The feast in the Camer family was wrapped up without a problem and while her parents were still busy entertaining a few close friends who stayed behind, Eloria Camer was alone on top of the highest pavilion which was located inside the walls of her family mansion.
She only had one reason for climbing up there – it provided a great view of the palace.
When she stared at the place which she often called hell, Eloria was reminded of the torment she faced while living as the wife of Rayan Varence, the Fourth Prince who ended up taking over the throne with the help of her family. That tragedy of her beloved family was repeatedly played in her mind too.
Why was she such a fool?
Though Rayan Varence was good to her at the beginning of their marriage, she always felt like something was amiss. A few months later, she realized why she felt that way.
That man never loved her. He used her just so that he could receive her fathers help. He even had another woman in his heart; the woman who was also largely responsible for the downfall of her family.
While Eloria put up with her husbands negligence, hoping that he would change his heart and look at her again; Rayan Varence was busy with that woman, plotting for the Camer family downfall!
If only she tell the truth when her father asked her if there was something wrong! That nightmare will surely be prevented!
Then Eloria recalled one thing. The last words that Rayan Varence whispered in her ear before she drank that poisoned wine.
You are just a withered flower now.
These two words made her clenched her fists so hard!
”I will never be a withered flower again, ” she muttered to herself and shook her head. ”No. I won even be called a flower again. If people were to describe me, I will make sure that fire is the word they choose. Like blazing fire, I will burn and cause harm to anyone who dared to come near. ”
She was never this determined in her life, not even when she fell for that two-faced Rayan Varence at first sight!
She had a goal and a tragedy to prevent. To achieve it, Eloria told herself that she should become strong first. Only then she would be able to protect her family and herself.
Eloria Camer spent more than an hour at the top of the pavilion with her gaze never leaving the palace. Then finally, she got down and looked for her parents. She realized that all the guests were gone now and she also found her parents in their chamber.
”Where have you been, dear? ” Duchess Camer promptly asked her daughter when she noticed her walking inside the chamber. ”You were not in your chamber and we were worried. ”
”At the pavilion, ” Eloria replied and forced a smile. ”I go there to get some fresh air. ”
Their daughter sounded strange one again and the Duke and Duchess could do nothing but exchange glances with each other.
What happened to their lively yet childish daughter?
While her parents were staring at her with confusion written all over their faces, Eloria approached them and took a seat on the couch opposite them. ”I have something to say. ”
The Duke and Duchess were still feeling strange but like always, they listened to their daughter first.
”What is it, Eloria? ” Deric Camer quickly asked while covering his confusion with a calm expression.
Eloria met her fathers gaze and then briefly glanced at her mother before she said, ”I want to learn from Father and join our Camer Army. ”
This was what her parents expected to hear the least and Eloria was well aware of it. Her parents were always so protective of her and… it won be easy to make them accept this.
She wasn wrong because the Duke and Duchess thought that she was joking around. However, she saw through them.
”Im not joking, ” she promptly said despite knowing how much it would affect her parents. ”Im serious, Mother, Father. Let me join the army to continue our family legacy. ”
Their daughter who always hated to even attend a military gathering was now asking them to let her join the army and it was more than enough to put the Duke and Duchess in a daze!
She was never interested in this! She never want to learn any weapon skills, saying that it wasn too ladylike! And now… she wanted to join the army?!
”Eloria… ” Adeliza Camer muttered, unable to say any more word.
Her only daughter will join the family army? Thats nonsense!
”I can allow that. ” It was the father who spoke up this time. He might be a tough Commander but he was always a caring and gentle father to his only daughter. However, he sounded like a Commander and not a father this time, and Eloria didn miss this fact.
Nevertheless, she had no intention to change her mind. To prevent that tragedy, she was willing to do anything and that included going against her parents who loved her more than anyone else in this world.
”I won give up on this, Father, ” Eloria Camer retorted, trying to sound as firm as she could. ”I will join the family army and learn everything from scratch. So please, let me do it. ”
”This is nonsense, Eloria! ” The Commander raised his voice at his daughter and it was the first time. With a confused yet desperate expression on his face, he rose from his seat and glanced down at Eloria. ”A camp and a battlefield are not for you. I will never allow you to put yourself in danger. ”
When she looked up and met her fathers gaze, Eloria Camer felt so tight-lipped. She just realized how intimidating her caring father could be! Then she glanced at her mother who shook her head as if begging her to change her mind.
If it wasn because of the agonizing pain in her heart caused by those betrayals and the tragedy of her family, she was sure that she would back down. However, she can . Because right now, the desire to protect her family was stronger than anything else.
”Im sorry, ” she muttered and narrowed her eyes at the floor. ”Ive already made up my mind. ”
Rather than being angry, the Commander was feeling curious. Didn his daughter always hate the army? Why would she suddenly change her mind?!
”Whats wrong with you, Eloria? ” He eventually inquired. ”Im positive that my daughter will never ask to join the army. Are you not in your right mind? ”
”Im sorry, Father, ” Eloria Camer apologized once again as she knew that she really can explain. ”I have my reasons and if possible, I will tell you everything later. So please, give me your permission. I really want this. ”
She was hopefully looking up at her father as she knew that if he agree, her mother always decided to trust in his decision. However, she also noticed how her father was narrowing his eyes at her, observingly. When her father suddenly broke their gaze, his face turned stoic.
”Fine, ” he uttered, making his wife raise a brow. ”You want to learn from me, right? You can come to the camp and start learning tomorrow. ”
”Deric, this is - ”
”Don worry, Liza, ” the Commander interrupted his wife yet his voice was calm. ”Everything will be fine. ”
Eloria knew that her father didn agree because he accepted her decision. Maybe he had other plans for her.
Nevertheless, she didn make any comment because from now on, she didn plan to lose to anyone, including her father. This was the only way for her to protect him. Then she rose from her seat. ”Thank you, Father. ”
With that said, she left her parents chamber and the moment the door was shut, the Duchess quickly looked up at the Duke.
”Will you really allow her to follow in your footsteps? ”
At the question, the Duke looked at his wife and sat down again while flashing a little smile. ”What kind of father would allow his daughter to lift a sword and risk her life all the time? ” He briefly paused and continued, ”Don worry too much, my dear. I will make sure to let our daughter learn that the army is not for her. She is stubborn and she won listen to us but… I can make her quit voluntarily. ”
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