Ch. 167 Would You Like A Drink? (2)
Zenard reported details of the party to Carlisle. Carlisle, sitting quietly in his study as he listened, gave a regretful smile.
“I thought the plan would be a success given how carefully planned it was, but the Empress managed to escape again.”
“When I heard the news that the maid Asabe was executed, I thought it that was truly the Empress’ work.”
“That’s the way she likes to operate.”
Despite the care taken in Elena’s plan, Carlisle was not surprised by the outcome. If Ophelia had been an easy opponent, he would have defeated her already.
“Did you find any evidence that the Empress ordered the Flower Bridge’s collapse?”
“We are working hard with the Casey family who built the bridge, and we may have news in the near future.”
Carlisle was still dissatisfied.
“What are the components of the drug found at Redfield’s party?”
“I’ll find out exactly and keep you posted. We know it’s a drug, but it’s difficult to find out the components of the strange powder.”
“They’re out of the battlefield, yet they act like they’re out of the war? Tell them to move fast, before I send them back to the perimeter.”
Although Carlisle did not mean it completely, Zenard knew it wasn’t entirely a lie either.
“Once we find everything out, the Empress won’t be able to escape so easily anymore.”
Carlisle didn’t take those as words of consolation and laughed bitterly.
“I need to become emperor quickly.”
“Haste makes waste, Your Highness.”
The commonplace saying was true for Carlisle’s situation.
“Think of yourself in my position.”
“Is something wrong?”
Carlisle didn’t reply. Zenard thought he was attentive to Elena’s and Carlisle’s relationship, but that wasn’t the case at all. Carlisle never revealed to anyone that he was in a contract marriage with Elena, and with his wife close by every night, no one knew how much temptation Carlisle had to suffer.
“Well. It’s not something I can explain in words. And…”
Carlisle remembered Sullivan’s increasingly frail face. He wouldn’t necessarily call him a good parent, but he couldn’t completely ignore Sullivan’s health either.
When Carlisle spoke, it was in a subdued tone.
“…I should be the one to take over the throne before he dies. “
As Sullivan’s health deteriorated by the day, Carlisle knew he didn’t have long with his father. Before then, he wanted to grant Sullivan’s wish. Carlisle was always eager to prove he could be emperor even with his cursed blood.
Zenard studied the prince’s face, and when he spoke it was with more caution than before.
“…I’ll give an update to you as soon as possible.”
Carlisle rose from his seat with a slight nod of his head. It was already quite late, and he had to go back to the bedroom where Elena was waiting.
As Carlisle was about to leave his study, another thought came to mind, and he turned back to Zenard.
“Oh, I’ve been contacted by Kuhn, and he says he needs to leave Blaise mansion.”
A look of displeasure flitted across Zenard’s face at the mention of Kuhn’s name. Only Carlisle knew of their uneasy relationship with each other.
“We’ll find the rat that had infiltrated Blaise’s mansion ourselves, so tell Kuhn he can take more time off there. Since he promised to keep my sister-in-law safe, he should stay there until she at least leaves for the south.”
“Yes, I will inform him.”
Although the two subordinates were bitter foes, they were not the type to let their personal feelings interfere with work. When Carlisle finished speaking, he turned his heel and left.
Carlisle looked puzzled when the smell of aromatic wine drifted out as soon as he opened the bedroom door. No one but Elena could enter this room at this time of night, and so he didn’t understand why this smell was here.
Carlisle spotted Elena sitting on the outdoor terrace, carefully nursing a drink. Next to her were several empty bottles.
‘I thought she hated alcohol.’
She refused alcohol on their first night together, and he hadn’t seen her drink much before either. Carlisle approached the table curiously, and Elena turned her head when she heard his approaching footsteps. She had already drank quite a bit, and her face was flushed.
“What are you doing alone?”
“I was drinking—hic—drinking alone.”
Her slurred words revealed that she was even more inebriated than he thought.
“You should have called for me if you needed someone to drink with.”
“It’s not too late now. Come here with me…”
Elena continued, waving the glass in her hand.
“Would you like a drink?”