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Arien’s funeral was held very quietly. The oddly reticent funeral was not known to the public until days after it was held.
The people of the capital whispered about the mysterious death. However, people’s queries were left unanswered.
As for how Arien died, not only did the duke’s family keep quiet but also Arien’s family members kept their mouths shut.
‘Power is scary. Their daughter died so mysteriously that there was no proper protest. Arien’s family is too much. But. Indeed, this is how a noble family treats an ordinary second daughter… … .’
Elisha slowly drank her fragrant jasmine tea. After all, it was better for her to have a place like this than not to have a place to go out to. She liked sitting by the window of a pretty cafe, people-watching.
‘It’s already spring.’
Recently, the general’s residence had been busy preparing for the biggest event of spring, the Imperial Hunting Festival. Elisha, the hostess, had also been very busy, so today’s solo outing was the first time in a long while.
Then there was the sound of the door opening.
A person who looked around spotted her and approached with a bright smile when she saw Elisha.
‘… … Carola.’
Elisha’s tea suddenly tasted sour. Carola stood in front of her, greeting her and bending her head cutely to the side.
“Elisha… … . It’s been a while. How have you been?”
When she looked closely, she was accompanied by her maids, who always accompanied Carola. Both were familiar faces.
Named Pansy and Mimosa, respectively, they were Carola’s close ladies-in-waiting and handmaids.
They belonged to lower-ranked nobility and vassals of Carola’s family’s estate. So, they didn’t do the work that normal ladies-in-waiting did, and their main job was to be Carola’s confidant and enthusiastic henchmen.
Elisha answered briefly, and she greeted her with minimal courtesy. Carola’s eyebrows twitched, and her face quickly pouted and turned pink.
“Lady Elisha is really rude! On the other hand, Miss Carola greets her with such care. Is it because she never learned manners?”
The tall Mimosa exclaimed with boldness. She also had an unusually thunderous voice.
“Yes, since I was a girl, I was locked up and made to work, so I never took etiquette lessons. So it can’t be helped. Are your questions answered now? Then, please be brief and tell me what is your business,”
Elisha calmly retorted without batting an eyelash.
At those words, Carola and her maids were dumbfounded and left speechless. It was because it was in Jacob’s annex where Elisha was confined and exploited to do laundry.
“Elisha… … .”
Then, all of a sudden, Carola started behaving strangely. She approached Elisha with tears in her eyes.
“Carola is so sad that she can’t sleep a wink these days. She can’t believe Arien went like that. She was a very nice person. Isn’t Elisha sad too?”
“Really? Your complexion looks very healthy so this is is unexpected,”
Elisha responded. Besides, just moments before, Carola was smiling brightly.
“It’s just that Carola is worried about Lucerne… … . How’s Lucerne? At times like this, families should gather and comfort each other warmly. Lucerne doesn’t really show his true feelings. Carola is worried… … .”
Elisha doubted her ears for a moment.
‘I heard people’s memories are heightened.’
Experiencing Carola in person was far more inferior to Carola in her memory. Feeling surreal, Elisha learned Carola was such an idiot, unable to judge and question people.
“I want to visit the general’s residence and comfort Lucerne… … . Carola is very saddened by this tragedy. That’s right. What if she sent Lucerne to make some of her favorite food? Elisha knows Lucerne’s favorite food, right?”
“Would a person who wandered around the battlefield complain about food?”
Elisha replied calmly, clearly seeing that Carola was trying to provoke her.
“Didn’t you know? Lucerne likes cookies. I’ve baked them for him before… … . Do you know what kind of cookies he likes?”
At those words, Elisha recalled memories from her past life. Carola would often present Lucerne with things like clothes and cookies. Elisha didn’t know why.
Carola was a bit of a pervert and enjoyed Lucerne looking down at her with contempt.
‘As expected, the direct descendants of this family and the daughters-in-laws are all crazy,’
Elisha thought. And she answered without a twitch of an eyebrow.
“The kind of food he likes.”
“… … .”
“I, his wife, decides. I decide what the mansion’s chef will make. So if you’re here to give me information about cookies, you can just go,”
Elisha heartlessly said so neatly and curtly cut her off. Carola’s brow furrowed.
“It’s not like that. Carola… … .”
“Um? Do you have anything else to say to me?”
Carola’s expression twisted. Her pitiful expression disappeared, and her true face was revealed.
“Uh- well, if you say so. I have some questions… … .”
“If you have nothing to say, please leave.”
Elisha raised her hand and called the waiter. The people in this cafe were Lucerne’s agents, so if Elisha asked, they would kick Carola out even if they had to pick her up and throw her on the street.
“Oh, really. Elisha is too hot-tempered. Of course, Carola is curious. You know, how did Arien really die, huh?”
“… … .”
“Was it really suicide? Arien’s autopsy was attended by wizards, doctors, and even priests. She says that Arien is dead because of the magic tool of an ancient evil god that no one could save her. That magic tool is poison. I heard that she suffered for several days before she died?”
Carola whispered and began asking quickly. An ecstatic madness flashed, and joy sparkled in her eyes.
Carola was genuinely thrilled that Arien died with her whole heart, so much so she couldn’t bear it. Elisha was disgusted from her shaking from elation.
“Why did you come to ask me when you know it well? Rumors are not my forte.”
“Carola is not stupid. If you look at Arien’s actions before she died. A few days before her death, she was missing. By the way, the night it is estimated that she took poison…. she was with Elisha… … . That night, a passer-by said they saw Arien entering the cafe. Elisha was renting out this cafe at that time, right?”
‘A simple passer-by, huh?’
Anyway, whether it was by Carola or the Duke of Cartier’s orders, they would have planted at least some spies around Elisha and Lucerne. However, Lucerne’s subordinates were all knights and soldiers, so it didn’t seem like they could gather much information.
‘Lucerne is impressive. I guess he’s good at controlling the people around him.’
Arien had been imprisoned days before her death. She was put under a sleep spell that left her comatose for several days. So her pain would be less. That was the only mercy Elisha could give.
‘But she can’t seem to find out anything about those days… … . How did Lucerne hide Arien? Besides, it seems that neither Duke Cartier nor Carola found out what happened in the cafe. The security in this cafe is tight.’
Elisha stopped her train of thought. It wasn’t her job to find out more.