“But you, Cecille, are different. It’s only now that I’ve really awakened to love. And to think that you’ve even given me a child. Could there be any greater happiness in my life?”
“I love you, Cecille. Forever.”
The one he loved was another woman, and she I had never experienced a fragment of love or affection. And if it hadn’t been for what had just happened, she might have ended up as her husband’s mistress, raising his lover’s child like a tool and dying.
Everything she believed in was shattered. Today, the world that had existed in Yvonne de Fontaine crumbled to the ground.
In her mind, the memory of the day she was introduced to Arsen as his young fiancée replayed in an endless loop.
“It is a pleasure to meet you for the first time, Laurent Chéri. I am Arsen de Fontaine.”
Though young, his pronunciation was precise, his manners impeccable. Although she was so young that she hardly understood the concept of marriage, she couldn’t take her eyes off him.
Had she thought that way since then? Had everything been wrong since then?
“If we were really friends, I wouldn’t have been treated like this…” she thought silently.
He had called her a good friend, but even that was just a selfish thought from his point of view. Who would just let a good friend die?
How stupid and naïve she had been. How could she have been so stupid?
She couldn’t even remember how she had found her way back to her room. There were so many things to think about – the upcoming events, the mistress’ pregnancy, the growing responsibilities – but none of them entered her mind.
For the first time, the word she had never considered in all her suffering came to mind.
They couldn’t be a couple. No, they hadn’t been a couple in the first place. All she had gained by enduring this time was death in the end.
Knowing this, her heart felt like it would burst with anger and injustice. Tears of regret and self-pity welled up in her eyes.
Her sobbing gradually escalated into a full-blown cry. Oh, what had she done all this for?
And so she cried until her throat was raw.
“Madam, are you all right? Please have some tea.”
She didn’t know how much time had passed. When she looked out the window, the sun had already set.
With a tear-stained face, Yvonne accepted the teacup the maid handed her and took a sip. The tea tasted unusually bitter.
A small droplet of blood sprayed from her lips. Yvonne stared at the red stains in the pristine teacup, her eyes widening in shock.
She heard a soft chuckle in response. It was Yvonne’s own voice, but it sounded cruel and distant, as if mocking her.
Then she opened her eyes wide and laughed, a mad, sinister laugh. There stood Sylia, her husband’s mistress, the woman carrying his child.
As Yvonne’s laughter echoed, Sylia’s eyes widened and she smiled triumphantly.
“Why, you ask? Why shouldn’t I? That fickle Arsen has no intention of divorcing you, but I suppose he needs the power of House Laurent. But not me. How long do I have to wait for you to die? I can’t do it anymore.”
It seemed the woman continued speaking, but Yvonne couldn’t hear her anymore.
Her vision blurred as her head hit the floor. The pendant her parents had given her fell from her neck, staining the floor with blood.
So this was how she would die. Not only without revenge, but without even a divorce.
And so Yvonne met her end, her thoughts filled with frustration and regret.
Or so she thought.
“Why am I still alive?”
The next day she woke up fine?
“Why? Why is this happening? Could it be… I’m not dead?”
Although she had died only yesterday, Yvonne was having breakfast as usual and thought for a while before she turned seriously to her personal maid.
“Emma, yesterday… was there anything unusual?”
“Unusual? Not really.”
“N-nothing… at all?”
Yvonne’s persistence seemed to confuse Emma.
“Anything… happened? Nothing in particular.”
“Nothing at all. It was a normal day…”
Yvonne cut Emma off and grabbed her hand.
“Emma, do you have a burn on your hand?”
“A burn? No, not at all.”
“But… you had one before, didn’t you? I accidentally knocked over the tea because I was having a seizure. You got burned. It was definitely there until yesterday…”
“Is that so?”
Emma’s expression seemed to ask, “Why is she so concerned about a burn?”
“Uh, well… There was nothing.”
Confusion clouded Emma’s features. Yvonne’s suspicion grew stronger. Could it be that her ability to change the past had affected the people around her?
She couldn’t believe it, but…
At least this time I won’t let that happen.
Yvonne clenched her fists. Her life might have been pathetic and pitiful in the past, but now she had a chance. A chance for revenge.
“I’ll take control this time, Arsen.”
And so, as dinnertime approached, Yvonne watched Arsen as he looked at the silver haddock on his plate. She watched him closely, wondering how he would react.
After a moment’s hesitation, Arsen began to cut into the fish.
The thinly sliced silver haddock entered his mouth. and he chewed slowly. Then…
“This silver haddock is really delicious.”
He praised the dish with a smile.