“Very well, I’ll go get His Royal Highness’s seal.”
Dominic involuntarily chuckled at her audacious remark. Bridget Dashwood, who knew nothing, had a resolute expression.
Even that wouldn’t be possible.
Without even realizing Dominic’s mocking thoughts, Bridget pulled back and raised her chin. She crossed her arms without warning.
“What’s so funny…?”
“You think it’s easy to receive the seal?”
Dominic looked at Bridget with a gaze that implied she should know her place. But Bridget didn’t yield and retorted.
“Of course, it would be difficult. But compared to being a Crown Princess, wouldn’t it be something worth trying in my own way?”
“Do you really think so?”
It was an assertion full of conviction that it would never happen.
Bridget grew restless as Dominic remained unresponsive to her quite impossible proposition. Besides, her carefully considered suggestion was completely ignored, leaving her bewildered.
So, in order to conceal her unease, she exerted even more strength and said,
“Of course. So please include me as a group member if I bring back His Royal Highness’s seal.”
Dominic smirked and adjusted his posture.
“Why should I?”
“Because you dislike me. If you don’t accept it, I will voluntarily quit college.”
Dominic observed Bridget with a smiling face.
Unlike other noblewomen who were skilled at hiding their emotions, Bridget was very faithful in expressing her emotions. Of course, it was evident that she was making an effort to conceal them.
She silently gazed at the scenery passing by the window, moving her lips back and forth, occasionally fidgeting with her hands as if enduring the silence.
“I must have made it clear that I have no interest in you. Whether you attend college or fail to graduate.”
I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Still, I didn’t think it would come to this.
Dominic was a more decisive person than I had anticipated. Bridget, who blinked blankly at his question, raised her head and replied.
“Then, similarly, it wouldn’t be a loss for Lord Meyer whether I become the crown princess or bring back the seal. It’s just a matter of being a group member for one semester.”
“Why do I have to deal with such trouble…?”
“You say there’s no need to pay attention to a bug. So, wouldn’t it be reasonable to accept at least one bug that doesn’t even require attention? In fact, considering that I’ve offered such conditions and you’re still ignoring them, it seems like you’re the one who’s very conscious of me.”
Talking about Dominic’s past words and actions and talking about bugs was clearly rude and provocative speech. But Dominic seemed unfazed by it.
“You speak like someone who has been entrusted with a position. The reason I offered such conditions, even when I don’t have to, was purely out of goodwill.”
“Goodwill? In the world, how is that goodwill? It’s nothing more than a threat to play with me!”
Bridget, who appeared calm and composed, suddenly shouted, causing Dominic to tilt his head and burst into laughter. It was pathetic to see her not knowing her place and having expectations of success.
Crossing his long legs, Dominic retorted sarcastically.
“I suppose that’s as unreasonable as becoming the crown princess.”
“It’s a little more realistic. It acknowledges the fact that I’m beneath someone of high status. So, Lord Meyer, who is cultured and refined, will definitely…”
She clearly misheard. There was no reason for Dominic to agree so easily.
Bridget raised an eyebrow. But his response was surprisingly positive to leave her disappointed.
Dominic nodded, and Bridget asked again, as if she couldn’t believe it.
“You promised. You won’t change your mind, right?”
“Of course not. Who would dare not acknowledge what the crown prince has recognized?”
Dominic replied while closing his eyes. It was a truly sincere voice. Bridget finally felt relieved.
“But if you want to save yourself the embarrassment, you could drop out of college right now. Of course, I recommend that option more.”
But Bridget’s anger surged again in response to his provocative words.
“No, that won’t happen. Let’s see once and for all who will end up with a flat nose1the nose is flattened=to be put to shame!”
“Fine. Let’s wait and see.”
Just as Bridget stood up with a firm declaration, the train happened to stop at Loomwood Garden Station.
