Thank you Veil (1/2) for your support!
“I heard from Leila that you’ve taken interest in her, so I went to meet her.”
“You’re in touch with Leila… Anata?”
“Of course, she is the Grand Duchess of Anata now. There’s nothing wrong with keeping in touch with her.”
His mother was exchanging letters with Leila in the North. He wasn’t happy about that.
“Mother was really worried that you didn’t actively court anyone under the pretext of being busy. That’s why I asked Leila if she knew about any decent young ladies.”
Helena was excited when her son seemed to be interested in her words. She explained the situation with hand gestures.
“Leila told me to meet Chloe Roem. If I met her, I would definitely like her.”
As Helena continued with her story, a deep crease appeared between Gerard’s eyebrows.
“It turns out that she is calm and mature. It definitely shows that she was educated properly.”
“Her eyes were very pretty…”
A brief glint appeared in Helena’s eyes, but Gerard clearly saw the obsession and madness in that brief moment.
‘As expected, nothing has changed.’
Despite his mother’s act, nothing had ever changed. He had to hold back the hostility that rose from inside.
“However, it’s not like I’m not troubled by that.”
Helena continued talking without noticing her son’s horrified expression.
“You heard the story about the first daughter of the family, right? It seems that she ran away because of love, so there’s no guarantee that Chloe won’t do that, right?”
Gerard could no longer take it. What the h*ll did his mother say about Chloe?
“But I really like the fact that she’s family with the Empress…”
Gerard spoke to Helena in a cold voice when she whined, as if lamenting his preferences.
“I’ve said it several times, but I’ll take care of my marriage on my own.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t need your help, Mother.”
“I’ve been doing well my entire life without your help. Therefore, you don’t have to try helping me now.”
It was a refusal. It was a refusal to interfere in his marriage affairs, but it was actually a refusal to Helena.
“I think you should leave now.”
Gerard stood up shortly after.
Feeling hurt by her son’s cold gaze, Helena bit her lip. She thought it was fine because he didn’t push her away when she got close. However, it was just a delusion.
Gerard didn’t want to be buried in his feelings from the past. Over time, his hatred and resentment faded, but it didn’t disappear.
“…Yes, I must have taken up too much of your time.”
Helena rose from her seat with an awkward expression. She had to put all her strength in doing so in order not to collapse in front of her son. Helena realized something that day. Her child had already grown up enough to not need a mother. It was a late realization. Too late.
Gerard received a letter from Leila a few days later, the very letter that got him in trouble.
[I recently heard from your mother that you are looking for a partner. I was always worried that you were never interested in marriage. If there is a good candidate, she asked me to introduce her.
So I told her about Chloe Roem. What do you think of Chloe?
You know how sweet and wise Chloe is, right?
I wish your partner were Chloe. If you would stay by her side, I would be so relieved.
Then we don’t have to be separated because of marriage. Actually, I’m worried that I’m too far from you these days. I guess it’s because I haven’t seen your face for 6 months since I went up North. Let’s set up a time to meet soon.]
Leila seemed to have noticed his feelings.
Having known Leila for a long time, Gerard knew what she meant although the letter made him quite upset. She must have done this with good intentions. Perhaps she wanted to help her friends, too.
However, she had crossed the line.
Gerard noticed how little respect she had for him as his obsession disappeared.
How many people could ask the person who confessed to them to marry their friend? Leila couldn’t have sent this letter if she was seriously considerate of Gerard at all.
Just because Gerard cleared up his mind about Leila now didn’t mean the past was gone. But Leila acted as if she didn’t remember those times. Gerard felt a slight irritation with her.
Moreover, it was unbelievable that she even told his mother the thing he wasn’t sure of. It was rude. How didn’t she know that pretending to know nothing is equivalent to respecting the other person?
‘Or, do you want me to push you away without doubt?’
Leila probably wanted to hammer the nail in their relationship through this letter. She didn’t know by expressing it this way, he would get his mind sorted about her.
Come to think of it, there were many parts of the letter that emphasized their friendship.
When the scent of flowers is carried by the wind, it reminds me of our childhood.
