Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
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Ellea was with the children when she spotted Terban looking at her and approached him. All the children who were with her followed her.
They still showed a great deal of interest in Terban, more curious than afraid of the stranger.
“Are you leaving now?”
“Really? Come play with us.”
“Play with us.”
The children, unable to imagine what kind of person he was, began to beg him to play with them, as if the fact that he was friends with Ellea was all that remained.
Embarrassed by the situation, Ellea hastily stopped the children.
“I don’t think that’s possible, because ……… he’s busy and he has to go now. So let’s play with me today.”
“Are you sure?”
“Then let’s play together next time you come.”
The pure gaze of the children, filled with expectation, made even the heavenly Terban unable to look away, and he unknowingly uttered a word of permission.
That one word may have reconnected the relationship that was almost severed.
“I understand. Goodbye.”
“Yes, take care and be careful.”
After Ellea and the children greeted him, Terban left the nursery.
Before she knew it, it was time to leave and she, too, was sorry.
“I’ll be back again, so eat well until then, don’t fight, and listen to the director. Then I’ll bring a lot of delicious food next time.”
“Miss Elle, you will come again, won’t you?”
“Of course. I will come back.”
“Yes, Miss El is always welcome.”
‘Judging by the Director’s reaction, it seems like His Majesty didn’t mention El is dead.’
She didn’t know what Terban was thinking, but she was relieved by the fact that he had no intention of telling the director the truth.
His appearance was unexpected, and if she had made a mistake, everything would have been complicated.
Just before leaving, Ellea asked Remil about her conversation with Terban.
“By the way, why did that man come here?”
“It seems he saw the letter I sent to El and came to visit.”
‘So that’s why he came.’
It was fortunate that he didn’t just come here to find something. And she hoped that he forgot about this place.
She didn’t think she would ever get involved with Terban again, but why did she only meet him in such distressing situations…
“I see. Well, I’ll be going now.”
After greeting the children and leaving the nursery, a carriage was waiting for Ellea . She climbed into the carriage and eased her tired body into it.
Spending all day with children was a lot more tiring than she expected. Of course, it was a lot of fun.
As such, Ellea returned safely to the palace in the carriage, and as soon as she arrived at the palace, Jane welcomed her, as if she had been waiting for her all along.
“I was worried because the time was later than I expected.”
“There’s nothing to worry about. It was more fun than I thought, so I lost track of time.”
Jane followed Ellea into the room and was relieved to see that nothing was wrong. Later, when even Borence came in, Ellea spoke honestly about the events of the day.
“I actually went to the nursery today. I’m going to sponsor them from now on.”
“Oh, so the stuff you wanted us to prepare for was for the children.”
They both finally understood why Ellea had asked for many things.
They didn’t think it was odd, since sponsorship was something that nobles did, but it was just strange that Ellea would sponsor the children of Rubain.
“So I’m thinking of visiting them regularly, so I want you to prepare things for the children. I really liked it today.”
But it was natural to help the Princess, so the two readily nodded.
Ellea finally asked them to keep it a secret.
‘Thank you. And I hope only the three of us know about this. I do not wish it to be known.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
Ellea, who finally sighed after the two left, sat in a chair and looked at herself in the mirror.
At the same time, she remembered Terban, whom she had met by chance today, and her mind became complicated again.
‘I didn’t expect to see him there.’
She still felt a twinge in her chest as she remembered the circumstances under which she had run into him.
‘Even if he saw that letter, I didn’t think he would come that far.”
‘Is it because of El?’
As her thoughts continued there, she shook her head as if it was ridiculous.
“I feel like I’m going crazy. I can’t believe I’m going through all that and then worrying about it again. Hurry up and get a grip.”
Even now that she was dead and came back to life again, she still felt like an idiot for worrying about Terban. She should have prepared herself to get tangled up with him as soon as she made the decision to come here.
It hasn’t been long since she came here, but it seemed like a very long time has passed, perhaps because she went through many things.
With a sigh, Ellea left her seat and pulled back the terrace curtains to look out at the scenery.
‘I’m going to leave here safely. That’s all I need to think about.’
She felt like she had to repeat this resolution in my mind so that this resolution and determination would not be shaken.
Meanwhile, at the same time, someone was standing in front of Shanil’s room, and reporting to her.
“So he saw the letter and hurried out of the Imperial Palace.”
The person’s identity was Terban’s aide. He let Shanil know exactly what he had seen.
“Okay leave. If you see any special activity, tell me right away, but don’t let my father know yet. If I get the chance, I’ll tell him directly.”
