Author: worry Editor: worry

As soon as Beatrice finished speaking, the door opened, and the dishes began to be served. The timing was awkward, and no one could ask her any further questions.

 

Nevertheless, Agatha was a little concerned to hear that Beatrice had been sleeping since morning. She had a friend who had experienced postpartum depression a few years ago. Now, with the support of her husband and therapists, her friend had improved a lot, but whenever she talked about her past self during that time, she seemed exhausted.

 

Her friend’s mood was unpredictable, sometimes flying high and sometimes becoming violent. After expending a lot of energy, she would spend days seemingly lifeless, sleeping for hours on end.

 

Beatrice tended to sleep quite a lot. Even though she was a noble lady with plenty of duties, there were still many hours in a day to sleep. She slept almost twelve hours a day, and even when she was awake and had nothing to do, she would often just sit by the window and stare blankly outside, giving anyone the impression that something might be wrong with her.

 

The family began their meal in silence. Beatrice mechanically put the food in her mouth as if it were an obligation. Her two brothers glanced at her with a puzzled look, and between their gazes, Agatha’s eye contact intervened.

 

Take Beatrice somewhere tomorrow.

 

The two brothers easily sensed Agatha’s intentions but looked awkward. A silent battle of wits began between them. Especially Felix, who, due to a recent incident, noticed that Beatrice was feeling uncomfortable and tried his best to appeal to his brother, emphasizing how busy he was.

 

Of course, it wasn’t like he was comparing himself to a Duke, but his earnestness seemed to have reached Calex, who sighed. After all, it was already late April, and the urgent matters from the beginning of the year were all finished, so taking half a day off wouldn’t be difficult.

 

“Beatrice.”

 

“Yes.”

 

There was no delay in Beatrice’s response. When she was late in replying, it was only because she was considering her answer. Calex looked at her with a face that didn’t hide his concern and continued speaking slowly.

 

“Tomorrow, would you like to go horse riding together?”

 

Horse riding. Beatrice thought about it. She knew her condition had been getting worse lately, so she intended to nod immediately in agreement, but she felt too lazy to do so. As she hesitated to respond, Agatha chimed in.

 

“Yeah, you should go. The weather is getting warmer these days, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

 

With even the Lady of the house chiming in and encouraging her, Beatrice eventually nodded her head and reluctantly agreed to go.

 

“However, I don’t have my own horse yet.”

 

“…….”

 

“…….”

 

“…….”

 

Silence settled among the three. Agatha had a look of defeat on her face, and Felix and Calex appeared clearly taken aback. However, Beatrice showed absolutely no interest and calmly cut a piece of steak, pushing it into her mouth.

 

“Choose a horse before you go riding, Calex.”

 

“…Yes.”

 

“A well-behaved one.”

 

“…Yes.”

 

“The most expensive one.”

 

“…Yes.”

 

“Brother, if you’re going to buy a horse, just take a look at one from the forest stables.”

 

“My dear son, keep your mouth shut.”

 

While silencing Felix, who rudely interfered, Agatha smiled. Her eyes conveyed a message that if he interfered further, he would lose his soul, so Felix refrained from saying anything and quietly chewed the cut meat in his mouth. Beatrice was able to finish dinner in the calm atmosphere.

 

The next morning, as promised, Calex set out with Beatrice for horseback riding. Of course, before horseback riding, they had to go and purchase Beatrice’s own horse. Although the family had a significant number of horses, one personal horse was essential for each individual.

 

After her debut in high society, when interacting with other noble families, horseback riding was an essential element, and most nobles owned one or more personal horses. If a young lady did not have her own horse, it only meant that she was pitied by her family.

 

Calex and Beatrice rode in a carriage to the outskirts of the capital, heading to Viscount Vilos’ ranch. Although called a ranch, it was more of a horse stable built in the style of a ranch.

 

Viscount Vilos had a hobby of collecting horses and would import various breeds to gift or sell to nobles, making a decent profit considering the price of a single horse. While not a grand business, it was a lucrative venture.

 

Beatrice received Calex’s escort and stepped down from the carriage. Both of them were not the talkative type, and silence was all that filled the air.

 

Although Calex occasionally attempted to make conversation, Beatrice never opened up. She was well aware of his gaze, but she pretended not to notice. Since that day, they had hardly interacted beyond exchanging pleasantries.

 

No matter how well they were cared for, places with animals were bound to have a certain smell. Familiar with horses, Calex anticipated that Beatrice might find it unpleasant and silently offered a handkerchief from his pocket.

 

Curiously looking down at the handkerchief that was suddenly presented to her, Beatrice soon took it in her hand.

 

“Oh, Lady Amber, have you arrived!” The day before, they had sent a message in advance, and Viscount Vilos had come to the ranch in person.

