TPCP – 57.1

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“Aren’t you going to choose a necklace?”

“It’s enough.”

Elisha unconsciously rubbed the back of her neck. Lucerne’s gaze followed her movements.

‘I have a tracking tattoo anyway.’

It was a very small tattoo that someone would have to inspect closely in order to see it, but it bothered her. So she usually left her hair down to cover the nape of her neck. If she was at a party or banquet and had to pull her hair up, she wore a homemade choker to cover up the tattoo.

Lucerne stroked her tattoo once and bought the most expensive diamond and ruby

necklaces.

Elisha was too lazy to argue, so she let it go. Regardless, it had been stipulated in the contract that, if divorced, all things obtained during her marriage would remain hers.

‘Indeed, it wouldn’t hurt to gain some belongings.’

“Thank you. How generous! How shall I……. I’ll have to pack up.”

“My men will be waiting outside the door. They’ll write you a check.”

The merchant was overjoyed and kept expressing his thanks again and again.

“And leave everything behind. She’s always on the lookout for gifts, she’ll pass out with joy if I take it and dress it up in wrapping paper..”

“… … General.”

As Elisha swallowed her sigh and called his name, Lucerne playfully stroked her waist and thighs teasingly. The merchant, who couldn’t meet her eyes, hurriedly took his box and went out.

Finally, she got off his lap. Lucerne was gazing into her eyes. Suddenly, Elisha blushed and avoided his stare.

‘Anyway, he is just being willful and arbitrary.’

Still, he was so charming and attractive that she couldn’t hate him. Instead, she was upset that she could only muster up a vague resentment —because he was her only way to live.

“It’s a gift, not a prize.”

“… … .”

“Lapis isn’t a baby, but a man. You’ll just wear things other men give you on your wrist?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Why doesn’t it matter? How upset her husband must be.”

“… … .”

Elisha bit her lips.

‘Should I say thank you for buying me things?’

But this wasn’t the gift she wanted. Furthermore, she hated how strangely she felt entangled with him during the day and night. If she couldn’t stand aloof, she would be the only one hurting and lost.

Seriously, he was a very strange man.

“Show me your neck.”

Elisha meekly held out her white neck. His shadow moved over her.

“It stings when you move. Be still,”

Lucerne softly whispered. Elisha’s shoulders stiffened.

“What… … .”

Suddenly, a shadow passed over her neck.

“Now people won’t be able to see the pattern. It’s not gone, it’s just hidden. You can think of it as camouflage.”

It was a brand engraved on her body since she was 14 years old. It had been inconceivable for her to imagine that the disgusting seal would disappear.

She hadn’t even dared to wish for it. This made her happy. It was a gift.

Elisha suddenly felt good. She really hated the tattoo.

“Why are you doing this all of a sudden?”

“If you told me you had wanted it, I would have done it sooner,”

Lucerne remarked, somewhat stunned.

“You like this better than jewelry. I understand.”

It was only at that moment that she realized that his intentions behind buying her jewels might have been genuinely out of goodwill.

Elisha bit her lip hard. She knew very well that she wasn’t cute and was an unlovable woman. She licked her lips for a while, then spoke softly,

“Thank you. It’s a surprise gift.”

Elisha grabbed the collar of his shirt as he tried to stand up. And belatedly, she added in a tiny voice:

“And… … . jewelry too.”

Lucerne was silent, then a beat later:

“Sure.”

Lucerne acknowledged softly. Suddenly, their eyes met in the air. Elisha felt her body react strangely. For no conceivable reason, her heart was cold, and the nape of her neck was burning. Moreover, her heart was beating irregularly.

The unexpected reaction made her nervous. Elisha let go of his shirt. Lucerne peered at her with strange eyes, and then she turned her back. Elisha rubbed her chest.

Gems were sparkling on the table. They were beautiful and luxurious items she had never dreamed of during her previous life. She touched them one by one. But she quickly put them down.

Elisha was a woman who had struggled over the meaning of an ancient gold coin over two lives. These jewels were so heavy that she didn’t know how to process them all.

Lucerne was right. If it was too sweet, it hurt. She was used to pain, but not the opposite. If he fooled and played her with sweetness as a weapon….. After that…. She would probably never get up again.

Because she had already had a similar experience once before.

***

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