Thank you to raw provider: angelstars5 Thank you for the Ko-fi Quaraliel! (1/2)
It had disappeared from her pocket. Elisha’s face turned white.
‘There it is!’
She looked around and found it among the flowers. Elisha dived in to picked it up and her head floated again above the water surface.
“It would be better not to move.”
Then the dazzling sunlight hit her eyes. Someone spoke to her above her head. The spring was a hollow structure, with a wooden deck connecting the lake and the land.
In summer, it was a place for nobles to sit and dip their feet. A man was standing there. Her face turned red.
It was Lucerne. She hurriedly put the gold coin into her pocket. In doing so, the button on her wet upper garment was unbuttoned. Her chest was plainly exposed.
“A pleasant view,”
he said bluntly. His voice was so calm that Elisha thought she had heard it wrong. [t1v: HA this guy and love at first wet shirt and ample bosom sight]
Elisha hurriedly scrambled and tried to get out of there. Lucerne chuckled lowly.
“You are on top of the historical thistle flower. The flower wraps around anything near its stem. I guess you haven’t been told never to go into the lake during this season.”
Indeed, the more Elisha struggled, the more the flower wound around her in the water. He was watching her.
“Didn’t I tell you to stay out of my sight?”
Lucerne remarked languidly. His speech… … . was cruel, but his tone was strangely affectionate. It was like a sweet that stung her.
Elisha gasped, she was struggling to breath.
“Tell me to save you,”
Lucerne uttered deeply. It wasn’t loud but his attractive low voice reverberated and it’s resonance clearly dug into her ear.
Elisha bit her lips tightly and was forced to say,
“Please save me—”
He finally bowed down over Elisha.
Lucerne leaned over and pulled her up. From his momentum, Elisha, heavy, cold and soaked to the bone, fell into his arms. He remained frozen for a moment. Her whole body trembled.
‘I’m going to get hit.’
But instead of hitting Elisha, his arm muscles became taunt as if he was measuring the size of her body.
“Why, can’t you stand up alone?”
It was a male jeer as if she attempted to seduce him. Elisha’s whole body heated up. It was then that she realized that he had already let her go. For the first time, she was looking at Lucerne up close, and her breath stopped
Because he was so beautiful, so tall. So elegant. Elisha felt a burning sense of shame just by standing so close in front of him —face to face.
“It was you,”
said Lucerne. His gaze was fixed on the horrific wound that covered and distorted her hideous face.
‘Last time I was wearing an eye patch… … .’
The last time they met, when Elisha was in Marco’s mansion. She was wearing an eye patch that covered half of her face.
Lucerne would not have been interested in her face. Then the time she hid behind a tree. The day he said she was wearing a green dress, her face was covered by a tree branch… … .
‘This is the first time he’s seen the scars on my face.’
So it wasn’t unusual for him to look at it as if he was looking at something strange like this. But her body trembled and numb.
She wanted to disappear from the world. Standing in front of this guy… … . She was too ugly. [t1v: (*ಥ_ಥ)]
Lucerne held out his hand. He was looking at Elisha with unknown eyes.
He reached out a large palm and covered half of her face. First, it was the burn scar side. Half of her untouched face was revealed under his hand. Then, he covered the other half. So he would now only see the deformed side.
“You don’t have to make a face like that,”
Lucerne said bluntly. It was an oddly absurd conversation.
“The right side of your face is distorted like this and I can’t see from my left eye now,”
“But it seems both my eyes can’t see anything. How very interesting.”
“… … .”
“That’s why I only remember your beauty,”
said Lucerne. His face got closer. He smiled as if amused and pushed against Elisha’s body.
And his eyes scoured all over her body. The damp cloth, soaked with water, exposed the lines of her body. In fact, she was wearing a thin dress so even the shape of her nipples could be seen all over the flowing bustier.
Elisha blushed with shame.
“Cover it well,”
Lucerne whispered to her, pulled his cloak off and put it on Elisha’s shoulders. It was a very luxurious crimson cloak.
“So you don’t look licentious,”
He whispered a few more words in her ear.
Elisha looked at him as he walked away, and she stood blankly.
She couldn’t believe Lucerne’s last whisper.
“This is the last warning. If you catch my eye just one more time. Next time, I can’t say what may happen but you won’t be able to protest or defend yourself. Since I was pretty entertained by just looking at you today, I’ll let you go.”
Elisha felt like she had been hit in the head.
‘Why do you keep poking me? Am I to be taken lightly?’
He was such a man that no woman in the world would be upset if he teased and flirted with them.
Elisha only found out two months later. When Lucerne was attending a temple event last year, he was blinded in one eye as a result of a side effect of the poison Marco gave him. He ended up cutting off one of Marco’s fingers, sparking Gaju’s anger.
Little by little, being amongst the Cartiers was becoming more and more hellish.
And there was a small change in her heart. It’s so small, too tiny, too pathetic. It was also strange to attach pretty modifiers such as affection or love.
A woman’s heart that no one wanted was bizarre and unsightly.
She had nothing, but two things. Body and mind. And even those were taken away and broken.
Lucerne—how can you not call it hell to think of that man?
But it was too different to merely call it Hell. It kept her awake at night and sometimes made her heart ache.
He made her dream even during the day, so she decided to just call it a Little Hell.
And Elisha decided to close her eyes, cover her ears, and ignore and turn away from the feeling.