I Married a Sick Husband Vol. 2 Chapter 36

Author: Ann

Chapter 8. Punishment

 

 

 

This unprecedented news, of course, also reached Theodore.

 

 

 

“Your Majesty, Her Majesty has arrived.”

 

 

 

So, I don’t know how long I waited to hear this.

 

 

 

After a while, Meredith with a somewhat tired expression appeared.

 

 

 

“I see, the sun of the empire, Your Majesty the Emperor.”

 

 

 

But behind her bent back, there was the smile he had been accustomed to seeing.

 

 

 

“Did you receive a report?”

 

 

 

“Of course.”

 

 

 

He answered in a slightly confused voice.

 

 

 

“I was very surprised.”

 

 

 

“But I told you, this would happen

 

 

 

“I didn’t know it was going to be really successful.”

 

 

 

“Your Majesty knows. I do not speak empty words.”

 

 

 

Meredith laughed, as if he had regretted not believing her.

 

 

 

“From the first time I saw Your Majesty here until now.”

 

 

 

“Okay. I know.”

 

 

 

Theodore nodded.

 

 

 

“But it’s not easy to come up with a plan to provoke the Duchess to slap in the face.”

 

 

 

“……I have a lot to do with that person. I know a lot about her.”

 

 

 

As Meredith said these words, somehow, she felt a little bit of bitterness in her mouth.

 

 

 

“So from the beginning, I thought it wasn’t too difficult.”

 

 

 

“Anyway, it was a lot of work. Did you call the palace?”

 

 

 

“Why, the palace all of a sudden……”

 

 

 

“You got slapped on the cheek. You need to be treated.”

 

 

 

“It’s okay. It was only once.”

 

 

 

Meredith said with a smile that was not suitable for conversation.

 

 

 

“I stopped her from trying it twice. Did I do well?”

 

 

 

Clearly, it was intended to relieve the heavy atmosphere and reassure him.

 

 

 

“……”

 

 

 

But Theodore’s expression wasn’t as bright as she had intended.

 

 

 

No, it just got harder.

 

 

 

It was a time when Meredith was bewildered by the unexpected reaction.

 

 

 

“…you were right once.”

 

 

 

With a soft word, Theodore took one step closer to Meredith.

 

 

 

In an instant, the distance narrowed.

 

 

 

Close enough to be able to feel each others breathe at any moment.

 

 

 

Then, he carefully stroked Meredith’s injured cheek with the back of his hand.

 

 

 

Meredith reflexively frowned at the slight pain she felt.

 

 

 

“It’s swollen, here.”

 

 

 

“…….”

 

 

 

“Get treatment.”

 

 

 

It was strange. Why does a single word of a short imperative make her feel emotional?

 

 

 

Why did she suddenly feel like she was going to cry?

 

 

 

“……”

 

 

 

Meredith bit her lower lip involuntarily.

 

 

 

“…….yes.”

 

 

 

At that moment, there were no words that could be uttered other than that brief answer.

 

 

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

 

 

Theodore immediately called the imperial doctor, and Meredith received appropriate treatment.

 

 

 

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries. So much so that she didn’t get any special attention.

 

 

 

“I want to hear what happened.”

 

 

 

Theodore asked after the doctor withdrew.

 

 

 

“No matter how you think about it, it’s a strange thing. The Duchess lost her temper and slapped you in the face.”

 

 

 

“It wasn’t that great.”

 

 

 

Meredith responded as if it wasn’t a big deal.

 

 

 

“One present, one tip. That was all.”

 

 

 

“What gift did you give me?”

 

 

 

“It was a hand fan*.”

 

(alternative: folding fan)

 

 

 

“Among many, many gifts, it was a fan.”

 

 

 

“The Duchess used her hand fan when I was young…”

 

 

 

Meredith hesitated for a moment before concluding.

 

 

 

“She punished me a lot.”

 

 

 

At Meredith’s overly calm voice, Theodore instantly thought he had heard it wrong.

 

 

 

Just looking at her expression. For someone who confessed to being abused as a child… she was too calm.

 

 

 

Theodore asked again cautiously.

 

 

 

“The Duchess abused you as a child?”

 

 

 

“Yes.”

 

 

 

Meredith didn’t notice anything strange about his question and continued.

 

 

 

“When I reminded her of that fact, her face turned white. I questioned her why she left the duke alone who did the wrong thing, and only harassed me and my mother.”

 

 

 

“…….”

 

 

 

“Her face turned red and she slapped me on the cheek. That’s all.”

 

 

 

“You tell such a great story casually.”

 

 

 

“……Ah, the abuse?”

 

 

 

Only then did Meredith realise why he had been looking at her with bewildered eyes since earlier.

 

 

 

But that didn’t change anything in particular.

