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“Do you remember the dried pansy flowers that girls received at the monastery of the Archbishop of Rosaria after they took their first oath? I spotted pansies blooming in the garden, remembered such a thing, and picked it.”
Nora’s mouth was sealed.
“I’m also from the monastery of Archbishop Rosaria. He managed several monasteries, and probably Nora and I attended at different times.…. probably we were also in different monasteries. So I’m sure we’ve never met. But since I heard rumors that Nora was from a monastery, I knew.”
Elisha thought back to the handkerchief she had received from Nora in her previous life. On that handkerchief……. The patterns and initials of the monastery Elisha was born in were embroidered.
It was a very old handkerchief. It was then she realized Nora was a fallen noblewoman like herself. Perhaps Nora was an illegitimate child of a noble, or from a fallen aristocratic family.
“There are a lot of monasteries. How did you know that I was from Rosaria’s monastery among the monasteries?”
“I read all the knights’ employment oaths and backgrounds. The butler gave it to me. The Black Lion Knight Order are individual knights of the General, and do not belong to the imperial family, so their history is kept in the mansion.”
Elisha spoke softly and evenly. It was awareness from her previous life, but she double-checked when she read her history a while ago.
“Actually… I was a little comforted. I was seized by Jacob from the monastery and lived in frustration. Nora became a knight. I wondered how it would have been like to live like that. That’s all. So……. I want to have a conversation. That’s what I thought.”
“Why with me?”
“It was encouraging to see doing well from a similar situation. Like a shining light from afar. Sometimes, I was comforted. In addition, I found out that you were from the same group of monasteries managed by Rosaria-nim.…. I was happy. It’s just my personal feelings that don’t mean much.”
Elisha saw Nora’s downcast eyes.
Usually, the ladies liked Nora. But sometimes they resented her proximity to men. Nora was regarded as such—either over-admired or bitterly debased. It was the first time a lady, namely Elisha had said something like this to her… relating to her and humanizing her.
“……..Thank you, ma’am.”
The carriage began to run quietly again. They were on a road now where the sunlight and noise from the outside reached the vehicle.
Elisha opened the window and looked out. Nora was quietly lowering her eyes. Nora’s cheeks in the sun were a little red.
“Is this the right place?”
Ian tilted his head, opening the carriage door. Elisha nodded.
Where the wagon stopped was an old, very small signboard.
Ordinary people wouldn’t even know what it meant. Elisha visited a real estate office. It was a narrow, old workplace, but amusingly in one day, a few mansions were bought and sold within these very walls.
“Is this your first time?”
the gatekeeper inquired as he looked at Elisha.
“Guards, please wait in front of the door. Don’t worry, it’s safe.”
In the capital, real estate investments by aristocrats were newly in vogue. Since the stakes were high in real estate, there had been instances where accompanying escorts caused disturbances if the transaction did not go well. After that, there was a firm rule to leave guards by the front door.
‘Works for me. I can’t let Lucerne know about what I’ll buy here.…. at least not yet.’
“The streets will be in chaos when the parade begins soon. It is impossible,”
Nora refused sharply.
“There are no exceptions,”
said the gatekeeper. When Nora placed her hand on the sword on her waist, Elisha shook her head.
“Nora, I’ll be right back. I won’t be in danger,”
Elisha reassured her softly.
“Promise me that you’ll be done in 10 minutes.”
When Ian said that, he looked around the store with a troubled expression and added,
“Please promise me that you will never leave the store without us.”
Elisha entered the store.