Chapter 20 – Part 2

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I was nearly overcome with panic.
At the constant surge of repulsion rising within me, I felt like throwing up.

When I came to my senses later, the doctor was already applying medicine to my fingers, then he wrapped bandages over them after.
Theodore was beside me the entire time, holding my shoulders.

AD

As soon as the doctor finished putting on the bandages, I shoved Theodore away.

“Lily.”

He called my name as he cradled my face with both his hands on my cheeks.
Then, he slowly drew me into his embrace and soothed me.

I trembled and breathed shallowly, and suddenly, I felt a prickling sensation around my eyes.
When I blinked, my eyelashes became soaked.
Something damp trickled down my cheeks.

…What is this.
Why am I crying?

“Lily…”

Theodore expressed his sympathy as he wiped away my tears.
I didn’t give up and pushed him away once more.
At this time, I could barely speak two words.

“…Let go.”

“I’ll take you to your room.
I can’t let you go alone like this.”

He picked me up and carried me carefully.
I wondered if I should just make myself faint again.
As I continued to struggle in his arms, tears continued to flow down my face.

As soon as we arrived at my room, I found Charlotte, who was very shocked as we entered the room.

While Charlotte was very nervous, Theodore lay me back down in bed, wiping away my tears with a gentle touch.

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“…It’s alright now.
Don’t cry.”

“……”

It was such an incredulous sight that I burst out laughing even as tears still streamed down.
If this was all just a dream, then it was nothing but a nightmare.

“I’m…”

A shaky voice flowed out of my lips.
As I cried and laughed, I told him.

“I’m… terrified of you… Don’t come near me.”

I could see my own distorted reflection in his blue eyes, which soon became stained with embarrassment.
I reached behind him and beckoned for Charlotte.

The restless Charlotte then came forward and took my hand.
She tried to gather her courage and then turned to Theodore.

“I beg you, Your Grace, please leave.
I’ll take good care of the Madam, so…”

“……”

As Theodore was still in a daze, he blinked a couple of times and soon rose to his feet slowly.

On the way to the door, he kept looking back towards me.
But as I was distressed just by feeling his gaze on me, I curled up under the covers right away.

 

* * *

 

“……”

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It was already late the next morning when I woke up.
I seemed to have fallen asleep without needing the sleeping pills last night.

No, to be more exact, it was better to say that it’s like I was driven into a state of coma from all the stress.

“Charlotte…”

Right now, Charlotte was sleeping while sitting on a chair that was by my bed, her posture awkward.

I felt so sorry for Charlotte that I hurriedly got out of the covers and sat up.

“Charlotte, wake up.”

“Uh… Huk, Madam!”

Shocked, Charlotte’s eyes widened like two giant chestnuts.
She also quickly got up and asked about my condition.

“Madam, are you alright? Yesterday… You were really… You were really very hurt and scared… I was scared, too…”

Charlotte’s eyes were brimming with tears.
As my senses gradually sharpened from my sleep, I felt deeply ashamed about what happened yesterday.
At the same time, I felt more apologetic towards Charlotte.

With a bitter smile on my lips, I nodded and took Charlotte’s hand.

“I’m fine… I know what happened yesterday was a little surprising.”

“But how did you hurt your hand?”

“…I broke a cup.”

“What? But for the Madam to make such a mistake… You must have been feeling really tired these days.”

Charlotte made a fuss and said that it’s better for me to eat more healthily.

I went to the bathroom and took a bath, then changed into clean clothes.

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As I was led by Charlotte back to the room, she spoke in a grim tone.

“Madam, you must have breakfast today.
Don’t just eat a few pieces of fruit!”

“Okay…”

While she helped me into my dress, the other ladies-in-waiting seemed to have set the table.
I didn’t have any appetite again today, but I forced myself to have a few spoons of consommé.
Then, I picked up the fork and stirred through the salad.

Seeing this, Charlotte hesitantly spoke up.

“Um… Madam, the sleeping pills…”

“Ah…”

Charlotte knew that I couldn’t sleep without taking them.

I knew that she felt upset whenever she saw me taking the pills every night, but she didn’t say anything regardless.
She knew how much I suffered from insomnia and migraines.

But yesterday, Theodore burned all the sleeping pills I had, so Charlotte seemed to be worried.

I chose my words for a moment before I spoke.

“It’s alright.
Since it’s like this, I’ll stop taking them.”

“……! R-Really?”

“Yes.”

Instead of the pills, I thought it would be better to start using incense to help me sleep.
It’s not as effective as the pills, but at least it wasn’t poisonous.

Still, I’m already worried about the insomnia and migraines that I’d likely be suffering from tonight…

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There would be no way to get more of the pills anyway.
Theodore already got rid of everything.

Come to think of it, I suddenly became curious.
Had his memories still not come back today?

“…I actually didn’t want you to continue taking those pills, Madam.
It’s not good for your health because it’s poisonous.”

Charlotte carefully spoke her mind.
I nodded, then picked up one slice of bread.

“You’re right.
That’s why starting tonight, I’ll try some incense to help me sleep.”

“Incense?”

“It’s not poisonous.
It won’t affect my health.”

“I see! Then that’s a good idea, Madam!”

Charlotte grinned widely, and I could see the relief in her expression.
I gave her a smile and continued eating.

I finished eating after about twenty minutes, and I decided to go to the library.
So, I took off my sandals and chose another pair of shoes.
But at that moment, someone knocked on the door.

Charlotte and I exchanged glances, questions rising in both our eyes.
Then, Charlotte went closer to the door.

“Who is it? The Madam is in the middle of changing clothes.”

“My name is Jane Thorpe, and I am a newly hired doctor.
His Grace has appointed me as the Madam’s exclusive doctor.”

“……?”

Puzzled at the person’s answer, I frowned.

My doctor?

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