Chapter 11

 


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Enoch was strangely impressed with Ines’s boldness.

 

However, regardless of likes or dislikes about her, the work must be clearly identified and proceeded with.

 

“You showed me a pencil drawing the other day, but it’s hard to tell the style of painting clearly with a palm-sized picture.”

 

Of course, even with those small sketches, he could tell at a glance that Ines had a lot of skills.

 

More precisely, he could notice that the lines coincided with the drawings that Count Brierton had published to the society.

 

Still, Enoch wanted a more convincing proof.

 

“I have collected some paintings by Count Brierton. Still-life paintings and landscapes.”

 

He collected paintings?

 

Ines blinked her eyes.

 

“I’m going to give you a still life, so you can paint the same picture.”

 

Although his voice was soft, it was more of a command rather than a suggestion.

 

For a moment, Ines felt it.

 

If she did not pass this test, she would not get the Duke of Sussex’s help.

 

“Of course, even if you look and draw, it would be difficult to draw the exact same picture. So I just want to confirm the style of painting.”

 

After adding the explanation, Enoch got up. 

 

“The items to be painted were placed in another room. Let’s go together.”

 

“Yes.”

 

Ines also stood up with a tense face.

 

Enoch, who was walking before Ines, looked back at her as if he had remembered something.

 

“Oh, by the way, there is something the Countess should know beforehand.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“If the Count has some knowledge of painting, the divorce case can be messy.”

 

Enoch narrowed his eyebrows slightly.

 

“Because you two are a couple, there is room to argue that the style of painting is similar.” 

 

“That… .”

 

Ines, who had been silent for a moment, gently curved her eyes.

 

It was a clear smile.

 

“That probably won’t happen.”

 

“How are you so confident?” 

 

“Because it is an insult to me to compare mine to Ryan’s crude paintings.”

 

 

As if telling a very obvious truth, her voice was full of confidence. 

 

“Ryan’s drawings don’t even match my heels, so you don’t have to worry about that.”

 

“I see.”

 

It was an answer that might sound a bit arrogant, but strangely, Enoch wasn’t offended at all. 

 

Rather.

 

‘It’s nice to see it.’

 

Ines’ confident face was quite pleasing to Enoch’s eyes.

 

***

 

Enoch showed Ines to a spacious, well-lit room.

 

Sunlight poured in through the large window, and there was a table in the middle. A crumpled tablecloth on the table, various fruits scattered all over it, and even a porcelain water bottle with blue stripes.

 

The appearance was all familiar to Ines.

 

“This…. ”

 

Her dark green eyes widened a little.

 

Needless to say, these objects were almost identical to the still-life props Ines drew before.

 

Everything from the bright sunlight streaming in, it was like the scenery of the studio where Ines painted.

 

‘In that studio, those still lifes…… It was prepared only for Ryan.’

 

A bitter taste filled her mouth.

 

Ines tried to pretend to be okay, and looked back at Enoch, adjusting her expression.

 

“How come these things are so familiar? Did the Duke buy a still life with water bottles and fruits?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Enoch nodded and glanced to one side.

 

“Also, the painting I mentioned is over there.” Ines looked at her involuntarily, and softened her eyes.

 

“I didn’t expect to see that painting in the Duke’s townhouse.”

 

It was a still life painting painted in watercolor. The places where the light entered were boldly left with white paper, and the other parts were colored with a lot of water to give a transparent feeling.

 

“Is that so? I really liked that painting from the first time I saw it. It’s quite unique.”

 

Enoch continued to speak while looking at the still life painting.

 

“In the Kingdom, oil paintings that express texture by layering paints on top of each other are the mainstream. However, the Countess was the first to use watercolor techniques, which were brought from abroad.” 

 

Was the Duke of Sussex really this talkative?

 

Ines narrowed her eyes.

 

Meanwhile, Enoch’s words continued.

 

“And you don’t mix white paint to control the concentration of the paint, you just control the color with water, right? I found the transparent color to be quite attractive.” 

