Thank you to raw provider: angelstars5 and proofreader: matindi of SRC
It was just a day before her death.
That day Elisha was standing in front of the snake painting. Before she knew it, someone was close to her.
Elisha noticed who he was and held her breath. Jacob’s archrival. Lucerne.
‘Jacob asked me why I, a bastard, am coveting the family.’
‘Go and tell your master. I swore to myself when I was seven. I’m going to tear everything apart that is out of my reach. Especially since the more I can’t have it, the more I want it. So I’m going to get my hands on the House of Cartier that can’t be mine and destroy it, and then display the broken pieces all over the world, and take only what I want from the family.’
‘I’m not a lunatic. It is what it is.’
At Lucerne’s last words, Elisha suppressed her overflowing fear.
Her whole body was shaking.
‘So decide. Will I break it or not.’
Elisha felt nauseous. She lowered her eyes.
“What’s wrong with her?”
Carola’s gaze followed Lucerne. She looked as if she saw a stray.
“Isn’t this Jacob’s terrority?”
Lucerne murmured softly.
“Why is that woman crying and hiding?”
Carola was unhappy. She was upset that Lucerne was paying attention elsewhere.
“They… they are maids who work here—the children of lazy families who are able to send their daughters away to pay off their debts. I felt sorry for them, so I gave them easy and simple work like laundry. Aren’t you interested in Carola?”
Even the talkative Freckles felt tired from her incessant talking. Carola continued to talk, regardless.
“…Maybe. Maybe she was crying because she was scared of ghosts. Did you know? A man killed himself in this creak. After that, there are rumors about ghosts coming and going. Carola takes care of it. The lowly things are dumb so we know how to deal with them. “
Lucerne glanced at Carola, disgusted. As it was, Lucerne turned his gaze back to Elisha.
“Indeed, the maid.”
“Is a good-looking maid.”
Elisha doubted her ears.
Lucerne’s and Carola’s carriage almost crashed.
Carola’s flirtation with Lucerne and evident desire for an affair.
Elisha in hiding, soaked with muddy water, watching the situation.
This all happened in her previous life.
But there was only one different thing.
Elisha had wanted to observe Lucerne closely.
She had taken one more step out of the shade with a desire to study him. Maybe that was why Lucerne noticed her presence.
‘It was the day after when Carola beat me and Freckles side by side for witnessing this.’
But now it was subtly different from her first timeline.
Carola’s voice went shrill.
“Lucerne is temperamental. He wonders what’s the matter?”
“I never said you could say my name.”
Lucerne cut her off sharply. Carola mumbled her lips like a child and looked back at Elisha.
As Elisha approached, Carola ordered:
“Apologize to the general right now. Does Carola have to teach you that, too?”
Elisha looked at Carola with a blank face. A maid utterly unafraid of her was a foreign sight to Carola and Lucerne’s men.
“What do you want me to apologize for?”
Elisha asked calmly.
“The Grand General is a precious guest, and here you are with your dirty self in front of him. It’s sad if Carola is misunderstood that she doesn’t take good care of the maids. You’re all in front of the general because you want to show your spoiled and messy appearance, aren’t you?”
Pretending to be dumb, Carola’s voice that mimicked baby speech became bizarrely clear the moment she attacked someone.
Elisha spoke politely.
“Should I take off my clothes?”
Carola looked at Elisha with the irate eyes of a madman.
“It’s an accident that dirtied my clothes. But if you say it’s not an accident, it means there’s blame, and the sin is not on me, but my clothes. So if you’re uncomfortable, I’ll take off my clothes. But I can’t apologize for something I didn’t do.”
Elisha spoke softly.
Lucerne was quicker than Carola and understood her meaning. Lucerne’s lips curled up. ‘Look at this,’ his amused expression seemed to say.
If one thought about how her clothes became stained, the cause of the accident is that the wagons stopped and poured muddy water on her. So she had to blame either Carola or Lucerne’s carriage.
So Elisha said what she couldn’t point out.
“Ahh, these days, the lower ones are so bothersome. So mean! What kind of ugly thing are you doing in front of the general?”
Carola, who was hit by a blow from her, peeked at Lucerne while grinding her teeth. Lucerne ignored Carola and then inquired of Elisha:
“Why are you crying? I think I asked that.”
Elisha pressed her eyes with one hand. Even the back of her hand was soaked with muddy water. She bent her knees slowly and curtsied.
“I am sorry to delay the decision of Milady. I just cried because I was sad that the laundry was ruined.”
“Yes, you deserve to be upset.”
Lucerne beckoned to Elisha to come close to him – his servants hurried to receive Elisha’s laundry. Elisha approached Lucerne gingerly.
“You cried in front of me, so I’ll compensate you.”
Lucerne glanced at his lieutenant, who took the purse out of his chest pocket.
“How much do you want as a reward?”
“It’s all right.”
“Then what shall I give you?”
“Then please be merciful and let me go.”
“Really? That’s disappointing.”
He said without changing a single expression. His emotionless eyes were even sultry.
“Well, It’s not money that’s needed for a lady.”
Lucerne loosened his cloak from his shoulder. The long, dark-colored cape with a golden ornament on its shoulders was obviously a luxury item. He draped it over Elisha’s shoulders. His eyes rested on Elisha’s muddy breasts.
“Be careful, go well-covered, so that no one looks at you.”
“Especially after your mouth asked if you should take it off.”