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“I definitely sent them. …Almost every single day without fail.”
At a time when words I couldn’t believe were echoing in my head, the sound of a bell that could be only heard by me continuously rang out as if it couldn’t miss this opportunity to.
「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac’ proudly buys 3000 shares.」
「Come on down here~ Just have one bite~ How is it~ It’s tasty right~?」
「‘That bastard isn’t the male lead, right?’ also refuses to lose and buys 3000 shares.」
「What’s the good in coming and saying those things now? Stop being clingy and fuck off!」
However, the system window that constantly blinked at least for now with the names of friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time as well as the number of shares that were rising as if they were competing against each other didn’t enter my eyes at all.
“What… are you talking about?”
“It’s just like I said. I sent them whenever I had time.”
Eyes that stared straight at me without wavering even once. Determined and without a hint of avoidance.
“Though I’ve never received a single reply.”
A memory from the past suddenly flashed through my mind.
Emma, who had always been sensitive and anxious, was in a good mood whenever she received news of her son. Thanks to this, even the servants of the mansion looked forward to Periot’s letter.
Even though the letter wasn’t addressed to anyone in particular, and only contained a few lines about how he was doing recently, as if he had written it out of duty.
‘That’s why whenever he occasionally asked about the welfare of those in the mansion, everyone was always deeply moved by it.’
Truthfully speaking, that’s why I was always even more upset and aggrieved.
Since I thought that even though we were bound together on paper, my husband still treated me like I was air.
After repeatedly gnawing at my lips, I asked cautiously, “So many letters… could someone have stolen it?”
“Who knows.” Periot’s face became expressionless again, as if he had never smiled in the first place. “What I’m saying is the truth. Though whether you believe it or not is entirely up to you.”
If what he said was the truth, then there was someone who not only stole the letters, but also blocked the servants from telling me about it too.
I didn’t even have to think it over for very long. Because there was only one person who was capable of doing that.
A person who thought I was like a thorn in their side. Emma Chambers.
Glancing at him, I quickly changed the subject by taking advantage of the time he took a sip of tea with an elegant gesture.
“How are the people in the mansion doing?”
Feigning disinterest, I suddenly thought of the maid who was serving me and touched the rim of the luxurious teacup. She was the only one who I had gotten close to in the entire Duke’s residence.
“I think her name was Betty…”
With a slight wrinkle in his brow, Periot seemed to think for a moment before nodding slowly.
“There are no servants who have quit, so she should be doing well.”
He was so cold-hearted that he didn’t even have any interest in how the people around him were doing. I came to realise that fact again.
However, the main point of what I was trying to get at would start to be revealed now. Even with the beating around the bush that I did, there was no way he had no idea what it was about. I opened my mouth cautiously.
“How is… Mrs. Emma?”
Periot’s jaw twitched for a moment before hardening once more. The furrows at his brow deepened as well.
Moments after, a voice so low it sounded gloomy finally rang out.
“She is residing in the west of the mansion.”
“Because of various issues that occurred during that time.” After a moment, he added in a softer whisper, “Your older brother is held there as well.”
There seemed to be something that lay west of the Duke’s residence. I had almost no reason to go there, so my memory of it was dim.
The breeding grounds for the hunting dogs as well as a pond, a small annex locked with a big padlock, and…
A stone chamber where people who were no longer in this world now slept.
‘…No way, it can’t be. Come on. I-It can’t be true.’
But at that moment, as if to make matters worse, the surrounding area was suddenly plunged into darkness while the fat raindrops continued to tap noisily at the window drearily.
“If you’re curious, why don’t you go and see for yourself?”
As soon as he finished speaking, a flash of lightning flashed outside the window as a loud noise sounded. A neat row of teeth shone blindingly white between the lips of Periot, whose mouth was upturned at the corners.
Thanks to that, I almost screamed without realising it and bit my lips shut.
“I-It’s alright. Not now… later!”
I waved my hand, trying to calm down my pounding heart.
Yeah. It’s not a big deal. He just locked them up in a separate building!
…Wait, but could I even say that confinement wasn’t that big of a deal?
Amidst the confusion going on inside my head, I suddenly heard a knock from outside the drawing room. At Periot’s short answer, a person came in and bowed politely.
It was the officer from before.
“Apologies for interrupting your conversation. Since it’s getting dark, I thought I’d turn on the lamp.”
Periot’s head slowly turned toward the window, as if he had only then just noticed the loud sound of the rain.
“So it was raining…”
It was when he murmured that in a raspy voice.
「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac’ buys 1000 shares with a disbelieving heart.」
「If Periot uses a three fold umbrella when it’s raining, you’ll be getting the death penalty.」
3단 우산: basically an automatic modern umbrella that we have. it’s called ‘three fold’ because the metal framing folds three times
Another reserve death penalty was haphazardly handed out.
