Ch. 150 I’ll Teach You
As she finished preparing for her first outing at the Crown Prince’s palace, Elena made towards the private training hall where she was informed Carlisle was. She received envied looks from everyone during her short journey through the palace, as rumors already spread that the Crown Prince bestowed her an enormous return gift out of sheer love for her.
The knights at the training hall immediately bowed their heads at Elena’s unexpected appearance.
“Hail the Crown Princess. Eternal glory to the Ruford Empire.”
The greeting was still unfamiliar, thought no longer disconcerting, and she nodded gracefully in acknowledgment. She had already been here with Zenard, and the weapons lined on the walls no longer made her feel awkward.
As she approached Carlisle’s private training hall, she heard the sound of a sword cutting through the air.
She soon caught sight of Carlisle with his sword in his grip, and just like before, he was not wearing a shirt. This time, however, she wasn’t here to study his swordsmanship skills.
He immediately stopped and turned his head, revealing to Elena his blue eyes and the mysterious fever in them.
“Are you up already? I thought you would sleep longer. You looked quite tired last night.”
Despite Carlisle’s concern over Elena’s condition, he was the one that looked exhausted.
“I slept well enough. Don’t you ever sleep, Caril? You look worse than usual. “
“Well, I suppose…”
She was sure he had fallen asleep first, and she looked at him quizzically.
“Did you have any problems last night?”
“No. I…I just couldn’t sleep.”
It was strange that Carlisle, tired as he was, didn’t get any rest, but Elena brushed it aside. There was something else that was more important. She drew herself up and looked squarely at Carlisle.
“I saw your return gifts.”
Carlisle stared at her casually, but Elena had a lot she wanted to say.
“Firstly, I appreciate the exaggerated rumors of our relationship. I am grateful for the intention of your gifts.”
It was a good result, but she wasn’t entirely happy about it.
“But it’s too much of a burden for me to pay back.”
“Then place it as part of your debt.”
“I don’t want to owe you anymore. I don’t know how much I can pay back, and it’s not my nature to keep receiving it.”
She was grateful for the elevation of her prestige at home and abroad, but in her heart she did not want the return gifts. Carlisle smirked.
“I’m not going to accept the gifts I gave you.”
“I’ve kept track of everything you’ve given me so far, and I cannot make any more concessions. You’ve already given so much, so please.”
Carlisle took in Elena’s stern expression, and then he burst into laughter.
“Sometimes I think how much easier it would be if you were like other women and liked jewelry and dresses.”
Carlisle sheathed his sword, and walked towards Elena in his half-naked state. She couldn’t help but notice every ripple of his solid, well-built muscles.
He stopped in front of Elena and looked down at her. Then, slowly, he lifted his hand and carefully tucked a strand of Elena’s hair behind her ear.
Was it an illusion, or was Elena’s heart pounding wildly? She looked up at Carlisle with trembling eyes, and he continued to speak in a soft voice.
“I wish you were a woman who I could interest with jewels, that your eyes could be dazzled by wealth.”
“…What do you mean?”
“You’re too difficult for me.”
Elena thought that the conversation was flowing in a strange direction, but before she pursue that thought, Carlisle continued.
“I accept your opinion. We can’t fight on our full first day of marriage.”
Elena’s face brightened as he agreed with her. But Carlisle wasn’t finished yet.
“Think of the return gifts as the cost to maintain the standard of living.”
The cost to upkeep the crown princess’ lifestyle was quite large, but it certainly wasn’t equivalent to the jewels Carlisle gave. Elena’s brow wrinkled in a frown.
“No matter how large the maintenance costs are, it’s not as much as the return gifts.”
“Consider it a few years worth of payment.”
“I don’t want to take back what I already gave. I believe this is a good deal.”
Elena agonized over Carlisle’s decision for a moment. She anticipated his usual stubbornness, but he had conceded more than she expected. Carlisle wouldn’t let her return more anyway, and so she decided to approach this another way.
Carlisle looked surprised at the way she coolly answered, but she wasn’t done.
“Instead, please calculate the exact value of the return gifts and subtract them from the cost of living. That includes the diamonds from the wedding dress. As you suggested, I’ll consider it a few years’ worth of payment.”
If she left Carlisle to make an estimation, she was sure he would try to pay her more again. When Carlisle replied, it was in a subdued voice.
“…If that is your wish.”
“One more thing.”
“What is it?”
“Just as I’ve accepted your extravagant gifts, please do not refuse any gifts I give you in the future.”
An expectant smiled lifted on Carlisle’s lips.
“Are you going to give me gifts?”
“I try to give back as much as I receive.”
“…I’m looking forward to it.”
Unlike Elena, Carlisle was quite happy to receive gifts. He nodded and replied without any hesitation.
“I won’t complain about anything you give me, so don’t worry.”
“It’s a promise.”
“I’ll keep my word.”
A new promise was forged between the two.
Elena could not tell this to Carlisle directly, but she had already made a decision after receiving his return gifts.
‘I should start investing soon.’
