RotFK Ch. 61 This Is Who I Am (1)
Elena’s ragged breaths filtered through her helmet. There were more men than she expected, and it was more difficult to capture a few rather than indiscriminately killing them all. It would have been impossible if this was her first time in combat in this life, but because of her training, she fought better than before. She was gradually getting closer to her old skills, but it was still a long way to go until she reached her full potential.
She tied up the unconscious culprits with some rope, then quickly headed over to the bridge. The captives would be interrogated, but first she had to removed the explosives from each pier before they could be tampered with.
Elena’s went back on deck and her eyes swept to the festival site, where she caught eye of Carlisle coming down after exchanging some pleasantries on the podium.
Fortunately, it didn’t seem too late. Carlisle’s eyes where fixed on her as she hurried towards him, and when their eyes met in midair he walked even faster.
“What have you been doing…?”
Carlisle halted. His brow suddenly creased.
“Why do I smell blood?”
She couldn’t help but be surprised at his acute senses. She had washed as much blood from herself as possible at the river.
“Your Highness, I–”
The moment Elena started talking.
Carlisle’s hand seized her wrist as he looked her up and down. His eyes were frightfully sharp, like beast watching his prey. She didn’t know what he was doing at first, but then she realized that he was searching for any injuries.
“It’s not my blood.”
It was only after that did Carlisle’s fearsome energy abated some. His tone turned dangerously low.
“Then whose blood? I lost you somewhere. Where the hell did you come back from?”
Elena attempted to explain, but Carlisle interrupted her again.
“Are you sure you’re not hurt?”
Although she could tell he was trying to suppress the irritation in his voice, the emotion behind it seemed genuine. Maybe he really was worried about Elena. What she did or why she was bloodied did not seem to matter to him before her safety. He would’ve taken off Elena’s helmet and check her himself if he could.
Elena was silent for a moment at his behavior, then quickly came to herself senses.
“I’m not hurt, so don’t worry. I have something more important to say first.”
“…What is it?”
In the face of his disapproving gaze, Elena urgently whispered to him.
“There were some strange men attempting to bring down the Flower Bridge. There are explosives under it, so we need to get rid of it right away. I also captured some of the men and tied them up, so if you could question them…”
Carlisle pulled away from Elena after listening closely to her. Then, Zenard arrived at just the right time, and Carlisle gave him some orders.
“If you go under the bridge, you will find some captives. Remove the explosives that’s been placed on the bridge, and interrogate the men and find out who sent them.”
“What? Yes, Your Highness!”
Zenard was caught by surprise, but like an obedient servant his eyes flashed as he quickly changed his demeanor and carried out the orders. Elena watched him exit the festival venue.
Carlisle began to drag Elena by the wrist somewhere. She couldn’t feel his grip for the armor, but she could his knuckles were white. A nobleman ran up to Carlisle as he was walking away.
“Your Highness! Where are you going? You should enjoy the night of the festival. There are people I’d like to introduce you to–”
“Get the hell out of my way.”
The man’s face whitened. There was a terrible aura coming from the prince.
Carlisle continued towing Elena towards a secluded area of the festival where no lights were visible, leaving the nobleman behind. The man was not the only one taken aback. Even Elena was surprised under her metal helmet.
“Your Highness, what are you doing? If you treat other nobles that way–”
“They will say terrible things about you.”
“Do I need to care about that?”
Carlisle whirled back towards Elena, his blue eyes hard as ice.
“You must have forgotten who I am.”
Elena tilted her head, unable to understand his meaning. He turned his face again and continued in husky voice.
“There’s nothing I can’t do in this empire.”
It was the height of arrogance. However, Elena knew Carlisle. He was not wrong. He was next in line to become emperor, and not meeting eye-to-eye with a single noble was not important. However, she hoped that he would build outside political support. If they didn’t like him…
They soon arrived outside of Flower Bridge beyond the view of everyone else. It was already a familiar area to Elena as she had investigated the area already. Carlisle stopped and slowly turned to Elena. She could see his eyes glowing in anger in the dark.