Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
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Shanil asked curiously, but Ellea could see her impatience clearly in her eyes. Their handshake unraveled naturally as Shanil approached.
“You were with the Princess.”
“I ran into her outside.”
“Oh, I see. I was looking for you.”
Shanil hurriedly looked for Terban after hearing from the ladies that he was angry, but she didn’t see him anywhere.
It was around this time that she became frustrated, and found Ellea and Terban together. She didn’t like the fact that they were together, but now she even saw them holding hands.
Feeling the uncomfortable atmosphere, she quickly intervened between them and widened the distance between them.
Ellea was about to return to the imperial palace. She had no reason to be in the banquet hall anymore, and her purpose was fulfilled.
Shanil, on the other hand, had the look of someone who had a lot to say.
However, it was not something that Ellea would want to be involved in. She had already made up her mind earlier.
“I’ll leave you to it, Your Majesty. And thank you very much for today.”
She greeted Terban with a greeting that only Shanil couldn’t understand, and moved away at a leisurely pace.
The sight of Shanil and Raymir, frustrated at not getting what they wanted, was exciting.
Shanil watched Ellea move away until the end. Then she spotted Terban watching her as well and asked in a light tone,
“What happened to the Princess?”
At her question, Terban, thinking back to his conversation with Ellea, simply shook his head.
“Nothing. Were you looking for me?”
“Yes, I’d like to talk to you.”
In the end, Terban chose to keep his conversation with Ellea a secret.
It wasn’t that Ellea had asked him to do that, but he felt like he should keep it to himself.
Shanil decided to put Ellea aside for a moment and resolve the urgent matter first.
“I spoke to the ladies earlier. They talked carelessly about the Princess.”
When Telvan’s expression stiffened at once, Shanil hastened to add.
“Of course I know they were wrong. And I am sorry to the Princess for that. But I didn’t mean it that way, and they said out of concern for me.”
Terban believed that she had no such intentions. However, it was clearly the fault of the ladies, and he could not overlook it.
“I understand how you feel, but the point was that this could turn into a diplomatic issue.”
Shanil nodded in agreement with his words.
“Of course. I’m worried that the Princess might be offended by this and inform Zevenica.”
“It’s okay. She doesn’t want to make things bigger.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
Shanil, while feeling fortunate, just wasn’t happy. She had the feeling that Terban knew Ellea better than she thought.
‘As before, perhaps there was something between you two that I didn’t know?’
Before she could continue her thought, however, she heard Terban’s words.
“Still, it is true that you made a mistake, Shanil, and it’s right that you should apologize as well.”
Shanil thought for a moment that she had misheard. Apologize?
Does that mean she should bow to the woman now and tell her she was wrong?
She wanted to tell him right now that she had not made a mistake and that the ladies were simply concerned for her, but she managed to prevent the words from coming out of her mouth.
“That’s right, of course. I was even going to formally apologize. I was there, after all.”
Not knowing that she was trying desperately to hold back, Terban just nodded.
“By the way, I saw you earlier and the Princess looked quite close. You two even shake hands.”
Shanil didn’t want to talk about it any more, so she asked him about his relationship with Ellea.
“I was hoping to speak with the Princess more as well.”
Of course, she didn’t forget to add that she too wanted to talk to Ellea so that Terban wouldn’t notice her intentions.
“Nothing has changed.”
Terban didn’t see anything particularly unusual between him and Ellea.
If he had to say, he would say that she showed some kind of determination. That smile seemed to be somewhat refreshing.
Still, seeing her diverse appearance, he felt like he was closer to something than before.
“Is that right? We should say goodbye and leave now too, it’s getting late.”
Shanil didn’t sense any particular sign from Terban, so that was all she could ask. However, she did not give up her suspicions about Ellea. No, she was even more hostile than before.
‘I thought I’d just sit tight and we’d move right along.’
What had happened at the tea party had been a warning to Ellea. ‘If you get involved with Terban again, it won’t end there.’
But Ellea was with Telvan again, knowing that for sure. It was as if the warning had failed to deliver any blow.
‘Well then, let me make sure you understand. What will happen in the end if you keep clinging? Well, just like that knight.’
When her gaze collided with Terban’s, Shanil showed a gorgeous smile and headed inside the banquet hall with him.
Chaylen was the only one left in the empty banquet hall after the party was safely over and everyone had left.
He hurriedly loosened the tie that was tightening around his neck as he struggled to breathe, and he looked quite tired.
However, just as he was about to take comfort in the fact that today had passed without incident, an unhappy Arun approached him.
“Why do you have that look on your face? Didn’t I do what you said today and it ended well.”
