Thanks to Luny for the support!
Since then, Gerard and Chloe’s engagement went smoothly.
The Blanchett family was satisfied to join hands with the newly emerging Roem family in the Imperial faction, and the Roem family was also satisfied to join hands with the Blanchett family, the head of the Imperial faction.
It was a pleasant marriage, for everyone except for Karina de Hernia*. However, she had no choice but to accept their bond in the end.
[*E/N: Chloe’s older sister, and wife of the Emperor.]
It was because Chloe looked so delighted by Gerard’s side.
It was the long-awaited wedding day.
Standing beside Chloe, who wore a white dress, Gerard had to swallow several times. He glanced at the woman who was going to be his wife in a few minutes.
Braided brown hair, with a veil gently placed on top. Her long eyelashes and flushed cheeks that shone.
She was beautiful.
Gerard held her pale and slender hand tightly as he became nervous for no reason. The two were holding hands as they stood in front of the high priest who led the rites.
“It’s never easy for a man and woman to leave their parents and form a family. However, with noble love and a sense of duty within each of you…”
The rites were recited in a solemn atmosphere. However, Gerard couldn’t concentrate at all.
His attention was solely on Chloe. He insistently stared at Chloe, as if he wanted to remember this moment for eternity.
‘This woman… is my wife now.’
My wife. My spouse. Chloe Blanchett. He liked the words very much.
Gerard finally realized that Chloe was really about to be his. At the same time, a door in his mind became unlocked and his feelings for her became clear.
“…Of his life?”
Then, Chloe looked up and stared at Gerard.
Was it uncomfortable to be stared at so intently? He tried to turn his eyes away from her in an awkward manner, but she mouthed to him.
“Hm, hm! Does the groom, Gerard Blanchett, swear to respect and love the bride, Chloe Roem, for the rest of his life?”
How did he make such a mistake? Gerard hurriedly turned his head towards the high priest.
“Yes, I swear.”
He didn’t want to let go of the hand that he held, even if this was the end of eternity.
Gerard swore before God on that day. Regardless of what happened, he would put Chloe first, and shower her with the respect and protection she deserved.
It was Gerard Blanchett’s love, an eternal promise that would remain unchanged.
His oath became more defined as time went by. His feelings also deepened. Gerard approached the bed where Chloe and their baby were lying. A smile naturally crept onto his face as soon as he saw the mother and son were sleeping in the same position. They smelled so warm and cozy that he wanted to rub his cheeks into them. It was comforting.
Then the baby lying beside Chloe let out a whine.
Gerard hurriedly rubbed Abel on the back. He didn’t want the child to disturb his wife’s sweet sleep. The child’s whine eased down when his back was caressed.
The baby tossed and turned a few times while biting the thumb that was in his mouth. Gerard, who was told that finger nibbling was not a good thing, gently pulled the child’s thumb out of his small mouth.
At that moment, Abel grabbed one of his father’s fingers and held them tightly. Gerard couldn’t help but stop in his tracks feeling his feeble grip. The warmth of his dainty hands melted away his loneliness.
The child was the proof of his connection to his wife.
“Thank you, for coming to me.”
It was even more heartbreaking knowing how hard Chloe had to work to bring Abel to their side. Such a precious and rare child.
In fact, he resented the child a lot at first. He thought he was going to lose his wife because of the child.
“…Father is sorry.”
His mind recalled that dizzying day.
It was when Chloe entered the last month of her pregnancy.
Gerard, who was reinstated as the First Imperial Knight Commander, went to work at the Imperial Palace. It was to finish his work in advance because he wanted to stay by his wife’s side during the day she was expected to give birth.
However, Chloe went into labor ahead of the expected date.
As soon as he heard the news, he rushed from the Capital to the Blanchett Estate. However, Chloe had already begun to struggle with the pain.
The room was dark. Chloe lying on the bed, groaning.
He swallowed with difficulty. His heart sank at the painful frown on his wife’s face. He felt suffocated by the sound of her breathing.
Chloe frowned at the throbbing pain that came with labor. The frequency of contractions occurred more frequently and the intensity became stronger.
“Don’t grit your teeth, Madame! It’s bad!”