You were shorter than me when we first met, but now I’m shorter! Every time I look up at you, I remember just how fast the speed of time is.
You know how precious time with you is to me. I hope that we will always be as dependent on each other as we were back then.]
It was impossible to figure out her real intention of sending this letter to him, but that’s how he read it.
Gerard immediately pulled out a piece of paper and wrote back to her. He began to write without an ounce of hesitation.
I understand what you mean. If that is what you really wish for I will comply.
Your old friend, Gerard]
He put down his fountain pen and looked at the scribbled paper nervously.
It was time for him to clear up his feelings toward Leila completely as she wished. There was nothing left, so it wasn’t that difficult to begin with.
Owen, Mother, Leila. Not one, but three.
People around Gerard kept saying that he liked Chloe Roem. And acted as if they had to get married.
However, Gerard was not really certain about his feelings. It was bound to be difficult to wear his heart on his sleeve after he was obsessed with another for a long time.
Of course, he didn’t deny that he was interested in Chloe. However, he was confused whether this was a temporary attraction or whether he really liked her.
‘This is definitely different.’
It was different from what he used to feel for Leila. Gerard felt something toward Chloe which he had never felt for Leila before.
It was comfortable and he enjoyed his time with Leila. They knew each other better than anyone else, so they could read each other’s mind even when they didn’t talk.
However, being with Chloe was difficult and uncomfortable. All he could think about was how she felt. He thought that sometimes she seemed to like him, but other times it didn’t seem that way.
And when she looked at him, he felt as if he was being suffocated. However, he missed it when her eyes strayed away from him.
Gerard didn’t feel like Gerard Blanchett in front of Chloe. He couldn’t help but to repeat his stupid behavior. It was the first time he had seen himself like this. He felt unfamiliar with himself.
He still felt a bit overwhelmed and restless.
‘Getting married to Chloe Roem?’
It was a subject he had never thought about properly. However, he suddenly imagined it on his own when he suffered from the anger projected to the people around him.
‘Chloe Blanchett… It sounds nice, doesn’t it?’
Gerard put his last name behind Chloe’s and seemed satisfied with it.
Aiden, who sparred with Gerard every morning, called him.
“Why can’t you concentrate today?”
Gerard sheathed his sword and flipped his sweaty hair back. He was certainly unable to concentrate on sparring.
“That’s it for today.”
“Yes, that would be great. However, these days… Do you have any concerns?”
“You seem to have a lot of concern the past few days.”
Gerard contemplated over Aiden’s words. Should he ask Sir Hume or not? Then, he remembered that Aiden was going to get married.
“Um, I have a personal question.”
“You’re about to get married soon, aren’t you?”
“Me? Yes, I am.”
“When did you know you liked her?”
Aiden was embarrassed when his master asked him an unexpected question. It felt strange because he never had this kind of conversation with his Lord.
“Uh, I… I think I knew it when Sally appeared in my dreams.”
“Yes, I had a dream and Sally appeared in it. Even after I woke up, I couldn’t forget the dream, so I think I realized after that.”
“Hm, I see.”
Gerard’s expression was somewhat dubious. He could know if she appeared in a dream? It was an useless answer for someone who didn’t dream very often.
“Thank you for telling me.”
Gerard was about to leave the training hall after thanking him briefly.
“Or, my Lord…”
Aiden chased after Gerard, feeling like he had to help his master with this.
“Why don’t you imagine kissing that person?”
“I heard that when you imagine kissing someone, and you’re okay with it, it means that you like that person. If you don’t like that person, imagining it gives you shivers.”
Gerard’s eyes gradually grew cold despite Aiden’s passionate explanation.
“You should try it, too, my Lord. It’s not bad to imagine that kind of thing.”
‘What? Imagine kissing Chloe Roem?’
The scene naturally came to Gerard’s mind.
He shook his head as soon as it appeared to clear it from his mind. It was not respectful to her.
“All right, stop.”
Gerard cut Aiden off and strode out of the training hall. He shouldn’t have asked. He was confused for no reason.
However, Gerard dreamed about Chloe that night. The dream was about kissing her.
He had to blame himself for acting like an adolescent boy after waking up from his dream. However, that dream was just the beginning.