‘She will hate you, despise you.’
‘She will come to her father and ask him to give me a severe punishment.’
But who can blame her for that? Even when he thought about it, he knew he deserved to be treated that way, and she had the right to do so.
But the words that came out of Herietta’s mouth were not what he expected at all.
Herietta said gloomily.
“I never knew your life would change so much. I never knew your life would be so hard. I just thought that you were living happily in a distant place like before. I believed so, and I hoped so. Of course, if I had known, I wouldn’t have been of any help either.”
“I was arrogant, and I imagined it one-sidedly. Without knowing your inner thoughts, who must have lived a hard life, I assumed that you would just be living happily somewhere… So I thought it was just me, haa, that was the only thing that was difficult for me. I don’t know anything, I was so carefree…”
“I sincerely apologize.”
Herietta looked down. Edwin looked at her without saying anything.
He couldn’t understand why she was apologizing instead of him. The woman who had done nothing wrong, the woman who deserved an apology, yet she was the first to apologize to him for her sin.
‘What the hell? You have no reason to apologize to me now. Besides, you’re in a position where you don’t have to apologize to me anymore.’
She felt like someone holding a key that didn’t fit in the key hole. She longed for an answer, but she couldn’t get it out of his mouth.
Herietta stood up. He raised his head and looked at her face. A face that seems to be holding back on something. Suddenly, tears fell from her eyes.
“I’m, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do this.”
Embarrassed, Herietta quickly wiped away the tears with the back of her hand. At first she tried to wipe it down with her sleeve, but soon she covered her face with her hands and the tears flowed uncontrollably.
“But it’s too harsh. How can this nonsense be? For such a terrible thing to happen to you…”
She couldn’t speak anymore. Her skin was stained red as she cried and cried. Edwin couldn’t take his eyes off her.
‘Everyone says it’s my fault. I’m not even sure it isn’t. Why, why are you being like this to me?’
He doesn’t remember crying since he grew up. Because he learned that the future head of the family should not easily shed tears in front of others. Yet now, when he looked at her so sadly sobbing in front of him, he, too, seemed to want to cry.
After becoming a slave, something in his heart that he had built up little by little fell apart. Neither Herietta nor Edwin himself noticed the change at the time.
* * *
Herietta, who was lying on the bed, rolling over, ripped off her hair and blamed herself.
‘Suddenly crying over there! How embarrassed must he have been?’
Since she received the letter from Lilian, Herietta had always felt sorry for Edwin’s situation. But the moment she saw him behaving like a wounded beast, she realized that his life was harder than she had imagined.
A tired face with no will to live. Eyes dull and lifeless like those of the dead. The emotions she had kept deep in her heart exploded at the sight of him, who had changed so much from her memories. She didn’t even know how to stop it.
But that was the way it is. She never thought at that moment that so many tears would flow from her eyes. The flowing tears soon fell like a waterfall, and in the end she literally wept and wailed.
And while she cried madly, Edwin watched her in silence without saying a word. His face was obscured by her vision that was blurred by her tears, but he must have had a puzzled look on his face.
Come to think of it, all she did to him was get angry, give lectures, and then cry blindly. Thinking about it herself, it was just absurd.
‘If he sees me in the future, he might avoid me.’
Herietta nervously bit her nails.
‘Are you okay? I wish I had asked calmly and casually. If I had, I might have looked more mature. No, at least it wouldn’t leave a bad impression.’
She once had a greedy desire to impress Edwin as she acted like a noble lady being mature and polite. But now that greed seems to be water under the bridge. To be honest, the fact that he didn’t treat her like a crazy person was something she had to be proud of.
Herietta, who was lying on the bed, kicked into the empty space.
She drowned in embarrassment the whole night long.
* * *
“Sister, is it just me?”
Hugo tilted his head and entered the stable. Herietta, who had been combing the horse’s hair with a brush, lifted her head and met his eyes.
“That slave. Somehow, these days, I feel like I’ve been seeing him everywhere.”
Herietta looked at where Hugo was pointing. Edwin was ten steps away from them, not too far away. Since when was he there? He wasn’t there when she arrived at the stable a little while ago. She was a little surprised because she didn’t feel that there was anyone nearby, but Herietta immediately schooled her features.
