Wild Apricot Vs Empty Vessels (5)
The best groom in Hernia Empire.
Lofty status, handsome face, perfect manners, great personality, and superb talent.
Owen and Frederick, who were fighting for the best groom position, got married and consolidated their reputation even more.
Count Roem and his wife welcomed Gerard with open arms when they saw they could have him as their son-in-law.
But in Karina’s eyes, Gerard Blanchett was nothing more than a ‘wild apricot’.
Especially for Chloe.
[t/n: Wild apricots (officially named maypops) are edible and taste similar to apricots, but are small.
There isn’t much to eat, hence the analogy.]
After chasing Leila, he proposed to Chloe as soon as Leila got married.
What was that man thinking? She didn’t know what words they exchanged to each other, but to a third party, they looked like the embodiment of ‘something is better than nothing’.
Although Karina managed to prevent such rumors from circulating around, there was no way she could manage people’s thoughts as well.
She couldn’t stand to hear anything like that about her youngest sister.
Karina knew that Chloe was a catch because of her kind and outspoken personality.
As she grew up, she remembered only what she couldn’t do for her sister, and Chloe became endlessly affectionate.
There was no way Gerard could have looked perfect in Karina’s eyes.
Nonetheless, she was relieved to see her younger sister was treated nicely.
But then she heard that her sister left for the North.
What’s the point of sending her there alone? That’s exactly what she hated about him.
Even though her brother-in-law looked affectionate and perfect, sometimes she felt like he was aloof.
It was hard to pinpoint exactly, but it seemed like he was only acting like a good husband.
Karina should have made her marry Herace Moore if she knew this would happen.
He was more than a perfect fit for their requirements, as if he had been prepared as a match for Chloe.
It was even more regrettable to hear that he still hadn’t forgotten Chloe.
If Karina knew what Herace was on the inside like Chloe, she wouldn’t have felt that way, but she clearly had no way of knowing.
Luckily for Herace.
“Karina doesn’t seem to understand why you sent my sister-in-law alone to the North.
There is also a rumor that the Knight Commander of Anata hasn’t forgotten Chloe.”
Owen, who had witnessed firsthand his wife’s burning anger, tried to convey it to his friend as gently as possible.
He was also the Emperor of this Empire, but he was stuck between his wife and his friend.
He thought he would be kicked out for defending his friend in front of his wife.
“Sigh, what if he hasn’t forgotten her? What can I do if he hasn’t forgotten her yet? My wife… she only loves me.
I believe in her.”
Gerard responded rhetorically.
He believed in his wife.
It was all the more so because he knew no one loved him as much as his wife did.
He paused for a moment because he was reminded that his wife hadn’t contacted him since she left.
“Herace… I feel bad for him.
You don’t even recognize him as your rival.
Owen’s murmur provoked Gerard’s anxiety.
Come to think of it, the knight’s name was probably Herace.
“Herace Moore, is his nickname Ace?”
Gerard suddenly asked in a furious voice.
“Do you think I would memorize the name of an escort? Anyway, yes, his name is Herace, so if it were to be shortened, it would be Ace.”
“…A knight called Ace.”
Gerard muttered to himself with a serious look on his face and jumped out of his seat.
Raw murderous intent radiated off of him and dispersed into the air.
“Oh c’mon now, what’s wrong with you?”
Owen questioned his friend’s sudden change of attitude.
“Give me a whole week off.”
Gerard, the loyal head of the Imperial Knights, spoke up.
“Why so suddenly?”
This time, Owen couldn’t keep up with the flow of their conversation.
“I’ve finished all urgent tasks.
If you have any other instructions, please kindly instruct Anton, the deputy commander.”
“I would like to take my leave as I have some urgent things to do.”
Although he used a polite tone, what was implied in his remark and his attitude weren’t very polite.
“Tell me one thing before you go.
Are you doing this for the sake of my sister-in-law?”
Owen caught Gerard, who was in a hurry to leave, to ask him for the last time.
Go get my sister-in-law.
And enough with that silly expression.”
Owen sent his friend off with a hand wave.
