TPCP – 183

Like knights fighting on the battlefield, noblewomen fought too. But what differed was that they did not clash with swords. Ladies often attacked their opponents with invisible weapons.

Among them, the means of gossip was quite low.

Frontal assaults could be dodged or blocked. However, rumors permeate among people, like smoke and maligning someone.

Until the person who started the rumors revealed the truth, the only thing one could do was endure it silently. At such a time, any arguments were meaningless. Instead, any action worked like throwing in a spark amongst kindling.

‘Or cover up the rumor by making a bigger rumor. Anyway, all I have to do is prepare the grounds for the defense,’

Elisha thought without much emotion. During the time Lucerne was away, the story got more out of hand, and Sophie wailed the whole time.

“Madam, you can’t stay still. Those who spread rumors should be shamed publicly!”

Instead, Elisha was fascinated by Sophie’s bright and passionate emotions. How could she be so indignant about other people’s affairs? She was not used to having others take her side.

“On what grounds does Sophie believe in me?”


“I could have really been bigamous. Then I will be divorced. I will no longer be your mistress.”

Sophie blinked. It looked like she hadn’t thought of that.

“But now you are my mistress… … . Madam has always been kind to me… … .”

Elisha was an excellent lady to serve. She never unnecessarily bothered her subordinates and was always calm and level-headed. Masters with mood swings would make their subordinates tremble and hypervigilant.

‘Innocence is also a talent.’

If everyone was the same as Sophie, there is no need to distrust and doubt. There would be no need to lie. Unfortunately, however, the relationship between Lucerne and Elisha was not so simple.

She had to be mindful of the beast’s whims when she was with him. After all, he was a predator, and he inevitably owned Elisha. If he changed his mind and decided to bite Elisha, there was no recourse. Right now… … . It was inevitable.

‘That’s why I have no choice but to test him.’

Although Lucerne hated her being cautious and testing him. But without a test, Elisha had no clue about her future path with him. Shouldn’t she know whether the road in front of her led to a cliff?

“Besides, the madam is smart!”

“… … . is that so? But why does that matter?”

“My mother said such a thing. Smart people never spark a fire. Because the general is a very scary person… … . If you had done anything to upset such a man, the lady’s face would have been filled with apprehension every day. But you aren’t? Aren’t you instead proud?”

Elisha was quite impressed this time. She thought there was a wisdom to keeping everything simple.

“You have a wise mother.”

Sophie was shy and a little embarrassed by the praise. Elisha smiled briefly.

“So… … . I… … . I also have a lot of maid friends! Shall I spread a rumor that the madam is innocent?”

“Do nothing,”

Elisha ordered quietly.

“Don’t do anything.”


Elisha looked at the papers on her desk. It was a document she had requested from Rosaria and issued by the High Temple. It was proof that her previous marriage was invalid and that her family register was clear until she married Lucerne.

‘If I show this, I can prove my innocence to Lucerne.’

But if Lucerne became emotional, degraded her, harassed her, or tried to throw her out…. she couldn’t help it.

Instead, if she remained calm and cool-headed, she could get a glimpse of Lucerne’s underside revealed when she wasn’t perfect. Everyone Elisha knew from the Cartier household threw away their possession as soon as they were scratched. Even if that’s a thing of the past. There were no exceptions.


Then the sound of a carriage arriving resounded from outside the window. Elisha peered outside.

Lucerne’s jet-black carriage was pulling through the front door.

Normally, she would have greeted him. But not today. Rather, Elisha calmly sat down and waited for him. She sat in the middle of the drawing room where the couple often spent time.

Click. The door opened.

She looked into Lucerne’s eyes. And had a hunch: he knew everything.

“You’ve arrived.”

Lucerne lightly nodded. He examined Elisha with careful regard. She felt like she was naked wherever his gaze landed. She thought she would be fine but… … . Elisha’s shoulders tensed up and shrank at the sight of his chilly, stiff countenance.

Maybe this wouldn’t pass as easily as the love letter incident. Now was perhaps the limit of his patience.

“If you’re going to be making such a guilty face,”

Lucerne said.

“Why don’t you pretend to be shivering?”

“… … I don’t know what you mean.”

“Aren’t you well aware that my heart will grow weak again when I see you frightened?”

Lucerne posed affectionately. Elisha wanted to bite her lip.

“I didn’t know you were interested in the gossip of women.”

“It’s not that I’m interested in gossip, it’s that I’m interested in the women component. And you are the only woman for me right now,”

Lucerne clarified languidly.

“What rumors have you heard?”

“Rumor has it that you have previously written a marriage contract with a certain man.”

“… … .”

“So tell me now if there’s anything else I should be more angry about.”

“… … .”

“Because you already have to be punished for what you’ve been hiding all this time.”

Silence passed between them. Elisha felt dizzy. He never took his gaze off of her.

“Why aren’t you saying anything?”

He took one step closer.

“Should I interrogate you in a more private place?”

She wanted to ask where the other place was. But for some reason, she felt like she shouldn’t know. He came up to her and grabbed her arm.

“What you heard is right.”

Elisha saw sparks flash in his eyes. He calmly suppressed it and said:


“… … What?”

“Bring me evidence. I don’t believe anything without proof.”

Lucerne’s grip on her arm tightened. Elisha was out of breath as if she had been running.

“The evidence is probably in Carola’s hands. Seeing that the rumors spread as wide and as fast as they have, it must be her doing.”

Elisha barely managed to get that out.

“Then, you should manipulate me with your clever tongue, that’s your specialty. This is your last chance to relieve my anger.”

Unconsciously, Elisha tried to pull out her arm from his grasp. That ignited a certain emotion in Lucerne. Something like a light flashed in his eyes. He did not tolerate Elisha’s rejection. It was something he really hated. Elisha knew that.


Lucerne hugged her abruptly. When she came to her senses, she was lying face down on his lap.

And Lucerne was sitting on the big long sofa in the farthest part of the parlor, with her on his lap.

Then something happened that Elisha never could have dreamed of in her life.

Lucerne pulled up Elisha’s skirt and slapped her on the butt.


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