Emily left the mansion as soon as dawn breaks, as instructed. I came out of the mansion with two guards behind. It was more frustrating to stay inside the room than to be watched.
Unlike my gloomy heart, the sky was bright like a lie. Last night, I felt dizzy, perhaps because I didn't sleep a wink.
Going around the building, I headed to the glass greenhouse. The guards opened the glass door with a quick gesture and stood on both sides of the entrance.
'Am I a prisoner?'
I was staring at them with cold eyes, and soon I sighed and entered through the glass door. "Don't let anyone in."
I ordered as I passed by before closing the door. It was the night before the storm, but I didn't want to ruin it by running into the wandering 'real princess'. It was annoying that two big guards followed behind, but it was good to be able to prevent this.
I walked inside the greenhouse. The glass greenhouse is full of colorful and mysterious flowers, but it didn't really catch my eye.
Finally, I stopped at a seat by the corner. Small, white wild flowers bloomed gently among the green grass. It was the bouquet of flowers that Eclise had picked up for me the other day, and that he had plucked flowers for me and made a flower crown. I looked down at them for a moment with an expressionless face standing in front of them, and soon lay flat on it
Smiling at the flowers, I whispered, "You're the only one." A few days later, I received a flower crown. 'And I was full of hope that the escape was coming soon.'
But now all those things felt distant. Slowly blinking, I soon closed my eyes completely. 'I'm tired...'
It was quiet everywhere. I seemed to be falling asleep, but I couldn't fall asleep completely. I sighed and lifted one arm and covered my eyes.
It wasn't just a nap or awakening with eyes closed, it was like floating somewhere in my chaotic consciousness.
I suddenly felt a faint presence of someone. It was the sound of the door opening. 'I'm sure I told them not to let anyone in.'
Eyes covered with my arms frowned. I got up and thought I'd fire the one who disobeyed my order, but I just gave up. Even I was annoyed by his noisy body.
I could hear the sound of the intruder's feet coming to me without hesitation, whether they were willing to hide their presence or not.
'Guards? Or is it Emily?'
In a rather hurried walk, I had got the dedicated maid I had sent to the White Rabbit this morning. I was curious what kind of answer she had from Vinter.
'If he refused to the end, things would bother me.'
By the time I was wondering what to do with the remaining two days if he finally refused.
The step of someone approaching suddenly stopped beside me. I uttered irritably, covering my eyes with my arms.
"I have already told you not to let anyone in."
"Does anyone includes members of the Imperial family?" (Tl: *screams internally*)
But the returned voice belonged to a totally unexpected man.
I lowered my arm. The sudden flash of light made my eyes ache. A brilliant golden color, and a red ruby shone through the darkness.
Am I still half-asleep? I was staring blankly at the intruder before me. Suddenly a pair of red rubies came very close. The hairs tickled the forehead, as if they were almost golden.
The man said, frowning at me and crinkled his nose.
"Oh, my God, you shouldn't wake up. I haven't kissed you yet."
(Tl: *screams for real*)
He pierced my ears more clearly with his low-pitched sound of laughter. Only then I came to my senses as if I was doused in cold water.
After raising my upper body, I almost hit my head with the prince. He said, "Oops!" And he dodged his body humorously. I panicked, and soon stammered, and opened my mouth.
"Your Highness, h-how did you get in here?" "You've got some pretty loyal escorts."
Callisto answered carelessly, shrugging his shoulders.
"Everyone fainted and did not dare block the Crown Prince's entry." "Fainted...?"
"Who cares? I hit it a little hard with a knocking." "No, it's not, but..."
I don't know why the conversation flows like this, but it suddenly made me feel better when I heard that he knocked them out. Perhaps because of the Duke's order, or because he followed me without listening to me cursing dirtyly.
'Next time, I'd rather knock them out than go to the wall...'
When he asked, "Why is your face so stupid?" and I said, "Oh, my God." and I came to my senses. "Why are you here?"
As soon as my embarrassment which was caused by sudden appearance of the man disappeared, my cold voice popped out without realizing it.
With my sour expression, the prince burst into laughter as if I was dejected.
"Can't I come to my fiancee's house at my will?"
"I've never heard about that before. Which one of my older brothers are you engaged to?" In addition, when I calmly responded to the bullshit that he started, the man frowned. "What kind of terrible joke is that? I never thought that you can be so mean."
After a short reply, I picked up my clothes that were worn out from lying down and got up from my seat. Then I turned and looked at the Crown Prince. He sat crouching on the lawn, regardless of the crumpled fancy uniform.
The grass was a little smudged at the end of the white uniform trousers. I narrowed my forehead and reached out my hand to him.
"Stop it. Get up, Your Highness. Your clothes will get dirty." "..."
The Crown Prince looked at my hand in front of me with a curious look. It seemed that his clothes would be completely dirty.
