PDM Chapter 8
Even though it was our first day together as a married couple, I hadn’t seen Kyle once since I came to the mansion. I slowly got up and stared at the door. I couldn’t sleep at all because of the unfamiliar luxurious bedroom.
“Let’s go out.”
Wearing the slippers by the bedside, I walked carefully like a newborn child. When I grabbed the golden doorknob, the sound of the hinges echoed.
I could see the hallway faintly bathed in light. It was dark, but unlike the house I lived in, it didn’t look lonely.
As I turned my gaze to where I could hear a sign of movement, I saw an employee passing through the aisle at the end of the hallway. Envious, I left the room.
Was my voice too soft? The employee didn’t look back, nor did they show any reaction.
Only then did the employee hear my voice. He turned his head, flinching at the sound. His eyes widened and he bowed.
It was the first time I’d called an employee myself, so I wasn’t sure how to speak. I rubbed my nape, hesitated, and said, “Where is His Excellency?”
With an embarrassed look, the staff swallowed. “In the bedroom.”
Wasn’t his bedroom here? I tilted my head, puzzled. Then, at my silence, he answered, “His Excellency is using another room. I’m sorry.”
It was nothing to be sorry about, but he emphasized his apology.
I sighed. I’d been hoping I’d see his face more often when we get married, but even that wasn’t easy.
“I’ll go, then.”
At my last words, he deeply bowed and left.
Strangely, unlike a while ago, the hallway looked lonely.
I sat in front of the console and opened the drawer. There was a diary that I had been writing since I entered the mansion. It had geometric patterns embroidered with gold thread.
The diary was all about Kyle, but the time I spent with him was nonexistent. So, really, what’s the use of the diary? He’s not in my time, and I wasn’t in his.
For a month, I didn’t see Kyle’s face. We could have bumped into each other since we lived in the same mansion, but I didn’t see him at all. It kind of felt as if he were avoiding me.
I slumped over the table. There was no one else here, but I covered my face with my arms so no one could see me. I didn’t even want to see the portraits hanging on the wall looking at me.
It wasn’t that I didn’t expect that my words and actions would offend him. Only a fool wouldn’t notice his sharp feelings.
At the moment, he didn’t like me, but I had hoped that if I could talk to him and show him who I was, he’d see a little bit of my sincerity. But, of course, it was a simple and arrogant idea.
I didn’t even have the energy to open the mountain of invitations on my console. All I did was breathe and think of him.
While waiting for him, my feelings alternated between excitement and despair. It was an endless cycle.
My feelings for him pooled like water. During the day, I received a shard of light and glowed, and in the evening, I sank into darkness.
It didn’t dry out, nor did it flow, and it bothered me.
Unfortunately, when I stayed up all night waiting for him, he didn’t come back to the mansion, but on the day I gave up and fell asleep, he did. It wasn’t just bad luck; it was as if fate was blocking my way towards him.
Amid my inner turmoil, someone suddenly knocked.
“Come in,” I said, my voice weak.
The door opened, and Laura entered with a tray full of tea and refreshments. I put my journal in the drawer and closed it.
“I bought tea and refreshments.”
I headed to the table in the middle of the room. “Thank you.”
As I sat in the chair, Laura picked up the teapot and poured the tea. Staring at the drink flowing into the teacup in a semicircle, I picked up the cup.
“Madam.” Laura handed me a blue envelope. A sealing wax with an unfamiliar pattern covering the mouth of the envelope caught my eye. “An invitation.”
Laura looked flustered, not at all like her usual confident self, as she hesitated to speak.
“What’s wrong? Who sent it?”
“The Countess of Harden…” It was only after Laura audibly swallowed that she answered. “This is an invitation from Countess Hari Harden.”
My eyes shook as I hurriedly opened the envelope. Then, suppressing my trembling emotions, I checked the letter and saw a neat and concise Imperial language. Did she write this herself? If she did, then even her penmanship was beautiful.
In the letter, she introduced herself as Kyle’s best friend and said that she wanted to drink tea with me alone to befriend me.
As my eyes reached the end of the letter, Laura asked, “What should I do?”
I tried to recall the Countess I saw on the day of Count Harden’s funeral. However, her face was completely hidden in a hazy fog. All I saw was that in her grief, she couldn’t breathe, and she collapsed in Kyle’s arms.
I only remembered Kyle, who was also grieving as he held her in his arms. Even in other’s pain, I couldn’t help but look at Kyle.
I even saw her at the boutique, but no matter how much I thought about it, I couldn’t see her in my mind.
When I didn’t answer, Laura took the blue envelope and its contents scattered on the table to send a letter of refusal.
“Then, I’ll write the refusal on your behalf…”
“Accept the invitation.”
Laura had a rare look of surprise.
I gripped the letter, curious about its sender. What kind of person was the woman who held Kyle’s heart? What were her likes and dislikes? I wondered about her as much as I was curious about Kyle.
Above all, I felt hope that I would be able to see Kyle with this excuse. Of course, I would need Kyle’s permission since Hari was the Countess.
“What a shame.”
To use the Countess for my personal greed. I lowered my gaze and stared intently at the invitation. I must meet Kyle today and ask permission to meet the Countess.
“Did you hear that?”
I stopped at the landing and focused on the sound from under the stairs. When I grabbed the railing, I saw Laura looking at me.
“The first day she entered the mansion, His Excellency used a separate bedroom.”
“Everyone is keeping their mouths shut, but a lot of people have noticed. Besides, we are waiting for the lady, but I’ve never seen the two of them together.”
My hand that had been gripping the railing had turned white. I didn’t think everyone would be as friendly as Laura, but it was daunting to actually experience it.
“Ah, how annoying.”
After that, it was quiet until the sound of a mop being thrown on the floor echoed below.
“What is this? Yesterday I talked to Yuri, who delivered flowers to the Countess of Harden, and she just laughed. Everyone knows that the Duchess we’re serving is a person whose origins and background are unknown.”
“What are you doing?” I continued to clench the railing as I raised my voice.
The two maids jumped in surprise and looked up to where I was. As soon as they spotted me, they knelt in despair.
Wait a minute, those people… I narrowed my eyes and looked closely; they were people assigned to be my exclusive maids.
One of them trembled violently, rubbing her hands. “I’m sorry, Madam, I’m sorry!”
Laura, who was staring at the scene coldly, bowed her head. “Let me tell the butler to fire her–”
“Don’t reprimand them.”
Laura looked up at me in surprise as if she didn’t understand what I just said.
“I told you, Laura. I want to be recognized by everyone. If you reprimand them and fire them, I wouldn’t have the chance to change their mind.”
And to be honest, what the maids said wasn’t wrong. But I held back that thought.