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Lucerne strode into the room. Upon spotting him, Marco’s face turned white. However, Lucerne did not even spare him a glance.
“Lucerne, why did you visit without notice?”
“I came here because I have something urgent to tell you about Marco, but Marco is right here.”
“What do you want to say?”
Gaju laughed, finding this situation ridiculous. The shallow waters of Lucerne’s intentions were laughable.
“I’m here in case you misunderstand.”
“Misunderstand? You mean the misunderstanding that you devoured Marco and his wife and imprisoned Merha? Or were you afraid I’d take your wife?”
Lucerne did not raise an eyebrow. Visiting the family home today was part of the script that he had discussed with Elisha in advance.
However, the last of the Head’s words were the truth. Knowing that Gaju would arrest Elisha and interrogate her, he chose to visit first.
He hated seeing his woman captured and insulted. She was the woman he wanted to lock in a jewelry box to have her to himself.
“If you have something to say about Arien’s death, say it.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“… … What?”
“Marco was greedy for the position of Duke and made me the wrong offer. So I came here today to make an honest confession.”
“What do you mean?”
The Head rose from his seat. Lucerne said briefly,
“Marco sent Arien to make a strange proposal to my wife. Make Marco the patriarch and let me wield power behind the scenes.”
Gaju froze. A black rage began to radiate from his body. Marco held his breath.
The Lord’s words came out chillier,
“Tell me in detail.”
“Maybe Marco was afraid to approach and ask for favors from me himself. Or maybe Arien acted on her own, I don’t know.”
“… … .”
“It seems that she approached my wife and asked her to deliver her request. But, you know, me.”
Lucerne casually opened the bottle of wine that was on the table. And he poured a drink into an empty glass.
“I’m not interested in the position of Head at all, so I came to report it.”
It was an explanation that omitted many vital parts. The family head preserved their lives no matter what the family members did.
Only two cases were exceptions. To kill a direct descendant. And threatening the seat of the family head. Those two crimes were the only cases that were unpardonable.
The Duke thought of himself as the emperor of a country, and it was true to some extent. The power of the Cartier family was a little exaggerated, and it was not enough to say that they were the actual owners of the empire. And at least the power of a small kingdom that could trample on others at a moment’s notice.
And no monarch in the world has ever escaped mutiny.
“What did your wife say in response to that nonsense?”
“What does my wife know, and what power does she have? Power? She seemed to be very surprised to simply hear that. And she just said she thought she would get away with it and she said she would tell me the story. Elisha is soft and naive. Arien was a very greedy woman and scared such a gentle woman.”
At those words, even Marco, who was half insane, couldn’t help but balk.
‘Crazy bastard—Elisha, why is that woman naive and fragile?’
It was the most absurd thing Lucerne had ever said. Nevertheless, Lucerne continued talking, completely ignoring the Head’s strange expression.
“But suddenly when I heard Arien was dead, I wondered if this might be a trap targeting the two of us. To die after luring us to rebel. Doesn’t it seem odd?”
Lucerne drank his drink slowly. It was an elegant move. [t1v: pouring yourself a drink and even reveling in front of a superior in Korean culture is considered very disrespectful]
“So I did some research on this matter. But there was another crime committed by Uncle Merha. He threatened one of the temple’s keepers for the reliquaries and stole items.”
Lucerne explained in a low tone. Merha embezzled holy relics, including the devil’s smile poison and its antidote. The evidence brought by Lucerne even included a confession written and signed by Anton himself.
Now under the protection of Rosaria, as a condition, he decided to reveal everything he knew about Merha and agreed to make documentary evidence.
“Lucerne, I’m not stupid. The day Arien died, they say you and Elisha were in Yurif.”
“Oh, have you seen the Gate’s log? But I really didn’t do anything. Looking at these documents, it is clear that Marco had an antidote. I went to deny Marco and Arien because they were clumsy trying to reconcile with us.”
“… … .”
Lucerne asked quietly. Marco was speechless. Marco had to admit that they were trying to poison Elisha in order to talk about this. No, before that, he had to admit that Arien went to Elisha and tried to appeal to Lucerne.
Then, he would be admitting that he was aiming for the position of Gaju and tried to rebel. Then the family head might cut Marco down with a single slash.
Moreover, Marco’s brain wasn’t working normally these days. So even when people asked him something, he often gave stupid, slow, and erratic answers.
The Head opened his mouth.
“Is everything Lucerne said true?”
“It’s… … .”
It was true that Arien proposed to Elisha. But that was to get Elisha’s attention and keep her distracted.
Her real purpose was simply to poison Elisha’s wine glass. But Marco couldn’t deny it. Because what he said was true.
“I… … . I mean. I didn’t agree with Arien. I mean… … . I had no intention of colluding with Lucerne. Lord, please trust me.”
Those were the only words Marco uttered. Gaju looked deep in thought. Lucerne drove in a wedge with composure.
“You never know. Perhaps it was Arien’s arbitrary act to engage and collude with me.”
Lucerne intentionally misled the Head. Just throwing in a few words was enough.
“Marco, tell me properly. Did you feed Arien ancient poison?”
“No! Arien took the poison herself. That, Arien, wore the ring… … . The ring contained poison. There will be people who will testify.”
“I heard from Carola that you had the antidote for that poison. Is that right?”
“… … .”
“You didn’t give Arien the antidote?”
Marco’s expression collapsed. His limbs trembled.
“Did you kill Arien, Marco?”
“Oh, Lord. I, so—I mean—I meant… … .”
Lucerne laughed at him and put down his glass. Marco did a lot of stupid things, so it seemed that this story would conclude faster than he anticipated.
“Then, since I’ve told you everything I have to say, I’ll leave.”
Lucerne left the room with a light nod.
“What the hell is the reason for Arien’s death!”
He heard the Head pressuring Marco.