TPCP – 49.2

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He spoke casually, and Elisha glanced at him slightly.

“Don’t do that again.”

She entered the room and released her hand that held on to his arm. Her hand flinched without realizing it.

“What are you talking about?”

“This kind of work.”

What Lucerne was talking about was, of course, her dress. Elisha remembered a few ladies today admiring and praising her outfit.

“I did it because I had the skills and the time.”

“Really, and who are you trying to impress?”

“…….”

“I’m not happy or proud of you for being frugal. You have to spend my money well to save face.”

Elisha was speechless.

“You are good at everything, I understand. But you have to make good use of my money to please me,”

He said evenly as if he was bored. Elisha looked at him.

“Alright, then I’ll go shopping right away. Can I do it tomorrow?”

This time she couldn’t help but raise her eyebrows as she asked; she barely managed to nod her head calmly.

She was strangely upset; her heart felt like it was pierced.

***

One day in Elisha’s previous life, the day before she was forcibly seated at the Cartier family’s banquet where Lucerne stabbed a fork between Jacob’s fingers.

At that time, Elisha had a habit of walking and hiding in the shade of trees. It wasn’t until she had burn marks on her face that she hated and feared being around people.

As she walked down the street, Elisha spotted Lucerne and the Headwalking side by side. She hurriedly hid behind a small tree. She was a tree tall enough to cover her body.

‘Why are the two of you having a friendly conversation?’

Elisha wondered.

“Really, it’s such a waste. If only she had a pretty appearance, she would have lived a comfortable life. If she were such a clever woman… … . I wanted her. But I think her heart is too weak, so she won’t be with me for long, so I’ll send her back to Jacob. I tried to raise her well but stopped.”

Elisha was startled. The Duke was talking about her. The only person Jacob gave and was by Gaju’s side was her.

“Grandfather,”

said Lucerne.

“As long as someone is connected with this family, it is impossible to live comfortably. This includes me. It’s a little ridiculous to say that.”

“Do you feel pity for that ugly child?”

“I have no sympathy for anyone.”

“If not sympathy? Are you saying you hold her in your heart? It’s the first time you’ve reacted to a woman’s story.”

Judging by the tone of the Head’s voice it was one of the rare times he was joking around with Lucerne.

If Elisha had been a woman with an ordinary appearance, the Lord would have never made the joke. He would have never allowed them to even meet the few times they had come across each other.

“I don’t care about anyone.”

“If you fall in love with someone, I will find it and kill it horribly. Lucerne. If a man like you loves someone, it’s over.. Isn’t the person without anything to lose the scariest?”

The Head’s laughter deepened; he would treat his grandchildren like this from time to time. But he soon returned to his cool-headed sober state. After all, it was simply a whim for him.

“Soft things don’t suit you.”

“I know. Something like that, I’ll cut it down with my own hands.”

Lucerne glanced at Elisha. Contrary to what she had thought, the tree with its lush leaves did not cover her entire body. Instead, behind the low branches, a part of her body was revealed.

“Considering the life I’ve lived, wouldn’t it be disrespectful to them?”

“What?”

Gaju stopped in his tracks.

“Lucerne. No matter how hard you try, you can’t become the Head. Accept it as a fact of your life. Don’t fuss about it anymore.”

The Head constantly compared Jacob to Lucerne. He pretended Marco was a favourite but excluded him from the most important work. And……. He favored Lucerne but publicly stated that he never intended to make him the Duke.

‘Why isn’t it obvious to everyone?’

The other candidates for succession harbored a deep-seated sense of inferiority; some even had seizures and feared Lucerne.

However, in Elisha’s view, Gaju was not the kind of person who would respect an illegitimate child. Above all, the Head placed great importance on obedience to himself, and Lucerne had become an unruly monster too large for the Lord to control.

Therefore, Gaju constantly compared, undermined, and used his three grandchildren. He used Lucerne, in particular, to motivate the other ducal candidates to work harder.

“I don’t even dream, for something like the Duke’s position.”

“Ha [sigh], you arrogant foolish bastard.”

The Head laughed.

“By the way. The woman.”

“Are you talking about Elisha?”

“Seeing that my grandfather knows her name, she seems to be doing an excellent job.”

“…….”

Lucerne continued while Gaju was speechless for a moment.

“That woman named Elisha. When she wore green, she was pretty.”

They disappeared.

Coming out of the shade, Elisha’s face was pale and tired. But soon, the tips of her ears began to turn red slowly.

Not because she was shy, but because she was ashamed.

‘What kind of human makes fun of any woman…….’

Elisha didn’t have a single green outfit.

So she looked down on herself.

The hem of her skirt was protruding through the branches. Shabby off-white clothes. A cheap dress made of cotton fabric.

A summer tree hung over that dress…….

It was all green.

A very brilliant green. A silky deep green.

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