Chapter 3

Translator: Alyalia

Editor: Yommie

***

01. Crack (3)

 

Again, he was rude. Her uncle, who had always been smiling, frowned between his eyebrows and showed signs of discomfort.

 

“Show some dignity. What did I tell you before you got into the carriage?”

 

As her father’s cousin, he was descended from a prestigious family. Still, due to his father’s lineage, he was somewhat inferior to Dupont. Because of this, he had an unnecessary admiration and inferiority complex towards Dupont, the main family. He wisely didn’t show it in front of her father, but he often revealed whether his young nieces and nephew took him lightly or considered him a pushover.

 

“That’s why I had to choose a good seed.”

 

Just like now. He talked in a small whisper, but it was clearly heard by Ana, who had sharp ears. Perhaps the person being mentioned heard it too. Still, he obediently lowered his head as if he didn’t feel any shame or guilt.

 

“This is Siasen Bergelmir.”

 

The uncle clicked his tongue as if he was displeased with his son, acting like an uneducated child in front of Ana Dupont. In fact, what he really dislikes may be that Siasen is the adopted son chosen from among his distant relatives.

 

It was occasionally heard in society that Lord Bergelmir’s wife, who came from a great family, couldn’t have a child. His dream of having an excellent bloodline through marriage was thwarted. So, he had no choice but to adopt a son, choosing from a lineage he considered ‘inferior’.

 

“Ana, he’s not good enough, so please understand.”

 

“It’s okay. I’m glad to see your son for the first time.”

 

She didn’t choose the word ‘second cousin’ on purpose. It seemed like her own way of showing consideration. And inadvertently, she saw humiliation in Siasen’s reddened ears and his trembling fists.

 

Ironically, that was the beginning of Ana’s genuine interest in him. It was a feeling too profound to be mere sympathy and too serious to be just a kindness. She wanted to pay more attention to him and treat him better. Although a bit lacking in showing proper manners, the boy seemed intelligent enough to humble himself to avoid upsetting his foster father. Above all, she liked his striking black eyes.

 

“Sir Bergelmir.”

 

When the adults were invited to the summer villa and were away, Ana spoke first, which was rare.

 

“Would you like to have some cold tea with me in the garden?”

 

Without knowing what kind of fire that small crush would later become.

 * * *

Anais managed to straighten her expression. There were many watchful eyes. She smiled gracefully while his black eyes hovered around her curved lips.

 

“I didn’t know a guest was waiting for me.”

 

“We will bring the tea soon.”


She nodded slightly, proceeded to walk past him, and then sat down. The conversation with her maid was an indirect invitation to take a seat.

 

It was prudent for a noble lady to not have personal contact or have more conversations than necessary with the middle class or commoners. Currently, Siasen had left his family, and he was likely to be living as a commoner.

 

As she took a seat at the head of the table, Siasen, who had been silently observing the spot where Ana had passed, followed her movement and slowly sat down as well. He seemed like a wolf intoxicated by some scent, moving languidly. Meanwhile, Ana cast down her eyes and composed her emotions.

 

When Ana heard some noise from the person sitting opposite of her and noticed a hand, larger and rougher than she remembered, nonchalantly, she raised her head to meet his gaze and managed to smile. He was silent for a brief moment. But it was his turn to talk.

 

“My name is Siguin Noel.”

 

His burning black eyes were so intense that Ana deliberately avoided his gaze.

 

They met again at her house, and she couldn’t help but understand the situation, but was he really that painter? Siasen has been talented in painting since a long time ago.

 

Wasn’t it she who discovered his talent and encouraged him? However, she never imagined that he would become such an outstanding painter in just a few years. Unlike when he was drawing in his studies, he had developed his own unique painting style, which was completely unrecognizable.

 

Could she really say that she hadn’t recognized him? At this rate, it seemed she would have recognized him even in a picture without any face. Anais von Tudor, you’re really something. Swallowing a bitter smile, she clicked her tongue.

 

After the usual greeting, they looked down at the teacup without saying a word. They reunited after almost seven years, and now they are drinking tea again as if nothing had happened. It was a proper and graceful moment, yet it felt like a lifetime.

