Huge thanks to Amie for the support! (2/4)
How many times had she stared at her husband and child with such a thought in mind? It was getting brighter outside. Before she realized it, the chirping of birds began to fill the silence.
Abel woke up sensing Chloe’s gaze. The child blinked several times to chase the sleepiness away.
“Yes, my dear. Are you awake?”
Chloe hugged him as he reached out to her.
“Are you not sick now?”
Abel asked while toying with his mother’s cheeks. The child still seemed anxious. Chloe spoke after kissing her son’s little hand.
“Yes, Mother is not sick anymore. I’m sorry I made you worry.”
Abel kissed his mother on the cheek with his cute lips.
“I prayed all day yesterday that you wouldn’t be sick anymore.”
“Oh my, did you? I guess I got better quickly because of my Abel’s prayer.”
Abel felt relieved to hear Chloe’s attentive voice, and he laid his face on Chloe’s neck.
Chloe laughed loudly at her son’s childishness, which she hadn’t seen in a long time. She didn’t know what it meant when people called their child ‘the apple of their eye’, but she found out after giving birth to him.
“Why is my son so pretty? I love you.”
Chloe said while squeezing Abel. He murmured in his mother’s arms.
“…Mom, what do you think I’d look like if I were a daughter?”
Chloe, who didn’t participate in the dinner, asked again because she didn’t understand what Abel was trying to say.
“Would I be prettier?”
“What are you saying, Abel? That’s not what I meant when I said you’re pretty.”
It was at that moment.
Gerard, who was sleeping beside them, woke up as if he was being chased by something. His green eyes looked around anxiously and stopped on Chloe, who was holding Abel in her arms. Gerard’s rough breathing gradually calmed down at the sight which brought peace to his heart.
“Huff… My Lady.”
Gerard sighed and called his wife. He was relieved to see her.
“What’s wrong with you? Are you not feeling well?”
Chloe asked in surprise. She had never seen Gerard sick since they got married. Her husband had such a physique that he didn’t get sick at all. However, she thought that he must have gotten sick from running too hard the day before yesterday.
“…No. I had a strange dream.”
Gerard shook off his unpleasant dream, brushing back his sweat-soaked hair.
“What kind of dream do you have…”
Chloe carefully put Abel back on the bed. Then she poured water into a cup and handed it to her husband.
“Thank you, my Lady.”
Gerard thanked her in a restrained voice and gulped down the water immediately.
“Dad, did you have a scary dream?”
Abel asked while clinging to Gerard’s arm. It was puzzling to him that his dad was afraid of something.
“Yes, it was a dream, a scary one.”
Gerard replied clearly. However, the words were directed at himself, not Abel. He spoke as if to remind himself.
‘Yeah, it was all a dream. Nothing like that happens in real life.’
That afternoon, the Marquis and Marchioness of Blanchett visited Herace’s house. They were waiting in the carriage for Jane to return, who had gone in first to announce their visit.
Chloe looked at the neat house that was visible through the window. The garden was small but harmoniously decorated, as if showing off the gardener’s skill. However, Gerard’s expression was full of dissatisfaction even after seeing the pretty garden.
“My Lady, you’re not feeling well, so do you really need to come here? I’m afraid you’re pushing yourself too hard.”
Gerard tried to dissuade Chloe from worrying over this matter. The dissuasion contained a wicked jealousy inside. It was not clear yet whether this man was Ace or not, but from Gerard’s perspective, this man was someone he had to be wary of anyway.
However, as soon as his wife got better, she said she would visit this man. Chloe’s will was firm, and Gerard, who put up an act as an open-minded husband, could not bear to go against it.
Even so, there was no way he could let his wife go alone, so he followed her under the pretext of expressing his gratitude.
“Honey, we’re here.”
Chloe said to Gerard, who was acting quite strange today. Then, Jane knocked on the door of the carriage.
“My Lord and Lady. You are free to come in!”
Before she realized it, there was a nice lady standing in front of the wide open front door. It was Marilyn, the housekeeper at Herace’s house.
“I’m pleased to meet the Marquis and Marchioness of Blanchett. It’s an honor to have you in our humble abode!”
Marilyn greeted the Blanchett couple with great anxiety. She received a call in advance and prepared with all her heart, but she was concerned if that would be enough to satisfy the great nobles.
“Thank you for your hospitality.”
Chloe laughed and followed Marilyn into the building.
The Blanchetts were immediately escorted into the drawing room. They enjoyed tea and refreshments while Herace prepared himself to welcome guests. Chloe didn’t think it was a particularly expensive tea leaf, but it tasted quite good.
