rd groaned slightly at the throbbing sensation in his head.
He was in an unfit condition because his head was numb.


He stepped back slightly from the front line after entrusting everything to Aiden.


Clack, clack, clack


He fell into thought, allowing his body to be moved by the swaying horse.


-I know that you don’t love me!


Why on earth did his wife say that? Even though Gerard had been thinking about it since the day before yesterday, he hadn’t reached a plausible conclusion.


During their marriage, he put his wife first and attempted to be faithful to his family.
Was that not considered love?


‘Then, what have I done until now…?’


Gerard felt emptiness wrap around his body.
His head throbbed.


In fact, what Chloe wanted from her husband wasn’t complicated and difficult.
It was just to tell her the truth.


However, that was hard because it wasn’t a big concern for Gerard.
Unlike how he appeared on the surface, he couldn’t read her mind no matter how hard he tried.
He was afraid that his wife would leave him after showing her his true feelings.
The vague fear laid deep in his unconscious mind.


Moreover, he was someone who was skeptical of verbal expression.
The kind of person who couldn’t love with words.


He didn’t want to give it to his wife.
He wished to be with her forever, not by exchanging mere words a few times a day, but with actions that didn’t change for life.


Oh, surely there were times when he believed that she also loved him.
Even when he didn’t know what love was.


The possessive desire not to lose the only friend he had, the ferocious spirit of a child, and the selfishness to push his feelings on the other person without consideration.
Now that he looked back to those moments, he wondered if what he did in those days was truly because of love.


Gerard didn’t want to make the same mistake with his wife.




Gerard’s swordsmanship teacher, Viscount Stein, felt sorry for Gerard, suffering from loneliness in a desolate environment.
Therefore, he brought his daughter to their swordsmanship class.
His child was Leila Stein.


“You must be Gerard! I am Leila Stein.
Please take good care of me!”




The young Gerard, who was a firm person, ignored Leila, who approached him feistily with a smile for some time.
However, no matter how much he ignored Leila, she kept approaching him.
Gerard grew increasingly irritated.
The strange brightness exuded by the lovely child was unpleasant to him.


One day, at the end of their sparring, Leila greeted him brightly as usual.


“That was a great match, Gerard!”


“Are you out of your mind?”


That’s why each word said by Leila, which he would ignore on a normal basis, was particularly irritating.


“Huh? You’re talking back today.”


“I never told you my name.
Once again, don’t greet me like that.”


“You don’t like it? Gerard, Gerard, Gerard, Gerard!”


“You’re really…!”


He wasn’t joking.
If it wasn’t for Viscount Stein, he would have punched her.


“Why? Are you upset? Then, call me by my name, too.”


Leila provoked Gerard.
However, Gerard wasn’t going to fall for such a shallow trick.


“…If you’re trying to flatter me to trust your father, you’d better not cross my boundaries.”


Gerard gave Leila a glare and turned away.


However, he heard an unexpected sound behind him.
Leila made a gasping sound as if she was flabbergasted.
Young Leila wasn’t the type that could be bullied.


“What the-? Who’s flattering who and who has trust in whose father? Are you going to introduce yourself to me?”




Gerard had no choice but to turn back around.


“Do you think I’m smiling because I like you? My father feels sorry for you, so I have to be nice for him… AH!”


Gerard, who was upset, pulled Leila’s ponytail.


“Do you think you can say anything without thinking? Who’s the pitiful one here?”


“Hey, let go!”


“I don’t want to.
Why are you saying anyone is pitiful, when you are a girl who holds a sword?”


Gerard recited the words said by the servants about Leila.




Leila’s eyes widened in an instant.
After that, no words were exchanged between them.
They continued their conversation through punching, biting, and kicking one other.
It was similar to a dog fight.


“Stop, stop!”


Viscount Marcus Stein ran over with a pale face.


Gerard hit Leila once more.
He hit her for the last time, that meant he won.
The boy, who hated the idea of losing, justified it to himself.


However, Leila was much bigger than Gerard because she was in her early teens.
It was kept a secret that Gerard actually got hit more back then.




Ever since then, Leila and Gerard became rivals.
The two growled at the mere sight of each other.
For the most part, their problem was being possessive of Sir Stein.


“Sir, please look at my posture.”


“…Can’t you see Father is looking at me?”


“I don’t see it.
Where is your father?”




“Sir Stein is my teacher.
Not your father.”


Gerard obeyed the kind-hearted Sir Stein, who was his teacher, better than anyone else.
He wished the man was his father.
The boy used to think that way.
That thought eventually grew into jealousy toward Leila.


“How ridiculous! He was my father before your teacher.”


Leila didn’t like Gerard when he behaved that way.
At first, she tried to get along with him just as her father told her.
However, Gerard’s actions were aggravating.
Moreover, she felt like her father was slipping away from her reach.


That was how the relationship between the two children grew.

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