 

Normally, nobles would make arrangements at least three days in advance, but Viscount Vilos promptly replied to Calex’s letter, apologizing for the sudden invitation. While known for importing high-quality horses, that was about all there was to say about him.

 

The estate was nothing special, and Viscount Vilos himself was not particularly outstanding. While nobles with an interest in horses befriended him lightly, that was the extent of his interactions. He couldn’t even dream of socializing with high-ranking nobles.

 

High-ranking nobles already had one good breed of horse each, and if they needed more, they would import them directly from foreign countries. Therefore, Viscount Vilos was puzzled by Lord Amber’s letter, responding politely but with curiosity.

 

“I need a horse, just one. Once again, I apologize for the sudden contact.”

 

“No need to apologize. I had some free time recently, so I appreciate you coming to my ranch,” Calex replied, impressed by the young lord’s courteous manner. Meanwhile, Viscount Vilos occasionally glanced at Beatrice, who was standing beside him, seemingly bothered by her presence. In response to his gaze, Calex subtly furrowed his brows.

 

“This is my sister, Beatrice.”

 

“Hello, Viscount Vilos.”

 

“My lady, are you…?”

 

Vilos is strangely inclined to be dark about rumors, so it seemed that Beatrice was the princess who had appeared out of nowhere. Did the Duke have a daughter? He wondered, and he narrowed his eyes at the implication. He noticed Calex’s brow visibly furrow, and he immediately bowed low to her.

 

“Oh, my lady, your beauty is so captivating that I was momentarily distracted!”

 

Beatrice replied gracefully, “Thank you, but I have heard of the splendid horses in the Viscount’s stable and was looking forward to seeing them. Could you kindly show me around?”

 

“Certainly, this way, please.”

 

Beatrice led the conversation smoothly, not wanting to cause any friction. Viscount Vilos had his escorts and attendants wait by the carriage, and he hurriedly walked ahead, with Beatrice following closely behind. As they walked, Calex stole a glance at Beatrice, trying to discern any discomfort or shyness, but her face remained composed and dry. Surprisingly, he noticed a slight resemblance in their faces, which he had never thought of before.

 

Suddenly, Beatrice lifted her head, and their eyes met. Calex was taken aback and narrowed his eyes in slight confusion. He expected her to say something, but after a few seconds of eye contact, she turned her head forward again. Calex followed suit and faced forward as well. If someone were to see them at that moment, they might have remarked on their similarities.

 

“These horses here are the best among the ones I recently imported.”

 

As they entered the spacious stable, the strong smell of animals filled the air. Despite that, Beatrice held the handkerchief Calex had given her as if she didn’t feel anything.

 

Calex was paying attention to her, but Beatrice appeared to be focused on the explanations pouring out from Viscount Vilos. In reality, she wasn’t really concentrating, but just looking at him made it seem like she was. Viscount Vilos proudly pointed to a white horse on the far left.

 

“This horse comes from the region of Pelos. The horses from that region are known for being gentle and beautiful. It would be very suitable for Your Grace to ride. Uh, it just needs to stay calm.”

 

The viscount cleverly inferred the reason for the duke’s visit to his estate today. The duke already had a famous horse among horse enthusiasts, and nobles rarely brought a noblewoman along when acquiring a horse. So, the person who would be riding the horse was most likely the noblewoman, and his task today was to introduce a beautiful horse that she would like.

 

However, for some reason, the beautiful white horse showed signs of unease as soon as they entered. It kept tossing its head restlessly or stepping back a few paces. But it wasn’t just that horse; others acted similarly.

 

The entire stable seemed chaotic as if a ferocious beast had entered. Beatrice knew the reason, but she kept her mouth shut.

 

“Seems like a timid horse.”

 

Calex, who had been silently scanning the white horse, spoke in a dry voice. Although the horse appeared to be of good quality, it seemed fearful. Calex seemed to understand that the horse was acting uneasy simply because it saw unfamiliar people.

 

A timid horse was problematic, especially for someone like Beatrice who wasn’t skilled in horse riding. Riding a fearful horse could lead to losing control and getting injured. Viscount Vilos was visibly flustered.

 

“T-this horse is not usually like this. Then, how about this one?”

 

The viscount bravely guided them to a brown horse a bit further away, but even that horse showed signs of fear and unease. Upon hearing Calex’s sigh, the viscount himself became restless as well. Meanwhile, Beatrice glanced around at the horses. The reason for their fear was her.

 

Unlike humans, animals had a keen sense of danger and could quickly sense predators. It was strange; after all, she wasn’t a predator.

 

Beatrice moved her tongue inside her mouth, brushing against her blunt canines. For some reason, this had always made her uncomfortable around animals. Even the horses pulling her carriage would get scared and restless. It would be a challenge for her to directly ride a horse.

 

Author's Thoughts

𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐦𝐲 𝐊𝐨𝐟𝐢 𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐞!!!

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