Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
Sponsored by Chuchu. Thank you 💖 (¼)
Unlike many of his thoughts, what came out of Terban’s mouth was in a tone of not much interest.
“It’s similar to what you said last time.”
“Is it? It’s not that I’m expecting anything from them, but on the contrary, I get a lot of strength from them. When I see their cheerful faces, it makes me feel good too.”
What happened in the daycare, Terban didn’t understand. Because the children were unknown beings to him. He didn’t know how to approach them.
In fact, it was rather easier to deal with the nobles who hid their black-hearted true feelings.
“I don’t really understand.”
“If you experience it yourself, you won’t say that. I can be sure of that.”
As soon as the children were mentioned, Ellea’s atmosphere changed completely.
She didn’t show the nervousness she had earlier, and she seemed relaxed when she talked about the things she liked.
“I couldn’t do it alone if they all jumped at me to play at once. Neither could the old Director.”
“I don’t think it’s hard to play with the kids.”
Ellea was momentarily taken aback when Terban dismissed playing with the kids as no big deal. So she told him about what happened at the daycare.
“Do you understand the trouble I’m in now because of you, Your Majesty?”
It all started with a promise that Terban had made to the children. Perhaps he was not even aware of it.
“What do you mean?”
“When the children asked to play with you, you promised them next time. The children keep asking when you are coming. They are expecting you.”
Terban might have just said something in passing, but the children were waiting for that one promise, just for the day Terban would come.
When the words sounded as if it was difficult for him, Ellea hurriedly added.
“No, it’s all right. You needn’t worry about it, Your Majesty.”
“I don’t think so.”
Terban was right, Ellea had her own worries about that. What could she say to the children? If she tells them he would not come, they’ll be terribly disappointed.
“I think they are waiting for the promise that I would come back to play with them, so maybe…………..”
Terban couldn’t find the words for the moment as he realized what she meant. Because he realized that his light words were not light at all for the children.
“It’ll be fine. They will forget about it after a while. If I bring a lot of sweets that they like, they won’t be sad.”
With that, Ellea pretended to be fine and ate without a care in the world, but in her heart she regretted it.
‘I shouldn’t have brought it up. It’s like blaming His Majesty.’
She couldn’t look at Terban and focused only on the plate of food in front of her.
However, Ellea raised her head at the surprised words coming out of Terban’s mouth casually.
“A promise is a promise, so let’s go.”
No, what did he just say?
Ellea thought she heard wrong, but Terban’s reply was the same as the first. In fact, he became more decisive.
”It means I’m going to try it once. I made a promise, and I should keep it.”
“Your Majesty is really going to go there?”
“I wonder why you are so surprised. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t go?”
Ellea, who had not thought for a minute that this would happen, was tempted to retract her words a few minutes ago. So she seriously stopped him.
“It’s not like that, but if it’s because of what I said earlier, it’s really okay. I didn’t mean to burden you, Your Majesty.”
In truth, she really wanted to avoid meeting him as much as possible, and if she could avoid this situation, she could tell any lies.
“I’m just trying to remind you what you said. Because as an emperor, if you don’t even take responsibility for the words you say, that would be ridiculous as well.”
“No, that’s not it…..”
When Terban came out so serious, Ellea had no words. There was no reason to stop him, and it was obvious that if she stopped him any longer it would make herself even more suspicious.
‘’I would be grateful if you would. I’m sure the children will be happy to hear that.”
Her true intentions were the opposite, but in the end she had no choice but to retreat. But this was the one thing she could not give up.
“Instead, I am thinking of going in quietly without others as I have done so far, and of course, Your Majesty’s status is a secret.”
“Let’s keep that in mind.”
Terban was of the same opinion, so he readily agreed. He didn’t want to lose either.
‘Yes. I dug my own grave, who would I blame?’
Ellea inwardly blamed herself. Why did she bring this up without thinking and make things so big?
Terban, on the other hand, was thinking hard about going to the nursery. He had never dealt with children before.
“But what exactly should I do there?”
‘Nothing special. Take care of their food, watch them study, play with them, and help them with their work if they need it. There are so many things that need to be done, like laundry and cleaning.”
