Thank you to raw provider: angelstars5 Thank you Theresa Frances for the Ko-fi! (2/4)
“Nevertheless, those from monasteries like myself have never forgotten that season. Everyone harbored resentments towards Gunner.”
At that time, he was a candidate for the high priest in the ministerial office, so he needed lobbying funds.
Naturally, the reason he survived in his uniform was because he was a member of the Cartier family, even if he was only distantly related and a collateral.
After that day, Gaju pushed Gunner into nomination for the next Pope. The Lord was dissatisfied with the idea of Merha becoming the next great Pope. Still, his reason for promoting the current situation was that the only influential members of the temple from the Cartier family were Gunner and Merha.
“From the Head’s point of view, he dislikes both candidates, so he’s keeping an eye on them.”
“Right, but we wouldn’t be crossing the line by striking down both. It’s the perfect situation for us to lay our hands on this game.”
After that, Gunner worked diligently to help the poor to impress the Head. He was further solidifying his status as junk in Elisha’s mind.
“Let me say it again, Elisha. No matter how much power I have amongst the Cartiers, I’ll never be able to become the Duke. Even if the temple supports me.”
She agreed with a nod.
Three powers moved the Empire. The first was Cartier, the economic powerhouse that retained most of the Empire’s wealth.
The second was the temple. Since the beginning, the Imperialists highly regarded the temple and demonstrated their loyalty with prayers and donations.
The third was the imperial family. Since the ducal Cartier household was nominally a vassal, there was no escaping the imperial family.
And all three groups were lining up for the Cartier’s succession in their own way. Jacob’s backing was due to his prestigious title as the eldest grandson and Cartier itself, and Marco, whose backing was Merha, had the temple.
Lastly, Lucerne was the High General who controlled military power and had a deep connection with the imperial family. So, if he took this opportunity to take away the support of the temple, he would benefit greatly.
“Once again, this is not the way I am planning for you to become the Duke. But, you want the power of the temple. Who would refuse a candy already in their hand?”
“If it’s candy you’re giving me, I’ll put it in my mouth and suck it up.”
“… … Lucerne.”
Elisha shook her head slightly as he donned a nonchalant air.
“Anyway. Alright. It doesn’t change the fact that I have to destroy the other succession candidates.”
“Yes. Because that’s our way of life. Just like the auction, please leave it to me this time.”
“I see, alright. Proceed as we’ve agreed upon. Then, how long are you going to keep him standing there?”
“He was trying to quarrel with me. I thought I would be angry if he acted the same in front of you, so I wanted to take a break.”
Elisha leisurely brewed fresh tea and poured a cup for him.
“Then let him wait until you feel relieved. No one can be rude to my girl.”
“Good idea. I’ll leave him there for another hour or so.”
Elisha readily agreed.
“But why do you look like that?”
“Look like what?”
She realized she had just grimaced as she discussed the confrontation between herself and Gunner.
“Oh, he was looking me over as if he was thinking something strange. He must have heard rumors about me.”
Lucerne’s hand stopped.
“He has to wait three more hours.”
“You think so?”
Elisha nodded calmly with a blank expression.
“Won’t you be bored of being alone here with me for three hours?”
“Last night didn’t we have more than three hours of fun? How can you say such sad things?”
“… … .”
Elisha wanted to stop talking to him. Seeing that expression, he smiled. She stared at that glowing grin amidst the faint scent of tea. What made him chuckle so easily?
“Then, shall we rub our lips together for a moment in our spare time?”
“Why are you uttering nonsense?”
Elisha bit her lip.
“If you don’t like it, let me just kiss your cheek.”
She let him do that much. Lucerne wrapped his arms around her waist and placed her on his lap in one breath.
Not hating his touch on her cheek, she pretended not to notice his lips. However, she couldn’t afford to be carefree as soon as he put his hand on her thigh.
He placed her on his lap, kissed her, and Elisha touched his cheek. The gold bracelet on her wrist was limp.
Last night Lucerne again put this yellow diamond gold bracelet on her wrist while she was half asleep. It was something she hadn’t worn during her recovery period. While tightening the screws, he declared,
‘Since you’ve recovered, you’ll always wear this. Never take it off.’
It was a voice that dripped with possessiveness. When she thought of that voice, she got goosebumps even though she was in his arms.
‘If this person doesn’t take it off, I can’t take it off.’
He really was a mysterious man. He didn’t care about gold in the first place.
Like a ghost, he shoved his fingers into the space between her bracelet and flesh and began to stroke. His hot tongue fell from their exchange of sticky saliva. The lack of oxygen and pressure that made her head numb earlier was suddenly relieved.
Elisha let out her small gasp and rubbed her palms against his hard chest.
“Time really flies,”
she remarked. Lucerne smirked.
“Fooling around, really. What will end up happening tonight?”
“… … .”
Elisha tightened her hand on his thigh. Then, as if the action provoked Lucerne, he bit her lower lip again.