Ch. 151 Test The Waters (1)
Elena’s mind managed to recover as she made her way out of the training hall, but her racing heart wouldn’t calm.
Carlisle’s words still burned in her ears.
— I’ll teach you how to kiss and breathe.
Wasn’t it said that the first time trying something was difficult, and the second time was easier? She wanted to question why Carlisle was doing this all of a sudden, but she remembered she had allowed it to happen.
‘…I can’t act shy like this.’
They were not married long, but already intimacy was creeping into their relationship. Although they didn’t sleep together because of the contract, they had already had two passionate kisses like an ordinary couple. The heat of them still tingled on her lips. Elena shook her head to dispel her imagination.
‘I need to pull myself together.’
At this rate, she would be swept away by him, but she couldn’t allow herself to. She still had so much to do to make Carlisle emperor.
Elena rested a hand on her pounding heart.
It was not a bad way to keep people from trespassing Carlisle’s private training hall. However, no matter how much Elena repeated to herself “It was just a kiss,” her mind didn’t seem immune to this kind of touch.
Elena gave a defeated sigh. She walked towards the direction of her room, when the maid from earlier this morning hurried up to her and bowed.
“Your Highness, you have a visitor in the palace.”
Elena had invited many people from the reception to come by, and she wondered who among them it would be. The maid was quick to notice Elena’s thoughts.
“She says she’s Your Highness’ nanny…”
Elena’s scarlet eyes widened at the unexpected guest.
Elena’s footsteps raced as quickly as her mind.
‘The nanny is here!’
Elena had sent a letter to the nanny asking her whether she was well, but made no mention about the wedding or Carlisle. She didn’t expect the nanny to come in person, but her heart was glad. The nanny had filled the hole in the family after the Countess died, and raised the young Elena and Mirabelle since they were children.
Elena finally arrived at the parlor room.
Just as she took hold of the doorknob, she suddenly remembered she had a breakfast appointment with Carlisle. She had run away because of the sudden kiss, and had probably left him waiting without a message. Elena turned back towards the maid who had been following her right behind.
“Please tell the Crown Prince I have a sudden visitor and I cannot join him for breakfast. We can dine together next time.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
The maid hurried away to deliver the message. Elena braced herself, then opened the door to the parlor room.
In the lavishly decorated space was the nanny sitting primly in her chair. She still had the same white hair pulled back in a tight hairstyle, just like the nanny Elena had missed since her last life.
Elena abandoned her usual manners and rushed towards the nanny. Upon seeing her former charge, the nanny gave a warm smile and spoke in a kindly voice.
“Now a crown princess doesn’t run this way.”
But the nanny’s words passed through Elena’s ears. If one included the memories of the past life, it had been about twenty years since Elena looked at her nanny’s grave and laid white chrysanthemum flowers on them. The excitement of seeing her alive almost brought Elena to tears. She ran to her nanny and hugged her like she did as a child.
“I missed you.”
“Well, now you’re behaving more like a baby.”
Despite her light scolding, the nanny soothingly patted Elena’s slender shoulders. The small gesture seemed to melt away all of Elena’s suffering and hardship like a magic spell. She clung to her nanny for several long moments before looking up at her.
“But how did you get here? I was so worried about you that I didn’t even tell you I was getting married.”
“Do you know how much regret I feel now? I feel as if I missed my life’s pleasure in seeing you get married.”
Disappointment was evident in her wrinkled face.
“I was afraid that you might be in poor health. And you can see Mirabelle’s wedding instead of mine.”
“I will not be alive then…”
“Don’t say that. Live with me forever.”
The nanny gave a soft chuckle at her words.
“Yes, My Lady.”
The nanny held Elena’s shoulders back to study her.
“You truly are a mature woman. So beautiful. Your late mother would have been very happy to see you like this.”
Elena’s lips lifted upward at her praise.
“But how did you marry the Crown Prince? Was this your choice or did the Count decide it?”
Elena couldn’t tell her the full truth, so she narrated a false love story about Carlisle. They ventured on other topics as well, and time passed by quickly, as there was so much to talk about.
It was morning when the nanny arrived, and now lunchtime was already approaching.
There was a knock on the parlor room door. Elena turned towards the sound and spoke in a calm voice.
The nanny, who was looking at Elena, instantly changed her mood at the arrival of a new person. The door to the parlor room opened and a woman in a maid’s uniform entered. Elena had never seen her before, but there were so many people working in the palace that she didn’t know all their faces yet.
“Your Highness. The Empress has sent you a personal wedding gift.”
Elena looked on in wonder. The Empress had already sufficiently congratulated them, of course, but she knew that Ophelia’s relationship with Carlisle was less than friendly.
“What did she send me?”
“A messenger from the Empress’ palace says it’s a rare plant that only grows in the Sibena kingdom in the far south. If it’s tended to well, it will grow pink flowers, which symbolizes harmony and fertility.”
Elena had no protest to the gift. Such a rare plant could be considered a gift of suitable sincerity, while not being too much of a burden. After thinking for a moment, Elena finally replied.
“Bring it here. Let me see it myself.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
The maid bowed her head and soon returned to the parlor room with a burly-looking servant carrying a large flower pot. Although the plant had yet to bloom, its sweet scent filled the room. Elena did not particularly fancy sweet scents, but even this she found it pleasant. She studied the plant with her eyes, then nodded when she saw nothing outwardly wrong with it. She was with her nanny for now, and could check it again later.
“It smells divine. Then in my room…”
However, the nanny’s face had changed dramatically once she saw the plant. She had been watching without a word, but now she interrupted in a calm voice.
“My Lady, is there a need to leave right now? Let’s place it here for a while and enjoy the fragrance.”
It seemed a strange suggestion, but Elena decided to follow her nanny’s example. It was not difficult to move the plant at any time.