Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
Sponsored by Lianhua. Thank you 💖 (6/8)
Leaving the Imperial Palace and riding through the streets of the capital, Terban went to the carriage rental store and located the nursery, and proceeded at a faster speed than before.
He passed through the downtown area, as well as the lower elevation houses, and arrived in front of a building located at the outskirts.
After checking the name of the nursery on the nameplate at the entrance, he made sure that it was the place he was looking for and cautiously entered.
As he entered the garden, he could hear voices of the children who lived here.
In the voices full of joy, whether they were playing, he walked as if he was being led by the sound.
“I’ll hide then.”
He heard a woman’s voice as well as children’s, but Terban thought it was the voice of one of the people who ran this place.
If it weren’t for the name he heard next.
“Miss El, please close your eyes tightly.”
“Make sure to count all the numbers.”
“All right. Hurry up and hide.”
Terban couldn’t help but quicken his pace at the voice calling El. Then, appearing before him was the back of a woman counting numbers for children under a tree.
“One, two, three,…….”
Terban knew El couldn’t be here, but he hurried up to her and grabbed the woman by the shoulders to turn her around.
Then he got a closer look at the silvery eyes that were filled with immediate surprise.
After eating, Ellea played hide and seek with the children. However, at the moment she was counting, her body was turned around by the force of pulling her roughly.
At the same time, a voice that should never be heard in this place called out to her.
Turning around, Ellea found Terban in front of her. She was so surprised that she couldn’t react.
‘I can’t believe it. How can he be here?’
Terban was just as surprised as Ellea was. Because he saw a face that he already knew well.
Ellea felt like she was seeing a vision, but it was clear that the person in front of her was Terban.
They looked at each other in silence, and Ellea, who came to her senses first, urgently asked him.
“Why are you here, Your Majesty?”
“That’s what I want to ask. Why is the Princess here?”
In fact, there was something else Terban wanted to ask. Why the children called her El. While they were looking at each other as if confronting each other, the children’s voices intervened.
“Miss El, why aren’t you looking for us? We’ve been waiting for you for a long time.”
“Huh? Who is this person?”
When Ellea didn’t look for them, the children came out of their hiding places. And when they found Terban with her, they looked at him curiously.
They all seemed to be curious about who the unidentified man was.
Oh, that’s……..this person is…..”
For the life of her, she couldn’t say that it was His Majesty the Emperor of the Rubain Empire.
If they found out who Terban was, it was only a matter of time before her identity would be revealed as well.
She knew it was wrong, but Ellea had no choice but to come up with an unreasonable excuse.
“This….he’s someone I’m close to.”
“Huh? Miss El’s friend?”
“Yes, I guess you could say that.”
Unable to deny the word friend, Ellea chided him and replied with some sort of look towards him. As if asking him to play along.
Terban nodded quietly, perhaps sensing her earnestness, or perhaps not wanting to make a scene.
Relieved by this, Ellea told the children to take care of the situation for now.
“We have a visitor, so I want you to play by yourselves. Don’t fall down while running again. Then let’s go.”
When she said let’s go, Terban looked at the children and followed her. When they were somewhat distant from the children, Ellea immediately asked him.
She threw away the kind smile and language she had shown the children.
“Why are you here, Your Majesty? No, how do you know about this place?”
“I think that’s what I want to hear.”
“This is a nursery school that I sponsor.”
Terban was surprised at her words. He couldn’t believe she was sponsoring a nursery in Rubain, not in Zenvenica.
He was wondering if she had other intentions. Realizing his suspicions, Ellea explained to him in detail what was going on.
“I have been interested in sponsoring a nursery for some time, and have been researching it since I arrived here.”
Terban listened, and finally broke the ice with what he wanted to know the most.
“Why did the children call the Princess…? They called you El, didn’t they?”
‘I knew you heard that.’
She told the children her nickname because she was confident Terban would not come here. But this was unexpected. However, it was already known, so she had to somehow fix it.
‘Calm down. If I shake here, it’s really over.’
Ellea explained the reason with a calm face while organizing her thoughts in her head. But, it was also true.
“Since my name is Ellea, my family calls me El. I thought it would be easier for the children to call me El too. But is there a problem?”
Terban’s nervousness seemed to ease somehow when he saw the look in Ellea’s eyes that said, “What’s wrong?”
What on earth could he be thinking in that brief moment that would make him feel this way?
‘What a coincidence that she’s called El of all people.’
He had no other choice but to accept this as a coincidence.
At the same time, Ellea felt a little relieved when Terban didn’t show much doubt.
‘Did it work?’
First, Terban decided to meet with the director here. He also had to ask about El.
