Ch. 48 You’re So Beautiful (2)
After a lengthy but comfortable carriage ride, she finally arrived at the opera hall. The carriage door opened before Elena had to say anything, and as soon as she stepped out her eyes widened at the sight stretched out before her.
‘What…what is this?’
From where she had gotten out of the carriage, she was surrounded by large, black banners. She walked forward in amazed wonder.
The banners moved along with Elena’s footsteps. When she looked closely, she saw there were people surrounding her, holding their banners and shielding her so no other aristocrats could see her.
There came a buzz of voices at the strange sight.
“Who is that?”
“Who is the person being honored?”
Elena could not identify the owners of the voices beyond the banners. Now Elena understood why Carlisle felt comfortable meeting her here.
‘Caril was confident he wouldn’t show my face to anyone.’
Elena paused her footsteps, as she never imagined herself in this kind of situation. However, she would only draw attention from other people if she continued to stay. At Elena’s hesitation, the bannerman at the front of the encirclement spoke in a low voice.
“Please follow me.”
Elena wordlessly moved forward with the guidance of the bannerman ahead. How many people could recognize Elena just by the sound her voice?
‘Is he taking me to VIP seats?’
It was rumored that the VIP seats were a popular place for rich aristocratic men to indulge in affairs. The cost of the opera was so high that she couldn’t begin to guess where she was being taken to.
“Wait, is anyone in there?”
“Was that the princess of another country?”
She could clearly hear what the other aristocrats were saying outside the shield of banners. However, Elena simply continued to walk forward, though her mind was overflowing with questions.
After seeing the bannerman halt, Elena looked around to see where she arrived.
A gasp of exclamation escaped her mouth. She laughed that she imagined herself at some VIP area, when in fact she was at the most expensive box in the opera.
She had only seen the boxes from far away and this was her first time being in one. There were only a few private boxes in the opera hall, which were not reserved for purchase like other seats, but only exclusively accessible by their owners. Only the very richest men in the empire could afford them. As regular seats at the opera were a commoner’s monthly salary, Elena could not even begin to guess how much it would cost to buy a private box.
The bannerman who had guided Elena spoke again.
Elena recovered herself and she nodded and stepped inside. The sound of the door opening was like thunder as anticipation heightened her senses.
Inside the room was Carlisle sitting leisurely with his arms folded. The seats were placed in a shadowy area, so it would be difficult to see them sitting there.
Carlisle slowly turned towards the door, noticing Elena had entered. Their eyes met in midair, and she saw Carlisle’s blue irises glowing faintly in the gloom. He was a hungry predator facing its prey.
There was a moment of silence. The door swung shut behind Elena and her head turned reflexively towards the sound. Carlisle stared at her for a moment then spoke first.
“I’m glad no one saw you tonight.”
“Something troublesome might have happened if they did.”
“What do you mean…?”
“It’s because you’re so beautiful. I would dig out the eyes of the men who looked upon you.”
Elena’s face flushed. It was the first time she had heard such a compliment.
“Thank you for saying that, but that joke is quite extreme.”
Carlisle smiled at Elena’s reddened face.
“Please, take a seat.”
Elena felt suspicious about all of this, but she had come this far and couldn’t turn back now. She sat next to him at his request, but she couldn’t shake off her unsettled feelings.
“I don’t know about yourself, My Lady, but I’ve never been to a place like this. I only know the battlefield.”
“So I wanted to come with you.”
She didn’t expect him to invite her to the opera hall. She put her thoughts in order then replied in a calm voice.
“Were these seats lent from someone you know?”
It was a very short but firm refutation. However, he seemed to take the question in a different way.
“Do you dislike opera?”
“No, it’s not like that…”
Elena did not dislike opera, though a few members of the nobility probably did. That wasn’t the problem though–the problem was that they were in an inordinately expensive box. She don’t know how much it cost, but even if she did she couldn’t pretend it didn’t bother her.
“Then I hope we can watch more opera together in the future.”
Carlisle’s words seemed to imply that he bought this box by himself. Elena was surprised that he would reveal such an important fact so casually. It would be too much, even for the crown prince. He couldn’t freely reached into the state coffers unless he was the emperor.
Furthermore, Carlisle did not have much social influence, and it had not been long since he went from the battlefield to the capital. Where he got a such huge sum of money was questionable. She couldn’t even understand why he spent so much money in a meeting with her. Money had many practical uses. If Carlisle were to become emperor, he would need to save it for future.
“You spend too much money useless things.”
Carlisle fixed her a deadpan expression.
“I’m a man of high tastes.”
“It doesn’t matter how high. How can you–”
“You said you didn’t want anyone know about us, so wouldn’t you happy with these box seats?”
There was nothing wrong with what Carlisle said, and she closed her mouth. At Elena’s bewildered expression, his tone turned smooth.
“There’s one thing you don’t know.”
Elena’s eyes turned towards Carlisle sitting next to her. She was about to ask what he meant, but Carlisle’s voice went ahead of Elena’s question.
“When you look at me with those eyes, I want to give you everything.”