Chapter 262 – Time To Act (2)
Carlisle’s voice was low as he spoke.
“…What was the cause of death?”
“Chronic illness. I believe those were the results of the official autopsy. Of course, you’ll have to confirm the details for yourself later on.”
Carlisle cast his mind back to several nights ago. He recalled that Ophelia had come to talk to Sullivan about Redfield, and then Sullivan summoned Carlisle to speak to him on the matter. If Sullivan were alive then, then he would have been waiting at the Northern Palace. But because he did not appear…it was likely that Sullivan was dead before that.
The criminal must have known Sullivan’s death first, then pretended to be the Emperor and set up the trap. Carlisle’s best guess was that Sullivan passed away shortly after the meeting.
“…So someone must have found out about my father’s death early on and lured me into a trap.”
Elena nodded in silent agreement. She had calculated various scenarios in her head as well, and this seemed the most likely outcome. Isaac spoke again.
“And one more thing. Redfield’s succession to the throne was restored soon after the announcement of the emperor’s death.”
Carlisle’s expression turned into a dark scowl.
“Who would dare to do such a thing?”
“There is a document bearing the Emperor’s seal restoring the Second Prince’s succession.”
Carlisle gave a light snort. He no longer had to wonder who the culprit was. It was easily Empress Ophelia’s doing, given the timing of Sullivan’s death, as well her motives for murdering Carlisle and restoring her son’s position to the throne.
However, it was still unclear whether Ophelia killed Sullivan or accidentally found him. The official investigation concluded that the Emperor’s death was from chronic illness, but Ophelia had sent assassins after Carlisle yet again. His eyes flashed with anger. Although he did not say a word, the atmosphere in the parlor room became heavy from the deathly chill emanating from him.
Elena spoke this time.
“What happened to the Crown Prince’s palace? There are many soldiers there.”
“The Empress has completely blocked access to the palace. No one can go in or out.”
“…It would be difficult to send news there.”
It was clear that Empress Ophelia had laid the place under siege to prevent information about Carlisle and Elena from reaching there. If so, many people in the palace would not even know that they had been missing. Elena pressed her lips in a thin line.
‘…This is worse than expected.’
They had relatively few outside forces, as the majority of Carlisle’s soldiers were in the palace. It would be a huge disadvantage for them.
Finally, Carlisle spoke again.
“I see. Is there anything else I should know?”
“No, Your Highness. That is all.”
Carlisle then turned to Elena.
“Yes, tell me.”
“…I wish to be alone for a while.”
Carlisle looked as calm as a pond on the outside, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t angry. Elena saw the cold blue flame in his eyes. She could only guess at what he was feeling about the news of Sullivan’s death, and she gave him a sad nod.
“Very well. I’ll leave you for a moment.”
Carlisle needed time to be alone with his emotions. Elena stood up silently, and Isaac followed suit. The door closed, and Carlisle was finally left alone.
Elena’s mind was a whirlwind of thought. Although she knew that Sullivan died from her previous life, she didn’t expect it to happen this early in this timeline. Her heart was heavy with regret, as she could save Carlisle and her family from death, but she was helpless in stopping Sullivan’s disease.
‘Couldn’t I have done anything more?’
The memory of Sullivan looking affectionately upon her caused a lump to form in her throat. Isaac gave a careful look towards Elena.
“Is there anything else you need, Your Highness?”
Elena blinked into awareness. Carlisle must be feeling more grief than anyone, but he outwardly tried to remain as composed as he could. The situation for them right now was difficult.
“I’ll write to my family informing them that Crown Prince Carlisle is alive. We should mobilize the power of the nobles soon as well.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Isaac’s eyes glimmered in admiration of Elena’s decisions. But her words did not end there.
“Sell all the land I have invested in as well.”
“Ah, all of it?”
Isaac’s eyes widened in surprise. Elena’s foresight into the future had allowed her massive returns in her investments, and it was time to tap into her secret war chest she had stored for Carlisle.
“I believe it’s the time to use it soon.”
“Do you have the brooch I told you to keep last time?”
Isaac nodded, remembering the lily-shaped brooch embroidered with brilliant jewels.
“Yes. I have kept it secure for you.”
It was the brooch that Harry had given to Elena. If she needed to contact him, she would do so with the brooch. Because it wasn’t meant as an ornament for a dress, she had given it to Astar for safekeeping in the worst of situations, and if something unexpected happened, she could use it anytime.
Elena’s face was set as she spoke.
“Deliver the brooch to the Krauss family and tell them I request a meeting.”
Elena and Carlisle had to return to the Imperial Palace before Empress Ophelia took complete control. Various options were open to them, but now was the time to finally bring the Krausses to their side.