TPCP – 29.1

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Time went by quickly. There was daily news concerning battles and skirmishes through newspapers and telegrams. 

The war lasted longer than initially expected. 

It was already two weeks since Elisha arrived at the mansion. During that time she worked diligently as the mistress of the household. While conversing with the soldiers, she focused on cleaning up the mansion and improving the food.

The reason was simple. It was because of a lesson Elisha learned through her past life.

‘Buying a person’s heart is directly related to survival.’

The old man and the Head of the Cartier family was often dubbed as a crafty, treacherous, and terrifying being. 

Later, the people scrutinized his lineage, in particular the Head’s three grandchildren, including the illegitimate Lucerne, and assessed that Jacob had inherited his craftiness, Marco inherited his treacherousness, and Lucerne inherited his ability to instill fear and intimidation.

‘Sly Jacob was an evil-hearted man.’

Suspicious Jacob would spontaneously interrogate and scrutinize his aides. Did they hold duplicitous intentions? Were they stealing money……. 

In her previous life, Elisha was a woman who was treated like an anathema by everyone. However, there were the rare exceptions, people who did her a favor when no one else offered her a helping hand. For instance, an old maid who had been waiting on Jacob for a long time advised Elisha when she was first in charge of keeping the accounting books.

‘Jacob-nim often tests people. Don’t ever fail.’

Soon, the moment of the test came. 

A young knight approached Elisha, saying he was in love with her. He spoke softly of some crass hogwash that he fell in love with Elisha’s heart, regardless of her appearance.

‘Run away with me. Will you? Because I know how to get rid of the pattern on the back of your neck. There’s an amazing wizard.…. Instead, you just have to give me a few pieces of information I want.’ 

The knight was a trap. 

Would Elisha report to Jacob or would Elisha conspire to flee? Or would she not do either? He was a male agent sent to unearth such things. 

Elisha, who was lonely, almost fell for him. Soon, she had made up her mind, pulled herself together, and cut off the relationship. After she realized the truth, she trembled.

‘If it hadn’t been for that maid’s warning then……. I may have committed a fatal blunder.’ 

If she had, she probably wouldn’t have even lasted for those meager five years. 

So, no matter what situation Elisha was in, she prioritized gaining and buying the favor of people around her; there was nothing she could lose. At best there may be someone like that old maid who unexpectedly helped Elisha. 

Moreover, what if Lucerne tried to get rid of her? Sid, a close aide to Lucerne, would probably be in charge of killing her. 

‘If I’m buying his favor at that time, it will at least soften your hand.’

Compared to Jacob’s men, Lucerne’s men were undoubtedly exemplary knights. She remembered Jacob’s men, who acted more like gangsters and often spit on Elisha’s appearance.

‘The hostess of a noble family must win the hearts of the vassals with a friendly personality and charm.’

When Elisha was very young, she had read books on societal duties and social order at the monastery. She remembered the book asserting such duties for a noble mistress.

Elisha got up from her seat and walked in front of the mirror. The woman that looked back at her was expressionless, her face had no vitality or charm—her whole countenance was lifeless.

When she was young, she was told that she had a pretty face, but it had been so long ago that it seemed like a myth and became inaccessible. During that time, she had no time to look into the mirror because she was overwhelmed with toiling over various sorts of labor, including laundry. 

Additionally, after going back in time, every time Elisha looked in the mirror, she expected she would find a woman terribly burned; her face destroyed. 

‘I have no confidence that I’ll be liked for my appearance or attitude.’

Ordinary people expect from their wives the following traits: Kindness, tenderness, sweetness. 

Flirt with men anxiously like Carola, or be elegant and haughty like Arien. Such attitudes were not in Elisha’s arsenal.

The only thing she was good at was work. 

‘The work of a general’s wife……. It said that she must take good care of his subordinates and make sure the soldiers’ conditions are the best they can be.’

So likewise in this life as well, she simply did her best silently. As if that was the only thing that she was valuable for.

*** 

The first two weeks kept her busy, but now at night, she had quite a bit of free time and nothing to do. Elisha decided to use her spare time sewing.

The day after arriving here, the butler called in a merchant from a luxury store and allowed Elisha to purchase various items. She precisely understood her place, so she didn’t want to spend a lot of money. 

Elisha carefully chose only four dresses. They weren’t too expensive but were well-made attire at a reasonable price that didn’t look cheap. 

One was a dark pink dress that could be worn at a ball, and two were casual outfits in gray and beige. They were suitable to be worn when greeting guests at the mansion.

And the other set was blue evening apparel sufficient enough to be worn for outdoor events including picnics. Even though she strived to save money, she secretly spent a lot of money. 

‘If you dress too cheaply, it will embarrass your husband.’ 

She thought at least this much would be fine. Unexpectedly, she also received plenty of matching lingerie. 

‘Is it…… too much?” 

***

You can read unedited advance chapters here. 🔞

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