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“You, gloomy b*st*rd. You think you can spy on people from the terrace?”
Owen, who discovered something to tease his friend about, said without even attempting to conceal his excitement.
“Who is spying on whom?”
Gerard responded grumpily.
“What do you mean? You’re staring at my sister-in-law.”
It was true. Gerard, who couldn’t come up with anything to argue against his friend, turned away from the banquet hall. His movements showed several signs of regret.
Owen chuckled as he moved closer to his friend. He thought Gerard would deny it straight away.
‘Hah, he’s not even denying it.’
“…Why is an Anata Knight still in the Capital?”
Gerard relaxed as soon as the terrace door was closed. He asked Owen about what he had been wondering about the entire ceremony.
“You mean the person beside my sister-in-law?”
Owen knew what was going on, but despite that he asked again.
Gerard didn’t even bother to answer him, but it was a yes.
“Why do you ask? Archduke Anata left his most precious knight to prove his innocence.”
As soon as Owen ascended the throne, he launched a massive subjugation against rebels. In the process, it was revealed that the rebels had an extreme obsession with pure blood.
As a result, Frederick de Anata, who was revered as the one who had the purest noble blood in the Empire, was speculated to be the mastermind.
Frederick tried to exonerate himself from the ridiculous rumors by joining the subjugation force and spared no one. Obviously, he acted based on the political calculation that the newly ascended Emperor was the right choice.
However, Frederick couldn’t leave the North for long. As soon as he married Leila, they returned to the North.
He left Herace Moore in the Capital to support the subjugation until the end. He definitely secured his stake in the rebel subjugation.
“He succeeded in wiping out the rebels, didn’t he?”
“That’s right. He finished not too long ago.”
At that time, it was Herace who stood at the forefront. He was definitely a talented man with outstanding swordsmanship and quick judgment of situations. To the point where Owen wanted to bring the man to the Imperial family if he wasn’t from Anata.
“But why is he still in the Capital?”
“I guess the former Commander of the Imperial Knights cares more about Anata than rebels, right?”
Owen sarcastically remarked.
“I don’t think it’s because he has a lot of time… Who is he interested in?”
Owen teased his friend by saying ‘umm…’ and not answering. He knew all too well what to say to get a response from Gerard.
“While you were on the front lines, that knight persistently asked my sister-in-law to marry him. It seems as though he fell in love at first sight.”
Gerard’s eyebrows rose sharply. Oh, wasn’t it the fault of Anata Knight? But Chloe Roem might be to blame for displaying such pure elegance.
“So, have they… gotten engaged already?”
Gerard’s hands were tense as they held onto the railing. He wanted to hear the answer, but he also dreaded hearing it.
“It’s not like that. It seems that Sir Moore was welcomed warmly by the Roem family, but sister-in-law doesn’t have feelings for him.”
Gerard was relieved. However, he asked for clarification while pretending as if nothing had happened.
“How could that be? If Count Roem urges her, the young Lady of Roem can’t do anything.”
“About that… Count Roem seems to be cautious after the incident with his first daughter. His youngest daughter didn’t eat and acted like a wounded animal.”
Owen explained as he knew the situation of the Roem family through Karina. He was only telling Gerard because he wasn’t the type to spread rumors.
“Therefore, if you’re going to marry her, do it as soon as possible.”
Owen smirked wickedly and said what he had wanted to from the start.
“I don’t mind being family with you.”
It was time to push Gerard Blanchett.
Was it because Owen had pushed Gerard? Shortly after the ceremony, Gerard visited the Roem residence to meet with Chloe. It was a great achievement after his previous requests had been denied.
After a few long months, Chloe and Gerard faced each other in the drawing room of the Roem residence.
Gerard stared at Chloe, who couldn’t look him straight in the eye. Why did she keep avoiding eye contact with him?
“How have you been… while I was gone, young Lady?”
Gerard spoke first. In response to his question, Chloe lifted her gaze toward her teacup.