She hadn’t planned this far from the beginning, but Carlisle’s continued financial support naturally made her wonder where to spend all the money. She had realized that she knew the future. Business wasn’t her primary skill, but she could invest in the ones that she knew would be successful. Carlisle’s unexpected return gifts was a great opportunity to begin.
‘Just wait. I’m going to increase our fortune.’
Elena wanted to give back to Carlisle more than he had given her, and so she made him promise not to refuse her extravagant gifts. As such, she was determined to organize a business plan based on her memories in the near future.
“Is this our first disagreement since we got married? That’s something new.”
She hadn’t placed deep meaning on this conversation until now, but Carlisle looked at if from a different perspective.
“We’ll try to work our problems out as much possible in the future.”
“Yes, I agree.”
“Then wait for a moment, wife. Let’s have breakfast together.”
She paused at the word “wife”, but then she nodded. It was part of their contract.
4. If there are no other commitments, have every meal together.
It was still unclear why he added this condition, but it was what he wanted. She was staring at the perspiration running off Carlisle’s body, when an idea entered into her head.
His gaze turned directly to her.
“It’s been difficult for me to train in Blaise mansion in secret. I heard this is your private training hall. Can I use it?”
If she started training properly, she could restore her peak strength from her past life. Carlisle thought for a moment and then answered.
“I don’t mind. However, many of my men come and go here. I can order them not to come here without permission, but…”
His voice trailed off, and Elena strained her ears to hear him. Carlisle smiled and looked at her fondly.
“Some may think it strange if you stay at this training hall for too long. Sometimes other women stop by, but they only stay briefly.”
“I see. I didn’t think of that.”
Elena placed her hand on her chin. She wished there was a place where she could train as much as she wanted, but no other place came to mind. Carlisle’s eyes glinted as if a thought entered his head.
“I have one way.”
“What is it? “
“You might disagree if I tell you, but I am certain it will work.”
“If it works as much as you say, then I won’t object. I don’t care what it is as long as I have a place to train.”
In order to make Carlisle emperor, she had to use power in various ways, but what she was best as was the sword. Killing was a necessary skill, and it was urgent that she restore her capabilities as soon as possible to respond to critical moments.
It was then.
Elena and Carlisle, both excellent warriors, picked up the sound of approaching footsteps. Carlisle took a step closer to Elena. It was only a single step, but it felt monumental. Elena looked up at Carlisle wonderingly, and when he spoke, his voice was lower and huskier than usual.
“…Last question. It doesn’t matter what the method is, right?”
Something felt off to Elena, but she nodded as she could never give up practicing sword training.
“Yes, you’re right—”
However, Carlisle quickly cut in.
“Then put your arms around my neck.”
Elena’s eyes widened in shock as Carlisle’s lips collided against hers in a fierce kiss. He moved his mouth against hers like a starving man, and he grabbed her waist with both hands and lifted her, adjusting her body so that she was positioned higher than him. The sudden kiss was enough to scramble Elena’s mind.
She was far gone by the powerful kiss, and she had no time to breath. At that moment—
Zenard stopped walking when he saw the couple kissing hotly. His face flamed and he immediately turned his heel to march straight back outside. There was the sound of his distant voice shouting at everyone not to come inside.
Elena didn’t have time to pay attention to that, however. She was like Carlisle’s prey, unable to escape from his kiss.
After several long moments, Elena started to feel the urgent need to breathe. Carlisle pulled away, his lips more swollen than usual, and she was able to take in a rough gasp.
Elena stared at Carlisle dazedly, and he smiled mischievously.
“Breathe deeply, wife.”
“If it’s rumored that we’re using the training hall this way, no one will approach this place, and no one will question why you’re here.”
Rationally, she understood what he meant. However, even though he sought her permission first, he didn’t give her time to prepare her heart. Elena had said that she didn’t care for the method, but she somehow felt cheated by him.
Carlisle, who was staring at the confused Elena, once again put his lips against hers. She was startled by the series of light pecks, and he lowered his eyes and smiled sweetly.
“I’ll take this opportunity to teach you how to kiss and breathe at the same time.”
The gatekeeper was standing guard at the entrance to the Imperial Palace when he saw an old woman approaching. He immediately blocked her way.
“Who are you?”
“I came here in a hurry to see someone.”
The gatekeeper took in the old woman in front of him. He was not sure if she was an aristocrat, but she had a strange, intimidating presence. Her hair was pure white from age, but her eyes still shone with vigor. The gatekeeper raised his voice.
“Who did you come to see?”
“I’m looking for Lady Elena Blaise.”
The gatekeeper recalled the grand royal wedding from yesterday. Elena was one of the most spoken of names in the capital, and there was not one person who didn’t know she was from the Blaise family. The gatekeeper was unable to conceal his embarrassment.
“You mean you’re here to see the Crown Princess? Who did you say you were?”
“Ah. She must have already gotten married.”
The old woman’s deep eyes filled with regret, and she heaved a deep sigh.
“Tell her it’s her nanny visiting her. I’ve come a long way.”