Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
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Ellea looked around at the ladies and smiled in return at their silence.
“Why can’t you all say anything? Was my question that difficult?”
“It’s not rude at all. We were just asking out of curiosity….”
“If this situation is not rude, what is it? Then there is no problem if I tell His Majesty about today’s events directly, is there?”
Even the Lady, who refuted that comment, maintained her silence in the end. Naturally expecting this to come out, Ellea continued.
“I started physical training after I regained my health. Since then, I have been close to the knights and received a lot of help.”
It wasn’t a lie. In fact, she maintained a fairly close relationship with the knights during the time she was in Zevenica as well.
“I went to visit Lord Bandel, with whom I had developed a close friendship, to ask for his permission in advance. I wanted to meet the Knights. There wasn’t a different intention.”
Silence came again at Ellea’s calm voice. Then she looked at Shanil one and said,
“I didn’t know that Lady Shanil would think about it this way. It looks like I’m making excuses and I don’t feel very good about it.”
When Ellea revealed her displeasure with the situation, the ladies also began to feel uncomfortable.
Then, as the arrow headed for her, Shanil waved her hand and said.
“No, I was also flustered by the story that the ladies brought up earlier, and I definitely didn’t mean it. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate it. We all do, don’t we?”
Shenil’s question was met with a quick nod from the others. It was not in their best interest for this to get too big.
Ellea said in a firm voice to them, who forgot to mention the most important thing.
“Then under the circumstances, don’t you think an apology is in order?”
“I’m sorry. Princess.”
“I’ll be careful not to let this happen in the future.”
“I accept your apologies, and I trust these words will not come out again. I also don’t want Zevenica to find out and make things bigger than they already are. It depends on the situation, of course.”
Ellea used her position as an imperial Princess to warn them. As expected, the ladies quickly lowered their tails and nodded.
Shanil, however, had no intention of retreating easily.
“By the way, I didn’t know the Imperial Princess had such training Zevenica. It’s really amazing.”
“Since I’ve gotten healthier, every day is new and I just pay more attention to it.”
Like hyenas, Shanil did not miss what Ellea said, and immediately said ‘wow’.
“Now that you mention it, I’m curious about the Princess’ skills.”
Ellea’s hand faltered for a moment at her suggestion.
She looked at Shanil, but she just smiled at her as before. But the meaning of her words was obvious.
‘If you’re interested enough to visit the Order, shouldn’t you show them something?’
“It comes out like this, doesn’t it?”
Heris refuted Shanil’s words with a look of disbelief.
“Didn’t she make it clear just now? The Princess’ body just got better….”
Ellea shook Heris’ hand, who stood up for her.
At the touch, Heris stopped talking, and when their eyes met, Ellea smiled as if she was okay.
“Of course. Because I meant every word I said. I hope I get the chance to do that someday. We’ll never have to talk about this again.”
“I’m waiting for that day, too. I’m really looking forward to it now.”
Shanil’s and Ellea’s eyes collided with the same but different expectations, and no one avoided each other’s gaze first.
Then they moved on to other topics, and fortunately the meeting ended in a friendly atmosphere.
Ellea parted from Heris with regret.
“It was really nice to meet you today, Ellea.”
“Me too. And thank you very much for today.”
“Of course. Isn’t it interesting? She’s cleverly putting you on the spot while pretending to be something she’s not. I really wanted to subvert the situation. Are you all right?”
Heris was still annoyed by what the ladies had said at the tea party. How could such an outrageous misunderstanding be possible?
“Of course. But don’t worry, I expected this much. I’ll invite you to the Imperial Palace next time. Let’s meet alone, just the two of us.”
After promising to meet next time, Heris left in her carriage.
The rest of the ladies had left, and Ellea was about to leave as well, but Shanil called to her from behind.
Shanil walked up to Ellea and carefully spoke up.
“I can’t help but feel that I spoke out of turn. I was having so much fun earlier, and I just forgot about it.”
The laughter in her words was strongly felt by Ellea.
‘I know you said those words because of your pride, so I’ll put my tail down and tolerate it for now.’ (Shanil)
Actually, Shanil didn’t believe a word Ellea had said from the beginning.
‘It’s not even funny. There’s no way you can do that. It must have been a lie anyway that you trained.’
Ellea became even more disheveled at the brazen condescension.
“No, don’t forget all the things that Lady Shanil had said, because I won’t.”
“Oh, I had something I wanted to ask Shanil too, but it was a little hard to say when the others were around earlier. “
“What is it?”
What was it that scared you so much?”
With those words, Ellea gave her a cold look, and Shanil stepped back without realizing it.
But Ellea asked again, taking another step closer to her as she did so. It was as if she was pressuring her.
“There’s no one here who doesn’t know Lady Shanil’s position, so what are you afraid of?”
