RotFK Ch. 117 A Closer Eye (2)
The sun disappeared below the horizon, and a dark night descended. After their long conversation, Elena stepped outside with Margaret to see her off before she returned to her own home.
“Yes, Lady Blaise. If you need any help preparing for the wedding, please call me anytime.”
After exchanging a bittersweet farewell, Margaret climbed into the carriage with steady footsteps. Elena waved until the carriage had disappeared from view, then she turned away to return indoors.
It was then.
A shadow appeared behind Elena. She turned her head, and saw a face she had never seen in the mansion before. It was of an affable looking-man wearing a smile.
“Who are you? I’ve never seen you here before…”
She hadn’t been in the capital long, but she had a general idea of the names and faces of all the employees. She was wary of this new character.
He answered with a smile.
“Don’t you recognize my face? My name is Batori, from the jeweler’s shop in the south. A young lady interviewed me and I was hired to work here.”
She suddenly recalled where she had met this man. He must make quite a fortune as a jeweler and a skilled salesman, and she couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing working at Blaise mansion.
“You are a jeweler and you came to work here?”
“I was about to employed at a new store, but I was scammed in the middle of it. For now I am in need of a job that provides accommodation and board. I’m happy to see you again after our meeting in the south.”
As she studied Batori’s smiling face, the suspicion faded from her mind. She had left it entirely to Mirabelle to hire new workers, and her and the butler would have verified his resume beforehand. Although Elena was in charge of managing the household, it was necessary to leave the work to others to some degree. Elena finally relaxed.
“I see. Welcome to the mansion. If you’re having any trouble, talk to the butler. He should be busy preparing for the wedding. Please work hard.”
“Leave it to me, My Lady.”
Batori clapped his hand to his chest as if to reassure her to trust in him. With a satisfied look, Elena turned away and returned indoors.
Batori, now left alone, looked at the direction Margaret’s carriage had disappeared.
“…The daughter of Count Lawrence.”
He could infer the family by the crest on the carriage. Elena was closer to House Lawrence than expected.
From now on, he would keep an even closer eye on Elena.
Elena returned to her room. Just as she told Margaret, she needed someone she could trust. The palace was, in a way, a battlefield, and she would be entering enemy territory controlled by the Empress. Elena could not enter without any countermeasures. She was vulnerable whenever she ate, drank, or slept. In short, it would be dangerous for her.
‘I don’t want to contact the nanny if I can’t help it…’
No matter how much she thought about it, however, she couldn’t think of anyone more suitable than the nanny who raised her. Because of her mother’s early death, Elena and Mirabelle had grown up almost entirely by her hand.
The problem was that she was very old, old enough that she had been the nanny for Elena’s mother as well. The nanny had finally gone home years ago, worried that her health would be damaged by the constant work. She wanted her to spend the rest of her life in peace.
‘I haven’t seen her since we parted in my last life.’
After the Blaise family was destroyed, Elena had fended for herself. Only later did Elena anxiously search out for the nanny, but by the time she managed to find her…the nanny had already passed away. The white chrysanthemum flowers that Elena had placed in front of her grave were still vivid in her mind, and Elena was filled with emotion at the thought of seeing her again.
‘If I call her, I know she will come in a heartbeat. But I may cause her to suffer for no reason.’
There were mountains to overcome in the path to in making Carlisle the next emperor. As such, becoming Elena’s lady-in-waiting meant taking on a very important job. The thought of reaching out to a woman of over sixty weighed heavily on Elena’s mind, but at the same time she missed the woman who raised her so much.
“Shall I find out how she is doing first?”
She wondered if she was ill or well. After making up her mind, Elena sat down at her desk and began to write a letter.