Chapter 88 - Self Reflect
It was an artificial forest made for nobles at the capital, so they could enjoy hunting without having to venture outside the castle gates. They had to pay a fee to the country and set a date to do so. Then, workers released animals into the forest so that the nobles could enjoy hunting. On regular days, it was maintained as a quiet forest that only had the faint chirps of birds. Even the air seemed so quiet.
‘It’s quiet. I like it here.’
It was a great environment for Ella, who recently had a lot to think about. A smile appeared on her face. She needed time to think through the unexpected influx of information she had so that she wouldn’t miss anything. Ella’s life, which she thought was easy because she had read about it in the past, had become difficult. People she knew about and even those side characters that disappeared after some time in the original novel were now moving with their own agenda. This wasn’t a world within the book anymore. If she did that, she would end up like Clara.
‘I have to accept that the situation is different now. How can it be the same as the book?’ Maybe everything was already different. Then there was a chance he might not even be there tomorrow.
“Ugh, that would be the worst.”
She became confused and frustrated. Ella got off the horse, leaned her back onto a tree, and stood there. She closed her eyes, trying to relieve her frustration with the cool scent of the tree. Doing this helped to clear her thoughts and she felt lighter. It was a form of relaxation that neither Ranhee nor Ella had felt in their busy lives.
‘Is this how you rest?’
The cool air began to warm up. Ella slowly opened her eyes and called her horse to return to her side. Then she checked the time by checking the watch in the bag and commented, “It’s already time.”
It was almost time for the city to awake. Ella took back the tight feelings she had let go of a while ago. It was time to get back to where the people were again. Although nervous, she readied herself by getting prepared, she faced herself and stopped.
‘Since when did I begin to take up arms when I’m facing people?’
Ella’s memory returned to Ranhee’s past. She remembered she was always at the center of people’s attention. Even when she was a mere international student from Korea, she was the center of gossip. She had to learn how to stand tall even among the people who talked behind her back. Acting like she was fine when she wasn’t was actually easier than breathing at this point.
‘I didn’t realize that I was doing this. Well, I guess it’s the same for Luciella too.’
Everyone treated her with anticipation, and she always had to return their expectations. Even if it was hard, she always smiled as if doing everything was easy for her. Both Luciella and her couldn’t remember when they could truly be themselves. Ella then remembered herself comfortably relaxing by the tree. She had never taken a comfortable break after she had grown up. She was here to think of certain matters, but she even forgot about that. However, she didn’t regret it. The cool air filled her lungs.
“Good. Now, I can do anything I want. I’m on strike and in a mess, but I’m also the protagonist of this world. It’ll all turn out well.”
Ella got up onto the horse with nimble movements. The horse began to run toward the opposite direction from where she had entered the forest and headed toward Countess Setin’s tailoring shop.
The Countess seemed genuinely shocked to see Ella visiting on a horse, but she quickly put the experienced businessman’s mask on and welcomed her. Ella was guided into a room prepared for special guests and treated with expensive tea. Then the dresses that were designed for her were brought into the room.
After Ella ordered a few more dresses, she left the room and saw the Countess’s store was completely packed with people trying to purchase the dress Ella had worn last night. As she came out of the room, their attention was on her.
“Oh, isn’t that Lady Constance?”
At a particular lady’s voice, silence fell on the shop. Ella’s dress now had a charm different from the dress from last night, with a completely different design. It looked freeing but also had elegant details that looked very noble. Also, the striking waistline created by the tight corset and the full breast line of the chemise was very appealing.
‘What if men see that?’ was on everyone’s mind, and soon the shop turned into a bazaar. People began to change their orders.
“I’m so thankful for your visit today, my lady,” said the Countess.
Thanking her, the Countess followed Ella out to the exit. Setin seemed to be concerned about her success. It almost seemed like she would do anything Ella asked of her at this current rate.
Ella then intentionally smiled as she replied, “It was a pleasure to be of help. Please don’t forget what I’ve asked of you.”
“Of course. I’ll make sure it’ll be done.”
Countess Setin gracefully bowed and saw Ella jumping onto the horse without anyone’s help and became dazed by this. ‘What noble lady can jump on a horse with such movements?’
Then with the sound of horse steps, Ella disappeared. Countess Setin confirmed her dress’s utility and comfort from Ella. She looked comfortable even when she was getting onto a horse. It wasn’t only the Countess who witnessed such a sight. Everyone who was on their way to visit the Countess’s shop saw it too.
The Countess’s happy smile became even wider as she thought, ‘Ella’s like a fortune sent by heaven.’
She then remembered the request that her fortune from heaven requested. It was nothing. She was also very good at it.
Setin looked around just in case. Soon, she saw a man with familiar-looking clothes and changed her happy smile into an alluring one. Then, she looked at the man coming in her direction.
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