The Marquis’ Amnesia 10
Chapter Ten: In a Carriage Heading to the Orphanage
What does this mean…?
As the wheels and the hoofs of two horses intersected with the pavement, rattling noises could be heard…
…And for some reason, inside the carriage that was heading to the orphanage, I was sitting sideway on top of my husband’s lap.
Elsa and Frederick were sitting right in front of me.
But for some reason, I was on my husband’s lap.
“M, my husband, let me down, please.”
“No, you’ll just fall out of your seat. If you were injured, how would I fall asleep at night? Besides, usually, a wife would get on top of her husband’s lap.”
My husband looked as if he was spelling out common knowledge. But of course, Elsa wasn’t on top of Frederick’s lap.
Certainly, as my husband said, whenever the carriage bounced, I almost fell out of my seat. But Elsa, who was sitting beside me, immediately held me down. I wasn’t even able to stand on my own, and could only fall down. Then, suddenly, someone took my arm. Before I knew it, I was sitting on top of my husband’s lap. Frederick, whom originally sat beside him, wordlessly moved next to Elsa.
“Anyway, the dress looks good on you. I really wanted a custom-made dress. But when I saw this dress, I thought that it’d look good on you. As such, I ordered for it to be re-sized, and for the sleeves to be altered.”
My husband squinted with satisfaction as he stared at me, who sat on top of his lap. His eyes, albeit very kind, held other implications as well. Embarrassed, I lowered my gaze. Nevertheless, inside the limited space that was the carriage, there was no escape from my husband. Especially considering the fact that I was placed on top of his lap.
“T, the embroidery on my husband’s coat is also very nice.”
I tried to shift the topic.
My husband was wearing a dark green coat and a vest, a shirt, and a scarf tie. The body of my husband’s coat was beautifully embroidered with dull gold thread.
“Because Liliana likes embroidery, I especially wear this so that you’d pay attention to me.”
My husband laughed sweetly.
I had made a mistake in selecting the topic. I was sure that I was redder than tomatoes by nw.
“T, thank you for your concern.”
My heart was afloat, while my chest grew heavy. I felt that my life had shortened.
I was very grateful towards my husband’s kindness. He took care of me despite the fact that I was unable to hold a proper conversation with him.
…Still, if someone as beautiful as him were to smile sweetly to me, it’d be bad for my heart…
…When I was trying to cool my burning cheeks, the carriage stopped. I wondered if God was on my side.
“My lord, we’ve arrived at the orphanage, so please let Milady go. If you were to embrace her any longer, I’m afraid Milady would faint.”
Frederick advised my husband, who tried to stand up while lifting me. The moment the carriage stopped, the coachman opened the door for us. When I nodded in assent, my husband gently let me down. For some reason, he looked disappointed.
“…It’s as if I’m looking at Will’s father and mother.”
When I heard a familiar voice, I proceeded to turn around. Alphonse stood behind the opened door, seemingly in dismay.
That day, Alphonse wasn’t donning a knight uniform. Instead, his outfit was similar to my husband. A sword was strapped to his waist. The cool, light blue, coat suited him well.
“…You’re here. Aren’t you supposed to be late?”
My husband was imminently bitter.
“It’s my principle to not overlook interesting things. Well then, I’ll borrow Lily.”
“Don’t decide things on your own. Also, don’t refer to her as ‘Lily.’”
“Just come here, already.”
Alphonse responded to my somber husband before he winked towards me. My husband alighted from the carriage while carrying a sword. Since my husband was a knight, he’d always bring a sword when he went out.
It seemed that Alphonse had noticed that I couldn’t stand up. Since he was the crown prince, I considered cooling my red face before seeing him.
Then, Frederick said. “We’ll be waiting in front of the door, so please speak to us whenever you’re ready.” He went off the carriage and closed the door. I inadvertently sank to my seat.
“W, what happened to my husband? Although, I’m glad that he laughed…”
“The current lord is the closest to the lord we know best.”
Elsa replied bitterly and proceeded to fan me. Thanking her for the comfort, I sat back in my seat. Elsa sat next to the vacant space. The soft breeze created by her fan soothed my cheeks.
I didn’t know what was going on outside the carriage, but I could hear some lively voices. I felt that there were many people outside.
