Ch. 213 I’m Worried That I’m Happy (2)
Carlisle naturally assumed that Elena was resting in the bedroom or already asleep. It was the right thing to do, as her arrow wound hadn’t completely healed yet. Contrary to Carlisle’s expectations, however, Elena was nowhere to be seen, despite the late hour.
Carlisle frantically searched the bedroom before summoning a maid to ask about Elena’s whereabouts.
Carlisle’s swift footsteps echoed in the large palace halls. He didn’t like the place where she was now.
There was a sharp sound of wind as Elena’s arrow hit the bullseye. There were already a dozen other arrows embedded in the target, and her sword was out as if she had been practicing with it.
Carlisle’s eyes flashed in disapproval.
“What are you doing here, my wife?”
“Ah, Caril. Are you here to find me? It must be late already.”
Elena set down her bow and tried to look contrite. Carlisle walked behind her to inspect her back, worried that the wound might have been aggravated and started bleeding into her bandages.
Elena spoke with a reassuring voice.
“You don’t have to worry. I’m fine.”
Fortunately her bandages were clean, but Carlisle’s brow crinkled in dismay.
“It’s not fine. What the hell are you doing here practicing with your injured body?”
“I…I thought when I had the free time, I should improve my skills.”
“You can stop. Do you know how much worry you’ll cause me?”
Carlisle lifted Elena without further comment. She looked surprised, but did not push him away. She had already been in Carlisle’s arms several times, and had subconsciously adapted to it. A broad smile spread across her face.
“Are you going to carry me to bed?”
“I’ll tie you to it as well.”
“Well, I’m not so easily captured.”
Carlisle chuckled at Elena’s playful words, but then his expression turned solemn.
“…Don’t make me worry. You can’t stress your body until your wound is healed.”
Elena fully understood Carlisle’s feelings, but she was too restless to simply lie still.
“I’m sorry to have troubled you, but the tournament will be soon. That’s when the Imperial Family would gather, and I’m uneasy about it.”
The tournament was the one Derek had long been training for. It would have been held much earlier, but it was delayed due to Carlisle’s and Elena’s sudden marriage.
The tournament was periodically held in the capital, and it would bring together all members of the Imperial Family—Emperor Sullivan, Empress Ophelia, Second Prince Redfield, and Grand Duke Paveluc. But could the event proceed without any incident? What’s more, Carlisle wasn’t saying anything, but she had seen some suspicious movement from him. It was like the calm before the storm.
Carlisle glanced down at Elena in his arms.
“I suppose I still don’t have much faith in you. Just listen to me and rest until the wound is healed.”
“Then let me know what you’re up to.”
“…When you are healed.”
“If you don’t tell me anything by then, I might die in curiosity.”
At Elena’s words, Carlisle’s eyes darkened momentarily.
“Don’t joke about that. I still have nightmares about you being struck by an arrow and falling in front of me.”
Elena was speechless. The reason she was so aggressive in her training was to make Carlisle emperor. She also had her duty to protect her family, but she also had a strong desire to do it for Carlisle. However, she hadn’t fully understood what was going on in his mind.
Elena lifted her hand to stroke Carlisle’s cheek, and he tilted his head towards her touch. She spoke in an apologetic tone.
“I see. I’ll try not to worry you as much as possible.”
Carlisle stared down at her with a soft gaze.
“Never forget, you are the only person in the world who can hurt me.”
Carlisle had never paid attention to what other people thought about him or said behind his back. However, he could not easily pass by even the smallest thing about Elena. To him, Elena’s injuries hurt more than they did, and he gave weight to her words more than anything else.
“I’m a fool when it comes to my wife. You’re the only one who can ruin me.”
There was nothing about Elena that was insignificant to Carlisle. Her small joys were his bursting happiness, and her wounds were intolerably painful. All the more so not only because she was the only love he had, but because they had exchanged their hearts. It made everything both sweeter and more heart-wrenching. Because of a single woman named Elena, Carlisle seemed to soar into the sky several times a day and then plummet to the ground.
Elena grinned and pinched Carlisle’s cheek.
“I know. Only I do that.”
As the pair carried on in conversation, they finally arrived in the bedroom. Even though there was a fair amount of distance from the training room to their bedroom, Carlisle showed no signs of tiredness. Elena glanced towards the bathroom.
“You can set me down.”
“Yes. I’ve been sweating, so I’ll have a wash.”
“You’re injured, so call the maids for assistance.”
“It’s alright. I don’t want to wake up the maids if they’re already asleep.”
Since she had been a knight for decades in her last life, it was easier to do it herself than to borrow someone else’s hand. Such experiences had eroded some of her aristocratic thinking.
Carlisle carefully lowered Elena to the floor. He stared at the bathroom door for a moment, and then spoke.
“…Can I help you?”
Elena didn’t process the meaning at first, but soon enough her face turned bright red. She patted Carlisle’s shoulder and hurriedly spoke.
“It’s alright. I can do it myself.”
Carlisle watched Elena hurriedly disappear into the bathroom, and he looked back at their exchange. He made the offer because he thought she would have difficulty washing alone, but Elena’s shyness drove him even crazier. They agreed not to sleep together until Carlisle became emperor, but as the days passed, his self-control seemed to wear down even more.
Carlisle looked down at his hands. The feeling of her weight in his arms remained.
“…At this rate, I might not do it even if she allowed it.”