 

The Duke’s voice sounded strangely excited, perhaps she’s mistaken? Ines looked up at Enoch with a puzzled face.

 

Perhaps at the same time he felt her gaze, Enoch turned his head with a slightly embarrassed face.

 

‘Oh, he’s shy.’

 

Ines tried to pretend she didn’t know as much as possible, but in the end she couldn’t stand it. 

 

“Haha.”

 

She just laughed out loud.

 

Enoch opened his mouth as he was caught.

 

“Yes, I have to admit I was a bit excited. It’s embarrassing when you laugh like that.”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to embarrass the Duke on purpose.”

 

Hmmm, Ines coughed briefly and cleared her throat.

 

Ines moved closer to the chair and continued her explanation.

 

“In fact, watercolor painting is a very unfamiliar technique in the kingdom. If it weren’t for my parents, I wouldn’t know.”

 

“As your parents, are you referring to the former Count of Brierton?”

 

“That’s right.”

 

Ines nodded with a nostalgic face.

 

“My parents loved to travel when they were young. So they traveled around the world and that’s how they were introduced to watercolor for the first time.” 

 

“You have a story like that.”

 

“Yes. When I was young, my mother used to paint as a hobby, and I inherited that skill.”

 

White hands picked up the apron hanging from the chair.

 

After skillfully knotting the apron, Ines sat down.

 

“After my parents passed away, I left the brush behind for a while, then married Ryan and started painting again. I wanted to please Ryan. But…… ” 

 

Ines couldn’t finish her words and smiled awkwardly.

 

“Oh, I made such a useless noise for too long.”

 

Ines, who muttered in a somewhat subdued voice, picked up a sharpened pencil.

 

For a moment, Enoch was a little surprised.

 

It was because the slender smile on Ines’ lips disappeared in an instant. Instead, Ines straightened her back, stared straight at the white drawing paper on the easel, and started moving her pencil. Only the sound of the pencil lead rubbing against the drawing paper was heard.

 

‘It’s great.’

 

Enoch was truly amazed.

 

The present Ines did not seem to be aware of the surroundings at all.

 

She was completely focused and immersed only in drawing.

 

Ines, who finished the sketch with light lines and blurred shading, squeezed the paint straight into the palette.

 

She never hesitated.

 

As if she had already decided what kind of picture she was going to draw in her head, she moved the brush firmly.

 

A long time passed.

 

With his arms crossed, Enoch captured the entire process of Ines’ painting with his own eyes.

 

He couldn’t help but to do that.

 

The way Ines painted was …

 

‘It’s fascinating.’

 

Because there was nothing but admiration.

 

It was so overwhelming.

 

Meanwhile.

 

“Oh my gosh.”

 

Ines, who was in a trance, suddenly came to her senses. 

 

“Sir, have you been standing behind me?”

 

Ines looked back and made a puzzled expression.

 

Enoch stood at an angle with his arms crossed, staring at Ines.

 

On Enoch’s face, which was beautiful like a sculpture, a red light came down. It was twilight.

 

It meant the sun was already setting.

 

“How long has it been? Oh no… ”

 

Considering that she had been visiting since morning, at least ten hours had passed. Ines, not knowing what to do, got up from her seat in a hurry.

 

“I’m sorry, did I stay too long?”

 

“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

 

Enoch shook his head and strode towards the still life painting.

 

His blue eyes looked carefully at the still life. Ines carefully opened her mouth.

 

“The painting is still unfinished. It just needs a little touch….” 

 

“It’s definitely the style of Count Brierton.” 

 

Enoch, who was examining the painting, declared. 

 

“You can’t paint in the same perfect style unless it’s you.”

 

Ines froze.

 

If you have even the slightest bit of artistic aptitude, even an ordinary person without such literacy will recognize it.

 

“The ones who doubt this must be fools.”

 

Enoch said and looked at Ines. Then he suddenly held out his hand.

 

It was asking for a handshake.