TPCP – 61.2

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“If you come quietly, I won’t be rough with you,”

the man muttered. He opened the door to a storage room under the stairs. And threw Elisha in.

“Ugh!”

The man pulled out a blade.

“If you run away, I will cut you apart.”

Her eyes darkened. They intended to tie her up to prevent her from entering the auction.

“Stay still! You don’t want to die, do you?”

The man pulled out a rope that appeared to have been prepared in advance in the storage room. Elisha realized that this had all been  planned.

Within an instant, countless thoughts ran through Elisha’s mind.

‘No, the value of that land… … . This can’t be the end.’

Lucerne, Carola, Arien…. No one knew. This parcel of land was absolutely necessary for Elisha to began anew. It was the beginning of her painting.

Furthermore… … .

‘If you fail, you die.’

The words of Jacob from her previous life echoed in her mind. Elisha did not want to fail. Lucerne…… . She loathed the idea of him condemning and criticizing her like Jacob.

No, she hated that Lucerne might think of her as useless. She didn’t want to be deprived of the only pride and confidence she had.

‘They are the same as I remember— no. You always exceed my expectations with your cruelty.’

Carola and Arien regarded each other as competition. But that wasn’t the case with Elisha.

To them, she was beneath them. Someone who could never compete or stand on an equal footing even if the world was turned upside down. Even in an insignificant competition like this, they were ruthless. They tried to stop Elisha even by committing a crime and taboo with many eyes.

‘Is this what you meant by teaching me from one-to-ten?’

Elisha was frustrated. Even more so because she was stuck in a room beneath the stairs, with a knife stuck to her neck.

In her first life, she had lived in Jacob’s mansion in the capital, also in a storage room. Carola and Jacob would abruptly barge in with a task and errands to complete, and when they were irked, both of them didn’t hesitate to raise their hand. Like that hellish room, this room even smelled as damp; it was as if she was still there.

“I’ve been instructed to stab you if you don’t listen. If you stand still, I’ll make a scar or two on your face after the auction is over and send you back nicely.”

Elisha pretended to extend her hands out in a gentle manner.

“Arghh!”

The next moment, she drew the man’s whip from around his waist and lashed the man on the cheek with a whip.

“Fuck—bitch!”

The man screamed. Elisha ran outside. That was the moment… … . She felt a stinging pain in her shoulder.

“Oh, fuck it! I wasn’t supposed to kill her!”

She grabbed her shoulder and pressed down on it. Blood was pouring out. Her vision grew dark. She staggered towards the auction hall.

Elisha did not look back.

Bang! She opened the door to the auction hall. The man reaching out towards Elisha started to run away, clenching his teeth.

***

“Give it up to me on this one, Carola.”

“Ugh, why? Is there something on that land? Carola is very curious.”

“… … There’s nothing but I don’t want to show Marco my incompetence. So I’ll give you anything you want in return.”

“Then … … can you give… Carola wants that so much.”

Arien’s face turned white. That she could never give. In the first place, it belonged to the temple, so she wasn’t capable of stealing it.

“You’re crazy! Delusional!”

“Fine, then, let’s go as far as we can go. Indeed, Carola can spend whatever money she wants.”

Carola and Arien were sitting side by side, talking in the hall where the auction would held. They had already made a move against Elisha. It was the first time that they had worked together towards the same goal with one heart, leaving them exhilarated.

‘If we lose to that Lucerne, our husbands’ pride will be irreparable.’

After all, everyone in the whole capital knew that Lucerne was the most outstanding in the family. They also knew that this was a competition for perseverance. It was more important not to lose to Lucerne’s wife than to win. A wife’s victory was her husband’s too.

Bang!

Then there was the sound of the door slamming open. It was Elisha. She stood by the doorway with a pale face. The other two couldn’t believe their eyes. They were terrified

“What happened?”

In particular, Arien’s face became very blanched. Elisha’s shoulder was dripping with blood.

Elisha shook her hand. She took in a shaky breath, her complexion pallid. She was holding the whip so tightly that her knuckles turned white.

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