Ch. 136 I Can’t Stop Him (1)
The wedding date had loomed over Elena for weeks, and now it felt strange to think that it would finally happen on the morrow. She woke up in the morning, and then began to prepare herself for a day of last-minute inspections. There was the platform the officiation would take place, the aisle, the tables and chairs for the guests, the lavender flowers, the decorations—with more coming in the next morning.
‘The reception at the imperial palace is almost complete…’
After the ceremony, the guests and nobles from foreign countries would gather at the imperial palace for the reception, and great care was given to its preparation.
‘Then I’ll have to review the menu.’
The crown prince’s wedding was so magnificent that there were separate courses prepared for the wedding venue and the reception. Several chefs in the capital renowned for their craftsmanship were hired to prepare the food, and although the dishes had already been decided, Elena found she couldn’t relax. Fortunately, due to Carlisle’s help, the imperial chefs were mobilized as well, allowing the preparations to continue smoothly.
A great deal of attention had to be paid to the seating arrangements as well. The arrangements were similar to the tea party in the south, where those of higher status sat in the front rows. Elena had a great deal of anxiety about it. She looked over the invitation list again, noting the layout of the nobles and foreign envoys and scanning for any potential mishaps. She was in a restless mood, but the preparations were quite complete.
The wedding dressing that Mirabelle and Madame Mitchell had been working on was the final item. Elena approved the design, but it was Mirabelle that recommended the gold and white dress among the five that Carlisle purchased. This wasn’t the wedding of the century, but Mirabelle was determined to create the most beautiful dress that anyone had ever seen far and wide.
‘With all this work still happening the day before, I don’t know how the dress will turn out.’
Despite the incompleteness of the dress, strangely enough, Elena was not worried. Was it because of her faith in Mirabelle? In truth, Elena liked all five dresses she had seen in Anco’s Tailors without having to modify them, but Mirabelle had vowed to work on a new design to make it even more beautiful. Elena was more worried about the strain on Mirabelle’s health.
She watched the sunrise peek from out her window, then got up from her seat to do her ritual morning exercises. It was better to busy the body to clear her swirling thoughts. It was a wisdom she had gained from experience. She started face down on the floor, holding herself up with one hand and pushing up and down.
When the floor came up to her, she repeated the motion. This may be the last time she exercised in this mansion.
Elena came down for breakfast, and sat at the dining table with only Derek for company. Mirabelle had sent a note saying that she was too busy working on the dress to eat, and their father was presently not at home.
“Did you sleep well?”
At Elena’s usual greeting, Derek gave a slight nod of his head and a curt reply. The morning was no different from any other morning. However, the stern-faced Derek stole a glance at his sister and opened his mouth to speak again.
“Did—did you sleep well? I heard that women are nervous the day before their wedding.”
“Ah, I’m fine.”
Elena smiled faintly and veiled her nervousness. She had already lived through one lifetime, but this was her first time to be married and her heart couldn’t help but tremble. Derek stared at her as if he were reading her inner thoughts, and Elena raised her voice awkwardly.
“You must be upset that the wedding has delayed the sword fighting competition.”
His reply was blunt, but Derek really didn’t seem to mind too much. At that moment, Mary stepped into the dining room and greeted them warmly.
“For today’s breakfast, I will serve food that will be easy to digest.”
Elena looked puzzled at the change of her usual diet.
“Yes, My Lady. It was specifically requested for you.”
Elena turned towards Derek, who looked back with a casual frown.
“When did I make a special request? I only asked them to prepare something that wouldn’t upset your stomach the day before the wedding.”
He usually never made special requests from the kitchen. Derek, as a knight, was taught by his father never to be picky about his food. Derek really could eat anything without complaint. Even Elena, who had lived with her brother for a long time, could not figure out what he liked or dislike eating. This was the first time Derek had requested something specifically from the kitchen. Mary, too, knew Derek was not very expressive, so she nodded and quickly modified her words.
“Yes, I was exaggerating a little. Today, you only asked for food that is easy to digest.”
Elena smiled at Mary’s quick response. The atmosphere was warm. Elena’s opened her mouth to speak, but even then she could not say the full extent of her feelings.
“Thank you, brother…”
She wished there was a better way she could say thank you, but even in this situation Elena was embarrassed as well. Derek’s answer was brusque.
“Eat before it gets cold.”
The breakfast the day before the wedding was different than usual.