He seemed to want to say that I was strong but he didn’t want to sound rude. I tried not to smile and remained quiet. I didn’t want people to know that I have been working out quietly. It usually took a while for a woman’s body to show change; you’d have to regularly work out to become noticeably faster and stronger.
It hasn’t been a while since I started exercising at dawn but I could already see the difference in my movements. I was faster. Stronger, too. At this rate I felt like I could break a stone with my hand. I refused the urge to giggle. Well, I might be exaggerating a bit.
But to be so strong as to break a stone… I’ll be able to hit most people from afar. How terribly efficient. I wouldn’t even have imagined such a skill in the past. Moreover, I might be able to learn how to use a longsword. It’s a useless weapon if I’m weaker than my opponent, but now…
As I was lost in my thoughts, a maid brought snacks and shortly after, Penelope came in, panting, and sat across from me.
“I’m sorry for such a mess, Alice!” she began, her face still pink. “Nothing goes according to plan when you have a child… Is Marchioness Wishburn doing well?”
I lightly smiled. “Yes, she’s probably painting right now. She doesn’t leave the house much,” I replied.
I was worried that mother was spending too much time at home, but as long as she is painting, she might be all right. She seemed to vent her emotion through paintings. She probably has a lot on her mind. Even better, should I test my strength on the subject of her thoughts – that bastard, Aaron Warwick? Maybe he’ll come back to senses if I give him a concussion. Then mother wouldn’t worry so much anymore.
“Everyone is like that nowadays.” Penelope smiled, took a sip of tea and sighed tiredly. Raising a child wasn’t an easy task.
“Are you raising your child alone?” I asked.
Penelope waved her hand. “The nurse helps me a lot. I don’t know how I’d raise her without the nurse. Especially if I’m a working mom…”
A working mom… I came to my senses as I heard that familiar modern term. Penelope also seemed to realize she said too much. She cleared her throat and looked at me.
“Are you here for tea? That’s good too, or…?”
“Can my maid and guard rest a little? Nothing will happen in the house,” I said to them.
Penelope nodded at my question and waved at a servant.
“Lead the lady’s maid and guard to the rest room and give them some snacks.”
Jake looked at me. Amy was used to me doing this so she didn’t ask and only bowed. I waved at Jake to follow Amy. After the door to the drawing room closed, Penelope lowered her voice.
“You’re here about that right?” she said.
I nodded. We both knew what ‘that’ was. The moment I heard the word working mom, I was certain that Penelope wasn’t insane. But to suggest that we were inside a novel…. I wasn’t too sure. I need to dig deeper.
“I also remember my previous life,” I said.
Penelope nodded like she knew that already and asked. “Where did you live in your previous life? And how old were you?”
“In South Korea. I died when I was 28.”
Penelope was clapping and talking happily as if meeting someone after death in another world wasn’t weird. “Me too, me too! I knew you were Korean! Did you read ‘Sersaw Memoir’ too?”
We quickly tackled the main point. I smiled a bit apologetically. “About that part… That novel? Webnovel? I don’t know what that is,” I said.
Penelope’s face hardened. She blinked fast. “Pardon?”
“About webnovels. I don’t know what those are.”
“But…. didn’t you say you’re Korean?” Penelope covered her mouth as if she remembered something. “Alice, what era did you live in? What year did you die?”
I wasn’t able to think about that part. Perhaps we lived in different eras. “I died in 2018,” I replied, hoping to clear the confusion.
Penelope smiled like meeting after death wasn’t enough, but dying in the same year? How great was that?! Then, she frowned.
“Then how do you not know about webnovels…. That’s weird. You’re 28 and used the internet…” she mumbled to herself.
“Are webnovels same as webtoons?” I offered.
Penelope nodded. I smiled again and quietly spoke. “I didn’t use the internet unless it was for work. I also preferred audiobooks.”
“Then you’ve never read a webnovel before?”
“I haven’t even seen a webtoon.”
Penelope’s mouth widened in realization. Although there was still a bit of shock on her face.