1.1 What Mareena Thought was Happiness
Soft, wavy, brown hair that reached the bottom of the shoulders.
Navy-blue eyes that were the symbol of the Westmont family. Depending on the angle seen from, the hue would change.
Both her slender limbs and delicate body made her ample breasts stand out. As such, she always wore dresses with minimum exposure.
Such was the Countess of Westmont—Mareena Westmont.
Mareena Westmont assumed control of the count family four years ago when she turned 20.
Her parents, who took their time educating Mareena, had retired at age of 60. After passing on the title to Mareena, they had a small house constructed in the province and decided to quietly enjoy the rest of their lives there.
Mason, the second son of Count Huntington, was 22-years-old at the time of his marriage. He subsequently became Count Westmont’s son-in-law. He had dark gray hair and dark green eyes. His facial features could also be considered as refreshing. Although he didn’t stand out, his gentle personality made him popular with women.
Count Huntington was a relative of Mareena’s mother, the former Countess of Westmont. From the start, her mother had already decided to adopt Mason. Partly because of that, he became Mareena’s husband.
Everyone thus blessed the couple. Mareena, who inherited some of her mother’s fierceness, and Mason, who had an amiable and gentle personality, were said to be a good match.
There were no children between them, but no one rushed them. Everyone thought that as the pair grew closer, they’d be blessed with one.
A young maid, Cameron, 18-years-old, would see to Mareena’s personal belongings. She was a petite woman with beautiful red hair and yellow eyes.
The territory of Cameron’s parents, Zion, had been severely damaged by harsh climate. In exchange of food and supplies, Cameron applied for an apprenticeship in the Westmont household. Afterwards, to repay her debt, she worked as a maid.
Cameron, who gave up on her education to work as a maid, was given a thorough education as both a lady and a student. The Westmont family had especially arranged a tutor for her.
Considering that she was merely an apprentice, that treatment was overly-luxurious. However, the Westmont family took it upon themselves to give her proper education. Otherwise, it could be considered a failing on their part. Thus, Cameron received a splendid education that wouldn’t embarrass Mareena if the two were to go out.
The cheerful, bold, Mareena was liked by the servants of the mansion. The people also genuinely respected their lord who prioritized the wellbeing of the people.
As Mareena’s assistant, Mason would sometimes serve as the acting lord.
Nevertheless, when the time neared for Mareena to assume her responsibilities, she became unwell.
It started as a cold and grew into a fever that worsened overtime.
The sun’s glare drifting through the curtains awoke her.
Mareena slowly dragged her body, which was as heavy as lead, out of bed.
“Good morning, Lady Mareena.”
“Good morning, Cameron.”
“How are you feeling today?”
“As I’ve just awoken, I feel dizzy. But I seem to be in better shape than usual.”
“That’s wonderful. For the first time in a long while, you’re coming to the dining room. Please prepare yourself.”
“Somehow, I’m nervous.”
Yesterday, and also the day before yesterday, Mareena ate in her room.
“I didn’t see Mason yesterday. Was he busy?”
“Lord Mason was here while Lady Mareena was sleeping. But like Milady said, he seems to be occupied up with work. Therefore, he didn’t stay very long.”
“If so, I wish you had woken me.”
“I’m sorry, I’ll make sure to do that next time.”
“I’ll ask you to do so.”
Thanks to Mason acting as the lord, she could rest in peace. The fact that she had such a good husband always cheered Mareena.
She had to return to her good health and resume her duties soon.
When she arrived at the dining room, Mason had already finished eating and was reading the newspaper.
“Mareena, how are you feeling?”
Mason, who noticed Mareena, stood up and quickly approached Mareena. He then took her hand.
“I’m feeling better today.”
Saying that, he pulled out a seat for Mareena. After saying thank you, Mareena sat down. Mason followed suit.
“I’m sorry that I was asleep even though you came to my room yesterday.”
“What are you saying? It’s only to be expected that you’d be asleep. You are still unwell. There’s no need to apologize. I hope you’d get better, soon.”
“Thank you, Mason.”
Mareena appreciated her gentle husband’s concern. At the same time, she also felt guilty for being sick. Because of that, her husband became busy.
While she felt slightly better that day, every day, her condition continued to deteriorate. When she was told that both the reason and the cure were unknown, anxiety coursed across her body.
Her main concern was the lack of heir. She was the only one who could preserve the Westmont family. To be precise, she had relatives, but she was talking in a sense that she was the direct descendant. As such, her responsibilities were also tremendous. The Westmont family’s signature eye color was also the most prominent in Mareena.
At least once a month, she’d engage in night activity with Mason. It was difficult to do so arbitrarily because they were both busy, and that the timing also wasn’t right. Hence, the two had decided upon that rule.
Nevertheless, even if they had decided to do it at least once a month, they’d just end up spending the rest of the month on work. By doing it once a month, she did mean once a month. As in, the frequency wouldn’t increase more than once.
Mareena’s first night with Mason was terrible. Mareena, who had no experience and lacked knowledge, was terrified. Then, due to tension and horror, she ended up fainting. Recalling that incident, Mareena was convinced that she’d never be able to live it down. The morning after, she couldn’t meet Mason for a while, and had hold on to her apology.
After that, they did their best, but she just couldn’t get pregnant. Since it was painful, Mareena was also reluctant to do it. The same went for Mason who said that he was unwilling to cause Mareena any pain.
—She woke up at midnight.
The room was pitch-black. At the same time, no one seemed to be there.
“What time is it…?”
She didn’t know when she had fallen asleep, but Cameron might had been caring for her.
Inside the pitcher, there was barely any water left. She had no choice but to go to the kitchen to fetch some.
Mareena’s bedroom and the offices were located near the stairs in the center of the mansion as a method of saving time. Mareena’s range of activities was also narrow, such as going to and from the rooms centered around the stairs, the dining room, and the entrance. For a long time, she hadn’t been to the other parts of the mansion. That was because the management of the mansion had been left to Johan and Mason.
As of the present, she was in the mood for a walk. She decided to walk down the long corridor in front of the bedroom, go down the stairs at the end, and then to the kitchen. Finally being able to walk leisurely, she realized what a luxury it was. She didn’t even notice the beautiful flowers in the hallways.
The corridor at night was quiet, while the air was a little cold yet comfortable. The moonlight and the candles that illuminated the place calmed her mind.
She had always felt uncomfortable, perhaps due to being unwell. As such, her mind was always foggy. But that day, she was feeling quite fresh.
Is it because I slept well?
If such was the case, then she should properly sleep and manage her physical condition more thoroughly. Rather, if she could get back into good health merely by sleeping, that would be terribly helpful and convenient!
As she leisurely strolled down the corridor entertaining such thoughs, she heard a voice from somewhere—
“…Who is this?”
***T/N: It’s the DeViL’S TaNGo
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