Chapter 12 - A Strange Dream
In the past, Jubelian had fallen sick a few times, but it was never severe enough for her father to show up. She used to be sad about this, but now I felt nothing.
Out of annoyance, I tried to open my eyes to see who was murmuring in my ears. I could barely make out a man with a blurry and distorted face. It didn’t help that my body felt like it was floating in the clouds, giving me no sense of reality.
It was strange. He didn’t have a reason to call me like that or look at me with a face that seemed to be on the verge of tears…
“No, this can’t be. If you’re gone, I…”
It is said that dreams are unconscious expressions of what the dreamer desperately wants.
“Please wake up.”
What a terrible dream.
As soon as I thought that, I sank into the darkness again.
* * *
When I gained consciousness, I was lying on my bed.
“Are you feeling okay, Lady Floyen?”
The first person I saw was Allen, the Floyen House’s family doctor. Only then did I realize that I hadn’t fallen asleep but passed out.
“How long has it been, Allen?”
“Three days, my lady.”
I observed my surroundings. Maids looked back at me with anxious expressions.
“Are you feeling okay, Lady Floyen?” Allen repeated.
Merilyn, Julia, and Sella. I counted the maids in my room. My father was nowhere in sight.
‘Well, I didn’t even expect him to be here in the first place.’
He hadn’t shown up to my debutante ball either.
At that moment, the door opened. Allen brightened and ushered the person to come inside.
I turned around to check if it was Derrick, our butler. I widened my eyes with surprise. It was my father who had come through the door.
‘Why is he here?’
I stared at him, unable to believe that he was actually here. He gently placed his hand on my head.
Unlike his emotionless voice, his large hand felt quite warm.
‘Is this a dream?’
I could barely believe what was happening. As I continued to stare at him unconsciously, his hand retracted.
I stared blankly at his retreating figure, then laughed to myself.
“Don’t be fooled, Jubelian.’
He had been cold-hearted towards me ever since I was young. He had even detained me in the original novel.
‘He only checked up on me because he doesn’t want to look like a heartless father who neglects his sick daughter.’
I destroyed any lingering attachments I had in order to avoid developing futile expectations.
* * *
“You’ve overexerted yourself recently. Please rest well.”
As Allen advised, I decided to rest by reading a book on my bed.
‘This is boring.’
A novel would’ve been more entertaining, but this book was about human resources and estate management.
‘This is what I get for neglecting my studies until now.’
Some people might wonder why the duke’s only daughter would even bother studying, but reality wasn’t that simple. My father wouldn’t pass down his title to an incompetent person like me, so it was likely that he would get remarried to produce a successor. In that case, I would also have to get married or become independent with only a small share of my inheritance to support myself. But I had no intention of doing the former.
‘Getting married would be too risky.’
In a conservative setting like this, the activities of married women were limited to fulfilling their responsibilities for their families. They were expected to diligently oversee their family’s reputation while maintaining dignity as hostesses. In addition, they might have to bear restrictions on living lavishly if the husband was their only source of income.
‘All this goes against my goal of spending money on what I want, whenever I want.’
There was only one solution.
‘If I get some inheritance and become independent, I might be able to make more money.’
If I got lucky, I might acquire a big share of the inheritance and even some titles my father was responsible for. But the biggest stumbling block came after that. In my new life, I learned manners and basic literacy skills that were expected of a noble lady. With these meager skills, it would be difficult to survive in this world by myself. I could try to build my own source of income, but I knew better than that.
‘Starting a business isn’t for everyone.’
Although I possessed the knowledge of modern civilization, there weren’t many things I knew how to make. I didn’t have excellent speaking or business skills, nor did I have many connections. There was a high probability that I would fail and end up with debt.
‘The only solution I can think of right now would be to maximize the money I inherited from my father. The problem is, I don’t know how.’
I sighed when I came to this unpleasant conclusion. Then I heard a knock on the door.
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