Screech! The sound of rusty tracks rubbing against heavy iron pieces echoed painfully in her ears. It was only when she saw the signboard ‘Loomwood Garden’ through the window that Bridget suddenly regained her senses.
Grabbing her head, Bridget rushed and struggled to open the luggage compartment door. (The height completely neglected the consideration for female passengers)
To request assistance, she pushed the room door and wandered the corridor, but there was no sign of an attendant. They were probably helping a guest who had requested assistance in advance or attending to the order of second or third-class cabins.
‘I should have requested assistance in advance… What should I do!’
The problem was that she had focused solely on Dominic and hadn’t considered anything else. Countless thoughts swirled in Bridget’s mind.
It was too late to call an attendant now. Besides, even if she managed to lift the heavy trunk alone, her back would surely be injured from bearing the weight, and she didn’t have the appropriate tool to push it out. In the end, she had to ask someone for help, and it was ironic that the only person was Dominic Mayer.
Time was cruelly running out, so Bridget cautiously looked around and timidly spoke up, clutching the edges of her skirt tightly with both hands.
“Um… My lord.”
Dominic’s head tilted slightly.
“I know it may seem ridiculous that I, who was rude to you just a moment ago, am making such a request.”
With a face as red as a radish, Bridget added in a crawling voice.
“Could you please just help me get my trunk out?”
A faint smile spread across Bridget’s lips. Her lips trembled, and her gaze wandered into the void.
“Please. I’m begging you, my lord. I need to get off here.”
But even though she swallowed her pride, Dominic didn’t bat an eye. He merely adjusted his posture and looked at Bridget with an intrigued expression.
Bridget remarked, realizing for the first time that even a handsome face like his could look so sneering.
“It will take another two hours to the next station, and I’m sure the train back to Loomwood will have stopped. I haven’t been to Dumpshire either! By now, the post office will have closed, so I won’t be able to contact my parents. They must be worrying all night! Besides, it’s certain that a single woman going to such a dangerous place will surely fall victim to human trafficking!”
Dominic rolled his feet and watched Bridget, who spoke rapidly without taking a breath, with an even more amused expression.
The confident and argumentative demeanor she had shown a while ago disappeared, and her lips trembled, and her hands trembled with increasing nervousness.
As he didn’t respond, Bridget suddenly pressed her finger against her nose. Her firm nose was pressed, making her face somewhat comical.
Dominic’s narrowing eyes was evident at Bridget’s sudden action.
“What are you doing right now?”
As he asked, Bridget’s face now flushed, and in a voice that seemed to burst, she began to answer, crawling forward.
“My nose is flat…”
Bridget exclaimed, removing her hand from her pressed nose.
“…My nose became flat! The flat side is mine! Oh my goodness! I don’t have a nose! Please, I beg you. Yes?”
Afterward, she clasped her hands together and continued to glance out of the window repeatedly. It was truly a virtual effort.
Dominic, who understood Bridget’s actions belatedly, almost burst into laughter. However, he skillfully concealed his hearty laughter and leisurely stood up.
A voice filled with mocking laughter returned to Bridget.
It was indeed a truly embarrassing moment, but at the same time, a sense of relief filled her heart. With a flush on her face, Bridget gathered her hands and stepped back, and Dominic smoothly lowered her luggage and handed it over.
“Thank you so much. I won’t forget this favor, my lord.”
“Sure. Next time, I look forward to meeting a lady with a proper nose, Mrs. Dashwood.”
Just as the buzzer indicating the imminent closure of the door began to ring, Bridget, unable to retort to the mocking remarks, tightly clutched the trunk with both arms and hurriedly ran down the corridor.
Step, step, step, the sound of shoes hitting the carpet gradually faded away. Creak, the sound of the entrance door closing followed.
Through the steaming window, Bridget’s figure safely disembarked at the Loomwood Garden station.
Her neat bun was disheveled, with strands of hair sticking out in all directions, and the front of her well-kept linen dress was completely wrinkled.
- 1the nose is flattened=to be put to shame