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Elisha had a very short sleep. In fact, she had hardly slept because she felt uneasy. She tossed and turned in Lucerne’s bed, wearing only Lucerne’s shirt.
‘Lucerne said he’d negotiate my debt with Jacob. Jacob shouldn’t have caught the book.’
It was true that she was a little anxious, but she had faith that somehow it would work out because Lucerne was involved.
Elisha massaged her forehead. What happened last night was like a dream.
‘You sound like we’ve done it together before.’
‘How dare you mistake me for someone else, it’s not funny.’
‘You can do it well. Elisha.’
She could feel her neck was reddened with her thoughts.
‘You’re no beast, why are so fast? Why are you so quick at seeing through people? You seem to know everything.’
All the people in the Cartier family were devils, not to be trifled with.
And Lucerne was a special species among them.
‘If things go well.’
Elisha was hopeful, imagining her life after a decade. A free life that she had never experienced before. A life of being treated as a person, not someone’s possession or slave.
‘Is it possible? Then how many years should I endure under Lucerne?’
Negotiating with Lucerne to buy her was the first step to avoid the path of hell. But she couldn’t imagine what this road would be like.
‘I’ve heard stories of him being a demon in a battlefield, a madman to an enemy, but I’ve never heard of him being a womanizer, abuser, or anything like that.’
But that wasn’t enough. Elisha did not believe in Cartier’s bloodline itself. The Cartier family had trampled on Elisha in various ways in the past.
‘You can’t trust Lucerne. No matter how handsome and plausible he is…….’
Elisha imagined the worst situation that could happen.
‘If Lucerne locked me up……. the worst case, kill and then use only my name.’
Indeed, from Lucerne’s perspective, he would only want Elisha’s name. The only thing he could gain from Elisha right now was the name of his noble wife.
The name of a legitimate aristocrat entailed a myriad of benefits, such as the ability to pass on land to other hereditary aristocrats, saving more in taxes when doing business, and the ability to establish trade and commerce.
In her previous life, Lucerne was not married, so he had taken lower aristocrats under his wing. Elisha remembered that he had used their names to carry out various businesses.
After all, Elisha was not indispensable. Although her name was necessary, it was not without alternative solutions. Now Elisha was just a convenience for him.
‘So, paying off my debt for me is more expensive than my actual ransom.’ [t1v: remember her ‘debt’ is her ransom plus her ‘living expenses’ she has accumulated, like food and clothes]
Then there was a knock on the door. Elisha was wary. Soon after, there was a door opening outside, and someone came into the room. Elisha wrapped herself in a sheet and got up outside.
Standing outside was a woman with papers. Light tunic, pants, dark skin. She was a woman with a sophisticated, handsome face.
Elisha recognized her right away. It was Nora, a close aide to Lucerne.
There were many famous knights that Lucerne had. Nora with her neat beauty was one of the most popular knights. In particular, the fact that she is one of the few female knights in the Empire contributed to her popularity.
‘I’ve never seen you this close before.’
Nora calmly introduced herself.
“Nice to meet you. My name is Nora de Maratra; I’m a knight serving Sir Lucerne.”
Elisha bent her knees lightly.
“It’s an honor to meet you.”
Nora blinked at Elisha’s polite attitude.
“Lucerne asked you to sign the marriage contract in advance. Also, the back page is an annex contract to marriage.”
Elisha saw the marriage vows. It was straightforward, written in elegant print. Its contents were about the vows to get married before God. Below was a space for the signatures of Lucerne and Elisha.
The next chapter was a simple marriage contract, standard amongst nobles. The content was straightforward.
“The bride’s dowry is not accepted. The bridegroom pays 30,000 gold coins for cancelling her debt to Jacob, and we do not allow him to use 30,000 gold coins for anything else.”
It was very realistic from Lucerne’s point of view. The problem was after that.
-The bride, Elisha de Lar, cannot ask for divorce during her marriage.
– If there is any reason attributable to the bride’s imputation of trust during the marriage, Elisha de Lar gives up her freedom.
The following includes the reasons: betrayal, internal affair, breach of the Imperial Peace Treaty, violation of confidentiality, secret leakage, and adultery.
That’s the limit.
Even if the reason for imputation violates the law, Elisha de Lar will not be handed over to the imperial family or the security forces.
-I give up my freedom, Rani.
Elisha’s hand shook. So this, this is…….
‘It’s actually a conditional surrender memorandum.’
She was afraid. But it was logical. It’s only a clause in case Elisha was a spy.
Elisha read the bottom part.
– In the event of a divorce due to the negligence of Elisha de Lar, 30,000 gold coins will be paid back plus the prorated calculated amount of interest at the time of divorce.
And the state interest rate written…….
‘It’s an unimaginable amount of interest.’
The debenture looked so nice. Interest is 10% a day. Later, it her debt would be an amount that cannot be written down.
‘What does it matter? I can’t afford to pay back 30,000 gold coins right now.’
Elisha bit her lips. She had said she would do anything, so she had nothing to say. On the other hand, there were also good provisions.
Upon divorce at Lucerne de Kayas’ request, the bride may be granted 30,000 gold coins in debt relief, interest exemption, and ownership of all property acquired during her marriage.
– If the union continues permanently under the agreement, Elisha de Lar may ask Lucerne de Kayas to renegotiate the payment of debts and property payments.
In addition, the tracking seal engraved on Elisha’s neck was acquired by Lucerne, and it also included that it would be removed in the event of a standard divorce.
In other words, it was very simple.
‘Don’t run away, don’t betray, and wait until you are granted a divorce.’
Then, you will be able to leave safely with some money. So…….
‘You’re telling me not to do anything.’
Elisha had to laugh.