I Reincarnated As An Evil Duchess - Chapter 37
Seth, who had obtained unspoken permission, smiled slightly and easily clasped the ring of the necklace. Then, he said, gazing at the emerald necklace, which was hanging on her neck, and Min-ha.
“It looks good on you.”
“…Haha. Is that so?”
“Yes. It’s very beautiful.”
Min-ha could feel her face heat up in an instant at the compliment that came directly from Seth. Because he drank a lot of wine in the evening, he must have been drunk. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to say this to her.
Thinking that maybe so, she turned her head toward the pond outside the bench, where the spring breeze was blowing quite strongly, avoiding his pouring gaze.
“Haha… What do you mean, beautiful? Right now, my hair is messed up in the spring wind, my dress line is ruined by loosening my corset, and I’m in such a strange state with your shoes on.”
“I like it more because it’s strange like this…”
“While cleaning, you didn’t think of it as a humiliation, and you treated my servants with mercy. You, who was so cold as if you would never have a child by your side, smiled kindly towards Noah and gave me, who treats you coldly, a handkerchief as a gift… I like the way you look these days because it’s strange and unfamiliar to me.”
“…It’s strange. I hated your face so much. I hate it… it’s a familiar face that was engraved in my brain… Though with that face, you make an unfamiliar expression and act unfamiliar… It stuck in my heart more than before. I didn’t notice it when we were always together in that house, but after being away for a while, it was even more so.
“What do you think? I’m also quite strange right now, too, aren’t I?”
After finishing his words, Seth slowly took her hand and moved his lips slightly over it.
Min-ha felt her face heat up more than before, and her mind was completely blank.
The words that came out of Seth’s mouth were unbelievable. He was the person who had always been monitoring her and was busy thinking about when she would be taken off her pretense and return to her previous self.
She couldn’t believe the fact that the person who was observing her actions really liked that kind of behavior.
So, without realizing it, Min-ha mumbled like a sigh.
“…I can’t believe it.”
“…Right. Obviously, as you said, today I seem to do things that don’t make sense even if I think about it.”
“Like you said, he must have been drunk.”
“Oh, no! I don’t mean that…”
“…Thank you, that’s all.”
Just in case he misunderstood, Min-ha hurriedly grabbed the hem of his robe and uttered. Then Seth, who was slightly stiff, loosened his expression and gently stroked her hair, which was ruffled by the wind.
“The night breeze is quite cold. I think we’d better get going.”
At his words, Min-ha nodded blankly and followed him as he walked ahead.
Then, as before, Seth started walking slowly at her pace again, from a distance so close that the back of his hand lightly touched.
After walking for a while, they arrived in front of the secret garden entrance. Before calling for Gawin, who would be at the entrance, Seth gently squeezed the back of her hand, which he had put his lips on, and released it.
When Min-ha flinched at the touch, he turned his head and spoke, pretending not to notice.
“Sir Gawin. We’re going back.”
“And, call someone to the annex and order them to bring comfortable shoes for the wife.”
“Ah. Certainly, Master!”
Gawin’s reply was slow, probably because he had been dozing in front of the door for a while. After that, the door opened and Min-ha paused for a moment and watched Seth order to bring her shoes.
Why was it this hand?
Pondering that thought, Min-ha, who had been wiping the back of her hand for no reason, suddenly felt like her cheeks were heating up again at a thought that ran through her head.
‘Unless it’s a misunderstanding…’
It was the hand that Gawin had kissed.
‘…No way. It must be just an illusion.’
Even though she struggled to think so, the already hot cheeks didn’t cool down. Even after returning to the annex, she had to fan the hands for a while.
4. Good and Bad Things Come Together
A fragrant spring breeze blew through the open window. It was a late afternoon when the warm sunlight filled in and the wind, enough to mess up her hair, felt a little chilly.
Today, as usual, Min-ha was learning sewing from Wanda, who came to the separate house after finishing her work, and listened to her with a somewhat blank face today.
“This part is done by turning the needle like this… Madam?”
Min-ha, who was staring blankly at Wanda’s hand moving, answered in surprise at the sudden call.
When Wanda saw her like that, she opened her mouth worriedly.
“Did you have a hard time cleaning the East Annex today?”
“…No. It’s not like that.”
“No. Pompa complained to me that these days, the Madam works without even taking a moment to breathe.”
“Oh, haha. It’s just… I did it because I wanted to finish it quickly.”
“Besides, it is said that the person who died hanging out with the servants and maids of the east annex even after meeting the set time, is now returning to the annex like a quick sword? You are also meeting Young Master Noah at this annex instead, too.”
“Did something happen with His Excellency in the secret garden?”
Min-ha, who smiled awkwardly while avoiding a direct answer to Wanda’s question about her behavior that was different from her usual, hardened her expression when she asked about what happened in the secret garden.
As she recalled that time, she couldn’t help but smile awkwardly.
Blooming flowers and the cool spring breeze. Seth, who was unusually sweet, and her heart kept feeling weird…
“I like it more because it’s strange like this…”
She thought he wasn’t interested in her in the slightest, but in fact, he was watching everything and even said that he didn’t dislike the way she looked now.
When she recalled his face, her heart seemed to revive the feelings of that time, which had barely been pushed into a corner of her mind.
Yes. That was why…
It was this feeling that caused all of her ‘abnormal behavior,’ that Wanda was now pointing out.
Previously, it was nothing. However, now, just thinking about him makes a corner of her heart feel strange.
If she heard his name even from afar, Min-ha’s ears turned to that direction without realizing it. And, if she accidentally saw him go up to the office while cleaning in the East Annex, she would shake off her dusty clothes, become shy and hide her body.
Because of this feeling that kept getting stranger these days, she didn’t want to be caught by him.
So in the end, Min-ha decided to shorten the time she stayed in the east annex, and because of that, it must have been unusual to other people.
Even thinking about it herself, she was acting too obvious.
Unknowingly, when Min-ha blushed and avoided her gaze with slight redness on her cheeks, Wanda suddenly took a deep breath and spoke as if she had some confidence in her appearance.
“… Did His Excellency say or do anything that offended you at that time?”
“Is that true?”
“I’m telling you the truth! …That never happened, never.”
“Then, why are you so blatantly avoiding His Excellency?”
“…It’s not like that. Why would I avoid him?”
“Are you lying to me, too?”
When Min-ha tried to avoid the topic, Wanda changed the question and asked directly.
She was speechless and couldn’t answer, only her face blushed. Seeing that, Wanda put down the sewing thread he was holding in her hand and gently took Min-ha’s hand.
“Please, be honest with me.”
“Recently, I can see that his behavior and gaze towards you have become softer than before, but is the wife uncomfortable?”
“If that’s the case, please don’t avoid the Duke so blatantly. How much thought and time must have taken him to open his heart without questioning the changed appearance of the Madam.”
“If His Excellency has left you any remnants of his cold words and actions towards the Madam…”
“Well, it can be. There’s nothing like that at all.”
“…It’s really not like that.”
Min-ha couldn’t even respond to Wanda, who spoke kindly to understand her inner feelings, asking her to be honest.
It seemed that Wanda had guessed that she was avoiding Seth because of the remnants against him. However, it was more so because it was the exact opposite.
There was no resentment left.
Though when she looked at him, it felt like her heart was shaking like a sailboat meeting a high wave. How could she say that? Min-ha didn’t know how to explain this feeling that she didn’t even notice herself…?
So, she tried to change the subject. Nevertheless, she couldn’t avoid Wanda’s persistent stare.
Min-ha sighed as she was in a difficult situation and uttered in a crawling voice.