Ch. 162 Was It Too Late? (2)
Elena was resting in the bedroom when there was a knock on the door, and her nanny entered.
“What is it?”
“Sir Zenard is here. Shall I let him in?”
“Oh, yes, right away.”
The nanny smiled and stepped back outside. A moment later, Zenard entered and bowed respectfully.
“Hail to the crown princess. Eternal glory to the Ruford Empire.”
“Welcome, Sir Zenard. Have you finished the research I asked for?”
“Yes, Your Highness. Before I explain it to you, please read the report first.”
She accepted the report from Zenard and quickly skimmed it, then paused in one spot.
[There is another plant called the Vanera, which is the Manera’s twin.
It is said that they look identical, and only scholars who study Sibenian plants are able to distinguish their fine differences.
The Vanera plant produces the same pink flowers, but unlike Manera, which is harmful to a woman’s body, inhaling its fragrance is not harmful.
Rather, the sweet smell of the Vanera flowers promotes health for the mind and body of a woman…]
Elena’s forehead creased. Was the gift sent by Empress Ophelia the Manera plant that caused sterility? Or was the Vanera plant that was completely harmless? Apparently only a scholar from Sibena could tell.
‘Why did the empress send me one of these twin plants?’
It was not yet clear whether it was a coincidence or if there was a more nefarious intent. Elena brought her hand to her chin as she thought over the information, then looked back at Zenard.
“I’ll need to confirm the contents of this report first. Thank you for your quick attention to this matter.”
“Yes. As you can see, no ordinary person can distinguish between the two flowers.”
“Then we’ll need a botanist that knows of plants from Sibena.”
“I already brought in a scholar last night to identify the one you’ve been given.”
Elena was impressed by Zenard’s swift initiative. She had met some of Carlisle’s men several times, Kuhn included, but she didn’t know that Zenard had such amazing capability.
“It’s reassuring that the Crown Prince has a man like you by his side.”
“You are too kind, Your Highness.”
Zenard bowed his head at the compliment.
Elena meant it. The crown prince couldn’t act alone, and it was a blessing that Carlisle had competent subordinates at hand.
“We can save a lot of time thanks to your quick work. What did the scholar say about the plant?”
“…It is the Manera flower.”
Manera was the one that caused infertility. It was not different from her original suspicious, but the fact that there were twin plants weighed on Elena’s mind. Would the Empress simply lie or say she was mistaken? It would be convenient if Ophelia was the clumsy type, but Carlisle had warned her she wouldn’t be that easy.
‘Then what on earth is going on?’
Despite her lingering discomfort, there was no way for her to find out now. Zenard interrupted Elena’s thoughts.
“How do you intend to handle this?”
“I assume you reported this to Prince Carlisle. Did you tell him what you told me?”
His eyes widened. It was true that he had already gone to Carlisle before going to Elena, as last time he had been scolded for delivering his report late. Zenard was taken aback, but he was also impressed that Elena casually noticed this information.
‘She truly is a crown princess.’
Every time he saw her confirmed to him that she was a perfect match for Carlisle. Zenard looked at Elena with an enviable eye and bowed his head.
“As you said, it’s true that I reported to Prince Carlisle first. He then ordered me to do whatever you asked.”
Elena was so surprised that she inadvertently called Carlisle by his pet name. She usually took care to refer to him by his formal title to establish his authority.
‘Is it because of what he said before?’
Elena had told Carlisle to trust in her, and this seemed to be his answer. It wasn’t an excessive reaction, but it was support nonetheless.
— I’m sorry, but I’m not going to let you down.
Despite his concern over her safety, he seemed to have trust and confidence in her abilities. For him to leave this case to Elena despite how worried he was… A faint smile spread on Elena’s lips.
Zenard noticed the sudden change in Elena, who broke from her reverie and looked at Zenard in front of her.
“Oh, I was thinking of something for a moment.”
Elena didn’t explain, but Zenard guessed that Carlisle was on her mind. After a moment, Elena continued to speak with her red eyes shining brightly.
“As long as we have the Empress’ weakness, we cannot let it go.”
“I’ll have to set a trap, one so tight that the Empress cannot squirm out of it.”
It was necessary to let the whole world know that Ophelia intended to hurt Elena, and not allow her to easily make excuses.
“Among the ambassadors here to celebrate the wedding are from the Sibena Kingdom, correct?”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Please check if any of them have ever studied plants. “
Zenard seemed to put together what Elena was planning. She gave him a meaningful look.
“And tell the ambassadors of all kingdoms that I will host a party as gratitude for the wedding. Do it as soon as possible before they return home. In the meantime, we shall send an invitation to the Empress as well.”
The smile on Elena’s lips deepened.
“Let’s start by unveiling the Manera plant in front of everyone.”
If it was revealed that Empress Ophelia sent the flowers to Elena, it would cause an uproar. Even the Empress could not stop the mouths of the people from other kingdoms. This was the trap Elena had woven. Zenard gave a deep look of admiration and bowed.
“As you wish, Your Highness.”