TWB (Novel) Chapter 50

C50

The land of Arno was neither large nor close to the capital. It had no mineral veins, nor was it a convenient place for trade and transportation, but the land was fertile and abundant, making it a lordship that would not go hungry. It was a land that wasn't attractive enough to fight over its possession, yet everyone coveted it.

It was the territory that Zachary gained at the same time he was given the title of baron for his military service.

Zachary's efforts to acquire land and titles were indescribable, but Zachary was not satisfied with it. Now that he had become a count, the income obtained from the estate was sufficient, and although everyone praised Zachary for his military achievements, it still seemed insufficient to him.

When his father suddenly died at the age of fifteen, and his older brother Roland threw him out and forced him to become a knight, Zachary had no idea he would become so greedy.

"... I can feel the vicissitudes."

A few lights flickered at the end of the wide horizon where darkness fell. Zachary looked at the territorial expanse through the window and recalled the past.

Roland and Zachary were not very good brothers. The first Viscountess Huegh, who was Roland's mother, died giving birth to Roland, and the second wife was Zachary's mother. Like Bianca's mother, she died of postpartum fever after giving birth, so it was not uncommon for mothers to die during this period.

However, Roland was jealous of Zachary, who was cared for by his mother, even for a brief period. He used to openly say that he would expel Zachary as soon as he came to power in Huegh, and he did.

Becoming a knight is expensive, but it must have been because he wanted Zachary to die in war that he paid for expensive equipment instead of sending him to a monastery.

At that moment, Zachary took up the sword so as not to die. Because he knew there was no one to take care of him if he sat and cried.

Zachary, desperate to survive, raised his sword without hesitation. As it was a situation where he had to preserve his life, he didn't even care about success.

Fortunately, Zachary had a knack for war. With eyes to coolly read the war without getting caught up in the death of his opponent, he knew, understood, and accepted that he had chosen to kill his opponent in order not to die. He stubbornly pushed his way forward without retreating.

As a result, Zachary's unstoppable background and martial arts made him a baron, and in the end, he became a count. Count of Arno! How well it sounds!

Zachary, who achieved success on his own, was an idol and hope for noble men who couldn't carry on their families. And a young and handsome husband candidate. Zachary's life seemed to have nothing to envy in the world.

But his life was not as happy as it was thought. It was the sharp sword that placed him as a count, so he had to constantly go to war to maintain that position. Moreover, what Zachary wanted was a better and more prosperous future than the current one. Unsatisfied with the status quo, he rushed off to the battlefield, unable to afford to enjoy happiness. It was not an exaggeration to say that the battlefield was Zachary's territory.

Zachary felt so inadequate, not out of a desire for fame or to earn a higher tax collection. It wasn't because of his desire for revenge against his older brother, Viscount Huegh, who brutally threw him out.

Bianca, the young and beautiful wife who remained on the estate! It was for her.

"In comparison to the Blanchefort family, there is still a long way to go..."

Although the title of count is the same, the Blanchefort family, which has been in power for a long time as a noble family, and the new Arno family were not necessarily "the same."

No connections, no decency, no financial freedom. Zachary tried to make the most of what Bianca wanted to do, but if he had still been in Blanchefort, he could have obtained even better things without needing to say a word.

He was still an inadequate husband.

That doesn't mean he was dissatisfied with his appearance on the battlefield. He wasn't happy, he wasn't unhappy. Zachary had a low threshold for happiness. He was completely satisfied with drinking a glass of cheap wine in the castle, the existence of vassals who believed in him and followed him, and the fact that he was fulfilling his wife's wishes to some extent.

It was a significant development compared to his days as a baron, which were truly the worst.

Perhaps, from the moment he married her, Zachary had a vague idea of his future as he wandered the battlefield.

"Well, yes. I brought the only daughter of Blanchefort, and I have to pay a price for it. Blanchefort gave me the warhorse... and made me the sword and lance of the 1st Prince. That was my value on the scale when I brought her."

A murmur of self-disgust ran through Zachary's lips. As thoughts flowed towards Bianca, he immediately recalled his wedding with her.

When he thinks of that moment, he still sighs.

Not long after being granted the title of baron, Blanchefort offered him marriage.

There was no point of contact between the Blanchefort family, which was famous enough to have married into the royal family in the past, and the Arno family, which had just received the title of baron and was just starting out.

Even if the Arno family tried to draw a line there, it would be difficult due to the low status, but it was hard to believe that they sent him a letter first.

But when he opened the letter, Zachary couldn't help but widen his eyes as if he couldn't believe it.

400 calves, 900 pigs, 100 silver ingots, 300 rolls of silk, two chests of jewels, and a portion of territory... Along with the enormous dowry equivalent to the two-year budget of the Arno family, a final comment was casually added in the letter.

That was when Zachary discovered that the only daughter of the Blanchefort family, whom he would marry, was now seven years old.

Seven years old, can she walk?

Surely she will cry as soon as she meets him. Zachary thought about celebrating a wedding with a seven-year-old bride and being alone at the wedding because the bride cried. In any case, it was terrible.

However, marrying into the Blanchefort family was a sweet temptation difficult to refuse. In the end, it was such an intense and seductive temptation that he had no choice but to accept.

Would anything have changed if the marriage had been delayed a bit? However, Gustave, the Count of Blanchefort, had a strong desire to hold the wedding earlier, so he had no other option.

It was natural for Gustave to be impatient.

The king of Sevran was old, and the enemy kingdom of Aragon was growing with formidable strength. Given that the political landscape of the previous year and the political landscape of that year were changing rapidly, they tried to establish Zachary as the faction of the first prince as soon as possible.

Why Zachary?

Since Gustave didn't say, Zachary himself didn't know the exact reason. He could only vaguely guess when his subordinates said that they had invested in his future.

As much as he understood Gustave's decision, Zachary couldn't help but ask for the wedding to be delayed.

But the marriage was proposed by the Blanchefort family, so the one holding the sword was also the Blanchefort family. Therefore, Zachary was in no position to ask for anything.

In the end, Zachary gave in and accepted the marriage. But that didn't alleviate his concerns about the bride being seven years old. To be honest, he felt like he was bringing home an adopted daughter rather than a bride.

As uncomfortable as Zachary felt with the young bride, the young bride would also feel uncomfortable with her sudden and elderly husband. He couldn't even imagine how much the girl who left her home would cry.

The mere idea of comforting a crying girl frustrated him. He wasn't friendly, not a good conversationalist, and not sympathetic. Could he calm a crying girl?

Zachary, who was in the dark, desperately wished that his bride would be a slightly less crying girl.

And his wish was completely shattered at their first encounter.

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