My name is Eleanor Cecilia Archelaus, and I am the legal wife of Marquis Archelaus…. but I wonder if even that will end tonight…..
Thinking that, I heaved a huge sigh.
My brother called me over to his home once again today. Recently, he has been sounding like a broken record, repeatedly trying to persuade me to abandon my marriage.
“See? Your face looks so dispirited…. A few years ago, I never would have imagined you could even make such a face.”
Every time Oedipus sees the hell our home has become, and what it has been doing to me, his heart aches. So for the past two years he has been using every possible opportunity to try to make me and my daughter, Alice, go back to our parents’ home. I am grateful to have such a caring brother, of course. I really am… But I can’t agree with him on this matter. I haven’t given up on fixing my relationship with that person yet. And, more than anything, I want my darling daughter to be able to return to normal.
“Brother, even if you say that, I still love this family. I don’t want to leave them.”
“But why? That man is always leaving you at home and going out, causing you nothing but grief!”
I choked back a sob, unable to speak. Seeing my distress, my brother’s golden eyes glinted in anger, but I knew his fury was only caused by how much he worries for me.
“B-but that’s because I’m no longer able to bear any more children. As the legal wife, I’m a failure, so that can’t be helped…. I have no choice but to accept such a thing and endure…..”
Brother slammed his hands on the table and leaned towards me.
“Eleanor! As your brother, I won’t forgive those sorts of acts! Even under the best circumstances, you are merely someone who married into the Marquis family, but with that adultery, you won’t even have that anymore! I refuse to watch them turn you into some…. some powerless decoration!”
Seeing my brother trembling from head to foot, I couldn’t think of anything to say back to him. For me, I couldn’t care less about my status in the family, but in his eyes and to the rest of society, such a thing is extremely important.
He finished off his rant with telling me to prepare myself to leave some day soon, and with that I fled back to the Archelaus household.
My brother’s words had sounded like a death sentence for my marriage, and they refused to leave my head. Even while the maid who brought my dinner to my room was talking to me, I couldn’t manage to pull myself out of this daze.
It was after that, while I was still gloomily lost in my own thoughts, that something unexpected happened: my husband, Siegmund, who hasn’t visited my room at all as of late, who will go whole days without saying a word to me, had suddenly paid me a visit.
I couldn’t help but feel uneasy at this surprise. After all this time, my heart has gotten a lot more fragile, so with such an unusual happening, I started shaking a bit out of fright.
“Eleanor, ” my husband said as he entered the room. When his eyes landed on me, he abruptly gave me a gentle smile.
Seeing it, I was surprised once again. I haven’t seen him make that sort of face in a very long time.
His voice seemed to pull me to him, and once I had stepped closer he earnestly said, “It’s been so long since we were last together like this.”
At his words, I became frighted and unable to properly say anything, so I just gave him a shaky nod.
His face became a bit sad upon seeing this, though that didn’t stop him from very gently stroking my silver hair.
With a jerk, my shoulders began to shake.
Why is he being so nice to me? Why is he suddenly acting so differently from how he usually is?
These sorts of questions were circulating about wildly in my mind. Even as my head was whirling though, he brought his face close to my ear and whispered, “I’m going to end everything tonight.”
At that, my head went completely blank.
What is going to end? Our relationship?
Did he finally find someone to make his new legal wife? Or did he decide to get a mistress?
Even though my head was spinning with all these horrible possibilities, he merely gave my head one last gentle caress, and then he was gone.
Exhausted and confused, I fell back onto my bed. It was already nighttime, but I just sat there in a daze without changing into my negligee or getting ready for sleep.
In my daze, I didn’t even notice as Rouge came in to pour me some hot tea and prepare my room for bed.
“Oh Mistress…. How heartrending….” she said to me, with a sad expression.
Now that I think about it, this maid has often talked to me about Siegmund’s current state of affairs. I should ask her about him.
“Did Siegmund…. Did something change for that man today?”
Hearing this, for some reason, Rouge’s shoulders seemed to stiffen for a moment. Did something actually happen?
Rouge covered her mouth with one hand, so that I could no longer see her face properly.
“Yes, Mistress. Things have changed just a little bit.”
I sucked in a breath, “Something– happened?”
It couldn’t be… does this mean he really will force me to get divorced?
I started shaking. Turning to face me, Rouge took in a breath and covered her face with her other hand as well.
“Yes. Master, he…. Master wants me.”
Wants…. Wants as in desires?
My mind can’t seem to grasp what this means. It seemed to want to escape from reality.
“Master-,” she seemed to moan after saying his name, “wants me. Mistress. ….. I have always been supporting Master. I’ve been staying by his side, especially during these past two years…. So he has decided that I am the one he wants.”
Rouge finally dropped her hands away from her face and, drawing closer to me, revealed an absolutely delighted smile. Hearing this, I was having trouble thinking, but even so, I managed to find it strange that her face was that close to mine, and yet she still wasn’t looking me in the eye.
“Mistress, I’ll give your share of comforting to Master as well, shall I?”
Saying that with a silky, slick voice, Rouge then darted out of my room.
I just stared speechless for a moment and then I ———.
T/N: This author really likes her cliffhangers!! After reading that, I got a sort of ominous feeling so I just had to look ahead haha. Don’t worry! This story thankfully doesn’t seem like the sort to have a tragedy tag 🙂 Unfortunately, the next chapter also doesn’t resolve the cliffhanger right away, but it is resolved within chapter 10 and before then the plot will be moving forward more with what is gonna go down in Siegmund’s room, so look forward to it!