The silent mansion regained its owner.
The servants returned to their old lively state as if they had never seen Ian.
However, there was a noticeable change.
The maids could not help but chat about it.
“Do you know what happened?”
One of the housemaids said, putting the laundry in a wooden basket.
She replied when her partner glanced at her with a confused look on her face,
“His Lordship seems to be behaving strangely these days, do you know the reason?”
They walked down to the laundry, each with a basket in their hands.
The second maid, who understood her words, giggled when she couldn’t hold back her laughter.
“Of course I know.
I can say it just by looking at him for 10 seconds.
My my, can’t you?”
She said in between her giggles.
“My Lord is in love with My Lady!”
It had been a few days since the employees tried to hold their laughter whenever they spotted Ian.
This was because he was acting very protective around Laritte.
It was like peeking a glance at one’s first love.
Ian realized how fragile Laritte was after he almost attacked her with his sword.
She could have died even if he didn’t have big arms.
It was too harsh for her.
It happened even today when Laritte and Ian sat together in the garden, enjoying some delicacies.
Ian had to stop her when she was about to munch on a cookie.
He cut the cookie in half and checked if there was anything that could get caught in her throat.
The maids standing behind the couple exchanged smiles as they witnessed his overprotective side again.
Unaware of that, Laritte stared at him.
“Ian, you shouldn’t pick while eating.”
“…….Oh yeah, is that so?”
She seemed to have misunderstood his point.
He was worried about her safety.
As if he loved her.
‘No, I don’t do such embarrassing things!’
…….Or maybe he did.
He held back a sigh as he replied.
“Now that it’s done, you can safely eat this.”
In no way could Laritte understand his overprotective behavior.
Ian had always been strange to her eyes.
‘He’s weird as usual today.
He always acts funny whenever I see him.’
She thought peacefully while enjoying the refreshment time.
Needless to say, Ian carefully searched the path connecting the mansion to the garden, concerned that Laritte might trip on a broken stone and hurt her head.
He even mentally prepared himself to prevent such a tragedy.
Meanwhile, Laritte glanced at the knights practicing horse riding over different obstacles in the distance.
She asked Ian,
“Ian, do you remember horse riding? You promised to teach me before you left.”
He hoped she would forget, but he was mistaken.
To him, horse riding was a piece of cake.
However, it seemed really dangerous if Laritte was placed next to a horse.
Laritte asked again, impatience cladding her tone.
“Do you still have a long way to go to get my horse and equipment?”
Not at all.
He had already contacted the horse ranch and selected a horse for Laritte.
It had also been a long time since a blacksmith close to Ian made horse riding equipment exclusively for Laritte.
The only problem was Ian’s reluctance.
What if Laritte failed to control the horse’s speed and fell off a cliff?
There were occasional reports where a knight died due to losing control of a horse.
Laritte seemed concerned when Ian hesitated.
“Is there a problem?”
Laritte thought the problem was herself.
It had been her dream to learn such a skill.
“There’s nothing right with me, is there? Only men are known to ride horses.
It would’ve been better if I was 7 inches taller.”
With Laritte murmuring sadly, it was hard for Ian to stick to his intention.
Eventually, he sighed and confessed.
“No, everything has been prepared.
I can send someone to the blacksmith to get the equipment, so please wait for a day.”
“Oh, really? That’s great.”
Laritte smiled faintly as usual.
But he knew she was very happy to hear the news.
He couldn’t help but like her more.
Ian went to Ava after separating from Laritte.
Can you ask the blacksmith for Laritte’s equipment? I sent a request the last time I visited him.”
We have received some important letters.
Would you please take a look at them, My Lord?”
He was handed two golden envelopes.
Both of them were from the imperial palace.
The Imperial Palace was home to the Empress of Iassa.
She was the woman who wanted to ruin Ian’s Duchy.
Ian laughed, smirking coldly.
The sight of the letter had already annoyed him.
Only the first letter was sealed.
Soon, the reluctant expression disappeared off his face.
“Oh, I wonder what it says.”
The first letter from the imperial palace to the mansion of Reinhardt was an invitation regarding an exchange meeting.
Ian confirmed the Emperor’s seal on the invitation.
The seal was now under the management of the Empress due to the bedridden Emperor.
“The exchange event will be held in May.”
Ian muttered in a drowsy voice.
Only 30 people of high rank were eligible to take part in the exchange meeting in May, even among the privileged class of the Iassa Empire.
It was funny to imagine the Empress sealing the invitation for Ian.
No matter how much she hated Ian, she was not allowed to ignore his name among the 30 senior members.
Ava also knew about the meeting.
She said as she walked through the hallway beside him.
“May is not very far.
It feels like winter was the day before yesterday.”
The gathering held in the month of May was a big annual event of the Empire.
It was a party held for 10 days in the imperial palace where people of high ranks were invited from all over the country.
The royal family of Mirnoa beyond the sea also participated in this event.
Even some sorcerers with abilities beyond imagination.
The meeting was mainly organized for nobles willing to do business with other nobles.
“My Lord, what are you going to do this time? Do you want to participate?”
It was disappointing for lower nobles who were not allowed to participate.
“Well, I guess it won’t hurt to visit.”
Ian was respected by everyone at the party and it had never been disappointing.
The foreigners’ protests in Ian’s absence would only embarrass the Empress.
In fact, the Empress had suffered enough because of Ian’s absence for the past three years.
Ian folded the invitation in half.
“Laritte doesn’t like to go outside much.
I don’t want her to run into the Empress for no reason.”
Now, what was the second letter from the palace about?
A female knight in a dignified uniform came running down the quiet hallway.
It was Redra Reikla.
He blinked at her while taking off the seal of the second letter.
“What’s the matter?”
Ian’s heart skipped a beat at the word.
He urged Redra.
“What happened? What’s wrong with Laritte?”
“Say it! Now!”
Redra was hesitant.
“The madam scraped her knee a little in her room.”
There was a reason why she hesitated so much.
Ian had told Redra to report whenever Laritte got injured.
Even about the slightest wounds.
So Redra came to report, but wondered if she should say this.
“It wasn’t a big injury?”
I called in the maid and asked them to apply the necessary herbs.”
“That’s a relief.
It’s not hurting Laritte, is it? She didn’t cry, did she?”
Redra kindly answered his agitated questions.
“I couldn’t tell if she was in pain because her expression was the same.
And, it was a very minor wound.”
“How long has it been since she fell? You shouldn’t leave her alone.”
He ushered Redra back, thinking he should visit Laritte later.
He heard a muffled chuckle beside him.
He turned his head to find Ava covering her mouth with her wrinkled hands.
“My Lord is worried about Madam.”
“Don’t make fun of me.”
“Shouldn’t you go see her right now?”
He held back a sigh.
Everyone was known to be afraid of him.
He wanted to say that Ava was the only one who treated him like a child, but he stopped himself.
It was because there was another person who thought like Ava.
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