“Are you alright I heard you were sick.”
The maid placed the steaming teacup in front of Tessa.
It was the same tea that Elena recommended the other day.
“Thank you for your concern.
I’m fine now…”
“Then I’m happy.
I thought Tessa had forgotten me.”
At Elena’s words, Tessa took a deep breath.
It was true that she had completely forgotten about the Marchioness.
She might have forgotten if Janet hadn’t brought up the Marchioness.
Tessa quietly bowed her head to Elena.
“I’m sorry… It’s just…”
“It’s a joke, it’s okay.
Why must you take everything so seriously Thank you for coming back like this.”
Elena smiled softly and took the teacup.
Tessa followed her, picked up the teacup, and drank the tea.
The moderately warm tea lingered softly in her mouth.
It was said that it was a good tea to calm the mind and body, but when she really drank the tea, her heart, which had been pounding with tension, seemed to calm down.
“So what are you doing these days”
Elena asked, pushing the well-baked scones in front of Tessa.
At the unexpected question, Tessa let out a flustered noise unknowingly.
“Are you doing nothing”
“Ah… I don’t really know.
I never thought I had to do something…”
Ever since she was forcibly brought to Jutert, Tessa’s daily life had been very monotonous.
It was because she had a limited range of options given to her in the first place.
Being the wife of the Marquis but only in name, she didn’t have any responsibilities.
But that didn’t mean that she was allowed to go out or engage in other activities like the other wives.
Meetings between the wives were rare.
In a way, it was as if she was completely isolated.
In that order, Tessa simply stayed in her room with nothing to do, just staring blankly out the window.
At other times she slept or went out for a short walk without anyone attending to her, but she would occasionally get caught and beaten by the Young Marquis, leaving her bedridden for several days.
It was from when the seventh wife, Janet, joined the Jutert house two years ago that she could do what was called activities.
She was one of the few people who had liked Tessa from the start, and she offered tea time as soon as she met Tessa, and since then Janet had often suggested picnics too.
So Tessa was secretly waiting to meet Janet.
“Is there nothing you want to do”
“…I don’t know either.
I have never done anything, so…”
Even after the Jutert estate was captured by Hert, Tessa’s daily life was similar to before.
The only thing that changed for her was that she often spent time with Hert.
Tessa had breakfast with Hert today as well.
But that was all.
From the day she came here and until now, Tessa was just sitting by the window, staring out blankly.
“Well, can you write and read”
“If you’re interested, I can teach you to write.
You can’t just come and chat every time.”
“Ah… That is…”
“How is it Are you interested”
Tessa was silent for a moment.
Suddenly, she wondered if she could learn to write.
She had nothing else to do, and she was going to be abandoned by Hert someday.
But then again, if she were to learn how to write, what was she going to write Well, she could read a book or write something like a diary, but even that makes her think twice.
‘I have nothing… to write…’
Of course, there was a time when Tessa also wanted to learn to write.
Because she also wanted to be an intellectual who reads books and shares opinions.
But her will has long since faded and crumbled, as she’s been living half-dazed through the past few years.
By now she was even scared.
What could she learn to write Can she learn to write properly She can’t be this stupid…
Tessa opened her mouth with an infinitely unconfident voice.
“I think… I think I should ask the Lord.”
“Tessa, if you want to learn to read, why seek the Lord’s permission”
At Elena’s point, Tessa shut her mouth again.
Why did she ask Hert for his opinion Well, that’s because he’s the one holding her life… But she could not tell this directly to the Marchioness.
“Don’t do that, just go ahead and learn it.
Though if you don’t like writing, I can teach you something else.”
“How about cooking From simple bread and cookies to bourguignon, stewed meat in wine.
It might be pretty fun.
Elena responded with a gentle tone.
Clearly, right now, Tessa seemed more interested in cooking than writing.
Shall she twist it this way then Elena pointed to the kitchen located in one of the spires.
The small and cozy kitchen seemed to have been touched by people for a long time, just like the room they were in.
“I also enjoy cooking.
After living in a place like this for a few decades, you end up doing things you wouldn’t have done before.”
“So, what’s your answer”
“…I don’t know…”
“Don’t think too hard.
