Ch. 59 One To Ten (1)
It was the last moment of Elena’s countdown.
Carlisle stepped forward where the knight’s blade was pointed it Elena. It was close enough to be within striking distance, and the knight was taken aback that his sword previously aimed at Elena was now pointed at the crown prince himself. Elena’s instincts told her to knock away the sword immediately, but at that moment her body had frozen.
The knight panicked and trembled as Carlisle came near and stared indifferently down on him.
“Get out of the way.”
The knight was forced to stagger back. There was a sense of prideful authority he dared not challenge.
Carlisle defiantly strode straight towards Flower Bridge. The knight that stood aside suddenly realized the meaning of his indifferent stare. Carlisle didn’t care about his behavior at all.
The knight took one step back after another until he completely backed into a wall, completely overwhelmed. By Prince Carlisle and…the unknown knight in the strange armor.
Elena stared coldly at the trembling man, then walked past him and followed the prince. The crowd that they left behind was silent, the scene vividly imprinted in their minds.
Carlisle confirmed that it was Elena who caught up to his side and spoke to her in a softened voice.
“…You always surprise me.”
Perhaps it was only natural. He already knew that Elena was a good swordswoman, but it was the first time he’d seen her in action as a knight. Right now Elena was a completely different entity, from what she wore, to the way she spoke and the way she stood. The moment Elena donned the black armor she became the knight of her past life.
She stared at Carlisle’s back as he walked a step ahead of her.
“Your Highness. His blade could have gone for you neck.”
As she spoke, she recalled the scene again. Had the knight tried to move his sword a little earlier, Elena would have cut off his arm. Carlisle had no idea how nervous she was, and she couldn’t help but speak against him in disapproval.
Carlisle continued forward without stopping.
“I’m not dead, so don’t worry.”
“…Don’t be so sure.”
Elena swallowed the words she couldn’t bring herself to say.
‘You died in the last life.’
Although she did not witness Carlisle’s death, she experienced the world after his disappearance. Her family was destroyed and Ruford Empire had changed. It was everything that Elena didn’t want.
Carlisle lifted his right arm towards her.
“Didn’t you read fairy tales when you were a child? Monsters…aren’t killed easily.”
Elena hadn’t seen it since the night she saved him, but she remembered that Carlisle’s armed transformed into something scaly and black and monstrous. Rather than a monster though, it seemed more like a reptile…or a dragon.
Elena replied tersely.
“It may not be easy to kill you, but that doesn’t mean you have two lives.”
“I’m afraid I can’t hear your words.”
Carlisle chuckled at Elena’s unbending manner. After a short pause, Carlisle spoke again.
“Did you really intend to kill the knight? From what he was wearing, it looked like he belonged to the Imperial Family’s Second Order. It’s led by House Anita, where the Empress’ birth father comes from.”
It sounded as if she would have been in a worse off situation if she killed that knight. His playful tone made her even more angry.
“…Shall I go back and just kill him then?”
For the first time, Carlisle roared in laughter in the street. She didn’t understand what was funny, but his shoulders shook and he seemed genuinely amused. He turned back to look at Elena.
“From one to ten, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
At present, there was a large celebration taking place in the middle of Flower Bridge. Only a select few were allowed to enter this area guarded by the Anita Knight. Some were ordinary people who won admission through a lottery, but most present were nobles. There was no chance in a class society would nobles and commoners mingle and enjoy the festival together.
Because of this, the area was divided between the outside and inside of the Flower Bridge. The outside area was bustling with common folk, while the atmosphere on the deck had a more leisurely landscape with classical music flowing through the air. Elena was unhappy with aristocratic culture, but the fewer the people on the bridge, the slower it would collapse.
“Your Highness, please come this way.”
A man who appeared to be in charge of the festival approached Carlisle. Zenard, who was a little behind, caught up to them. Not all of Carlisle’s guards were permitted enter; only Carlisle, Zenard and Elena were now here. Carlisle was about to follow the man when Elena, who had been standing behind him quietly until now, spoke in a deep voice.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness, but I think I dropped something on my way here. I’ll take a look around for a moment and follow you later.”
Of course it was a lie. She didn’t think he would allow her to be apart from him, but she had to check Flower Bridge’s foundations. When she told him he would be his escort he asked that she not stray from his side, but she prepared an excuse just in case.
“What the hell are you talking about…?!”
Zenard snapped at her with intense dislike, ignorant of her identity, before Carlisle cut him off.
“Go then come back.”
Carlisle eyed Zenard cooly for a moment, but there was no reason for Elena to pay attention anymore. She nodded straightaway, then jogged towards the head of Flower Bridge on before Carlisle could say anything more. As the main festival was located at the center of the deck, the aristocratic festival goers could not see either end of the bridge. The construction had already been completed, but the public had not been allowed to pass the bridge yet.
She touched and examined the rose-decorated rails with her hands and eyes. If the construction was done poorly, there should be cracks on the posts or some other evidence of weakness.
But somehow…everything looked fine.