“Father! Aren’t you being too hard on her?”
Alphord’s brow furrowed with Mirabelle’s appearance.
“…You’re out of line, Mirabelle.”
Elena turned to Mirabelle and quickly shook her head. She didn’t want Mirabelle to alienate herself from their father. Mirabelle, however, did not heed Elena’s objection and spoke her mind.
“My sister really loves the prince! Is it not enough to wish them a happy relationship?”
“Do you think one can be so light-hearted when in a relationship with the Crown Prince? If she wants to be married into the imperial family, how much Elena loves does not matter. It’s purely a matter of whether His Highness the prince wants it or not.”
Alphord’s voice had long since turned cold. Elena knew her father’s expression well now. He was from a family of knights, and was one who fought for the crown rather than had done housework. At the moment Alphord was not talking as Elena’s father, but as a servant of Carlisle, who would one day become emperor. And that was why Elena was terribly upset…
Mirabelle spoke up again furiously.
“So what you’re saying that regardless of my sister’s heart, his mind matters only? Would they be in a relationship if they didn’t love each other? She wanted to tell the family!”
Alphord looked at Mirabelle with an interested expression, then turned to Elena.
“Is it true? Is he also interested in marriage?”
“…Yes. The prince said he’d come by the mansion in the future.”
Mirabelle hadn’t heard of this yet, and she turned towards Elena. For a moment, both Alphord and Mirabelle’s eyes were focused on her.
“He said he wanted to say hello to the family in person.”
Mirabelle looked surprised for a moment, then gathered herself and spoke in a triumphant voice towards Alphord.
“See, I told you. Why wouldn’t he want her?”
Elena turned to Alphord, leaving outspoken Mirabelle’s words. She was more curious about something else.
“What is your opinion, Father? If I really were to marry the Crown Prince.”
This was not a marriage to another noble, but to the imperial family. What Alphord thought was very important. If he objected, no matter how much Elena would protest, she could not marry Carlisle. That was the power of the head of a family among the nobles. There was also that prophecy of misfortune to consider.
Alphord answered with no hesitation.
“Didn’t I say? If the wedding is what the prince wants, then you may proceed. It is the duty of a servant.”
Fortunately he didn’t oppose, but apart from that, Elena’s feelings fell to an endless depth. Alphord expressed no interest about his daughter’s happiness, what kind of man Carlisle was, or how well she was being treated. Alphord would have accepted this marriage, even if Carlisle had a terrible personality. It wasn’t about whether she wanted this man or not. Her father was a faithful knight even at this moment.
“Now that we’re done talking, Elena and I will go back.”
Alphord hadn’t said they could leave yet, and Mirabelle’s comment was the height of presumption. He spoke disapprovingly.
“Mirabelle, do you behave like that to your father? Do it again and you’ll be in trouble.”
Mirabelle give a short huff, and then dragged Elena by her hand out of the office. And so they walked down the hallway like that…
At one point, Elena was completely overwhelmed with emotion. She felt a huge loss beyond words. It was not even comparable to when Helen was spreading false rumors, and the blade deeply embedded in her seemed to have torn the wound apart. Until now, her only purpose was to protect her family… and it felt like her purpose was rejected. Feeling concerned, Mirabelle stopped halfway and looked up at Elena.
“Are you all right?”
But contrary to what she was saying, Elena was trembling slightly.
“Sister, are you crying?”
Elena shook her head. She immediately leaned over and hugged Mirabelle, who was shorter than she was. She desperately needed to feel her sister’s warmth.
“…I’m not crying.”
On her heart were ten million cuts and she hadn’t cried…So today she did not let her tears fall.
The days passed quickly. There had been many changes since Carlisle and Elena were now officially in a relationship. Once again Elena was flooded with invitations to various parties, and suddenly people who had not been in contact with her began to ask after her. The letter she had sent to Derek brother should have arrived by now, and she was paid careful attention for his reply.
It was impossible to concentrate on that now, however. It was none other than the day that Carlisle said he would visit the Blaise mansion. Every corner of the mansion had been scoured by the servants. In the early hour, Alphord did not leave to see the knights and Mirabelle wore her best dress. No one said it, but they were all anticipating the Crown Prince’s arrival.
The clock’s hand finally pointed to the promised time. There was a rattling noise, and Elena saw a familiar black coach entering the mansion grounds. At the entrance to the mansion, the carriage stopped and Carlisle exited and stepped down.
Some of the servants let out an exclamation, while others stared with their mouths agape.
He had a tall height and a solid figure. His face had a sculptural handsomeness to it and his blue eyes contained a cold chill. He looked perfect in every way, and his air of pride struck the female spirit. The Blaise servants thought they had gotten used to seeing Elena and Mirabelle, but Carlisle was something else. Elena took a few steps towards him when he arrived.
Carlisle gave a small as she approached to greet him.
“How have you been?”