Home Post 1022-chapter-141


Fortunately, not long after I started feeling motion sickness, we arrived at the mansion in the capital. Using my sickness as an excuse, I skipped the late dinner. I felt that if I tried to eat anything, it would just come right back up.

I headed straight to my room and sprawled out on the bed. Jane, who followed me into my room, began to organize my luggage in the wardrobe.

“Miss, you should change into your night clothes before sleeping.”

“Yes, Jane… you’ve worked hard. You can go and rest now.”

“Yes, Miss. Have a good night.”

I offered Jane a heartfelt thanks and pulled the blanket up to my neck. In the quiet room, the only sound was my breathing.

As I lay there, listening to my breathing, someone suddenly knocked on my door. Maybe it’s my brother or mother. Or, could it be Ian, worried about my condition?

“Come in.”

Whoever it was, there was no one I would refuse entry to. The doorknob turned at my response.

I sat up in bed, waiting to see who it was. Eventually, the door opened and revealed the visitor.

We remained silent for a moment before I broke the ice.


At my call, Aiden smiled awkwardly. The door closed behind him with a thud, causing him to startle slightly.

Ha, it’s cute.

He entered the room slowly and, after rummaging through his belongings, finally pulled something out.

“I heard you weren’t feeling well. So, I brought you some medicine.”

In a pretty bottle was a shimmering pink liquid.

“It’s strawberry flavored.”

I burst into laughter at the added description, remembering the time I had asked Aiden to bring me a strawberry-flavored potion. Was it just a coincidence, or did he still remember that request?

“Thank you.”

I reached out to take the bottle, feeling Aiden’s warmth on the pretty container.

“Aiden, you are truly… consistent.”


“Always so kind. I don’t know how you manage to be so consistently caring.”

I fiddled with the bottle for a bit before placing it on the bedside table. Already on the table was something I had brought earlier – a glass bottle I had received as a gift on a festival day, filled with beautiful beads.

Aiden’s gaze lingered briefly on the bottle before returning to me. His face held a hint of confusion. I decided to speak, ignoring his bewilderment. I guess I’m a bit more mischievous than I thought.

“Will you hold my hand tomorrow at the lake?”


“Hold my hand. Would that be alright?”

Aiden was silent.

Understandably there was no answer. Even to me, it sounded like a strange request, especially from someone who had rejected his confession.

“Of course… I will.”

But Aiden responded in his usual kind manner, with a gentle voice and look. His response made me smile again.

After that, there was no more conversation.

He had come to bring me the medicine, and I had received it. That was the end of it.

In the silence, Aiden looked out the large window. The stars hung beautifully in the clear night sky, looking like the glittering heaven was almost spilling out.

* * *

The next day, after a simple breakfast, we headed to the lake. We had previously rented a tent and planned to have lunch there. The day’s schedule felt like a summer picnic.

We arrived at the lake a little before lunchtime.

“Miss, if you feel cold, please come here.”

Jane checked my cloak near the blazing campfire and asked in a low voice. I nodded slowly, and she gave me a suspicious glance. I narrowed my eyes in response, causing her to let out a small laugh.

“Selena, don’t go too far. Just walk nearby.”

My mother, draped in a shawl, advised me.

“Right. And don’t miss lunch.”

Father, standing beside her, added his concern. I nodded and looked toward Brother and Lucas. They usually added a comment at this point in our usual repertoire.

“Shall Brother accompany you?”

Predictably, Brother asked kindly. I shook my head.

“No, it’s just a walk around the lake. Aiden will be with me.”

“Aiden, too?”

Lucas muttered upon hearing this. I looked at him and nodded affirmatively. He gazed at me with a curious face.

“Can never tell with you.”

No, I can’t tell either.

But that’s alright. When have I ever been predictable? Shrugging off any hesitation, I turned and left.

“Enjoy yourselves, too.”

With a brief farewell, I walked toward Aiden, who was waiting for me at a distance.

“Miss, aren’t you cold?”

“No, I’m fine. It’s refreshing.”

The lakeside in winter wasn’t popular, so there were no other people around. Only our group was there, making all the noise.

I glanced back at our tent from a distance. Even from afar, it looked happy, and it made me feel good.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

Turning back to the lake, I stopped. The blue lake, filled with the vast sky, was covered with a thin layer of ice and snow. The chilly air and the refreshing atmosphere were perfect.

“Yes, it is beautiful.”

Aiden responded softly. I closed my eyes, listening to his voice. Enjoying the tranquility and silence. The distant noise, the warmth from afar–just this much was enough.

“Aiden, am I happy right now?”

Aiden didn’t answer.

After waiting for a while, I cautiously opened my eyes. Aiden was looking at the frozen edge of the lake.

“Whether happy or not, I just wish you well, Lady.”

This time, I was the one without an answer. I simply looked at his clear face and smiled faintly.

Yes, I was happy at that moment.

I slowly raised my hand and took Aiden’s. His face showed surprise as he looked at me.

“We agreed to hold hands.”

“….You are a strange person, Lady.”

“I know.”

“And I am even stranger.”

“….I know that, too.”

We began to walk slowly. Just quietly and peacefully walking around the large lake.

* * *

“Selena hasn’t been eating well these days, has she?”

The Duchess spoke while watching some servants prepare a barbecue. The Duke nodded in agreement.

“The dining staff mentioned she changed her diet to lighter meals. She seems to have lost some weight, too…”

“She said her appetite decreases in winter. Oh, I’m worried. Our daughter needs to eat well.”