No, excuse me, esteemed readers, there are no three fold umbrellas in this place…
However, the image of Periot holding up a three fold umbrella while looking up at the sky with his forehead furrowed was immediately pictured vividly in my mind.
The fact that it was him in that state, and not anyone else, I couldn’t help but think that image was extremely inconsistent with his character.
The chilling and frightening atmosphere suddenly melted into thin air. I desperately clenched my teeth to hold back my laughter.
In the meantime, the officer, as well as the servants of the imperial palace who entered with him, proceeded to light all the lights in the drawing room. While our teacups were being refilled, the officer asked politely, “Duke, if it’s fine, would you like me to bring you a cigar?”
「‘Trying a taste of the obsessive maniac is anxious this time as well and buys 1000 shares.」
「If Periot smokes, even outside, death penalty.」
Is there any way not to get the death penalty?
At the surprise attack, my lips and fists were tightly clenched as Periot raised his hand slightly in refusal.
“No, it’s fine.” Then, he directed his gaze at me and asked, “Why are you laughing again?”
“…I didn’t laugh though.”
“You clearly laughed. Earlier on, and now as well.”
“You must’ve seen wrong.”
“You definitely laughed.”
Even though his words were like that, the one who was actually smiling was him, not me.
A soft and natural smile had spread across his face at some point.
Because the appearance of him smiling was so strange, I found that my gaze kept drifting to him since it seemed too different to his usual self.
While avoiding Periot’s gaze multiple times, of course.
* * *
pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
Perhaps because he thought our conversation would go on for longer, the officer visited the room once again with fresh tea. My teacup was once again filled with a deep orange coloured tea with fragrant steam rising from it.
Lifting my cup, I glanced at the floating system window.
「Total shares sold: 34,001 shares.」
It had already exceeded 30,000 shares at some point.
The last message that was posted was, ‘If Periot drinks honey because of the cold rain, death penalty’. The message came shortly after the officer had said that they’d bring us another tea.
Fortunately(?), Periot was not executed. Since all he had asked for was a strong red wine that was the colour of blood.
As soon as the officer left, our conversation was cut short and awkwardness descended upon us once again.
‘I should’ve just said that I was going since I finished drinking already…’
Since I had already achieved my goal anyway.
Swallowing my regrets, I fiddled with the memo box on the table.
I pretended to examine the crystal penholder, but then dropped the pen and watched it roll toward Periot’s feet.
While I was flustered, unable to do this or that, he silently picked it up and held it toward me.
Just as I was about to quickly take it and put it back, the second challenge came abruptly.
‘Wait, why isn’t it going in?’
There was no problem when I took it off though. Is this not how you’re meant to put it in?
I tried to put the penholder back into the slot by turning it the other way, but no matter what I did, it didn’t click in place.
After suffering for a while, a large hand soon came into my view.
Periot, who took the pen from me, tilted it slightly and pushed it forward in place. At that moment, the pen was fixed into its original position with a thud.
“There’s another thing that is exactly the same as that, you know?”
“We have the exact same memo box as this one in the reception room of the first floor. Have you ever used it?” Periot still spoke lightly, with both corners of his lips upturned.
That reception room, which was attached to the rear garden and would be cramped if filled with several guests, was instead, extremely luxurious and had an antique feel to it, making it the perfect place to receive important guests.
Each table and every single chair were extremely costly pieces of furniture, with rows of priceless paintings on the walls and even beautiful sculptures that carried a long history with them.
Furthermore, when summer returned to the north, the beautiful rear garden that could be seen through the wide window gave the view and entrancing landscape that seemed like it was a picture.
Therefore, it was Emma Chambers’ pride and joy, a space that would fill her with arrogance. Occasionally, on days when guests with lofty backgrounds come to pay a visit, she would always entertain them with tea there.
Due to that fact, I wasn’t able to come and go freely from that place. The memories of being tormented for days on end after accidentally entering just once were still vivid in my mind.
When I had no answer at all, Periot frowned slightly, as if finding it odd. No matter how much I agonised over it, I came to the conclusion that I had no choice but to tell him the truth.
“I’ve never used it.”
“Because I couldn’t go in whenever I wanted to.”
As soon as I finished speaking, Periot’s eyes trembled greatly. For a moment, a heavy energy that made it as if I couldn’t breathe descended over us.
The silence lasted quite a long time.
Discreetly swallowing dryly, I berated myself for not having just kept quiet, but soon, a soft voice seeped through my ears.
“What other places have you been banned from?”
Can I really say this?
To be honest, I did hesitate a little, but I found it too hard to lie in front of eyes that seemed to be set ablaze.
“The greenhouse in the rear garden… and…”
A place that was filled with beautiful flowers that were in full bloom all year round, something that was rare to find in the cold north.
Emma forbid me from going in, saying that I wasn’t allowed to go in recklessly and damage the flowers with the hem of my dress.
