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It was the day of the coronation.
When Chloe saw it in her dream, there was a rebel attack. She clasped her hands among the disoriented crowd.
‘Please… Please don’t hurt him.’
Chloe sighed in relief when she saw the rebels being suppressed. Sir Blanchett wouldn’t be hurt.
However, her relief was quickly replaced.
Gerard was wounded more severely than he was in her dream.
‘Why is this happening? How?’
Chloe couldn’t accept reality and kept asking a bunch of questions inwardly. She managed to find the answer.
There was only one thing that was different from the situation in her dream. Chloe’s involvement. She gave Gerard a tip and advised Leila to pack a knife before the event.
‘It’s because of me.’
Originally, he was only supposed to be shot by an arrow. But because of her, he was stabbed in the stomach.
Chloe’s hands trembled. At that moment, Gerard’s stumbling body fell, unable to maintain its balance.
She was so surprised that she leaped forward whilst crying out his name. And at that exact moment, their eyes met as he fell to the floor.
‘Why does she look so sad?’
Gerard was perplexed seeing Chloe’s face, which was faintly visible. What made her so dismayed? He pushed her away coldheartedly after all.
Chloe’s face was a mess. Her pretty blue eyes were blurred with tears, and her lips were bleeding as if they had been chewed too hard.
Leila, who had been with him for a long time, saw him fall, but didn’t let go of Frederick’s hand. However, Chloe Roem, whom he had pushed away coldheartedly, came to him crying, as if the sight of him made her so sad.
That day, Chloe Roem unknowingly pushed Gerard Blanchett over the line. It was the moment when his solid and firm wall collapsed.
It was irresistible. How could he have pushed her away when she ran to him with such a hopeless look? No one had come running toward him like that his whole life.
Leila stood by Gerard, who had fainted.
“Are you coming back to your senses? Wait a minute! I’ll get the doctor!”
Leila blurted out all she had to say and disappeared.
Every time he breathed, it felt like someone was beating his stomach. It was painful. Gerard raised his heavy arms and touched his stomach, which felt like there was a lump of iron resting on it. He felt a soft cloth and rough textured bandage on it.
Leila, who had just left, patched his wound. If so, it was typical for him to be happy upon seeing her face as soon as he opened his eyes. However, strangely enough, he wasn’t all that happy.
On the contrary, a mysterious face kept popping up in his head. Her eyes twisted in sorrow. Her lips calling his name. With her soft brown hair, Chloe Roem.
‘Is she supposed to be this memorable?’
Gerard shook his head to erase the afterimage. Perhaps, he remembered her because that was the last thing he saw before he fainted.
It was just that.
Gerard couldn’t help but ask.
“What about Lady Roem?”
It was because Chloe Roem hadn’t visited him even once since he woke up after his wound healed. Of course, Lady Roem didn’t necessarily have to visit him in the hospital. However…
She had that kind of look when she saw him collapse, so he wondered why she didn’t come to visit him, even once. Gerard had the audacity to expect it, as if he had forgotten the fact that he had pushed Chloe away.
“Yes, it’s not a big matter, but… I was wondering if something happened.”
Even so, he hadn’t asked her whereabouts until now because he was not shameless enough to do so. However, he naturally became curious when Leila repeatedly came alone.
Of course, the man who coldly abandoned her got injured while saving another woman, so why would she want to come and visit? Perhaps her affection had run out.
“Um, that’s kind of….”
Gerard narrowed his eyes as though he was displeased with something.
“You’re sad that Chloe didn’t come to see you after you woke up, right?”
“No, it’s not like that at all.”
He shouldn’t be. He didn’t deserve to be upset at young Lady Roem. It wasn’t like that at all, he was just wondering.
“Hmm, Really? I thought you two got really close recently.”
“…Yes. I’ve been close to young Lady Roem until recently.”
Gerard was lost in thought as he dropped his gaze subtly.
Chloe Roem’s painting which he happened to see, the drinking party that was so memorable, and her smile as she looked at the supplies in the small art store.
She always listened to him calmly. Recently, he unknowingly waited for her visit.
It was amazing. Gerard, who took a lot of time to get along with in the first place, had never experienced this kind of thing before. During his first year with Leila, they shouted at each other like enemies, and he even avoided Owen for years.
