Chapter 80 - Contract
“That’s a shame. But do you even know what ‘BF’ means?”
“No, and I don’t want to know. I guess it’s better than a friend, but I don’t want it. I’ll catch you no matter what.”
“I’m not your prey, Your Highness.”
After noticing that Ella’s face was filled with dislike immediately, Cladis realized his words could be interpreted in different ways, so he replied, “I’m sorry if it bothered you. I wasn’t trying to mean it that way. I just want you to be by my side.”
“I heard your plan loud and clear. I also know that you’re respecting my opinion as well. So, you don’t need to try so hard anymore today. Let’s stop here. We’ll talk about the details again.”
They couldn’t decide everything here. It wasn’t good to make such an important agreement at another person’s house. It seemed it would be better to talk about important matters somewhere easier to get privacy.
After declaring to end the negotiation, Cladis carefully looked at Ella and asked, “Well then… Can I stay by your side?”
“No. But I will stay with you for one song.”
“No,” Ella refused.
Cladis, who spoke of three teasingly, then changed to a more adult-like expression and looked at Ella. He responded, “One won’t be enough. Everyone’s eyes will be on us. Let’s make it two. I’ll let you go after that.”
“Just two, then.”
“Yes, just two.”
“But can I rest for a bit first? I am quite tired, to be honest,” said Ella.
She had cramps on her legs as they both had been tense for a long conversation. It wasn’t possible to dance for two songs with such legs. She didn’t want to put in that much of an effort. Her effort today had all been used to give him a choice.
“My apologies. I made you tired. You can rest as much as you want. I’ll be in Dilant’s room, so come when you’re ready,” said Cladis.
After Cladis left, Ella sat on a chair and leaned back, trying not to mess up her hair. She became troubled by the stories that Cladis threw at her. Although she was dumbfounded, she also sympathized. But she couldn’t bring herself up to forgive him either. She still had a grudge toward him for causing such a mess.
‘I still don’t like him. I don’t!’
It didn’t mean she hated him anymore. There was a part of her where she couldn’t just say she hated him. She first thought this was because feelings for him existed within Ella’s body, but she realized that it wasn’t.
‘Ugh. It’s not always good to have a lot of experience.’
Ella let out a long sigh. Those damn rumors that were targeting him touched on Ranhee’s past. She was reminded of the rumor that the foreign students at her school talked about. It was also one that she eventually found out.
‘How can they even think that I asked out all those men?’
The annoyance from when she was wrongly accused returned. That rumor was too harsh of a bind for a girl who had lost her family. The feeling of being left alone in the world where no one understood her and the loneliness that felt as if she was alone in the entire world became more severe as the society she was in was smaller and tighter. It felt like it was everything when she was younger.
That rumor that made her think of death so many times became a conversation she could talk about while having a drink only after she passed her 30s. It was after that she was able to wield that rumor as her weapon.
But that didn’t change its essence. Even now, thinking of that made Ella’s face crumpled like before. She tried to comfort herself from the uneasiness, but it wasn’t easy. Her depression became greater when Cladis’s story was added on top of it.
‘This is bad…’
While she was feeling troubled for being more depressed, the door suddenly opened. Other than Cladis, no one would have entered, so she said, “You just couldn’t wait, did you…?”
Ella, who was about to sit on the chair to scold Cladis, froze in her spot and slowly got up. She didn’t expect this person to come, ‘How dare she come here!’
“What were you thinking? Aren’t you ashamed? How can you talk privately with the fiancé who cheated on you?” questioned Clara.
“Right, what are you thinking? Barging into the room where the fiancée of the crown prince and the Lady of Constance is resting? What is the meaning of this?”
Unlike Clara, who was shouting in anger, Ella responded to her without a hint of change in her expression. The depression that she suffered from had disappeared the moment Clara appeared. Instead, Luciella’s fighting instinct had kicked in and controlled Ella’s body. She held her chin up, arrogantly looking down at Clara, and even made a satisfied smile.
Clara became pale in response and shouted in disbelief, “Wait. Are you going to accept him?!”
“And why should I tell you that?”
“I am his first love!”
‘First love?’ thought Ella as Clara made a slight smirk at her proud claim. She was going to spread rumors all over the place that she was Cladis’ first love. It was understandable why she was so proud of such a title that she worked hard to earn.
“Oh, you mean the first love that you cannot even hold hands unless you offer it first?”
Clara’s pale face reddened at once from Ella’s sarcasm. She immediately realized what Ella had said. If Clara was his true first love, then it was Ella and not her, who told him to end the relationship. Cladis from the novel was such a person. His love was unidirectional, and it didn’t look around. If there was something that blocked his way, he didn’t hesitate to push it aside.
Of course, it might have taken a clearer shape because it was for Luciella, but the way he treated Clara wasn’t it.
“How dare you! How dare you!!”
Ella confirmed what Cladis said was true from Clara’s angry outburst, not even thinking of calming herself down. As this happened, she thought, ‘That’s the face of someone who faced the truth.’
Then, a bright smile appeared on her face.
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