Cinderella Did Not Leave Her Shoe – Chapter 08

The Storm Has Passed but there is a Local Tornado

The door closed heavily behind the General and his man, shortly after we heard the creak of carriage wheels.

We kept silent until the general’s carriage went out of view.There was a hiccup.Everyone burst out laughing.

I grimace at my own shamelessness as the rest of my household were clutching their bellies laughing.

‘Oh Fredericka!’‘

“It’s was my favourite”! Hahaha!’

‘And that cute act?! You were like a little girl. Very cute!’

More laughter.

‘The general seemed pleased, so it turned out alright.’ Oliver said wiping tears from his eyes.

It was fine if he was pleased, but to the General, I must seem little more than a child.

‘Well, I just imitated Marie.’ I said with a smile as my maid

‘Wait? What?’ she asked confused.

‘Marie is the cutest person around me.’Aside from that, he kissed my hand! Oh how exciting. But, it was only a greeting, it didn’t have any deeper connotations.

But when he lifted my hands to his lips…so dashing so sophisticated!

Could I afford such a grown up man who exuded such intense sex appeal like 『buwaa』 

When I was with Eugene, it had been so stiff. I have never experienced such a feeling before.

I never realised the back of my hand was so sensitive, I could still feel the sensation of General Volker’s lips on my skin. It was strange and numb. I want to scream and run and hide. I feel agitated and restless.

There was a knock on the door.Eugene? No. It was a messenger with the formal request for the dissolution of the engagement from the Duke of Cajes.

How could he turn up without even a by-your-leave? Is it that they were more concerned about the consequences of not coming?

I suppose now that the engagement is cancelled they don’t need to keep up the pretence of politeness.

The messenger sat proudly in the proffered chair, and narrowed his fox-like eyes at me. He told us his name was Garde.

‘Miss Fredericka, please sign this document right away.’ He said, while his words were polite, his tone was rude. He unfurled a paper that had been tied with a grey ribbon.

‘I will read it,’ Father said taking the document.

The written agreement to end the marriage contract.

I held my breath as Father read it. For a time there was only silence.

‘I have a question.’

‘Is there any room for questions?’ the messenger asked arrogantly with a raised eyebrow.

Why did the Duke send this person?

My Mother was sitting beside with a fixed smile on her face, yet her hand held me gripping my arm tighter and tighter. I tried to keep the discomfort from my expression.

‘It says here “Accepting Fredericka Castley’s error…” what error does that specifically refer to?’ my father asked.

What error? What have I done that was a disgrace towards Eugene and the Cajes family?

‘Think of it as an error in the document if you do not understand.’ The messenger replied.

My tried to hold down my temper; how could I understand if you don’t explain?

‘In other words, this agreement is trying to say that the Castley family is at fault. Is it?’ my father asked the messenger.

This may have been the plan from the start.The messenger shifted in his seat, and uncrossed his long legs. He took a sip of his tea and returned the cup to the saucer with a loud clatter.

‘Eugene went to the ball last night with another woman and told my daughter in front of a lot of people, that the woman with him was his destined love and he wanted to break the engagement. I am afraid there was been a mistake. How do you like this?’

‘Where you there?’ the messenger asked, ‘Is there any evidence? You are trying to malign my master.’ The man said with a derisive laugh.

There were many witnesses, the other attendees, the orchestra, the servants.

‘Do you think I cannot protect my daughter?’ My father said his jaw tense. The messenger merely looked amused.

‘I will delete that line. We agree to cancel the marriage contract between ourselves and the Cajes family.’

Oliver presented a pen, and father crossed out the offending line before signing.

‘We formally acknowledge the cancellation of engagement between Fredericka Castley and Eugene Cajes. I hope we never cross paths in the future.’

The messenger took the document, and left out house laughing loudly.

‘I’m sorry, Father,’ I said after the odious man left. I wish I was a better woman.  

I should have been able to avoid this.

‘Heh heh, that messenger, I’m sure he’ll be crowing that he got the better of the Castleys.’ Father said without anger.

Good, Father isn’t daunted.

People will talk. The misfortune of others is like nectar to bees for Society.

Hopefully our business will not lose customers because of this.

The duke was obviously trying to manipulate the story to Eugene’s benefit, and place the responsibility of the break up on me.

The acquisitioning party should have the higher hand. It’s like telling your enemy, ‘this is my weakness.’ 

I gave them goods and they taught me weakness.

We are the losing party. When the story comes out, my family and I would become “pitiful”.We couldn’t even ask for a settlement even if we wanted to.

Nobles are troublesome.

Would I be able to go see the play with General Volker?It looks like it would be impossible.

In the background, Mother repeatedly cursed the messenger’s name.

I rubbed my sore arm as I listened.

This is rather unfortunate.

I’m sorry.

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