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“What do you mean, my lady?”
Mimosa replied as if she was displeased.
“Oh, are you still feigning ignorance?”
Elisha put her hand to her mouth. She couldn’t find the look of terror on her face that she had the night before.
“I could tell just by looking at it. First, Mimosa came last night to deliver her forged letter, as ordered by Carola. In other words, fake love letters pretending to be written by someone with the ridiculous name of Chris Elot Pian.”
“… … .”
“As I’ve heard, your handwriting forgery skills are impressive, Mimosa. It looked like the handwriting of an aristocratic man.”
“Then why did you act like you didn’t know last night?”
“Oh, if you want, I’ll go and tell my husband right now.”
Mimosa’s face turned white.
In her past life, Elisha had to be severely bullied not only by Carola but also by Mimosa, and Pansy, who were Carola’s two close aides.
It was natural for the enforcement of laws to be harsh for those of lower status. Additionally, Carola was talented at fostering competition and dividing the subordinates under her.
Elisha could smile at Mimosa now. But she acutely remembered the sharp pain her fists gave her. She had been brutally beaten considerable times by Mimosa.
“You must be familiar with my husband’s disposition. He is a man with great pride. What would have happened if you had handed over a love letter in front of my husband’s eyes and been caught on the spot?”
“… … .”
“At the very least… … . he would have torn you apart. You’d be dead, you know.”
“Heek, hiccup… … .”
Mimosa trembled. She had worked for the Cartier family for a long time, so of course, she would be afraid of Lucerne. Everyone was well aware of his temper.
“Congratulations. I saved your life once. So, isn’t it a celebration?”
Elisha said with all her heart.
“What the hell do you want to say? Are you trying to threaten me?”
“Is there any need to threaten a poor person like you?”
“… … I beg your pardon?”
“By the way, you, hiding here, right now…..It must have been Carola’s order, right? She would have ordered you to go out and observe how Lucerne is doing,”
Elisha concluded very quietly, like a wave.
“Carola even used her ‘names’ hand. But Lucerne didn’t waver at all. Now, who will Carola’s anger turn against? If I had to guess, she would blame the person who wrote that love letter.”
Mimosa’s heart thumped.
“How pitiful. You’re in a really bad situation, aren’t you, Mimosa? Pansy, the other lady-in-waiting of hers, is even engaged to a knight whose career path is solid. As always, you are the only one taking on the difficult and onerous tasks. Everywhere there will always be people who end up doing the dirty work.”
“… … .”
Mimosa’s hand quivered.
Elisha knew this moment well. Subordinates had their pride too. This was especially true for those from lower nobility, such as Mimosa.
It was so easy for her to crush that tiny pride of hers. She just needed to face a reality she wanted to ignore and didn’t want to believe in.
“Think carefully. Which side should you take? I’m from a fallen noble family, so I don’t have a noble maid I can trust. If I had a lady-in-waiting, it wouldn’t be difficult for me to arrange a position for her with great knights. With me there’s would only one lady-in-waiting to be rewarded. The handmaids who do hair or make tea are different from the maids who are close to their master, aren’t they?”
Elisha spoke softly. Mimosa’s eyes rolled and searched the floor with a rush of thoughts. She tried hard to hide her interest.
“I am also a woman with pride. I can’t serve just anyone as my master. I will report this to Carola-nim.”
“Um, I don’t think you will. Carola would start to suspect and doubt you just because you and I had this conversation. Would you do something stupid like that?”
“… … .”
“Mimosa, you know the cafe frequent. Come to me when you’ve made up your mind,”
Mimosa hesitated and left quickly without even bidding goodbye as if fleeing. Elisha wanted to click her tongue in disdain.
‘Really, so predictable and stupid.’
Mimosa and Pansy were the daughters of a lifelong knight. But, unfortunately, they were both only daughters.
Unlike other positions, a lifelong-knighted knight was a position and title that would disappear unless a son was born. So, in order to maintain their fragile status, they were frantic about marrying a man at the level of a permanently titled knight or higher.
Even families with modest power vastly differed from commoner families and families of lifelong knights. Those in relatively lower positions were more desperate to maintain them. So, Pansy and Mimosa’s marriages were tied to the rise and fall of the family.
‘Carola always favored Pansy among her ladies-in-waiting.’
It was because Pansy was more beautiful, docile, and complacent. Additionally, a beautiful handmaid was a valuable reward she could give to her loyal subjects. So Carola chose a useful servant among Jacob’s knights and had him get engaged to Pansy.
But Mimosa was out of luck. She was relatively unattractive. Besides, she had valuable skills like the ability to imitate handwriting and was quick-witted enough to be called a small Carola.
‘So would Carola trust her? She’s a woman that handled her dirty work, so she’ll be purged someday.’
No matter how sick she felt. Even though she was mentally agitated, she had to do what she had to do.
That was the lifestyle Elisha had learned from her previous life. And as Lucerne’s wife, her job was to clean up his adversaries.
“What did you say to Carola’s maid earlier?”
In the carriage heading home, Lucerne was silent. He kept glancing and paying attention to Elisha but didn’t look particularly reproving.
‘My previous life… … It’s so different. Is Lucerne now more kind? Maybe it’s because he’s before he changes?’
That made sense to her. She heard that the Cartier family’s internal strife intensified in the future, and Lucerne became more ferocious.
‘Or is it because I’m not an ugly woman?’
It wasn’t easy for people to be kind to those weaker than themselves. Lucerne, from her previous life, was so furious with her for bringing up those names. But that didn’t happen to her without her burn scars. Elisha suddenly felt her past wounds stabbing her chest.
She stared at him blankly, her eyes empty.
“Answer me, Elisha,”
Lucerne ordered as if he was an adult talking to a child. Elisha replied with a question instead.
“What if I were a really ugly woman?”
“Why should I imagine that?”
“If you answer me, I will answer you too.”
“If I were an ugly woman, you would be angry at my slightest mistake, and you would be very ashamed of me being your wife, right?”