TPCP – 154

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The following day, Elisha overslept.

‘What time is it? I heard that there was an event this morning… … .’

Elisha was shocked that she had slept until noon.

‘You’re really all over the place.’

She called Sophie.

“What about Lucerne?”

“He only said to get ready slowly and take your time when you wake up. First, you should eat lunch. The general notified the attendants beforehand and left.”

“No need to pay attention to the food. Get ready to go out.”

“But the general ordered me not to let the madam out of the room unless you have lunch,”

Sophie clarified hesitantly. She had to obey Elisha’s words first. But everyone was afraid of Lucerne. Finally, seeing Sophie’s teary face, she let out a low sigh and conceded.

“Then let’s proceed quickly.”

Sophie hurried. The servants quickly served a hot, steaming meal.

Even though everyone rushed to get ready, it was already approaching 3 pm when she left.

‘The hunt must have already ended.’

Fortunately, the Black Lion Knights did not go hunting today. By that time, Elisha’s urgency had also subsided. She was late anyway. She felt a slight sense of despondency.

She usually didn’t go around alone. Whether outside or inside, Lucerne’s people always kept an eye on Elisha.

It was 80% protection and 20% surveillance. However, the imperial palace was an exception. Lucerne could only bring a limited number of subordinates into court.

“I will guide you to the entrance to the hunting grounds.”

Elisha gently refused the courtiers’ guidance.

“I know the way to the place where people are gathered so I don’t need directions.”

“There are attendants at every forked road, so if you don’t know the way, please ask and take extra precautions. If you take the wrong path, you may fall into the forest, where the hunt is.”

The courtiers obediently let her go. After that, Elisha could walk alone for the first time in a very long time.

‘It’s been a while since I’ve been this free.’

Although it was limited freedom, it was quite sweet.

“Ouch, ughh. Heeehuuue… … .” [sfx: sobbing]

While walking like that, Elisha heard a child crying on a remote garden path. It was a bizarre sound.

Typically, a child would burst into tears loudly or howl in search of their parents, but this was a heartbreaking cry struggling to be suppressed. Elisha’s steps halted.

Soon after came a violent voice of a boy.

“Yepnen! Your sister is out hunting so there’s no one to rescue you. A man like you is a disgrace! You’ve made everything into a mess because you were born. Who would ever think a fool like you would be the next emperor? You should have never been born.”

Elisha reflexively hid behind a tree.

‘… … I have no luck today.’

She frowned.

A child was crying, covering his mouth with his little fist. And in front of him stood a rather handsome but violent young man, or rather a youth or boy, threatening to pull out his sword at the child. However, he had not yet drawn it out of his scabbard.

Slap. Clap.

The boy’s cheeks, warm and fluffy as freshly baked bread, were being hit with the violent youth’s sheath. He even stabbed him menacingly in the shoulder. However, the action was clearly bullying he controlled his force to the point where the child’s body was not injured.

‘They must be the brothers of the imperial family. However, I heard that they are not real siblings… … .’

The youth acting like a gangster must be Jewel.

Jewel was of the imperial bloodline and the adopted son of the royal family. He was the bereaved son of the former emperor, and the deceased former emperor was the older brother of the current emperor, Murtura.

And a child called Yepnen. Elisha could also guess the identity of the crying child—Illione’s younger brother.

‘How dare you bully such a small child. He looks about six years old at most.’

She was so upset that the cruelty she witnessed gave her goosebumps.

‘Damn it.’

Elisha frowned.

In her previous life, she had awful memories of Jewel. Jewel gave Elisha a big shame and terribly harassed her. That’s why… … .

“Got it? Shut up. If you tell me, I’ll break your other leg! Get out of my sight and run back to your nanny!”

Elisha stopped her thoughts and made sure the tree concealed her. Jewel was approaching her and passed by. The bushes in front of him rustled, and someone came out with a cute tilt of her head.

‘Carola, when did you arrive at the palace?’

There was a reason why Jewel bullied Elisha in her previous life. It was Carola.

Jewel had a very close relationship with Carola in her previous life. She giggled, highly amused whenever he insulted Elisha.

At a mischievous age and full of bravado, Jewel easily succumbed to her instigation. He teased Elisha as if it were an athletic game. Among Carola and the men she had a close relationship with, Jewel was the cruelest.

“Is the little prince gone?”

“Yes. But why are you avoiding him, Carola? That idiot can’t tell anyone anyway. It’s nothing new.”

“You never know… … . People love to blame a powerless woman like Carola. What if someone said it was Carola who made Prince Yepnen cry?”

“No way! Carola, I’ll make sure there is no such misunderstanding,”

Jules promised confidently. Elisha remembered that Jewel was not yet of age. However, his size made him look older and more mature; Carola looked at Jewel with a beguiling eye smile. Elisha’s stomach was in knots.

Then the wind blew. Elisha’s dress swayed. She was worried that her skirt would wave from behind the tree and tightly grabbed it. But instead, her bracelet fluttered slightly.

“Who’s there!”

With a ferocious glare, Jewel looked around. Elisha held her breath.


Then there was a loud cry of a child. It was Prince Yepnen. Yepnen collapsed on the ground and wailed profusely.

“You bastard! I told you to go away!”

Jewel sighed. Carola pulled on Jewel’s collar with a coy movement.

“Let’s go, huh? You have to show Carola a tour of the hunting grounds.”

“All right, but did Jacob really say he would send me another courtesan?”

“You’re too much. Carola is a lady. You must not ask a lady about courtesans. But she’ll give you a hint. The hint is ‘red’.”

She thought that the content of the conversation was truly disgusting.

Finally, Jewel and Carola were out of sight.

Elisha approached the crying Prince Yepnen. He had stopped crying and was sighing and fidgeting.

“Prince, are you okay?”

He looked at Elisha with uncharacteristically calm eyes that were not childlike. At that moment, she realized that it was all a play. This young prince deliberately helped her by crying loudly.

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