Night of the Abandoned Duchess - Chapter 12
Worried about whether it would cause too much trouble, she stepped up slightly on his feet.
Rosalind worried for a moment that she might be too heavy, but the man supported her lightly, like feathers.
She then followed his lead and she turned her body round and round. There was neither graceful music nor the twinkling lights to guide her, though she felt strangely good, perhaps because of the chilly night breeze.
“Let’s go around again.”
She turned her body around once.
The hem of her dress, wrapped in layers of light fabric, spread like a flower in full bloom, and then repeatedly folded. It was the first time in her life that she felt like dancing was fun.
Maybe, it was because there was someone who accepted her as immature and clumsy.
“You’re dancing better than I thought.”
Rosalind smiled shyly, as if gaining confidence in his praise.
“You will master it by the time my foot breaks.”
She frowned at the playful remark, before bursting into laughter. As she couldn’t hold back her laughter and giggle, his voice came in low.
“You are much prettier when you smile.”
It was a soft voice somewhere, without the playfulness that had just happened. Even though it was a calm voice that had no sign of flirting, it sounded awkward for some reason.
Embarrassed by the unknown tickling, Rosalind let go of his hand.
“I’m wearing a mask, how do you know? Pretty or not…”
This time, it was a playful voice again.
What is that? She burst into laughter.
“It’s because…I’m doing it wrong. If I did well, I wouldn’t have to get scolded or cry like this…”
“It’s not that you did anything wrong, and anyone can make a mistake. Above all, scolding or hitting someone for doing something wrong is not the right thing to do.”
“Father—it’s okay. I’m really okay. I’m used to it. It doesn’t happen often. Well, occasionally, it happens.”
At first, she was beaten for taking sides with her mother, and then she was beaten if she did something that was unacceptable by her father’s standards. The problem was that the criteria changed according to her father’s mood, but she tried not to offend him as much as possible.
Fortunately for her, her father didn’t come home often.
“I’m really okay.”
“If you say it’s okay once, it’s a little bit okay, and if you say it twice, it’s really okay. If you say it three times…”
“That’s not okay at all.”
Rosalind frowned at the voice that seemed to pierce her.
Who is that man, he’s talking about as if he knew everything he saw for the first time?
That fact made her a little uncomfortable. She couldn’t stand it if she didn’t think it was okay, and that’s why she’s been convincing herself that it’s okay for a long time
An authoritative family atmosphere, a father who only turns outside, and an innocent but unhappy mother. All of that…
She responded with her own twists.
“Why do you talk like you know everything when you don’t know me at all? How do you know what I am?”
“Everyone is like that. Me, too.”
At the unexpected response, she stared at him as if she had been hit in the back of the head. Then, he reached out and wiped her eyes.
It was only then that Rosalind knew that she was crying.
“I hate talking about other people’s affairs, but violence, regardless of type and reason, cannot be justified under any circumstances. It’s not your fault.”
His words shook her heart a little.
The words of a stranger she had met for the first time made her heart flutter. Rosalind didn’t drink too much, either, and the situation felt a bit unrealistic.
Maybe, it was because it was not uncommon for a person to find out about their feelings that they never confide in anyone for the first time. Still, this feeling was unfamiliar and awkward, and she opened her mouth as if she were turning the subject.
“…Ha, let’s practice one more time.”
Saying so, the man nodded his head and reached out his hand skillfully. This time, she took the hand without hesitation.
Whether it might be because she was more relaxed than at the beginning, or because she was just getting better, Rosalind’s movements have become quite flexible. There was the slight mistake of stepping on his foot a little, though he gave her a small nod as if it was all right and looked out for her.
In a corner of the garden where only the moonlight shines, he and she danced looking into each other’s eyes for a long time. Instead of a flashy melody, small laughter and whispering voices resounded.
Some more time passed, and Rosalind, who was getting better at her, waved her hand playfully as if she couldn’t do it anymore.
“I can’t dance anymore.”
“Are you really good at dancing now?”
“Thanks to you.”
“I have someone waiting, so I have to go now.”
At the man’s words, Rosalind felt regret involuntarily. Realizing that, she was startled by the fact that she and she felt sorry for herself.
“…Thank you for today.”
The man who smiled lightly as if it was nothing special moved his steps after a light greeting.
Rosalind, who was watching her back, hurriedly raised her voice.
His footsteps were caught by her voice and he turned again. Rosalind was determined to do something with her. Carefully, she approached the man without hesitation, step by step, as though she were a man.
Before long, the distance between the two of them narrowed as if they were touching, and she quickly reached out and snatched the man’s mask.
