A groan accompanied by pain escaped involuntarily. Bridget, trying to maintain her composure, pushed the man away forcefully. Then, with a slightly irritated voice, she said,

“Albert Lawrence, I told you to be careful! Don’t push me with that big body of yours like that.”

Narrowing her gaze, she scanned Albert up and down. His sun-exposed, somewhat greasy-looking skin stood out more than before.

“Ah, sorry, sorry.”

Albert chuckled and rubbed the back of his head with his big hand. His disheveled sandy hair became even messier. Frowning with eyebrows as thick as his hair, he added,

“Anyway, it’s great to see you after so long. Bridget, you have no idea how angry the townspeople are, do you?”

Bridget tapped her shoulder impatiently and glared at him.

“What do you know.”

“That eccentric from Loomwood Garden is back! Oh, is there anyone here who could ask Albert Lawrence about Bridget’s university life? It’s Albert! Looks like he’s heading to Dashwood. Hey, Albert!”

“What are you doing right now?”

Albert raised his eyebrows and looked around, imitating the townspeople, while placing his hand on his forehead. Bridget gazed at him, dumbfounded. His neatly arched eyebrows shot up sharply.

“Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard that on my way here.”

“Did you come here to see me, Albert Lawrence, or did you come to provoke me?”

“Sorry. But it’s just that…”

Albert looked towards the kitchen without saying a word. Bridget’s gaze followed him. It was because the savory stew aroma began to waft around their noses.

“Hmm? The smell of lamb stew? Did your mother put in some effort in my honor?”

Mrs. Dashwood approached, interjecting herself into Bridget’s shoulder and spoke excitedly to the grumbling Albert.

“Why are you making such a ruckus? Our sweet guest has arrived! Perfect timing, you can also eat before you leave. It would be nice for all of us to have a meal together after a long time.”

“Is that so?”

Just as Albert gave a mischievous laugh, Bridget glared at him, trying to restrain him.

“Mom, that’s…”

“What do you mean eat and leave!”

Everyone’s attention turned to the shouting voice. Mrs. Lawrence was coming out of the kitchen, taking off her apron.

“They should spend time as a family. Hey, why are you putting your arm around Bridget? Let go of her now!”

Ho ho, plump hands came down hard on Albert’s back. Without a moment to spare, Mrs. Lawrence grabbed his arm and dragged him out the front door.

“Aah, Mom! Let’s talk about this. Okay?”

See you tomorrow, then! As Albert was pulled away by Mrs. Lawrence’s hand, the Dashwoods burst into laughter and waved at him.

“That mother and son are still the same. You two get along so well.”

After the sound of footsteps faded away, Bridget sighed and added,

“And Mom is also still the same. Please, stop trying to set me up with Albert. No matter how much you like him, we’re just friends.”

“Oh, Bridget. There aren’t many sincere men like him. Men should always be sincere, no matter what. Isn’t that right? They should at least possess a skill. That way, they can take responsibility for their family. In that sense, Albert Lawrence is perfect. He even manages a farm that spans thousands of acres. Not to mention he has a sturdy build and a handsome face, almost like a model. Why are you belittling a man who won’t be easily found elsewhere?”

“Please, Mom. I have no intention of getting married yet.”

Bridget sighed, touching her forehead.

“Sure, Albert is a good man, but he’s not the one for our Bridget.”

Mr. Dashwood, holding a newspaper, walked out of the living room and sided with Bridget. He jokingly chimed in, disagreeing with Mrs. Dashwood’s opinion.

“I guess he should be something like His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, right?”

“Even a passing dog would snoty.”

His Royal Highness. Mrs. Dashwood, muttering, scolded her husband. She was a person who was more practical than necessary.

“Just joking, why are you so serious, my dear? I also know it’s something absurd. Anyway, let’s go have a meal. Our daughter will faint from hunger.”

A joke? Hearing the conversation between the two, Bridget’s complexion darkened in an instant.

Yes, anyone hearing that Bridget Dashwood made a bet to take the seat next to the crown prince would think it’s an absurd joke.


‘I will consider you if you become the crown princess.’

‘Sure, we’ll see. I’ll give it a try!’


What was I even about to bet on! If only I had inherited half of my mother’s rationality.

At that time, ego was my priority. I didn’t even consider facing reality.

Setting aside the bet of becoming the crown prince’s wife, I didn’t even consider the fact that if that bet leaked out, it would attract tremendous attention! And not in a good way.

If we think of the worst-case scenario, the rumors would have spread and eventually reached the university. It’s fortunate that the situation has been somewhat reversed before such a thing happened.

Bridget clenched her fists while recalling Dominic’s arrogant face, her expression contorted.

