Chapter 11.
Did You Meet Marianne?

Or, he was nervous.
Kristoff, whose lips twitched slightly, rubbed his face with his dry hands.
He was clearly in a panic.


“I don’t know anything about Marianne.”


“……My Lord.”


“Yes, I am.”


Kristoff eventually buried his face in his palm.
Martin involuntarily took a step closer, thinking his master was breaking down.


However, he wasn’t.
There was a voice of utter despair through the palm of his hands.


“If not in the capital, where would Marianne be?”


His murmur sounded so sorrowful, Martin looked at his fully-grown master as if looking at a child.
He closed his eyes tightly and spoke slowly.


“I’ll find her at all costs.”




Marianne went far away from his reach.
That fact led Kristoff into deep despair.
He felt like falling to the floor, helpless.


Kristoff clenched his fists out of habit.
His fists trembled slightly.
The moment he thought he might give up just like this, he sprang out of his seat.


“I’m heading to the train station right now.”


He couldn’t simply sit back and wait.
His heart tightened after each passing moment.
The worst scenarios flashed through his head.


For the first time in his life, he realized that breathing was so hard.
Rather than this, he thought it would be better to visit her by himself.
By doing that, at least he didn’t have to think about useless things.


At that moment, he heard a knock.
It was Gunter.


“What is it?”


Gunter spoke politely when Martin asked him.


“Marquis Schneider is here.”




Kristoff looked puzzled at the sudden visit of the Marquis.
He frowned, getting annoyed.


He didn’t want to see him now.
Even at this moment, Marianne would be getting further and further away from him.


There was no time to chat.
He had to close the distance between them quickly.
Even if he had no idea where she was, he had to move to find Marianne.


“Tell him I’ll visit him privately.”


Kristoff, who was taking a step forward, stopped once again.
It was because Marquis Schneider appeared behind Gunter.


The old man entered the room slowly with a cane in hand and greeted him.


“Long time no see, Kris.
You don’t…… look good.”


Marquis Schneider clicked his tongue as he looked at Kristoff’s gaunt face and his dead complexion.
Kristoff, who checked his watch, suppressed his impatience and asked.


“What brings you here?”


“I heard that you’re all dying.
I stopped by to see how crazy you’ve been.
Isn’t it a sight you can rarely see?”


Kristoff stared at the Marquis sharply, as if to see what he was thinking.
However, the old marquis only snorted like a child.


“I know, do your best when you have a chance.
It wasn’t until Marianne ran away that the rope got burnt.
What a nice look.”


For a moment, Kristoff’s eyes twinkled.
He stared at Martin sharply.
His voice turned cold.


“I should’ve told you not to say anything about Marianne’s disappearance.”


If a rumor regarding her running away spread around, it won’t end as a mere deviation.
Even after Marianne returned, the rumor would continue to haunt her.


That was not what Kristoff wanted.
He didn’t want to tarnish Marianne’s name.
He was going to protect Marianne and acted as if nothing happened until she returned.


However, if the news reached the Marquis, who lived in Blauberg, his assumption is that there was no one in the capital who wasn’t aware about this.


Martin eyes’ met Kristoff, and he folded his brows subtly as if he didn’t get it.
Kristoff’s suspicious eyes turned to him.


“That can’t be true.
The gag order was strictly observed.
There’s no servant in this mansion who ever went as far as disobeying his master’s orders.”




At that moment, Kristoff’s head turned toward the Marquis.
How does he know that Marianne is gone when everyone in the mansion has been keeping their mouth shut?


Suddenly, his eyes twinkled with anticipation.
Logic and reason came as a form of conclusion.
However, Kristoff knew he couldn’t speak hastily.


He was afraid of the excitement he found within him.
He was afraid it would turn into disappointment again.
His clenched fists trembled.
His sharp gaze glued to the Marquis’ lips.


The Marquis leaned in with his hands holding the cane.


“If you didn’t care about Marianne, and you were still absorbed in work, I was going to pretend not to know until the very end.”


Kristoff unwittingly took a step toward the Marquis and his voice rose.
An impatient question was shot at the Marquis.


“Do you know where Marianne is? Have you met Marianne?”


The coachman’s words suddenly came to mind, he said that he had dropped her off at the train station.




A low exclamation slipped through his gritted teeth.
The man is telling him that she was right under his nose.


Kristoff never once thought she’d gone to Blauberg.
Blauberg wasn’t even in his mind when he recalled all names of the places within the empire.


Marianne, who ran away from Kristoff, turned out to have gone to his grandfather’s territory.


He was thrown off his guard because of her.
As expected, it was Marianne.
However, this wasn’t the proper time to admire her resurgence.


“Where is Marianne now?”


Marquis Schneider had never seen his grandson so excited.
He had never been so emotional before.


You’re wrong this time, Marianne.
You made this guy like this.


“The shirt is nearer than the coat anyways1.
My grandson is always in the back of my mind, more than poor Marianne.”




Kristoff shouted when the Marquis paused.
Marquis Schneider opened his eyes slightly wider.


