Huge thanks to Luny for the Kofi!
Her friend’s expression looked so sorrowful that she forgot they were fighting and reached out to her. She wanted to wipe away her friend’s tears.
However, her hand didn’t reach Chloe’s face. Chloe slapped her away coldly.
“Don’t touch me.”
Chloe gave a cold-hearted warning and walked out of the tent. How could she cry in front of Leila as they were talking about Gerard? She felt even angrier because it felt like she just lost, but her tears didn’t stop. She needed some time alone.
However, Aiden, who was watching the tent from afar, ran to her contrary to her wishes. The atmosphere around her was unusual, so they might have had a physical fight… Aiden was worried that his master might have been injured.
‘If she dares to hurt even one of Madame’s fingertips, just wait and see. I’ll make sure she’ll pay the price.’
Even if there were just scratches on the Madame’s body, Anata would have to prepare for a day of attack. He was almost certain that his Lord would leave everything behind and run all the way to the North.
Aiden checked every part of his master’s body, thinking about what he had to do next. Fortunately, she didn’t seem to have been engaged in a physical fight. But… her blue eyes were red and filled with tears.
‘These Anata b*stards are just…!’
However, Aiden’s loyalty sadly didn’t reach Chloe. She didn’t even want to see Aiden at that moment. It felt like her husband was watching her.
Actually, he was in charge of reporting Chloe’s actions to Gerard while she was in the North, so she didn’t know if it was natural for her to feel that way.
“Sir Hume, don’t follow me.”
“Please excuse me, I’m going to sit under that tree so you can still see me from here. I need time to myself to think.”
Aiden looked at Chloe. The Marchioness, whose eyes were continuously filled with dripping tears, looked as if she was about to collapse at any moment.
He wondered what happened. Could he let her go there? How should he report this to the Lord? Aiden’s mind became complicated as well.
“But, Madame, it’s dangerous.”
“Sir Hume, I’m not asking you this time. It’s an order. Aren’t you part of the Knight Order of Blanchett?”
Chloe took a domineering attitude as her quarrel with Aiden dragged on. At that moment, the vulnerable woman disappeared, leaving only a dignified Marchioness in front of him.
“Yes, I have pledged my allegiance to Blanchett.”
Aiden answered politely.
“Then remember that I am a Blanchett. Heed my order, Knight Commander.”
“…I’ll be waiting here, Madame.”
In the end, Aiden accepted Chloe’s order. Aiden watched Chloe’s back as she moved away. He felt bad for her, and wondered what the hell happened earlier.
But he still had to do his duty.
‘If it’s really the tree Madame pointed at, it’s possible to watch her from this distance.’
He kept simulating how to protect the Madame just in case she found herself in a dangerous situation. Raymond, who was skilled in archery, would be able to protect the Madame from a long distance. If necessary, he could also throw a dagger.
It was the moment Aiden checked the direction of the wind just in case. Someone tried to walk past him at a high speed in the direction of his master.
It was none other than the Knight Commander of Anata whom he blocked with his sword.
“Please take care of this and clean it.”
Herace said while pointing to the scabbard that was placed at his neck.
If he knew they were the only people on Lake Maydall, why did he react like this? He knew it was him by the look on his face as if asking him, ‘what are you doing?’ Herace was distraught that Aiden blocked his way.
“What about the young miss and masters?”
Aiden asked while removing the scabbard from his neck.
“Of course, I left them to trustworthy knights.”
Herace glanced at the children, as if asking him to take a look. Aiden almost forgot he was running after Chloe. He was so natural that Aiden almost didn’t recognize his intentions and let him go there.
“Madame told me to wait here.”
“Yes, that was her order to the Knights of Blanchett. However, I belong to Anata.”
Herace shrugged his shoulders. He seemed relaxed, though solemn due to this position as Knight Commander.
“What kind of nonsense-”
Aiden tried to say it was a ridiculous answer. But Herace cut him off.
“Do you mind leaving the Lady to me for a moment? I guess you don’t know because you’re from the Capital, but sometimes wild animals come out from the forest to check out disturbances.”
Aiden tried to run almost immediately after hearing that. Herace put his arm around his shoulder to stop him.
