* * *
Welcome guests came to the Ambrosia mansion. Upon hearing the news that Sarah had woken up, the Third Prince came to visit with Penelois and Elexa. The butler, Veron, was the first to greet them.
“We see the third glory of the Crombell Empire, Your Highness the Third Prince.”
Even before Veron had finished his courtesy, Eleon asked urgently.
“I heard that Countess Millen has awakened. Can I see her now?”
“Yes, she’ll be taking a walk now, so you’ll be able to meet her.”
Veron said with a calmer face than ever before. Seeing that, Penelois let out a sigh of relief. The shadow that had fallen heavily on the faces of the Ambrosians, including Veron, had disappeared. It was the peace they felt because Sarah had returned. Feeling the warm warmth, Elexa tugged at the hem of Penelois’ dress with an excited face.
“Mother, I think she’s really awake this time.”
“That’s right…… She must have really woken up.”
Penelois’ voice was watery as she nodded and answered. Penelois cried for the first time in front of Eleon when she heard of the incident at Alton Estate. Penelois could not repay Sarah, who had taken care of her situation until just before she left. Not even Eleon would guess how deeply regrettable it was for her.
“Now this long war can be over, Penelois. Are you happy?”
Penelois barely took a trembling step while holding Eleon’s hand as he reached out to her with a smile. Following Veron’s guidance, Eleon crossed Ambrosia’s mansion and looked around from time to time. The faces of the servants passing by, as well as the atmosphere of the entire mansion. There was a warm and peaceful atmosphere that made you forget that this place was in the middle of the monster’s forest.
“For Ambrosia, I never thought Countess Millen’s existence would be this much.…….”
In the past, he had seen Sarah and Claude through the window of Ethan’s office. Eleon nodded, recalling the memory of the time when it was like peeking at a scene in a fairy tale. Perhaps the mansion was enveloped in such an atmosphere throughout Sarah Millen’s stay in Ambrosia. Eleon could guess how precious it would be for them now that they lost it and regained it.
“By the way, where is Countess Millen taking her walk? The area around Ambrosia probably isn’t a good place to take a walk because of the refugees’ temporary shelter.”
“She is in the greenhouse in the garden.”
What kind of greenhouse was it in the middle of this monster’s forest? Most of the monster’s forests were places that did not receive a handful of sunlight. At least, the place where Ambrosia had prepared got only a little bit of sunlight a day. Still, this place was in the middle of the gloomy monster’s forest. A greenhouse in such a place. It was just when Eleon tried to ask more about the absurd remark.
“After Countess Millen woke up, she took a look at the garden and made it for Young Master Claude, saying it was not good for his emotions. She said children should grow up looking at the sun.”
Veron’s face was filled with pride as he answered Eleon.
“Even if this place is the monster’s forest, is there anything that Countess Millen can’t do?”
As soon as Veron’s words were finished, a greenhouse made of large glass windows appeared in front of Eleon’s eyes. Above the greenhouse, a large mass of light illuminated the greenhouse like the sun. Through the window, green plants and flowers boasting colorful petals, which were hard to see in the monster’s forest, were reflected. There were even butterflies flying in the air.
A pure exclamation escaped Elexa’s lips. He was amazed that something that didn’t exist the last time he came to see Claude suddenly appeared, and the greenhouse in front of him looked so warm and beautiful.
“……Countess Millen has turned the monster’s forest into a garden of God.”
Penelois’ voice was full of envy that couldn’t be hidden. Sarah would probably be able to show only pretty and good things to Claude even in the middle of the battlefield. It was clear that she would give everything to do so.
“Let’s go in. His Lord and Young Master Claude are also here.”
Veron smiled and opened the door to the greenhouse. Then, along with warm warmth, the sweet and refreshing scent of flowers wafted up. It was a scent they hadn’t smelled in a very long time.
“Elexa, come here.”
Eleon gestured towards Elexa. Elexa excitedly ran to his father and threw him into his arms.
“I’ve been busy with the war, so I couldn’t show you anything like this…… I’m sorry, my baby.”
Eleon smiled bitterly and lifted Elexa into a hug. Whether or not he knew his father’s heart, Elexa wanted to see Claude and Sarah as soon as possible.
“Come on, let’s go meet them, Father. Come on.”
Eleon smiled and took Elexa’s hand in one hand and Penelois’ in the other and entered the greenhouse. The inside of the greenhouse was so beautiful that it could be described as a garden of God. It was as if a corner of green nature had been removed and brought here.
“Where’s Countess Millen?”
The greenhouse was so large that Penelois stretched her neck and looked around for Sarah. Elexa also stretched his upper body forward in Eleon’s arms and looked around.
Then Elexa found the platinum blond hair that shone brightly in the distance. Eleon and Penelois looked at each other and began to walk in the direction that Elexa pointed. Through the gaps between the growing plants, they finally began to see the members of the Ambrosia family. Elexa, who had opened his mouth as if ready to call Sarah at any moment, slowly closed his lips.
