Ch. 145 I’ll Only Say It Once (2)
Suddenly, Elena spotted Mirabelle in the crowded room. Elena knew her family attended the reception, of course, but hadn’t had the time to seek them out yet. Elena gave her farewell to Log.
“I’ll see you again soon.”
“Yes, Your Highness. Eternal glory to the Ruford Empire.”
After receiving the ambassador’s bow, Elena immediately headed towards where her sister was amicably chatting with another noblewoman.
Mirabelle’s head turned, and she gave a sunny smile when she spotted her older sister.
“Ah, sister—no, Your Highness!”
She quickly corrected herself and gave a small giggle. Elena found the sight so adorable she couldn’t help but smile.
“Where have you been?”
“Oh, I’ve been talking with Glenn.”
It turned out that Elena knew the young woman next to Mirabelle. Their cousin Glenn had freckles and thick red hair, and Elena had once left Blaise Castle under the pretext of going to Glenn’s wedding.
“Oh my goodness, Glenn. It must have been a long way, how did you get here?”
Glenn bowed her head and gave a smile.
“Hail the Crown Princess. Eternal glory to the Ruford Empire.”
“You can omit such greetings between us.”
“I had so much help from the hairdresser you sent to my wedding. Of course I had to attend my cousin’s wedding—No, I mean, Your Highness’.”
For some reason, Elena found it heartwarming that her family had not yet adjusted to her status. She was beyond happy to see her family after only meeting political figures.
“It must have been a difficult journey to the capital city. Did you both have dinner?”
Elena played the older responsible sister among Mirabelle and Glenn. For now, she could shed the pretentious image of the crown princess and become the real Elena.
Carlisle had also been surrounded by a number of people, but soon enough everyone gave him a wide berth and he was left to himself. Perhaps it was due to his aura that no one approached him, until a lone shadow appeared by his side. Carlisle, sensing the presence, turned his head and saw a familiar face.
It was Derek, Elena’s older brother.
“What are you doing here, Your Highness?”
Carlisle had once been given a cold reception by Derek, but the latter was in a very different mood now. Carlisle replied in a voice equally as flat as Derek’s.
“I’m waiting for my wife.”
Derek’s eyes shone brightly for a moment, but he continued on calmly.
“May I stand next to you for a while?”
“Make yourself comfortable.”
Carlisle, however, did not initiate any further conversation with Derek, and neither did Derek with Carlisle. Derek might have come to say something, but no words were exchanged between them.
And so silence passed. Neither man seemed uncomfortable standing in what others would have called an awkward atmosphere. It was only after a long silence did Derek finally speak.
“If you have something to say, say it.”
“Take good care of Elena. Make sure she’s happy.”
Carlisle glanced sharply at Derek, but despite the prince’s predatory expression, Derek continued on calmly.
“If you do that, the Blaises will follow you for life.”
“The Blaise family is already an ally of the Emperor. What I hear now is that if I make Elena unhappy, you might turn around.”
Derek did not deny it. He did not know what his father Alphord thought, but those were Derek’s feelings. Carlisle understood the intentions behind his words and smiled. There was only one reason why he would ask that.
“Listen carefully because I’ll only say it once. You don’t have to worry. I will do my best to make her happy. “
“…Do you mean it?”
“I told you, I’ll only say it once.”
Derek frowned at Carlisle’s arrogant attitude. He didn’t expect the prince to talk this way, but Mirabelle had said that if he looked into Carlisle’s eyes, he would see how much the prince loved Elena. Although Derek wasn’t sure what Carlisle felt at the moment, Derek seemed to understand a little about what his sister meant. After a few minutes of contemplation, Derek summarized his thoughts into a short phrase.
“…You have my loyalty, Your Highness.”
Another smiled graced Carlisle’s mouth as he thought how Derek’s loyalty was tied to Elena’s happiness. Carlisle glanced over at Derek, who was standing next to him with blazing eyes. If it had come from anyone else other than Elena’s brother, Carlisle would not have tolerated this. Carlisle turned back to the front with an indifferent look.
“I look forward to your loyalty.”
“You can depend on me.”
And so, unexpected relationship was created between the two. Both Carlisle and Derek stood together, not paying attention to the fact that the noblewomen around them were staring at the pair.
Redfield sat in the corner of the reception hall wordlessly drinking his win. Next to him was a group of young nobles, regulars at the parties he hosted. If it weren’t for Elena covering her face at the masquerade ball, some of them would have recognized her.
“Second Prince, didn’t you say the Crown Princess attended the party? She might know the secret—”
Redfield cut off their words as if he didn’t want to hear them.
“Of course not. Her time there was too short to notice anything, and even if she did, what can she do about it?”
Redfield slammed his wine glass onto the table.
“Shut up. If you don’t believe me, deal with it yourself. My mother and the Anita family are behind me, who would dare to touch me?”
“I’m sorry, Second Prince.”
Redfield’s face twisted after hearing the apology. He didn’t mean to leave Elena be after their meeting, but there was a time for everything. Redfield had placed pressure on Elena’s wedding planning, but if he had gone any further, his mother Ophelia would have stopped him. The Empress had already ordered Carlisle’s wedding to go through. At the very least, Redfield wasn’t stupid enough to get caught. Until then, he could deceive Ophelia and enjoy himself.
‘Just wait, sister-in-law.’
Redfield’s repressed emotions gave way to a despicable smile.
‘The more you resist, the more I want to take away.’