Ch.99 How On Earth… (1)
‘What does it mean that Kuhn’s whereabouts are unknown?’
Because Elena was sitting right next to Carlisle, she unintentionally overheard the words Zenard whispered. Kuhn’s expressionless features floated into her mind.
‘Was he doing something dangerous?’
Elena’s expression hardened. However, Carlisle’s even more terrifying aura was more than enough to make an opponent shrink.
Mirabelle, unaware was what happening, ventured forward cautiously.
“Is there something wrong, brother-in-law?”
“…It’s nothing. Just like I said, go see the palace with you sister and watch the puppet play. I’ll have someone show you around, and if there’s any inconvenience, just let me know.”
“I have an urgent matter to attend to, so I’ll take my leave first. Please enjoy yourself.”
Although he swiftly concealed any trace of darkness, his face was still like stone. Elena watched Carlisle rise from his seat and wondered what happened, but she couldn’t ask in front of Mirabelle.
The sisters watched as Carlisle quickly left the room along with Zenard, then Mirabelle turned to Elena with an excited voice.
“Heheh, I think he’s the best! I didn’t think I could send my sister to just anyone, but the more I see him, the more I feel relieved.”
Mirabelle helped herself to the cookies and hot chocolate on the table. Her love was reassuring to Elena, but on the other hand, Carlisle’s sharp terse was stuck on her mind.
Elena immediately shook her head and dismissed any unnecessary worries. She came here to visit the palace grounds with Mirabelle. If she couldn’t help in any way, it was better to focus what was right in front of her.
“Wow. Imperial Palace cookies are so different. It’s so delicious. Go ahead and try it.”
“Yes, I’ll eat plenty. If we run out, let’s ask for more.”
As Elena saw Mirabelle smile and laugh, the unease in Elena’s mind gradually faded away.
Carlisle seemed to have made many arrangements for their visit. Elena and Mirabelle were free to roam around the grounds, and they saw many species of rare flowers and trees, rippling manmade lakes, and portraits of long-ago emperors.
That was just the beginning. Inside one of the palaces was a kind of museum that held all kinds of rare artwork. There were also offerings from other kingdoms and a collection of unusual items not found in the Ruford Empire. There were also many buildings on the grounds, and they appreciated the variety of architecture and beautifully decorated gardens.
Elena and Mirabelle were having a pleasant conversation as they arrived in front of another splendid palace. The servant, who had been silently guiding their path, stood to block their way.
“Ah, you cannot go in here.”
Mirabelle gave him a questioning look.
“Why? What kind of palace is this?”
“This is where Her Majesty the Empress lives, and you cannot enter without permission.”
She looked up at the palace in curiosity.
There was an ornate carriage coming out of the palace. It was going at speed, but a moment was all Mirabelle needed to catch a glimpse of a familiar-looking person inside.
Mirabelle murmured, and Elena looked over in curiosity.
“What do you mean? What about Lady Selby?”
“I was wondering if it was Lady Selby who was in that carriage.”
Rumor had it that Helen had confined herself to her mansion and did not go outside. It wasn’t that Helen couldn’t go to the Empress’ palace, but there was something strange about those two people who seemed to have no contact with each other meeting at this time. As Elena stared at the back of the retreating carriage, Mirabelle spoke in a light voice.
“It might be wrong. Don’t worry about it.”
“Alright. Shall we go back then?”
The both of them turned away from the Empress’ palace, and spent their time viewing many other rare and precious things. Seeing the outside of the Empress’ palace was enough, and after a long walk, they were hungry and tired. If Elena was this fatigued, and she worried about what condition Mirabelle was in.
“Shall we go back and have dinner and watch the puppet play Caril told us about?”
“Yes. Let’s go, sister.”
There was nothing lacking in their perfect outing. Elena also was extremely pleased to have spent this time with Mirabelle.
This was not the end yet, either. As soon as Elena and Mirabelle returned to palace of the Crown Prince, the dinner prepared for them seemed ready to break the table’s legs.
“Oh, sister, we’re alone…but that’s enough for about twenty people.”
Even Elena could not help but let her jaw drop at the sheer amount of food. From the appetizers to the desserts, there was nothing that wasn’t the best the empire could offer.
She seated herself in a comfortable chair to watch the puppet play, and Elena felt like she was in heaven. But…there was one thing that kept dwelling on her mind.
‘…I didn’t see Caril.’
It seemed he was too busy to join them for dinner. She didn’t even have the chance to secretly ask him what had happened. Although being with Mirabelle made her happy, her worry over Carlisle was like a splinter in her throat. Elena was not in a position where he could let her know what was happening to him. To continue this happiness, he had to be emperor.
When the puppet play was over, Mirabelle burst into applause, but Elena hadn’t been able to concentrate on anything else. They wrapped up the day’s activities and went to the rooms prepared for them.
“Sister, I’m going to change into my nightwear and find you. It’s been a while since we’ve done this, but can we sleep together in the same bed?”
“I’m sorry, I’m so tired that I’ll fall asleep soon. I’ll see you early tomorrow.”
They waved their good nights to each other. After watching Mirabelle enter the room, Elena turned around and headed for Carlisle’s room first. She hoped she could find someone who knew where he was now. Fortunately, she came across the servant who had been their guide that day.
“Hmm? Why are you out here, My Lady?”
“Show me where the prince is.”
“His Majesty cannot meet you because he is on urgent business–”
Elena spoke firmly, her face stern. The servant flinched and answered with a nod of his head.
“I-I understand. This way, please.”