Sponsored by Nianasky. Thank you 💖 (9/20)
At that time, the palace.
Enoch had been brought to the dinner table by Edward’s unexpected call.
Although having dinner together was her idea, Helena, busy with her work, had not yet arrived.
So now, Enoch and Edward were sitting facing each other alone.
Somehow, instead of having dinner, Enoch seemed to be preoccupied with other thoughts all day.
After Edward had called Enoch several times.
Enoch, who suddenly came to his senses, looked at his brother.
Edward narrowed his eyes and asked. “What the hell are you thinking about?”
“No… it’s nothing.”
Enoch shook his head and spoke dryly.
However, it was evident that his mind was elsewhere.
“Really? Is that an expression of nothing?”
“I said it’s nothing, so why? Do I have to give the answer you want?”
“Wow, are you even annoyed with the king now?”
“It’s because you keep asking. It’s called private, brother.”
Enoch didn’t hold back a single word, and answered the question again and again. Edward, who was looking at Enoch up and down with dissatisfaction, suddenly opened his eyes wide.
“Shall we guess why you are so sensitive?”
“I am not sensitive at all….”
“Is it because of the Countess of Brierton?”
Enoch answered with a straight face.
At the same time, Edward’s smile deepened.
It was an evil smile.
“As far as I know, there are cases where excessive denial is equivalent to affirmation.”
Enoch had an unhappy face, but he did not dare to retort.
Honestly, it was true that Edward had hit the nail on the head. What Enoch was worried about right now was…
‘Why didn’t the Countess of Brierton reply to the letter?’
In fact, it was rather strange to receive a reply in time. It was noon today when he originally sent her the letter, and after that, he entered the palace right away because of Edward’s call.
But he couldn’t help but keep his thoughts focused on the letter he sent to Ines.
The thought that started with the letter continued to spread its branches at will.
‘Come to think of it, the Countess seems to be a little uncomfortable with me.’
‘If by any chance she refuses a schedule related to the portrait …?’
Enoch’s blue eyes darkened.
‘Then, will it be difficult to see the Countess’s face in the future?’
In an instant, he felt his heart sink.
Feeling upset, Enoch just stared at the silverware lying on the table for nothing. On the other hand, Edward was observing Enoch, whose expression changed from moment to moment with a mysterious expression on his face.
‘Did something happen to the Countess of Brierton?’
When Edward narrowed his eyes with suspicion.
The Queen, Helena, entered the dining room.
“I’m sorry, I’m a little late. I had a few things to say to the maid.”
“No. Long time no see, my Queen.”
Enoch politely greeted her.
The Queen smiled brightly.
“It’s been a while, Duke of Sussex.”
“Helena, please take a seat.”
Edward, who loved his wife dearly, promptly offered Helena her seat. Helena took a seat, and the food began to come out one after another.
It was not a formal dinner, but rather a family-style meal.
“Isn’t work too busy these days? Your face looks thin.”
“I’m glad you’re worried about me. But I am more worried about His Majesty than myself.”
Today, the king and his wife were very affectionate. It was good, but Enoch, sandwiched between the couple, felt downright sick to his stomach.
‘I must eat quickly and get up.’
Enoch slicing the steak while roughly spilling over the back of his ear as the king and his wife were having a conversation.
Helena slowly opened her mouth.
“By the way, the news about the Countess of Brierton is all over the world, isn’t it?”
For a moment, Enoch stiffened his shoulders.
Helena continued to speak mischievously.
“Even the royal family subscribes to Elton.”
“Of course. The newspapers are talking about the Countess of Brierton every day, so there’s no way I don’t know.”
Even though the topic of Ines was brought to the fore, Enoch’s face was simply calm. But Edward and Helena noticed that Enoch’s nerves were on edge. Because Enoch had only been slicing steaks before, but didn’t eat them. Edward opened his mouth.
“Is your goal to turn steak into meat power?”
Enoch then came to his senses a little.
The steak cooked with great care by the chef was already torn into pieces, making it difficult to even recognize its shape.
Enoch put a small piece of steak in his mouth with an awkward face.
Then he mechanically chewed and swallowed the meat.
Helena smiled and opened her mouth.
“Ah, Duke of Sussex. Can you help me?”
“I mean, there hasn’t been an exchange in recent years, has it?”
As soon as he heard those words, Enoch’s eyes twinkled.
Helena spoke her words, ignoring him.
“So I am thinking about holding an exchange exhibition after a long time. We have already finished talking with Kaldorov.”
It was literally a place where artists from each country interact.
To find out where exchange began, we have to go back about three hundred years. At that time, Lancaster and Kaldorov had been fighting for a hundred years, repeatedly truce and war. The long period of war is called the Hundred Years’ War in historical books. Meanwhile, after the Hundred Years’ War ended, it has become a tradition to continue to exchange to promote friendship.
The Queen of Lancaster, who first attended the end-of-war meeting, was an art lover, and starting with her, it became an exchange of artists hosted by royalty.
And now, three hundred years later.
How well they handled that exchange became a subtle pride battle between Kaldorov and Lancaster.
Enoch, who seemed to be in deep thought for a moment, suddenly opened his mouth.
“Then can I recommend a talent?”
“The Duke of Sussex personally recommends a talent, so I am really looking forward to it. Who is it?”
“The Countess of Brierton.”
In response to that answer, the king and his wife stared openly at Enoch.
But instead of raising an eyebrow, Enoch worked hard to convince Helena.
“I assure you, the Countess’s artistic talent is outstanding.”
That was true.
If Ines had been untalented in the first place, Ryan wouldn’t steal her talent and walk around pretending to be a great painter.
“Because she’s an emerging artist, and she’s also a woman.”
Enoch spoke enthusiastically.
“Among all the artists who have participated in the exchange so far, hasn’t there been a single female artist?”
“Well, that’s true.”
“There must be gender-free symbolism in front of art.”
At those words, Helena felt her ears sting.
Lancaster and Kaldorov were opposing countries in many ways. If Lancaster was conservative and aristocratic, Kaldorov was open-minded and relatively free.
So, whenever they had an exchange exhibition, Kaldorov secretly ridiculed that there were no female artists in Lancaster.
In the face of opposition from established artists within Lancaster, there has been no precedent for a female artist in attendance.
They never thought Enoch would really recommend Countess of Brierton.
Now it’s a little bit tempting.
Enoch continued to fan the fluttering heart of Helena.
“Has not Kaldorov secretly ridiculed Lancaster’s rigid atmosphere all this time?”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
“If the Countess is present in this situation, then it’s very positive.”
It was the right thing to say.
‘Have you ever seen Enoch recommending someone so passionately?’ (Edward)
‘At least I think it’s the first time I’ve seen it.’ (Helena)
Edward and Helena secretly exchanged glances with each other.
There was not even a trace of his seemingly boring appearance as he was usually indifferent to everything.
‘This is the one.’
Edward’s eyes lit up.
Doesn’t it seem as if Earl Brierton’s participation in the exchange and her fame increased was a very important thing for Enoch?
However, it was not a bad proposal from the point of view of hosting the exchange.
“Okay, let’s think about it positively.”
Helena nodded her head.
Even though he hadn’t received a confirmation yet, Enoch’s face brightened. Helena, who was looking at Enoch like that, suddenly asked a question.