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Thank you for the Ko-fi sarii (4/4)
“I want to ask you one thing. You don’t have alternative motives, right?”
Arien flinched but barely managed to keep her smile.
“How could it be? Why else would I come all the way here and bow my head? We just want to live.”
Elisha recalled her first timeline and the future that had disappeared. Every time she delivered Carola’s blackmail to Arien, she was slapped and beaten by her.
When that wasn’t enough, there were even days Marco kicked her in the stomach.
When the couple had detained Elisha, one day, Marco attacked her. Arien had turned a blind eye to the assault.
Fortunately, he did not succeed in his attempt, but the crisis was never over. Upon seeing the sight of Elisha with disheveled hair and a ripped dress, Arien accused her of seducing her husband to catch and kill her.
‘Call in the knights. Let’s play tag. This bitch is going to become a used and torn rag today.’
Elisha begged her innumerable times at that time: Please, please help me… … . But Arien mocked and laughed at her.
‘The only person who ever listened to me in my life was Lucerne.’
There had been such dreadful, desperate times like that. And now their situations had been reversed, now Arien was pleading for help in front of her. Indeed, it was worth it to go back in time and be reborn. For that moment, even Elisha, who had maintained a sense of detachment in every facet of life, was almost intoxicated with exaltation.
“I’m a little thirsty. Let’s drink something and talk.”
Elisha raised her hand and beckoned a server. She looked thirsty. Soon, the employee came with a wine glass and a tray of white wine. Because Elisha was a regular, the clerks brought what she wanted without any particular order.
‘On the day she visits in the evening, she orders white wine and drinks the most expensive wine in the cafe. Sometimes she even drinks one cup and throws the rest of the bottle away.’
Arien was furious. How dare such an inferior person live in such luxury! This was against the order of the world. But she held back her anger.
“Actually, I prepared a present for you today,”
Arien said softly and kindly. She pointed to the wine on the tray.
“This wine is very expensive. It’s something that my husband and I also kept for our anniversary. Since I heard the lady is fond of white wine, I asked the clerk to bring the wine I brought from home in advance.”
“Oh, thank you. You come to other people’s regular cafes and even buy off the clerks?”
At those words, Arien’s body hair stood up; instead, she laughed hard.
“Buy— what do you mean?”
Elisha spoke gently as if speaking to an old friend.
“You know what?”
“If you want to pluck out someone else’s eyes, you have to be prepared to have your own neck cut off. You must be prepared to give your life to destroy another. If you whip someone else, you have to be prepared to have your own body broken.”
“… … .”
“I believe my husband goes to war with that kind of mentality. How about Marco’s wife? Do you have that kind of determination when you try to harm someone?”
Arien doubted her ears for a moment, and then she smiled slyly.
“Of course, you should sympathize with other’s wounds easily.”
Elisha paused. Donning a blank look, the corners of her lips eerily rose.
Elisha only said this brief remark with an even tone resembling calm water, with no highs and lows, and whose intentions could not be grasped.
“If you are determined to that extent, I have no choice but to share a glass with you. I will pass on your words to my husband.”
At that, Arien laughed with glee.
“It would be great if we were on the same side. Anyway, we will both get what we want, right?”
Elisha stated dispassionately. Then there was a thud and rattling noise from outside. Finally, a small spark and flame flew into the air.
“Oh, the fireworks will start soon. Did you know? The fireworks display in the capital is created by mobilizing wizards to create a mixture of real flames and magically created illusionary fireworks. So the flames explode very close to the ground. The sight is spectacular.”
“Can you see the fireworks well? It’s the first time I’ve heard of it.”
Elisha showed interest. But inwardly, Arien scorned and mocked her.
‘You must be from a village.’
But she hid her heart well and kindly continued to explain:
“Yes, you can see the fireworks vividly out the window. Look, it’s beginning to start. Come on, let’s drink wine while watching the fireworks. Men often go out for drinks to forget their past and build new relationships. We women can share a glass the same way. So the wine prepared for today is not wasted.”
Educated and raised as her high-ranking aristocrat, Arien’s words exuded dignity. If she refused this drink, she would insult Arien and disregard her will to be with her.
Arien motioned and called a waiter. A tall, handsome waiter came and was ready to pour the wine.
“This time, I’ll serve you the wine personally.” [t1v: in Korean culture, the person with inferior status or close companions pour wine for the other.]
Arien dismissed the waiter. Indeed, no one was around them, and the cafe was tranquil.
Then a grand fireworks display began. Tomorrow a new Pope would be inaugurated in the Empire. It was a fireworks display to commemorate the inauguration ceremony. At that moment, Elisha and Arien seemed to have turned into shadows overshadowed by the splendid flames.
She poured wine into Elisha’s glass. Then she pressed the groove in the ring as she practiced dozens of times.
‘You have to put poison in the glass!’
The sound of explosions covered everything. The pill fell into the glass. There was no sound.
‘I did it. I did it. Now this wench needs to drink this!’