< — Peaceful day-to-day life — > (3)
Simply acting like she knew the noblewomen when she talked to them was not an easy task.
“Duchess, have you been well?”
“Countess, it has been a while.”
Countess Glenn has been at her parent’s home, away from the capital, for a while due to her mother’s illness. The Countess’ return was either because her mother’s illness had gotten better, or because it had gotten worse, and the latter case was more likely.
As expected, when Lucia asked, the Countess replied with a dull smile. Lucia comforted the Countess. And after they were done greeting each other, the Countess introduced the young lady that was standing next to her.
“This is my distant relative from my hometown.” (Countess)
As soon as Lucia heard the introduction of Sonia, daughter of Baron Park, her expression stiffened.
‘She’s that woman.’
The woman who was her husband’s wife in her future dream. Lucia vividly remembered the Duchess who went around the social activities with an aloof expression on her face. Lucia did not know that she would meet the woman this soon, so her mind was not prepared at all.
“It is an honor to meet you, Duchess.”
She was a young lady with a cute, cheerful smile and curly hair. Sonia smiled shyly, different from how Lucia remembered. Her attitude revealed her inexperience in socializing as her eyes wandered everywhere, fascinated by the luxurious party. It was a huge contrast to the figure that swept through parties and events in Lucia’s dream.
Lucia felt like her body had gone stone cold from her fingertips. She had not felt this dreadful when she encountered the Count of Matin. It was in a different future, but it was still a woman whom her husband had personally chosen and married.
There was no way of ever knowing how the relationship between her husband and the Duchess was in her dream. It could have been a simple contract marriage like the rumors claimed, or perhaps they were a closer couple than that.
It was a future that would never come to pass in reality. Even though Lucia knew that, she had a terrible bitter taste in her mouth.
In the carriage that was taking her home, along with her husband who came to pick her up, Lucia’s mood continued to be low.
“Did something happen?”
Lucia merely shook her head. She was mad at him for no reason. She felt like if she opened her mouth, she would get irritated at him. There was a part of her that knew that she was in a very strange state. She felt that she would feel better when she got some sleep.
“I’m tired. I will go to bed early.”
Hugo left his wife alone for the time being when he saw that she was acting different from usual. He thought to himself that if she continued to be this ‘spiky’ when she woke up, he would thoroughly dig into why she was like that.
* * *
The surroundings were dark when Lucia opened her eyes. The tears refused to stop flowing and her whole body trembled. He had coldly turned around in front of her and left.
It was a dream, but when she recalled that scene, it felt like a sharp awl was stabbed into her heart and she couldn’t breathe. She fumblingly crawled down the bed.
‘I have to…I have to see him. Where is he?’
Lucia opened the bedroom door noisily and ran, with only the thought of seeing him on her mind. It felt like someone was calling her but she couldn’t hear it properly.
As soon as she opened his office door and rushed in, she found him sitting behind his desk, facing the side. When she saw him turn around with a surprised look on his face, she lost strength in her legs and sank to the floor.
Only then did the breathlessness from running settle down as air flooded into her chest. She pushed against the floor with both hands, her chest heaving up and down as she fought for breath. A large hand caught her by the shoulders and lifted her up.
“What’s the matter?”
He approached her in the blink of an eye and his familiar smell gave her relief and a sense of anxiety. Tears suddenly rushed to Lucia’s eyes. Hugo’s red eyes gazing upon her were greatly shaken. He pulled Lucia into a strong embrace.
“What’s wrong, hm?”
It was a soft, soothing voice. Lucia buried her face deep in his chest and her shoulders heaved up and down. Hugo felt her body shaking in his embrace and his complexion stiffened.
“Call the doctor!”
Hugo yelled when he saw the servants standing around not knowing what to do and his irritation soared. Upon not seeing Jerome, he looked for him with his eyes then he remembered that Jerome was momentarily away because he had an issue to deal with. Lucia, who was in his arms, furiously shook her head back and forth. Hugo held her tighter in his arms before speaking.
“I shouldn’t call the doctor?”
She nodded without replying. Hugo sighed then he discovered her bare feet and frowned. Even the nightwear she was wearing wasn’t very thick.
He gestured for the people gathered around them to leave. Then he hugged her tightly and scooped her up. He sat down on the sofa with her in his arms, covered her with a blanket and gently stroked her hair as she still had her head buried in his chest.
A firm hand was pressed against her back and patting her gently. Feeling the comfortable pressure on her back, Lucia’s senses that were half-gone slowly returned. But she just couldn’t stop the tears that were flowing again.
Hugo continued to plant kisses on Lucia’s eyes and cheeks that were wet with tears. Lucia felt like her chest was in more pain and curled her body. The tears continued to flow. Remnant images of the dream were still in her head and tormenting her.
Don’t leave me! Ah, it really hurts!
Lucia grasped at her chest with a scream that didn’t leave her mouth.
“What exactly is going on? You have to tell me or I won’t know, Vivian. Don’t cry. Tell me what’s wrong.”
Hugo’s low voice was smeared with worry. After crying continuously with her head buried in his chest, Lucia got exhausted and fell asleep.
Hugo carried his wife to her bedroom and tried to lay her down but he didn’t want to remove her hands, which were clutching tightly to his clothes as if she was uneasy.
He instructed the servants to bring his documents up to the bedroom, then he leaned his wife against his chest with one arm, and looked at documents with his other arm.
 Literal translation is: [Ah, I really feel like I’ll die]. Which in the context basically represents agony so I went with pain but I’m not sure if this is the best translation here. If you got something better, shoot your shot.