“When I was there, they called me ‘The Lady of the Other House’. The lady who never leaves the other house.”
She spoke calmly as she rested her head on MuGyeom’s arm.
He was caressing her pale shoulder.
The open bedroom door was now closed, and it was still raining outside.
Because of all the wood that had been added to the furnace, the room was quite hot.
MuGyeom had neatly tidied the room.
He got rid of the mattress stained with their fluids and her blood and spread out a new one. Then he cleaned every nook and cranny of EunSeo’s body with a wet cotton cloth. However, he didn’t help her into any clothes afterwards.
MuGyeom was also naked.
Because she was naked, MuGyeom realized again how petite her body was.
How could someone be so slender?
She reminded him of a spring flower that trembled in the wind as a water droplet clung precariously to its petals.
A flower that would shake dangerously with the cold breeze.
“What did it matter that I was married? Do you know what it’s like to face your cold groom with your head hung low like a criminal?”
“How would I know something like that?”
“It was because those 2 years felt like such a waste. If I accepted reality, then what would become of those 2 years? What was I doing? Just the thought made me feel so depressed, so I refused to acknowledge the fact that my husband had no feelings for me. And being chased out by my in-laws was such a terrible thing to face… And the fact that my existence in my family was useless the moment I lost use of my legs was so ridiculous, so I just wanted to go and die.”
EunSeo stroked MuGyeom’s chest with her finger.
She circled around his nipple before dragging her finger up his chest and throat until she reached his jaw. Then she began to trace his lips.
“Although I was physically there, no one looked at me. Even though I was and always would be Yoon EunSeo, the moment I lost use of my legs, Yoon EunSeo disappeared, and all that remained was a despicable nuisance. I couldn’t endure it anymore.”
“Even if you can’t use your legs, you will always be my lady. Even if you couldn’t use all your limbs, you’d still be my lady. All the time and experiences you’ve encountered are what make you who you are. How could that not be true just because you can’t use your legs?”
“No one told me that. Except for you.”
MuGyeom closed his eyes as he listened to her voice.
Her breaths sweetly brushed against his chest.
Actually, he had always wanted to have someone tell him these words as well.
He wanted to say this to those who judged and looked down on him because of what was on the outside. He also wanted someone to say it to him.
He wasn’t just a servant named MuGyeom. He had also lived through his own experiences, and he also had a heart. He thought like them, laughed like them, and hurt like them. He wanted someone to acknowledge him as another living, breathing human being.
That’s how he saw EunSeo.
The fact that she could no longer use her legs didn’t negate the many emotions and experiences she had lived through.
As long as they viewed each other as human beings, what did it matter that someone couldn’t use their legs?
Even if they couldn’t use their legs, their heart and feelings still remained, so what did it matter?
The ones who had abandoned their daughter and their newly-wedded wife just because she couldn’t use her legs… MuGyeom wondered how they had seen EunSeo.
What was EunSeo to them?
MuGyeom treasured her, but they probably didn’t see her in the same way.
They probably didn’t look at her the way he was looking at her right now.
If they had, they wouldn’t have thrown her away like this.
“Before I came down here, my father visited my room and handed me an ornamental silver knife.”
What a heartless father.
“The last thing he said to me was to make a wise decision before I brought dishonor to the family. MuGyeom, I don’t have a place to return to.”
EunSeo buried her face against MuGyeom’s chest.
“This place is my grave. No, it must become my grave.”
“We can just say that you’re dead.”
MuGyeom tenderly embraced her and rubbed his head against the crown of her head.
The scent of camellias wafted into his nose.
It was her fragrance.
“I’m a servant, and you’re a noble, my lady. How can a servant and a noble share a blanket? Don’t you think we must die in order to live?”
MuGyeom already knew from the moment he embraced EunSeo.
He knew that once he crossed the line, he’d never be able to go back.
And the consequences of their actions were clear to him.
The new servant would arrive in a few days.
Once the new servant was here, they wouldn’t be able to maintain this relationship.
They might be able to continue in secret behind the servant’s back, but was that the best they could do?
Hiding as if they were committing a crime. Suppressing their breaths as their hearts twisted inside their chests…
However, if they waited any longer, it would be the end.
There was only one solution.
However, if a slave ran away, a bounty hunter would come chasing after them.
If he ran away alone, a bounty hunter would definitely be on his tail. However, if he took a nobleman’s daughter along with him, the result was obvious.
But how far could they run with EunSeo unable to use her legs?
A crippled woman and a burly man. They were obviously going to get caught.
EunSeo raised her head.
“Why do you like me? I’m sure you can find more than enough women with a pair of good legs.”
“Then why did you receive me, my lady?”
“Because you didn’t say I was useless just because I couldn’t walk.”
“Because you told me that I was no different from you just because I was a servant.”
When they heard each other’s answers, they laughed.
How foolish were they?
They were fools who fell in love with each other for such trivial reasons.
Ultimately, EunSeo and MuGyeom weren’t expecting much.
What they wanted was insignificant, but no one around them had given it to them.
MuGyeom had merely told a crippled woman that she didn’t have to die just because she couldn’t walk, and EunSeo had merely told a servant that he was no different just because of his social status. MuGyeom felt like they were both idiots for falling in love due to such an insignificant reason.
And the feelings that had sparked because of such an insignificant reason had ultimately brought him all the way here.
“If you die, I die, my lady. And if you live, I live. So what’s so scary about dying or living? Don’t you think we should try living proudly for others to see?”
“Yeah, for others to see…”
MuGyeom placed kisses on EunSeo’s forehead and eyelids.
Those hot lips lightly sucked on the bridge of her nose before swallowing her lips.
Their hearts began to race once again.
: Ornamental silver knives were carried by noblewomen. They could be used for protection, but more importantly, they symbolized the woman’s fidelity/purity. In worst-case scenarios, the women would use these knives to kill themselves in order to preserve their virtue when they were backed into a corner (i.e. about to get raped or captured). By giving one to EunSeo, her father is basically telling her to kill herself in order to preserve the family’s virtue/reputation