“The tea tastes good. Sir Moore is a good employer.”
“Oh! I’m glad you like it.”
Soon they were led into the Herace’s bedroom.
“Come on in.”
As the door opened, they saw Herace sitting with his back against the head of the bed. Chloe’s eyes went straight to his leg.
How hurt was he? She heard that his bone was broken. She hurried to the bed.
“Sir Knight, I’m sorry I’m late.”
Chloe frowned apologetically.
“No, I heard that you suffered from body aches. Don’t be sick, my Lady. If you got hurt even after I protected you, wouldn’t my sacrifice be worthless?”
Herace replied humorously. Chloe was relieved by his usual attitude.
However, Gerard looked at Herace disapprovingly as he stood behind her.
My Lady? Not Marchioness? Or Madame? He was displeased because that was also how he called his wife. Why did he ask someone’s wife about herself? It wasn’t just that. The attitude that seemed to indicate his pride over protecting his wife was also very annoying.
However, what he couldn’t stand was the strange atmosphere between his wife and him.
“I’m Gerard Blanchett. Thank you so much for protecting my wife. I don’t know how to repay this favor.”
That’s why he put on a gentle smile and intervened. Of course, he didn’t forget to add emphasis when saying the words ‘my wife’.
“I’m honored to meet the Marquis of Blanchett. I am Herace Moore. I really don’t need gratitude, so you don’t have to worry.”
Herace smiled and greeted him. The two men were simply smiling at each other, but it was clear that more complicated emotions were being exchanged.
‘Ha, he doesn’t seek gratitude?’
Herace’s words were a close call. It was only natural for him to save Chloe, but the knight claimed he didn’t have to convey his gratitude.
Gerard laughed helplessly and put a cold expression on his face again. He was grateful for the knight’s effort to protect his wife… but he wasn’t sincerely grateful.
“I can’t do that. You saved my wife, Sir. You don’t have to be concerned about Blanchett’s gratitude! Tell me if you want anything in particular as a reward.”
‘Are you concerned that it’s a word of gratitude? I’ll pay the treatment bill, so don’t ever approach my wife again.’
The words were gentle, but held venom. Gerard, the center of high society, was very good at speaking. With just one word from him, Herace became a man whom he bargained with for rewards.
“Haha, as expected of Blanchett.”
However, his opponent was Herace, who shared the same wits as Frederick.
“But what do you think I’m going to ask for that you’re so certain about? What if I say the Marchioness is what I want?”
Herace curved up the corners of his mouth and pointed at Chloe with his eyes.
Gerard couldn’t contain his anger and grinded his teeth. He didn’t even like the way the man gazed at his precious wife.
Chloe’s sigh interrupted them. She was dissatisfied with both of them. She couldn’t understand Gerard, who was cautious of Herace, and Herace, who provoked Gerard. Something else was more important to her now.
“How’s your leg, Sir? How long will it take for you to heal?”
She heard about his situation, but she wanted to hear it directly from the person involved.
“It’s a slight fracture. It’ll probably take about three months to heal so you don’t have to worry.”
Herace said as if it were nothing, but tears welled up in her eyes. She understood it well because she was the wife of a knight. She wondered how he would feel since knights usually trained nonstop, and now he was suddenly unable to train for three months.
It hurt even more when she remembered how mean she was to him before. She could have pushed him away nicely or lightly. She was guilty for no reason for not being considerate of Herace.
If she had to make an excuse, he was already in a situation where she was almost about to collapse, so she couldn’t afford it. She was afraid she might provide room for him to enter.
“Thank you… And I’m sorry, Sir.”
Tears welled up in Chloe’s eyes as she bowed her head to Herace. Was she sorry or grateful? She might be feeling guilty, too.
Chloe couldn’t figure out how to name these feelings even though they were her own.
Gerard felt pathetic when he saw his wife’s tears. He could barely continue the same psychological war any longer.
“Sir, I want to express my gratitude that you threw yourself in order to protect my wife. Please accept gratitude from Blanchett.”
Gerard lowered his head and spoke politely to Herace. His stiff head, which wasn’t even lowered in front of the Emperor, was easily bowed for his wife’s sake.
Herace’s eyes widened as he was surprised by the unexpected situation. He never thought an aristocrat, let alone the Marquis of Blanchett, would bow to him. He wasn’t like the Gerard Blanchett he once remembered.
The scene reminded him again how foolish he was. Chloe Blanchett was very precious to her husband.
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