didn’t understand loyalties or hierarchies.
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