TPCP – 50.1

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Last night, Elisha dreamt of a lost future. Her heart felt terribly uneasy.

‘You should go shopping.’

She concluded that she should only believe half of what Lucerne said. It would have suited him more if the man had a knife in his mouth. When he spoke, it was clear that he was taunting others.

Moreover, he was the same man who said that even a disfigured woman like Elisha in her previous life had been pretty.

“Nora, I’m going out. Would you like to come with me?”

“Yes, my lady.”

She told Lucerne that she would take Nora as her escort, as he had requested.

***

‘I’ll take this opportunity to earn favor and get on madam’s good side,’

vowed Nora, secretly nurturing her ambitions.

Even if Elisha didn’t call Lapis first, it seemed they were on good enough terms that he could go and chat with her.

After the fifth time of him proclaiming, ‘I’m the only knight she’s ever treated to tea!’ all the Seeds were annoyed. Still, at the same time, she was envious.

‘If I go with you, I can take care of and look after you!’

said Elisha’s maid, Sophie, who took care of her necessities.

Often when a lady went shopping, the maid attending her would receive a ribbon at the store as a bonus.

Not only was she upset about that, but she would miss out on taking in all the glamorous trends and inhaling the air where beautiful objects lived. Nora, of course, was unaware of such circumstances.

‘Madam, you are very pretty. It’s looks very nice,’

Nora was determined to say such if Elisha asked for her opinion while shopping.

“Nora, are you okay? Is this kind of store uncomfortable?”

asked Elisha while looking at a hat. Nora lost her chance to tell Elisha, ‘Very pretty,’ and became a little depressed.

“I’m sorry, Nora. This is a personal errand. After all, this must be very boring, isn’t it?”

“No! It’s not like that. I am the one who’s…….”

“Yes?”

Nora bit her mouth. She was too taciturn. Perhaps, she should learn how to foster familiarity and kindness from Ian, the master of dressing as a woman. Her shoulders visibly slumped.

“Nora?”

“No, it’s nothing, ma’am…….”

***

Elisha slowly wandered down the street. Where wealthy aristocrats gathered, money circulated, and without fail luxury boutiques were built. A high-end shopping district was also concentrated in Yurif.

‘Madam……. seems to enjoy shopping.’

When Elisha was doing her shopping, Nora didn’t notice that she was scrutinizing the public announcement notices outside of the city hall and offices.

“May I take a look around this office for a moment?”

Elisha stopped at the Spencer’s Real Estate Brokerage Agency at the Yurif branch office. Nora glanced at the sign and realized that it was where the madam had visited in the capital.

“It’s a real estate office?”

Elisha thought that Nora might report her whereabouts to Lucerne afterwards.

“Yes. I heard at yesterday’s party that all the ladies have a villa or hotel memberships in Yurif. After hearing that, I think I will have to look into it a bit more to see if it is true. That’s all.”

Nora was convinced by her explanation.

‘You’ve been working hard and studying a lot too. Even though madam is so slender, she is busy running the house; it must be difficult.’

Nora was naive. It was then. Someone’s voice was heard from the office.

“I will pay any amount of money, so please make it happen! Don’t you understand? I really need that parcel of land.”

The yelling belonged to Marco’s wife. It was Arien’s voice.

Instinctually, Elisha placed her finger on her lips, signalling to be quiet. Nora understood her intentions and held her breath. The door was slightly ajar.

“So, when it comes up for auction, I need you to make the proxy bid. I have a few decent names.”

The office was tiny, and luckily there was no one else on the street. Elisha could clearly hear the following voices,

“Listen well. Never reveal my name. I need to purchase it under a borrowed name. Can you do it? I’ve been told it would be a piece of cake.”

Elisha stepped into an alley. Soon the door opened, and Arien looked around several times and walked three blocks to get into her wagon.

“That was just…….”

“Yes, Marco’s wife, Arien. I saw her face at the duke’s estate. What is that woman up to?”

Everyone knew that the duke’s grandchildren were hostile to each other, to the point where they casually exchanged assassins when they were bored.

Rightfully so, Nora saw them as enemies. In fact, there were times when Lucerne’s army was harmed by Jacob’s or Marco’s schemes.

Nora glanced at Elisha and was startled. She was always the kind lady to Nora, and at that moment, she seemed like a stranger.

Like a mysterious flower submerged in deep water, she gave off an eerie air of an unknown entity. She was lost in thought and utterly still. Eventually, Elisha released her hand from her lips.

“Nora, I have a request. I will give you gold coins. Go inside and give these gold coins to the staff. And find out what property Arien wants?”

Nora looked at her expression and nodded her head.

“I see, madam, but why would the lady do this…….?”

“I am ashamed,”

Elisha whispered.

“I heard at the party yesterday, Carola and Arien……. The wives of the other grandchildren of Cartier were not ordinary. I heard that they were no less than their husbands’ adviser. That’s why I also want to get some information, so please do it.”

Nora didn’t like her words. She hoped her lady would be protected and remain kind and beautiful. But she couldn’t refuse her request, so she nodded her head and agreed.

Had Nora known the consequences of that action, she would have never heeded Elisha’s request.

***

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