 

 

 

Meredith said calmly, almost as if wondering.

 

 

 

“Well, it’s in the past.”

 

 

 

“It doesn’t mean that it will never happen.”

 

 

 

“…….”

 

 

 

“You must have cut away your own heart again and again until you could say it so calmly.”

 

 

 

He knew better than anyone.

 

 

 

Because he was.

 

 

 

So, he asked cautiously.

 

 

 

“Fine, are you okay?”

 

 

 

The moment she heard that question, Meredith looked at Theodore.

 

 

 

And she felt a part of her chest break down.

 

 

 

She never once asked herself if she was okay.

 

 

 

Because no one had ever asked her if she was okay.

 

 

 

She even forgot to ask herself if she was okay.

 

 

 

It was an urgent life to just pass the situation casually.

 

 

 

It was because she had no time, no time to look back on her own condition.

 

 

 

All she could do for herself was to hope that she made it through this time too, that she survived unharmed.

 

 

 

But he asked first.

 

 

 

Are you okay?

 

 

 

“I’m…….”

 

 

 

She habitually tried to reply that she was fine, but then her face twisted.

 

 

 

“…….euh”

 

 

 

Meredith gripped the hem of her dress tightly and bit her lower lip hard enough for it to bleed.

 

 

 

Tears dripped like chicken droppings from her large eyes.

 

 

 

“….No.”

 

 

 

After a while, she struggled to open her mouth.

 

 

 

“Okay, I don’t think it’s okay…”

 

 

 

It wasn’t okay. It couldn’t have been okay.

 

 

 

Her wounds heal, but her scars remain.

 

 

 

Each time the abuse was repeated, indelible scars piled up in her heart.

 

 

 

She kept building it up and she had been ignoring it. All her life.

 

 

 

For the first time, she faced her old wounds squarely.

 

 

 

And she realised from the beginning until now, she’s never been okay.

 

 

 

It’s just that she is and that she has been deceiving herself.

 

 

 

“……”

 

 

 

Theodore looked at Meredith with eyes filled with pity as she trembled with her head lowered.

 

 

 

Then he got up and walked over to Meredith.

 

 

 

Crying without making a sound must have become a habit, and it was sad to see her cry silently even in this situation.

 

 

 

He carefully reached out his arms and wrapped his arms around her.

 

 

 

Was it awkward to feel the sudden warmth?

 

 

 

He could feel her fragile body tremble.

 

 

 

“It’s fine.”

 

 

 

He whispered in a low voice.

 

 

 

“Cry out loud.”

 

 

 

“…….”

 

 

 

“I want to hear you cry out loud.”

 

 

 

“……I shouldn’t cry out loud.”

 

 

 

Said Meredith in a voice almost submerged.

 

 

 

“Because no one wants to hear it.”

 

 

 

“…….”

 

 

 

“Then I got hit more.”

 

 

 

“….. No one will listen here.”

 

 

 

So, as if telling her not to worry, he reassured her.

 

 

 

“The sound insulation is good. no one will hear, except for me.”

 

 

 

Having said that, Theodore took a deep breath.

 

 

 

Why, this woman…

 

 

 

“So it’s okay. ……Everything is fine now.”

 

 

 

Why does it look so much like me?

 

 

 

It was so sad that he felt like going crazy.

 

 

 

“It is difficult to cry out loud. I am…….”

 

 

 

“……”

 

 

 

“I cried like this for too long.”

 

 

 

“…..Do you remember what we promised that day?”

 

 

 

“What…….”

 

 

 

“I promised you.”

 

 

 

“……..”

 

 

 

He said looking straight into her eyes.

 

 

 

“Protect, you.”

 

 

 

“……”

 

 

 

“I will protect you.”

 

 

 

In fact, at the time, he didn’t put much weight on the promise.

 

 

 

The word ‘protect’ was unfamiliar, and it sounded empty, like a word without any substance.

 

 

 

“So that no one can do anything to you.”

 

 

 

Not now.

 

 

 

He felt he had to protect this woman who couldn’t even cry.

 

 

 

I think that’s how it works

 

 

 

I think I have to do it.

 

 

 

“It doesn’t matter how you’ve been crying so far. from now on…….”

 

 

 

His strength went into his arms that held her.

 

 

 

Is it anger or sympathy?

 

 

 

Or is it a sense of familiarity?

 

 

 

Or is it all?

 

 

 

“I’ll make sure there are no tears in your eyes.”

 

 

 

I don’t know.

 

 

 

Whatever it was, it didn’t seem to matter.

 

 

 

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
Ann

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (4)

  1. This makes me wonder about Theodore’s life till now, and makes me curious about what happened to make him think that he was looking at himself? I wonder what happened for him to be as broken as her. (P.S. I don’t think being broken is a bad thing because during that time we can find Jesus).