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Lucerne could not attend the auction due to a critical secret military meeting at the Imperial Palace today. So Elisha simply said casually, ‘You don’t have to go out of your way to attend something like this.’
It was tranquil inside the city hall. The auction was being held in the largest hall, and observers could only watch the auction on the second floor.
‘The Cartier family is amazing.’
There was even a waiting room for the women of the Cartier family. Even escorts were not allowed to enter the auction house, so Elisha could spend time alone.
Soon the door to the waiting room opened. She looked up.
“Elisha. Long time no see. Carola has missed you a lot.”
Carola smiled kindly. After that, Arien also entered. It looked like the two of them had formed a united front.
“I don’t think we are on good enough terms to exchange greetings. What do you want from me?”
“Carola wants to negotiate. It’s just too stupid to compete with money for something like this. The land is not worth huge sums of our money.”
“… … .”
“Lucerne has already spent a large sum to pay off Elisha’s debt. If he wastes more money on you, he will hate his wife. Carola is so worried for Elisha… … .”
Carola’s acting skills were also genius today. Elisha wanted to bite her tongue. Sometimes it looked like Carola wasn’t acting, but she seemed like someone who actually believed what she said.
“Even if I give up, Arien will not give up. Isn’t that right, Arien?”
Arien was looking at Elisha with a pale face.
“Look at her, she is a really unruly, bad-tempered woman. If you hadn’t encouraged Lucerne in the first place—”
“That is a very strange thing to say. This all started because Marco wanted to have an affair with me in the first place. But it’s easier to blame me, right?”
Elisha retorted composedly. Unable to reply, Arien’s face quickly turned red.
“Hey, this one doesn’t lose a single word. Look here, I’m warning you right now.”
“… … .”
“This isn’t your place. Even if the two of us compete, teaching your place from one to ten comes first. You are the wife of an illegitimate brat. How could a penniless beggar pretend to be a real aristocrat!”
Arien looked like she was frantic and on the verge of a breakdown.
‘It looks like Marco squeezed her a little too hard. He must have believed that information was leaked by Arien.’
It was what Elisha had intended. An emotional person was an easy read. So, when Arien drew her claws, she didn’t hurt Elisha in the slightest.
Instead, on the contrary, she felt pity for Arien, who was already pale and still had a lot more to go through in the future.
“A real aristocrat?”
Elisha inquired evenly—almost bored. But, simultaneously, she thought this situation was very amusing. In her previous life, she lived in fear of them and their contempt of her humble appearance. But now, she was dressed more beautifully than them and arguing in the same room as an equal.
“What does it mean to be a real aristocrat?”
“To be with history, honor and learning. Women like us.”
Haughtily she regarded Elisha as pathetic. But, in contrast, she stared back at Arien with a blank expression.
“That is so. That’s right. You are a noble aristocrat.”
“… … .”
“Arien’s family for 14 generations has been noble. Ms. Carola’s family has been titled for 9 generations, so you two are real aristocrats.”
“I’m glad you know.”
“And my family, Count of Lor, has been aristocratic for 24 generations.”
Arien’s expression cracked, and her lips twisted.
It was too easy for Elisha to upset her.
Arien’s go-to insult towards Carola was, ‘You’re only a ninth generation noble’ when she wanted to dismiss her. It was a story she had heard in her previous life.
Indeed, both Carola’s and Arien’s faces turned red and purple.
“What are you trying to say?”
Elisha added softly,
“And regarding your credentials, I don’t know if you two have any honor.”
Carola’s usual smile had been long erased from her face. It was so weird. Usually, Carola basked in Arien’s humiliation. But perhaps at this moment, her hatred for Elisha was greater than her scorn towards Arien.
“Carola doesn’t want to be with her.”
Carola licked her lips as she narrowed her eyes at Elisha.
“Doesn’t Arien think the same?”
“Right— really. Ha, she’s not even on the same standing as us.”
Elisha checked the time. Soon it was time for the auction to start. After all, she didn’t want to be with them in the same room either.
“You’re position and place suits you.”
Arien grumbled as she started to leave the room. Elisha was tempted to retort back, but she didn’t want to deal with her anymore, so she closed the door and left.
The hallway was empty.
‘I have to head to the auction first.’
The auction was at the end of the corridor. She started to amble slowly there.
Elisha’s shoulder bumped into a stranger who was walking across from her.
He looked like a clerk or scribe in an old jacket, his hat pressed down and a tight cravat. He had a horsewhip around his waist as if he had just arrived on horseback.
She only nodded and tried to pass him by—But he grabbed her by the hair.
Speechless, Elisha opened her eyes wide. Her shawl draped over her shoulders fell to her floor.
“Let go of me!”
She struggled and shouted.
‘Here— it’s forbidden to bring a guard… … .’
Except for the two of them, the area was completely empty. Elisha knew it. This was by design, by Carola or Arien— one of the two.