The Marquis’ Amnesia 9
Chapter Nine: The First Dinner and Gifts.
The maids, led by Elsa, were preparing dinner at the table in my room.
In the meantime, I was arranging the flowers cut by Grandfather Jamal in a vase. Within the blue glass vase, I had inserted bright red dahlia flowers, small sunflowers, and delicate white flowers with large leaves. After looking at the entirety of it from a distance, I adjusted the balance a little bit.
After I muttered “It’s done.” Elsa came at the right time.
“It’s a wonderful arrangement, Milady. May I bring it to the table?”
Elsa carefully lifted the vase and placed it in the middle of the table draped with a white cloth.
Since the food would only be served upon my husband’s arrival, only cutlery such as knives and forks were placed. That day, I had practiced my table manner. The notion of dinner would always make me tense. Therefore, I was grateful that the dinner itself would take place within my room.
I wore an off-shoulder mermaid line dress. The very simple, deep green, dress was both shiny and beautiful despite the lack of frills, lace, and ribbons. A long time ago, Elsa mentioned that the chest area seemed plain. Thus, I embroidered a vine pattern using silver thread on it. Elsa carefully combed my hair and tied it together beautifully. Since she rarely did so, the newfound sensation felt both ticklish and soothing.
When everything was ready, there was a knocking sound. My husband came. Frederick followed him from behind.
The moment I went to the door, my husband, who noticed me, stared at me from top to bottom. After his gaze had returned to my face, he laughed softly.
…It seemed that my appearance wasn’t odd.
“Liliana, you’re always beautiful. But tonight, you’re as beautiful and enigmatic as a goddess.”
His straightforward compliment made me feel embarrassed. To escape from his gaze, I lowered my head. My cheeks were burning.
Every time, my husband would always compliment me for being cute or beautiful. Each time, my chest would become fluffy and awkward.
“T, thank you, my husband also looks wonderful…”
I raised my face a little and smiled. However, the moment I saw my husband, whom was wearing a deep blue formal attire, I could no longer bear to look at him. He looked so handsome, I had to conceal my expression.
Because of that, I didn’t notice that my husband was writhing as he covered his face with both hands.
I couldn’t raise my face for a while.
However, my husband had called for me. I took a deep breath as I lifted my face.
For some reason, my husband had a large, flat, box.
“I don’t know if it will suit your taste, but I prepared it because I want you to wear it during tomorrow’s outing.”
I couldn’t comprehend the meaning of my husband’s words. After I tilted my head in worry, I finally realized that the box was intended for me. Based on what he said, there probably was a dress inside the box tied with red ribbon.
“…F, for me? Ah, I cherish all the dresses that I received, including the one made for me after I got married… T, there’s no need for you to buy me a new dress.”
I wondered why the need to prepare a new one for me. Did my husband dislike the fact that I had altered my previous dresses?
When I was contemplating, Elsa received the box and presented it to me.
“Milady, this is a gift from a husband to his wife. Please accept it for his intention comes from a good place.”
“There’s no need for you to worry. I’m also not saying that your dress is weird. I especially prepared it for Liliana. Therefore, can you accept it?”
My husband took my hand, clasped it, and plead to me. His blue eyes were gazing at me with all seriousness.
Suddenly, I recalled Alphonse’s words—
“—Believe in Will.”
“I, is it truly okay?”
“Of course, you may open it.”
My husband smiled happily and led my hand to the red ribbon on the box. Deciding to believe in my husband’s smile, I untied the ribbon. Frederick lifted the box lid from the side.
I inadvertently let out a gasp.
Inside the box was a beautiful forget-me-not colored dress. I gently lifted the dress. The dress that came out of the box was a princess line dress with a square collar. The collar was embroidered with delicate roses in silver threat, while a thick, dark blue, ribbon was wound around the waist, emphasizing the waistline. The three-quarter sleeves were light blue, while the vine roses were embroidered with the same-colored thread as the dress.
“I thought that a simple dress will be suitable because we’re going to an orphanage… Is it too plain?”
Towards my husband, who asked me anxiously, I shook my head.
“It’s very nice.”
I involuntarily hugged the dress. The joy that overflowed from my chest turned into a smile.