“Is the Director here? I would like to see him.”
“I’ll bring you.”
Terban followed Ellea into the building. Ellea was about to lead him directly to Remil, but changed her mind and said.
“We don’t have a special reception room here. If you don’t mind, can you wait over there? I’ll bring the director.”
“Please wait a moment.”
Seeing Terban looking around the interior, Ellea hurried into the Director’s office. Remil, who was working, greeted Ellea who came in.
“A visitor would like to see the Director.”
Ramil tilted her head at the word visitor, since very few people came here. Then Ellea asked for a favor before she met Terban.
“If you can keep it a secret that I’m related to El…..”
“Of course. Everyone has their own situation.”
Terban did as Ellea asked and sat down at the kitchen table to wait. Remil felt that Terban was an unusual person at first glance, but calmly sat opposite him.
“Are you the director of this nursery school?”
“Yes, I am the Director, Remil. I heard you wanted to see me.”
Ellea pretended not to pay attention to their conversation and prepared tea in the kitchen.
Naturally, she knew the structure here well, so she prepared it early and placed it in front of them.
As they began their conversation in earnest, Ellea suddenly felt a commotion from outside, and one of the children rushed in the door and said urgently.
“Oh my God. Ben fell down.”
“I told you all to be careful. I’ll go see if he’s okay. Director.”
Ellea grabbed the box of medicine and followed the child outside. When the space became quiet again, Remil watched Ellea moving away and opened her mouth.
“I’ve never seen you before, what brings you here?”
Terban took the letter out from his pocket and showed it to Ramil instead of a reply. She couldn’t help but be surprised when she saw it.
“You sent it, didn’t you?”
“Yes. I sent it to El at the Imperial Palace. How can you….Are you El’s colleague?”
Terbandidn’t want things to get too complicated, so he just nodded. Anyway, Ramil’s reaction seemed obvious: El did come here.
“Did El come here?”
“Yes, thankfully she visited often and took care of the children. She was a very warm person. She must have been very busy at the Imperial Palace.”
Terban just listened intently to Remil’s story, lost in thought.
She then asked frankly how El was doing. In fact, she didn’t what the truth was.
“How is El? She seemed to be very busy seeing that she couldn’t come here, but I was worried when she didn’t answer.”
‘She doesn’t know that El is dead.’
But the word dead did not come out, as if even Terban himself denied the fact.
“That’s good then. Anyway, I’ve just found someone else who can help.”
“Is that the woman from earlier?”
“Yes. She takes good care of the kids. It’s a blessing.”
Remil thought of Ellea’s request earlier, so she made as little mention of her as possible.
After finishing his general grasp of what the situation was, Terban stood up. It seemed that there was nothing more could be obtained here.
“Then I’ll get going.”
“If you see El, could you tell her that everything is fine here? I’m sure she’s worried.”
With the lips that wouldn’t open easily, he lied flatly and left. In the end, he didn’t let Ramil know the truth.
It was then that he heard the voice of Ellea, who had hurried out earlier.
“Okay, it’s all done.”
“Thank you very much.”
“You must always play with caution. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I do.”
When Terban turned his head to where the voice came from, Ellea was surrounded by children. Upon closer inspection, he saw that she was treating a child who had been injured.
‘She’s El too….’
This was the second time already. El and Princess Ellea were overlapped.
Last time it was Ellea said the words El had said before, this time Ellea had El’s name. However, Terban tried not to care.
‘They’re all coincidences anyway.’
The children, who had immediately regained their energy after Ellea’s treatment, pulled her hand and said.
”Miss El, please continue what you were doing earlier.”
“Hide and seek? Shall we?”
“Wow, I’m excited.”
He watched silently as Ellea giggled among the children. He thought El would have been so happy to see that.
He knew very well that she might be cold-hearted as a knight, but in reality she was more feeble-minded than anyone else. That was probably why she took a stand and tried to help the children during their first encounter. She was young and confident.
He had spent a long time with El that he prided himself on knowing her better than anyone else, but he was completely unaware of this.
As he began to hear about her through others, he began to feel rather distant about El. He thought she was someone who was very trustworthy and was always there for him, but now he was confused.
‘El, what kind of person are you?’
TL: okay, I want to make it clear something. I have no idea if Terban and the people know El was a woman, or she was actually ‘woman’ the whole time, or she was actually a ‘man’, because the author didn’t say anything about her identity. The translation always go from ‘it’, ‘he’, Then sometimes ‘she’. I’m confused as well. But one for sure is that they called her “Sir El”. So I used “he” in the beginning, but now they used ‘she’ sometimes so I just leave it as “she”. If further down the road something more clear then I’ll fix it.