Of course, he had to tease Gerard until the end.
“…Yes, I’m honored for your time, Your Majesty.”
Gerard greeted Owen briefly before leaving his office.
“This is something my Empress should see.”
Owen, who was left alone in Gerard’s office, murmured as he finished his remaining drink.
Karina had to see how the Knight Commander treated his Lord because of his wife.
He couldn’t believe the man left him just like this.
“If he wasn’t my friend, he’d be decapitated.
Such an impudent fellow.”
Owen giggled as he muttered such a terrifying remark.
Gerard’s flustered expression was so funny to him.
It felt strange and sorry to see his friend, who was somewhat upset, still pretend to be a perfect gentleman in front of his wife.
He looked as if he was on edge.
However, that’s what friends were for.
The picky Archduke wouldn’t welcome his visit, so he would have to help that brat by sending him to ‘deliver a message’.
Two days after returning from the lake, Chloe spoke up during dinner.
“I think I’ll most likely return to the Capital the day after tomorrow.
Thank you for having me here.”
She came to the North to see the reply of the letter and hear Leila’s explanation, so she had achieved her main goal here.
She still hadn’t figured out how she was going to treat her husband back home, but she wanted to return to her residence and think about it there.
As a matter of fact, she was growing desperate to go back home more than anything else.
“Oh, the day after tomorrow?”
Leila was bewildered.
She didn’t want to send her friend off like this since they hadn’t properly made up yet.
“Why don’t you stay here for a few more days? Oh, I heard that a famous circus came to the dukedom! Have you ever watched a circus, Abel? Don’t you want to watch it?”
Leila asked Abel while initiating eye contact with Chloe.
Abel’s eyes began to sparkle upon the mention of the word ‘circus’.
He knew through books that it was a show where people and animals showed off unique tricks, so he was very curious about it.
However, Abel shook his head as soon as his mother let out a sigh.
Chloe felt guilty towards her son, who was staring at her, but she didn’t want to change her mind this time.
She was exhausted.
“I don’t want to stop the Marchioness from returning, but I think it’s better to stay a little longer.”
Frederick, who was eating quietly, spoke up.
Chloe was stunned when an unexpected person held her back.
She thought he wanted her to return quickly, but it turned out she was wrong.
“I’ve been informed that the Marquis of Blanchett is on his way to the archduchy right now.”
Gerard Blanchett sent a request for a visit, saying he had a message from the Emperor, but it seemed that he had already departed.
Needless to say, the Emperor’s message was just an excuse.
It was a commonly-known fact that the cunning Emperor and the guileful Marquis of Blanchett had a close relationship.
Chloe was never told about this.
There was no way Sir Hume wouldn’t tell her such an important detail.
Then she remembered receiving Gerard’s letter from Aiden this afternoon.
It was the second time Chloe received a letter from Gerard after she arrived in the North.
She didn’t respond because she was tired of having to lie about Leila.
She didn’t even open the letter she received today because she didn’t want to see it.
She figured out now that the letter said he was coming to the North.
Leila asked in a surprised tone as if it was unexpected news.
Chloe’s expression subtly distorted when she called him in a friendly manner.
She was uncomfortable and hated that she (Leila) was being so friendly towards him!
She argued with Leila, but the problem remained unresolved.
Would it ever get better? Chloe bit her lower lip gloomily.
“Yes, the Marquis of Blanchett is delivering a message from the Emperor.
I think he will arrive in five days.
He seems to be riding horseback.”
Chloe’s face darkened in an instant.
The Imperial Hunting Festival would be held soon.
There was no way that her husband could be gone from the Capital for a long time during such a hectic period.
Nevertheless, him visiting the North meant that he was worried about Leila.
“Good for you, Chloe! Let’s go to the circus while we’re waiting for Gerard.
You would also like to, right?”
Leila and Abel were the only people sitting at the table who were pleased by the news of Gerard’s visit.
Chloe lost to Abel’s eyes, which were filled with anticipation.
It was her motherly heart that wanted her son to have a pleasant time during their stay here, even if she had a hard time being here.
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