The aide was someone the Duke Raymir had bribed, so Shanil ordered him to do so for the time being to see how things went. If he finds out, she’ll be scolded for sure.
The aide left immediately, and Shanil’s mind became complicated. She thought El had died and would not disturb her any longer.
‘He still bothers me even after death.’
(*okay I used ‘he’ for El as majority of you agreed)
She didn’t know that Terban was tied to El even though she died before his eyes and confessed her crime.
When it hit her that far, Shanil clenched her hands tightly in anger. However, she immediately flashed a confident smile.
‘So what, you’re dead anyway.’
‘Time will solve it soon. I will be by his side forever.’
Fortunate or unfortunate because the information the aide gave her did not mention Ellea was with Terban.
“Oh, it’s peaceful.”
From that day onwards, she visited the nursery regularly, and Ellea led an ordinary life.
However, as soon as the words “peace” were over, a special invitation flew to her palace. As soon as they heard the news, Borence and Jane rushed in.
Ellea instinctively felt uneasy at their appearance.
“What is it? Suddenly. I’m scared because you guys are coming like that.”
“That’s how big of a problem it is.”
“What is it?”
Ellea asked casually, but the answer shocked her.
“His Majesty has asked the Princess to have dinner with him.”
“His Majesty. His Majesty the Emperor!”
It was clear that the emperor Jane was referring to was Terban.
In a sudden situation, Ellea couldn’t hide her bewilderment and wondered why Terban wanted to have dinner with him so suddenly.
They bumped into each other at the nursery that time, but he had been staying still, so why now?
“No, why? For what reason?”
“They’ve set up a forum for the friendship between the two Empires.”
If that was the reason, then Ellea had nothing more to say. In fact, for Terban, she was the princess who represented Zevenica.
The emperor probably intended to see what kind of thoughts of Zevenica through her. It was impossible for her not to be aware of his intentions.
“Just me and the emperor?”
“Of course it’s just the two of you.”
As the last hope disappeared, Ellea sat down on the bed without strength. She couldn’t believe she had to dine alone with Terban, facing each other.
She could feel the atmosphere just by imagining it, and naturally sighed. She thought they would never meet as long as she avoided him, but she was taken by surprise like this.
“It hasn’t been long since the banquet ended, and this is what happens.”
“Then I’ll arrange it right away.”
“What on earth?”
Without having time to get ready, the two maids said, rolling up their sleeves.
“Of course, we’re preparing to accept His Majesty’s invitation.”
The sun was still up and they were getting ready for the dinner invitation now.
But the Borence, accustomed to Ellea’s reaction, instructed Jane without hesitation.
“I will prepare then. Jane.”
“Yes, I’ll give the Princess a bath.”
Ellea was taken to the bathroom without a single defiance, and before she knew it, she was surrounded by the maids, prepping her to meet Terban.
Perhaps because it was an occasion to be in the presence of the emperor, gorgeous dresses and accessories that she normally wouldn’t even touch were wrapped around her. When all the preparations, even the makeup, were done, the maids left the room.
“It’s finally over.”
“Yes. Let’s go now.”
While Ellea was getting dressed up, the sky was setting before she knew it. And so, when she went outside, a familiar figure was waiting for her in front of the palace.
“I’m here to see you, Your Highness. I’ve come to escort you to the emperor’s palace.”
Bandel was waiting for her. Seeing his face, Ellea could not hide her happiness.
“Lord Bandel is here.”
“Yes, His Majesty sent me.”
“I hope it’s not too much trouble.”
“No, Princess. Then let us go.”
Looking at Bandel’s welcoming face, it seemed that the uneasy feeling that she had before disappeared a little.
“Borence, Jane. I’m off.”
“Yes, have a safe trip.”
And so Ellea went with Bandel, her sinking mood a little better now that the sun was setting and she could feel the cool breeze.
“It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is.”
‘It’s a shame to spend the day dressed like this.’
Ellea thought to herself. She couldn’t believe she had to meet Terban alone on such a beautiful day…
Perhaps it was the tension that had built up early on, but she couldn’t help but speak her mind.
“Should I run away now?”
Hearing that small murmur, Bandel was surprised and asked back. Ellea chuckled and said it was a joke.
“Of course I was joking. And Lord Bandel is there, how can I escape?”
“I suddenly realized how silent and awkward the place would be.”
When Ellea blatantly expressed her discomfort about meeting Terban, Bandel was at a loss as to how to respond.
Should he make a complementary comment, or should he hold back?