“I’m nothing as long as you’re by His Majesty’s side anyway, so what were you so afraid of?” (El)
As if her whole body was tied up, Shanil couldn’t move any further.
What the hell is this? What is this feeling?
And why did El come to her mind at this moment?
She hurriedly found a way to get out of this situation. At that moment, she dropped to the floor as if she was collapsing.
“What are you doing now…………”
Ellea was panic at the sudden turn of events.
She was about to reach out to Shanil when someone who had come before her and stood on front of Shanil.
Since when did he come? Before she knew it, Terban was taking care of Shanil and checking her condition.
“Are you okay? What’s wrong all of a sudden?”
“The Princess misunderstood something, but I was so flustered.”
Terban turned his head and looked at Ellea. The look in his eyes was laden with a coldness that she had not been seen before.
Ellea was startled by his appearance, but quickly regained her composure.
She was used to that look from Terban, and most importantly, she could easily predict what he imagined about the situation.
Shnail collapsed as if she was surprised by something, and Ellea was standing in front of her.
It was obvious how it would look in the eyes of others.
Ellea could put everything on the fact that Shenil had fallen down for such a situation. In the meantime, Terban, who had made sure that Shanil was okay, asked Ellea.
“What are you doing?”
‘As expected, this is how it works.’ (Ellea)
When Terban reacted sharply, Shanil hurriedly stopped him.
“No, Terban. I made a mistake to the Princess….”
“No matter how many mistakes you make. If you’re not careful, you’ll get hurt, because you’ve done that many times. You need to be careful.”
Terban said to Shanil and looked at Ellea again, but Ellea didn’t avoid his gaze. She didn’t do anything wrong so she just stood tall.
“Why isn’t the Princess talking? I think we need an explanation.”
With the look and the words that Terban gave her, Ellea decided to give up on trying to explain the situation. It was strange to make excuses here as if she was the one who had done something wrong, and more importantly.
“Will you believe me, Your Majesty?”
When Terban couldn’t say anything at her question, Ellea smiled in vain as if she had forgotten that the person in front of her was the Emperor. Then, not avoiding Terban’s gaze, she stated her thoughts firmly.
“That’s what I thought. I don’t see the point in me saying anything here.”
Terban called Ellea in a low voice, but Ellea remained unshakable until the end.
“If Your Majesty comes out that way, I would rather choose to be misunderstood. I don’t care what you think of me. Then I will leave now. For further details, please ask Lady Shanil.”
With a rough greeting, Ellea walked away without hesitation. Shanil was also quite confused, as she had never expected her to act so brazenly this way in front of Terban.
It was Terban who moved first in this situation.
“Stay here for a moment.”
Shanil called hurriedly, but Terban only went in the direction where Ellea had disappeared. He left Shanil behind.
Ellea walked with only her eyes forward, suddenly her body spontaneously turned by a strong force pulling her from behind.
Then she found Terban, who had followed her. He looked more intense in emotion than before.
She, on the other hand, looked at Terban’s hand grasping her wrist and asked casually.
“Do you have more to say to me?” (Ellea)
“What kind of disrespect is this?” (Terban)
Ellea was unconcerned and said the same thing as before, though her wrist was starting to hurt from Terban’s strong grip.
“Ask Lady Shanil for more details. I have nothing more to say.” (Ellea)
“This is Rubain, not Zevenica. And Shanil is……………” (Terban)
Looking at him trying to say something about Shanil but couldn’t, Ellea eventually raised her voice without maintaining her calmness.
“Did you just call me rude?”
Unlike earlier, her sharp response made Terban stop speaking.
“Your Majesty was rude to me first. I think you should have asked what happened first, instead of making a definitive statement as if I was wrong in the situation earlier. If so, maybe….”
‘My answer may have been different back then.’
Seeing that she was feeling this way at this moment made her think that maybe she had wanted to.
If Shanil framed her, Terban would not doubt her..Because if that had been the case, she would have been willing to tell the truth.
Ellea decided to take this opportunity to speak up.
‘Who am I in front of the Emperor?’
“I’ve been so quiet for so long, it seems Your Majesty has forgotten about me. I am the Imperial Princess of the Zevenica Empire, and I believe that any disrespect towards me is directed towards Zevenica, without exception.”
With those words, Terban’s hand became weak, and Ellea pulled out her caught wrist and walked away.
This time, Telvan did not follow.
No, he couldn’t follow. For a brief moment, he felt the resentment that she had so clearly shown him.
“Why on earth………..?”
‘The way you look at me…’
Ellea confirmed that he was no longer chasing, and soon stopped walking and looked at the wrist that Terban had grabbed.
There were already red marks because of the strong grip.
She wrapped her other hand around the mark and stood there for a moment, and then walked again.