Ch. 129 It’s Not As Cold As It Was Before (2)
Elena opened her jewel-like red eyes. She stared for a moment at the unfamiliar ceiling.
‘Where am I?’
Someone answered from her side, as if waiting for her to regain consciousness.
“Are you awake now?”
Elena turned her head in the direction of the leisurely voice. She sharply inhaled at the view before her. Carlisle was lying right next to her, his head propped on an elbow as he gazed at her with his mysterious blue eyes.
Elena bolted upright on the bed.
“…You look tired. Do you need to rest more?”
Carlisle didn’t sound doting at all. In fact, he sounded like he was scolding his wife who came in drunk.
“Where am I?”
Elena’s mouth dropped open at Carlisle’s blunt reply. She tried to figure out why she was brought here, and Carlisle seemed to recognize her concerns and answered.
“Where should I have taken you? It wouldn’t have been good if we were seen entering a hotel alone.”
“But Blaise mansion–”
Before Elena could finish speaking, Carlisle got up from bed and handed her a steaming cup of tea.
Elena took the cup, warming her hands as she took a sip. The drink was warm and spicy on her tongue.
“What kind of tea is this?”
“Ginger tea. I prepared it in case you had frostbite.”
“…pub, kollog kollog.”
Elena choked on her ginger tea and started coughing violently. Carlisle handed her a handkerchief and patted her on the back.
Elena vaguely remembered what she had said before she fell unconscious. It had to be delusional ramblings from Carlisle’s point of view, but she discovered that she was ensconced in a thick blanket, and her feet were covered with soft socks. He must have looked after her after hearing about how she had frostbite.
‘…This is too much.’
Her head spun rapidly as she tried to think of an excuse. Elena had finally stopped coughing, and Carlisle spoke first.
“Now that you’re up, explain to me what you said before you fell asleep.”
“I…What did I say? I can’t remember.”
Elena feigned amnesia.
“You don’t remember? I don’t think you could describe something like that so realistically, unless you experienced it yourself.”
She struggled to keep a calm face, but inside she was inwardly scolding herself.
‘How strong was the drug that the Second Prince made?’
It seemed strong enough to cause her to be delirious. A milder drug would only have left her paralyzed, otherwise she wouldn’t have babbled nonsense and fallen unconscious.
“You mean how I suffered when I was born into the Blaise family? I was reading a novel before going to bed the other night, and I must have felt empathy for the heroine.”
Elena forced herself to smile.
“So it didn’t really happen.”
“Of course not.”
Elena hurriedly shook her head. Carlisle’s tensed face loosened, and he spoke in a soft voice.
“Thank goodness. If you actually had been in that kind of trouble…I would have been disturbed.”
She didn’t understand why he cared so much, but Elena was content to have escaped the situation for the time being. She almost threw Carlisle into confusion for all her nonsense, and she gave a secret sigh of relief.
“Now you must explain something else. What the hell happened at Redfield’s party?”
There was a fierce look in Carlisle’s eyes. She knew if told the whole story, Carlisle would not sit still, but she determinedly stated the facts.
“As I went inside I noticed a strange smell. I observed everyone carefully, and the people there were consuming drugs.”
“Yes. I brought some of the powder just in case. I think you’ll find something if you take a look at it. We should take the opportunity to investigate more in this party as well. From what I saw, there were more than one or two suspicious things.”
Thankfully she escaped unharmed, but she was bothered by Redfield’s offer for her, and few people in the Empire could stand up to him. Carlisle stared at the powder in the handkerchief then looked back at Elena’s face.
“I’ve always kept an eye on the parties, but it’s almost impossible to get a lead because the guest list is very restricted..and somehow you came back with a clue.”
His astute observation caused her to sweat nervously.
“I think he let his guard down a bit because I’m a woman.”
She didn’t reveal to him that Redfield used the drug on her. Last time, Carlisle beheaded the man that helped spread false rumors about Elena. Redfield would eventually need to be dealt with, but she thought it would be better to keep it a secret for now, since anger could cause one to make foolish and impulsive mistakes.
“Were you exposed to the drug when you obtained it? Is that why you were in such a bad condition?”
“Yes, that’s right. And…come to think of it, there was one other strange thing.”
“What is it?”
“The Second Prince was in the same room and he looked fine.”
“…Perhaps he can neutralize the drug?”
“I don’t know exactly, but it may become more clear if we investigate what is in this powder.”
Carlisle nodded, but he didn’t look pleased at their progress. Sensing Carlisle’s mood, Elena looked at him carefully.
“Why don’t you look happy? Isn’t it good if we can find the Second Prince’s weakness?”
“I become afraid whenever you do things that other people can’t do easily”
His words surprised her for a moment, but eventually she smiled. She had heard it so many times that she believed it. Carlisle was always especially concerned about her getting hurt, but now she didn’t mind the sentiment.
There was an old saying–A knight would put his life on the line to the lord who recognizes him. After her experience with Carlisle, she realized the wisdom in those words. She would want to risk her life for someone who would mourn her death as well.
“Don’t worry. I promised you that I would make you an emperor.”
A bitter smile grew on Carlisle’s face.
“I’m not concerned about that. What would have happened if you had collapsed inside the party from the drugs?”
“Your men were disguised as servants, so what was the problem?”
Elena said it to reassure Carlisle, but he didn’t find it comforting.
“You worked hard, so get some rest now. You need to see a doctor because you were exposed to the drugs.”
“It’s alright. I told Mirabelle I’d be in early–”
“I’ll get in touch with her.”
Carlisle stared at Elena then spoke again.
“Have some more ginger tea. When I heard you had frostbite…I was quite surprised.”
Elena hastily corrected him.
“That wasn’t true.”
“I know, but still.”
Understanding that Carlisle was simply worried about her, Elena smiled.
Elena saw the doctor then fell back asleep. Carlisle quietly stepped out of the room where Kuhn was waiting outside, and he handed the powder to him.
“Find out what it’s made of and what it does.”
“And don’t tell her there’s a suspicious target in Blaise mansion yet.”
Kuhn looked at Carlisle in surprise, but then answered in his usual monotone.
“If she finds out about this, she might do something more dangerous.”
“Then what shall we do? We can’t let it go unchecked.”
Carlisle stayed quiet as he considered Kuhn in front of him, while Kuhn stared back questioningly at his intense gaze. Eventually Carlisle replied, his voice lower than usual.
“I want you to enter Blaise mansion.”