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(t/n: I highly recommend listening to ‘At My Worst’ by Pink Sweat$. It’s my current addiction and really suits the vibe in this chapter!)
It wasn’t the time to think about nine years ago. Real time was passing by while Gerard’s mind lingered in the past. The Blanchett family party was currently due to arrive in the Capital in a day.
However, the relationship between the Lord and Lady of Blanchett was getting worse without any hint of improvement. Chloe had been treating Gerard coldly for almost a week. Eventually, she treated him like he didn’t exist.
At first, Gerard tried to make his wife vent her anger to him. However, he couldn’t even apologize properly because they couldn’t have a proper conversation. The longer the cold war between him and his wife lasted, the more anxious he became.
In fact, the reason for the war between them was clear. Nothing had been resolved between the married couple. It was no wonder that hatred and anger were engulfing Chloe’s heart completely. As much as she loved and relied on her husband, his betrayal left a big and hideous scar. If she could, she wanted to throw the scandalous letters in her husband’s face.
However, she had to put up with it until they arrived at home. She couldn’t show the others that she was currently fighting with her husband. Her personality, which cared about other people’s eyes, forced her to suppress violent emotions.
Meanwhile, Gerard was haunted by unsolved questions. What on earth was the relationship between his wife and Herace Moore? Why did she come to the North? Why did she lie to him? In the end, the questions that couldn’t be solved gradually sparked his imagination.
Also, he couldn’t erase the idea that his wife’s anger was too much. It was his fault he started this fight with his wife. There was no excuse for saying such things to Abel. However, he sensed that his wife was angry with him before all this.
It felt like she had another reason to be cold.
‘Did she feel affectionate towards that b*stard since she hasn’t seen him in a while? Was she moved by him?’
Gerard’s eyes gleamed sharply. Extreme assumptions kept circulating in his head.
The more he tried not to think, the more bad thoughts appeared like dark clouds. A scene where Herace embraced Chloe’s shoulders affectionately suddenly appeared in Gerard’s mind.
‘Who is he to dare to put his hand around her shoulder?’
He gnawed on his bottom lip. Even though it was merely a passing vision, his possessiveness flared up ferociously. He had to breathe hard to calm himself down.
‘If the Lady feels sorry that he hurt his leg… There’s nothing I can’t do. If I have to fall off a horse to get the Lady’s heart back, I will.’
The shaky relationship he had with his wife, the nightmare that went on every night, and an unpleasant past that flickered before his eyes. Everything was gnawing at Gerard. Therefore, he didn’t even realize that his thoughts spiraled in an abnormal way.
Was Gerard’s jealousy reflected in his dreams? During lunchtime, he had a strange dream.
Gerard didn’t realize it, but his dreams always began with a book. He had to read the strange book in his dream and went through the things written in it.
The experience was so vivid that it was hard to tell whether it was a dream or reality. When he woke up, his memories dispersed like fog.
Gerard called Chloe. She turned around in surprise.
“Have you been hiding in this kind of a place?”
Gerard’s voice revealed an uncontrollable rage.
Chloe examined Gerard’s distorted expression without any expression. There was no stir of emotion on her face.
“This hide and seek game is over now. Let’s go back.”
“…I didn’t know.”
“Ha! What did you not know? Did you think I wouldn’t be able to find you when you stole my child and ran away?!”
“No, it’s not that. I thought you wouldn’t find me.”
“…You may think lightly of our marriage vows, but I don’t.”
Gerard resented Chloe. Chloe in the past might have been hurt by his harsh tone, but Chloe in the present was composed. Her attitude irritated Gerard quite a bit.
Gerard moved closer to Chloe. He reached out and tried to grab her wrist.
“…Abel and I won’t follow you!”
However, Chloe quickly hid her wrist behind her back. It was a complete refusal.
Gerard called out Chloe’s name loudly. However, he soon realized his mistake and bit his lip.
“Yes, as you called me, my surname is now Roem. We abandoned our previous surname, Blanchett, and ran away from you! Please go back…”
Chloe didn’t brush off Gerard’s mistake.
“…How easily you threw everything away. Your husband and your surname, too.”
