PDM Chapter 17
Even if I changed how I looked, the essence didn’t change. Besides, I couldn’t even be compared to her because we were completely different.
Even if I changed the superficial things, I could never be someone else, and even if I was with Kyle, I wasn’t with him.
I stared at her hand, not a single scar in sight. It was different from my rough, scarred hands.
“Can I visit the duchy next time?” Hari looked into my eyes and asked.
It was probably to check I wasn’t offended. I clenched my fists and nodded. “Yes, I’ll think about it.”
I didn’t want to say it.
Besides, I bet she didn’t need my permission to visit the duchy.
I thought of Hari while listening to the sound of the horses galloping outside the carriage.
She smiled a lot and was kind. Her skin was fair and smooth, and she was talkative but lovely. Above all, her hands were beautiful.
I glanced at my hand. Since I was young, I have done a lot of rough things, so I had many small and ragged scars.
“Laura, I think my hands are ugly compared to Countess Harden’s.”
Laura didn’t answer, but it was probably because she realized I was talking to myself.
I’d rather not see Hari or get to know her. In the end, I had no choice but to admit that fact even if I didn’t want to admit why Kyle loved Hari. Ugly inferiority complex and jealousy erupted in me like a volcano.
‘I told him to come with Madam, but he said you don’t like the sun.’
Kyle knew that I liked to walk in the sun. That I liked the dazzling light that illuminates the surface of the water.
When she said that, I thought I should stop liking it. I felt like I had to do that to prove Kyle’s words. I could argue that no one knew me as well as him. It was easier to change me than to let them know.
I curled my lips and frowned at the sun stinging my eyes.
“Laura, will you close the curtains?”
Laura pulled back the curtains of the carriage without saying a word, as if she had understood my intentions.
Kyle listened briefly to Aelle’s report before sending her up to her room. She was looking kind of lost, and she looked like she needed a break.
Laura did the rest of the report on her behalf. Kyle looked out the window of his office and asked, “What kind of conversation did they have?”
“They talked about the handkerchief she gave her and their daily life. And…”
Kyle looked up in boredom when Laura hesitated to answer. Kyle didn’t rush her, but Laura rushed, “She said that the Countess’s hands are beautiful.”
“Hands?” He furrowed one eyebrow.
Laura looked at Kyle to see his reaction but didn’t respond. Instead, she remembered Aelle’s pitiful eyes and slowly closed her eyes. It broke her heart to see Madam’s eyes always wet with heartbreak and melancholy.
Laura thought maybe Aelle could fill Kyle’s empty heart. But she was wrong. Her heart was being gnawed by being with Kyle.
Laura bowed her head with a gloomy face. “Your Grace, would you dare give me a chance to speak up?”
When Kyle nodded, Laura said, “Can’t you please open your heart to Madam? Madam is…”
“If you’re going to say something useless, leave.” Kyle dismissed Laura’s words without hesitation.
“I’ll take my leave.”
Laura bowed and stepped back.
Kyle heard the sound of the closing door, and soon enough, he was alone in the empty office.
He looked at the letter on the side of the desk. For some time now, he has had his servants around Hari to protect her. Unfortunately, Hari’s psychological state had been unstable after losing Louis, and he wanted to look out for her. He also had his people report any dangerous situations Hari could be in.
According to today’s report, Hari was no different from usual. So it must mean that Aelle didn’t open her mouth.
Kyle stared at the candlelight in the corner of the desk. When he placed the end of the letter by the light, the paper quickly burned to ashes.
‘There was no sign of spending at all.’
As Kyle saw the ashes falling on the desk, he recalled Takan’s voice.
Ha. Kyle scoffed and rubbed his lower jaw with his hands.
Kyle didn’t think Aelle had married him simply to get away from his father. So, he monitored Aelle through the employees.
After some time, Aelle wanted to meet with Hari, and although it was risky, he allowed her to visit her. He wanted to test Aelle.
But perhaps she realized his intentions. Contrary to expectations, Aelle did nothing.
There was no interaction with Viscount Carena either. There were no traces of correspondence and no reports of her leaving the duchy, so there was no way they could communicate.
Kyle nervously ruffled his hair.
What kind of person was she?
After getting married, Kyle deliberately did not return to the mansion to give her room to act as if no one was watching. He thought of gathering evidence and using it as an excuse to intimidate her.
However, she didn’t indulge in extravagant things, didn’t disturb the mansion, or put the family in trouble by entering society.
The woman he met was nowhere to be found, and neither was the courage and boldness when she proposed the contract. Instead, she always took a step back, was careful of other people’s moods, and made sure not to act in a way that wouldn’t catch his eye.
Kyle recalled the day he slept with her. He was thinking of Louis, and in his distress, he drank too much. The image of Louis haunted him the whole day, and so he gladly accepted her offer to use her. He used her as she used him.
That was all it was–a simple way to relieve lust.
After spending the night together, she was quiet, contrary to his expectation that she would hold it against him.
No, the only difference was that she started waiting for him.
Whether it only happened recently or it’s something new, she seemed used to waiting. Kyle recalled Aelle standing by the window and staring at him. She seemed startled when their eyes met.
A pitiful physique. Sad eyes and a gloomy atmosphere.
‘Are you trying to replace her again tonight because it’s lonely?’
Her crying face. Kyle didn’t know why she was apologizing or why she was crying, but he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Her wounded eyes trembled as tears soon dropped. Frozen in place, he stared at her as she left.
She wasn’t smiling, her face devoid of emotion. No, she never smiled in front of him in the first place. Kyle couldn’t think of anything else after that day because Aelle’s crying face was branded in his mind.
“D*mn it,” Kyle cursed and rubbed his face in frustration.
If the tears she’d shown Kyle were intentional, then her calculations were correct.
Since that day, her crying face has not been erased from his mind.
“Madam, you don’t look well. Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” I tried to smile.
Hari frowned and asked again, “Are you sure you’re alright?”
It wasn’t until I answered twice that her interest waned.
How long has it been since we first met? At least I knew that autumn was coming. As expected, Hari didn’t need my permission to visit the duchy.
Since then, she has visited the mansion as if to soothe her loneliness and try to befriend me. She called me by my name easily, and Kyle’s name even more.
Unfortunately, I had to witness how Kyle was with Hari.
Did he think I was going to harm her? Or was he afraid that I would reveal his heart? On the day Hari visited the mansion, Kyle stayed by her side as if to protect her.
It was a funny sight. Kyle and Hari, who enjoyed the afternoon in the garden, and I, the interloper who had no idea what they were talking about.
Even Laura and Takan were too embarrassed to watch the scene. How out of place did I look between them?
They mostly talked about Kyle and the past I didn’t know. The pain between feeling alienated and jealousy continued for a day or two, but my fluctuating emotions did not change.
Hari picked up a teacup and suggested.