Thank you to raw provider: angelstars5
Thank you for the Ko-fi Heath Bar! (5/5)
“I know, I’m familiar with you. Incredible! Ah, I didn’t realize you would take advantage of me so skillfully.” [t1v: in Korean he says he will be killed and eaten like “you’ll be the death of me” plus the motif of Elisha “cooking him” aka manipulating/handling him with her three tongues. There’s an undertone of him knowing he is being charmed and may be ‘consumed’/killed because of it]
“How could I? I am also the Lord’s grandson.”
Gaju said as much, but he seemed satisfied with Lucerne’s more intimate attitude.
“I’ve always hoped you’d get a good woman and change.”
“… … .”
“Just do it in moderation and within appropriate measure. Just like this.”
Lucerne did not reply to his words and instead saluted him a farewell quietly.
“Uh-huh, hurry and disappear.”
The Head waved his hand in a dismissal.
Lucerne took Elisha and left without sparing a single glance behind. Because her legs were so weak, she had difficulty walking quickly. He placed his hand on her back to firmly support her.
“Why did you come? I could have gotten out on my own.”
Elisha whispered fervently to him. They walked across the garden.
“I already explained everything when I came to pick you up in front of Gaju,”
he articulated bluntly.
“I know you called attention to your care because we were in front of the Head. But you should have emphasized that you were just dealing with a contract wife. You don’t have to do this next time. We’re not even in that sort of relationship.”
Lucerne cut in.
“If Gaju so desired, you could have been detained for several days. So, could you have stayed happy and healthy every day in Jacob’s house?”
“… … .”
Elisha choked up. But… … . Not a single word of protest could be mustered up against his sarcasm. In fact, she had been full of terror and loathing.
She abhorred being detained by the Cartiers for even a single day.
Only then did she realize that she should thank Lucerne. Regardless if it was due to his possessiveness or whatever. It had forced him to come for her.
At that time, Ian and Nora, who were waiting outside the gate, and standing around, ran to them.
“I was so worried!”
“Not much happened,”
Elisha reassured her. It looked like Nora was still anxious, so in a rare act, she reached out to hold her hand first with a consoling squeeze, and then let go. Ian said kindly.
“Phew, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the General in such a state. He did not even say goodbye to His Majesty, and ran to you.”
Lucerne warned. He was clearly annoyed and emotional as he opened the carriage door.
“Get on quickly,”
he said evenly without emotion. Elisha hurriedly got into the carriage.
‘This man never does anything impractical. He’s a concise and cold-hearted man in all matters.’
Did that cold-hearted man not harbour the slightest hesitation or conflict when he rushed here? She reflected, clenching her fists as he sat down next to her.
“Lucerne… … .”
He stared at Elisha with his dark red eyes as if to encourage her to continue.
“Have I offended you?”
“Do I look like someone who would be hurt by such a thing?”
“No, I—just… … .”
“… … .”
Elisha carefully grabbed his collar.
“When you arrived, I was very nervous. I was trembling in fear, hoping I wouldn’t make a mistake. But … … . I don’t know what to say.”
If she improvised her scheme, she could formulate it. When she risked her life in front of Gaju to convince him, she could unfurl her mouth and defend herself. Similar crises had occurred in her previous life.
But being rescued—there was no such experience like this before. It would have been more advantageous for him to leave her unattended but Lucerne came to take her home. How could she express her gratitude for that… … . She really didn’t know.
“I’m afraid I’ll hope and expect you next time. So you must promise me—and I’ll promise you. I will find my own way to survive.”
He looked at her, dumbfounded by her absurd words.
“Do you have time to think about such useless thoughts? No, instead shouldn’t you look at me instead of soothing Nora? When you look at Nora, your eyes are no different than beholding a lover.”
“… … .”
“You make everything more complicated. You.”
Elisha felt she was becoming more and more clueless.
‘What does Nora have to do with anything?’
He continued to stare at her. But the meaning of that gaze was different.
‘Is he getting mad, now? Why all of a sudden?’
Now, Lucerne’s eyes made her tingle to the extent that it was strange.
For a moment, Elisha remembered that flower in the water. One day in her previous life. The firm touch she felt in his arms, where one of his eyes had gone blind.
That numbing, vague, dazzling, midsummer-like emotion at that time swept over her again in waves. That terrifying breathtaking sensation. She tried to ignore it, pushing it again and tried to pretend not to know her feelings.
“Tell me everything that happened.”
He wanted to tell the story in great detail, so Elisha recited the whole ordeal.
“You mentioned the origins of the Cartier family in front of the Head?”
Even Lucerne looked stunned in disbelief.
“If the old man became furious, you could have been hurt.”
“… … . Fortunately, nothing happened. And it worked, we connected.”
Lucerne nodded with indifference.
“I suppose this time he was just calling on you to interrogate you. You should be wary of the caprice of that old man. If he had decided not to send you back, it would have ended only after someone bled.”
Elisha shook her body slightly. She completely agreed with that statement.
“What else did he say?”
“When he asked what our married life was like, I said it was normal.”
“What is normal?”
“He asked if we went out for dinner, went out for a walk, and then went on a couple’s night out.”
Lucerne smiled at the absurity.
“There is nothing wrong with that.”
“… … .”
“In that sense, before dinner, let’s go out together. I have something I want to show you.”
“It’s something you’ll like.”
Elisha was extremely tired and she wanted to go straight to her house if he allowed her. She was not in the mood to go to a restaurant or cafe.
“I am going to see if Uncle Merha is doing well.”
“… … .”
“Aren’t you curious? A Cartier man is imprisoned.”
It was truly an irresistible spectacle. Elisha’s eyes changed. She nodded her head slightly.
“It’s so… … .”
“… … .”
“It must be a strange sight.”
The carriage stirred the horse’s head toward the temple.