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A few days later, the Blanchett and Anata families were sitting in a large tent waiting for the circus to begin. Perhaps Archduke Anata rented the whole circus, as his group were the only ones in the spacious tent.
The interior of the circus tent was decorated with red and yellow colors; it seemed like a completely different world from the outside. There were many interesting decorations everywhere, so not just the expectation of the children, but the adults rose.
“Dad, is that an elephant?”
“Yes. It must be a baby, considering its small size.”
Frederick replied in a sickly-sweet voice. He followed his children during a busy time to keep his promise.
“Wow, so cute!”
The father and daughter pair were watching two baby elephants standing on the stage before the circus officially began.
The baby elephants, wearing cone hats, were waving their trunks at people as if greeting them. Renee continued to express her admiration in Frederick’s arms.
Abel also looked around excitedly. Abel’s feeling was expressed through his shaking legs as he couldn’t sit still.
Chloe smiled softly because Abel looked so cute. Nevertheless, one good thing about coming to the North was allowing Abel to have various experiences.
“Isn’t it amazing, Abel?”
“Yes! But, can I also see the big bird I saw last time?”
“Yes! The bird I saw with Father! It’s called os… what was it again?”
“Oh! Do you mean ostrich? Well, I’m not sure if you can see it today.”
Abel nodded as his gaze lingered on the father and daughter of Anata Family who seemed to get along well with each other.
“…I wish Father had come with us.”
Chloe’s face stiffened when she heard Abel’s murmur. It was understandable for Abel to miss Gerard, but she hadn’t thought about it that much.
Her mouth felt bitter because it seemed as if she had separated the father and son. It was when Chloe couldn’t muster up anything because she was hurt by Abel’s murmur.
“Oh, Abel. Your father will arrive tomorrow evening. Since you’ll see a lot of interesting things today, you can tell him when he arrives.”
“Here, this is yours!”
Leila said and Noah, who was carrying chicken skewers in his hand, handed one to the gloomy-looking Abel.
“Yes, thank you! Thank you!”
Abel, whose eyes lit up, nodded vigorously and took the chicken skewer.
Leila also handed Renee a chicken skewer and stole a glance at Chloe’s expression. Her worried gaze fell on Chloe as if to see whether she had offended her in some way.
“Chloe, aren’t you thirsty? Do you want me to get you something to drink?”
Chloe turned her gaze to Leila. She couldn’t believe she was willing to bring her a drink by herself. It was so like Leila to go and get whatever she wanted without asking the servant beside her to bring it.
Leila’s down-to-earth attitude seemed to be revealed in this place. Leila was active, independent, and accustomed to making choices by herself. She chose the path of a knight rather than a Lady, and Frederick instead of Gerard.
Chloe looked away after refusing her offer. Leila smiled for a moment as if she was embarrassed, but her expression was soon hidden in the darkness.
The circus began when the room became dark and only the stage remained bright. The baby elephants on the stage were also gone.
“Hello, ladies and gentlemen! It’s an infinite honor for you to visit our circus on this beautiful starry night.”
A man in colorful clothes came out and delivered an exaggerated greeting. Leila and the children clapped and cheered him on. The man grinned.
“Then off the mysterious circus world…”
A woman clinging to a pole grabbed the man’s arms and flew away. In the air, the two began to perform tricks while spinning around. Abel couldn’t keep his mouth closed because of the strange and funny sight.
“Now, dance time!”
After that, monkeys and circus members danced to upbeat songs.
Abel even shook his hips along with them because he liked it that much. Chloe, on the other hand, enjoyed watching Abel more than the circus. However, it was weird. The child was excited and didn’t know what to do, but never once lost his posture.
Chloe felt sad for some reason. She wished her child could be like a normal and typical child, but the way he pretended to be calm made her feel as if she was watching her own childhood. So she whispered impulsively in Abel’s ear.
“Abel, shall we dance as well?”
Abel looked up at Chloe with big doe eyes. His mother was someone who never lost her dignity as an aristocrat regardless of the situation. But now his mother was holding his hand and shook her body to the song.
Even though she had done ballroom dancing before, it was the first time Chloe shook her body like this. Her gestures were really awkward.
Abel was surprised to see his mother like that for the first time, but he also began to get excited. Before she realized it, the child was dancing with the monkeys.
As Chloe danced, Leila looked at her in surprise. However, she soon smiled and danced carelessly with the children as if she couldn’t afford to lose.
Frederick was the only one clapping rigidly. He longed to be in his office a little.
Chloe seemed to be enjoying the circus with the children, but it was also Chloe whose head was screaming louder than anyone else at that moment.
‘Yes, I’m nothing like Leila.’
Chloe had always given up her first choice because she was afraid of the result. Her life might seem frustrating to others. But the problem was that Chloe didn’t feel suffocated.
Observing others, giving up her choice, and running away because she was afraid of the result that came after. Chloe was already used to that sort of life. It was her honest feeling that she wanted to run away from her husband, even now.
However, when she found out Abel was missing his father, she was shocked to experience the feeling of guilt, almost as if she was being punished.
It wasn’t only her problem anymore. Because she wasn’t the only one who was hurt by her act of running away. Her precious Abel was hurt by her. It was the last thing she wanted.
She couldn’t run away from her husband anymore. Whether it would come with a good result or bad, it was something she had to confront her husband about. She didn’t want to be a coward for Abel.
Chloe gritted her teeth as she clapped to the upbeat music. Being a mother and woman didn’t give her any other way to escape.
Herace watched Chloe, who was dancing with Abel. He knew his eyes weren’t supposed to linger on her, and although he consciously tried to avert his gaze… it wasn’t easy. He didn’t know why she looked sad even though she was dancing.
Herace took a deep sigh and closed his eyes. Unlike his mind, which was messed up with complicated emotions, inside the circus tent was bright and exciting. The gap made him more miserable.
At that moment, there was a roar.
“It’s a lion!”
A lion appeared with a magnificent announcement. The gagged beast couldn’t howl, his defeated eyes pointed at the ground.
The cheering children sought the arms of their parents as if they were frightened by the sight.
The parents comforted the frightened children by caressing them on the back.
“It’s all right. Look at that. It’s tied up.”
“It’s all right, Abel. mother’s here.”
Chloe comforted Abel and pondered. It was necessary to reconsider whether this circus was really educational for Abel. That was because the lion was standing in front of a circular burning ring which had been set by the trainer.
“It’s our circus mascot, Rai! Rai is going to pass through this burning ring. You have to cheer for him a lot so that he can get over his fear, right?”
Chloe was neither an animal lover nor a moralist. She was just a lady who did her duty by regularly supporting the orphanage on the estate and visiting it several times a year.
However, she wanted her child to be someone who knew how to respect life and human beings as they were.
It was when Chloe fell into her philosophical thoughts that the lion suddenly crossed the burning ring.
“Our Rai bravely passed through the first circle. Please give him a round of applause!”
The trainer skillfully induced a response.
“But can he pass a smaller ring than this?”
A smaller ring than the previous one appeared. The size was really dangerous, so the viewers naturally became nervous once seeing it.
“Wow, it’s amazing!”
However, the tension was eased by the lion’s successful attempt passing through the smaller ring. She couldn’t help but clap her hands.
However, a new ring appeared, nothing compared to the other two. Was it really possible this time? People’s eyes were now staring at the beast in anticipation.
The lion, which was called the king of animals, turned into a mere spectacle in the face of people’s greed.
So the incident happened in a flash.
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