Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
‘The horse is dead.’
There was only one thought in Ellea’s head at that miserable appearance. If it was someone’s intention that the horse ran wild, if it was aimed at her or Heris’s life.
The image of Heris trembling in fear came to her mind, and Ellea could not contain her anger. She couldn’t even feel the pain.
Then she moved his feet and approached the nobles who were relieved that nothing was going on.
“Who is it?”
Ellea’s voice, which had sank low, could not be heard, as the nobles were busy talking.
Ellea, holding her hands tightly at the sight, raised her voice so that they could hear it this time.
“I asked who it was!”
At Ellea’s cry, people’s eyes were focused on her at once. Those who met Ellea’s eyes trembled in surprise.
The atmosphere around her was unusual.
Ellea said as she swept her tangled hair back when she fell to the ground.
“Who was it that manipulated the horse that Young Lady Heris rode?”
“What do you mean?”
The person who answered Ellea’s question was Shanil, who was standing with Terban’s support. As she staggered slightly, Terban’s expression filled with concern.
“Are you okay, Shanil?”
“Yes. I’m just surprised.”
Shanil reassured Terban and looked at Ellea standing in front of her. Elea also did not avoid her gaze. To be honest, the first person to doubt was Shanil.
Because she was the only one who would want Ellea or Heris’s lives here.
“You are very rude, Princess. Does that mean that Rubain’s nobles planned this?”
“It’s not that it’s completely impossible. The horse, which had been fine until recently, suddenly had a seizure and died. Why did this happen if someone didn’t do it?”
“Lady Heris was a beginner. There could have been enough mistakes. Or you may have a problem in the forest without knowing.”
When the two people’s opinions clashed, people just stared at each other.
“I didn’t say that was what Rubain’s nobles did, but Lady Shanil said it like she knew.”
“That…..! Anyway, there was no major accident.”
“It’s not something to be taken lightly!”
At Ellea’s cry, Shanil took a step back. Somehow she couldn’t face her gaze.
Above all else, there was another reason why Ellea was so angry.
“Do you think I am saying that because I’m the only one in danger?
It was a dangerous situation in which anyone could lose their life. Me, Lady Haris, His Majesty the Emperor, and all the people here. The innocent horse is already dead. Do you still think I was rude?”
No one opened their mouth hastily to Ellea’s words. Shanil decided to use the last resort because she felt like she wasn’t going to win.
She pretended to be dizzy from the shock earlier and leaned on Terban.
Terban was startled and grabbed her by the shoulders and supported her. And when he saw Shanil’s pale face, he spoke to Ellea.
“Many people were surprised, so let’s stop here for now. Shanil was also shocked by what happened earlier. It’s not too late to investigate afterwards.”
Terban, who had no time to think about anything else, only remembered the situation in which Shanil was in danger, decided to let everyone go first.
He didn’t even realize that Ellea was holding on with all her might. The fact that blood was dripping from the wound she had inflicted when she fell from the horse, gradually wetting her clothes. Ellea swallowed a smirk looking at the two of them, and spoke as firmly as before.
“I’ll definitely find the culprit in the name of Princess of Zevenica. I think your Majesty will know that the cost of taking a person’s life is not light. I’m worried about Lady Heris, so I’ll go first. Your Majesty stays with Lady Shanil. She seemed very surprised.”
At that, Ellea walked past Terban. And as she passed by Shanil, she whispered so that only she could hear it.
“I’m curious as well. Whether I’m right or Lady Shanil is right.”
Seeing that Shanil was startled, Ellea didn’t want to show her pain, so she walked away with an unshakable gait.
The nobles made a way to avoid her, but did not talk to her. But with every step she took, blood was dripping drop by drop.
‘Just a little longer.’
Terban, who was about to call Ellea, could see the blood drops. Ellea desperately endured it as she walked.
His eyes were trembling when he saw it.
“Terban, can you help me? I was so surprised earlier, so my legs don’t have any strength.”
Even with Shanil’s words, his gaze was fixed on the back of Ellea, who could no longer be seen.
When Terban didn’t say anything, she called again.
Seeing Elea’s precarious figure and the red blood dripping on the ground, Terban let go of Shanil’s hand as if he couldn’t hear her voice.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Take Shanil to the palace.”
When Terban, who gave Bandel’s orders, was about to go somewhere, Shanil hurriedly caught him.
“Where are you going, Terban?”
When asked where he was going, Terban just released her hand instead of answering.
“Go back with Bandel.”
And he left the scene without saying anything else, leaving Shanil behind without looking back.
“Are you okay, Princess?”
Borence, who saw the accident, was worried about Ellea’s condition and hurried to her side.
And when she found Ellea’s hand soaked in blood, she was shocked.
“The Princess is hurt…… ”
“It’s okay, it’s bearable.”
Compared to when she was El, this was not a big deal. There have been times when she was cut deeply by a knife, and it was such an accident.
“Let’s wipe the blood with a handkerchief for now.”