“So you’ve done all of that on your own so far?”
Ellea said the truth without much ado. Because the only adult there was the director, and it was only natural that it would be understaffed with so many children.
“Usually, small nurseries are not only under-supported, but also very understaffed.”
Terban was thinking long and hard about what she had said, when suddenly Ellea burst into laughter.
When the sound made him look at her, she stopped laughing and finally spoke up.
“It’s just too hard to imagine. I can’t imagine Your Majesty playing with the children and preparing food for them.”
Ellea tried to imagine that cold-hearted Terban playing with the children, but it was totally disproportionate and she ended up laughing.
However, she finally shook off her thoughts when Terban looked at her as if he was devouring her and informed him of the schedule.
“I’ve heard that Your Majesty will go there in two days anyway. Oh, if you have any other schedule, we can change the date.”
“No, let’s go that day. I don’t have any special schedule.”
But thanks to the talk, time passed smoothly, and the meal she had been worried about ended without any problem.
They left the dining room and tried to exchange greetings, but a cheerful voice interrupted them.
“I see you are here.”
‘This voice is…’
Ellea turned around and saw Shanil approaching them.
‘Of course. I was wondering why you were so quiet.’
Come to think of it now, it was surprising that Shanil did not interrupt the diner when Terban and Ellea were alone.
It looked like she realized what kind of place this was and didn’t interrupt, but instead planned to make a well-timed appearance like this.
Pretending it was a coincidence.
‘If she joined the diner too, it would have been suffocating.’
Seeing her appearance like this, it seemed that she was curious about where Ellea and Terban were. Now, though, she put on an innocent face as if she knew nothing about it.
“Did I interrupt your conversation?”
Unwilling to fall for Shanil’s plan, Ellea decided to leave. Because she had told Terban what she wanted to say in their earlier conversation.
So she greeted Terban while ignoring Shanil.
“Then I’ll get going now. Your Majesty.”
Ellea was about to move away, but suddenly remembered something, so she turned back and approached Terban again.
“Oh, I have a favor to ask of you, Your Majesty.
Hearing Ellea’s voice, both of their gazes turned to her and asked without hesitation.
“Since I’m bored with my time here, may I use the facilities of the Imperial Palace? The library, for example.”
There was absolutely no reason why this was impossible, so Terban gladly agreed.
“Yes, anywhere in the Imperial Palace is at your disposal while you are here.”
Even though he said that anywhere would be fine, Ellea wanted to make sure she heard it correctly.
“Anywhere in the Imperial Palace?”
Honestly, she didn’t need to ask for permission. There was one here who could stop the Princess.
At that moment, Ellea found Shanil listening intently to the conversation, and suddenly became curious about her reaction.
So she deliberately made a comment that provoked her.
“Even Lady Shanil’s palace?”
Shanil’s expression instantly hardened at her words. However, Ellea didn’t care and just waited for Terban’s reply.
As expected, there were no words of permission coming out of his mouth right away. In fact, she didn’t expect much from the start, so there were no blows of any kind. She just wanted to be clear with the two of them. That’s the price they pay for making promises that they can’t even keep.
Ellea broke the tense atmosphere and smiled.
“I was just joking. I don’t have a taste for taking things from people, like someone else.”
Terban frowned, wondering who she was referring to. His mood changed in an instant and she became confused.
“That’s too much of a joke.”
Terban showed unpleasantness, but Ellea was neither afraid nor retreating.
So she looked at him with a smile on her face. Shanil also sensed the unusual atmosphere between the two of them and only looked at his face.
“I apologize if I offended you, Your Majesty. But I don’t think Your Majesty should make promises you couldn’t keep either. For who knows what I might demand of you?”
Ellea also mentioned the conversation they had had during the meal.
“So let’s pretend that I did not say anything during the meal earlier. I hope you don’t mind, Your Majesty. Thank you for inviting me here today.”
With those words, Ellea walked away, but Terban’s gaze still followed her.
‘This is enough.’
All the friendly conversation from earlier seemed to disappear when Shanil appeared. Like telling herself to wake up and not to forget what happened here.
So she deliberately said something to offend Terban, and thanks to that, she never had to see him again.
That was enough for her, she thought.