Edwin embraced me closely, pressing my body firmly against his chest. I leaned back slightly, attempting to create some space between us
“Have you finished crying?”
He raised my chin gently and studied my expression for a few moments.
“Hmm, but where has my beautiful bride gone? I don’t recognize this ugly woman.”
I found his harsh teasing quite annoying, but I suppressed my irritation since he’s my only form of protection at the moment.
Despite this, I still didn’t want him to see my swollen eyes or tear-stained face, so I lowered my head.
Of course, any attempt to hide my face was unsuccessful since his hold on my chin prevented any movement.
“Why are you so weak?” Edwin sighed while climbing out of bed with me in his arms.
Jostled by his abrupt movement, I quickly grabbed the front of his shirt to prevent myself from falling backwards.
When Edwin glanced down at my hands, I released his shirt, fearing that I may have angered him. Yet, he wrapped his strong arms around me, hugging me tightly.
After pulling the string to summon the servants, he headed toward the sofa.
“Yesterday, you suffered a psychological shock and collapsed. Today, you became so distressed and nearly collapsed again.”
I lowered my head in silence at the scolding tone.
“You keep collapsing because your mind is weak. Next time, maybe I should dangle you from a window until you come to your senses.”
His words were harsh, but judging by his expression, it seemed as if he was genuinely worried about me.
When I lifted my gaze, he had a sullen look on his face and furrowed brows.
“Do you understand?”
As soon as I nodded, he smiled contentedly.
“Now, let’s eat, and then you can take your medicine.”
‘What medicine? Is there something wrong?’
Observing my uneasiness, Edwin responded with a calm expression.
“Due to the fact that you were sick yesterday, the doctor prescribed medication to help you get well.”
My eyes widened in shock. I never thought he would call a doctor just because I collapsed.
In the original story, Edwin was always the one injuring people, never treating or caring for them. So, his current behavior was a bit strange to me.
Still, my heart fluttered as if someone was tickling my chest with a feather.
“Do you hate taking medicine? Edwin asked as he gently rubbed my forehead. “After all, my bride has a weak stomach.”
While I didn’t enjoy taking medicine, if there was a need, I wouldn’t refuse.
For a moment, I hesitated in giving him an answer. A frown formed on my face as I pondered how to avoid offending him.
“Take it anyway. It will make me feel better since I had to witness my bride collapse.”
Edwin tilted his head slightly with a cool gaze as I quickly nodded.
“Then, I’ll feed you some chocolate once you’ve taken the medicine.”
While coming to terms with the embarrassing way he treated me like a child, Seth came in with food.
“How are you feeling?”
He watched me meticulously while the other servants filled the table with an assortment of food.
I started to speak, but quickly decided against it in fear of being scolded by Edwin for not speaking with the confidence of a Duchess.
“Nonetheless, I think you should see the doctor after eating, as a precaution.”
When I nodded in agreement, Seth left the room with the other servants after stating he would return with the doctor.
“Today, I had the chef prepare easily digestible foods for you.”
The table was filled with various soups, porridge, scrambled eggs, and fruit juices.
‘Oh my god, is this your solution for a digestion problem? I will have indigestion if I have to eat all of this.’
Whether he saw my irritation or not, Edwin simply smiled and started feeding me.
Fortunately, when I finished my meal, I was only moderately full. If I had eaten anymore, I probably would have collapsed.
“Now it’s time for you to take your medicine. There’s even chocolate here.”
It made me feel so angry and emotional to see him shaking the tin of chocolate like he was waving a rattle at the baby, but I held it in.
‘Regardless of how much he insists on treating me like a child, at least I’m still alive.’
With that in mind, I silently comforted myself, accepting the medicine and chocolate that Edwin pressed to my lips.
As the sweetness drifted into my mouth, even the uneasiness I felt in my heart faded away.
“It must be delicious.”
Edwin pushed another piece of chocolate between my lips and smiled contentedly.
* * * * * * *
“Madam, would you like to visit the garden?” Jenny asked cautiously as I sat in a chair and stared out of my window blankly.
Edwin had been with me all morning and had recently returned to his office after lunch.
“Is that okay?”
Through the large windows in my bedroom, a well-kept and beautifully decorated garden could be seen.
