TPCP – 2.2

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She fought to survive for five long years. Then her ruin came faster than she had thought.

   “If I died, I thought it would be after Jacob became the ducal head.”

   Jacob’s status as a successor was being jeopardized. His situation was becoming desperate. At that time, he had a fearsome enemy threatening his position.

 Lucerne de Kayas.

 It was the name of his old rival.

 A person of the Cartier clan but did not receive the Cartier surname. A high-ranking general who had abandoned his family and took the Empire’s side. He had apprehended Jacob’s drug trafficking ring.

 ‘Elisha, I believed in you. I hate drugs—it’s the enemy of my lineage and my family’s honor.’

   Jacob decided to blame everything on Elisha.

  ‘I can’t believe you’re even running a drug cartel to make money for me.’

It was a ridiculous accusation. But, there was evidence. Jacob established several companies under Elisha’s name, and he was dealing drugs in one of those shops.

   ‘A woman who loved me so much that she even pushed drugs. It will go down in history as a heartbreaking story of a desperate unrequited love. Cheer up. You’ll be a famous ugly hag. How wonderful.’

   Jacob prepared an absurd fake will. Then forced Elisha to sign it with her blood. The date for the hanging was set.

 ‘I didn’t live like this so I could die in vain.’

   Even at that moment, Elisha wanted to live. She ran away. But she was quickly apprehended. 

   ‘Tsk, tsk, it’s not a day or two you’ve eaten out of my family’s hand. Hmm? Didn’t you know? There’s a pattern on your body. This pattern will follow you wherever you go. All the collaterals in the mansion like you are imprinted with this.’

   ‘Let go of me.’

Elisha struggled. Then she grazed Jacob’s cheek with her nails. Jacob was a man who had cruel eyes and a broken nose that gave him an awful appearance. His eyes became fierce. When his eyes twitched, it meant that one of the people around him would die.

 ‘Ah, fuck! Crazy bitch!

 He pushed Elisha to the floor. At that moment, her vision turned red.


   There must have been a pointed stone on the floor. She lost her consciousness as her eyes became cloudy. She touched her head. There was blood. 

Elisha closed her eyes.

 ‘Oh shit, are you dead? I guess I’ll have to treat it as suicide. Shit, what should I do?”

  Absurdly, those were the last words Elisha heard right before she died.


When she opened her eyes again, Elisha was on a bed.

 “Where…… where am I?”

A nurse, who was taking care of Elisha, replied.

   “Don’t you remember? You fell in front of the temple and passed out. You didn’t break anything, and you didn’t hurt your head. All you did was lose consciousness. You’re lucky.”

   Elisha was embarrassed. She asked the nurse a few more questions.

 “Then this year…… is the year 995 of the Imperial Calendar?”

   Elisha had an excellent memory, so she effortlessly remembered details from the years of her past.

  “Five years ago, on New Year’s Day, I fell in front of a temple. Is today that day?”

   She couldn’t believe it.

  “Hey, what are you doing?”

Elisha’s hair was loose, and she walked around in the annex with bare feet.

   Shabby clothes, stretched out underwear, and a few belongings. Freckles and the other ‘collaterals’. Decaying furniture and scraped walls. It was the same as those in her memories.

   Elisha had returned to the past.

   ‘Is this hell? That was possible. ‘Cause there’s no punishment as big as repeating that life again.’

  For five years, she had lived amongst demons, so hell was a logical conclusion. 

‘But… … .’

  Elisha pinched herself several times. She was undoubtedly alive.

‘It’s not a dream. Five years of life. That must have happened.’

  So could it be that she had turned back the time? Elisha was in a state of disbelief. 

One day, Elisha doubted her sanity; the next day, she doubted if she was in a dream. Laundry was done every day, and her debt never decreased.

  ‘This is…… … this is reality.’

   Her days at the mansion were monotonous. She worked every day and struggled with her debts.

   Finishing up the laces for Carola’s dress, chatting with Freckles….. The windows kept creaking at the sound of the heavy rain last night, and she couldn’t fall asleep while trembling.

   It was all so ordinary.

   ‘I need an opportunity to make sure. To be certain.’

   So Elisha decided to test whether her memories were real and reliable. 

   ‘Today is the day I will meet that man.’

   The man who arrived in time for the Duke’s birthday.

An unforgettable man.  

Lucerne de Kayas.  

Jacob’s foe, who had terrified him his whole life, would arrive at the mansion today.

   ‘If he really appears…… … … then it’s true— I have gone back in time.’

   Elisha doubted that she went back in time, but if she really did—she could think of all the things she would do differently with the knowledge that she knew now. 

But if all of this were her delusion, then… … …

  ‘I would rather die. But, if I really meet Lucerne today, I will try one more time to change my life.’

  Elisha decided to use today’s events to determine the path she would take at this vital crossroad. 


And when the man’s carriage appeared while she was doing laundry, tears poured out of Elisha’s eyes without her knowledge as she stared, stunned.

   They were tears shed sorrowfully for her future of life in hell. At the same time, they were tears for future Elisha, who died in vain after toiling in agony for five years.

   “Stop crying. Are you okay?”

 Freckles asked, embarrassed.

 “… I’m okay.”


   The main ducal estate of Cartier was so huge that it could be called a terrority. Within, there were hunting grounds, rivers, forests, and dozens of outbuildings and mansions for each descendant.

    They were standing by the stream behind the annex. The road that came up, right next to the stream, was a shortcut to the Duke’s main residence while passing through Jacob’s territory.

 “That black carriage, that flag. I’ve heard of it. It must be the esteemed General’s carriage. Stop crying, let’s watch. Hmm?”

   As the road became narrower, the carriage slowed down. Its window was open.

   Elisha saw his face. It was him, Lucerne.

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