“…Have you asked Lord Alphonse yesterday? The reason behind my lord’s dislike for women?”
The words made me look up towards Elsa, whom was still smiling bitterly.
“To be honest, I thought Milady would know, since it’s famous in the social circles. I assumed the reason for why you never bring it up to him is because he used to treat you coldly.”
“I became his wife before my debut. I’ve also never attended a tea ceremony…”
Embarrassed, I turned my eyes down.
At the age of fifteen, which was considered the age of adulthood, aristocratic children would make their debut in social circles. The tea party held at the house could be attended by the lady of the house, or even before her debut—as long as she was within the group. However, unless the lady had reached adulthood, she couldn’t attend an evening ball. Occasionally, I’d be able to catch a glimpse of my stepmother’s tea ceremony through the gaps in the curtains. Of course, they’d get angry if they found out.
Even from a distance, I could tell that their colorful dresses were very pretty. Their dresses were truly beautiful, I kept gazing at them secretly every time.
“…Moreover, my husband isn’t interested in me, it’s unavoidable.”
I put my right hand on my left abdomen. My father outrightly mentioned my scar to my husband. Therefore, he was aware of it. There was also a possibility that my father talked in more detail without my knowledge.
“…That wound—no, never mind, I spoke too much.”
When Elsa hesitated, I immediately shook my head.
After looking at Elsa and my left abdomen alternately, I looked straight into her eyes.
I still couldn’t bear to show the scar to her. Still, for the past year, she had been the closest to me. I thought that if it was Elsa, then I could talk to her. That she’d support me.
After all, Elsa was the first person to support me when I was in pain and sadness. She was the first person to hug me beside Cedric.
“…At the age of seven, I was attacked by a thug on my way to somewhere in a carriage with my father.”
When I started talking, Elsa gasped. Her eyes inadvertently widened.
Towards her reaction, I laughed awkwardly.
“The thug, who managed to break inside the carriage, slashed at me. The injury extended from my left abdomen to my waist. Although the wound wasn’t too deep, my skin was ruptured. It was similar to a burn. The injury left a burnt, ugly, and terrifying scar …the prove that I’m a wretched monster.”
I turned my gaze to the scar and gently stroked it. Even I, myself, was reluctant to see it. After all, the area around that scar, which was normal, only caused the ugliness to stand out even more.
For some reason, Elsa seemed about to cry.
“…Does it hurt?”
Unlike her usual self, her voice was quivering. She proceeded to place her hand on top of mine, right above the scar. I was glad that she cared for me. As I answered, I shook my head.
“No, after all, it’s but a scar. It no longer hurts.”
“It’s true. I don’t feel anything. If I get hit or beaten on this area, although I do feel the pain, the scar is otherwise fine.”
Elsa stared at my left abdomen. Then, she slowly raised her face.
“Did my lord know? Did he see it during the first night?”
“…My father has informed my husband, but I never showed it. But I’m sure that even my presently gentle husband will abhor me the moment he saw it. Surely, even the mere sight of it will be enough to fill him with loathing…”
Due to my own words, my chest suffered immense pain.
What a hideous scar it is…!
The skin was discolored purple. Even I was sickened by the reddish scar.
My father, mother, sister, and the maids, as well as the doctor who treated me at that time had seen my scar. When I was taken care of by the Marquis, Morgan had also saw it.
When the maids from my parent’s house witnessed the scar for the first time, they screamed and ran away. In the end, they were forced to get the job done, for I couldn’t get up because of the wounds. Their expressions were always scrunched up in disgust, while their lips were tightly shut to prevent a scream from escaping. Still, they had done their best.
Even after that, the two maids would occasionally take care of me. They usually did that after I had fallen asleep due to being whipped by my stepmother. On the wedding day, they helped me into my wedding dress. Although they never spoke to me, but when I entered the carriage, they told me to “Take care.” It happened when the entrance hall had grown empty.
“…I never thought that I’d be able to get married. I was so happy that I was able to wear such a beautiful wedding gown. After all, if I didn’t manage to become his second wife, I’d probably be sent to a monastery somewhere. Despite the fact that he loathed me, he let me live freely. Above all, I got to meet Elsa. Elsa, I’m truly alright, there’s no need for you to cry…”
I took out my handkerchief and put it on Elsa’s cheek. She was shedding tears. Then, she stretched her thin arms and proceeded to hug me.
