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Chloe was confused about how she should feel seeing Leila so in love. Should she be relieved that Gerard Blanchett’s love wouldn’t be returned? Or should she be heartbroken knowing that he would get hurt?
“Of course, I recovered quickly thanks to the herbs you sent to me, Chloe.”
Chloe exclaimed impulsively.
“I didn’t send them.”
“They were sent by Sir Blanchett.”
Leila opened her eyes wide at the unexpected remark.
“Yes, Sir Blanchett asked me to send them for him because you would feel burdened if he gave them directly to you.”
Leila’s face seemed to darken. She could no longer accept Gerard’s favors as a mere favor.
Chloe felt a lump in her throat seeing Leila’s expression. Why did she receive favor from Archduke Anata with an open heart while feeling burdensome when it came from Sir Blanchett?
Chloe actually knew. She was not supposed to be angry about this. However, for some reason, Chloe felt her heart aching as if she was being rejected.
She wanted to tell Leila how precious the herb was and how Gerard struggled to obtain it.
However, Chloe couldn’t be swept away by emotion. She thought it would be presumptuous of her to intervene between them. This was their problem. Leila, Gerard and Frederick’s. Chloe had absolutely no reason to come between them.
Her unrequited love couldn’t be used as justification.
“Please deliver my gratitude… to Gerard.”
“Huh? Why don’t you tell him yourself?”
“I think Sir Blanchett will be more content that way.”
That was all she could say in defense of Gerard Blanchett. She didn’t dare to recite or defend, and didn’t even mention Gerard Blanchett’s love for her.
Those feelings were quiet and secretive, getting deeper each passing day.
Then, on that night.
Chloe woke up out of surprise over her terrible dream. It was a nightmare that others would brush off, but the dreams she had…
They were different. It couldn’t be dismissed as a mere nightmare because it was what would happen in the future.
The book in her dream was very arbitrary. On the day she read the book in her dream for the first time, Chloe read it from start to finish.
She wondered who the main character was in this world. What kind of happy ending would the main character have? She also discovered she was merely a supporting character in this story.
However, she couldn’t remember the exact contents of the book after she woke up. The only thing she remembered vividly was how she felt while reading the book. The more she tried to recall it, the more distorted it became in her twisted mind.
However, she didn’t need to try to remember the contents of the book. Since then, Chloe had started to read the book in her dreams every night. She was able to read parts again, and after doing so, she didn’t forget the contents even after she woke up.
And the event she saw in the book today was the day of Owen’s coronation as Emperor. There was a rebel attack during the coronation ceremony.
The rebels consisted of some nobles who had a sense of privilege over their pure blood, so they did not recognize Owen, who was born from a concubine with a commoner background, as the Emperor.
It was a revolt against Owen, despite being the legitimate son of the Queen*.
[*E/N: typically when an Emperor has concubines, his favorite or the most powerful one becomes Queen. He still has a wife, the Empress (typically an arranged marriage), but the Queen has power over the inner court and other concubines.]
Fortunately, there were no victims in her dream due to the swift response of the Imperial Knights. Only one person was severely injured.
The man was shot by an enemy’s arrow to save Leila, who was accidentally taken hostage. The blood dripping from his wound lingered in her mind.
Drops of blood scattered over the white marble, but even at that moment, he was devastated seeing Leila heading to Frederick, not him.
Chloe didn’t want him to get hurt. His body nor his feelings. Chloe clasped her hands in front of her mouth as if praying.
‘Maybe I can protect him?’
It was not something she would normally do. If it were the original Chloe, she would have avoided anything related to the book. She thought it was wise not to do things that she would regret.
However, a completely different voice rang in her head this time.
‘Perhaps I’ve been reading that strange book to protect Sir Blanchett?’
It was self-rationalization. She, too, was aware of it.
However, Chloe tried to ignore that fact. She decided to visit the Blanchett residence tomorrow.
Her eyes shone with determination in the darkness.
“Young Lady Roem?”
