Chapter 10: The Unfair Bet
But it was then. The Emperor stopped conversing with her father and made a big smile at her.
“Today Lady Elise is strange. Something seems to have changed. You’ve matured since last time?”
“Elise’s face turned red. She had done a lot of immature things in the past. Although the Emperor had seen it as cute. The Marquis laughed.
“Yes, Your Majesty. I don’t know if it’s because she suddenly grew up, but she’s changed a lot these days.”
“So what happened was…”
The Marquis started to brag about his daughter with his serious face. Things like taking care of her family, and doing things for the maids.
“The residence is overflowing with compliments for this child these days.”
“Haha, is that so?”
The Emperor looked at Elise. He knew her normal attitude, since he had seen her since she was young. He thought it might improve with age, but she had suddenly changed like this?
“She brings you tea every time?”
“Yes, that’s right. The taste is so deep, I’m surprised every time.”
“Really? I’m curious now. Lady Elise, would you do me the honor of letting me taste your tea?”
At his joking manner, Elise blushed.
“That’s too much of an honor for me. I’m just worried that my lacking skills of making tea won’t be to your taste.
“What do you mean? If you, who’s no different than my niece, do it for me, any tea would be fine. Don’t worry, and try your best.”
Elise couldn’t convince him otherwise and curtsied as she got up.
“Then I’ll try my best. If I’m lacking, please don’t blame me.”
And she approached the maids.
“Could you get what I ask for?”
“Yes, my lady.”
“First, please prepare the black tea and white tea from Eastern Qing. And for the water, prepare the water brought over today….”
Even if the same tea leaves were used, the taste would differ based on the boiling temperature, condition of the water, etc. ‘The tea the Emperor likes….’ She searched her memory and prepared the tea the way the Emperor liked it. She had made him tea in her past life as well, so she knew his preferences.
“Here is the tea.”
With controlled movements, she poured the tea for him, and the Emperor made a surprised face at its scent.
“The scent is quite subtle. It’s similar to the tea the emissary from Qing once made for me.”
“That’s too much praise.”
Once he sipped the tea after savoring its scent, he had a touched face.
“Amazing. When this you learn to make tea? I should tell the palace maids to learn from you.”
The Emperor looked at Elise with a proud face. After connecting with the empire of the east, Qing, drinking tea had become an important pastime of the nobles. All of the ladies in the Empire studied how to make tea. So the most elegant ladies tended to have amazing tea-making skills, but their skills were incomparable to Elise.
“She said she learned by herself. I drink her tea everyday, and I feel like my head gets clearer and my tiredness disappears every time I drink it.”
The Marquis bragged about his daughter again
“Yes, like you said, it feels like my head became clearer and my tiredness washed away. Amazing. To be able to drink this tea everyday. I’m jealous, Marquis.”
At the continued praise, the surprised Elise shook her head.
“I still need to learn a lot. That’s too much praise for me.”
“It’s not. But, Lady Elise.”
The Emperor asked with satisfied eyes.
“If you enter the palace in the future, could you prepare tea for me from time to time?”
Elise’s face hardened. He was speaking about the marriage between her and the Crown Prince!
“Anyways. Thank you for letting taste your amazing tea, I must reward you. Is there anything you like? Don’t feel burdened and tell me. We’re going to be family soon, what can’t I do for you?”
He asked her with kind eyes, like he was looking at his blood related family.
She swallowed her spit. ‘I need to tell him before it’s too late.’ She took a big breath. Then she spoke.
“Your Majesty, actually, I have something I need to tell you.”
“What is it? Go on.”
But it was then! A cold voice split her heart.
“I’m late, father.”
When she heard that voice, Elise froze. ‘Could that be…? This voice…?’ The emotionless iciness that crept into your soul. At the voice she could never forget, her hands starting to shake.
“Oh, yes. Come on here.”
The Emperor lifted his head and looked at ‘him.’
Linden de Romanoff. Her husband of her past life. The one who had pointed a double-edged sword at her. The Crown Prince was looking at her with indifferent eyes.
The gold eyes that showed the abilities of the Imperial Family. Those clear gold eyes were emanating a coldness of a storm.
A man so cold that you would be frozen. But beautiful, nevertheless. He was the current Crown Prince of the Britia Empire, Linden de Romanoff.
“Elise de Clarence greets the Crown Prince.”
At the unexpected meeting, Elise was surprised, but she managed to hide her emotions. The Crown Prince just continued to look at her indifferently. ‘I used to like that look in that past.’
Until the very last moment when the guillotine fell on her neck, she had been deeply in love with the Crown Prince. Even that cold gaze, beautiful face, and his tone that lacked compassion. She loved everything about him. ‘But it was unreciprocated love.’ He didn’t love her back. As time went on, she became desperate. ‘We shouldn’t have been married in the first place.’ In her past life, she was bad, but she wasn’t evil enough to do those sins from the beginning.
There was only one reason why she had ended up like that. The unreciprocated love and his coldness towards her. She became obsessed with him, and crossed a line no one should. In the end, she lost her family, and she was sentenced to death. ‘Well, it’s all my fault. I was foolish. Truly.’ She had truly done foolish things in the past