“What?”


 

“……He’s an old but smart mare.
We’re not going to run much anyways, so he is enough.
Isn’t that right, Brüntilde?”

 

Whether Brüntilde was his name or not, the horse gave a small snort.
Leading the horse outside, which rarely made noises, and walked lightly, as if it had been a long time since it had walked like this.

 

“Where’s the exit?”

 

“There will be no one at the front gate behind the garden right now.”

 

Anna led the way and said in a slightly depressed voice.
She used Paul to find out the guard schedule for the knights and soldiers.
She was suffering from a bit of guilt after seducing him to meet secretly and obtaining the information she wanted through him.

 

“It’s going to take a little bit time, but there are several streams over there, good to erase our trace.
Erzen is okay, right?”

 

“Don’t worry.
The young master is sleeping.”

 

As they hurried along, the gate quickly came into their view.
Herace climbed onto the horse and helped Anna get on behind her.
She looked back, the pleasant sound of music and laughter could be heard coming from the castle hall.

 

Blinking the tears away a couple of times, she pulled the reins and shook it.
Soon, the horse began to run on the ground.

 

****

 

An ominous feeling slowly crept over Ezekiel.
He sat down and watched the drunk people swaying around and beckoned a servant.
The servant, who was waiting behind, quickly approached at the owner’s call and bowed his head.

 

“……have a maid make sure my wife is asleep.”

 

The servant moved quickly at the unusual voice of the owner.
While he was casting his eyes at the servant who disappeared out of the hall, a low laugh was heard next to him.

 

“What’s so funny?”

 

Charlotte could hear it too, but she was looking forward and smiling like a doll, as if she hadn’t heard him at all.
Some of the guests looked at Charlotte with a strange face because she was not as talkative as before or showing off here and there.
However, no one came forward and spoke to Charlotte because the cold and intimidating Duke was right next to her.

 

[……it’s just funny.
It’s your child’s 100th day, but you don’t look like you’re celebrating.]


 

Ezekiel ignored the voice.
Instead, he looked at the necklace on her thin neck with narrowed eyes.
The necklace he gave his wife as a gift was shimmering on Charlotte’s neck beautifully, and when he saw it around another woman’s neck, he felt more irritated.

 

‘What’s taking him so long?’

 

It hasn’t even been a few minutes since the servant was sent, but Ezekiel pursed his lips in impatience.
He was not comfortable waiting another minute.

 

No, he didn’t need to wait.
He was not interested in a banquet anyways…….
In the end, Ezekiel couldn’t overcome his anxiety and got up.

 

“Where are you going?”

 

Charlotte’s voice asked as he stormed to his feet.
Even those in the hall that were still sober, looked at him and shut up their complaints and tried to be polite.

 

But Ezekiel did not respond to her voice or give anyone a look.
He moved quickly along the path of the servant, some drunk people stumbled and bent down to get out of his way.

 

Ezekiel quickly disappeared out of the hall.
The child in his mother’s arms babbled as he looked at his father’s back with his bright eyes.
A voice that no one heard followed the man’s back.

 

[……it would be no use going.]

 

***

 

It was hard to fathom the darkness of the lake at night.
If it wasn’t for a fisherman who lived all his life in Lake Aunue, they wouldn’t have dared to cross the lake, in a boat on this dark evening.

 

“Was it okay to leave the horse like that? If the knights find it, they’ll track it down quickly.”

 

Anna looked at the black water, looked up in fear, and asked Herace.
Herace, who was sitting right in front of her and embracing Erzen.
She nodded slowly as if it was okay.

 

“Don’t worry, Brüntilde is smart.
He should have arrived at the castle by now.”

 

“What?”

 

How can a horse go back to the castle when they left it at the mouth of the lake? Anna looked curious, but Herace didn’t answer.
She was busy trying to soothe her son, who woke up not long after boarding the ship.

 

“Erzen, yes.
My son.
It’s your mother.”

 

When she saw her son’s eyes after a long time, she felt like crying.
The fisherman who felt sorry for Herace, who constantly talked to her son and asked her.

 

“By the way…… your son must have been far away from you for you to be so affectionate.
Did your husband take him away?”

 

Herace looked surprised at the fisherman’s words.
She managed to calm down and shook her head small.

 

“It’s not like that.”

 

“What do you mean no? You can’t fool my eyes even if you’re dressed like that, ma’am.
Are you a knight’s wife?”

 

Ezekiel was a knight before he was a Duke, so the fisherman was right in a way.
This time, Anna looked at the fisherman with surprised eyes.

 

Herace’s clothes were obviously commoners’.
She thought she was properly disguised, but she couldn’t even fool this old man’s eyes.
Anna opened her mouth and the fisherman laughed.

 

“See? My eyes are correct.
It’s more of a problem with knights anyway.
They don’t care about their wife more than this uncle.”

 

“It’s not like that…….”

