Chapter 14: The Unfair Bet
The Marquis happily smiled, not knowing what his daughter was thinking.
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Elise looked at the Emperor with an uncomfortable face. He was looking at her affectionately like he had already accepted her as his daughter-in-law. ‘What about the Crown Prince?’ She carefully looked at his face. But he was expressionless, always. Just like in her past life. After seeing his indifferent face, her wavering mind hardened. She couldn’t push it back any longer. For herself and her family. And for that Crown Prince. ‘Although he’ll be quite mad.’ Elise spoke up.
“Your Majesty, actually, there’s something I need to tell you.”
“Yes? You can say whatever it is.”
The Emperor asked in a warm voice. Elise swallowed.
“I’m sorry to say this but…”
And with the mind of splitting a patient’s abdomen with a scalpel, she directly spoke.
“I would like it if you considered the engagement between the Crown Prince and I again.”
It became quiet. Everyone looked at Elise.
“What do you mean, Elise?”
Marquis El asked. It wasn’t a surprised voice, but a strange voice. Like it was so unexpected that he didn’t understand what she was saying.
“Yes, I also don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Consider the engagement again?”
“It’s exactly like what I said. Please cancel our engagement.”
At her shocking words, everyone froze. Marquis El spoke in a trembling voice.
“You, you…! Elise! What is this nonsense?!”
A voice filed with shock and anger. It was expected. She had been begging for this, but now she wanted to cancel it? Marriage wasn’t a game, and it was with the Crown Prince.
“Wait, Marquis. Let me ask. Lady Clarence, do you know what you’re saying right now?”
The Emperor spoke in a soft voice, but Elise was on her knees with her head facing the ground across from his.
“Yes, I do. I genuinely apologize, Your Majesty. Dishonoring the royal family, or another punishment, I’ll gladly take it.”
The Emperor chuckled in disbelief.
“How come? Wasn’t it you who so desperately wanted this engagement? Did you mind change during that time?”
Elise nodded her head. Her feelings for the Crown Prince had indeed changed. But that wasn’t the reason.
“It’s because the position of Crown Princess doesn’t suit me.”
She bent her head even more.
“I’ve been thinking a lot these days. I repeatedly asked myself if a lacking and foolish girl like me was fit for the position that would be the mother of the empire. And the answer was no, every time.”
“It would be an honor for me to be the Crown Princess. But the Crown Princess is a sacred person who will be the first lady. If I was the Crown Princess, not only would it be a position unbefitting of me, it would be humiliation to our empire. Also, it’s clear I won’t be able to carry out the duties of the Crown Princess.”
Elise sighed. Her words were the truth. After she became the Crown Princess, many tragedies had begun. A woman that wasn’t her would be a better fit for the position. Her head almost touched the ground as she continued to speak.
“I dared to dream of something I shouldn’t have. Please punish me. The crime of desiring the position I was unworthy of. And for damaging the reputation of the royal family. I’ll willingly accept any punishment.”
Her gold hair slid down to the dirt. ‘This is enough. It’s done.’ After everything she had said, the Emperor would definitely take back the engagement. ‘Although he’ll be extremely angry.’ She waited for the Emperor’s angry. She was scared, but she didn’t try to avoid it. Whatever the punishment may be, she was ready to accept it.
A deadly silence descended on the garden. Elise was prostrated on the floor waiting for her punishment, and the pale Marquis glanced at the Emperor. On the other hand, the recipient of this marriage, the Crown Prince, was silent. He merely looked at her with a slightly different gaze. How much time had passed? The Emperor spoke.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Lift your head.”
And when she saw the Emperor’s expression, she was greatly surprised. The Emperor was smiling! Like a proud father looking at his daughter.