For some reason, my husband stiffened as his face turn bright red. Frederick, who stood beside him, grinned. Elsa was the same.
“Rose is my favorite flower. You remembered it.”
“O, of course…!”
My husband nodded awkwardly.
A few days ago, I had told my husband of my favorite flower. He remembered that it was rose—that alone made my happiness quadruple.
“I don’t like flashy dresses, so I prefer simple ones like this. Besides, the embroidery is very beautiful and delicate… It’s truly nice.”
With my limited vocabulary, I couldn’t think of anything other than the word nice. I tried to take a better look at the dress I was hugging. Then, I brought the dress to Elsa.
“Hey, Elsa, look at this delicate embroidery! Not to mention, the ribbon on the waist is of the same color as my husband’s eyes. What a beautiful blue!”
The blue ribbon which emphasized the waistline bore the same color as my husband’s eyes. For such a color to be in my dress… it was a dream come true. I thought that it was purely a coincidence. But for me to wear my husband’s color… it was as if we were a real couple!
“Fufu, I’m happy for you, Milady. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
“Yes, thank you very much, my husband. I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”
I thanked my husband again. I couldn’t stop smiling. As my husband covered his mouth with one hand, he turned to the side with a bright red face.
“I’m glad you like it.”
“My husband, your face is bright red… Could it be, you have a fever?”
“…No, Milady. He’s just flustered because your reaction is cuter than he expected, so don’t worry.”
Frederick responded on behalf of my husband. Since Frederick, who knew my husband much more than I do, said so, I thought that I should rest easy.
“Milady, I’m going to put it in the closet.”
“May you please leave it on the bed? I want to gaze at it again before going to bed.”
I told Elsa of my selfish request. However, Elsa only laughed gently and said, “Okay.” Before nodding and placing the dress back within its box. Afterwards, she left to put it inside my bedroom.
“Thank you very much, my husband.”
“I’m happy if you’re happy.”
Although his cheeks were still flushed, my husband extended his arm to me. On the first day, I, who didn’t understand the meaning, could only tilt my head. But, Elsa had taught me. As of the present, he had asked for my arm every day and night for almost a week. As such, I was no longer at a loss. I put my hand on my husband’s solid arm. Despite the fact that the table was right in front of me, but my husband was a gentleman who’d always escort me.
When I sat down on the chair that Frederick had pulled for me, my husband also sat down. His seat was right in front of me. Until the food comes, my husband savored an aperitif. Since I didn’t like alcohol all that much, I only took a sip.
The first thing that was brought in was a colorful appetizer. It was placed in front of me by Elsa. Frederick was to be in charge of being my husband’s waitperson.
Thanks to the wonderful dress and the little bit of alcohol I sipped, I was able to enjoy the food without being nervous. Chef Pierre’s food was always delicious, but there was something special about today’s dishes.
“My lord has always been a little impatient. When he was a kid, the Marquis and his wife would always instruct for the dishes to be brought out altogether instead of the otherwise.”
Frederick told me while pouring water into my glass. Normally, it was a violation of etiquette for a waitperson to talk without permission. However, it was easier for me to have someone else to provide the topic. Moreover, if Frederick were to tell us such story, my husband’s memories might return.
“…Freddie, why do Al and you rarely offer a topic that’ll shed me in a more favorable light?”
“Is there ANY stories like that?”
Frederick acted as if surprised. In response, my husband looked as if he had chewed a bitter insect. Since they were breast brothers, they were on good terms.
“Is Frederick on good terms with Alphonse?”
“Since I’m always at my lord’s side, we’re friend by extension. Lord Alphonse is a tolerant person, so we often ridiculed my lord with Alphonse—I mean, the three of us would often speak together.”
Somehow, the figure of my husband having fun with Alphonse and Frederick came into my mind.
“I feel like you and Al are the same kind of person.”
“…Why would a mere butler share a similarity with His Highness the Crown Prince?”
Frederick retorted casually.
“That’s not what I mean…” Rebuked my husband, a little annoyed.
“Because my lord is a childish person, when he was little, he had a mean streak. He’d put insects in Elsa’s clothes, or throw some frogs.”
“A, a frog?”
