Thank you Krisselm Lopez-Camacho for the Kofis! (1/3)
The carriage ride back was filled with an awkward and silent atmosphere. The sound of children’s breathing because they were tired from playing all day long was the only thing filling the silence.
Chloe fixed her eyes out the window. It was a wordless act that indicated she didn’t want to see Leila.
Leila called her friend carefully.
However, Chloe didn’t turn her head or answer, as if she couldn’t hear Leila.
“I’m… I’m really sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“To me, you’re… a very precious friend, so I didn’t want our friendship to end even after I left to get married. I thought you were thinking the same thing as me…”
Leila sounded like she was going to cry at any moment. She must have spent time on her own thinking after Chloe left the tent, so she apologized sincerely now.
“I hurt you because of my greed… I’m really sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Leila was crying without realizing it. Tears were streaming down her face and her lips were trembling. If someone saw it, it would have been a heartbreaking view.
Actually, Chloe had been crying whenever she had time, but she wasn’t the type who usually cried a lot. Being hurt in many ways, she realized at an early age that crying didn’t solve the problem. Rather, tears were a symbol of weakness.
That’s why Chloe grew up to be an adult who could hold back her tears. Was that the reason? Her tears that she showed in front of others were interpreted differently.
For Chloe, tears were the same as revealing her fragile side.
Chloe was naturally weak towards tearful people because it was human nature to understand their sorrow from her point of view. Especially if it was the tears of someone she believed to be her best friend. She finally looked at Leila and spoke.
“I understand what you’re trying to say. But I can’t forgive you right now.”
It didn’t mean that she had forgiven Leila’s fault.
“…I’ll be waiting. I’ll wait until your anger subsides, is that fine?”
Leila’s tears spilled out even more as if she were shocked. Her once sweet friend had turned so cold toward her.
Chloe took a deep sigh and handed over a handkerchief. Leila shed even more tears because it was as if Chloe had returned to the person she knew.
However, unlike her warm behavior, Chloe’s heart was still cold. In fact, she didn’t care if Leila waited for her forgiveness.
After their return to the Blanchett estate, she was going to stay away from Leila.
That night, Chloe talked to Abel before falling asleep.
“Did you have fun today, Abel?”
“Yes! I had so much fun.”
Chloe’s throbbing heart seemed to calm down after seeing Abel’s smile.
“My son learned how to skate quickly.”
“But I fell down many times.”
Abel showed his little hand to his mother and made a childish expression. She spotted small scratches from when he fell on the ice earlier.
Chloe took Abel’s hand and blew it with her mouth as she spoke.
“I’m so proud of you. You worked so hard until the end! Actually, it doesn’t matter whether you’re good or not when doing something. The only thing that matters is you worked hard so that you don’t have any regrets later on. Got it?”
Chloe could say this because she always ran away from doing anything. She was also interested in painting, but she didn’t show it because she was afraid of being compared to her sister.
It became something that followed her all her life. If she tried, if she attempted to make an effort, she wouldn’t have gotten this far and wouldn’t be like this.
She only hoped her son wouldn’t have to live that way. She prayed that he wouldn’t become someone who gave up because of the fear of consequences. There is no life without regrets, but she hoped he could live without regrets in his life.
Abel wasn’t aware how much weight his mother’s words carried and took it lightly. Chloe realized it, but just smiled without saying anything.
She suddenly remembered something.
‘Maybe in that sense, I might not have many regrets. I’ve tried my best to do everything I can.’
The best gift was lying on the bed right there.
“Little sir, my knight.”
Chloe suddenly tickled Abel, who lay down next to her.
“Haha. Mo-, haha. Mother! Haha!”
Abel’s feet kicked the air as he tried to get out of his mother’s grasp.
“Is it normal for a knight to be this lovely?”
Chloe said with a playful smile.
Yes, she did her best, so that should be enough. Since love was not something that could be done by one individual, it was time to hear the answer from her husband. Therefore, she had to stop thinking about this.
However, tears kept welling up in her eyes.
Chloe lowered her head and breathed into Abel’s belly. She didn’t want Abel to see her cry. She had to turn off the lights in the bedroom quickly.
“Good night, Abel.”
Chloe hurriedly put out the lights and laid on the bed again. Abel snuggled into his mother’s arms. Chloe sang a lullaby while patting Abel lightly.
However, the child fiddled with his fingers in his mother’s arms as if he couldn’t fall asleep. Abel called out to Chloe.
Chloe replied in a muffled voice. She was exhausted.
“You love Father so much, right?”
Though it was a random question, it was also so difficult that it made Chloe want to get up from the bed.
“…Hm, of course. Mother loves Abel and Father very much.”
Chloe cleared her throat before answering her child. Only then did Abel nestle himself even more in Chloe’s arms as if he were at peace upon hearing that.
“I love you too, Mother. Good night.”
The child broke his mother’s heart with the random question and his innocent goodnight.
Chloe sighed softly and buried her face in Abel’s soft hair. Yes, she was content with these little arms.
The report of the Lake Maydall outing was sent to Gerard, who was in the Imperial Palace the following evening. Disappointment was evident on Gerard’s face as he gave water and food to the struggling pigeon who delivered the message.
He didn’t get a letter from his wife again today. He thought she would at least reply to his letter… he was suspicious if Aiden had delivered it properly.
He began to read the report written by the innocent Aiden, as if glaring at him.
[Madame went on a picnic to Lake Maydall with the Grand Duchess.]
He frowned due to lack of clarity in the report. He was certain his wife had told him that Leila might be dead soon.
However, after hearing his wife’s resolute remark, they decided to go on a peaceful picnic? Things were somehow contradictory.
However, his curiosity was resolved by the following sentence.
[After lunch, your wife ordered everyone out to talk to the Grand Duchess in the tent.]
His wife must have told her only yesterday. It must have been difficult to tell her dear friend that she might die soon.
‘She must have been busy for a while. That’s why she couldn’t contact me.’
Gerard had come to a strange conclusion at his own will.
[Twenty minutes had passed when Madame came out of the tent. It seemed that she cried. They seemed to have fought pretty harshly.]
His wife cried. Gerard tapped on the desk with his finger a couple of times as if he were urgently thinking about something.
His sweet wife wouldn’t have cried over such a thing. There must have been a fight between them as Leila couldn’t accept it during their conversation.
Although his wife cried a lot yesterday, there was no way for him to know the truth. Gerard was more concerned about Chloe than Leila.
Actually, it was a lie to say that Leila’s possibility of dying soon didn’t bother him at all. However, his wife said that after Leila’s death, medicine that could cure the disease would be discovered in another country.
Therefore, only the medicine manufacturing method had to be upgraded in advance. And that would be Frederick, Leila’s husband’s job, not his.
Gerard finished his train of though and continued reading the report.
[Madame told us not to follow her because she needed some time alone, but the Knight Commander of Anata-]
It was then.
Gerard was about to read the most important part of the report when he was interrupted by a knock on the door.
“It’s me, Marquis Blanchett.”
He might have ignored it if it was one of his knights. However, knocking on the door meant that it was one of the few people he couldn’t ignore carelessly.
Gerard put the report in a drawer and approached the door.
“I welcome His Majesty the Emperor, the sun of the Hernia Empire.”
He opened the door and greeted the guest politely.
“Hoho, this guy. The evening came a while ago since the sun went behind the ridge. I come here as a friend, just as a friend.”
It was none other than the Emperor of the Hernia Empire who came to Gerard’s office.
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