TPCP – 53.2

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He rushed back with Elisha on his horse, with the whip still around his waist.

Tak. Tak.

Lucerne paced around the room for a moment, slowly beating the whip in the palm of his hand. He looked like he was thinking deeply about something.

“You know I can’t become the Duke even if the other ducal candidates are doomed.”

“Yes, I know. And I didn’t say ‘this how to become the Head’.”

“Ah. Yes. That plan you are going to reveal?”

Lucerne chuckled. Then he inquired, searching her face.

“How far did you know?”

“I knew Arien was aiming for a random parcel of land. Jacob and Carol also know that.”

“Did the little ghost spy on Jacob’s office?”

“Yes,”

Elisha affirmed briefly. She actually knew more than that, but she didn’t want him to be more suspicious of her. [t1v: uhhh, who’s going to tell her?]

“And?”

“That’s it. Just……. What happened today is mostly a coincidence. I knew Carola and Arien wanted something. I wondered if there was some kind of conspiracy involved with it.”

“It’s a very plausible statement, as if you had prepared it in advance. It’s not flawless, but not to the point of digging into it either. So, this time too, should I just admire the pretty collateral, and let it slide?”

“…….”

“What do you think, Elisha?”

Her heart began to beat anxiously. Again, he was no ordinary bet. It wouldn’t be easy to move him at will.

But the value of this land did not end here. It was absolutely essential in order to face Jacob and Marco in the future.

“And the rest… … . You’ve figured them all out.”

“Yes. I reasoned and deducted diligently as you intended. There’s a lot of suspense in our marriage, isn’t there?”

“…… .”

“If you were so clever, you would have already taken everything into account that would have raised my suspicions now. My little ghost.”

Tap. Lucerne wrapped the whip around his hand.

“You met Marco yesterday.”

Goosebumps grew on Elisha’s back. It was quite a coincidence that she had met him last night on the terrace. He had even harassed her.

“Are you suspecting that Marco and I are having an affair?”

“Be more imaginative. Would my doubts end there?”

He acted like he was making a bad joke. Elisha bit her lip.

“Let me ask a question. Why the hell are you so sure I’m going to be the Head, and why do you want me to become the Duke?”

“It’s the only way I can survive. If Jacob or Marco were to take over, they would never let me be. I’m afraid we’d both suffer. You may be protected by the imperial family court, but me……. I have no such guarantee.”

If Lucerne were to ask the imperial family for active protection, they would try to get rid of Elisha first. The imperial family had long desired to welcome him as a son-in-law.

“I don’t think they would leave me alone even if I got a divorce. I’ve been hurt by them, so I know……. Once they bite, they will never let go.”

“But. Aren’t we already deeply entangled? When we appeared in public yesterday, everyone knew that we were perverts,”

Lucerne remarked languidly.

Elisha almost lost her composure for a moment, but she didn’t fall for his provocations this time. She continued calmly,

“You may not believe it, but……. I think you are a better person than the other grandchildren. At least……. That’s what I’ve witnessed for the past few months. It’s terrifying to think of someone like Jacob becoming the Gaju and taking all the wealth in the world. I want a good person to rise to a high position. At least you are the general who saved the country.”

“…….”

“When I said I wanted to be your subordinate, I was sincere.”

Hearing those words, Lucerne was silent for a few moments. And he set his whip down on the desk.

“Because it’s so sweet, I have nothing more to say, my wife.”

He approached her and raised her chin up.

“As a matter of fact, I’m rather disconcerted.”

“…….”

“I can handle you being a little suspicious. But the fact that you might have “something” to do with Marco makes my blood boil right now. I was only suspicious of Jacob, but had not considered Marco before. For my wife is no ordinary woman and is not just a pretty doll.”

Elisha doubted her ears. What did this have to do with anything?

“I’m confused about what the hell you and I signed.”

“Our contract is an agreement where I am free after I make you the patriarch. And in order to be free, I have to be free of debt.”

At Elisha’s words, Lucerne smiled darkly.

“Well, that’s very realistic.”

“…… If that’s not enough, I’ll give you my sincere allegiance as a bonus. There would be no need to exert all your energy physically and mentally by requesting information from others.”

She spoke with all her heart so that his doubts would be alleviated. At those words, Lucerne’s expression became a little more subtle.

“Right, it’s nice to get something from my cold wife.”

“…… If you’re pleased, then I’ll request something too.”

Pure revulsion emerged on Elisha’s face.

“Don’t ever try to connect me with a man like Marco again. Just thinking about it makes me nauseous.”

He raised his eyes and looked at her. But additionally, she didn’t seem to understand. Elisha had been somewhat cheeky with him. But suddenly Lucerne……. he seemed to feel better when he saw the genuine disgust on her face.

“I understand, madam.”

Lucerne put aside his suspicious regard towards Elisha.

“Then let’s have a kiss of reconciliation.”

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