Chapter 11 - The Crown Prince’s ‘Ability’
“Ah…” Ellie was momentarily taken aback at Fasia’s response, but once she understood, she nodded.
It was clear that such an order had been made to ensure that no one else witnessed these “sex education” classes.
It wasn’t completely hard to understand when some adults used their children’s sex education classes as an excuse for their own. But in this case, the Crown Prince was not voluntarily undergoing these classes, rather, they were an order from his father, so it would make more sense that he would be more determined to keep it a secret.
“Alright. I’ll make sure I’m the only one who goes up.” After her obedient reply, Ellie walked past Fasia, who stepped aside, and started climbing up the steps.
Once she got to the top of the spiral staircase, she saw light leaking from a partly-opened door.
“I wonder if it’s that room?” She stood at the top of the staircase and examined the corridor that spanned from her left to the right. Except for the light leaking from that single room, the rest of the corridor was pitch-black.
Despite being told to go upstairs by herself, she still couldn’t believe that the waiting staff had been made to clear the area. She felt nervous; besides the light coming from the room, everything else around her felt empty and void of life. Ellie wrung her fingers, took a deep breath, and walked towards the light.
Old memories came to her mind. She remembered the days she had endured while struggling to survive. She arrived at the door, battling the memories she had buried deep within her heart.
She caught her breath and lowered her eyes. The complex emotions stirring in her pupils were covered by her fallen eyelids. After spending a moment like that, Ellie slowly raised her gaze.
The painful emotions that had been evident in her blue eyes no longer remained. She had put on the perfect face of “Rosias”.
With the corners of her lips turned up, she stepped towards the door and said, “Your Highness, Crown Prince, I am Rosias, here on the Emperor’s orders. Am I allowed to enter?”
“It seems as if you’ve finally made up your mind to come inside. I was waiting, wondering if you’d ever come in. I’m telling you this because I’m not a very patient man.”
As soon as she finished asking her question, a young man’s languid voice rang out as if he had been waiting to speak. Ellie flinched in surprise at the voice of the man, whom she assumed belonged to the Crown Prince.
Although he wouldn’t have been able to see her face through the half-open door, it was quite obvious that the Crown Prince was already aware that she was outside his door.
No, she told herself, this isn’t something to be so surprised about. I knew that there are people who are comparatively more sensitive to the presence of others.
She convinced herself with this thought, her pounding heart immediately calming down a bit before she slowly entered the room. The first thing she saw as she entered was a lit lamp sitting on a desk. She presumed that the light that trickled into the corridor came from this lamp.
And finally, her eyes fell upon the silhouette of a man behind the desk, leaning against the window. He had his back to the moonlight that streamed through the window, so she was unable to see his face clearly. However, even if a bright light shone on his face, she wouldn’t have been able to properly see it.
Ellie noticed too late the silver mask that covered the man’s face and felt her eyes widen. …A mask?
It was as if the man behind the mask could sense her confusion. His eyes ran over her gently before he said, “I’m kind of shy, you see.”
He tapped the mask with his finger. Ellie noticed the small smile on his face as he spoke, and she found herself unable to respond for a moment before replying in a calm tone, “Yes, I see.”
“The lack of emotion in your response has me thinking that you don’t believe me.”
“Goodness, of course not. There is no reason for Your Highness to lie to me. Of course, I believe you.” Ellie had a relaxed smile on her face when she spoke those words in a gentle tone, a composed response to his narrowed eyes that attempted to figure out her true intentions.
The man who had been silently listening chuckled softly before he stood up, pushing against one knee with his hand, and said, “Well, whether you believe me or not, I don’t really care. Anyways, you’re the rumored Rosias?”
“I’m not sure what rumors you’re talking about, but you’re right, I am Rosias. Oh, my apologies! I forgot to formally greet you, Your Highness. In the name of the glorious Rossiantus Empire, shall there always be light…” Ellie began, trying to look respectful by grabbing the hem of her dress and curtsying as she made direct eye contact with the man through his mask.
However, the man, no, the Crown Prince, shook his head and interrupted her introduction. “Enough. I’m telling you right now, I don’t like that kind of superficial greeting. Rosias, shouldn’t you be aware to some extent by now? I was told that you’ve taught quite a number of nobility, so you must’ve heard the stories. You know, stuff like how I’m ‘all talk with no substance.’”
It was as if the Crown Prince was trying to prove that he was his father’s son. Ellie noticed that he had dismissed her greeting the same way his father had done just moments before.
However, she didn’t think that their similarities ended there. Was there truly a difference between an Emperor who lived a helpless life, being swayed about here and there, and a Crown Prince who led a life where he pushed away his duties and simply lived under his title of Prince?
Ellie tried to conceal the smile that threatened to appear on her face and looked at him again. In her eyes that gazed upon the Crown Prince, vivid and complex emotions swirled.