It’s been a long time since he called the old man that.
Kristoff used to call him less formally or addressed him more formally as Marquis, except when he was a child.




Marquis Schneider pulled the corners of his mouth.
It was worth coming all the way to the capital.
If it’s not this time, when would Kristoff call him that?


He, who used to be called the cold-blooded King of the Sea, seemed to be getting old.
It’s new to him.


“Follow me.”


Marquis Schneider turned around and showed his back to his grandson.




Lastly, a sense of relief passed through Kristoff’s face.
No, it might be happiness.
Maybe gladness as well.
Maybe there’s also other emotions as well.


And finally.
Standing tall with clenched fists, he slowly cleared out his throat.
His Adam’s apple moved up and down.




Kristoff left the room while quietly reciting her name.
Martin belatedly took his master’s jacket and ran after them.


“My Lord, please wait for me.”




The scenery outside the window passed quickly.
Even the houses that were seen occasionally disappeared quickly, and the endless fields filled his sight most of the time.
A cypress tree quickly disappeared from his sight.


Kristoff’s eyes lingered on the green site, but he wasn’t looking at the tranquil scenery.
Apparent from his faint frown, he was struggling to find answers to the questions that had been bothering him.


“Did you just say the Police Agency?”


The question finally slipped out of his mouth.
As if he couldn’t figure out the answer no matter how hard he thought about it.


Marquis Schneider nodded with his hands on the cane.


“Yes, that’s what I said.”


Kristoff’s eyes instantly turned cold.
He was like a sharp-edged knife all the time.
A dangerous blade or black metal that could cut the opponent’s hands without seeing their status or position at the slightest carelessness.


There’s no way Marquis Schneider could not notice that.
However, he was surprisingly tough dealing with his grandson’s sorrow.
On the surface, he was someone who was once widely-known as the notorious Marquis of Sharks.


He smiled and said leisurely.


“Don’t blame me for doing Marianne a favor.
I care for the child a lot.
Perhaps, more than you think, Kristoff.”


Kristoff, who was watching the Marquis with pitch-black eyes, quietly moved his lips.
Instead of questioning the Marquis, he asked in a low voice.


“You said she’s going by the name of Marianne Haveck?”

“Yes, that’s the name she uses now.”


Marquis Schneider stared at his grandson, whose jawline was sharper than the last time he saw him, and continued to speak in a benevolent voice.


“Let’s see, today must be her first time working.
By the time we get to Blauberg, it’ll be the time when she gets off work.
Despite my dissuasion, Marianne is staying at the boarding house on 31st Street.
The boarding house is run by Louis’s mother, the assistant butler.
He’s waiting for your arrival.
You can follow Louis.”


Kristoff’s complexion suddenly darkened.
His black eyes sank deeply without knowing how to get a grip of himself.
He strained his lower jaw firmly, as if to swallow the rising emotion inside.


Not Marianne Schneider, but Marianne Haveck.
Does she want to abandon the name Schneider? Could she wish to break the link to him? Why?


Unanswered questions flooded his mind again.
At that moment, someone’s name came to the surface.


Veronica Kloze.


“You must be asking, is it because of Veronica that Marianne entered the Police Agency while having to hide her identity?




Marquis Schneider was able to read his mind as if hitting the spot right away.
Kristoff slowly raised his gaze.


He met the Marquis’ eyes.
It felt as if his grandfather’s bluish-gray eyes were blaming his indifference.


“I reviewed Veronica’s case myself.
There was no problem with the case report written by the detective in charge.
It was indeed, unfortunately, suicide.”


A lame excuse slipped from Kristoff’s mouth.
As if Marquis Schneider was Marianne.


The Marquis stared at his grandson.
Kristoff Schneider with the face of a man with integrity.


One day, a long time ago, when he heard about the accident that happened with his son and his wife, he found Kristoff standing still there.


The four-year-old boy was looking at the distorted car body with his black eyes.
He didn’t cry, or scream.
Red blood flowed from his torn forehead.


However, the child didn’t think about wiping the flowing blood, but only looked at the crumpled car beyond recognition without saying anything.


He thought it was a relief.
He thought for any successor of the Schneider Family to be fated to survive in a terrible accident.


Enough to offset the loss of a son.
After that, the Marquis even bet his expectations on Kristoff which he previously bet on his son.
Fortunately, he was a remarkable man and the Marquis was satisfied with him in every aspect.


However, the Marquis, who entered the autumn years of his life, belatedly realized his mistake.
The fact that everything was to satisfy his greed.


He still wished for Kristoff to be happy.
He wished for it from the bottom of his heart.
Having rebuilt the Schneider Family with his own hands, he hoped Kristoff could enjoy it comfortably.




Kristoff, who was looking out the window, clicked his tongue.
It was as if he was frustrated that the train didn’t run faster.


The Marquis’ mouth loosened.
He sighed softly as he recalled the appearance of Kristoff he had seen in the office a while ago.


Marquis Schneider had never seen his grandson lose his temper so much.
He had never seen him so impatient and anxious before.


It might be the first time for a man who had never experienced a single failure to face one in his life.

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