“Do you know how sincere Chloe was when you collapsed? She came every day to see you.”
Gerard’s eyes widened at the unexpected remark. Then, the corners of his mouth were drawn up in no time. It was as he expected.
“On top of that, she cried so much on the first day because she felt guilty, so I comforted her.”
“Guilty? Why did young Lady Roem feel guilty for me?”
He couldn’t understand her behavior.
Leila shrugged her shoulders.
“I don’t even know either.”
“Anyway, that’s what happened, so don’t be too upset.”
“Is there something between you two?”
“What do you mean is there something between us?”
Gerard turned his head, his face stiff. Leila squinted her eyes and looked at her childhood friend as if she were searching for something.
‘There must be something.’
Leila’s intuition gave her a signal.
“What are you looking for?”
Owen asked, examining Gerard’s expression.
Gerard’s head, which was looking through the crowd, snapped back to its original position.
“Haven’t you acted a little strange since earlier? I’m talking about something serious, but you can’t even concentrate.”
They were talking about Gerard’s punishment on the terrace of the banquet hall. However, Gerard couldn’t concentrate on their conversation and kept glancing through the curtain.
“Who are you looking for? Do you want me to find them for you?”
Gerard shook his head and expressed his intention to focus on their conversation again.
“Where were we?”
“Even the people on Duke Norbert’s side are acting unusually. Thankfully we can find fault with them this time. They were very persistent.”
There was now a flurry of demands from the nobles for Gerard Blanchett to be given disciplinary action. The chief commander of the Imperial Knights was supposed to protect the Imperial Family.
The reason was that he neglected his duties due to personal feelings.
“Haa, there’s no use saying I sent you.”
Owen said with a sigh. He claimed that he had sent Gerard himself. However, the defense of the young Emperor wasn’t accepted among nobles.
“Never mind. I committed a mistake, but then what?”
Regardless of the fact that he evacuated the Royal Family through the secret passage, as the head of the Imperial Knights, he should have stayed by their side until the end. It was obvious that Gerard Blanchett was at fault.
“What do you mean? There are even suggestions from the noble parliament to dismiss you from your position as chief commander!”
Living with the stigma of failing to protect his Lord would follow him everywhere he went for the rest of his life. Was there anything more dishonorable than that for a knight?
“Of course, I won’t let them.”
Owen muttered, leaning against the railing of the terrace.
“However, you may have to go to the border.”
Gerard answered calmly and looked up at the night sky. He had an unexpected thought which was unsuitable for the serious situation.
‘If I say I’m going to the border… What kind of expression would she make?’
He wanted to see her before he went away, but he probably didn’t have much time. Gerard drummed his long fingers on the railing a couple of times at his rising impatience.
In the end, Gerard Blanchett was highly exasperated.
It was a week after Gerard rose from his bed and resumed his work. However, he hadn’t seen a single hair of Chloe Roem.
It was obvious. Nothing made sense other than the fact that Chloe Roem was avoiding Gerard Blanchett. She was absent from all the social parties he attended, as well as Tuesday Tea Time.
The excuses were very consistent. He was worried if she was under the weather, but when he asked Leila, the same answer was given back to him. Chloe was fine.
‘She’s not meeting with me, but she meets with Leila?’
At first, Gerard didn’t know why he was looking for Chloe so much.
He just wanted to apologize for his rude words and actions. Of course, there was another way, which was writing a letter, but he didn’t want to do that.
Yes, he actually missed Chloe Roem.
He wanted to know whether Chloe still liked him. He didn’t know why it suddenly became so important to him, but he still wanted to check.
That’s why he put in a request for a visit to the Roem residence. It took him a long time to admit his feelings. And finally, he acknowledged them and decided to visit her himself.
But he only got a reply from the Roem Family that they had refused.
Gerard once again dropped his gaze to read the letter from the Roem Family.
[The Roem Family cannot afford the luxury of welcoming guests at any moment. We apologize sincerely, and hope you’ll visit us again.]
After this, Gerard felt like he had to meet Chloe.
He had been thinking about what to do when he ran into Chloe… But it was a useless worry. He didn’t know anything else… the only goal that had become clear was meeting Chloe Roem.
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