“Nothing special. Reading and taking walks, that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Gerard nodded and lifted his teacup. Taking a sip of the steaming tea, he spoke again with a sigh.
“I missed it.”
“…I think it’s been a while since I’ve had tea like this at the Roem residence.”
Gerard hurriedly made an excuse after his true feelings came out all of a sudden. He didn’t know whether to be relieved or sad at the fact that he was good with words.
‘I thought he meant he missed me.’
Chloe felt warmth creeping up her body and fanned her face briefly.
‘I thought I managed it well… Turns out I haven’t.’
Even though she said she didn’t do anything special, Chloe had been managing her feelings for Gerard.
Their relationship didn’t progress naturally after Leila left the picture.
Therefore after Leila left for the North, it was only right to manage her one-sided feelings. Giving him the handkerchief at the funeral was her way of expressing a last goodbye.
So why did this man insist on showing up? Her mindless heart kept pounding.
“Anyway, what brings you to the Roem residence?”
Chloe accepted his request for a visit because she wanted to check if she had really managed her feelings. However, she realized when she saw him up close. She was just deceiving herself.
‘I just wanted to see him.’
It was unclear whether he knew Chloe’s mind was getting even more complicated. Gerard answered politely.
“Before the coronation ceremony, the young Lady and I had tea time every week like this.”
“The memories of those times came to mind during my time at the border.”
Gerard continued, bringing up his time at the border.
“I couldn’t find such relaxation and peace.”
“…You must have had a hard time there.”
Chloe spoke cautiously. She couldn’t even imagine how much he suffered on the western border. And he didn’t miss how she sympathized with him.
“However, you know what, young Lady? Today is Tuesday.”
Chloe’s eyes widened slightly.
Gerard broke into a beautiful smile when their eyes met. She couldn’t take her eyes off his face when he looked like that.
“If you want, we can drink tea next Tuesday, and the next.”
“Am I asking too much, young Lady?”
Gerard Blanchett came out as the winner in the fight. Chloe realized that she wanted to be shaken this way.
Their Tuesday Tea Time resumed again.
However, Tuesday Tea Time came to a halt.
That was because Gerard Blanchett had become busier than before. He had to manage the Marquisate, which had become stagnant while he was at the border.
Arranging the businesses his father had expanded excessively, organizing the Blanchett Knights, and inspecting the mansion. Those were days where having two bodies wasn’t even enough.
That was how he had to work, without a break, until spring came by.
Of course, he spent some of his time exchanging letters with Chloe Roem. However, there had been no huge progress between them.
Still, he was grateful because he could stay in touch with her during this busy time.
It was late spring when the leaves were getting more lush. Gerard was fighting with the papers in his office.
“Come on in.”
It was his mother, Helena, who opened the door and came in.
“Excuse me, son. Do you have some time to spare?”
Gerard formed goosebumps at the way she addressed him. However, he got up from his seat and headed for the sofa in the middle of the room while pretending nothing happened.
“What’s the matter?”
He asked his mother, who was sitting across from him.
“Aren’t you almost done with your busy schedule?”
Gerard replied, setting aside the matters he had been working on in his head.
“Yes, I’m almost done.”
The Blanchett Marquisate, which had been renovated under the command of their new Lord, was now gradually going back to normal.
“Then, you should get married now, shouldn’t you? I thought you were busy, so I picked out some girls from nice families…”
“I will take care of my own marriage.”
Gerard brushed off the talk about marriage sternly. Then, Helena mentioned a name as if playing the best card in her hands.
“I’ve met the young Lady of Roem before.”
“The young Lady of Roem? Are you talking about Chloe Roem?”
Gerard asked and leaned forward at the name that was mentioned all of a sudden.
“Yes, isn’t Chloe Roem the only one left in the Roem family now? I heard from Leila that you’ve taken interest in her, so I went to meet her.”
Gerard raised one of his eyebrows. It was his habit when he didn’t like something.
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