The Marquis’ Amnesia 13
Chapter Thirteen: A Person with a Devilish Laugh
To allow the carriage to pass, the rusty iron gate was opened. The high-pitched, creaking, noise caused my shoulders to shake.
“Liliana, are you alright?”
My husband, who noticed it, asked in concern.
I felt both nervous and anxious. I wasn’t okay at all. Still, I tried my best to nod with a smile. I mustn’t make him worry. However, my husband remained troubled. As I smiled, he put his hand on my cheek.
“With a face this pale? I deem your words untrustworthy.”
Apparently, my complexion betrayed me.
For some reason, I was on my husband’s lap. In the first place, it might be useless to try to hide it from him. After I had fainted at the orphanage, I woke up inside the carriage, with myself on top of my husband’s lap. At that moment, my face was about to erupt in flame. My heart was strangely noisy.
…The next time I visit the children, I wondered what kind of face I was supposed to make.
“Milady, it’s alright. The lord, Frederick, and I will be with you.”
Elsa, who sat on the opposite seat, encouraged me.
“Thank you, Elsa. As long as I can meet Cedric, I’m sure everything will be fine…”
After I had voiced my purpose, I regained some of my confidence. I came there to meet neither my father nor my stepsister, but my precious, adorable, younger brother—Cedric.
“You’ll definitely be able to. If Cedric approves, I shall invite him to my house tonight.”
I beamed and looked up towards my husband. My husband, who gently narrowed his eyes, nodded.
“In fact, I’ve ordered for the drawing room to be prepared. The same goes for the food. It’s alright, I’ll be sure to negotiate with your father.”
“Thank you, my husband.”
My chest was afloat in a dream-like sensation.
Cedric would be visiting the marquis’ family. How wonderful would it be if we could just spend one night together? There were many books that I wanted to read for Cedric. I wanted to show him the many flowers in the garden, as well.
“Upon meeting him, what would Liliana like to do with Cedric?”
“First of all, I’d like to hug him.”
My husband raised an eyebrow.
I wanted to read some books to him, and show him around the garden. But above all, I wanted to hug that lonely child.
“…My parents are currently focused on arranging Margaret’s wedding. As such, I don’t think Cedric is getting enough attention. There’s no one else in that house who’d hug him. Not to mention, it has been a year. It must’ve been truly lonely for him. Hence, I want to hug him until he’s tired of it.”
My husband’s blue eyes were staring at me. After a few moments, they were softly narrowed. His large palm gently caressed my cheek.
“You may hug him to your heart’s content. If, after that, he still doesn’t have enough, I’ll lend him my arms.”
I felt that his grasp around my waist had tightened.
How kind my husband is!
He’s also willing to share that kindness with my younger brother!
“I feel truly safe in my husband’s arms. Therefore, I’m sure Cedric will be happy.”
While laughing softly, I held my husband’s hand. His arms were the arms of the knight who had protected the kingdom. Therefore, no wonder I felt relieved.
“My lord, it’s about time to get off the carriage…”
Then, Frederick’s astonished voice came into my ears.
“Five minutes, just five more minutes…”
“Well, make it two, please.”
When I looked up towards him, my husband was looking away for some reason. His ears were bright red. When I put my hand on his cheek, I realized that it was hot.
“My husband, are you… alright?”
“I’m fine. It’s alright, it’s just the usual one.”
While that state of his was getting common these days, I wondered if the inside of the carriage was hot. If so, I thought that it’d be better if I wasn’t sitting on his lap. But the moment I tried to free myself, my husband secured my waist tightly.
The carriage had stopped completely. From outside, I could hear people’s voices. Because of my husband, I failed to relax.
“It’s alright, Liliana. Take a deep breath, then exhale slowly. It may calms you down.”
“Alright, my husband.”
I replied to my husband, and tried to adjust my breathing as per his introductions. Gradually, my anxiety and tension were eased.
I heard a voice from the outside. The coachman was asking if he could open the door. When I nodded, my husband replied to him. Thus, the door was opened. Frederick and Elsa alighted first. As for myself, before anything else, I had to alight from my husband’s lap. Still, his arms didn’t budge.
“Come on, let’s go, Liliana.”
My husband laughed happily as he stood up and held me.
