PDM Chapter 29
I said something my brother wouldn’t even be able to hear.
‘Brother, I think I understand the meaning of those words now.’
How long have you suffered? Is that why you didn’t look for me? Are you happy now that you erased your memory and forgot about Father and me?
No, I know, even if you don’t answer. So, Brother, I want to do the same. Like the young me who used to follow you around, I’ll try to follow you again.
I struggled to open my eyes. The ‘Forest of Quetrey’ was still laid out on the side table where I first saw it. The book looked old, as if it had accumulated dust for having been untouched for many years.
After reading the book, Forest of Quetray was an unrealistic oral tradition.
Quetray was a being abandoned both by heavenly and evil spirits. He, who came down to the human world and deceived the human mind, was given a life sentence, sealed in the human forest. His soul, tied to a chain, left behind an hourglass.
According to stories passed on from one generation to the next, flipping the hourglass deep in the forest could erase the memories of their choosing, and that people who had painful memories had actually turned the hourglass and lived happily.
However, a scholar asserted that the ‘Forest of Quetray’ existed in the southwest region about a few decades ago. It was an area where strange creatures often appeared and were frequented by people.
As if to prove his claim, the scholar found the hourglass, but after that, he never returned. In turn, it became an opportunity for people to believe his claims.
Was that why? People have expressed their desire to enter the forest, but no one claimed that they’d found the hourglass. Or maybe they just lost their memory.
Would my memories die if I went there?
No, there might be other results. For example, monsters could eat me, I could disappear or die. However, there was nothing more painful for me than living with memories.
“That way, I can forget the baby. I can forget him,” I whispered, the words pouring out like a lullaby.
Let’s erase everything and go live in a place we don’t know. Let’s start like that.
As my mind wandered, I fell asleep.
I didn’t know how much time had passed; all I knew was it was a quiet night. I looked around when I woke up and saw Kyle’s back as he stared at the moon outside the balcony window.
While staring at him, I asked a question that suddenly came to mind, “Why won’t you divorce me?”
My voice came out harsh as if stones scratched against my throat. Kyle turned and looked at me lying on the bed.
Looking at it now, I didn’t like his eyes at all. Why was it gray? I couldn’t tell what was in his eyes, and it often made me nervous.
“Your Grace, I don’t have anything, so I don’t need anything.”
Kyle lowered his gaze to his feet and slightly shook his head. I didn’t know why he was shaking his head. I didn’t even know what he was doing in the dark, the moonlight on his shoulders.
Such trivial things were no longer important—whatever emotion or purpose that was once vital to me.
After I talked about divorce, I thought he would give it to me right away, but instead, he stayed silent and didn’t give me a definite answer.
Since I mentioned divorce first, he probably hoped I could hide the reason for divorce so he could marry Hari before a scandal could arise… Ah, maybe.
“Is it because of the Countess of Harden?”
It was a surprisingly flat tone. Have I ever mentioned her name so shrewdly? No, I haven’t. I couldn’t stop the self-deprecating laugh that came out.
Did it make him uncomfortable that I just mentioned her name? Kyle took a breath and closed his eyes.
I sat up and tucked the flowing hair behind my ears. “If you’re worried that I’ll make a fool of you, don’t worry.”
“I’m going to the forest of Quetray.”
At that moment, Kyle looked up, his eyes wide. It was the first time I had seen him greatly agitated. A question came to mind, but I wasn’t curious enough to ask.
He slowly made his way to the bedside. “Aelle.”
“I will go to the forest of Quetray and erase all my memories.”
His pace quickened.
“I’ll go to the forest of Quetray and forget everything–”
“Aelle!” He grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. His breathing was unstable and rapid, much like his urgent steps.
After a while, his breathing became steady, and he sighed. He moved his neck and swallowed his raging emotions.
“Don’t you know you could die if you go there? I know you’re heartbroken over losing the baby, but that’s like committing suicide.”
I looked up to see Kyle’s gray eyes.
Die, me? Yes, I might not succeed like Brother. No, maybe my brother didn’t even go into the forest. However.
“Then I’ll have to die.” A calm voice came out that surprised even me.
Kyle’s grip on me loosened, and his hands fell to his side.
Death. I wasn’t afraid of such a thing. What I was afraid of was just to remember and live.
Just because I wouldn’t remember it doesn’t mean that others would forget, but I thought I could live only by forgetting.
Did I look ugly? Was I too unsightly? Kyle covered his eyes, and again, he sighed.
“Tell me what you want. I’ll do anything you want.”
I blinked. Somehow, talking to him right now felt frustrating and tiresome. It was a thought that would shock me if it was me from the past.
“I don’t want anything else. Please divorce me.”
Please divorce me. I swallowed the words I wanted to say again. I held my tongue instinctively as I watched the sight of his hair shaking like ink. For some reason, I didn’t think I could say any more.
Why are you doing this?
It was an unexpected reaction. How strange. Wouldn’t it be good for him if I went to the Quetray forest and lost my memory or died?
Kyle, Laura, Lil, and Mars. Everyone was weird. What on earth was wrong with me that they were acting like I was going to die?
Even as Kyle moved away and left the bedroom, I stared blankly into the air and thought. I couldn’t understand them at all.
On a quiet night when everyone was asleep, Kyle stared at the letter on the desk.
「 Louis, when are you coming back? I miss you. 」
Kyle covered his eyes with his hand. The reality that he wanted to turn a blind eye seemed to be weighing down on him.
Losing Louis and falling into depression, Hari smiled cheerfully, deliberately hiding her feelings.
Hari had attempted suicide the year she lost Louis. One day, she was frantic, then the next, she didn’t speak a single word. The employees were worried at their master’s erratic mood swings.
‘Kyle, I keep hearing Louis’ voice.’
‘Be honest with me, Kyle. Louis is alive, right? Right?’
She often suffered from visual and auditory hallucinations, so Kyle had to keep his eye on her.
One day, she heard a whisper that Louis was alive, so she tried to cut off her ear. Fortunately, a servant saw it and stopped her, otherwise, Hari would have lost her ear.
Hari said that wherever she went, people looked at her with pity. She said she could hear people saying she had a sad and tragic life. But contrary to Hari’s claim, no one said such a thing.
She put on a mask, smiled brightly, and became a different person. The Count of Harden died, and his wife went crazy. Such words were often heard among employees.
So she hired someone, and without saying a word to Kyle, headed to Quetray Forest.
When Hari heard about Kyle and Ael’s relationship in the library, she was furious that those she believed were friends had sympathized with and deceived her. Hari poured out her anger and pushed him.
‘Did you feel sorry for me? Or do you think I’ll blame you for killing Louis?’
‘It’s not like that.’
‘How do you see me? Do you think I’m crazy, too? Did you want to make me a friend?’
‘Hari, it’s not like that.’
‘Or is it your guilt of killing Louis–’
Startled, Hari stopped, covering her mouth with her hand. Her eyelashes fluttered, and she closed her eyes in regret.
‘I’m sorry, Kyle. I didn’t think like this. It’s just…’
Hari bit her lip and buried her face in her hands.
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