"What are you doing? Come on." I waved my hand and urged.
Then at last he snatched my hand and got up from his seat. When I realized that he's still holding onto my hand, I tried to tug them. But this time the Crown Prince did not let go of my hand.
I looked down at it for a moment and thought I'd force myself to break out from him, but soon I just turned off my nerves. Because I didn't think it would be easy to let go.
A strong strength was forced to the fingers tingling them. I walked away leaving him like that.
The Crown Prince was approaching me silently until I reached to the table in the middle of the glass greenhouse. I felt hot warmth in my hands.
I just realized that I had a crush, but that didn't change anything between us. I am in a difficult situation and I can't care about such trifling feelings.
Just our hands holding once won't make my heart pound like a child. My heart didn't even shake.
It didn't matter. "Sit down."
Arriving at the table, I offered him a seat. Only then did the Crown Prince sit down in the chair with my hand in his grip.
My bloodless hands are starting to get sore. I didn't express myself and shook the bell lying on the table a couple of times. It was a signal to the maid in charge of the greenhouse to bring refreshments.
The Crown Prince looked at me as if he had not expected it. "I thought I was gonna get kicked out right away."
"How dare I do that to the Crown Prince. I'm such a commoner person."
"Did the Duke give you new teacher of the Imperial Court Etiquette for the coming of age ceremony?" "He praised me for being so perfect that he had nothing to teach me anymore."
As I clenched my teeth and answered with a smile, the Crown Prince squinted his eyes and giggled.
Soon after, a maid opened the glass door and brought refreshments. When she came closer I saw the maid's face were pale. He knocked the guards out and broke in. So, it meant that it was true.
I looked with pitiful look at the back of the maid who was leaving the room and ran out, and then turned my head towards the Crown Prince.
"What brings you here?"
"I brought you a present for your coming-of-age ceremony. "A present?"
"I ordered them to bring it in advance because there were so many. All sorts of junk gifts will get tangled up on the day of the coming-of-age ceremony."
I answered Callisto, who gave me a simple reply, looking with a little surprise. "You already gave me a present last time."
"That was a reward."
I forgot that it was my own'reward', and I nodded at his words and casually spat it out.
"But you don't have to come and tell me in person. Why didn't you just order someone under you like you did back then?"
The Crown Prince stared at me with an expression of absurdity. "Why are you so slow to get it?"
I tilted my head because I didn't know what he meant. "What?"
"Of course I came to see you. Otherwise, why would I come all the way here in this busy situation?"
The moment I heard his obvious answer, as I was in daze. Unlike my mind that left me, my heart was fluttering. My vision was shaking. The Crown Prince added with a face with a grumpy heart.
"Do I have to say this with my own mouth to make you feel better? You've got a dull side which I have to crack every time."
When I came to my senses, I called him like a sigh. My heart shook constantly. No, it wasn't. I bit the flesh inside my mouth tightly, and soon opened my mouth.
"I'm glad you're finally here. I would be too busy to give you an answer on the Coming-of-Age Day." ""
"If I can give you a clear answer to your proposal, I'll tell you and your"
It was a moment when I tried hard to end the talk. "Wait a minute, Princess."
Suddenly the Crown Prince raised his hand to stop me. Then I made a sound of confusion.
"I'd like to ask you one thing before I hear it. The Duke, is his financial situation difficult these days?" "Huh?"
"Or, are you being neglected because you're not the real daughter? Oh, my God, is he still discriminating against you as an adoptee?"
"What do you mean?"
I couldn't understand what the Crown Prince was saying. As I looked at him with a puzzled look, he suddenly reached out to me.
"All that's left of you is skin and bones."
My left wrist, which was lying on the table carelessly, was caught in a big grip and lifted by the Crown Prince.
"What, what are you doing?"
"What's wrong with your look which I have never seen before?"
The Crown Prince glared at me with a fierce look. Just blinking my surprised eyes, he grabbed my arm and jumped out of his seat.
"Well, Your Highness!"
I clasped his hand in amazement.
"What the hell is wrong with you all of a sudden?!"
"At this rate, the epitaph will be inscribed on the memory of the first noblewoman who starved and died of malnutrition in the Empire."
The Crown Prince shrank with a low voice. Then he swung my arm he caught. My wrists, swaying about as he shook them, were grotesque as I could see.
I had a lot things to worry about to these days, so my face seemed to have gotten a little thinner. I wasn't in a situation where I can put some food through his throat, so I just starved, that's why I was a bit embarrassed without noticing. I lost the words to explain my thin wrist.
"Go and pack right away."
The Crown Prince growls and spits out roughly.
"You must go to the Imperial Palace."
(Tl: oh, Calli, you romantic buffoon. That's not how you say, let's live together and make grandbabies.) (Note: woop woop, i just giggles everytime i read this)