Chapter One: Cinderella’s Stepsister is Taken by The Prince
A girl sat on a chair as The Prince got down on one knee. He gently raised her foot and slipped on the glass slipper. Of course, it was a perfect fit, as if it had been tailored just for her. “So, it was you…you’re my fated princess!” The person who spoke these words was The Crown Prince of our country, and the one receiving the whispers of love was my younger sister.
‘Isn’t this Act I of Happily Ever After?’ I thought nonchalantly, standing next to my mother and elder sister. Both were foaming at the mouth and stomping the ground in frustration.
Really, who’d imagine that the person chosen to be the future Crown Princess would be my younger stepsister, Ella? Though mother and elder sister had taken to calling her ‘Cinderella,’ it was apparent to anyone that saw her that my younger sister was a beauty.
With her platinum blonde hair and eyes as blue as the clear sky, she wasn’t inferior to any of the neighboring kingdoms’ princesses were she to dress up. There’s no question that The Prince would fall in love with her at first sight…at least, that’s what I think. Is my sister-complex too blatant right now, I wonder?
“Now then, let us return to the castle immediately and proceed with our wedding!” declared Prince Francis, grasping her hand with shining eyes. In contrast to him, however, Ella was…well, not as thrilled. I had just opened my mouth to ask her what was wrong when—
“I’ve come to pick you up, my honey~!” Our glass window shattered as a man riding a broomstick, dressed in completely pitch black clothing, burst through the pane. Without a doubt, this man was extremely suspicious. Hey, can I bill him for the repair?
As soon as she saw him, Ella’s eyes lit up and she ran to this strange man. “I knew you would come, Mr. Wizard!”
“I would never leave you, would I? Now, let us begin our never-ending magical journey!”
Uh…Ella. Why are you clinging to such a suspicious guy? What the hell does he mean by ‘never-ending magical journey’?!
“H-hang on, Ella!”
She looked back at me with a pained expression, her eyes glittering with tears. “Adelina…you were the only one in this house that ever treated me with kindness. I will always wish for your happiness.”
“Let’s not worry about me right now. What about The Prince? The castle? Your wedding?”
Her gaze turned towards The Prince before blurting out: “I’m sorry, Prince! I’m actually in love with Mr. Wizard!” As soon as she spoke those words, every person in the vicinity froze. Even the Prince was in such shock that his jaw was hanging wide open.
Well…of course, that’s a given. He had scoured the entire country in search of his fated partner, but once he found her, she ended up saying something like that. Could you even imagine?!
“I’m saying that I can’t be your bride, but you’re a wonderful man, Prince, so I’m sure you’ll find a fabulous princess soon!!”
“Hold on, Ella!”
“Farewell, everyone! I will be very happy now, so please forgive my selfishness!!” Without even giving us a chance to stop them, she and the Wizard straddled their broom and flew away from our house at full speed. The Prince’s vassals—who had accompanied him from the castle—chased after them as soon as they returned to their senses, but it was too late. They had already disappeared above the clouds.
And they lived happily ever after…as if!
“Hey, what’s going to happen…?”
“We already sent a carrier pigeon to the castle informing them that The Prince had found his fated partner…”
“If we return empty-handed, then this will be an embarrassment for even future generations…!”
The vassals gathered, whispering amongst themselves as they panicked. No one could find out that The Prince’s fated beloved…had run away from him. If this leaked, he would become a laughingstock of the entire country…no, even foreign countries would laugh. Our beloved Prince would immediately be turned into a clown.
Unfortunately, everything had gone too far. The vassals had already sent a notice to the castle that the fated maiden—Ella—had been found. But then she ran away with the wizard. Just as they were anxiously wondering what to do, The Prince suddenly lifted his head. His piercing gaze, filled with so much anger…was aimed right at me.
Uh-oh, not good…!
“You’re…her older sister.”
“Yes, my name is Adelina.”
Prince Francis walked over to me briskly then tightly grabbed my wrist. It hurt. It hurt a lot. This guy, he’s definitely angry…!
“I’m taking her.”
“You have no right to refuse. Shut up and become my Consort.”
“…?!” I was so shocked that I couldn’t fully comprehend what was happening.
So, let’s get this straight. The Prince would say that he came to our house, found his fated maiden, and brought her back to the castle. “The glass shoe fit her perfectly,” he would say. Everything would settle down with just that. At least, that’s how it would seem on the outside.
In short, I would be the substitute for Ella, who ran away at the last minute.
He even said to me: “You have no right to refuse.” That means he’s basically threatening me. If I refuse, we’d probably have our noble titles striped away and be exiled. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place!
Under normal circumstances, I would have been on cloud nine if our beloved Prince told me to “become his bride.” Unfortunately, this situation was anything but. If I want to survive, I have no choice but to act like a bobblehead and nod.
…Just how did all this happen?!
That is the story of how I, Cinderella’s ordinary sister, married The Prince, whose fated maiden had run away from him. All for appearance’s sake.