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Upon entering the cold and empty house, Gerard uttered harshly.
‘They ran away again.’
By the time he was contacted by Raymond and crossed the city from where the Salon was held, Chloe Roem had escaped again.
“There is someone by her side who appears to be a knight, and I think he noticed they were being followed.”
‘A man, presumably a knight?’
Gerard frowned. He felt like someone was scratching his insides with sharp metal. Right, just because he had been looking for Chloe Roem, it didn’t guarantee that she would be alone all this time. He never even thought about it. He didn’t expect her to have someone else.
“I told you to find out where they were, but I don’t think I allowed you to leak our position.”
Gerard glared sourly at the back of Raymond’s head.
“Find them by all means.”
Etra was in a state of flux for a while afterward. Knights scoured everywhere, looking for a woman.
“You may come out now, Claudia.”
When Theodore said so, Chloe came out from her hiding spot in the secret closet of the studio. Abel was in her arms, soaked in sweat.
A few hours ago, a sudden search forced Chloe to run away. She explained to her son that they were playing hide-and-seek before going into the closet together.
It was so exhausting to appease Abel, who was whining the whole time. The search came to an end only after the child fell asleep from exhaustion.
“…I’m sorry, Abel.”
Chloe’s voice was weak due to exhaustion. She ran her fingers through Abel’s sweaty hair.
Theodore looked at them with pity. He knew they had a story of their own, but he didn’t know she was actually the missing Marchioness of Blanchett.
‘That must be why her choice of words and demeanor was that of a great noblewoman.’
Theodore handed Chloe a glass of cool water.
Chloe thanked Theodore and accepted the glass.
“As soon as I find a boat heading East, I’ll leave at once.”
Theodore responded without hesitation.
“Yes… I think you should.”
Herace was looking for a ship for Chloe and Abel at that time. He was looking for the earliest ship that would set off to the East.
The day when they’d be saying goodbye was not far off.
Theodore wrinkled his nose. He wondered when he could see them again if they left like this. For such an old man like him, he didn’t have much time left to expect a reunion.
As Chloe laid Abel down on the couch, Theodore made up his mind and strode away for a moment.
He held a box of gold coins in his arms when he came back.
“Claudia, this is not a lot for my sincerest gift to you.”
“No, my Lord. You don’t have to do this.”
Claudia stepped back.
“It’s because I feel like I’m responsible for everything that happened to you.”
Theodore said with a wistful frown.
He was informed by the Salon that a great noble had taken an interest in Claudia’s painting. He was standing in front of it for hours.
Now that he thought about it, it seemed that the great nobleman was the Marquis of Blanchett.
-And don’t tell me if it’s sold before the Salon ends. I’ll be in a lot of trouble and highly embarrassed.
Theodore felt guilty. All of these problems had been caused by him.
“No, Sir. It’s due to my situation, not you.”
Chloe disagreed and shook her head.
She knew the reason Theodore was doing this. He probably noticed that she hadn’t been able to take all the wealth she had made as the Baroness of Diaz because of her sudden departure.
However, it wasn’t a big deal for her. She planned for an emergency, and she had been sending money to Catherine from time to time.
However, Theodore was adamant.
“Take it. That way, I’d be comforted.”
He forced the box into Chloe’s hand.
“I don’t know why you’re running away like this, but I hope you’ll be happy wherever you are.”
Chloe’s eyes welled up with tears at Theodore’s sincere remark. He didn’t inquire into her situation or criticize her for lying to him all this time.
He just blessed her. His consideration felt warm.
Theodore was someone she openly expressed her thoughts to. He was a friend, a mentor, and a sanctuary for her.
“Thank you so much for all this time. Thanks to you…”
She couldn’t speak properly due to emotion. However, Theodore understood what she meant.
He spoke for Chloe.
“…Thanks to you and Abel, I also enjoyed my life in Etra.”
Theodore spoke with a gentle smile.
“See you again, Chloe, if we have a chance.”
Finally, it was time to leave Etra.
After bidding Theodore goodbye, Chloe began to cross the hill behind the residential area. It was the other path to the northern port because the Knights of Blanchett were scattered around the Port of Etra.
“I’ve got a carriage waiting behind this hill. Cheer up a little bit.”
Herace encouraged Chloe, who was breathing harshly. He was amazed that she didn’t look tired even while holding Abel in her arms.
“Haa… All right.”
In fact, Chloe declined assistance from Herace several times in fear that Herace would get caught. She told him multiple times that she could do it herself.
-It’s just that I will only feel relieved if I see you go safely. Please don’t hesitate or refuse my help.
He was insistent.
-It would hurt me if you were so persistent in refusing my help.
In the end, she had no choice but to stay with Herace until the end.
Half a day later. They already came down the mountain in the late afternoon that they had climbed in the morning. Thanks to someone who had slow feet.
“We’re almost there. Please get some rest.”
Herace said while approaching the carriage.
However, he tensed up at the presence he sensed in the luggage compartment of the carriage. He immediately hid Chloe behind him.
