“If we take Douglas back, what will Emma do?
Can you come back to the Taylor family with him?”
“No. . .If I return, this child’s life will be in danger.”
“Then, what will you do?”
“We will go home to the Count Pierne house.
After that, I’ll be removed from the nobility and I intend to be taken care of by the church in our territory.
I’ve already handed over everything to the house, including the dowry from when I got married, and the wages for the maid.
I think they will take care of us to some extent at the church in the territory.”
“. . .Having the church take care of things, what are you planning to do about the child?”
“There are many women who bear children and are taken care of by the church.
As it is, it’s permitted for the child to live with us until they turn twelve.
. . .I’m used to living in poverty, so it will be alright.”
Emma, who said this with a smile, seemed to have made up her mind.
She’s not going to make the child heir to the Marquis family, but live with just the two of them.
The churches and orphanages in this country are well protected.
She thinks that she can live in the church until the child turns twelve,
And finding work afterward should not be difficult for Emma, who has experience working as a maid.
Indeed, this may be the most peaceful solution.
If Emma stays with the Marquis family, she will have to fight herself.
“. . .I understand. I will return Douglas to the house.”
I look straight into the relieved eyes of Emma.
“Hey, can you tell me just one more thing?”
I won’t tell Douglas.
. . .Weren’t you unhappy to be chosen as a chamber partner?
Aren’t you regretting bearing Douglas’ child?”
“. . .Is it a secret from Douglas-sama?”
“Yes. I absolutely won’t tell. I’ll keep my promise.
So won’t you tell me your true feelings?
Aside from status or anything, the real feelings of Emma.”
“. . .I intended to work as a court lady and send money home.
I realized that my brother’s and sisters’ tuition fees were insufficient. . .
Then suddenly, a proposal to marry into the Ponette family came,
And I had no reason to refuse. . .So I quickly became a bride.
I was treated kindly in my new home, but I couldn’t have a child no matter how long it took,
And after three years, I was practically kicked out with a divorce.
Even though I was a wife who was specially paid a dowry, I was useless if I couldn’t have a child.
My husband turned cold as if turning his hand, but
I resigned myself to that, it couldn’t be helped.
I failed to meet expectations.
But. . .I lost confidence, and I didn’t know what to do from now on.”
Douglas had said that Emma was kind,
But to Emma, it seemed like it was just something she had resigned herself to as unavoidable.
“I became a maid in the Taylor family and enjoyed the unfamiliar work.
Even though I was called a returned woman and was ridiculed,
It was okay compared to living under the pressure of not having a child.
Taking care of Douglas-sama was not a burden at all.
There were many books in the mansion’s library, and they were even lent to maids if we asked.
Eventually, I was noticed looking at the books on Douglas-sama’s bookshelf,
And he told me I could read them if I wanted to.”
“Ah, Emma likes books too, huh.”
Douglas seems to have been reading books since he was young, to the point where he was teased as a bookworm.
Those books could not fit in the house’s library alone,
I heard that one entire wall of Douglas’s private room had become a bookshelf.
It must have been the maid’s job to dust off the large amount of books.
“Many used to say it’s unusual for a woman to like books so much, but
What kind of books does Douglas-sama like?
He treated me as if it was natural for me to read books.”
“I heard from Douglas that you like the same books.”
“Yes! Not just one, but many.
Before I knew it, time had passed talking about books.
When the topic of bedroom education came up,
I thought this was the reason a divorced woman was hired as a maid.
After all, I do not match Douglas-sama.
But still. . .I wanted to be near Douglas-sama, even if just for practice.”
“You like Douglas, don’t you?”
“Yes . . .I adore him.”
“You will part from Douglas for his sake, right?”
“I have nothing and am not suitable for Douglas-sama.
These two weeks I was here, I was simply happy.
I received a lifetime’s worth of happiness.
So, it’s okay now. Please take care of Douglas-sama.”
“Yeah, I understand.”
With a snap, the barrier breaks like it’s shattering, and fragments of light disappear like falling rain.
Douglas looks relieved, perhaps worried about Emma and me talking.
Now, how should I persuade him next?