TPCP – 12.1

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Lucerne continued casually.

“First. Give me a map of the secret passage.”

“Yes, I will. But please accept this as a contribution. As far as I know, it’s information that only I know.”

Lucerne nodded. And Elisha pricked her ears, alert for his second request.

“Second.”

“Yes.”

Elisha nodded resolutely.

“Marry me, right now, tonight.”

“…….”

The collapse of Elisha’s expression gave Lucerne a new pleasure.

“Yes…. W-Wha, I beg your pardon?”

“I need a bride.”

“Now?”

“Yes now. Don’t you know me?”

“That—”

Elisha touched her lips. She lowered her head.

“You are a Count—a countess, a hereditary noble. I need a hereditary noble wife. Besides I need a girl that’s likeable and willing to do everything. Marry me and take me into your family* [t1v: it’s implied that he takes on her last name and lives with her family—a reversal of tradition where the wife typically does this instead]. That’s what I want.”

“But….”

Elisha looked embarrassed.

“Why—You don’t want to marry an illegitimate child?”

Lucerne asked without hesitancy.

“No, that’s not it. I know why you need a hereditary aristocrat. But isn’t it too much of a loss for you to get married for that reason?”

“……What?”

“If you paid one-tenth of that, you would get to choose from tons of brides willing to throw away their names and their families. It’s worth the tremendous price of 30,000 gold coins.”

Lucerne beamed.

“It looks like I’ve chosen well since you are already worrying about me.”

“…….”

“Elisha, you have the footing to be my bride. The next is need and interest about information that you claim to have. The collateral is your body.”

“…….”

“You will prove your worthiness, you will act as my wife and receive proper compensation. It’ll be mostly money or whatever you want. It may take awhile, but if you want and the timing and conditions are favorable, I’ll divorce you.”

“…….”

“If you cheat on me or if you’re Jacob’s spy, you’ll face a terrible fate.”

Lucerne saw Elisha’s hands shaking thin.

“What if I disappoint you?”

“Then I can handle the collateral as I please.”

The collateral was Elisha’s body.

“Are you going to kill me?”

“No way, how could I kill a woman like you.”

Lucerne had a very sarcastic tone.

“Follow common sense, what do a bride and groom do when they get married?”

Elisha shut her mouth. Lucerne spoke in a sweetly friendly tone.

“If you were Jacob’s spy, you’d be trapped in my bedroom, crawling on all fours. You’ll live with your body, not your head.”

Elisha’s eyes shook, it was visible she was trying to calm down.

“So, I hope you’re not Jacob’s spy. you can do it well. Elisha.”

” ……Yes.”

She soon nodded with calm eyes. She couldn’t have been calm if she knew how much joy her aloof look had given Lucerne.

“Then I’ll play with my collateral until you give me that precious information.”

Lucerne whispered. Elisha avoided his eyes.

***

“I can’t forgive you for humiliating me!”

Jacob was jumping up and down. Carola was also upset.

‘Why did you have to get involved with some bitch that does laundry?’

Lucerne, who she had been working so hard to approach for a long time was bewitched by some maid, not her.

In addition, Jacob looked angry as if the maid were his lover. Carola felt like an insignificant thing had stolen the attention of the two men.

“This is a big deal. Let’s complain to the Head.”

Jacob said. Carola nodded from the side.

“Poor you. Carola is so sad, too! We’ll come with you and plead with the Lord.”

***

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