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“Lucerne, I didn’t expect you to be here.”
“I’m here to make sure you’re not trying to save money again.”
Lucerne’s brazenness didn’t end with his brusque words; he even shamelessly kissed Elisha on the cheek in front of the merchant. She was appalled.
‘Really—this man. Sometimes he carelessly does crazy things.’
Even though she knew he meant nothing by it, Elisha could not stop her emotions from fluctuating at moments like these.
“Don’t worry, I’ve bought commendable items.”
“Ah, I see. You are doing well,”
noted Lucerne. Of course, it was hard to keep one’s attention when the purchases were explained. But he’d shown interest in what she had bought.
‘Really, this person is a strange person.’
And as if his actions weren’t already indecipherable, the following words were growing increasingly incomprehensible.
“What time is it now?”
“It’s three o’clock.”
“After your work, prepare tea.”
She usually drank her tea at 3 o’clock. But now, he was asking for tea. Elisha had no right to refuse. Even so… … . It wasn’t that she didn’t like it. Then someone knocked on the door. It was Ian.
He came in and whispered something in Lucerne’s ear. Lucerne nodded his head.
“See you later in the tea room.”
“… … I understand.”
Elisha nodded her head and proposed,
“Lucerne, if it’s urgent, we can drink tea later.”
“I am not in a hurry. I’ll be right back.”
“A bad accident hasn’t occurred in the house today, right?”
he responded dispassionately. After Lucerne left, the oblivious merchant praised the couple for how loving they were. Elisha didn’t know where to start to correct his misunderstanding, and so she just decided to change the subject.
Mmph! Mmph! [sfx: of someone trying to speak while gagged]
In the dark cellar, old magic stone lanterns hung from the ceiling and jerked. The man seated in the center was twisting his body, but the bound body did not allow much movement.
The man had a cross scar on his face. He was the man who attacked Elisha at the city hall.
“Laying your hands on another man’s wife and tying her up in a storage room. How could you touch her? This husband is upset.”
Lucerne clicked his tongue.
“If you were going to run away, you should have fled properly.”
As Ian released the gag, the man confessed desperately.
“They just said that if I do this one thing they would have to send me away—I was deceived by taking a lot of money! I didn’t even know it was the general’s wife. I never meant to hurt her—”
Lucerne beckoned Ian, and he gagged the man again. With sharp, cold eyes, the corner of Lucerne’s mouth snickered.
“Even if I give the last chance to make a will, it’s always like this.”
Ian agreed. He glanced at Ian.
“Did you have fun with the Knights of the Temple yesterday?”
“Yes, the anger has been alleviated. However, the one who did direct harm to the madam, as expected, won’t yield.”
“Don’t say it’s enough to protect my wife. It is not.”
“If all the husbands in the world were like the General, there would be no families left.”
Lucerne was not offended by his witticism.
“Fortunately, the woman is coping with hardship well.”
“Yes. I am glad that the mansion is very peaceful.”
Ian concurred with sincerity. Lucerne narrowly cracked his neck. A shadow moved slowly in front of the trembling man.
“Take care of it. I’m going to go get some tea.”
Ugh, Argh! The man’s last scream was stifled by his gag and muted.
“I will take care of the last one by myself.”
At Lucerne’s orders, Ian lightly bowed his head and stepped back.
After work, Lucerne slightly cracked his neck. He took off his blood-stained gloves and wiped his hands.
Elisha sat down at the table in the tea room and slowly brewed tea. Then, there was the sound of the door opening.
“Did you take care of your work? Did you get a call from the Imperial Palace?”
she asked without raising her head.
“No. It was a minor thing.”
Then Elisha looked at him. Lucerne seemed very relaxed, just as before.
“I just have something to wrap up.”
“Concerning yesterday’s work on settling scores?”
Elisha nodded and handed him the tea. As he drank his tea unhurriedly, she stole a glance at him. As usual, there were no words between them.
But it was not a frustrating silence.
What a peaceful afternoon, Elisha thought.