“It wasn’t easy for me.”
Chloe answered Gerard’s sarcastic remarks calmly.
“I said I didn’t know you’d find me, but in fact… I actually imagined it a lot of times.”
“What would I do if you found me? The end of the scenarios I dreamt up was always the same. I followed you like a fool every time. Therefore, I prayed every night that you wouldn’t find me.”
Chloe smiled faintly as she spoke. She looked relieved.
“But imagination and reality are very different. I’m fine with not seeing your face anymore.”
“It’s finally over. Let’s go back to where we were.”
Her love, which she thought would never end, ended. She wondered how far she’d come because of this emotion alone.
“I loved you… so much.”
Love that could only be confessed after everything came to an end. This kind of ending might be natural for such love.
“I sincerely hope you are happy.”
Chloe said her last farewell to Gerard. She turned casually, as if she had no lingering feelings anymore.
Gerard couldn’t keep holding onto Chloe, who was getting further away from his sight. He subconsciously knew that holding her here would be useless.
He had to stand there and watch Chloe walk into the arms of another man. A red-haired man was waiting for her in the distance with a blonde-haired child in his arms.
It was awful.
Gerard groaned in his sleep.
Aiden gently shook his shoulder.
Recently, his Lord often napped during lunchtime. It was obvious that he didn’t have a good night’s sleep. The Lord’s face was full of fatigue. Moreover, he often skipped his meals, so he felt like his Lord looked slimmer.
Just as Aiden felt, Gerard was exuding a dissipated atmosphere these days. This was because the dark circles from lack of sleep made his eyes seem subdued, and his jawline became sharp after skipping meals. However, it suited Gerard well. Aiden muttered how life was so unfair.
Nonetheless, the faithful Knight Commander of Blanchett was concerned about his Lord. He wondered if the Lord was so weak that he would fall off his horse. Therefore today, he was following his Lord who had disappeared as soon as it was lunchtime. Of course, he didn’t forget to bring a meal for his Lord as well. However, he hesitated upon seeing his Lord sleeping soundly, his head leaned against the tree. He sat beside his sleeping Lord and ate there on purpose. If his Lord smelled it, he would be hungry and wake up.
However, his master began to groan all of a sudden.
Aiden called out Gerard’s name loudly. Upon Aiden’s call, Gerard woke up whilst shouting Chloe’s name.
Gerard looked around with hazy eyes. He looked at Aiden’s face, who had woken him up, and examined his surroundings.
Having realized that it was all a dream, he gradually regained his consciousness.
Gerard leaned back against the tree and took a deep breath.
“What dream did you have that made you sweat that much, my Lord?”
Aiden said while handing a handkerchief to Gerard. He decided to pretend not to know that tears were gathering in his Lord’s eyes.
Gerard pondered, wiping on his forehead with the handkerchief he’d received. It was a dream. The same dream that had bothered him every night these past few days.
However, it was different from usual. When he woke up, he remembered everything vividly. Yes, it was so vivid. As if he’d experienced it himself.
In his dream, his wife ran away from him. He was reunited with her for the first time in six years. He was very angry and tried to take her back.
However, there was already someone else with Chloe. The red-haired knight, Herace Moore. He was sure of that.
Chloe’s back was in the line of Gerard’s sight as she moved away whilst holding the man’s hand. It felt as if someone was strangling him. He was nervous and anxious, on the verge of going crazy. He could stay still no longer.
“Well, would you like to eat, my Lord? I’m worried that you haven’t eaten your full meals-”
Aiden, who was beside Gerard, deliberately talked to him when his Lord’s expression grew scarier by the minute. His Lord’s face looked like someone who was on the verge of doing something.
Unfortunately, however, his efforts were in vain. Gerard sprang to his feet before Aiden even finished his words.
“…Have a nice lunch, Aiden.”
After saying so, Gerard walked away without giving him a chance to hold him back. Aiden had no choice but to watch his Lord’s back retreat. Once again, he shoved the bread he had reserved for his Lord into his mouth.
He assumed today would be the day. The day where the prolonged cold war between his masters ended, for better or for worse.
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