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Forgotten Juliet - Chapter 8

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


Chapter 8

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The ball had begun, and it was the fourth change of dance.

 

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Several times, people pretending not to know Juliet Monad approached her and offered champagne, but she shook her head and refused.

“I’m not feeling well.”

Lennox watched the scene from a balcony a little further away.

Perhaps because of what happened at the temple during the day, curious onlookers continued to gather around Juliet.

However, it seemed that the excuse of not feeling well wasn’t a pretense, as the men who went to ask for a dance returned empty-handed.

There was only one moment when Juliet, who had kept her seat without paying any attention to the surroundings, showed interest in people.

Other young ladies gathered on one side of the ballroom, bursting into laughter.

“Congratulations on your marriage!”

“You’ll be a lovely bride.”

Judging from the reaction, she seemed to be a bride-to-be preparing for her wedding.

Juliet glanced at the shy bride-to-be with an inscrutable gaze.

Lennox Carlisle became curious about what Juliet was thinking.

‘Come to think of it…’

Lennox pondered again.

While he observed, there were hardly any people who approached Juliet to strike up a conversation.

At best, they were either curious or mocking.

‘Is that why you’re standing there alone?’

Lennox didn’t like the sight of her standing on the balcony all by herself, like a child who had lost her mother.

He recalled how Elliot, the secretary of the Duke, and Cain, Juliet’s bodyguard, had desperately tried to defend Juliet Monad. He even openly asked if she could be spared, not knowing what wrong she had done, using excuses that didn’t even sound convincing.

 

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“A while ago, a maid whom she was close recently got married and left. Maybe she made a mistake because of that? Can’t you give her a chance?”

Lennox found it quite amusing to see his subordinates, who resembled troublesome employees, panicking and trying to protect her.

So, Lennox decided to leave them in their delusions.

In truth, he didn’t take the possibility of Juliet playing around with another man very seriously. It wasn’t because he trusted Juliet or because of his own self-esteem, but because it was unlike Juliet Monad to do such a thing.

So Lennox considered other possibilities.

The strange thing might not be Juliet Monad, but Lennox Carlisle himself.

If it were his usual self, he wouldn’t have bothered investigating the whereabouts of a lover.

At this point, he should have ended this relationship to prevent any further trouble.

However, he hesitated.

‘Have I fallen in love?’

Love.

In reality, their relationship should have ended before it even began.

With all the previous mistresses, he got bored very quickly, so he preferred easy, short relationships.

He had already gotten into the habit of coldly cutting off contact with them as soon as he lost interest.

Therefore, all his relationships ended at the moment when he began to feel bored.

But at some point, Lennox began to notice a faint uneasiness.

The presence of this woman in his bedroom at the northern duchy had become natural.

In the dim dawn.

When it became a routine to leave the bed first, leaving the woman who had slept soundly behind.

He instinctively felt that it was no longer safe.

 

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He became more acutely aware of it three years ago during the summer festival in the northern duchy.

According to the festival tradition, a woman handed him a neatly embroidered handkerchief with his initials and the crest of his family.

At that moment, he made a spontaneous decision while wrinkling his forehead.

“It wasn’t necessary.”

At the same time, he noticed how the eyes of several ladies rushed to them, and it seemed that smugness and mockery shone in them.

“Yes you are right.”

It took a little longer, but Juliet Monad was no different from the past women he had been through.

If she presented such a heartfelt gift and got rejected, she would be hurt, and it was obvious that he would cling for more than just a casual relationship.

It had gone on for too long, so it was time to end it.

“You don’t like this kind of thing, do you?”

She had a tone as if she knew everything about him.

While he was trying to find the right words to answer, she smiled at him with such a pure open smile that it began to look like a beautiful summer flower.

“It’s okay if you want to throw it away. It doesn’t matter who you give it to.”

She said she had to bring it because the noblewomen she met at the festival insisted on making it.

It wasn’t an awkward addition for fear of being rejected.

Leaving only those words calmly, she turned away without waiting for an answer.

The way she casually assumed that the gift she brought would be discarded seemed natural to her.

Her nonchalant attitude was so peculiar that he couldn’t bring himself to throw away the handkerchief.

Every time he saw it, he recalled her smiling face and locked it away deep in a drawer, but it was inappropriate to give such an item to someone else.

Strangely, she sometimes acted as if she knew him better than he knew himself.

 

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Despite only knowing each other for a few years, Juliet’s words and actions looked as if she had lived in this world for a long time.

She seemed unaware of it, but sometimes she behaved as if she had known him for a very long time, without any hesitation.

What was even more incomprehensible was that it didn’t feel unpleasant to him.

Lennox Carlisle couldn’t discern the true nature of those ambiguous emotions.

He was reluctant to cut it off and hesitant to admit it.

That’s why he couldn’t simply let her go.

Today, he had to end it.

Every time he considered breaking up with her, telling himself he had to do it today, he ended up putting it off until tomorrow.

So, it has been many years since he made that decision.

Yet he still didn’t know the name of those emotions.

* * *

“I’m not feeling well, so dancing is too much for me. I’m sorry.”

Refusing with kind words happened once or twice.

But, now Juliet was already in an extremely irritated state and was beginning to lose her patience, as this was nor first or second refusal of an invitation to a dance.

She even sometimes regretted that she had to behave with dignity in such situations, and not like the ‘crazy bitch’, which she had already been called more than once.

‘Damn, yeah, what’s wrong with these people? Even if you are obviously already well aware of the noise I made in the temple this morning, you are still much more importunate than usual.’

“Why are you like this…”

Perhaps these men think that since she is a woman whom Duke Carlisle will leave anyway, they can flirt so brazenly with her in front of everyone?

Then Juliet briefly broke free from the epicenter of her internal conflict, and glared at the clingy man.

 

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‘…Maybe I should go with him to some quiet place and get rid of him?’

Juliet could hardly restrain herself from laughing out loud, imagining the horrifying picture.

“Then how about champagne? There are other drinks besides it…”

“Do you have some important business with my partner?”

Fortunately, the problem was resolved before Juliet could step into further trouble.

“Y-Your Highness the Duke!”

The man who had been glaring at her with an unpleasant expression, pretending to be drunk, suddenly turned into a face as if he had seen a ghost.

It goes without saying that he swiftly withdrew his hand from his sword with a tense movement.

Juliet observed the man, who could scare away idiots with just his presence, and nodded in approval.

It was quite unfair, this situation. But where in this place was fairness to be found?

He was the Duke of the North, a war hero, and a young, wealthy bachelor all at once.

‘And I am Juliet Monad.’

Juliet quickly put on a bright smile towards the dark-haired man, as if to ask when he had ever shown a sorrowful expression.

“Oh, Your Highness. You’ve arrived.”

However, the man didn’t return the smile to her.

She hadn’t expected it, but well.

While Juliet’s smile seemed pointless, the man’s gaze remained cold.

It was a complex gaze mixed with various emotions.

With a face as cold as marble, the man spoke.

“Let’s talk.”





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