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“Phew, Abel. I’m sorry for not recognizing you were so upset, my son. From now on, if you feel upset, please tell Mother right away.”
Sighing, Chloe comforted Abel after she had calmed herself. The child nodded in his mother’s arms. In fact, there was a lot that she hadn’t said, but she would feel relieved only after she said one thing.
Chloe pulled Abel out of her arms after he calmed down somewhat. She involuntarily spoke in a determined voice.
“Mother knows that your heart was upset and troubled. However, just because you’re upset doesn’t mean you can push or hit others.”
“Violence isn’t allowed under any circumstances. Rennesia almost got hurt. Think about it. How did she feel when you pushed her?”
There was no need to push the child too hard because he knew he was at fault. It was enough having him admit his mistakes and reflect on it.
“She must have been sad, huhu.”
Abel cried because he felt guilty towards Rennesia.
“Yes. Rennesia must have been very sad, angry, and upset because Abel pushed her. So what should you do?”
“…I must apologize.”
“Yes, that’s right. It is courageous of you to apologize first. Will you go with Mother and apologize to her now?”
Abel sniffed and held his mother’s hand.
Meanwhile, the three adults left in the drawing room were busy comforting Renee.
“Renee, were you surprised?”
Leila held Renee in her arms, not caring about the paint staining her clothes.
Renee, who had calmed down for a while, became emotional again when the adults tried to comfort her.
“Renee, what happened? Young Master Blanchett did that all of a sudden although nothing happened?”
Frederick was gently wiping away the tears of his crying child, but his expression was firm. He was resentful toward Abel Blanchett, who pushed his precious daughter. However, as an adult, his rationality was telling him to check the situation before assigning blame.
However, Renee only cried and didn’t say anything. Unlike the adults, who were trying to solve the situation rationally, the child was immersed in her feelings.
Then Gerard bowed to Renee and apologized.
“I’m very sorry, young Lady. It’s my fault for not educating him properly. I’ll give Abel a firm warning later.”
Gerard spoke with a reassuring look on his face. His other parenting principle was to not tolerate violence except in swordsmanship.
Knights were the only group where violence was publicly tolerated. Therefore, the most important thing was to not abuse one’s power.
Gerard had repeatedly taught Abel many times to use his strength only for the Empire and the weak. That was probably why he was so embarrassed and disappointed. For himself and the child.
Renee stopped crying for a moment as if she was surprised that Abel was going to get scolded. She quickly buried her face in her mother’s shoulder.
The child knew instinctively even though she was upset. Her words made Abel angry. That fact pricked the child’s conscience.
“Gerard, it’s fine. Abel couldn’t have done it for no reason. When children play, they may hit each other sometimes.”
Leila said to Gerard.
“You can’t turn children’s fights into family fights.”
Frederick tapped Gerrard on the shoulder and added, although he looked quite displeased. That was how serious Gerard Blanchett’s expression was.
The three adults tried to figure out the situation from Renee’s limited words, but the child who realized her fault only kept her mouth shut. Unable to interrogate the weeping child, they simply comforted her and waited for Abel and Chloe to return.
“I think Chloe needs more time to talk to Abel. First, Noah and Renee need to wash up and go to bed. Let’s have them reconcile tomorrow morning.”
Leila said as she waited for the Blanchett mother and son to reconcile with her children. This was because Noah, who was previously crying along with his sister, started to doze off.
“Yes, that will do.”
Frederick agreed with Leila and hugged Renee. Renee glanced at Gerard while hugging her father.
Gerard didn’t see her because he was giving instructions to the Knights of Blanchett. Soon after, he received a long, thin stick and held it by his side.
‘Is that for Abel?’
Renee, who was watching him, became uncomfortable again. Her heart pounded with guilt.
Renee tried to get out of her father’s arms. The child stood in front of Gerard, frightened and sad. She pouted and asked.
“Lord Marquis… Are you going to scold Abel? Is that right?”
Gerard didn’t know how to answer Renee. In fact, he intended to discipline Abel. Until now, he had never given any direct physical punishment, but he thought it was necessary to educate the child harshly upon this incident.
It was natural that parents would punish and discipline their children, just as how he had been raised by his father. Rather, Abel’s physical punishment came late compared to him.
“No, young Lady.”
He lied in order to not make the young Lady of Anata feel guilty. However, Renee had already seen him take the stick, so it was useless.
“Huhu… Actually… I asked him why his parents don’t seem close… HUAHH!”
Renee eventually had no choice but to confess her mistakes. She burst into tears again because she was sorry for Abel and scared of getting scolded.
“What? Did you say that?”
Leila was surprised by her daughter’s confession and grabbed her by the shoulder. Of course, the child spoke without thinking at first, but she was very sorry when thinking about Abel, who must have been hurt by those words.
“How upset Abel must have been when hearing that! Do you have to say that to your friend, Renee?!”
Leila gave Renee a good scolding. It was ironic. Sometimes, adults can’t act the same as how they teach their children.
It was when Gerard stood dumbfounded by the unexpected confession.
“I… I just thought… they’re different from Mother and Father… Huhu, Sir Herace seems to be closer with her. Huhu.”
The problem lay in what Renee said when she attempted to defend herself. In fact, from the child’s perspective, Herace, who smiled and talked to her even though he was pushed away, seemed to be closer to Chloe than Gerard, who acted politely to her.
The child’s words were cut off by Leila, who picked her up in a hurry, but everyone in the room heard it clearly. It was that name again, Herace Moore.
Regardless of Gerard’s mood, his brain easily interpreted the child’s remarks. She said his wife seemed closer to Herace than him. Gerard’s expression hardened to the point where it couldn’t get any worse.
Was that why Abel was extremely anxious? If their relationship even looked like that from the children’s perspective… How was he supposed to accept this? His wife wouldn’t do that. He had faith in his wife.
Gerard tried to deny the situation, but the more he did, the greater the doubt became.
In fact, the more he thought about her behavior, the more suspicious he became of her. The reason she came to the North, and her relationship with Herace Moore that made their relationship become somewhat awkward. Come to think of it, it was all suspicious.
Gerard, who easily believed Chloe’s sloppy lies a few weeks ago, now became suspicious of them all.
‘For what reason did she really come to the North? As the rumor said, did she really come here to meet that b*stard, Herace Moore, using Leila as an excuse? Did she even get excited to meet him? Was that the reason she kept her distance from me?’
Gerard gritted his teeth at the endless doubts swirling in his head. His murderous look was uncontrollable because of his seething jealousy.
“I’m sorry, Marquis. Young Master Blanchett must have been very upset because of Renee.”
Things changed in an instant. Now the Archduke of Anata and his wife were feeling sorry for Gerard.
Gerard barely managed to reply and smiled as if he were fine. However, the problem was that he didn’t look fine at all.
“I know, don’t worry too much because she said it without knowing it.”
Leila apologized. She was very surprised because it had been a long time since Gerard showed off his feelings so openly.
Then the door opened and Chloe, holding Abel’s hand, walked in. Gerard and Chloe’s eyes met. Pain, anger, jealousy, and disappointment. Their eyes contained it all.
Chloe noticed the child’s hurt eyes well, but she didn’t notice what was contained in her husband’s.
‘How could you say something so insensitive that would hurt him?’
‘What did you do in the North? Is that why Abel is anxious?’
There wasn’t just one reason for the incident. Life is not like a mathematical formula.
Both Chloe and Gerard were right. Unfortunately, however, the two were blinded by their feelings of resentment and recognized only their own reasons as the answer.
The two needed an opportunity to express their feelings. Their feelings were at its peak and couldn’t be concealed any longer.
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