Gerard called Chloe as she drank tea in front of him. It was strange for them to meet like this on a day other than Tuesday.
Gerard immediately accepted her request for a visit because he was worried that something bad might have happened. However, when he finally met with young Lady Roem, she seemed to be drinking tea nonchalantly.
“I can’t believe the young Lady visited my mansion this way.”
‘Is it urgent?’
Gerard swallowed those last words.
“We don’t have to meet on a Tuesday.”
Although Chloe answered with a smile, she understood what he meant.
Gerard nodded but thought Chloe’s mood was different than usual.
“Why did you come to see me?”
“Do friends need something to meet for?”
Chloe borrowed Gerard’s frequently used excuse.
“It’s… not about that.”
Gerard felt a sense of deja vu to the time when Chloe was intoxicated. He was speechless.
Something must have happened to Chloe.
“Did you really visit me to have tea time?”
Gerard asked seriously for the last time.
Chloe knew that the current situation wasn’t natural.
In fact, she was contemplating on how to convey her dream to Sir Blanchett, so she decided to move their meeting to now. Perhaps it was because she missed him.
However, she couldn’t completely be honest about it. An excuse flashed across her mind.
“I have something that I’m concerned about. Therefore, I’d like to consult with you. Is it possible?”
Consultation… He used to be the one who consulted Chloe more than anyone else.
“What are you concerned about? I’ll help you as much as I can.”
Gerard asked, leaning towards Chloe. He seemed really eager to help her.
“No, I’m just curious about your opinion. May I ask what choice you’d make if you were in my position, Sir?”
“What choice are you talking about?”
Gerard concentrated on what Chloe was going to say.
“Oh, so it’s…”
Chloe continued, dropping her gaze to the floor. The tension in the room suddenly rose when his gaze zeroed in on her.
“Sir, you’re fond of… Leila, aren’t you?”
Chloe asked, unknowingly gripping her skirt.
“…Yes, I am.”
“But, how would you feel if Leila copied a sword that you’d made independently?”
Gerard asked, sensing Chloe’s bottomless assumption.
“That, when you assume the situation.”
Gerard was acted on by Leila as Chloe was acted on by Catherine. To sum it up, what she wanted to ask was how she should behave when she was betrayed by someone she loved the most.
Chloe could have made up a fake concern because counseling was simply an excuse, but she couldn’t. Perhaps she couldn’t overcome the feeling that occurred when Gerard zeroed all of his attention on her.
Gerard was in deep agony.
“So you’re assuming that someone, who you’re fond of, has stolen something precious to you and betrayed you?”
Gerard Blanchett seemed to be quick-witted, but it turned out that even he was slow-witted sometimes. He figured out the person involved in this was Chloe, but failed to notice that she had a crush on him.
Chloe’s heart ached when he indirectly said that he loved Leila. She narrowed her eyes for a moment before she gave a response.
“It depends on how the other person acts.”
“Do they also cherish you, young Lady? I mean, are they worried that they will lose your favor for this?”
At some point, it became clear that Chloe was the subject of concern.
“About that… yes.”
Catherine was definitely reflecting on her actions. Since then, she had visited Chloe several times and apologized. However, Chloe tried to ignore her sister’s attempt at apologizing.
“How about you, young Lady?”
“Do you mind if you lose them over this?”
It was true that she was resentful and hated Catherine for that. However, Chloe thought it was too much to lose her sister over this.
“Then, we’ve come to a conclusion.”
“Let them apologize for the rest of their life.”
Gerard’s remark were clear and firm.
“The other person has made a mistake, so why would you be concerned about them, young Lady Roem?”
“Leave them alone. Just hope that they will suffer and regret it for the rest of their life while stuck to your side, young Lady.”
Gerard came up with his answer.
“You can always cut them off if they do the same thing again.”
Chloe couldn’t agree with Gerard’s answer at all. Nevertheless, it felt like he was pointing out something she hadn’t thought about.
The unexpected counseling session worked surprisingly well for her. Chloe felt a bit better.
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