“Woah, they’re not that dangerous, so you can calm down a bit. I’ll escort the Lady to the safe place for you to follow your Lord’s order, so please rest assured.”
“…Please escort her and return as soon as possible!”
When Aiden reluctantly accepted after a brief consideration, Herace was already running. He waved his big hand a couple of times as if he understood what the man said.
Aiden was dumbfounded and chuckled helplessly. He was extremely cunning and sly. Someone who was used to making things the way he wanted with his attitude and strange logic.
He was tired of dealing with him. Aiden shook his head. He was ready to run at any time if he did anything strange.
‘What am I doing?’
Herace thought as he ran. He was confused because he didn’t know why he was running to the Marchioness and told a lie to the Knight Commander of the Blanchett Order.
It was natural for wild animals to appear near the entrance of the forest. But he didn’t say those animals weren’t threatening at all.
If that place was considered dangerous, his Lord wouldn’t have allowed them to have a picnic there. Well, he only left out the part where they weren’t really dangerous, so it wasn’t a complete lie, was it? He just said it cleverly so that the Knight Commander misunderstood.
‘She has a husband and a child.’
Nonetheless, he felt strange whenever he encountered young Lady Roem, no, the Marchioness of Blanchett. He felt happy, longing, and affection toward her every time he saw her. It was hard to explain.
However, all of this was just his own feeling. The Marchioness distanced herself from him several times during their brief encounters and drew a clear line between them.
He didn’t want to give up. He was sad that she kept pushing him away when he didn’t do anything to her. That’s why he intentionally made trouble whenever they talked and acted as if he was about to cross the line. He wanted to talk to her once more on purpose, discreetly.
As a matter of fact, he didn’t have to go on this picnic.
–Leila and the Marchioness are going for an outing on Lake Maydall. Appoint useful men and form a group of escorts.
On the day he reunited with her for the first time in years, he was given that order by his Lord.
Honestly speaking, if he were to choose the most useful men among the Anata Knights, would there be anyone more useful than him? He thought that his usefulness led him to be there. He made an excuse for himself to be put on the escort list.
That way, Herace had always given a plausible excuse to keep doing strange things ever since he met Chloe again. This time, he was looking for a reason for his reason. However, nothing came to mind.
He didn’t know why he couldn’t let her cry by herself. Should he turn back now? He wondered if stopping was the right choice at that moment.
‘Let’s stop this time.’
However, Herace’s feet didn’t comply with his thoughts. Eventually, he stopped in front of Chloe’s pitiful-looking back.
Chloe turned around in surprise when she heard the voice of the man who took her breath away. Seeing Chloe’s red eyes, he only thought of one thing.
‘Right, she’s pitiful. This woman… I feel bad for her.’
That was why she made him worried. It was because she couldn’t form a bright smile and always had a sorrowful expression on her face. Therefore, he kept doing unnecessary things because he was worried about her.
Herace felt a bit relieved when he was able to give a clear reason for his incomprehensible behavior.
“…Have you been crying?”
He eventually flashed his signature smile and took a handkerchief from his pocket.
However, Chloe was upset because her alone time was interrupted. She wondered why this man kept acting cute in front of her!
Chloe only felt awkward when she ran into Herace. It was as if someone told her this was her destined soulmate, and that her unhappiness was caused by not choosing him!
“I’ve certainly told everyone not to follow me…!”
“Yes, that was your order to the Knights of Blanchett. Unfortunately, I belong to Anata.”
Herace took Chloe’s anger very lightly.
“Ugh, are you trying to twist my words? Or are you making fun of me?”
Chloe asked angrily. She was currently very sensitive and used a voice and tone that she didn’t normally use.
“Pardon? I’m just here to let you know that this is a place where wild animals often appear. On behalf of the Knights of Blanchett, who are trapped under the Lady’s order.”
Herace explained while waving his hand exaggeratingly.
Chloe was in a very sensitive and emotional state, but her sanity wasn’t completely thrown out of the window to let her vent her anger on the person who came to inform her of impending danger.
“How embarrassing would it be if the Lady cried in this kind of place and stumbled upon a wild animal suddenly?”
Herace spoke with great concern. However, his remarks were playful and insolent.
“Are you… teasing me now?”
Without realizing it, Chloe was caught up in Herace’s ambience as tears fell from her eyes.
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