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Forgotten Juliet - Chapter 16

Published at 7th of July 2023 10:20:38 AM


Chapter 16

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Seven years ago, summer.

 

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“I am Duke Carlisle.”

Juliet’s world was turned upside down. And she could never forget the summer of that year.

* * *

“Juliet! Are you listening?”

At the sharp voice, Juliet stopped writing diligently and raised her head.

A girl in an unfinished dress stood with her hands on her waist, glaring at Juliet. Her hairpins were still full of flowers.

“Oh, I’m sorry. What did you say? Something about a party?

Fatima frowned slightly.

“I asked you what looks the prettiest!”

“Oh, I see.”

While hastily organizing the letters with her hands, Juliet glanced past Fatima’s shoulder.

“Well, in my opinion…”

Behind Fatima, the exhausted wardrobe staff quickly signaled with a silent gesture, shaking a dress.

Rustle, rustle.

“…Pink?”

“Really?”

It seemed to be the correct answer.

Fatima enthusiastically instructed the staff member who came out of the dressing room.

“I’ll go with pink. Can you get it ready by tomorrow morning?”

“Of course, Lady Glenfield.”

“The ball starts at seven, so you must arrive by noon!”

The wardrobe staff, who had been stuck in Glenfield’s living room for three hours, looked ecstatic.

They were employees of the famous ‘Camille’ Dressing Room, recently invited to Glenfield upon Fatima’s request. The eighteen-year-old Fatima Glenfield, Countess, was Juliet’s friend of her age.

With the dress finally decided and her mood lifted, Fatima ordered a maid to bring tea into the living room.

When the maid brought the tray, Juliet had finished all her tasks and was sitting quietly in the living room.

“What about you? Aren’t you going to choose a dress?”

 

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With a cookie in hand, Fatima asked casually, as if testing the waters.

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“So, what are you wearing tomorrow?”

“I decided to fix my mother’s dress and wear it.”

“Fix… and wear it?” Fatima asked with surprise.

The idea of fixing and wearing a dress had never crossed her mind. It was simply unthinkable for her to alter the dress, and even the fact that someone had already worn it.

“Yes. That’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Juliet replied nonchalantly.

It was the late summer social season.

Any young lady who had just turned eighteen and received her first summer ball invitation would want to look her most beautiful in the first ball Bluebell.

When Fatima spoke again, sympathy was clearly heard in her voice.

“If you want, you also can choose a dress. If I tell our father, he’ll buy you one too.”

At that moment, the wardrobe staff, who were rushing to prepare for departure, flinched.

But Juliet just smiled.

“No, our mother’s dress is beautiful too. I’ll show you tomorrow.”

However, the owner of the dressing room, who was packing belongings next to them, cautiously asked,

“Um, if it’s Lady Monad’s dress, is it a pale hydrangea color by any chance?”

“Yes, how did you know?”

“Lady Monad has excellent taste. It will surely suit you as well.”

Fatima, who had been quietly listening to their conversation, pursed her lips.

‘It’s boring.’

Since one day, Juliet had become a rather boring friend.

‘She wasn’t like this before.’

Juliet was the first friend Fatima made when she moved to the capital.

Fatima’s father wanted to make friends with the ancient families of the Empire, and the Monad family just belonged to respectable families that had existed since the founding of the country. By a happy coincidence, Count Monad had a daughter who was the same age as Fatima, and that was Juliet.

Following her father’s request, Fatima often invited Juliet to her house to play.

Although Fatima found it annoying that her usually calm and composed older brother acted strangely whenever Juliet visited, Juliet’s visits were worth tolerating that discomfort.

 

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More precisely, she found pleasure to see Juliet in secretly touching the dress decorations while stealing glances with envy as Fatima chose her new dress.

But then…

‘When did it start?’

Juliet had changed about three years ago.

When she was about fifteen, Juliet had a serious accident. She almost died in that accident.

Since then, Juliet had become strange.

At first, it was thought that her prolonged bed rest had weakened her spirits, but that wasn’t the case. Sometimes, she seemed like a completely different person.

She no longer envied Fatima.

Whenever Fatima reluctantly invited Juliet, using the excuse of helping her choose a dress, Juliet would be busy reading books or writing something.

‘Anyway, just a poor Count’s family.’

Fatima pursed her lips.

