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Lucerne was looking out his window. Behind him, Ian was reporting on the intelligence he gathered. Largely, it was concerned with the disquieting movements of local military troops, but to a lesser extent included the seemingly trivial rumors and news of the capital.
“It seems that Merha is regularly trying to persuade his monitoring officer. It looks like he is asking to deliver a letter to Marco. I stole the note and brought it with me.”
He took it and scanned the message. It was about taking revenge on Lucerne’s weakness.
“It looks like you haven’t come to your senses yet. Was my filial piety insufficient?”
“From tomorrow, I will instruct the Inquisitor to serve Merha more appropriately.”
“Do as you see fit.”
Lucerne nodded indifferently. It goes without saying that from tomorrow onward, Merha’s treatment in prison would become even more miserable.
Ian guessed that Merha would not live long. A pampered person of the noble Cartier family would die of disease if he continued to live like this.
‘Well, compared to what our general went through, it’s virtually untouched.’
Ian smiled and thought to himself. When an adult abused a child, they would never consider that the child would grow up to be powerful and retaliate. But the child he abused was a seed of the Cartier family and has grown up with formidable strength.
“Then what about the message? Shall we pass it on to Marco?”
“Do that. Once he receives a letter about his father’s sufferings Marco will be so agitated that he will reveal his own weaknesses to us. There’s nothing wrong with instigating him.”
Lucerne’s tone of reply was uninterested and flat. He didn’t take his eyes off the window while listening to Ian’s report.
‘You are looking at your wife.’
Ian masked his facial expressions. Lucerne’s office hosted a good view of the front garden. And in the garden, Elisha was taking care of the flowers.
‘Really, she’s the most diligent lady I’ve ever seen.’
Elisha was quiet and unobtrusive in everything she did. But she had a knack for finding things to do. Even today, she seemed to be taking care of the flower garden in her spare time.
“What kind of woman do you think my wife is, Ian?”
“Yes? How dare I evaluate her.”
“… … .”
“It’s remarkable when you manage to make sane sounds.”
“What did I do to receive such a compliment? Thank you.”
“Nevermind. Just tell me this time.”
Ian kept his mouth sealed for a moment.
“She’s perfect. She’s good at everything. Even the etiquette teacher and the piano teacher say she’s a genius.”
The quiet and dignified lady gave regard and won the respect of her employees with every action of hers, and there was no one in her house who didn’t like Elisha. Lucerne knew that.
It was a very appropriate word to describe Elisha.
She was beautiful and perfect… … . Now that she was in the right environment she would continue to shine and be admired by others for the rest of her life.
‘But it’s strange.’
But so what if she was perfect? That was it. If something was excellent it was natural to be happy by it. But he kept feeling like something was missing.
He could have a tantrum even when he was still and looked sane and sensible.
Yesterday afternoon, Lucerne saw Elisha genuinely beaming a smile for the first time.
‘Did you really fix this? How… … . It was obviously faded and dented, but it looks new. And you put a ribbon. I’m so happy.’
He had never heard Elisha say, ‘I’m so happy.’ He had never seen her smile so brightly without any intent. A very small smile, but it was clearly blooming.
At that moment, a strange thirst came. A fire lit and started to burn in the pit of his bitter stomach. He wanted to hold her and bite her lips at that very moment. He was seething with desire.
But… … .desiring what?
Did he just want her body? Even Lucerne could not define these emotions.
That evening, Lucerne found her cleaning his study. He impulsively placed her on her lap and hastily hugged her on his chair.
Elisha did not resist. At first she said his kiss was rough, but soon she opened her mouth and sucked his tongue.
It was then that he felt a shiver running down his spine. Slowly, with an irritating tingle. He was only able to quell his ferocity after spending the rest of the afternoon with her.
Several times a day, his heart and emotions seemed to leap, sink, then jump. Even now, the scene of her cutting flowers oddly enough felt like an illusion about to disappear.
‘I can’t seem to hold her in my grasp. You can touch her outside at any moment, but you can’t tell what’s inside.’
As beautiful as the midday sun shining outside the window is, it can also disappear when the night comes.
Ian called him, puzzled. Lucerne took his eyes off the window and looked at him flatly.
“Did you order the new furniture?”
“Yes. As you instructed, we ordered the best of everything. But why are you decorating the room in the basement all of a sudden?”
“In case I go crazy.”
He thought as she watched Elisha placing her flowers in her basket, directing her maid to something of hers.
‘I can’t ignore the old man’s hunch. Sometimes he’s right.’
Gaju was afraid that Lucerne might be possessed by her and do something strange.
If Elisha’s presence turned out to be dangerous, able to cover his eyes and ears.
Lucerne would lock her up in a beautifully decorated secret room.
‘If that happens, will my heart be filled then?’
Lucerne wondered calmly.
It was a rare oddity indeed. Elisha aroused him, made him agitated and a little desperate.
‘What the hell are you hiding?’
His instincts noticed and shouted alarms. Beneath her soft skin lies a tightly hidden heart. She was hiding parts of herself. There were parts she didn’t give him.
So Elisha stimulated his greedy snake-like instincts. He wanted to swallow and own it in one bite and make her reveal everything.
Maybe it was because Elisha’s plots were getting clearer.
‘If I become Head, there will be a divorce.’
Lucerne had a very pragmatic personality, so he did not believe in Elisha’s plans ‘the path to become the Duke.’
With the absence of evidence in front of his eyes, he did not take it seriously.
No, maybe it didn’t matter. He had no intention of letting her go once she was in his hands.
‘So, the only thing I can do right now is to earn points of favor?’
In any case, he had no choice but to seduce and deceive her into walking into her cage with her own two feet as much as possible. And taming people with money-wrapped abundance was a specialty of the Cartier family.