“The east hallway on the second floor…”
Emma, who was excessively materialistic and vain, had several dressing rooms that were larger than most bedrooms. It was no exaggeration to say that all the rooms other than her own room which was also located in the east hallway were her dressing rooms as well.
Thus, she didn’t even like me stepping into that hallway. Of course, even if I was given permission to go freely, I would still reject it in the end.
Since if something was found to be missing, it was obvious who would be blamed as the thief.
Though of course, these were all things of the forgotten past and had nothing to do with me anymore.
However, Periot, who had a hard glint in his eyes, continued to urge me for answers.
In the end, I had no choice but to go on speaking, as if I was tattling to him.
All the while keeping my dry lips moist with the gradually cooling black tea.
* * *
It was well past two hours when I finally got out of that drawing room.
My resolution to only stay for half an hour had been overshadowed.
As we stepped out to be seen off by the officer, Periot’s men, who were waiting outside for him, strode up with something. It was a cloak for when it rained.
I raised my head to look up at the sky. There was still heavy rain pouring down, as if there were a hole in the sky.
As for me, who had only been accompanied by one coachman, I had no choice but to get battered by the rain. It was also because the carriage couldn’t be placed right in front of the door of the attached building due to its structure.
“Please wait a moment. I’ll bring you something that shields you from the rain.” The officer looked toward me before hurrying back inside.
“We should head back.”
In the meantime, a subordinate handed the cloak to Periot before retreating as if to get out of the way. Despite the fact that he was also drenched, his deep sense of loyalty toward taking care of him was extremely obvious.
I fell into shallow agony for a moment.
Although this is our final meeting, we should still bid each other farewell, right?
When we were able to hold a calm conversation for the first time, he wasn’t as crazy as I expected, and our talk also flowed more smoothly than I expected…
‘Yeah, we should say goodbye. Since you also received his help with the incident with your bastard older brother too.’
Um… but the question was, what to say?
It was awful being together with you, so let’s not meet again? Or, I’ll live well, so you should too?
It was when I was agonising over the same thought over and over again.
Periot, who had taken the cloak without a word, suddenly turned back around toward me.
Then, he came toward me and abruptly wrapped both of his hands behind my back.
Before I could take a step back and avoid it, a heavy cloak fell on my shoulders.
“Why are you…”
It was the moment I looked up at him with my eyes wide open in amazement.
“Don’t think that this will be the last time.”
A clap of thunder reverberated in my ears.
“W-What did you say?”
“Didn’t you hear me say it clearly before? That I’d make it so that you’d come back to me out of your own free will.”
Despite his lips being curved in a thin line, his eyes were devoid of any smile.
His unwavering eyes were filled with nothing but me. Like a beast crouching in the dark awaiting its prey.
“…I’ll definitely make it so it’s like that.”
As if he were making a resolution to himself, a steely voice that spat out each syllable sounded in my ears.
“I’ll definitely see you soon, Lorella.”
For a moment, I stood there staring at the large hand that was tying the knot on the cloak. I couldn’t even find any words to say in response.
You’re going to let me come back to you out of my own free will? How? And by what means? And you’ll even see me soon?
You’re not really going to do something like an actual obsessive maniac… are you?
When I came back to my senses, Periot had already turned around and strode out into the pouring rain.
“W-What in the world do you mean?!” I shouted loudly at his distant back view, but an answer never returned.
“Just what on earth are you going to do?!” I shouted again, stamping my feet in anxiety, but Periot never once looked back.
* * *
The downpour was so severe that it was difficult for someone walking in the rain to even open their eyes against it. Periot was no different, and was quickly drenched from head to toe in moments.
A thin stream of water flowed down his dishevelled hair.
“D-Duke. Just where are you going?!”
As he walked past the carriage and continued onwards, the subordinate rushed to follow behind him. Yet, his footsteps never stopped.
“Because I couldn’t go in whenever I wanted to.”
“The greenhouse in the rear garden… and…”
They were all the only tranquil and beautiful places in that desolate mansion.
He didn’t know. That she had been left alone in the cold ducal residence without ever once enjoying any of it.
In any case, perhaps the more accurate way to put it was that he had never tried to get to know about it.
Although there was another voice behind him calling for him at the top of their voice, Periot continued to move forward quickly.
With only the terrible downpour pounding at his shoulder painfully.
god periot is hitting all the boxes for obsessive ml trope rn IM LIVING also i’m loving periot’s self awareness i hope my man improves on himself for her! but ultimately, i hope our girl is happy and earns a lot of money bc MONEY IS LIFE
2 thoughts on “SMCS Ch 24 — I’ll Make Sure You Come Back to Me”
Q triste , me parece bien q sepa todo lo q ella vivió allí
LikeLiked by 1 person
Why must I be so weak against a pretty face?! 😫