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Spring arrived. The imperial family called the knights every spring to attend a grand hunting festival. It was only natural that the pride of the Empire, the Black Lions, would be the center of the hunting festival, where knights competed for honor.
The Black Lions won the annual hunt every year. And the emperor was very proud of that fact. The Black Lion Knighthood always went out to the hunt like victors, so Elisha had a lot to do.
“Let’s have a newly tailored black cloak, and on the tabards should have a blue insignia on the shoulders. Here, the Seeds have an additional gold ornamentation. I like this embellishment.”
Elisha was at the training field. In the middle of the arena was a long table covered with a white cloth. The table had various items prepared for the hunting festival. Elisha was choosing items with the butler.
“An excellent choice.”
The butler nodded. Elisha had a knack for picking out luxurious items.
‘A truly amazing person. Although I heard she was poorly educated, and she is good at negotiating with merchants. You really have a good eye for things.’
Most of the items Elisha chose were not overly expensive but looked very rare, and when put together, they harmonized well. The butler could only silently marvel at her competence each time.
“Did you pick them all?”
In the empty gymnasium, Lucerne inquired while handling his bow. He was practicing his archery after a long while.
“Yes, I’m almost done.”
She approached Lucerne. He was wearing a light shirt, pants, and boots today. His solid muscles and broad shoulders were visible, so Elisha had no choice but to glance at him.
“Looks like things worked out for Marco, Marco made Arien’s death his own, as we instigated him. It was easy to manipulate him because he is still in shock.”
Lucerne was moving very slowly, testing his new bow. His hard biceps flexed through his thin shirt as he drew his bowstring. And the thick arrow whistled with a swoosh sound of the wind.
Elisha nodded automatically.
“Arien is just a daughter-in-law. But the Lord will not allow his direct offspring to die.”
“… … Then what should I do?”
“Break his heart. To the point of no return. If you show weakness in this family, you will be trampled on.”
“… … Are you referring to the commotion in the prison?”
Elisha looked up at him.
“It’s important to separate Marco and Merha—the father and son pair. Neither of them will ever recover.”
She nodded. Lucerne allowed Carola’s trick. The orders he gave were insignificant.
After making Marco wait to enter the prison, he told them to release Gunner temporarily.
The two constantly fought across the prison bars. And the moment he released Gunner, with the false information that he was being saved, everything fell right into place and according to plan.
Elisha and Lucerne exchanged glances.
“It’s good to use a useful tool when it comes into your hands. This time Carola played a trick.”
“As expected, you’re quick to understand my words, you.”
Lucerne smiled happily.
“What about Marco?”
“Out of sight out of mind. Gaju will try to preserve Marco’s life, but the Jacob couple will try to ruin him.”
“… … how?”
“It’s an obvious scheme. Send someone around to drink every day. Send a woman to seduce and bewitch him.”
Then, Lucerne added as if spilling.
“But I think it will lead to drug addiction. If it were me, I would do that.”
“… … Who did you send to make it so?”
“There are other agents who do that. If Marco achieves even normal results in a place like Behil Manor and comes to his senses, the Lord will forgive Marco in a few years. But what if he finds him after a few years and finds him a deranged nuisance?”
“… … .”
Elisha shivered with a faint fear of the people of the Cartier family.
“In just one year, it’s easy to produce an addict. If Jacob won’t do it, I will,”
Lucerne spoke softly.
“Marco is done now.”
Elisha closed her mouth for a moment before replying.
“It seemed that he had no intention of recovering. It is said that after Arien’s death, he was completely devoid of hope. Such rumors have even reached me.”
“Stupid bastard. He must have had a sincere heart towards Arien. So when he became a wife murderer he was shocked.”
Marco probably didn’t love Arien. But he had given her a piece of his heart, and it broke from that.
“If you give your heart, you lose– it becomes an opening, a weakness. Fool.”
Lucerne clicked his tongue, smirking and, with a mocking sneer, evidently laughed at such a Marco. Elisha strangely felt a small scratch in her heart. At the same time, she recalled that she almost was poisoned.
‘The Marcos believed that Lucerne had a special consideration and opinion of me, so they thought I was his weakness, and attacked right away. In the Cartier family, it is foolish to give someone affection.’
A direct descendant, Marco, suffered from this. If it had been Elisha who they were attacking, it would have been incomparably worse.
“What are you afraid of? Do you remember your situation?”
Lucerne asked calmly. Elisha sometimes thought he was so quick-witted it was scary. Sometimes she didn’t even realize what she felt before he picked up on it.
“… … It’s not that I’m siding with Marco. Yes, of course I understand.”
“Therefore you can’t escape this family anymore. If my protection is gone, the Jacobs will capture you right away. You will be subject to much worse pain and suffering than Marco or Arien experienced.”
“… … .”
“So wouldn’t it be much more fun to be tied to me and pick out dresses?”
Elisha suddenly thought Lucerne was like a child.