Episode 3. Letters from the Past (3)
Huge thanks to Krim for the kofis! (3/3)
“In my dream, Leila…”
“What about Leila?”
“She was dead.”
It was clear that her husband would not send her to the North alone for no reason. That’s why she lied and acted so coldly. She hoped his dearly loved friend would forgive her for this much.
Actually, what she wanted to ask was simple.
‘Do you even love me?’
The man in front of her was the only one who could answer this question. It was so cruel. If she could have found out by asking someone else, she would have asked many times.
Chloe couldn’t easily ask anything because Gerard was the most difficult person; she loved him the most. Even now, when she saw that friendly face, she wanted to forget everything in fear of losing her sweet dream.
Maybe Chloe, who hadn’t been told she was loved since their wedding, didn’t even know she was even qualified to ask that question.
In the end, Chloe had no choice but to choose the long way instead of the short way.
“I have to go North! I’m worried, so I have to see with my own eyes if she’s okay. Send me…”
She tried hard not to cry, but it didn’t go as she wanted. At last, her words were mixed with tears.
Was it because she was upset that she couldn’t even do this on her own? Tears started pouring down. Contrary to the tears that flowed endlessly, Chloe’s lips tightened as a last ditch effort to save her pride.
She didn’t know that it made her look more pitiful.
“My Lady, are you calming down now?”
Chloe nodded her head, and Gerard handed her the glass of water once more. He was worried that she might die crying like this.
Was he crazy if he felt anxious because he didn’t want to waste his wife’s tears?
Chloe let go of her held breath and took the glass from Gerard.
Gerard, who was gently patting Chloe’s back, asked again.
“Dream… you mean?”
Come to think of it, he heard from Leila a long time ago that his wife had precognitive dreams. Gerard recalled a story that had been tethered to a distant memory.
After marriage, his wife didn’t say anything related to those dreams, so he forgot.
“You saw Leila die in that dream.”
“Yes, I have to go. Please send me there!”
“…My Lady, I know you were very surprised by the scary dream. Are you worried about Leila?”
Gerard calmly comforted Chloe.
“By the way, do you think you’ll be able to go all the way to the North by yourself? Why don’t you send a letter telling her to be careful?”
In fact, his words were opposed to Chloe going North. Gerard had always respected his wife’s decisions, but this time her decision felt too impulsive.
No matter how ominous, a dream was just a dream, so he couldn’t understand why she decided to go to the North.
Gerard picked his words with the utmost care, in case his wife was offended.
But Chloe was dissatisfied with her husband’s words, which sounded like he was comforting a child startled by nightmares. It felt like he didn’t trust her.
“I don’t know about you, but the predictive dreams I have will happen in the future. Unless you change it on purpose, the future will happen as seen in the dream! Well, there was a time when Leila got the dress code wrong at a tea party, and I knew it through my dreams and let her know. And….”
Chloe hurriedly began to explain further. Gerard was amazed at the appearance of his wife, which he saw for the first time today. Perhaps that’s why he missed the timing to say it and belatedly denied it.
“It’s not that I can’t believe the words of my Lady… It’s just-“
“You… You don’t believe me.”
Chloe said flatly.
“No! I really believe you, my Lady.”
Gerard was genuinely upset.
As Chloe said, Gerard didn’t understand all of her words. Because his sober brain was refusing to accept his wife’s absurd remarks.
Still, Gerard believed in Chloe. His wife had always been a prudent and wise woman. Even if she was surprised by a terrible dream, it was clear that she wouldn’t insist so strongly for nothing.
His wife’s words did not make sense, but his heart firmly believed in her. Perhaps faith was not the realm of understanding.
‘I didn’t want to say this…’
But Chloe wanted to convince Gerard for sure. Maybe that’s why she brought up an old story that she had buried for a long time.
“Have you ever received an anonymous report that there would be a raid at His Majesty’s coronation?”
“How did my Lady-”
Gerard opened his eyes wide at the sudden question.
“Because I reported it.”
“I had a precognitive dream then, too.”
Did Chloe say she did nothing after reading her dream book? That was largely true. But it didn’t mean that Chloe literally didn’t do anything.
She used to insinuate the future to people around her. It was in the hope that if the book had a fixed ending, it would be less difficult and less painful.
At the time, it seemed she thought it was her role. Although the thought was soon dispelled.
Nine years ago, on the day of the enthronement of the current Emperor, Owen de Hernia, there was an unidentified insurgent attack.
Of course, Chloe knew in advance through the dream book at the time. Compared to what she saw in the book, the damage was not as great.
Due to the swift response of the Imperial Knights, both the Emperor and the public were safe, and the nobles who participated in the ceremony did not suffer any major damage other than minor injuries. Except for one person.
“Didn’t you get a tip about three times before the attack? Once each in your jacket, another in a book you were reading, and finally a letter from the mansion. The note contained a tip on the raid. ‘Protect yourself.’”
Gerard let out a small sigh. Everything his wife said was true.
A week before the rebel attack, he received three suspicious tip-offs. The contents of the report were also strange. With advance notice of the attack, it told him to protect himself and the Imperial family.
He was confused about whether it was an insult or a warning. He tried to find the person who reported it, but failed considering how wise the person was.
Since then, the report had not been officially announced. Therefore, it made no sense that his wife, an ordinary lady, knew this.
It was even more impossible to know exactly when the tip was received, where it was found, and the words written on the note. In particular, the phrase ‘protect yourself’ was not even reported to the Emperor, so only the informant could know.
“If my Lady really has precognitive dreams, will it happen in the future?”
That was the only way to explain the situation.
She, the Empress’s niece and pary of the pro-Emperor faction, could not have partnered with the rebels. There was no doubt about it.
A question passed through Gerard’s head.
“Then was it because of your dream that you acted strangely before and after the coronation ceremony?”
Before the coronation, he remembered her circling around him, but after, she strangely avoided him.
Chloe was silent at Gerard’s question, but he knew it had a positive meaning.
“You acted dangerously! What if you got involved and got hurt?”
Gerard, who suddenly believed what Chloe said, rebuked her. He hoped she would never get involved in such dangerous things. He was afraid that she would get in big trouble without knowing it.
But Chloe had no choice. The one person seriously injured in that incident was Gerard.
In her dream, she saw Gerard protecting Leila and getting cut by a rebel’s knife. Everything else was blurry, but his blood on the floor of the ballroom was clear. So she couldn’t stay still.
‘Then what should I have done?’
Chloe frowned at her unpleasant memories.
She didn’t want him to get hurt. She wanted to protect him. So she told him three times what she would have told Leila once or twice. Just in case.
She really wanted to find out who was behind it, but that was up to Leila and Frederick. The love between the two deepened in the process of clearing the false accusations surrounding Frederick, who was suspected of being behind the incident.
The future was not easy to change. Gerard fell fatally wounded before Chloe’s eyes. It hurt more than what she saw in her dream.
Chloe was there. Her erratic intervention resulted in further injuries to him.
The pride of being able to see the future was shattered by this. What was the point? She couldn’t change it. Deep despair and helplessness enveloped her.
As expected, she was not the protagonist of this story. It was the moment when her ‘maybes’ changed to ‘as expected’. This prompted her to become even less involved in the workings of the book.
Her intervention didn’t have bad consequences, but that was something Chloe didn’t know yet.
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