“It must just be your feeling. The mansion is so small that if you don’t see each other often, that would be weird.”
“I also thought it was just a coincidence, but as I keep observing, it doesn’t seem to be the case.”
Hugo said with a serious look on his face.
“What’s really strange is that when I’m alone, I can’t even see a single strand of that slave’s hair, but when I’m with you like I am now, I see him several times a day.”
“It must be a coincidence.”
“It’s not a coincidence. Look at that. He’s sweeping the floor over there right now. But that’s the place Anna already cleaned up earlier. See? The floor is clean.”
Hugo said with a frown on his face. With that said, Herietta looked around where Edwin was standing. As Hugo said, the floor had already been cleaned. Looking here and there, it didn’t seem like he needed to brush here now.
If it had been before, she would have started to let her imagination run wild. Maybe he’s interested in her. So maybe he’s just circling around her. She would have never expected such a thing.
“Someone must’ve told him to do it?”
Herietta turned her head away and passed it on indifferently. Then she worked her hands again and started combing the horse’s fur.
After that, she deliberately kept her distance from Edwin. It wasn’t because she hated him. Rather, it was the opposite. She thought he might be reluctant to be with her.
Edwin was no longer in power. He fell under everyone’s feet, and even the smallest thing could feel violent to him. He had already been forced to do many things before he came here, and because of that, he suffered and suffered. So Herietta vowed, at least for herself, she shouldn’t make such a mistake.
“Still, something is strange…”
Hugo glanced at him, still dissatisfied. But Herietta didn’t respond to him. When she had finished combing the horse, she fitted the reins and saddles with a skillful touch.
“If you keep saying useless things, I will leave you behind.”
“Ah! Please wait, sister!”
Herietta’s threats, which were not-really threatening, brought Hugo to his senses and he started to climb the horse in a hurry. Meanwhile, Herietta, who had even lowered the stirrups on the saddle, hurriedly got on her horse. Rather than sitting at an angle to her side with her legs together like most of the ladies, she opted to sit with her legs spread out like a man.
“Sister, here you go.”
Hugo, who had not yet mounted his horse, approached Herietta and handed her a bow and arrow.
“How are you going to hunt rabbits without tools?”
Hugo said with a smile. Yes. Herietta grinned and took them.
A light kick on the side led the horse to walk forward. Hugo rode on the horse and followed her. The sound of the horse hooves studded with the horseshoe rubbing against the hard dirt road echoed.
Herietta, coming out of the front yard, tilted her head and looked into the distance to decide which direction she should go.
‘The road in the east and north forests is rather rough, and in the south, a large tree fell down and the road was blocked.’
With the flow of her thoughts, she naturally looked west.
‘It would be better to go west.’
It had been quite some time since she last visited the West Woods. She wondered what the geography of the forest was like. But it didn’t seem to matter. She doesn’t know if there’s an animal like a deer or a fox. Small rabbits are often caught near villages, so there is no need to go deep into the forest.
“Don’t look away and follow me. Listen to everything I say. Otherwise, I will never take you with me next time.”
“Sister. Am I a child?”
“Be it ten years ago, or ten years later, you will always be a child in my eyes.”
Herietta smiled and looked ahead. Thinking that all the preparations had been made, she tried to run forward.
But all of a sudden, she felt a serious gaze clinging to her. She turned her head to check the source of the gaze, and unexpectedly, Edwin was standing there. He stopped brushing and was staring at them.
At first, she wondered if their eyes met by chance, but he didn’t look away. He smiled awkwardly, wondering if he wanted to say hello, but he just kept his expressionless expression.
‘What’s wrong with him? Is it the first time he’s seen me wearing a riding suit?’
She couldn’t understand why Edwin was staring at her so blatantly. He stood so motionless that at first glance, he could be mistaken for a statue.
After a moment’s hesitation, she looked towards him and bowed her head. Then she kicked the horse in the side harder than before. Neeiighhh. The horse, who had been with her for many years, understood what she wanted and ran fast forward.
Two young riders ran swiftly down the dirt road. A cloud of smoke rose behind them. Edwin’s gaze followed them for a long time until they became tiny dots and completely disappeared from view.
‘She will hate you, despise you.’
Comments for chapter "Chapter 10"
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