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“How can you ask for that out of everything… Chloe.”
Gerard said and dropped his gaze. In the meantime, raindrops fell on his eyelashes and dripped down all the way down to his jawline. At first glance, it looked like tears.
Gerard knew Chloe wanted to have a deep talk with him. Actually, he wanted to do it as well. However, it wasn’t easy.
Nonetheless, he slowly opened his mouth. Although he couldn’t talk about everything, he wanted to try one by one, because it was what his wife wanted.
However, his instinctive sense of rejection prevented him from speaking.
The man she loved was a mere illusion, so he wasn’t really loved by anyone. He wasn’t good enough to stay by her side.
The words were on the tip of his tongue and he seemed to have a hard time spitting them out.
Would it have been different if he liked the woman before him a little less? Gerard felt his mouth become as heavy as the feelings he had for Chloe.
The story that he could have told to the ‘young Lady of Roem’ nine years ago couldn’t be easily revealed to the current ‘Chloe Blanchett’.
He was afraid. It felt as if he was going to lose Chloe whether he spoke up or not.
Gerard took a deep breath to convince himself to talk.
However, the words that slipped out of his mouth were completely different from what he meant to say.
“There’s some things you don’t talk to me about, my Lady.”
“The reason you don’t paint anymore, and why you’ve grown closer with a guild owner from the Eastern Empire. And other things like that.”
Chloe’s eyes noticeably grew a bit bigger. She didn’t realize her husband actually paid attention to such things.
“I’m not blaming you for not talking to me about those things. It’s just… There are things that require me some time to tell you.”
Chloe seemed to know what Gerard was talking about.
She also didn’t talk much about her painting hobby with her husband. She didn’t want to tell the person whom she wanted to appear at her best at all times about her ugly past.
However, Chloe ironically wanted to share such a past with Gerard. She thought that since they were a married couple, he was the one person she could share things with that she couldn’t reveal to anyone else.
“I would’ve told you if you had asked.”
Chloe just hadn’t told him about that. She wasn’t trying to hide it in the first place.
“The reason I don’t paint is because… I don’t enjoy painting anymore. I feel like every time I do it, I’m confirming my lack of talent.”
Gerard’s eyes widened at Chloe’s calm voice. He didn’t mean to reopen his wife’s wounds.
“And the guild owner from the Eastern Empire… I’ll tell you when we arrive home.”
She was originally going to discuss Catherine with her husband.
“So, you have to talk now. Don’t come up with other excuses.”
Chloe stated and flipped her damp bangs out of her face. She cornered him so he had no way to escape. She wasn’t going to let it slide this time.
Gerard opened his mouth as if he was going to talk. However, only incoherent sounds came out. He bit his trembling lip and grabbed the hem of Chloe’s sleeve.
As more time passed by meaninglessly, Chloe’s face grew more resigned.
Chloe shook off Gerard’s hand and walked away from him.
Gerard called her name as he went after her. However, she pushed him away with a stiff expression.
“Don’t follow me if you don’t want to talk to me.”
Upon her words, Gerard stopped as if he was blocked by an invisible wall.
‘Ha! Is this the end…?’
Chloe couldn’t hide the helpless laugh that escaped her mouth. Before her mind realized it, she had walked up to the Blanchett carriage, which was waiting in front of her.
“You’re such a coward.”
Chloe said to her husband, who looked at her wistfully, and climbed into the carriage. She drew the curtains of the carriage window and slapped the front panel of the carriage with full power, signalling the coachman to depart.
She despised Gerard Blanchett. She despised him so much that she couldn’t stop crying. Chloe’s face was messed up by the combination of cold raindrops and hot tears.
“I hate you…”
However, even at that moment, the glimpse of her husband’s reddened eyes came to her mind. She was also worried that he would stay in the rain for too long. She hated it.
After the carriage had moved for a while, Chloe decided to look through the curtain. She saw Gerard still standing there, with a foolish look on his face.
“Why are you like this, I hate you so much…”
Poor Gerard Blanchett. Contrary to his magnificent look, he was a broken man on the inside. As much as Chloe loved him, she felt he was difficult and a handful.
-Don’t take back the choice you made.
What she said to Leila became a shackle that trapped her. Actually, Chloe was the one who wanted to run away from her own choice.
At that moment, she blamed herself for choosing Gerard.
After that day, the Blanchett couple suffered from fevers after standing in the cold rain for a long time. Gerard, who had stood in his spot for a long time after Chloe left, had to suffer even more.