 

Upon hearing her changed surname after the marriage, the subtle fluctuation in his black eyes and his low subsided voice continued to echo in her mind.

 

“I’m Madam… Tudor.”

 

“It’s an honor to meet you, Marchioness.”

 

Just like the boy in the old days, Siasen eventually politely greeted her this time as well. But unlike before, the tips of his fair ears didn’t turn red.

 

“I heard you liked my painting.”

 

Her fingertips almost trembled. She silently put down the teacup and nodded.

 

“That’s right. It’s a very fine painting.”

 

“This is my favorite painting.”

 

“Ah, I see. Maybe that’s why it’s so beautiful…”

 

“It’s a piece that I completed on the tenth attempt after drawing and redrawing it dozens of times while thinking of the woman I once loved. I suppose I could say it holds a special meaning.”

 

“Ana, I want to draw you. Because, you’re the most beautiful subject I know.”

 

A voice that was whispering excitedly with a burning voice in old memories and faded away. Ana looked straight at him, who sat with an expression she couldn’t read. Automatically, she raised her lips.

 

“I’m glad to be the first to see the artist’s most cherished and ambitious work.”

 

“It’s my pleasure.”

 

Siasen, or rather, Siguin Noel, added in a very quiet voice… that he was glad.

 

“Madam recognized my painting.”

 

Out of all the many people.

 

She was out of breath. It felt like she was tied up with a rope and pushed down from a cliff. Ana stretched out her hand and fiddled with the teacup. The familiar warmth brings her comfort.

 

He, who was sitting across from her, persistently watched her every move. She felt a sense of tightness and complexity, just like being caught within a trap. Soon, she took her hand away from the teacup.

 

“I’d like to see your other works as well. Even to my limited eyes, Noel is an outstanding painter. It was to the point that I wanted to purchase and own as many works as possible. I will inform the broker, so I look forward to your good work in the future.”

 

“It was great to see such an outstanding artist in person. Butler, please, see Noel off.”

 

She adjusted the hem of her skirt and stood up. Turning around, Ana stopped when she heard a voice that seemed to grab her ankle.

 

“If it’s not presumptuous…”

 

Her fingernails dug deep into her palms. The existence of Siguin Noel seeped into her like hot water.

 

“May I draw the Madam sometime?”

 

“My Ana.”

 

“I wish time would stop like this.”

 

“I love you. I love you so much.”

 

“Ana, let’s run away with me.”

 

Her fluttering eyelashes closed tightly, then opened once more. Ana smiled gently and looked back.

 

“If there is a need to create a portrait with the Marquis, I will request for Noel to do it.”

 

She deliberately didn’t check his shifting expression.

 

That day, even after an unknown painter had left, Ana couldn’t sleep all night, feeling hot and suffocated as if in the midst of a midsummer heatwave.

* * *

Ana.

 

Ana?

 

“Ana!”

 

Ana was startled and raised her head. Across from her, her husband, Garcia, was wiping his mouth with a napkin and looked at her intently. When she saw his mysterious golden eyes, she came to her senses as if she had been hit with cold water. She spoke with a fixed smile,

 

“Sorry. Did you call me?”

 

“What’s on your mind that no matter how many times I call you, you don’t answer? Are you not feeling well?”

 

The husband asked while looking at his quiet wife, who had never been mesmerized like this before. Ana lifted the corners of her mouth further.

 

“No. I thought about something else for a moment.”

 

Eventually, Ana spent her entire night awake. And despite her head feeling as heavy as drenched cotton, her insides were still in turmoil. She struggled to calm her heart, which felt as if it had been stirred up like a disturbed beehive.

***

Hi guys, as you know we are a free-to-read website and we only survive on ads. However, ads are not able to help us much longer. If you like what we do and have any spare, please consider supporting us to keep us alive: Link

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed what you have read, do consider tipping us a little through: click here. Once we receive 6$, an advance chapter will be posted as a thank you. Don’t forget to mention the series that you’re supporting!