“It’s a warm day, but since you haven’t fully recovered yet, I think it would be best if you wore a shawl.”
Jenny carefully wrapped a thick light-purple shawl around my shoulders and secured it in place.
“You haven’t explored the mansion or the surrounding grounds yet, have you?”
I shook my head in response. Since the moment I possessed this body, I haven’t had any spare time at all.
“The garden isn’t the only thing worth seeing. There is also the exhibition room, which features many great works of art that have been passed down from generation to generation.”
Once we left my room, Jenny started pointing out and explaining many of the impressive amenities of the mansion while walking at a leisurely pace.
When she opened the front door, my heart fluttered as I was greeted by the warm sunlight and the fragrant scent of blooming flowers carried by the gentle breeze.
“The path to our left leads to a vast flower garden, and the right path is a scenic forest trail, which will lead us to a picturesque lake. Which way would you like to go?”
“Today, let’s visit the flower bed. I would like to see the flowers.”
As Jenny led us into the garden, I stopped for a moment to admire a row of marigolds in full bloom.
As we ventured a bit further into the garden, Jenny pointed out and identified the other blossoming flowers.
Pausing at a section of vibrant roses, I brushed my fingertips against the scarlet petals, while breathing in the rich, intoxicating scent.
“If you sit under the gazebo over there, you will be treated to a breathtaking view of the garden,” Jenny said while pointing at a gazebo with a white roof a short distance away.
On a small hill surrounded by an abundant amount of various flowers, the gazebo was the epitome of aesthetically pleasing.
“It’s the perfect place to relax, thank you, Jenny.”
Jenny smiled shyly at my compliment.
“Shall I prepare refreshments? Drinking tea while viewing the flowers will make you feel better.”
“Is that okay?”
“Sure. Do you have a favorite tea or dessert?”
“I would like to have scones, is that possible?”
Just as a bird couldn’t pass up fresh seeds, during my previous life, I would go to a bakery to buy scones almost every day.
Such wonderful timing. I haven’t been able to enjoy my favorite dessert since the moment I fell into this world. My cravings were so intense that I was dreaming of scones.
“The chef will have it prepared in no time. Please excuse me for a moment.”
When I saw Jenny rushing towards the main building, I gave a silent cheer.
I was humming happily while anticipating the arrival of freshly baked scones when I suddenly remembered the events of yesterday.
‘What the hell happened?’
The Jueri’s guardian tree had been completely devoid of life until the moment I touched it.
But why couldn’t I pull my hand away? What caused the agonizing pain that made me feel like I was dying?
At that time, I really thought the guardian tree was trying to kill me.
‘No way! Did it notice that I wasn’t the original Jueri?’
I shivered at the thought.
Even though I knew the guardian tree was already dead, it still made me feel uncomfortable and guilty.
If I didn’t learn how to use the jewels, I might be killed by Edwin.
But the guardian tree had already rejected me.
Now that my mood had been soured by my gloomy thoughts. I laid my head on the table and stared at the marigolds in my view.
According to the flower language, marigolds symbolized ‘ The joy and happiness to come’.
‘Will happiness come to me too?’
When I pondered my unknown future, I became depressed and frustrated that I hadn’t made even an inch of progress.
Fully aware that my depressing thoughts would only lead to misery, I stood up and looked around for something to distract myself with.
“Excuse me, can I pick some flowers?”
When the maid waiting nearby heard my request, she left quickly to fetch a gardener.
Moments later, the gardener, accompanied by the maid, silently filled a basket full of marigolds without sparing a single glance in my direction.
‘Oh, I didn’t need this many.’
The gardener finished his job swiftly and quickly left without much to say.
I was looking at the basket anxiously when Jenny returned.
“Huh? What is this?”
Jenny was about to set the table for refreshments until she caught sight of the basket lying on the table.
“The marigolds are pretty, so I asked for a few, but the gardener cut too many.”
Hearing the discomfort in my voice, Jenny smiled softly and spoke.
“I can put some of the flowers in vases for your room. Would you like to make a bouquet or a wreath with the rest?”
Impressed by the way she came up with a solution, I grabbed her hand and smiled warmly.
Jenny was briefly shocked by the sudden contact, but soon burst into a small laugh. Moving the basket to the side, she quickly set the table.
