Huge thanks to milkisoo for the Kofis! (1/2)
After a good day’s rest, Chloe and Leila’s condition improved considerably. The two families gathered in the Archduchy’s courtyard along with their excited children. A carriage and knights were on standby.
It was finally the day they were going on a picnic to the frozen lake.
“Wow Chloe, we must be getting old! I didn’t experience a hangover the day after I drank in the past. But now, I have to lie down for a whole day.”
Leila, dressed in comfortable attire for skating, chatted with Chloe.
“…I know, right.”
Chloe replied while hoping her expression wouldn’t look strange. Whenever she faced Leila, she felt bitterness build up within her. It wasn’t easy to smile on the outside.
“If you know that, you should pay more attention to yourself now.”
Frederick, who was listening to their conversation from behind, spoke. Chloe felt as if she was being scolded.
“Daddy, daddy! Will you join us on today’s outing?”
Noah, who was in Frederick’s arms, asked his father. His eyes were full of hope.
“Noah, I’m sorry but I think it’s going to be hard for me to go today.”
Frederick comforted Noah in a soft tone. Rennesia, who was listening to their conversation, seemed quite upset and fiddled with Frederick’s pants.
“I want to go with you, Father.”
“My dear princess, I will definitely go next time.”
“Yes, I promise.”
“To me, too!”
“Yes, to you too, Noah.”
Frederick kissed their foreheads as if stamping a contract.
After spending time with his children, Frederick called Herace, who was waiting off to the side. His voice was full of dignity as if he hadn’t just comforted his children in a soft tone.
“Protect them with your life.”
Upon being given an order from his Lord, Herace bowed.
“Yes, My Lord. I will give this body to protect them.”
Chloe, who was holding Abel’s hand, was stunned to learn that Herace would join them as their escort.
‘Is he going to send his knight’s Commander as an escort for our outing? Why?’
Actually, the Knight Commander of Blanchett would also accompany her on this outing, but they were considered different to Chloe. She already felt uncomfortable at the thought of seeing his face for the whole day.
“My knights are going as escorts, so you don’t have to go… or do you feel as though you must go as well?”
Frederick asked Aiden, though he quite disagreed with the idea.
“It is natural to follow wherever the Lady and young master go because our Lord has ordered us to protect them with our lives.”
Aiden gave a faithful answer in a low voice.
Frederick clicked his tongue and expressed his displeasure, but there was no reason not to allow it. What could he say to object if a knight wanted to protect their master? It was just unappealing to him.
It had been a long time since Blanchett’s outstanding knights had offended him.
“Anata knights swear to sacrifice their bodies to protect their masters, and Blanchett’s knights do the same. Do not forget your oath.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
Their picnic began with the escort of two loyal knights.
“Mom, please hold me!”
Abel struggled not to fall onto the icy lake.
“Oh, Abel, wait!”
Abel asked Chloe for help, but she was struggling as well because it was her first time skating. She tried to approach Abel, but her feet kept slipping and hindered her from moving.
Chloe quickly glanced around, but there was no one who could help her.
Leila and the Anata siblings, who were very good at skating, had already moved to the front. Renee was the farthest, probably because she was excited to skate after a long time, then followed by Leila and Noah.
Besides, the Blanchett Knights, who mostly came from the Capital or the southern region, didn’t know how to skate. It was amusing to see the sturdy knights scrambling around trying to find his footing.
Then, a firm and big hand reached out in front of Chloe. She tried to ignore the approaching figure, but it was no use.
“Please hold onto my hand, Lady Blanchett.”
It was Herace Moore. He stood out the most in this white space. She hesitated for a moment, but it did not last long.
“Take me to Abel, Sir.”
“Sure thing, My Lady.”
With Herace’s help, the distance between Chloe and Abel gradually narrowed.
When Chloe reached Abel, the child immediately clung to her leg.
“It’s weird! My feet keep slipping!”
Abel told his mother he didn’t know what to do. Chloe wanted to teach Abel how to skate, but she didn’t even know how to do it herself.
“If you wouldn’t mind, I can teach you.”
Herace, who was watching the mother and son, interrupted.
Chloe didn’t want to get involved with him as much as possible.
“What about escorting the Anata family?”
Herace looked over upon Chloe’s words and continued.
“Wouldn’t it be fine because there are already guards over there? Moreover, Lady Anata is a knight. From my point of view, I’m more concerned with the mother and son of the Blanchett Family, who have no one to teach them how to skate.”
It was certainly like that. She couldn’t ask the knights of Blanchett, who couldn’t skate either, to teach her.
“Young Master, you want to learn how to skate, right?”
Herace asked Abel upon initiating eye contact with the child. Abel looked at his mother and then Herace, nodding.
Chloe must overcome her stubbornness for the sake of Abel.
“Alright… Then I’ll ask you for this favor, Sir.”
Chloe ordered Abel to greet him.
“Greet the knight.”
“Hello, I’m Abel Blanchett from Marquisate de Blanchett.”
Abel still couldn’t keep his balance and greeted him while clinging to his mother’s leg.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, young master. I’m Herace Moore, the Knight Commander of the Anata Dukedom and secret admirer of Lady Blanchett.”
Herace playfully introduced himself.
Abel asked questioningly. This man! Chloe hurriedly moved Abel away from him.
“Sir. Why are you saying such a meaningless-”
It was when Chloe was about to address him with anger that Abel, who was blocked by her mother’s figure, cut off her remark.
“But mother only likes me and father!”
Abel’s blue eyes were seething with anger.
“Haha, that’s why I gave up.”
Herace lifted his hands in a surrendering posture. Chloe suddenly felt tired and held her head.
Then, he proceeded to teach Abel diligently.
“Young master, start by relying on me as you walk.”
Herace grabbed Abel’s hand and said while leading him.
“Yes, you’re doing very well. Then, drag one foot at a time by drawing a half-circle with your foot.”
Chloe watched Herace and Abel. She felt strange when seeing Herace holding her son’s hand and patiently teaching him how to skate.
If she’d married him, would she see this kind of thing every day? She might now be suffering because she didn’t live according to her destiny.
She was probably paying the price for being greedy for Gerard.
Herace was the character who was meant to be with Chloe in the book inside her dream.
It was lunch time when the Blanchett family were able to move around the lake without help.
The Blanchett Knights, who were unable to properly escort their masters due to their lack of skill in skating, had set up a tent in the meantime. Thanks to that, the two families were able to enjoy their meal warmly.
“Mother, mother! If I finish my meal, can I continue skating?”
Renee, holding Abel and Noah’s hands, asked Leila.
“Okay, but you have to go with the knights.”
The children rushed out of the tent after saying, “Sure!” in unison. Abel, who followed Renee, seemed very happy after learning how to skate.
Chloe was glad to see Abel having fun.
“Their strength is at their limit, but we can’t stop them. Shall we have a cup of tea?”
Leila shook her head and offered Chloe tea.
Chloe replied impulsively.
She was actually going to talk to Leila tomorrow. However, when they were left alone, she couldn’t endure it anymore.
She was at her limit. She could no longer smile and laugh while pretending nothing happened or suppress the overflowing anger and hatred within her.
“Huh? You don’t want to drink tea?”
“It’s not like that… Let’s talk.”
Chloe spoke coldly. The whole situation became clear. All she had to do was ask the person involved now.
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