Sarah was sitting in a rocking chair with her eyes closed. Her hair, in the half ponytail, was disheveled, and a light shawl was draped over her dress. Ethan and Claude stood by and watched Sarah’s face intently. In an unusual atmosphere, Elexa called Eleon as if anxious.
Eleon also looked at them, unable to approach, as if he had felt it. As if the word Sarah woke up was a lie. The atmosphere flowing from Ethan and Claude was very heavy. The sight of Ethan holding Sarah’s droopy hand and kissing the back of her hand was heartbreaking. Claude clasped her skirt tightly, his head resting on Sarah’s lap. The eyes of the two, who could not hide their anxiety, were scanning Sarah’s face over and over again. They looked so pitiful that Penelois shook her head and murmured.
“Don’t tell me that something is wrong with Countess Millen again……”
It was then. Something caught at Penelois’ feet as she hesitated and backed away, causing her body to tilt heavily.
Surprised, Eleon called out to her and reached out to grab her. He then took a deep breath when he realized belatedly that he had made a loud noise without realizing it.
Two pairs of eyes looked their way at the same time. The pressure that enveloped their bodies in an instant made the Eleon couple harden, unable to even breathe. Ethan’s bright blue eyes and Claude’s gloomy green eyes confirmed the face of the uninvited guest at the same time.
“Ah……, The Third Prince has arrived.”
Ethan, who confirmed their faces, said with a smile on his lips as if he was polite. The voice that came out was as calm as usual as if his sad blue eyes previously was an illusion.
“Ah, Duke Ambrosia……”
Only then did a deep sigh of relief escape from the Third Prince’s lips. The pressure that enveloped them was gone in an instant.
“I heard you’re coming, but I’m sorry to have you come all the way here.”
Ethan made a face that showed no apologies at all and said casually. In Eleon’s ears, the words “Why did you bother to come here?” sounded like hallucinations. He turned his head as if shaking off his hallucination for a moment, and then opened his heavy mouth and asked.
“Countess Millen is……”
The afterword “Did she fall asleep again?” lingered on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t bear to say it out loud. However, everyone present knew what Eleon was trying to say. Penelois involuntarily swallowed her saliva.
“I guess she was a little tired because it’s been a while since she took a walk, so she fell asleep for a while. If you wish, I will wake her up……”
Just like before, Ethan said politely, however, his eyes were glimming that he would not leave him alone if he woke her up. Claude also looked this way with his eyes wide open, as if he would not let go if he woke up his nanny. Eleon hurriedly waved his hands and said.
“There’s no need for that, it was rude on my side who came in a hurry.”
“I won’t refuse you for being so considerate.”
Only then did the corners of Ethan’s lips curl up. In the first place, he had no intention of waking up Sarah, who had fallen asleep, for them, but Eleon was speechless at the shameless way he spoke.
‘So fastidious, really……’
Eleon was completely fed up with the father and son’s impeccable defense. He clenched Penelois’ hand in a subtle sadness, secretly sticking his tongue out. As if she was the only one on his side.
At that time, a small sound came through Sarah’s lips, who seemed asleep as if she were dead. Everyone’s eyes, including Ethan and Claude, turned to her in unison. The long eyelashes flowing along the fine eyes trembled, and soon the azure and clear eyes that had been hidden gradually appeared.
“Did I fall asleep again……?”
“Eung, Nanny. How can you fall asleep in the meantime when I said I’d pick flowers for you?”
“I’m sorry, Young Master Claude. It must have been because the greenhouse was too warm.”
“So I put flowers on Nanny’s hair.”
Sarah gently stroked Claude’s hair. Then she looked at Ethan, who was holding her hand tightly and smiled softly. Ethan lightly kissed Sarah on the cheek and smiled dazzlingly.
Eleon, Penelois, and Elexa opened their mouths as they looked at the three people who seemed to be in their own little world. At that time, Sarah, who could not shake off her drowsiness, yawned and looked around and finally found them.
“Ah, Your HIghness the Third Prince is here.”
Sarah rose from the chair in panic as if she had not noticed.
“Why didn’t you wake me up?”
Ethan smiled at Sarah’s criticism and naturally supported her. And he secretly narrowed his brows and looked at Eleon. The meaning attached to the end of Ethan’s gaze was very clear. It was really embarrassingly blatant.
“I see the third glory of the Crombell Empire, Your Highness the Third Prince.”
Whether Ethan did or not, Sarah bent her knees with a gentle smile, showing her courtesy. She was dressed lightly and dressed in a comfortable shawl, but she looked formal and elegant as if she had encountered them at a banquet held at the Imperial Palace. Eleon was glad to see Sarah’s warm hospitality and was about to cry, but hurriedly waved his hands at Ethan’s gaze staring at him from behind.
“His Majesty has taken my right of succession, so I can no longer be called the glory of the Crombell, Countess Millen. You don’t have to be polite……”
“How dare I, are you not the one who will be the true glory that shines upon this Empire when the war is over?”
Sarah’s eyes shone brightly. Her words were like an oracle descending by borrowing the voice of God as if she was foretelling some kind of fate.