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Gerard, who had fallen asleep in his office chair, woke up with a deep breath.
That unpleasant dream, which had died down for a while, visited him again. He didn’t think about it after he got back to his peaceful life with his family…
Gerard breathed out at the afterimage of his dreams.
In his dream, Chloe was clinging to him and sobbing. Her face, which was stained by tears, was unbearably pathetic and sorrowful. He wanted to wipe her tears but he couldn’t.
Gerard gripped the front of his shirt roughly due to the anxiety that rose up out of nowhere.
However, Gerard wasn’t the only one dreaming.
A few weeks ago, in the Eastern Ryeo Empire.
There was a woman covered in a silk blanket who woke up in surprise at her dream. When she sat up on the bed, her husband also got up.
“What’s the matter Rin? Are you not feeling well?”
The man woke up and was concerned about his wife in a subdued voice. He checked Rin’s expression carefully,
“Oh, it’s not that.”
Rin said. It was Catherine, who appeared noticeably thinner than she was in the past. Catherine recalled the story she heard from her youngest sister a long time ago.
–Sister, I have to read a book in my dream even when I don’t want to.
Nine years ago, Chloe used to talk to her oldest sister about a book that appeared in her dreams. At that time, Catherine was the only one who listened to Chloe. Other members of the family often dismissed Chloe’s story as a stupid imagination.
–And the future happens as it says in the book. Even when I try to change it, I can’t.
-Really? It’s mesmerising that it really happens in the future.
The conversation Catherine had with her youngest sister a long time ago came up to her head. Her sister’s words, which she listened to with vague doubt, were clearly remembered as if they were divine revelation.
“I didn’t think it was possible, but… that’s the dream.”
Catherine had been dreaming gruesomely vivid dreams for months now. Even after waking up, it was difficult for her to distinguish between dream and reality for a long time.
There were just bits of scenes that came to her mind as if thick fog had formed in between her mind.
‘I could read the book the day I met Leila.’
And Catherine finally read the entire book in her dreams, just as Chloe did nine years ago.
‘However, everything vanished from memory as soon as I woke up.’
It was really as she said. The dream started with reading a book, and it vanished the moment she woke up. Catherine tried to hold the erratic dream, but it all vanished, leaving only one heady scene in her mind.
The corpse of someone who wasn’t intact. She didn’t remember exactly, but if her memory was correct, it was Gerard Blanchett.
Chloe sobbed breathlessly in front of her. Catherine trembled slightly as her sister’s despair and sorrow seemed to affect her as well.
“Dream? Are you talking about the dream you told me about last time?”
Catherine’s husband, Gaon, comforted her in his arms.
“It’s going to be alright. It’s just a dream, Rin.”
“No, Gaon. It’s not a mere dream. At this point… something big will happen to my sister!”
Catherine, who was rambling, suddenly realized she had to do something.
“Maybe I should go to Hernia!”
Gaon spoke with a stiff expression at his wife’s unexpected words.
“…Rin. There are limited herbs available there, and above all, the food there is too fatty for you.”
He was concerned about his weak wife’s health. However, Catherine’s stubbornness didn’t break despite noticing her husband’s worried gaze.
“…I miss my family, Gaon. Please…”
Catherine suddenly thought that perhaps her dreams were excuses. Perhaps she just needed a reason to go visit her family.
Gaon, who was staring into Catherine’s eyes, let out a slow sigh. He couldn’t stop her from going.
He knew how much Catherine missed her family. He saw how many pictures she had of her sisters in her bedroom, and on the days she had dreams about her family, his wife wouldn’t eat anything.
‘I have to tell the members to send Yugeunpi and Baekchul very regularly.’
[t/n: Yugeunpi (유근피) refers to a root of the elm bark tree, and Baekchul (백출) refers to the medicine that is made from dried roots of Atractylis japonica.]
The guild, ‘Baek’ was well-known in the Ryeo Empire. Gaon, the owner of the guild, became weak in front of the foreign painter. For 8 years, even until now.
“All right, Rin.”
He was afraid that his wife would go to Hernia and say she didn’t want to come back. He decided to obey her will. Gaon hugged his wife more tightly than ever.
“Let’s go together.”
“Thank you, Gaon.”
Only then did Catherine lean on Gaon’s shoulder. The scent of cypress coming from her husband relieved her.
Therefore, Catherine and Gaon eventually arrived at the land of Hernia after crossing the sea between the west and east this morning.
Helena decided to leave the mansion several days later. Gerard’s determination was so firm that she couldn’t spend more time there. She decided to return to her estate.
Helena said her farewell to Blanchett’s mother and son while servants loaded her luggage on the carriage.
“Grandma, can’t you stay here longer?”
Abel held onto her skirt and refused to let go, probably because he was sad at the fact that he had to say goodbye to his grandmother.
“Grandma… can’t do that because I have things to do. Instead, you can come and see Grandma at another time, Abel.”
Helena, who dropped to her knees to stay at eye level with the child and spoke affectionately.
“If you come to the estate, we can go to the sea and ride horses together.”
She made an appointment without regarding it as a promise. It was her last attachment to her son’s family.
“Yes, Abel. Until then, you have to listen to your mother and father, got it?”
Abel hugged Helena’s neck and kissed her cheek. Helena also held her grandson tightly. The warm affection of his small arms almost brought her to tears.
After saying goodbye to Abel, Helena rose up and took Chloe’s hand.
Chloe’s mind was so complicated that she didn’t know what to say.
“What on earth did I say to you that night?”
Helena couldn’t look Chloe in the eye because she felt awkward about it. It was still embarrassing to think that her drunk and ugly side had been exposed to her daughter-in-law. The tips of her ears turned red.
“I’m sorry that you had to see me like that.”
Chloe shook her head quietly.
“And I haven’t been able to say it to you…”
Helena continued with a gulp.
“Thank you, darling.”
Helena knew that her son had changed a lot after meeting Chloe. It was good to see the gentle face he showed to his family and not the pretentious smile he had held in society.
It was due to her daughter-in-law.
She didn’t know why it was so difficult for her to say thank you and sorry. She wished she could have told her before.
However, she couldn’t push herself to do it. Helena was someone who could only speak her true feelings at the end. That’s why she always had deep regrets.
“I’m all set.”
The servant, who finished loading her luggage, came to her.
“Yes, I must go now.”
Helena gave a slight nod and let go of Chloe’s hand.
“Take care, then.”
Helena spoke her last remark before climbing into the carriage. She looked out of the window at her daughter-in-law and grandson, then moved her gaze to the window behind them.
Helena was overwhelmed by surging grief. It was her son’s office, who never showed his face until the end. The window, with its tightly closed curtains, seemed to represent Gerard’s mind.
However, that was the result of the past she had to bear with. She couldn’t expect her son to treat her like a parent when she was weak and wasn’t a proper parent when he was young.
Of course, just like everyone else, Helena had a past as well. She was just too weak to endure her love and sorrow. However, her weakness couldn’t be forgiven.
It was her young son who suffered the most from Helena’s weakness.
The social season of fall had begun.
Chloe was invited to the Empress’ tea party and able to visit the Imperial City after a long time. Even though she was tired of having long conversations with noblewomen, she couldn’t return home yet even after the tea party was over.
Karina had stopped Chloe.
“It’s hard to see your face, Marchioness of Blanchett.”
When the women had gone and only Chloe and Karina were left, her sister spoke sarcastically.
“How come you seem to be busier than me?”
Karina was upset at Chloe. She made excuses about her mother-in-law and wanted to be alone when her sister called her in.
Karina put down her teacup loudly.
“So, why did you go up to the North?”
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