“M, my husband—!?”
My cheeks flared up. Ignoring my protest, my husband quickly jumped off the carriage.
Outside, for the first time in a year, I saw the faces of my father and stepsister. They were awestruck. For a moment, Elsa and Frederick were stunned. I was too embarrassed to look at them. Fortunately, Cedric wasn’t there to witness my embarrassing state. I never imagined that my husband would hold me in such a manner. Even more so, at the house where my father and sister were.
“Father-in-law, my dear wife has injured her legs while playing with the children in the orphanage. To prevent any harm from befalling my beloved wife, may you guide us as it is?”
“M, my husband, I can walk… Elsa, please persuade my husband—”
“—No can do, Milady. What if your feet get worse?”
Elsa wasn’t on my side, but the enemy’s. Despite her nice smile, she wasn’t supporting me at all.
“A, alright, then…”
As prompted by the voice of the Alwin family’s butler, my husband began to walk. Even the servants were stunned. As I looked over his strong shoulder, I could see that Elsa and Frederick were following us while grinning. Elsa tried to conceal it, though. Unfortunately, we had known each other for a year, so I knew.
In the end, I could only cover my face with both hand as I escaped from reality. Upon reaching the drawing room, I was made to sit on the sofa. I considered it a shame. What if I scratched the sofa?
Honestly, being in the same space as my father and sister felt scary. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
The fact that Elsa and Frederick were behind me was encouraging. At the same time, my husband sat beside me, with his arms around my waist. Thanks to that, the left side of my body was in perfect contact with my husband.
I was too embarrassed to be scared.
“…It’s been a long time, Liliana. Have you been well?”
“Indeed, my father. I haven’t seen you for a long time.”
I couldn’t even meet my father’s eyes. My face felt ablaze.
“…Marquis, due to my daughter’s ineptness, you must be having a difficult time.”
“—A difficult time? My father-in-law, you jest.”
As he interjected my father’s words, my husband shrugged his shoulders in an exaggerated manner.
“She does needlework for the children of my family’s orphanage. Not only that, she gets along well with the servants. Liliana is also very sweet towards the stubborn, old, gardener. It can be said that I’m the one who gives her a difficult time. I’m too busy with my work, and hardly went home. I’m not a good husband.”
“That’s not the case at all! Thanks to my husband, I’m living a comfortable live and is happier than ever!”
As my shame went forgotten, I saw my father’s face head-on for the first time in a while.
As far as I could remember, my father always seemed angry. He looked even scarier when he shook the whip. The moment I saw his face, I felt a little terrified. But now with my husband beside me, and Elsa behind me, the fear didn’t escalate.
“—See? This is why she’s truly a wonderful wife for me.”
My husband tightened his grip around my waist. His blue eyes were gently narrowed. Beneath them, was the kindness that cared for me. I put my hand on top of his. My husband reciprocated the gesture, gently squeezing my hand. The remnant of fear in my heart dissipated.
“By the way, my father-in-law, I’d like to meet Cedric. Since we’ve never met, this is the best opportunity to do so.”
As my husband stared at him, my father averted his green eyes, and cleared his throat.
“I’m ashamed to say that he has caught a cold, and is currently asleep. I’m sorry, but you can’t meet him. It’ll be troublesome if the cold were to spread to the marquis, as well.”
“H-how high is the fever? Does he suffer from coughing or headache?”
My father leaned over and told me
“I’m under no obligation to tell you. That child is an important successor of mine. By meeting him, you’d only cause troubles.”
I was denied in an instant.
My father’s green eyes narrowed in disdain. The scary face of my father, who cracked his whip, stuffed me with words.
“Well, isn’t that strange? After all, albeit half, Liliana and Cedric are still real siblings?”
When my courage began to wither, my husband powerfully clasped my hand. I soon regained my determination.
“Since I’m an outsider, I’ll refrain from sticking my nose to where it doesn’t belong. Regardless, Liliana has the right to meet him. Moreover, I also have something important to discuss with my father-in-law.”
My husband smiled and tilted his head. My father, who was staring at me, paused for a bit. When he saw my husband’s smile, he turned his face to Margaret. My stepsister was currently sitting beside him. I turned to gaze at her—and soon regretted it.