“I will go arrange the flowers, please enjoy the scones while they are still warm.”
Cold tea, scones, clotted cream, and strawberry jam were placed on the table in turn.
‘I thought I would never be able to eat you ever again.’
I blinked away my tears as I looked at the scones that were placed in front of me.
I quickly grabbed a scone and added a bit of clotted cream and strawberry jam, before taking a big bite.
‘How long has it been since I’ve enjoyed this delicate, fluffy texture?’
When I tasted the sweet tanginess of the jam and clotted cream, my heart overflowed with joy.
As I took a sip of my cooled tea, I couldn’t think of a more perfect moment.
‘This tastes even better than the bakery.’
I closed my eyes and smiled, savoring the moment with my entire being.
Until I heard a familiar deep voice behind me.
“So, this is where you’ve been. Tell me, what has my bride smiling so brightly?”
The feeling of flying above the clouds disappeared instantly and was replaced with the feeling of crashing into the frozen ground.
I was happily chewing with a scone in each hand, when I opened my eyes to find Edwin standing nearby, with a terrifying expression on his face.
“Do you know how awful it makes me feel when I see my bride looking happier than she ever has with me?” Edwin grumbled with his arms crossed.
When I met his gaze, which was full of displeasure, I almost choked on the food in my mouth.
“I was looking around the garden and decided to relax here and drank tea because the marigolds are blooming so beautifully,” I explained while averting my eyes.
Taking my hand, Edwin approached a lounge chair, took a seat, and pulled me onto his lap.
“And what are you eating that’s making you so happy?”
‘His voice definitely sounds gentle, but why do I feel like I’m being interrogated?’
“Freshly baked scones with jam and cream.”
When I held up the scone in my hand, Edwin stared at the half-eaten pastry with a look of irritation on his face.
“Why are you eating this? Who the hell served my bride something like this?”
Unlike the colorful cakes I was usually served during meals, Edwin frowned at the rather crude and plain shape.
Jenny and the other maids flinched the moment they heard the anger in his voice.
“This…this is how it looks normally. But it’s still very delicious.”
Edwin’s eyebrows rose when I timidly spoke up. I knew I had to defend Jenny and the chef before he found a way to blame them.
Edwin stared at me quietly, and then, without any warning, took a bite of the scone in my hand.
“Ugh, it’s so dry. How can you eat this?”
His frown deepened once he started to chew, his expression gradually twisting in disgust as he looked at me as if he were observing a strange creature.
‘Scones are so rich and savory that you can enjoy them without any toppings or spreads. I can’t believe you don’t like it.’
It was so upsetting and heartbreaking to hear such criticism, but I couldn’t express it.
“It’s my favorite. You said you were curious about what I liked,” I refuted weakly.
As I bowed my head with a gloomy heart, Edwin sighed deeply.
“I didn’t know my bride’s taste would be so cheap. Are you upset?”
The snide remark, which was disguised as comfort, angered me for a short while, but I swallowed my pride so I could stay alive.
Instead, I redirected my energy to something else.
‘I will definitely make you fall in love with scones.’
“It’s probably because you ate the scones plain. It’s more delicious when eaten with strawberry jam and cream like this,” I mumbled while picking up a fresh scone and spreading a bit of strawberry jam and clotted cream on top.
“Okay, try this.”
Edwin frowned at the scone in my hand.
I was wondering if asking him to put away this kind of food would anger him, but he slowly opened his mouth and took a bite of the scone.
‘How is it? Is it good or do you still not like it?’
While he no longer frowned, his expression was still unreadable, so I nervously watched his lips as he chewed.
Suddenly, Edwin burst into laughter and the irritation on his face faded away.
‘Did you finally realize how delicious scones can be?’
As I gazed at him in anticipation, Edwin’s shoulders began shaking and his laugh deepened.
‘Did the scones taste weird? It was fine when I ate it.’
Confused, I stared at the scone in my hand until he lightly tapped my nose.
I was so startled by the sight of him smiling genuinely that I moved backwards.
Of course, Edwin caught me right away.
‘If someone who is already crazy, becomes even crazier, what will become of my future?’
My chances of survival would plummet instantly, with only darkness shrouding my future.
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