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Merha wasn’t the only one speculating about Elisha. Gossip was going wild, people asserting that she was so ethereally beautiful that the usually calm Lucerne became furious, making him pull out his sword for her.
Elisha suddenly became a well-known celebrity in the capital. Because of her newfound fame, she began to receive numerous invitations. She politely declined all of them.
There were many high-end cafes in the center of the capital where nobles came and went. One of them was a cafe called ‘The Breath of the Spring Wind.’
Elisha met her unexpected face while drinking her tea at the cafe she frequented. It was Princess Illione. As if the princess had come to drink her tea, she was dressed elegantly.
“What a coincidence. Would you like to have a cup of tea with me?”
Princess Illione smiled as she spoke to her.
Elisha got up from her table, formally greeted her with a curtsy, and offered her a seat. A tray full of snacks and tea was placed on the table by the window where the warm sunlight came in.
“I heard you come here to drink tea here often these days?”
“Yes, my husband told me not to travel alone for the time being for my safety. But he did not object to me coming here.”
Illione glanced at Nora standing behind her. Knight Nora was one of the most powerful and skillful knights in Lucerne’s entourage. That he had her escorted by such a talent reflected the favor he had towards Elisha. The princess thought he must really like Elisha.
“Do you like cafes?”
“It’s frustrating always being inside the house. I like watching people on the street. Observing what clothes are worn and what items are in the shops lining the street today. How to find out how the capital works.”
It dawned on Princess Illione that Elisha was more intelligent than she had previously assumed. She recognized it so fast because she, herself, was also a famously talented woman in the imperial family. Nevertheless, Illione maintained a light conversation with Elisha.
“By the way, may I call the general’s wife by name?”
“Yes, of course, Princess.”
“Then I hope Elisha would call me by my first name too.”
“The princess’s status is very precious. People will see me as disrespectful, so let’s delay doing that.”
Elisha politely declined. Since the princess’ main objective wasn’t to strengthen friendly ties, she didn’t insist and brought up the real reason why she was here.
“Elisha, what do you think about persuading the General not to participate in the public auction?”
“Ah, the news of the auction must have traveled to the Imperial Palace. But, why would you suggest that?”
Elisha gently set the teacup down.
“Elisha, it’s for your own good. You don’t know much about the Cartiers—but they are very scary people. Besides, the daughters-in-laws of the Cartier family are not ordinary people.”
Elisha announced calmly. She said it was like someone who had really been through it. Illione continued to try and convince her while the back of her mind felt puzzled.
“It’s typical for Jacob and Marco to fight over nonsense. Expensive carriages, famous horses, capital mansions, strong knights… … . So there are quite a few people who have died caught up in the middle of such fights.”
“People have died?”
“One day, they were squabbling over which knight was more talented.. … . And among the knights they brought, Jacob’s knight was defeated.”
“Did Marco’s knight die?”
“Yes, he was a paladin and the next day, he emerged as a corpse on the riverbank. Everyone said that Jacob killed him in retaliation of hurting his pride.”
“It’s worth taking note of,”
Elisha nodded lightly in affirmation.
The Cartiers thought they were above the imperial family. For their lofty arrogance, those lives caught in the middle were regarded as flies.
“My husband would be fine even if knights ambushed and came at him in droves.”
“Of course the General will be fine. However—”
Illione’s next words were about to b, ‘You could be seriously hurt.’ But she deliberately left it unsaid. But Elisha understood and smiled very faintly.
She was a fallen aristocrat and had a contract marriage with Lucerne in exchange for her status. So even if Lucerne’s enemies were afraid to touch him, it wouldn’t be strange if they instead pointed their arrows at his wife and she went missing.
“You must be worried that I will negatively affect the General.”
Illione’s movements stopped. She examined Elisha carefully.