Oscar and Laritte continued to chat.

“So Ian was going to teach me, but my appointment was delayed again because I hurt my ankle.”

“Ma’am is interested in horse riding, isn’t she? In my opinion, a white horse will suit you the best.
White horses are usually a quiet breed.”

Laritte’s blue eyes sparkled at Oscar’s words.
He was an observant man, so he was able to read Laritte’s desire.

“My horse Frederick will be here in the stable.
Does Ma’am want to meet him?”

“That’s a great idea.”

Surprised, Ian interrupted their conversation, “Never.
The stable is on the opposite side of the building.
It’d be too much for her.”

Laritte’s excited spirit began to protest, “I know it’s less than 15 minutes away.”

“Yes, it is! 15 minutes away.”

“I’m not going outside the Duchy.”

“Anyway, it’s not possible.
I can’t give you permission”, her eyes became cold as he declared.

Their opinions were bound to be divided.
The lives they both led were different until now.
Laritte knew she had no risk of getting hurt in this!

But eventually, she gave up.
She was aware of the location.
Permission? Yes, she was in a position to obtain Ian’s permission.

“Okay then, so be it.
I have no choice but to obey you.
Because I’m your wife”, her voice carrying emptiness.

Ian flinched at the words she uttered without any ill intentions.
He never knew his wife’s words could make him feel so attacked!

However, looking back on his recent behavior, he remembered how he forcibly controlled his wife.
Don’t do this because it’s dangerous.
Don’t touch that either.
Let me check before you do anything unusual.
Laritte wasn’t bothered, so she complied.
But this… this was growing to be a problem.

She turned around to take a step away from the garden, “Then I’ll go back to the mansion.
Your Highness, I’m deeply sorry–”

Oscar shook his hands as she began to apologize for her condition.

“Don’t worry about me, Ma’am.
I’m not bothered in the slightest.”

Oscar’s plan went wrong.
He didn’t mean to divide the couple.
He didn’t expect Laritte to leave on her own and Ian to stare at her retreating figure in despair.

He carefully said, “Um, Ian…… I’m going to follow Ma’am.
Don’t worry, come back inside after some time, alright?”

“…….”

Oscar knew the shock Ian was in.

The previous Duke and Lady Selena used to treat everyone evenly.
Ian, who grew up in such a family, also learned to treat his people without any discrimination.

And according to Oscar, Laritte was the first person Ian ever fell in love with.

He could understand how the words “I should obey my husband!” must have inflicted great pain on Ian’s chest.

Feeling guilty for their quarrel, Oscar caught up with Laritte.

Standing next to her leaving the rose garden, he thought, ‘Ian.
There is an essential procedure to direct the reins that control one’s mind.’

First of all, he wanted his friend to know how to admit his feelings.

***

Oscar was going crazy.

He thought he had gotten used to eating on thin ice.
But whenever he put the food in his mouth using a silver fork, it felt like he was engulfing poison.

Considering his silver fork was fine and his food had no poison in it!

‘Ian, you better take care of your wife.’

The table was quiet.
Laritte was sulking in her seat, while Ian was dazed with shame.
None of them were communicating.

Oscar let his eyes wander, once glancing at the maid standing in the corner of the huge room and at the tree outside the window.
He could also see the rose garden from the height of the second floor.
The petals were dancing in the wind.

Oscar held back the tears falling in regret.
If he hadn’t done anything over there yesterday…..
the atmosphere wouldn’t have been this heavy today…..

Ian’s mind was no less disturbed.

Laritte was taken out of a villa and brought into the world of nobles.
He wanted her to enjoy the luxury with confidence and satisfy all her wishes.
He could hold a party for six days a week if she wanted, he could fill the fields with cherry plants if she wanted.
So that he could be proud in front of the nobles spreading groundless rumors that he tried to teach his wife horse-riding that didn’t suit a lady.

Although she had not yet ridden a horse for many reasons, Ian intended to support her wishes.
But now, her mood was terrible because of Ian’s coercive behavior.

Then, how is she better than when she lived freely in the villa? Can she be happier than how she was in the villa?

Ian looked up at Laritte’s face.
He didn’t know if it was because he was thinking that way, but her face looked more depressed.
It was the same expressionless look…… but wasn’t her face a little brighter when she used to live in the villa? She had more freedom to spend time there.

When Oscar took care of Laritte’s meal, he couldn’t get jealous like before.
Needless to say, he seemed to have no right to be jealous.

Oscar chopped up his own steak and went to exchange it for Laritte’s plate.

“Ma’am, isn’t it easier to eat this way?”

He had no plan to induce jealousy this time.
Ian had no energy to take care of Laritte, so he considered himself.

Seconds after, he peeked at Ian.
He felt sorry for the sight of Ian stabbing his steak and suffering inside as if dealing with the enemy on a battlefield.

“Your Highness doesn’t have to do this”, Laritte muttered sadly as she saw the chopped-up steak on Oscar’s plate.

“I…..
I’m not a great person to be considered…….”

Unlike the days he smiled, Oscar felt like dashing to the snowy mountains and yelling with tears in his eyes.

I made this couple like this! I am trash!

The estranged relationship between Ian and his wife wasn’t resolved until the evening.
Oscar managed to have a dinner that was no different from the breakfast.
At this rate, he thought he was going to have an upset stomach.

His eyes were focused on the couple when Ian jumped up, pushing back his chair.
Surprised, Oscar began to ask.

“Ian?”, but Ian disappeared even before he finished talking.
Naturally, he could not chase the man and leave Laritte alone.
He stared at the hallway where Ian disappeared when she mumbled.

“Where is he going?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know, Ma’am.”

Oscar was struck with worries.

Did he leave because he was angry with me? What should I do if he doesn’t want to be friends anymore?

He had no choice but to stay seated opposite Laritte.
He was putting the food in his mouth when he heard a faint whine outside the window.
Because they were on the second floor, the sound wasn’t clear, but it was definitely Ian’s voice calling them.

Oscar and Laritte got out of their seats and grabbed the window frame to peer down outside.
Next to Ian was an ivory horse standing in contrast.

“What does this mean?”

Oscar’s eyes grew wide as Laritte’s heart thumped at the sight.
She met the horse’s eyes even though it was far away.
They talked to each other even though they were standing still.

Laritte ran to the hallway where Ian disappeared, feeling the pulse behind her neck.

“Ma’am!”

Oscar followed as Laritte grabbed the railing and ran down the stairs.
The interior of the Reinhardt mansion streaked past her gaze as she dashed to her destination.

Is it for me?

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