RotFK Ch. 155 Mismatch (2)
Elena suspected this was a test to see if she knew the truth. If the plant was truly harmful, she couldn’t allow this to happen. The smile broadened on her face.
“There is no need, Your Majesty. No matter how precious something is, its value lessens when there’s many of it. I will cherish what you sent me.”
“Very well. I’ll plant more of them whenever you desire, so just say the word.”
Pointed daggers were hidden under their smiling faces. Carlisle watched the scene with a curious eye and spoke to Elena in a barely audible voice.
“I didn’t hear about the Empress sending a gift.”
Elena had asked Zenard to investigate the plant, but she hadn’t told Carlisle yet, thinking it wouldn’t be too late to talk about it after the results of the investigation. Still, she suspected that Zenard might’ve informed Carlisle at some point, but she had kept the knight busy gathering the servants around the palace.
Elena looked awkwardly at Carlisle and replied.
“I had so much to do that I must have forgotten. I received a gift from the Empress.”
“Whatever the news is, I hoped to hear about it first.”
Other people might not have noticed, but Elena detected a telltale glimmer in his eyes that indicated he was in a bad mood. However, Carlisle looked straight at Ophelia with no signs of displeasure.
“Anything that goes to my wife, even the smallest thing, goes through me from now on.”
“Oh, are you already trying to protect her?”
Ophelia covered her mouth and smiled, but in spite of her teasing gesture, Carlisle spoke unblinkingly.
“Of course. She’s my wife.”
It was true that Elena was his wife, but to lay his feelings so nakedly before them was a bold gesture. Ophelia looked stunned for a moment, then burst out laughing as if she had witnessed something amusing. At the same time, a strange mood lingered around Sullivan as he sat by and watched the situation, his face as pallid as ever.
“You two must be quite busy on your first day of marriage. We can finish here, then you can leave.”
“We are just getting acquainted with the Crown Prince and his wife, and you are already sending them away, Your Majesty?”
Ophelia’s face was plastered with a sad smile, but everyone gathered here knew it wasn’t genuine. Carlisle responded in a clipped tone.
“Our relationship is different from what I know.”
The mood in the Emperor’s palace quickly turned ugly. Carlisle was a man of characteristic arrogance and overwhelming spirit, even when he was simply standing still. Most would recoil at the hint of bloodthirstiness, but Ophelia’s spirit was also formidable. Although the Empress had never learned to wield a sword, the Anita family had produced many generals, and she met Carlisle’s cool eyes without so much as a blink. It was Sullivan’s cough that cut through the strained atmosphere.
His fit forced Ophelia and Carlisle to dampen their heated feelings. Their expressions were still hostile, but Sullivan interrupted them.
“I need to get some rest. You may leave now.”
Carlisle shot Ophelia a cold look and immediately gave Sullivan a bow. Elena, who had been watching the situation, hurriedly spoke.
“Rest well, father.”
“Alright, my dear. Until next time.”
It may have been a customary farewell, but Elena was sincerely looking forward to her next meeting with him. Before she was married, he promised to tell her the secret of the blue bead ring he gave to Carlisle when he was just a boy.
“Father, did you remember that you and I would have another dinner together after I became crown princess?”
Carlisle had dismissed the ring as just superstition, but Sullivan believed in it and even declined the dowry from Elena. The ring was the reason why the Emperor so easily accepted the marriage in the first place. Elena wondered if there truly was a secret behind it. Sullivan nodded with a faint smile on his face.
“Of course. I will keep my word to my daughter-in-law. I will see you when I feel better.”
“I’ll be awaiting you, Father.”
“Leave safely now.”
Elena bowed respectfully to Sullivan and Ophelia, then walked out of the Emperor’s palace with Carlisle in a good mood.
After Elena and Carlisle fully stepped out of the palace, the golden door closed again. Ophelia, however, was looking at the empty spot with a look of displeasure. An air of strained silence hung over her and Sullivan.
Sullivan covered his mouth as his body racked with coughs, while Ophelia held out a handkerchief to him.
“You are in bad health, so please don’t strain yourself, Your Majesty.”
Sullivan accepted the handkerchief Ophelia gave and spoke with a more serious tone than before.
“…Can you just follow my lead?”
He gave no explanation, but Ophelia understood it immediately. He meant that he couldn’t groom Carlisle to be the crown prince if she undercut him.
Ophelia smiled, casting her eyes away as if she knew nothing.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t say things like that, Your Majesty.”
Sullivan and Ophelia had known each other for decades, and Sullivan already knew that Ophelia was often a snake with her words. However, he didn’t understand what she meant. He shot her a questioning look, and she gave him his usual smile.
“Expressing your feelings when we have such a political relationship, it really isn’t like you You shouldn’t convey your thoughts when you have an upright image to maintain, Your Majesty. “
Sullivan’s expression darkened. In either case, the Emperor and Empress were the two pillars that supported the Empire. There was so much to lose if any of them backed away, and so for many years that fought to take another inch from each other. There was no difference…even until now. They only kept in proximity to each other to keep each other in check, and their affection was simply show to the Empire and to the other kingdoms. They were a couple who never had a physical relationship with each other in these long years.
As usual, Sullivan bore a gentle smile on his face.
“Yes. I feel weak because I feel like my last day is approaching. “
They looked at each other and smiled as if they were a loving couple. It was such an old move now. Ophelia spoke with a radiant smile on her face.
“Yes. A concession between the two of us, it really doesn’t fit.”