Ch. 157 The Name Of The Emotion (2)
…What is this?’
Elena stared up questioningly at Carlisle’s finely sculpted face. His hand came slowly down as he arranged her hair, then his fingers traced her jawline. It was an action where she could barely feel his touch, but nevertheless, a small ripple pulsed through her mind.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ll lose my anxiety over you.”
“I cannot stand it if the Empress tries to harm you in front of me.”
Despite Elena’s soft voice, Carlisle pushed forward stubbornly.
“I don’t understand what you’re thinking right now. But there is one thing you are overlooking.”
“…What is it?”
“I care about that—”
“No, every time I’ve seen you so far, you seem to have no regard for yourself. I won’t ask why you want to become empress anymore, but remember this one thing. “
There was a deep emotion in Carlisle’s eyes that she could not identity.=
“Without you…there is nothing.”
Kung kung kung.
The small ripple in Elena’s mind became a huge wave, and her red eyes widened. She never thought he would say such words to her. Elena was ready to jump into a fire holding a can of oil, but it was as if Carlisle was telling her to cherish herself first.
She found it difficult to conjure up something to say. After what she heard so far, should she be angry with him? Should she try to stop him from worrying unnecessarily? Or perhaps…
Should she say thank you?
Elena’s thoughts tangled in her head, and her expression hardened as if she had been doused in cold water. Carlisle seemed to have mistaken her expression, however, and he lowered his hand with a bitter smile.
“I’ll see you at dinner later.”
It was part of their contract to eat a meal together every day. Carlisle parted first, with a promise of a next meeting.
She stood frozen on the spot, staring at Carlisle’s back until he disappeared.
‘…Why did he sound like that? ‘
It was not the first time Carlisle worried about Elena. This time, however it felt different. He had said there was nothing without her, and to her ears it sounded like, ‘You are more important than anything.’
Perhaps that was too generous of an interpretation. But whatever it meant…it moved Elena’s heart.
Kung kung kung kung kung.
Her heart pounded in her ribcage. She didn’t know the name of the emotion when Carlisle touched her hair, but she knew now.
It was “thrill”.
After Elena’s wedding, the Blaise mansion was a hive of activity. The one who found himself busiest of all was the butler Michael.
“Are you all set to enter the palace tomorrow?”
Mary answered with a vigorous nod.
The wedding completed, some of the servants prepared to arrive at the Imperial Palace to attend to Elena. Oftentimes when a noble was married, they took familiar servants from their own families, and Elena, as Crown Princess, would need more people to comfortably take care of her.
‘The maids are almost ready…’
The list of maids going to the Imperial Palace had already been taken care of by Elena. A few other servants, however, were not well-acquainted with Elena, and she left it to Michael to choose those who could be trusted. Michael didn’t think much of it, and told the Blaise household they needed more assistance at the Imperial Palace…
Kuhn, who had been employed a while ago, volunteered. Michael remembered how Mirabelle’s face was like death when she found out, and he pressed his fingers against his temple.
“What the hell is going to happen…”
Mary, who was standing opposite of Michael, widened her eyes.
“Hm? What did you say?”
Michael confirmed that Mary was fully packed, then moved to check another maid’s room.
“Rest well, Mary.”
“Yes, thank you.”
Michael finally left the small room.
The door shut with a loud click, and Mary turned to the luggage case she had packed, a complicated expression on her face. She didn’t have much, as she was given her daily necessities by the family she served.
Mary heaved a sigh, and then pulled out the item she had secretly hidden in the luggage case. It was a letter from Tilda that had arrived unexpectedly last night. Tilda was Sophie’s friend, and was currently in the employ Lady Selby. She had also previously worked for the Blaise family for a long time.
“Why is she sending me a letter now?”
She hadn’t opened the envelope yet, and she wondered what was inside. When Sophie had received a sudden letter from Tilda, Sophie had torn Elena’s dress into pieces and fled.
A letter sat before Mary now. She was hesitant to read the contents, but discarding it felt like ignoring the camaraderie they had built. Mary considered telling Elena about it first, but she was worried it would be a mistake.
‘Alright. I’ll just take a look at it, and I’ll tell her if it’s anything strange.’
Fully resolved, Mary finally opened the sealed envelope.