I had seen it in the picture book Cedric had brought for me. However, I had never witnessed the real thing.
“Please rest assured that we have retaliated properly each time.”
Elsa smiled while saying so. I was a little worried about what they did.
I now realized that if Elsa was a childhood friend of Frederick, then the same would apply to my husband.
“My lord and I are about five years apart, so my lord cherished me as if I’m his sister. Although, again, because he’s childish, there were a lot of cute mischiefs.”
“Thanks to that, I was able to improve our relationship. I’m grateful to my lord for allowing me a chance to marry Elsa.”
Frederick passionately stared at Elsa while saying so. Elsa turned away in slight embarrassment. Her cheeks, which were stained with red, made her look even prettier.
“…Are the two of you married?”
For some reason, my husband was surprised.
Frederick and Elsa stared at each other. As Elsa nodded, Frederick responded;
“That’s right. I didn’t mention it, but Elsa and I got married about two years ago.”
“…Is there anything else you haven’t told me about?”
My husband dubiously stared at Frederick. Frederick laughed in amusement, without answering ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ When my husband tried to pursue the matter, the last dessert arrived. As such, the story had an abrupt end.
“Milady, isn’t it about time for you to tell your husband?”
Elsa, who placed the dessert—a petite cake—in front of me, gently said so.
I nodded. I tried to bring it up several times, but in the end, I just couldn’t. But if I didn’t speak up, there’d be no end to it.
I struggled to raise my face.
“Uh, that, my husband—…”
My husband tilted his head.
I tugged at Elsa’s skirt. Fortunately, my action was concealed by the table cloth. Elsa, who noticed it, kindly put her hand on top of mine. The warmth of her had gave me courage.
For the adorable Cedric, I had to do my utmost.
“Well, about tomorrow, do you mind if we were to visit my home? I want to know the situation of the Alwin family…”
“It’s no problem, because the Alwin family isn’t too far away… Mayhap, it’s about your brother?”
My husband didn’t seem angry or uncomfortable. I exhaled in relief. I realized that my heartbeat was a little faster due to tension.
“Yes, I’d always get a letter at the beginning of second week… However, no letter has arrived this month. I sincerely hoped the reason is because he has found another enjoyment, but, if not…”
Elsa stroked my shoulder.
Cedric, unlike me, was an important descendant of the Alwin family. He’d succeed the title of Count Eighton. As such, I believed that he wouldn’t suffer from mistreatment.
—Still, my chest constricted with anxiety.
“It’s already late in the night. I’ll send someone to your house tomorrow morning. By the time we’ve arrived at the orphanage bazaar, the report should’ve come. Afterwards, let’s visit your house in person.”
“Of course. The other day, didn’t you mention that Cedric is your important family member?”
“Oh, how can I thank you… Thank you very much, my husband…”
I was in so much relief that I was about to cry.
I knew that it depended on my luck whether or not I could meet Cedric tomorrow, but I still felt like I could see the ray of hope. Due to that reason, my heart felt lighter.
After that, I enjoyed dessert, had after meals tea, and was able to finish dinner without hesitation.
“Thank you for the good time tonight. See you tomorrow.”
“I had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Good night, my husband, have a good dream.”
My husband, who stood at the entrance with the door open, stared me.
Suddenly, he embraced me.
Then, after something soft had landed on my cheek, I was released.
“Good night, my Liliana.”
My husband smiled at me and said so. He seemed to be in a good mood. Afterwards, he left to the other side of the door with Frederick. At the closing sound of the door, I finally realized that I had been kissed on the cheek.
Elsa rushed to me, who had crouched down due to the embarrassment.
“Milady, are you alright!?”
“Eh, yes, I, I’m fine…”
I could barely muster an answer. My face was hot—as if I had a fever. My heart was pounding in a different sense from tension.
What does this mean?
Why is my heart so noisy?
…Why is my heart so happy?
It was beating rapidly, so unlike the usual. The temperature of my body was rising. I didn’t know the answer, and I could only stare at my hands as Elsa brought me a handkerchief soaked in water in an attempt to somehow cool my blazing cheeks…
***T/N: Awww, Liliana’s falling for Will! Well, me, as well…
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