“Ha, that’s ridiculous.”
The figure, who was hidden by the shadow of the luggage compartment, revealed himself with a smile.
It was Gerard Blanchett, looking completely out of place by the shabby carriage.
“So, the knight beside you…”
‘Was Herace Moore.’
Gerard gritted his teeth, realizing the report he received was accurate. His searing gaze fell on Herace and the little figure in his arms.
‘She also has a child.’
So it was true that Baroness Diaz had a child. Gerard gritted his teeth and his jawbone stuck out.
Herace quickly handed Abel to Chloe upon seeing his gaze, and reached for the handle of the sword at his waist.
However, when he was about to touch the handle, the knights who had been instructed to ambush them, surrounded the carriage.
“Get out of my way.”
Gerard spoke in a low voice.
“I never dared you to interfere.”
His terrifying gaze turned to Herace.
“…I can’t do that.”
Herace knew he had no chance in winning against him.
The Marquis of Blanchett was titled ‘the Empire’s sword’. Even he was no match for the man.
However, there were times when he couldn’t step down even if he knew he’d lose.
It was to the point when no one could breathe properly in the tight atmosphere.
Abel, who was also holding his breath, burst into tears in Chloe’s arms. The hood covering Abel’s head fell.
Gerard’s eyes widened.
The boy was about five or six years old with bright blonde hair.
However, the child’s face was identical to his face when he was young. He didn’t recognize him when he saw the painting at Chloe’s house.
He walked forward as if in a trance.
Herace pulled out his sword to stop him.
The sword owned by the Blanchett knight was immediately placed near his neck.
“Y-You should go.”
Herace said to Gerard when the man walked past him.
However, Gerard casually ignored it and headed for Chloe and Abel, as if he was someone not worth dealing with.
“That man has nothing to do with this. He was dragged here because I forcefully took him along.”
Gerard faced two blue eyes filled with fear. The eyes that appeared like villains. Those d*mned blue eyes, making him miserable until the end.
Chloe, who made eye contact with him, instinctively glanced around. She wanted to run despite knowing she couldn’t.
Chloe turned around in surprise when Gerard called her. Six years later, she still didn’t expect him to call her that.
“Have you been hiding in this kind of place?”
Indescribable anger was laced in his voice.
“This little hide-and-seek has come to an end. Let’s go back.”
Abel’s sob started again.
“I think… He’s extremely shocked.”
Chloe said while shushing Abel gently in her arms.
“Don’t let such an innocent kid get involved in our business, let’s talk separately.”
“I wouldn’t… mind if it’s him”
Gerard said after realizing that Abel was his child.
He looked down at the slender hands that were grasping his sleeve. In fact, he had no reason to listen to a woman who deceived and betrayed him.
No reason at all.
However, Gerard ordered the knights to put down their swords and sent Abel to Herace because he cried at the sight of his father.
He resented her with all his heart.
But he couldn’t help but to do whatever she wanted.
As soon as they reached the place where they could speak alone, Chloe spoke first.
“…I didn’t know.”
Chloe said with a voice that sounded calmer than before.
“Ha! What did you not know? Did you think I wouldn’t find you when you stole my child and ran away?”
“No, not that part.”
Chloe didn’t even try to deny what he said about Abel. It was useless because he had seen the child.
“I thought you wouldn’t look for me.”
“…You might have taken the vows of marriage lightly, but it’s not the same for me.”
Gerard accused Chloe.
If this was Chloe of the past, she might have been hurt by his cold tone. However, the accusation didn’t touch Chloe’s heart.
It was strange. When she looked at him, she thought her mind would go crazy.
“Let’s go. Let’s go back to the Capital…”
Gerard reached out when he became impatient at Chloe’s calm expression.
“Abel and I are not following you!”
Chloe quickly hid her wrist on her back. It was an act of solid refusal.
Gerard shouted Chloe’s name loudly.
“Yes, as you have called my name, I’m part of Roem. I abandoned Blanchett’s name the night I ran away! So, please… Go back now.”
“…You dumped everything so easily. Your husband, and your last name.”
“It wasn’t easy.”
Chloe replied calmly to Gerard’s sarcastic remark.
“I know that I just said I didn’t expect you to look for me, but the truth is… I actually thought about it a lot.”
“I wondered what I would do if you found me. The end of the daydream was always the same. I followed you like a fool every time. Therefore, I prayed that you wouldn’t look for me every night.”
Chloe smiled lightly as she said so. She came to a realization about why she was so calm.
“However, imagination and reality are very different. I don’t care even when I see your face.”
“It’s finally over. So, I suggest we should go our separate ways.”
Her love, which she thought didn’t have an end, was over. She wondered how far she had come because of this one feeling.
“If it’s over only for you… Is it really over?”
Gerard’s cold expression crumbled because of the anguish he felt
“Chloe, how could you? Why are you so cruel to me?”
Six years of being abandoned without a reason. After they met again after such a long time, she tried to abandon him again.
Chloe Roem was heartless.]
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