“What are you doing now…”
It was forbidden to touch other people’s masks at the masquerade. Nevertheless, it wasn’t because of him that he couldn’t continue, it was because of her unexpected and blunt behavior.
Then, the wind blew and shook his short hair.
As if time had stopped, the two stood still, taking no action. Rosalind stared at the man in front of me as if she had been possessed.
The man’s face revealed under the moonlight was sharper than expected. However, the green eyes that received the faint light looked as sweet and beautiful as the green leaves on a summer day.
She continued to gaze at him, trying to engrave his face in her eyes.
“…Snow is as pretty as a leaf on a summer day. I like trees more than flowers.”
The moment the man was about to open his mouth, she nodded, holding his mask to her chest.
“I will return this to you next time we meet.”
Finishing her words, she grabbed the hem of her dress and began to move quickly with her steps.
He was tall and of good physique, and if he tried to catch him, that would have been enough, but he didn’t dare to catch Rosalind. Even though it was somewhat rude, she didn’t hold back.
Maybe, it was because she was looking forward to the ‘next’ meeting she said.
Her heart was pounding as if she had run far away.
It was the beginning of her cruel first love.
“…Is this love?”
From that day on, that face has not been forgotten.
His face kept glimmering like a person who had even suffered from morbidity, and that was the only time he remembered. His cheeks kept reddening and he even fanned his hands for nothing.
She interrogated the protagonist of the mask, like the prince in a story, who sought the owner of her glass slipper to see him again, to confirm her own feelings.
Although it was not easy for her to find him as she was a masquerade. When Rosalind thought that she only had time to pity her and that she might have to give up, she found out that Rosalind was the owner of the mask, Kyle of the Spencer family.
It was a prom she attended at the insistence of her father. He was just annoyed at the news that the son of the Duke, who had been said to not appear often, showed his face after a long time, though when she saw that face, her heart seemed to stop as it is.
The son of the Duke must have been the man who had been kind to her that night.
As Rosalind cleared her mind and was about to speak to her, her father hinted that the person she was going to marry was Kyle.
When she found out, she was so happy that she could not sleep because everything seemed like fate. She squeezed her bloated heart in anticipation of telling him everything about her the day she married him.
So, on her first night as her husband and he officially became her husband, she began to carefully bring out the story she had been holding in her heart.
“…In fact, I’ve seen you before, but I don’t know if you’ll remember it.”
However, at Rosalind’s words, he only sneered openly.
“Well. I can’t remember, and I’m not curious about it.”
“A long time ago in the party garden… I saw you…”
“Are there any noble women who don’t go to parties?”
She couldn’t keep up with his words in a cool, sarcastic tone.
“I have no idea what kind of relationship they had before. Even if I knew it, it wouldn’t change.”
She dropped her head without her pulse.
Rosalind didn’t know what to do.
The gentleman of that night had long since disappeared…
She couldn’t understand why a man who was so friendly suddenly behaved so coldly, though she didn’t even dare to ask why. It had been quite some time since then, and it had been heavy enough to worry that he didn’t remember herself or what if he was the only one who made that night special.
She vowed to talk later when they became closer and became better friends, but there was no sign of any change in the relationship.
After more than a year, he still hated her, and as time went on Rosalind became less and less confident to speak.
In fact, more than anything else, it seemed that it would be too much of a pain if he denied even the memories of that time…
Wasn’t he the one who said, “Even if I knew it, it wouldn’t change?” If Kyle had cruelly trampled on even the memories of that day with his hatred for him, it would have been very difficult to stand by his side.
The moonlit night then was the only kindness he had bestowed upon her.
A glimmer of hope she could hold on to…
Even without that, she knew it would be difficult, so maybe he instinctively sacrificed himself.
Rosalind knew best myself that she needed a spark of hope to stay by his side.
* * *
“…Why were you being so kind to me?”
Rosalind looked at the mask and murmured a little.
“He was so kind to a woman he didn’t even know who she was.”
The woman who couldn’t dance well, and stutters would probably be better than her, his wife…
She smiled pitifully.
“…I’m going to go get a diagnosis.”
She gently touched her flat stomach. Rosalind remembered the doctor’s words that she was unable to carry a child.
When he took time out of his work to go see Olivia, she feared that she may be infertile and went to see the doctor alone.
Still, she thought she’d rather spend time this way than be alone with her jealousy. Since he wasn’t at home and Olivia wasn’t there, it was the perfect time for her to go secretly to the doctor.
What if the word infertility comes up again? It was so scary, nevertheless, Rosalind decided to be a little more courageous.
“Isis, I’m going out for a little while. I will go alone. Do not worry about it.”
Uttering so, she struggled to smile at her maid.