“Are you satisfied now?”
“I put Gaju in your hand, so you could stretch and manipulate him. You must be satisfied.”
Inside the returning carriage, Lucerne was watching her sitting in the seat next to him.
“As expected, there is no woman as intriguing as you.”
“It is an honor,”
Elisha answered nonchalantly.
“Did you enjoy the viewing?”
Lucerne nodded. He looked at Elisha with burning eyes. She wondered when and where she had provoked him. Elisha’s wrists were pressed against the seat of the carriage. He held her wrists; his grip was tight like handcuffs.
“This time, as promised, I matched your rhythm and went along. In return you promised that you wouldn’t do this or that and you’d report to me. I don’t know if you remember everything I said.”
“… … How can I forget?”
“But from now on, I won’t be strict with you anymore,”
Lucerne blurted out, somewhat dumbfounded at himself. He was helplessly weak against Elisha and forced to censor himself. His emotions kept crossing the line beyond some simple possessive desire. It was too precarious. To the point of danger.
“I’ll give you just one rule this time.”
“… … .”
“Don’t hurt my collateral. I will not forgive you if you injure what’s mine.”
“… … .”
“If you can’t even keep that, I won’t turn a blind eye to you anymore. Do you understand?”
Elisha meekly nodded her head. She knew that he was being very forgiving and patient. If he wanted to, Lucerne could conquer the family with his own strength. So, trying to make him the family head in the shortest period of time… … .
‘Is for me to be free in the end,’
Elisha thought dryly. He stared at her lips, and his gaze slowly traveled down her body.
“So what’s the secret to your charm? You bewitched the family head.”
“Gaju is now an old man. It is not difficult to win the hearts of the elderly. When a man with power reaches that age, he usually lives in the past. Glorifying and beautifying the memories.”
Lucerne concurred nonchalantly.
“The only thing that is difficult is your heart. It’s hard to discern what’s in it, and the most arduous thing to buy that I’ve ever encountered.”
Coincidentally, the carriage passed through a vast forest before the Duke’s mansion. It was a place where countless royalty and nobles vied to come and hunt. The forest, which was only for the Head, had not been hunted in for a long time, so it contained many rare game.
Elisha’s hand flinched as she stared out the window at the forest. She thought of something she shouldn’t have thought of. She was confused for a moment.
“Do you want it?”
“… … .”
“Is it worth it to you?”
Elisha blurted out and then was aghast. Lucerne’s eyes wavered. His eyes shook and took on an odd color.
It was the moment Lucerne was about to speak. Screech. The carriage stopped. Soon there was the sound of a frenzied carriage approaching.
“… … Gail.”
The door of the new wagon that followed them was thrown open. It was Gail, the butler of the Duke.
“The Lord said that you left too soon and told me to deliver these items. These are all things Michelan-nim liked… … . He thinks Lucerne-nim should take it… … .”
It seemed that the Head was very pleased. He generously gave away his father’s belongings, which he had not given away until he was over twenty. As Elisha watched, she massaged her wrists that had been held by Lucerne.
Elisha hadn’t even blinked an eye in front of the Duke. But now, just by talking to Lucerne for a little while, her blood pulsated, and her body grew hot. Elisha’s gaze turned to the dark forest beyond the road. It seemed to be a place where one could hide and never be found.
‘As expected, this isn’t good, either.’
Elisha collected her thoughts and locked up her heart.
“No, forget what I just said.”
She climbed into the carriage, avoiding Lucerne’s stare. His eyes grew so deep and dark she could not fathom the meaning. Elisha felt as if his sinking pupils were digging into her skull. It was a memory she could not easily shake off.
[t1v: From what I got is that ml is impressed by fl for reading the head but wants her to cherish herself more, so he finds himself revoking all of his rules except for one rule: not to put herself in harms way and get injured. He keeps finding himself becoming lenient rather than selfish and strict with her. (His affection is grower stronger than his insecurities and possessiveness) In the carriage he laments that instead of reading the Head it is her heart is the hardest to read and gain. In a moment of vulnerability she asks him if he actually wants her heart and if the trouble and difficulty in winning it is worth it to him. Ml is shook and probably going to tell her how much she means to him but Gale the dukes butler interrupts them and passes on rewards from gaju. FL knows she’s succeeding in making the ml the Duke and figures her time to divorce him is coming up and looks into the deep forest perhaps thinking she/others could hide in there. She sees herself becoming weaker and weaker to ml, being swayed and emotional to a couple of his words. It looks like she is planning on emotionally and literally physically running away from her feelings. I could be wrong though. I don’t read ahead so my guess is just as good as the next reader.]