“Even if the memory of that buffoon returns and he were to refuse Milady, I, I’d always be on your side…!”
The words seeped into my chest. To disguise my overflowing tears, I hugged Elsa in return and deposited my forehead on her thin shoulder.
Being married to the marquis and being able to meet Elsa were the best things that ever happened in my life.
“Thank you, Elsa.”
I laughed softly before tightly embracing Elsa. I decided to wait until her tears had stopped.
I asked Frederick for a damp handkerchief to put on my eyes. I glanced towards Elsa, whose eyes were also bright red. Regardless, I had succeeded in calming her down. Perhaps, Frederick had heard the conversation that took place in the carriage. He didn’t ask Elsa anything, and acted like nothing had happened.
My husband came to pick me up, so I got out of the carriage with his help. Elsa also alighted with Frederick’s help.
“Elsa, why are your eyes red? Is it hay fever?”
My husband might be a little dense. His actions were the exact opposite of Frederick’s. Besides, it was midsummer, not spring.
Elsa smiled while glancing at his face.
“It’s just, when I thought of a certain pathetic man somewhere, I just feel incredulously sorry for his wife and wept.”
“…You’re being rude to me.”
“But I’m not talking about my own lord? Did my words strike a nerve?”
Elsa laughed and tilted her head. Although her gesture could be called cute, her eyes weren’t laughing. My husband tensed.
“Give it up, Will. You’ve never won against Elsa.”
Alphonse, who suddenly appeared, had a pitying expression.
I hurriedly fixed my posture.
“Lord Alphonse, I’m sorry I can’t properly greet you earlier…”
“Well, you should be sorry.”
When I was at a loss, Alphonse went on.
“But, if you call me ‘Al’, I’ll forgive you.”
Alphonse, who smiled innocently, tickled me. When I suddenly laughed, Alphonse frowned. “Why are you laughing?” However, his sky-blue eyes remained gentle, so I wasn’t afraid at all.
“Then, as a symbol of my utmost apology, I shall refer to you as ‘Al.’”
“Alright, then. Since I’m generous, I will forgive you.”
Alphonse and I laughed. Alphonse was truly good at recognizing people’s feelings and getting rid of unnecessary tension. Even I, whom was aware that he was the crown prince, could talk to him in ease.
“My lord, nothing is uglier than a man’s jealousy. It’s also a seed that you’ve sowed yourself, so deal with it.”
Due to Frederick’s statement, I turned around to gaze at my husband. He had a moody expression. I hurriedly withdrew my hand from my husband’s arm and stepped back.
“I, I’m sorry… I talked to my husband’s important friend without permission…”
I tried to lower my head, but my husband held my shoulders.
“No! This is that, yeah, uh—right! I was just grimacing because the sun is too bright! Liliana doesn’t have to apologize, it’s the sun’s fault!”
“I, is that so?”
“Indeed! Besides, I’m not so narrow-minded as a man that I get jealous of the sight of my wife talking to my friend, you see!?”
My husband desperately reassured me. I stroked my chest in relief. Like he said, it was a sunny day. The summer sunshine was so dazzling that it hurt my eyes.
…How embarrassing, I’ve misunderstood.
“Elsa, please shield my husband with the parasol…”
“It’s unnecessary! It’s alright, because I’m used to it!”
My husband hurriedly looked back towards Elsa.
“My, to require a parasol to shield you from the sun, aren’t you as delicate as a lady?”
The excellent maid of mine was already holding a parasol above his head. Elsa put her hand on her cheek and sighed in pity.
Frederick covered his mouth with one hand and turned to the other side. Meanwhile, Alphonse’s shoulders trembled as he buried his face in Frederick’s shoulder.
“…How annoying. Let’s go, Liliana. Leave them.”
Without hesitation, I put my hand on my husband’s outstretched arm. My other hand held the parasol that Elsa had given me. Elsa would also be going out that day, so she spread her own parasol. Frederick started walking while embracing Elsa’s waist.
They’re a good couple. They suit each other very well.
Thus, my husband and I marched forward.
***T/N: Scratch that, I’m falling for Liliana’s cuteness even more.
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