TPCP – 172

Thank you for the Ko-fi Kay!

“Can I bribe Mimosa?”

“Are you afraid I’ll get my feelings hurt?”

Lucerne looked stupefied. Elisha felt sheepish.

“I guess I am so delicate.”

“Don’t be sarcastic. You might despise the kind of ploy I’m planning,”

Elisha declared softly. He smiled.

“Never. How sexy you are when you have bad thoughts.”

Lucerne teased her as he normally did. Elisha only then realized that he was the same as usual. She felt her lungs expand. He winked.

“Come on, Elisha. What are you curious about?”

“… … .”

“Did you expect that to be my weakness?”

“… … Don’t set up thorns.”

He quietly nodded. She fiddled with the empty teacup on the table in the drawing room. Her heart was in turmoil for nothing.

“Around this time, Lapis and Lazuli watch me.”

“… … It seemed so.”

Elisha lowered her eyes.

“Now I understand Carola’s words. I mean, you’re going to be very angry. To provoke people with such a thing, the love letter case is really crude and vulgar.”

Lucerne inspected her face. And she realized that she was awful at comforting people.

“Don’t bother.”

Lucerne meant that she should be comfortable. However, Elisha’s cheeks blushed slightly.

“I don’t know how to speak kindly, and I don’t know how to console you at times like this.”

Elisha said coldly,

“So if you want tenderness, go to another woman.”

“You don’t mean it.”

Lucerne felt assuaged just by her cuteness. He really didn’t even feel bad in the first place. It was too long ago to be annoyed every year.

“You look calm now, but why did you look so cold at the royal palace?”

Elisha asked calmly. That question was aimed at a very long time ago. To be exact, a future that had disappeared.

“Jacob and Carola know that is my weakness. It is the property that Stevan passed on to Jacob. Yes in this family, even hurting someone is inherited. So I can’t stand Jacob talking about it. Same goes for Carola.”

Elisha seemed to have a vague idea of what he meant. Lucerne was silent for a moment, then he spoke as if he were confessing:

“Actually, that’s an excuse… … . After seeing you tremble, I was no longer angry. If I don’t deal with my feelings, I’ll keep making you shrink in fear. That’s all.”

Elisha stared at him quietly. She was gazing at Lucerne’s old wounds.

Once, he must have believed in people too. Trusted them; he must have loved someone. He had affection, had friends, and once, he had a real mentor even closer than Rosaria. But, then, he lost everything in an instant.

“… … I heard that everyone who betrayed you is dead.”

Lucerne nodded in affirmation.

“Was Stevan the mastermind behind it?”

“There were many ringleaders.”


“… … Is it confession time again?”

“… … I’ll say yes.”

Lucerne replied obediently,

“I was young at the time and believed in many different values. So I tried to persuade them. Of course it didn’t work. You’re right. Once a man is coaxed, he becomes cruelest towards his former master.”

“… … Did they throw you out at the door?”

“Something like that, and something worse. No one met me anyway.”

“Why did you want to meet them?”

“I was afraid they would die,”

He answered briefly. Her hand stopped.

“I knew that the people in the Cartier household would surely kill them. So I wanted to tell you to find a way to live. But now that I think about it, it didn’t mean much.”

“… … I don’t think it was meaningless.”

Elisha was silent, then continued her words.

“Did you like them that much?”

He shook his head.

“Rather than that, I liked the Elpirim Mountains.”

“I heard that the Elpirim Mountains were hell before you freed them from demons.”

“It was like that back then,”

Lucerne admitted calmly.

“But there I could talk to other people, learn something, and above all, eat every meal. Besides, no one attacked me even if I slept deeply through the night. Someone stood guard for me. Back then, I was still growing up, so I woke up every morning feeling pain in my bones and joints. Pian was the first to teach me that those were the growing pains as I grew taller.”

Lucerne concluded quietly,

“So I still fondly remember my growing pains.”

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