“Um, it’s about the Princess…………”
“Oh, right. Ellea just left without saying goodbye. How could she run away by herself?”
When Arun mentioned Elle’s name, Chaylen was sad that Ellea left without saying a word.
At the sight of him, Arun hurriedly spoke what he was originally going to tell him.
“That’s not the problem right now. It’s not time for you to be like this.”
From the look on Arun’s face, Chaylen realized that something unusual was going on, so he followed Arun to the main building in a hurry.
While going there, Arun reported on what had happened when he met Ellea. As the story continued, Chaylen’s expression became incomparably colder than before.
“So where is the man now?”
“He hasn’t woken up yet, and I’ve moved him from the Duke’s room to another place. I’m sorry, I should have prepared better beforehand to prevent this from happening.”
“No, it’s my fault for saying it was okay. So let’s go see him. I wonder what kind of nerve he had to come in here.”
Chaylen’s eyes were filled with anticipation as well as an instant feeling of murderous intent.
The intruder woke up in the darkness. He looked around and tried to move, but oddly, he didn’t move the slightest.
When he lowered his head, he found that his body was tied tightly to the chair.
“What is this? It was obviously earlier……”
Just as the man was trying to take stock of the situation, thinking about what happened before he collapsed, he heard another voice.
“I see you’ve finally regained consciousness. I was going to do something else if you didn’t wake up.”
His eyes, accustomed to the darkness, were able to spot the person standing in front of him. It was a familiar face that the man already knew.
“I guess you knew the owner of this place you broke into. You have quite a story to tell, don’t you?”
As soon as he realized it was Chaylen, the man quickly looked around. Seeing the bars blocking one wall, it looked like a prison somewhere in the mansion.
The man shriveled up at the unpleasant smell and the bleak atmosphere, as if something was about to happen. Before long, Chaylen brought a chair and placed it across from the man and sat down cross-legged. The man hurriedly said, desperately wanting to live.
“As I told that woman earlier, I was ordered to do this.”
“From who? Duke Raymir?”
When the man stopped talking, Chaylen took his sword out of his pocket and said casually.
“I think you’d better think this through. Because I’m the one who’s holding your lifeline right now.”
The man gulped nervously as the blade of the sword in Chaylen’s hand glinted, and decided to just get it all out.
“Yes, you’re right. I was told to find out about Duke Chaylen. Anything that could be his weakness.”
When the man told him the truth without hesitation, Chaylen suddenly burst into laughter. The man stopped speaking at Chaylen’s appearance.
“The word “blows easily” suits you, doesn’t it? It seems a little boring like this.”
“Please, that’s all there is. Save me.”
It was then that Chaylen finally seemed to understand why Ellea left this man to him. Because there was nothing to find out more. However, there was still something he wanted to ask.
“I heard that the vase in my room was broken. Did you do that?”
“It was broken when the woman other than me broke in. She suddenly attacked me, and I swung at her to defend myself, but it hit the wall and ended up …………..”
The man didn’t notice the look on Chaylen’s face as he was so focused on saying that it wasn’t his fault, but someone else.
If he had seen that look, he would have shut that mouth immediately. Unfortunately, the man didn’t notice until the end.
“I see. Are you right-handed?”
When Cheylene, who suddenly asked something out of the blue, stood up from the chair, the man thought he was about to be released.
However, his scream was what came next.
With a painful scream, the sword that was unexpectedly stabbed the man’s right hand was noisily pulled out, and at the same time, the man’s blood splattered on Chaylen’s face.
“What are you doing…….”
Even as he watched the man suffer, Chaylen did not flinch, but simply wiped the blood from his face with his hand.
“You have to pay for throwing the vase at her with that hand, don’t you think?”
“What do you mean……?”
The man looked at Chaylen’s eyes and mood, which changed for a moment, so much so that the fear he felt now was greater than the pain in his hands.
“Please, just spare my life.”
Despite the pleading voice, Chaylen held a blood-stained sword close to the man’s neck and grinned terrifyingly.
All the while, blood was dripping from the man’s hand and wetting the floor.
“When did I say I would save you? I didn’t plan to do that from the beginning.”
“Huh? But I really told you everything I know!”
The man said with desperation, but Chaylen was nonchalant.
“It doesn’t matter. From the moment you set foot in here, there’s no next time for you. From the moment you almost hurt the woman, even a single possibility completely disappeared.”
Chaylen stood in front of the man, the man’s eyes filled with such horror that they were red and shook violently.
On the contrary, Chaylen’s gaze was tinged with joy.
A few moments later, the man’s voice was no longer heard as Chaylen swung his sword.