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In her previous life, Merha and the temple stood behind Marco. And the royal family stood behind Lucerne.
There were two reasons why the Duke favored the stupid Jacob. First, that he established a reputation for being business savvy. The second reason was.. … .
‘Unlike Marco and Lucerne, Jacob is dedicated to his role as grandson and pledges allegiance to only Gaju. He isn’t influenced by external forces. At least that’s what the Head believes.’
However, it was not in the Jacob’s couple’s personality to stay still. With an inferiority complex that dictated all of his affairs, Jacob imitated Lucerne in everything. So, like Lucerne, he wanted to have the imperial family’s backing. But he had nowhere to stand.
Princess Ilione stood behind Lucerne. Nor could he line up with the emperor, so the person Jacob had his eye on was Prince Jewel, the eldest son of the imperial family.
While he was still a minor, Jacob attached women to Jewel, causing him to fall rapidly.
The couple taught Jewel many absurd games. One of them was to bring courtesans to public places, dress them up beautifully, have them pretend to be noblewomen, and seduce Jewel.
But his unwholesome acquaintance was a secret. It was because the sovereign strictly prohibited Jacob from getting close to the imperial family.
In the end, the chronic disease of the Cartier family prevailed: distrust. Jacob also believed only in the family leader and refused to follow him. He could be abandoned and helpless at any time if he had only one rope he believed in.
“Children do not necessarily resemble their parents. Sometimes it resembles an older person or an erratic relative. I guess Prince Jewel doesn’t resemble the previous emperor,”
Elisha enunciated quietly.
“Hmm, perhaps. Well, I’ve heard strange rumors about the Cartier family. Like that Jacob’s deceased father, Stevan, had a taste for ugly women,”
Ilione muttered about rumors frankly while drunk.
“Oh, sorry. Elisha— err, I—” [t1v: Ilione dropped honorifics]
“Speak comfortably. I think we’ve gotten that close.” [t1v: Elisha still addresses her with polite honorifics]
At those words, Ilione blinked at the unexpected words. It was the first time that Elisha expressed familiarity first.
“Elisha, I am so touched. Wow… … . Then you should speak comfortably with me too.”
“Give me a little more time. But still feel free to be frank.”
In response, the princess happily nodded.
“Anyway, even if Jewel had an accident, Royal Father would tolerate it all because of his affection for the former emperor. Besides, it would affect his reputation. Many people remember how good the former emperor was to Royal Father, so he won’t treat him coldly or scold him.”
“… … .”
Elisha knew that the disgusting boy named Jewel would become even worse in the next few years.
In addition, she knew that the situation would become more and more tiring as many would try to seize power by using Jewel, arguing that Yepnen was lame and Ilione was a princess. She also knew that the imperial family would face hardship due to Jacob, who supported the prince from behind.
But she didn’t want to make her despair by telling her. It was something she wouldn’t believe anyway.
“If you touch Yepnen one more time—I will kill you!”
Ilione declared belligerently. She understood her feelings.
‘Likewise, I would never forgive someone if they threatened my family. Genuinely… … . I would risk my life.’
Belatedly, Elisha was startled at her own thoughts and wave of passion. Why did this occur to her? In the first place, she never had a family.
Regardless, Elisha admired and liked Illione even more for revealing her raw emotions. But, of course, those who had things to protect must be brave.
“I’m not kidding. I’m gonna make a mess.”
Elisha replied calmly.
“Don’t worry too much. Seeing what he’s doing now… … .”
She poured her wine slowly and filled the glass.
“It’s quite likely he would be ruined by his problems with women.”
She smiled faintly and turned to another subject.
“Princess, you seem a little flustered. Shall we go out and get some fresh air?”
Illione shyly apologized, admitting she seemed excessively riled up. Then, the two got up for a walk.
The night breeze was pleasant. Although not as ostentatious as the Cartier family’s principal residence’s garden, the villa’s garden was also worth seeing. Precious flowers brought from all over the world were in full bloom for spring, and the smell of peonies drifted in the wind.
“I enjoyed this year’s hunt much more than in previous years. It’s very nice to have you here, Elisha.”
“Thank you, Princess.”
“Oye, do you know what the general said when he called me to the side earlier?”
Her ears perked up. She had been curious about what he had whispered to Ilione at the hunting grounds.
“He asked, ‘Are you absolutely certain that no men will come near? Do you know all the military official wives? Can you guarantee no one will be rude?’ … .whooo~ really. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the general being so meticulous.”
“… … .”
“It seems like the High General really likes you.”
Elisha stopped walking once at those words. Suddenly, she felt a strange pang of guilt. Ilione was treating her with honesty and sincerity. She was weak to such affection and favor.
she remarked quietly. It was an unnecessary utterance; she was fully aware.
“There is nothing greater outside of what it looks like. It’s a normal couple relationship. As you know, the relationship between an aristocratic couple is more important than affection.”
“Really?— But… … .”
A beautiful little clock tower was glowing with lights in the middle of the garden. She halted. It was almost midnight now.
It was then—there was a loud rustling in the bushes. Someone shouted loudly:
“Lady, a gentleman told me to pass this on.”
And the letter fell at Elisha’s feet. Soon there was the sound of someone running.
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