The Glenfield family had earned money and bought their Count title, making them emerging nobles. Fatima used to enjoy bragging about it, but as she grew up, she realized that the social circles looked down on the Glenfields as nouveau riche.

On the other hand, Count Monad, though poor, had a long-established pedigree, and invitations to their parties consistently arrived without any effort.

It secretly irritated Fatima.

“There will be a distinguished guest at the ball tomorrow, Princess Priscilla.”

“Oh, Princess Priscilla?”

Juliet replied indifferently as she packed her belongings.

Princess Priscilla was the Emperor’s niece and received the treatment of a princess in the social circles.

Seeing Juliet’s lack of interest in someone like Princess Priscilla, Fatima was annoyed and pursed her lips.

“Well, you’re not interested no matter who comes?”

“Huh?”

“You already have a handsome fiancé, don’t you?”

Juliet paused for a moment, then turned to Fatima with a grim expression.

“Do you think so?”

“What do you mean?”

“My fiancé. Do you really think he’s handsome?

Juliet’s fiancé, Vincent, was the son of a Marquis and had attracted a lot of attention with his handsome appearance among his peers.

 

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“…You’ve been irritable lately. Do you know that?”

Fatima glared at Juliet and snapped at her.

Anyway, she didn’t know how to be grateful.

Juliet glanced at Fatima silently and spoke calmly, as if trying to soothe her. Firmly and decisively.

“Fatima, you will marry someone much higher than Vincent in the future.”

“How do you know that?”

“Just…I know.”

“Hmph.”

Juliet didn’t smile or say more, but that was enough to make Fatima feel better.

“Should I lend you our carriage?”

* * *

While riding in the Glenfield carriage on the way back home, Juliet quietly stared at her reflection in the window.

Her overall impression was a bit rugged, perhaps due to the rosy flush on her pale cheeks.

In fact, Juliet knew much more about the future than what she had told Fatima. Far more.

Fatima would become a princess in the future, but Juliet would die at the age of twenty-five. Moreover, she would die in the hands of the man she had secretly admired.

‘No, it would be fortunate if I just died.’

This was not her first life.

Juliet had returned to her childhood with memories of a tragic death that happened a long time ago.

Juliet Monad’s first life had been dreadful.

After her parents passed away, Juliet’s life fell into ruin. Specifically, it started when her stepfather, Baron Gaspar, became her guardian.

“This is all for your sake, Juliet.”

In her first life, Juliet had been married five times.

As a favor to her orphaned cousin, Gaspar, who had become her guardian, first married Juliet off to a wealthy suitor.

Knowing nothing, Juliet obediently wore mourning attire as instructed by her uncle.

Her first husband was an elderly man in his eighties, whose death could come at any time.

Fortunately, Juliet’s first husband died soon after.

 

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Juliet became a wealthy widow, but Baron Gaspar didn’t leave her alone.

Realizing Juliet’s beauty and wealthy background, he actively pursued marriage arrangements.

Afterward, Juliet married four more times.

Those who borrowed money and power, buying young brides from prestigious families, weren’t decent human beings.

While Baron Gaspar sold off his niece and flattered those in power, Juliet suffered from repeated abuse and deteriorated.

Her innate beauty became a curse, and her body and mind deteriorated to the point where she couldn’t think rationally.

Eventually, at the moment when she could no longer endure and sought to end her life, an arrogant nobleman appeared before her.

He had no intention of saving Juliet.

However, both Gaspar and her fifth husband died as a consequence of provoking the Duke of the North.

‘Perhaps it was natural to fall in love with the man who rescued me from such hell.’

However, the present Juliet didn’t live in that hell. She had never met him. It was different from her past memories.

“We have arrived, young lady.”

“Thank you.”

Juliet herself opened the carriage door and hopped out.

She lived in a cozy and elegant mansion on the outskirts of the capital.

In her first life, Juliet Monad lost both her parents before she turned fifteen. That was the beginning of her misfortune.

“I’m back.”

As she entered the living room, Juliet greeted.

“Welcome back, Juliet. Did you have fun?”

A woman with red hair elegantly tied up in a bun smiled brightly when she saw Juliet, sitting in the living room.

She was Juliet’s mother, Countess Lilian Monad.

“Yes, it was fun.”

Juliet also smiled and replied.

Last winter, Juliet celebrated her eighteenth birthday and officially became an adult.

They were all alive and well.

She had succeeded in changing the predetermined future, which made her happy.





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