These simple and ordinary concerns came from both parents. Even Aaron, who was standing a bit away, fell into his own worries for a moment. To an outsider, it might seem overblown to worry so much about a decrease in appetite.

But for Selena’s family, it was a matter of great importance.

All three of them clenched their fists, determined to ensure Selena would eat well today.

Observing this harmonious family, Lucas smiled softly. He then turned his attention toward the two figures walking hand in hand by the lake.

Selena and Aiden, looking more like a happy couple than two people who had just gone through a confession and its rejection.

‘The more I think about it, it’s getting stranger.’

No matter how he thought about it, Selena seemed to like Aiden. Look at them now, how comfortable they seemed together. But why then had she rejected him? Was it because of their social status difference?

But Selena was not one to consider such things. She was a remarkable person, not bound by the typical views of nobility.

‘And her eating less… Could it be related to that?’

Intuition can be a powerful thing.

Lucas rubbed the back of his neck, then turned his head to notice someone else watching Selena and Aiden. It was Priest Ian, with a tense and anxious face.

Suddenly, a strange memory flashed in Lucas’ mind: a frail memory of his mother and his younger self watching over her. Why did this memory surface now?


At Lucas’s soft call, Aaron turned to him.

“What’s up? Something wrong with the Priest?”

“No, it’s not that. It’s about Selena.”

“Huh? What about my sister? Why are you calling her so familiarly? Call her more formally.”

Aaron’s half-joking, half-serious tone made Lucas’ eyebrow twitch. Ignoring Aaron’s light-hearted comment, Lucas continued.

“Selena’s been eating less?”

“Ah, yes. She hardly eats these days. Stays in her room all winter, and now she’s eating less. I’m worried.”

“I see…”

Lucas trailed off. Aaron looked at him, waiting for further explanation, but Lucas’ mouth remained shut.

Aaron thought it was typical Lucas. He grumbled as he stood up to check on the meal preparations.

“It’s strange. Feels like… being caught in a sunset.”

Left alone, Lucas murmured as he watched Selena walking in the distance.

* * *

“Cough, cough… kuhk, cough.”

“Lady, Lady, are you alright?”

It was not okay. Not at all.

The beautiful lake was indeed a joy. I was so immersed in genuine happiness that I walked on the frozen grass, oblivious to the cold.

Surrounded by the hopeful glances of my family and the ceaseless attention of the others, I ate until I felt uncomfortably full.

That was the problem. Humans tend to repeat the same mistakes.

Despite knowing that forcing food down would upset my stomach, I still ate too much, mindful of their expectations.

During the extended meal, I had to excuse myself early. I felt guilty leaving my family who were happily chatting, but my stomach was uncomfortably bloated.


As I rose from the table, my brother called out to me, wondering what was happening. I shook my head casually.

“I just want to take a little more walk before we go back. To aid digestion… It’s okay, right?”

“Alright, go ahead.”

“Don’t push yourself too much.”

My parents cautioned me, to which I nodded, though I was already pushing myself beyond limits.


With a brief response, I signaled Ian with my eyes, a signal that I needed help. He caught the hint and slowly rose from his seat.

“I’ll accompany you.”

“Thank you, Priest.”

Ian and I.

It was an awkward companionship that attracted everyone’s attention.

But it didn’t matter. What did it matter when someone was on the verge of death?

Ian joined me, and we started walking, faster than usual, unlike my normally sluggish pace and uncharacteristic of Ian.

We walked as fast as we could until we were out of sight of our group.

Finally, when we reached a path lined with dense trees, I leaned against a large tree and gasped for breath.


“Are you alright, Lady?”

Ian shielded me from the view of our companions with his cloak as I hunched over, feeling like I was about to collapse.

“Yes, I’m fine…ugh…” I managed to say before I vomited against the tree.

What a disgrace to the beautiful nature around us.

I’m sorry, tree.

Even in my discomfort, I found myself making such trivial thoughts; it was a sign that I was still coping.

Ian cautiously patted my back. Now, I owed an apology to both the tree and him.

Sorry, Priest Ian.

“Haa… Haa…”

After vomiting, the suffocating feeling eased. The overwhelming dizziness also finally subsided.

“Tha… thank yo… ugh.”

But it seemed it wasn’t over yet. Something surged up again. I covered my mouth and vomited a little further away from where I had previously, on the dry earth.

“Ha… Haa…”

The only sound in the space was my heavy breathing. Neither Ian nor I spoke. Or more accurately, we couldn’t.

On the dry earth lay a thick, red mass. It was difficult to even guess what it was… Ah, was this the symptom of the third petal? Following the nosebleed, now vomiting blood. It seemed my body would run out of blood.

A hollow laugh escaped me.

There seemed to be no end to this hell. Just when I thought it was enough, a deeper pit awaited me.


Ian’s trembling voice called out to me. I slowly lifted my head to look at him.

What seemed like a trip filled with boundless happiness.

No, a trip that had been filled with happiness.

Even here…. I couldn’t find happiness.

This thick mass of blood felt like an answer to both this trip and the remainder of my days.

Even if I long for happiness, it seems it’s not meant for me. Eunji, you were wrong. I can’t be happy.

With that thought, my head spun wildly. I felt dizzy to the point of seeing stars, and my body swayed greatly.

I nearly collapsed, but somehow managed to catch my balance. Or more precisely… something like a warm breeze seemed to hold me up.