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Elisha, wearing a green dress with long hair and a black ribbon, looked like a precious, refined young lady who grew up in a carefully attended greenhouse her whole life.
Additionally, her calm and detached attitude, in contrast with her young and lovely face, made her look even more adorable. Lucerne looked at Elisha silently. His eyes seemed to be pessimistic.
‘Do I look weird?’
Elisha held back her desire to glance in the mirror and check herself. It was the first time in both of her lives that she wore such an elegant dress. Maybe it looked funny to dress such a shabby woman in a fancy dress that didn’t suit her.
“Let’s wrap up the contract while you’re pretty.”
Lucerne said a few seconds later. Elisha tried hard to look aloof.
“In 30 minutes, Jacob’s men will come to get the money. We’ll finalize the terms until then,” Lucerne said.
A contract was placed in front of them at the table.
Elisha nodded and asked bluntly,
“When is divorce possible?”
“Aren’t you progressing too fast?”
Lucerne said as if he was dumbfounded.
“My motive is to be free from Jacob.”
“Didn’t I do that?”
“The end of escape is usually freedom. Thank you for saving me from Jacob, but……. if there’s an end, I’d like to know in advance,”
Elisha said calmly.
“I want to be free of this family. My goal is to be independent and live an ordinary life like a normal person. So……. I’m wondering when I can get a divorce.”
Lucerne’s eyes were unmoved.
“It will be difficult if your willingness to do anything has changed already.”
Elisha tried to still her heart firmly. She hid her fists so she could conceal her shaking hands.
“I’ll do it. I’ll follow you. But……. I need to ask questions. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’ll listen to me, but you’ve never told me not to say what I want.”
“What do you want?”
He stared at Elisha with red eyes.
“What if I earned 30,000 gold coins during my marriage? Then can I get rid of the debt?”
“Our little ghost has a naive side.”
“If I allow you to do that, you’ll use your identity as my wife to make money by any means. How can I trust such a wife?”
Elisha nodded. That was right. If she was the wife of a general, she would be able to take bribes or do dishonest things.
“And divorce occurs in two cases: When I don’t need you or when I have your replacement.”
Elisha’s mind trembled nervously. Elisha thought she had mastered the Cartier family’s behaviors: Sell what you don’t have. Make an advantageous deal. Never lose money.
But the man she is dealing with now was also a Cartier. He was speaking, and his words were straightforwardly and honestly conveying as if he were willing to divorce. But he wasn’t saying a single lie…….
“Then I’ll choose my successor to help you both materially and mentally. And make money somehow.”
“Elisha, why do you keep trying to obtain an advantage?”
Lucerne leaned over.
“I’ve lost a lot. There are plenty of people who would sell me their titles and lineage for 1,000 gold coins, nevermind 30,000 gold coins.”
“……… It’s too much to write a physical waiver memorandum.”
“Only if you betray me. Besides, I don’t sell women. If you commit a crime, I will protect you from the imperial family. Isn’t that generous?”
“Of course, I don’t know what will happen while you are under my protection, but I’ll keep you safe in any way you can imagine.”
Lucerne wasn’t easy either. Elisha said softly.
“Then…… Why don’t you do this? Interrogate me and allow me to consume confession drugs. You can deal with it the way you usually deal with spies.”
Lucerne’s forehead creased into a frown.
“But limit the interrogation to whether I’m a spy or not, please. Investigate me and make sure I am Jacob’s spy or not. I want to make you believe me, too. I’ll consent with everything you want as long as I don’t get cut or broken.”
Elisha spoke calmly. Lucerne was silent.
“I don’t know what the hell you’re trying to do.”
Lucerne replied a few seconds later.
“Do you know what a truth-telling drug is like?”
“I heard that near Jacob’s office, too. In the secret passage.”
“You’ve learned all the bad things.”
Lucerne spit out coldly.
“I’m serious about wanting to earn your trust.”
“Don’t throw yourself in front of me. I dislike being illogical.”
Elisha found a ray of hope in those words.
“Then let me ask you one question.”
“Do you want to be a… ..the Lord of the House?”
“If you knew how much I want it, you won’t be able to say the word “Lord” in front of me.”
Lucerne spoke frighteningly calmly. Elisha’s eyes shook.
“Then when you become the Patriarch… If you become Duke of Cartier, I don’t need me to maintain your status as the Count’s son-in-law, do you? No. Rather I won’t be able to keep my title as your wife.”
It was just as Lucerne said. In that situation, Elisha will be unnecessary. Being a Patriarch means he would get his title and power from the Duchy.
“You told me, if you don’t need me, you’ll divorce me.”
Lucerne said without blinking.
“I’ll help you become the Head of the house. I’ll do it. If you want……After you become the Duke, we can separate, and you’ll write off my debts. There’s nothing for you to lose. Really, just if you become a Lord. Only in that case.”
I thought it was a good condition for Lucerne. Anyhow, if you’re the Head, you’ll need a rich and high-ranking wife, not a contract wife like Elisha.
So, it was clear that Lucerne would be satisfied if Elisha left by then.
\”It’s called treason when an illegitimate child tries to become the Head. I don’t think I’ll be able to safeguard my life if I rebel.”
He even spoke in a bored tone.
“Jacob or Marco will never leave you alone. They will never endure their deficiencies being exposed and put up with the existence of an illegitimate child who is better than them.”
“War will happen regardless. At least you can get your family and smash them. And……. Jacob is a very persistent man. He must be irate because you and I are married. He’ll try to retaliate against me somehow. He’s an enemy to me too, so I hope he disappears.”
“Umm, he’s your enemy. Interesting.”
Elisha saw Lucerne’s lips form a pleasant smile.
“Are those all the conditions?”
Elisha took in a deep breath. She succeeded in persuading Lucerne. She suppressed her elation as if she were running and flying.
“Only two more things.”
“There’s even more? You’re a beauty.”
“……I don’t mind what you do in my name. But if you do business, you can never do illegal businesses. I especially hate drugs and arms trafficking.”
Lucerne nodded as if he had understood her intentions.
“Okay, I don’t care about that.”
“Second, please remove the issue of adultery.”
“Why, do you have anyone in mind?”
You can read unedited advance chapters here.