A midwife coached Chloe while rubbing her legs.
“Please breathe! Breathe!”
Another midwife urged her to breathe. She was in pain and wasn’t in her right mind, so what did the woman want her to do?
Gerard slowly approached his wife. The attending physician quickly stopped him.
“Marquis, please step outside.”
“…Get out of my way.”
He pushed the attending physician to the side when they blocked his view. He didn’t like someone blocking his view of his wife.
“It’s best for the Madame to reduce contact with people as much as possible during childbirth.”
The doctor pointed outside as he said so. There was a maid who had retrieved warm water and was waiting by the door.
“I understand your feelings, my Lord, but you must think of your wife first.”
Gerard was pushed out by the doctor after that. However, until the last second of his presence in the room, his eyes didn’t budge from Chloe’s face.
The doctor who came outside with Gerard proceeded to explain the situation.
“Labor started earlier than expected.”
“The problem we have here is that the Marchioness’ physique is weak… the current situation is not favorable.”
The doctor was giving a precise and realistic examination. However, blood drained from Gerard’s face after hearing the physician’s words.
“Get out of my face if you’re going to say that. You have to save her no matter what.”
His eyes trembled, which was the opposite of his cold remark. The attending physician, who met the Marquis’ eyes, had no choice but to nod his head.
“Madame! Don’t grit your teeth!”
“My Lady! Please don’t faint!”
Chloe almost fainted several times due to the pains of labor. Each time the midwives would have to urgently snap her back to her senses.
“If you faint, both the Lady and the baby are not going to make it!”
A sharp friction that came out of the bedroom made Gerard unknowingly snap back to his senses. His hands and feet were already cold with anxiousness.
As he listened to his wife’s series of screams behind the bedroom door, he kept thinking about the article he read in the newspaper. The ominous article that said two out of ten women died during childbirth.
A vivid terror overtook him.
‘Please save her.’
Gerard pleaded with God to the point where he wondered if he had ever prayed so earnestly in his entire life.
‘Instead of my wife… Please take me instead.’
The willingful confession to die in his wife’s place naturally came out of his mouth without an ounce of hesitation. Gerard recited the same sentence over and over again.
‘You may take everything. I will give you everything. Please save my wife.’
The prayer was sorrowful and affectionate. He would exchange anything for his wife’s life. Status, wealth, life, and even children felt meaningless to him.
Then, he heard a terrifying noise from the other side of the door.
“Oh, the shoulder is stuck! Please give more strength! If the Lady loses strength, both of you will not make it!”
The midwife’s cry reverberated. Gerard Blanchett couldn’t wait anymore. If this was the last time… If this was the end, he had to see Chloe’s face.
Gerard burst through the door after hesitating for a moment. And his eyes turned damp at the situation unfolding before him.
He saw a screaming newborn and his wife, who seemed much more comfortable.
‘Ha, thank you.’
At that moment, Gerard had to mutter his gratitude several times at the rush of relief that filled him.
However soon after that, he heard a shocking story from the attending physician.
The moment the child’s shoulder got stuck, Chloe lost consciousness for a moment. Both mother and child almost died.
Chloe’s pelvis wasn’t as widened as it should have been, and the same thing could happen next time.
Gerard thought without hesitation after hearing that.
‘I don’t need any more children.’
He realized his own feelings through the prayer he muttered that he only needed Chloe in exchange for everything. He knew he couldn’t be without his wife now.
The hours of anxiety he felt while on the other side of the bedroom door engraved unforgettable fear within him. He didn’t want to go through the same thing again.
–Just think about it. A daughter who looks like Chloe. Do you ever wonder how cute she would be when following you around while calling you father?
Of course it would be so adorable. A daughter who resembled his wife couldn’t not be cute, but wasn’t more precious than his wife. A daughter who didn’t exist in the first place couldn’t be more precious than his lovely son.
The reason why he brushed Leila’s words off was due to the fear that something could happen to his wife. It was because of that.
Gerard Blanchett didn’t tell his wife about the doctor’s examination. He didn’t want Chloe to be bothered and became upset about such a thing.
It was something he had to conceal with patience and be careful with.