Bridget quickly set foot on the Loomwood Garden grounds. It wasn’t until she could feel the hard ground spread through the soles of her feet that she took a breath.
Naturally, she felt embarrassed, and various shameful emotions surged. Whether it was because of the heat rising in her body or the sight she presented to Dominic, it was hard to say.
Even her flatly pressed nose still felt numb.
As she dropped the heavy trunk on the ground, Bridget fanned herself. Her face wrinkled noticeably.
How lightly she lifted the trunk! She couldn’t help but dwell on Dominic’s mockery, which was irritating beyond measure.
‘What on earth is so big of a deal to do that one thing!’
Thump, Bridget spun her foot on the ground, making a sound.
Any gentleman with manners wouldn’t have turned a lady into such a state. No matter how unfavorably he thought of her.
Of course, it was fortunate that he accepted the conditions she proposed. But that was it. There was nothing to be grateful for.
In the first place, not letting her in simply because she was a commoner was unfair, and obtaining the crown prince’s seal was not an easy task at all!
And yet, he didn’t even lower her trunk and seemed to enjoy watching her in distress.
‘How is that even possible?’
Seriously, I almost went all the way to the capital.
If she didn’t give Dominic something, it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight. The train was releasing steam as if it was about to depart right away, so Bridget quickly approached the window of the compartment.
When Bridget, with a stern expression, tapped on the window, Dominic turned his head and looked down at her. His face seemed somewhat annoyed, as if asking what the matter was.
Thanks to him, a feeling of anger easily surged within her.
‘Your arrogance is not to be taken lightly. And let’s wait and see.’
Bridget, who spoke with her lips pursed, pulled her lower eyelid with her finger and stuck out her tongue.
In every way, Dominic was perfectly composed, but she didn’t want to lose, so she threw out those words.
However, after behaving so uncultured, she once again felt an impulse to be childish.
With her face flushed like a beet, Bridget shot a glance at him through the window and quickly turned around before the window opened. Walking confidently, she suddenly came back running, struggling to lift the trunk she had placed on the floor, and hurried away.
A woman who doesn’t know her place. She should try some useless effort or something.
Bridget Dashwood, who entered the university with impure motives, would never receive the crown prince’s seal.
Dominic’s face, reflected in the window, seemed strangely cheerful. He couldn’t hide his perplexity when he discovered his own image with a hint of a smile, and his expression quickly hardened.
It was around the time when the purple evening glow was setting in.
* * *
It was a joyful day to continue carrying the embarrassing emotion. It’s also a waste of time to think about Dominic Meyer.
Finally, I returned to my beloved hometown!
The damp air imbued with a green scent and the gentle breeze felt as if they were welcoming Bridget.
[Welcome to the City of Artisans, Loomwood Garden.]
Stepping off the platform, Bridget greeted the familiar welcome message and hailed a horse-drawn carriage. The coachman was a middle-aged gentleman, neatly dressed in a well-groomed short-sleeved shirt and a trimmed mustache. He accepted Bridget’s trunk and placed it in the carriage’s luggage compartment.
“Where shall I take you?”
“To the white-brick house on Tuckberry Street, Number 3-1.”
Bridget rested her cheek on the cold carriage window, taking in the unchanged scenery of the town as she departed. The carriage, passing the signs along the long stretch of the shopping district and the handful of skilled artisans on the street, finally arrived in front of the white-brick house at the end of the residential area.
The Dashwood couple, watering the flowerbed in the front yard, noticed the carriage parked in front of the house and hurriedly approached.
Bridget dropped her bags and ran into their arms, embracing them.
“I can’t express how worried I’ve been about not being able to see you off due to the sudden change in departure date! Luckily, it seems that God has answered my prayers. They say the ship is setting sail tomorrow. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be able to catch a glimpse of our daughter’s face before I leave.”
Bridget’s father spoke with a joyful voice. Being a sailor on a merchant ship, he rarely stayed home due to frequent journeys abroad.
Was it 100 days in a year?
It probably won’t even be close to that. It seemed like he was filled with worries, fearing that he would miss seeing his daughter this time as well.
“It’s truly fortunate, Dad. I was worried about what I would do if we couldn’t meet during the school entrance ceremony, and if we couldn’t see each other during the vacation.”
Bridget, who had been away from her parents’ embrace, responded with a bright smile.
“Let’s put the luggage down for now and have a meal. You must be hungry, right?”
Bridget nodded vigorously, her gaze fixed on her parents’ faces, which had become slightly wrinkled compared to before. She soon received assistance from Mrs. Lawrence, who helped at Dashwood Manor, and carried her bags up to the second floor.
“Thank you, Mrs. Lawrence. I’m sure your back must hurt…”
“Oh, it’s nothing. I can handle this much. What would happen if a delicate young lady like you exerted too much strength?”
“Well, that’s true.”
“In any case, Albert will be delighted to know that you’re back. Your parents didn’t inform anyone about your return, but maybe they’re rushing here excitedly by now. Rumors spread quickly in this town.”
Mrs. Lawrence, who had set down her luggage, spoke while patting her waist. Albert was her youngest son, and he was Bridget’s childhood friend. And…
“You know he’s very fond of you.”
He had been secretly in love with Bridget Dashwood for ten years. (Of course, he had never made a move.)
Well, go down and freshen up. I’ll prepare your favorite lamb stew. She added her afterword with her hearty laugh, and she hummed a tune and descended the stairs.
I see you’re still the same as ever.
Bridget, who was gently rubbing her nape with a smug smile, looked around the room after the surroundings fell silent.
The teddy bear placed on the windowsill had not a speck of dust on it, and the piano was gleaming. The round table, worn with age, and the bookshelf overflowing with books―everything remained as it was.
Her greenish-brown eyes gazed beyond the grid window made of oak wood. The scenery she loved was still beautiful. Her attention lingered on the well-maintained flowerbeds in the tidy yard and the neatly built houses.
The roofs in various colors and the diverse yards revealed the personalities of the homeowners, and the yellow lights pouring out from the windows made the landscape even more enchanting. Soon, the street lamps flickered on, illuminating the road.
Yeah, I missed this scenery!
Seeing the scenery that I had only imagined in my mind made me realize that I was finally on vacation. Bridget took a book from the bookshelf, ran to the bed, and plopped down with a thud. The feeling of sinking in was delightful. With her arms spread wide, she closed her eyes with a slight smile.
‘I should unpack slowly… No, should I tidy up now? Yeah, if I don’t do it now, the clothes might get moldy from being postponed.’
Bridget sighed and struggled to get up. Then she sat down with a thud in front of the trunk on the floor and started organizing her bag. She roughly sorted the clothes and her expression stiffened as she discovered the Widdleton University pamphlet at the bottom.
The worries that seemed to have vanished from her mind rushed back. It wasn’t a time to leisurely enjoy the vacation. For a moment, she had forgotten her worries because of the rushing joy!
She must find a way to graduate, to graduate safely.
“What should I do?”
Muttering to herself, Bridget clasped her head.
Perhaps by discussing with her parents, a solution might emerge. She doesn’t need to enumerate the situation she found herself in.
Bridget got up abruptly and went downstairs.
The man who had just opened the front door and entered came face to face with Bridget. With his large build, he approached briskly and tightly embraced her.