 

“It’s understandable to see Miss’s face.
The knight must have been sick in the head, seeing you hugging your child.
He didn’t even let you see your child, right?”

 

The ‘sickness’ that the old fisherman said would be a common term for ‘jealousy’.
Embarrassed, Herace bowed her head.
The fisherman rowed without causing Herace any more embarrassment.
He murmured with distant eyes.

 

“……but when the time is right, go home.
The generosity of the world is not bad.
But it’s hard to live in the world with just two women and a baby.”

 

***

 

The banquet broke up in an instant.
Guests were driven back to their homes or to their guest room in the castle, as if they were being kicked out.
Knights, soldiers, and other employees started to move constantly here and there.

 

Edgar was sitting in front of Ezekiel with one knee bent.
Sweat-stained, he was breathing heavily, despite being a knight of strong physical strength.

 

“I found a horse that was supposed to have been taken by your wife.”

 

When Ezekiel heard that they had found his wife’s traces, the ferocious spirit that could kill anyone, was sharpened in an instant.
He asked Edgar, with the same face as when he chased an enemy monster, which he had not done for years.

 

“Where have they gone?”

 

“It’s…”

 

Edgar hesitated unlike himself because he knew it was not the answer the lord wanted.
Those who were kneeling together behind him also lowered their heads.
Edgar barely opened his mouth when Ezekiel stamped his foot with impatience.

 

“In front of the stable…….”

 

“Ha!”

 

Something flew away with a flash and crashed into the door.
Probably one of the glasses in the hall.
Edgar clenched his fist in tension and swallowed his saliva.
He had to explain everything right away, the lives of his men behind him were in danger.

 

“I think the horse came back after running somewhere.
Between the hoofs and the fur, there were grasses that could not be seen in the castle.
In addition, the soil attached to the hoof is believed to have crossed the water’s edge or stepped on the ground near water.”

 

“…….”

 

“I’ll find it quickly.
As long as we gather information quickly, they can’t have gone far.”

 

Ezekiel stood up slowly from his seat looking down at Edgar without saying a word.
He picked up the sword on the table and stared at it with his red eyes.

 

“……Where are the horses?”

 

It was before Edgar could answer.
Ezekiel stepped out from room as if he didn’t need to hear the answer and strode towards the stable.
Edgar and the Knights followed the lord’s steps.

 

Ezekiel quickly arrived at the stable.
When he beckoned, the quick-witted knight quickly went in.
The old mare walked out at the knight’s touch and stopped walking when he saw Ezekiel.

 

Oh… …Herace.
As soon as he saw the horse, Ezekiel knew.
This escape was not an abrupt decision.
Herace, she was planning to escape for a long time.

 

“Brüntilde”

 

The horse that walked out was no ordinary horse, Brüntilde.
This horse, which was presented by the Emperor when Charles, the son of Empress Ulysses and his half-brother, was young and alive.
He didn’t think this horse would come to his house like a messenger pigeon.

 

Charles often carried Herace on this horse.
And when she came of age, he tried to present this horse to her as a token of trust.
However, just before Herace was presented with Brüntilde, it was revealed that Empress Ulysses participated in the rebellion, and they fell from their position.
The horse remained in the Duke of Serpence’s castle.

 

Ezekiel didn’t like this horse.
However, he forgot about the existence of the horse because Herace had never ridden alone or tried to find it after marrying him.

 

Ezekiel clenched his teeth and approached the horse.
Clever Brüntilde noticed the murder directed at him and tried to get out of the knight’s hands somehow.

 

“Uh…Uh?”

 

Suddenly, the horse reared, and the reins slipped out of the knight’s hand.
Brüntilde quickly kicked the ground to escape.
But Ezekiel’s sword was one step faster.
Without a moment of hesitation, he swung his sword down at the horse’s neck.
[T/N: Poor horse.]

 

Crying.

 

The beast’s dying cry rang out in the middle of the night.
The horse, whose head fell at once, knocked himself down and spewed blood everywhere.
Ezekiel threw the sword to the floor which was dripping with red hot blood.

 

Chaeng!

 

Other horses in the stable neighed loudly and raised their ears to the sound of their relatives dying.
So were those next to Ezekiel.
Regardless of whether it was a knight or a servant, everyone looked at the blood-stained lord with fearful eyes.

 

“………bring her back anyway.
If you can’t bring her back, I’ll bury you all with my hands like this.”

 

The horse whose head disappeared from its body was twisted on the floor.
Edgar and the other knights bowed their heads deeply at Ezekiel’s abstract order and began to move quickly again.

 

It was a moonless night; Ezekiel wiped the blood off his face carelessly under a white cloud that covered the starlight.
The cold blood only showed off its fishy smell and dark color, it was as cold as the body cooling off on the floor.

 

“Herace…”

 

The voice calling his wife’s name was filled with madness.

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