Margaret was glaring at me. Compared to hers, my father’s loathing gaze was nothing. Her hazel eyes, which she inherited from my stepmother, were like sharp, pointed, knives.
“Margaret, guide her.”
“Father, why should I—…”
“—And do it slowly, for her legs seem to be hurting. We don’t want to exacerbate her pain. Afterwards, she may rest in Cedric’s room. The marquis has something important to tell.”
In the words of my father, my stepsister stood up silently.
With the help of my husband, I stood up to follow her. Suddenly, my husband caught my hand.
For a fleeting moment, he pulled my hand and pressed it to his lips.
That alone was enough for me. The magic my husband had taught me calmed my trembling feet.
“My husband, I shall go.”
“Yes, do be careful. Elsa, accompany her.”
“Certainly. Let’s go, Milady, please give me your hand.”
My husband released my hand. Elsa presented her delicate hand, which I took. Following my sister, who left quickly, I steadily left the drawing room alongside Elsa.
As I spared the drawing room one last quick glance, I saw the smiling figure of my husband.
My room was in the corner of the 3rd floor. The library was also at the same floor. Even though it was a house where I was born and raised, it was my first time to step a foot inside the other floors. To sightsee the inside of the house in such a relaxed manner, it felt fascinating. At the time of the engagement and the wedding, I was too busy to keep up with my father’s back.
It’d be rude to compare the marquis’ mansion with the count’s mansion. However, the inside of the house felt somewhat dusty, while the air was stagnant. The flowers that were displayed amidst the corridor weren’t fresh. On the way, I passed by about two maids. Unlike with the maids of the marquis family, I didn’t have the courage to face them. However, the moment they saw my face, they were stunned. It was as if they were dreaming. At that moment, my sister glared at me. I was pathetically frightened, and had to lower my face.
As my sister turned her back against me, she scowled.
Come to think of it, both my sister’s dresses and maids were never the same. Perhaps, she treated her maids like dresses.
Seen from behind, her long, walnut-colored, hair was neatly tied and adorned with hair ornaments. Her bright red dress was full of frills. The jewels which decorated my sister’s chest were also big and beautiful.
My sister stopped and announced so. Naturally, Elsa and I also stopped.
My heart was throbbing. My cute little brother was behind that door.
My sister then turned to Elsa. “You’ll stay. A mere servant isn’t allowed pass this point.” In a tone full of mockery, she told Elsa.
Elsa’s expression froze for a moment. Immediately, while assuming her usual polite smile, she spoke to my sister.
“My dear young lady has injured her leg. It’s of utmost importance that I—”
When I was about to fully agree with Elsa’s words, my sister’s annoyed face came into view. Before I knew it, my arm was unreservedly pulled. I was pushed away, while Elsa was left behind. As it was, I was thrown into Cedric’s room. Unable to steady myself, I fell and rolled on the floor. My sister rushed to enter the room and closed the door behind her. At the next moment, I heard a rattling sound of the door being locked.
“Milady!! Milady!! Open up!! This bitch!! What are you going to do to the young lady!?”
Elsa screamed while hitting the door.
…I felt like she said a word she shouldn’t as a maid.
“She’s currently meeting with Cedric. However, as her legs seem to hurt, she’ll be resting for a while. Go on your way, now, back to the marquis.”
“—Shut up!! I’m telling you to open the damn door, you damn bitch!!”
Ignoring the hustle and bustle behind her, my sister slowly approached me. But more importantly, I had to check on Cedric. With my fluttering legs, I stood up and went for the canopy bed.
There was no reply. When I wondered if he was asleep, my hope was crushed.
The large bed behind the open curtain was empty.
“I’m sorry to inform you, but he isn’t here.”
The moment I heard a laughter in the immediate vicinity and turned around, a patchy and dry sound rang around my ears. A burning pain spread to my cheek.
As I staggered, my shoulders were mercilessly pushed. I was thrown on the floor. It hurt—but more importantly;
Margaret, who laughed like a devil, was right in front of me.
I began to crawl away.
***T/N: QUICK, CALL A PRIEST, OH MY GOD, SHE’S POSESSED!!!! BEGONE, TH*T!!!! //SPRAYS HOLY WATER FROM MOUTH
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