< — Everything is as it should be — > (2)
Because of the conversation she had with the noblewomen at the party today, Lucia looked back on her memories from the dream, that she had forgotten for several months. The dream memories that Lucia called another future, had already changed a lot in reality.
In order to sort out her jumbled childhood memories, Lucia sent someone to the village where she grew up and found out a few facts.
Rossa, whom she played around with when she was young, had grown up and was about to marry a neighborhood youth. And the more surprising fact was that the tree at the village entrance that they used to play around on, only had a stump left.
Apparently, many years ago, when Lucia was about five years old, the tree was struck by lightning and burnt hideously black, so it was chopped off. Since there was no tree to climb on in the first place, Lucia’s accident when she was a child did not happen.
Lucia believed that the future had split from the moment the village tree was struck by lightning. There was a future that had changed but there was also a future that was still flowing the same way. This could be seen in the case of the King pushing for the marriages of the princesses.
Lucia had lightly asked a noblewoman, who was well-informed in high society rumors, about the news of the Countess of Matin.
[They divorced a few months ago, that is, earlier this year. I heard the Countess was going down to the west, where her family’s home is.]
Lucia felt shocked out of her wits; it was as if she had been hit in the back of her head. The reason why Lucia got married to Count Matin wasn’t because their conditions matched specifically, but because Lucia was the oldest princess in the palace.
Now that Lucia was gone, the oldest princess, although younger than Lucia, would marry Count Matin. It was a case where her terrible future was being shifted onto another person’s head.
His arm, which was wrapped around her waist, tightened around her. He turned his body slightly to the side, meeting Lucia’s eyes for a moment, then he kissed the corner of her eyes.
“Why aren’t you sleeping?” (Hugo)
Hugo had been listening to her as she gave small sighs from time to time, unable to sleep. He thought she was worrying about a child, so he also couldn’t sleep and was panicking. He knew he had to talk with her about the issue of a child, but he was deeply worried about what extent he had to talk about it.
“What about you?” (Lucia)
“You keep sighing beside me.”
“Did I do that? I’ll be quiet now. Go to sleep.”
“What is it? Are you worried about something?”
‘Does it have to do with a child?’ The words hovered in his mouth.
“…Do you know that His Majesty plans to marry off the princesses of the late king?”
When Hugo heard the unrelated words coming out of her mouth, his tense nerves lost their energy.
“Mm, I’ve heard.” (Hugo)
While she hesitated as if picking what to say, Hugo waited without urging her.
“Today, I heard that the Countess of Matin had gotten divorced.”
“You probably don’t know it. It’s not a family that people usually talk about.”
“Were you close with her?”
“…I just know her a little bit.”
Lucia was not the type to tell Hugo every little bit of gossip in the social circle. Which is why Hugo thought that she was quite close with the Countess, seeing as she had brought up someone else’s private affairs.
Lucia lifted her head as she lay, leaning on his shoulder. She stretched out her hand and cupped his face. As she felt his skin and body temperature through her palm, she once again confirmed that this was not a dream.
Once in a while, Lucia grew afraid that everything would be a dream. The days she spent peacefully and happily in his shade seemed unreal.
Hugo took her hand off his face and kissed her palm. Then he gently stroked her forehead and swept a hand through her hair.
Lucia liked his affectionate touch. She took his big hand and rubbed her face against it. Because her spoiled act seemed somewhat sad, Hugo suddenly felt anxious.
“Please do something to prevent Count Matin from marrying the princess of the late king.”
Lucia couldn’t just let it pass and act like she knew nothing. If one of her half-sisters whose face she had never even seen, were to take her place and experience everything she had seen in her dream, Lucia felt like she would feel guilty for a lifetime.
“I know how strange I sound right now. She’s my half-sister whose name I don’t even know, but I can’t act like I cannot see the obvious misfortune ahead. I cannot let her marry that person. That man… beats his wife. And he does things even worse than that.”
Hugo tightly hugged her trembling figure.
“If I hadn’t married you, I would…I would have probably married that person.”
“Why makes you think that?”
As Lucia talked, her anger unconsciously rose as she recalled her memories in the dream and she couldn’t control her heated emotions. When he hugged her tight and stroked her back, Lucia’s boiling emotions slowly cooled down.
“It looks like you’ve talked with the Countess a lot.”
“Okay. I will take care of it, so you just forget about it.”
“…Really? You can…do it?”
Hugo was struck speechless by her question. She was asking him if he could do this mere thing? He could change the king if he wanted to.
“Of course. Your husband is very capable.”
She gave a small laugh in his embrace. Only after, did Hugo give a sigh of relief. Her anxiety spread to him too, so he was tense.
He was annoyed at the Countess of Matin who babbled about the unpleasant details of her marriage to his wife, making her worry needlessly and he was even more annoyed at the bastard known as her husband.
 This is the noblewoman speaking. She doesn’t say Countess, I put countess for context.