Chloe woke up in darkness. For some reason, she felt the room was familiar and eerie. She walked up to the dim light. She felt a strong instinct that she had to follow it.
Chloe’s eyes released a few wistful tears as she walked ahead. A surge of uncontrollable emotion engulfed her.
And when she spotted a book floating in the air, she fell to the ground with tightly closed eyes.
The book that showed the future. It was the book she hadn’t seen in her dream for eight years. The book that had no title and no author.
“Why are you doing this to me?! Why?!”
Chloe screamed and buried her face in her hands.
She thought about what it meant if the book appeared again. Did it want to mock her for making the wrong choice?
“Why are you coming to me again…”
Then, the book fell on the ground before her.
And it began to open on its own.
That was it. It was trying to force her to read it again.
Chloe was freaked out by the book that didn’t care about her feelings or thoughts. She thought it disappeared for good eight years ago, but she knew it was about to start again.
She was terrified and angry at the same time.
“Are you protesting because I didn’t live according to my original fate? Huh?!”
Chloe grabbed the book in front of her and screamed.
“What are you going to show me this time? What is it?!”
She began to tear the book apart in frustration.
“I don’t want to see this! I don’t want to read it!”
The book was easier to destroy than she expected. It was surprising.
Eight years ago, Chloe couldn’t even touch it. Naturally, she didn’t tear it or crumple it. She could only read the pages that were shown to her and experienced them vividly.
However, she could grab and tear the book this time. She felt as if the book was trying to tell her something.
However, Chloe couldn’t figure it out because she was lost in her emotions. She was just ripping the book apart to release all of her pent-up emotions.
She tore the pages all the way up to the last chapter and heaved out a heavy sigh. She felt relieved after taking out her anger on it.
However, it only lasted for a moment. Tears streamed down her cheeks as the reality of the situation came over her again.
Her tears fell on the crumpled paper, and the ink smeared.
Then, the disastrous remnants of the book began to glow. And it gradually grew bigger.
The light eventually swallowed Chloe and the darkness surrounding her. It happened in a blink of an eye before she could even scream.
“Young Lady, young Lady. You have to wake up.”
Someone was shaking Chloe’s body.
The gentle touch landed on her forehead and stroked it when she whined, and moved down to her shoulders.
“You fell asleep at a late hour again last night after working on your painting, didn’t you? You’ve even become sickly again. Come on, please get up before you draw the Master’s attention!”
Chloe asked while rubbing her sleepy eyes.
“How can you act so innocently? Please take a look at your hands, young Lady. They’re all stained with paint.”
Chloe brought her hand in front of her eyes because of the nanny’s affectionate scolding. It was true. Her hands were stained with blue paint.
Chloe, who was staring at her hand absentmindedly, quickly got up.
“What is it, young Lady?”
The nanny, who was opening the curtains of the room, answered without glancing at her.
“Why is nanny… here?”
“Pardon? What are you talking about? Of course I’m here to wake up the youngest Lady of the house.”
The nanny, who had finished opening the curtains, looked at her in puzzlement.
“It’s really you, nanny…”
It was Sarah, Chloe’s nanny. Why was Sarah suddenly in Blanchett’s mansion, when she was supposed to be in the Roem’s mansion? Moreover, she appeared a lot younger than she was supposed to be.
“Poor young Lady. You have a fake nanny now, too?”
Sarah smiled as she poured water into a glass. The glass of water that handed to her was naturally cool. The vivid sensation gave her goosebumps.
“Is this a dream?”
Chloe thought so because she often experienced such vivid dreams. She didn’t expect that the book that appeared in her dream would show her something so strange.
However, it wasn’t long before she realized it wasn’t a dream.
The time that passed by was too intricate to be a dream. Unlike her dream that focused on important events, she felt every minute pass too vividly.
Moreover, the book in her dream showed the future. However, this was clearly the past.
Catherine, who was reading the newspaper calmly across from her, was the ultimate evidence.
She wanted to wake up from this dream. However, nothing occurred even when she drank cold water or pinched parts of her body.
Catherine called Chloe, who seemed to be acting strangely.
‘So I really came back to the past?’
Chloe jumped up as if that thought was a sign.
‘…I need to see him.’
Catherine called Chloe when she stormed out of the room.
“Chloe, where are you going?”
However, she didn’t have much time to answer her sister. She had to visit the Blanchett mansion.
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