Borence hurriedly wiped the blood off, but the scratch on Ellea’s face hurt her heart.
“Let’s go to the court doctor. The Princess is also hurt a lot.”
But Ellea was more concerned about whether Heris was okay. She only felt relieved if she saw Heris was okay with her own eyes.
“Let’s go see Heris first. Show me where she went.”
“After that, it is not too late to examine the wounds.”
Borence couldn’t overcome Ellea’s stubbornness. Eventually, when they went to the place where Heris was moved, Haris was sitting on the bed, probably had already come to her senses in the meantime.
While resting, Heris found Ellea and was startled and called her.
“Are you okay, Heris?”
“Yes. There are only small wounds and no major injuries. I was just so shocked that I passed out.”
Ellea was greatly relieved, her legs relaxed and she sat down on the bed.
In fact, Heris was more concerned about her. Because Ellea had used her body for her.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m okay. When you learn to ride a horse, a fall can happen at any time. Were you very scared?”
As Elea said that, she took Heris’s till trembling hand with one that was not stained with blood.
Tears welled up in Heris’ eyes as if he remembered the previous situation at those words.
“Yeah, I was really scared. I thought I was going to die. So thank you so much, Ellea.”
Ellea hugged her so that she could feel safe.
“No, I’m more grateful that you’re calm and nice.”
If Heris had acted recklessly in that situation to provoke the horse, something unimaginable would have occurred.
“Then why did it all of a sudden happen?”
At the sound of a sudden voice, Ellea’s gaze turned to Chaylen, who was standing next to her. The two girls had a conversation and had completely forgotten his existence. At Chaylen’s question, Ellea shook her head.
“I don’t know the details yet. But I’m going to find out.”
“It must have been you who they aimed at.”
“Maybe. So I warned them. If they’re caught, I won’t let go. I’m sorry, Heris. It was because of me that you had to go through such a difficult time.”
Ellea felt sorry for Heris. Because it was clear the purpose of this accident was for her (Ellea).
In any case, if Heris was in danger, it was obvious that Ellea, who was close to her, would be held accountable.
Fortunately, the bad deed failed as she rescued Heris.
“No. I’m safe thanks to you. So don’t say that.”
“I want you to know that I am here too.” (Chaylen)
“Oh my. The Duke is quite jealous.”
“What do you mean I’m jealous?”
Heris burst into laughter, apparently relaxed by Chaylen’s reaction. Ellea was relieved to see that she was okay.
Heris, who had a lot to do today, decided to return to her residence. It was clear that her parents were also concerned.
As Heris got up from her seat and was about to leave, Ellea’s gaze turned to Chaylen.
Recognizing the meaning of that gaze, Chaylen followed Heris without any resistance this time.
“I will accompany you to the carriage.”
“No. I can go alone…”
“Let’s go together. Because I can’t let you go alone.”
“Thank you, Ellea. You must also go to see the doctor and receive treatment. And I’ll help too. We can’t just leave the person who made us like this.”
The two of them left and Ellea lost her strength and sat down on the bed.
When she looked at her hand, which she had been hiding behind her back, it was still bleeding.
After Heris left and being left alone, she now finally felt so much pain that her hands were shaking.
‘Even if I don’t look, there must be quite a wound inside the clothes.’
Ellea got up from her seat and left the room. Her whole body was throbbing because of the tension released.
It was hard enough to take even one step.
‘It hurts a lot.’
As she was about to go to Borence, who was waiting for her to return to the palace, she heard footsteps approaching. Ellea, who raised her head without thinking, found the person approaching her, and stopped all actions.
Meanwhile, the other person came closer and stood right in front of her.
“Your Majesty, what are you doing here… ”
“Are you okay?”
Ellea was only bewildered when Terban, whom she thought would be with Shanil, was in front of her.
Then she hid her blood-stained hand behind her back and pretended nothing was wrong.
There was no energy left to face him now.
“I’m fine, Your Majesty. You should go see Lady Shanil. I think she was very surprised.”
When Ellea mentioned Shanil and tried to pass him, Terban blocked her.
And as if he knew everything, he pulled the arm Ellea hid behind her back towards him.
He relaxed his hand when he saw her screaming as if it was very painful. But when he found blood dripping down her hand, he became angry.
“Is this okay the Princess is talking about?”
“It’s none of your business.”
At Ellea’s words, Terban could not bear it and shouted.
“You are hurt!”
At his cry, Ellea’s actions stopped. And then she wondered. She was the one who was injured, but why did he look more hurt?
“No.” (Terban’s answer to Ellea’s words ‘It’s none of your business’)
Terban also looked surprised as he realized what he was saying.
‘What am I saying now?’ (Terban)
For now, he decided to leave everything behind to take care of Ellea’s wounds.
“I think I should get treatment from the royal doctor first.”
“I was actually going to do that.”
Ellea responded that way and started walking again, but even that seemed difficult to Terban as well.
‘Sick and stubborn.’
Terban, who couldn’t stand it, approached and picked Ellea up without time for Ellea to do anything.