Because it’s really easy and fun to do.
Why don’t you try baking cookies while you’re here You can give it to people.”
Tessa sighed briefly, “Ah.” Suddenly, she remembered the sweets that Hert had bought this morning.
Cookies were one of Tessa’s favorite snacks during the orphanage days.
But Tessa couldn’t put the cookie in her mouth easily.
It was because she was feeling nauseous for some reason.
But she barely ate one, because Hert was staring intently at her until she ate.
Tessa lowered her gaze and looked down at her hand.
A hand that hasn’t done anything properly in years.
First of all, she was worried.
Can she do it Could she be causing trouble to the Marchioness Will people accept her cookies What will Hert think when he sees the cookies she made Would he think that she could not stand still and do futile things
Several thoughts ran through Tessa’s head.
Then Elena added her words once more.
“There is nothing more appropriate than cookies to give to the people you are grateful towards.
Make it this time and take it.
They will definitely like it.”
Tessa paused at the word.
There was certainly nothing better to express your feelings than a gift.
And if there was a chance, Tessa always wanted to give Mani and Janet something as a gift.
Because there wasn’t just one or two things she was thankful for.
And if possible, she wants to give Hert something too.
“…But I’ve never made cookies before…”
Tessa opened her mouth carefully in a hesitant voice.
At this, Elena smiled a little.
“Tessa, I’m here to help, so what are you so worried about”
“…… But, I think I’m bothering…… the Marchioness.”
“I wish Tessa would come to me often in the name of learning to cook.
Don’t be too burdened.
I do this because I want to.”
At Elena’s soft tone, Tessa slowly nodded her head.
* * *
“Who did she go to see”
At Lange’s reply, Hert looked away from the document he was reading.
Marchioness Jutert… Oh, he meant the first wife She was not a very suspicious figure, though.
But before that, the key was how Tessa met the Marchioness.
No matter how he looked at them, they didn’t seem to have anything to connect them.
“The Marchioness lives in isolation in a spire.
Without one to interact with.
But how does she know Tessa”
“She was one of the husband’s wives, so they must have known of each other’s existence.
They said this was their second meeting and it didn’t seem like the Marchioness really wanted anything and approached Tessa.”
What could she get from her if she approached her…”
It was Tessa who still acted like a person who had lost her lifeline.
Although she was treated more luxuriously here than anyone else, Tessa acted like someone who would be thrown out at any time.
At one point, she believed in Hert and was likely to ask for something from the employees, but instead she still bowed her head to them.
‘What the hell are you thinking with that little head’
He thought she was clever, but now when he came back, there was no one as foolish as her.
It was like that with every action she did.
What kind of noble lady showed respect to the employees and bowed her head Hert sighed and narrowed his brows.
‘Haa, I’m going to die from all this worrying…’
Hert put the papers down and stood up.
Lange looked at him as if asking where he was going, and then his face changed to a no-nonsense look.
“I won’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes.”
“Then are you saying that I am telling a lie, sir”
Lange was at a loss for words at his brazen superior’s actions.
He can just plainly say he wanted to see her.
Hert would not want to say that for his pride, so Lange just pitied his innocent self who was working hard under him who was the most terrible superior in the world.
His sense of betrayal was overwhelming.
He can’t believe he received this kind of treatment after a year of devoting himself to working under him.
“You are doing too much.
If you are going, take a look at the rest before you go!”
“Don’t want to.”
“…Why don’t you just give up and stick with this all day”
Lange groaned in a low voice.
He was prepared to hear what he said.
But Hert’s reaction was blunt.
He put on his coat and muttered a little.
“In my mind, I want to, but…”
‘I want to, but…’
“I don’t think I can stand it.”
‘What can’t you stand…’
“Anyway, after this, you can just take care of it and finish it properly.”
Hert strode out of his office.
Lange, who was eventually left alone in the office, dropped his forehead into his hands.
These days, he was shocked to see another side of his superior.
The dog of Marquis of Borwen, whose name makes people tremble when they hear his name, was now acting like this at the mere mention of that woman…
‘I should have taken a step back when he threw away some kind of sweets as a present in the morning.’
Lange was seriously wondering if he has to cling to Tessa as a lifeline from now on.