Ch. 27 Are You A Philanderer? (1)
Terms of Contract
1. Act in love in public.
2. Do not share a bed until after Elena becomes the empress.
3. Use a pet name.
4. If there are no other commitments, have every meal together.
It was only a few lines written on a sheet of paper, but Elena knew the immense weight of this contract on her future marriage. So far, everything had gone the way Elena had wanted, but she still felt tense as there were still no guarantees.
Elena finished writing on the sheet then looked up at Carlisle.
“By chance, we granted two favors from each other.”
Elena’s terms seemed fit for an arranged marriage, and Carlisle wanted to appear as lovers.
Carlisle spoke in a low voice, his expression unreadable.
“Yes. If there’s anything else you want to add, tell me.”
“I said earlier that I wanted to be your secret weapon. To be more clear, I want to create another identity, one that’s neither Elena Blaise nor a princess.”
“What do you mean?”
“I want to create an alias as a knight and be your bodyguard at night–”
Carlisle refused flatly before she could even finish. However, Elena wouldn’t give in easily either. The scope of her activity in her dress was very limited, and Elena wanted to give strength to Carlisle not just as a princess, but as a knight.
Moreover, she couldn’t risk taking her eyes off him for a moment, fearing that he might be assassinated in her absence. There was not much time before Paveluc rebelled. By then everything had to be ready.
“I stand by what I said.”
“While I’ll allow use to use your sword to defend yourself in unfamiliar situations, I am not asking you to don armor every night.”
“You know what my swordsmanship skills are like. Do you want to waste my abilities?”
“I already said no.”
He spoke firmly. She felt a prick of guilt at how she drove single-mindedly towards her goal, but this was all about making him emperor. Although she had not been around Carlisle for a long time, she already noticed that he did not easily change his mind.
‘…What should I do?’
She had a feeling that no matter how rationally she trued to argue, he wouldn’t consent.
She remembered how he smiled when she called him by his pet name earlier.
She doubted if this method would work, but light in his eyes unexpectedly started to shimmer.
“…I don’t want you to be in danger.”
The firmness is his voice had somewhat softened.
Elena had never turned around a situation like this in her life. The mere idea of acting cute gave goosebumps on her arm, but if it worked, she would do more than that.
She closed her eyes tightly and opened her mouth to speak again.
“I know what you mean. But I want to protect you myself. Please, allow me this.”
She placed extra emphasis on the word “please”, and her heart pounded in anticipation for his reply. Concern flitted on Carlisle face before it eased into something gentler.
Elena held her hands in a begging gesture.
Carlisle’s sudden snort of laughter caused Elena’s eyes to widen. She thought she may have been outwitted.
“I’d like to tease you more, but you would likely get upset if I go further.”
Elena clenched her teeth but spoke in a cool voice.
“You play with people.”
“No, I’m afraid I’ll want to do whatever you ask me. You may be more dangerous than I thought. “
“If you really want to do me a favor, just agree to this.”
“I told you, no. I can’t allow you be in danger.”
Elena was starting to become impatient with Carlisle’s attitude. She had been holding back so far.
“The first woman to marry you takes the risk of being unhappy. Would it be so bad if you can allow me this much?”
“You’re saying I benefit more than you in this marriage?”
“Perhaps. But it was you, not me, who wanted this wedding. Don’t forget it was you who came to me that day.”
She had tried to appeal to his heart, but it did not work. If there was no answer to charm and compassion, then the only way left was to negotiate at a reasonable price. With no idea if it was going to work, Elena played her hand.
“If you give me this condition, I’ll do one thing you want in the future.”
“Yes. Except for murder or anything else immoral.”
Carlisle’s finger started stroking his sharp chin.
She must have attracted his attention more than she thought. She hoped it was enough. Carlisle had nothing to lose. She didn’t know all the variables that changed in this future, but it would be better that not acting as his knight.
“…All right. Just don’t stay far from me.”
“Yes. I’ll keep as close as possible.”
She quickly put a fifth condition on paper before he could change his mind.
5. Allow Elena Blaise to hide her identity every night and act as a knight. In exchange, she will do one thing for Caril.
As he watched the letters being written on the paper, Carlisle murmured to himself.
“…The cost is high for this insurance.”
So many things large and small had been added.