Ch. 69 I’m Envious (1)
Elena and Carlisle were performing to an elaborate dance masterpiece, but in the moments they were close to each other they whispered in conversation.
“Did you find out who tried to destroy Flower Bridge?”
The matter had continually eaten away at her since that day. She could not ask Kuhn, however, as Elena the noblewoman and Len the bodyguard were different people. That part of her identity was still hidden from him.
Carlisle responded in a low voice as she approached him again on the timing.
“Let’s talk about that later.”
His answer was enigmatic, but Elena simply nodded. Soon the music ended, and so did the dance. Elena and Carlisle bowed to each other as they did when they first stepped out to the floor. As she was about to depart, Carlisle stopped her again.
“I heard a lady who said she would introduce you to other gentlemen. Will you meet them, by any chance?”
She gave him an odd look.
“You don’t like it?”
“What will you do if I say no?”
“Then I won’t go. I have no intention of doing something that you don’t like.”
He gave a sudden look of surprise at her straightforward reply, then immediately drew a steady smile.
“…Your answer leaves me quite satisfied.”
“My fiancé is right in front of me, so of course.”
“I like that word.”
Her words seemed to lift his mood. She couldn’t understand him why he would be content with such a thing, but she moved on so that they stood next to a table. She felt the stares of the entire room on them.
“Maybe we should keep each other’s company a little longer?”
“Yes. We should show mutual attraction. Then we can say we fell in love at first sight as you planned.”
Elena agreed. That was exactly what she wanted. Then they could proceed to the wedding as soon as possible.
“The one you were with earlier, was that your sister?”
“Yes, that’s right. Have you seen her?”
“She looks just like you.”
“Oh, she’s more beautiful than me. She’s also charming and very good with her hands.”
Elena flowed with praise for her sister as if she had been waiting for the opportunity all night. Carlisle gave a small smile.
“Yes, she does take after you.”
“A little. Mirabelle is such a lovely girl.”
“You must be very protective of her.”
“Yes. She is very precious to me.”
She had a dreamy expression on her face. Carlisle looked at Elena with some surprise, as he had never seen such a warm look on her before. Then he mumbled in a low voice,
“I’m envious of her…”
Elena did not hear him for the noise of the crowd.
“What did you say?”
She was a bit curious, but soon dismissed it. She was getting nervous again at the thought of leaving Mirabelle to the unfamiliar clutches of high society.
“I think I should go back to my sister soon.”
The pair had been conversing in whispers. The curious nobles gradually gathered around them, wondering if they were talking about love. Elena spoke up, suddenly conscious of the surrounding crowd.
“I swooned as soon as you walked in the room. I’ve never seen a man as handsome as you.”
Carlisle looked perplexed at the sudden compliment, and Elena quickly glanced at others in reply. Carlisle seemed to understand what she meant, and she continued without missing a beat.
“I’ve heard you’ve been at war for so long. Were you ever injured badly?”
“Please tell me when you train. It would be a great honor to see you with a sword.”
Elena widened her eyes in warning at Carlisle’s stiffness. The nobles who were now secretly listening to their conversation would be sure to spread rumors soon. Rumors were abundant in society and often twisted from their original meaning, and the scandal between the crown prince and this young lady was prime prey for them. Elena needed to throw them some meat. The more widespread the rumors, the better. The only problem was that Carlisle seemed to be struggling to follow her lead.
A young nobleman with a red flush on his cheeks approached Elena. He shyly extended his hand towards her.
“If you don’t mind, may I ask for a dance?”
It wasn’t unusual for popular ladies to dance with several men during the night, but she hadn’t been able to take the opportunity yet with Carlisle was standing by her side.
She was about to answer, but Carlisle spoke before her.
It was only one word, but the magnitude of it was enormous.
Both the nobleman who asked for dance and the crowd of onlookers secretly watching stared at Carlisle in surprise. Carlisle took Elena’s hand in his, then continued with a smooth expression on his face.
“The lady will only dance with me.”
The buzz amongst the nobles only grew even louder, and the young man, embarrassed, left the scene. But it was Elena who was most taken aback.
‘…Amazing. He really is good at this.’