“Anyway, since Bridget dislikes it so much, from now on, don’t involve her with Albert.”


Misunderstanding her actions, Mr. Dashwood led Bridget to the kitchen with a worried expression.

Bridget followed him absentmindedly and sat down at the well-set dining table. Then, she pondered multiple times whether she should bring up the topic to her parents.

‘Should I ask if anyone around knows the Crown Prince? Or if there is someone among the guests related to the royal family?’

It would be absurd. There shouldn’t be anyone around who knows the Crown Prince, who hasn’t had any official activities yet. Besides, no matter how she brings up the topic, the reactions would be similar. They would ask why she wants to know.

No. Ultimately, Bridget decided not to ask, and it was time to start the meal.

“By the way, how’s university life? Are you managing? Are the male students not disrespectful? How about the professors? Is the restroom not inconvenient?”

Mrs. Dashwood took a sip of water and bombarded her with questions. It seemed like she was curious about whether she had any complaints about attending university, rather than the usual concerns about grades or social relationships.

In fact, it was a natural thing. She was the person who opposed Bridget going to college the most (judging by her reaction, it still seems that way), and she still seemed to be trying to find reasons for her to quit.


Bridget, holding a piece of bread before the meal, clenched her jaw. Mrs. Dashwood opened her eyes wide, clapping her hands together.

“Yes, Mom told you you’d regret it!”

Mrs. Dashwood continued to express her concerns without listening to Bridget’s words until the end. She questioned why a woman would become a teacher and why she would bother to go through that trouble in an environment where there was no shortage of men.

Seeing her still offering negative reactions to the university, it wouldn’t be surprising if she immediately demanded that Bridget quit if she found out her only daughter is being ignored at school.

No, she definitely would. She might even shout, ‘I told you to focus on our business!’ and cut off her tuition.

To think that she sought advice from such a mother and brought up the topic. Bridget let out a sigh and told a lie.

“No, it’s not like that. They are all so kind. I actually like being the only woman. Everyone tries to help me, the professors try to teach me more, and…”

“The professors?”

Mrs. Dashwood chuckled as if she found it amusing. She said that even if the admission requirements were met, they wouldn’t accept a woman.

‘Women are already well-educated if they graduate from high school, so there’s no need to go to college. Unless her goal is to marry a man from a good family and improve your social status.’

‘No. Our child wants to become a school teacher. High school grades are obviously a requirement, and she got a top score on the entrance exam. We just have to pay the tuition, so why refuse?’

‘Ahem… If she really wants to become a teacher, there are also governesses that refined common ladies often take up as a profession. Of course, the very idea of a woman having a career is ridiculous.’

Lifting his triangular glasses, the dean spoke with a clear hint of disregard in his eyes. Mrs. Dashwood was reminded of his bird-like face and tightened the grip on her fork.

While Mrs. Dashwood also held a position opposing Bridget’s attendance at the university, hearing such words face to face was a different matter. How rude to not grant admission solely based on being a woman!

From the perspective of a common woman who operated the finest dressing room in Loomwood Garden, it was an utterly incomprehensible situation.


After Bridget, who eventually discovered the truth, threatened to expose the royal family by using Viscountess Bass, with whom she had regular interactions, as a witness, the head of the school promptly changed his attitude. It seemed that the prospect of an investigation was daunting.

However, the school life was a separate matter, and she thought she would get scolded…

“It seems like there are a lot of things that bother me.”

Mrs. Dashwood mumbled as she skewered a well-cooked lamb chop with her fork and pushed it into her mouth.

“My dear, it’s the path Bridget has chosen, and she will do well. It’s something you have already approved. Let’s observe for now. Don’t ruin a good meal over it.”

“Of course, I know she’ll do well. It’s just that I worry she might be disregarded or ridiculed because she’s a woman.”

Mrs. Dashwood’s body trembled. Hoping those dreadful thoughts would never become a reality, she shifted her gaze to Bridget.

“Don’t worry, Mom. I’m Bridget Dashwood. I’m the daughter of Lucille Talbot, who runs the best dressmaking shop in Loomwood Garden, the city of artisans. I’m not someone who will be ignored wherever I go.”

It was a lie, of course, because she was a complete outsider at Widdleton University. But she couldn’t reveal the fact that she was struggling to adapt at the university despite everyone’s opposition.

She even made an absurd bet that would make her parents furious if they found out. Bridget sighed and added,

“Anyway, Mom, I often get confused whether you’re a progressive or a conservative.”

Conservative, to be precise. Bridget murmured, asserting her pride, and clenched her jaw. And it was at that moment, preparing to defend herself against any attack, that something unexpected happened.


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