TWB (Novel) Chapter 52

C52

The Arno territory was very busy before spring. The days grew longer, the darkness diminished, and the time to go out and be active became longer.

At the beginning of spring, on the Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, the farmers put crosses on their plows and prayed for a bountiful harvest. The wheat sown in October had grown to a certain point. Next year it will come in a frenzy. In March, barley will be sown, and wheat will be threshed in the summer.

The busy agricultural work was the happiness of the serfs. It was because they could expect to obtain plenty of grain when they were busy.

The diligent shepherd had already taken the sheep to the plain. The plain in the southern end was the warmest in the territory, so if he moved with a little diligence, he could feed the sheep with the grass that had sprouted on the plain where the snow had melted.

The shepherd led the sheep while humming a couple of songs.

This winter was too harsh, but there weren't many people who couldn't survive the winter and died. When a serf died, there was a system where the lord took the livestock owned by the serf as inheritance payment.

Usually, lords used to take the best livestock, like the strongest cows and the fattest pigs. Fortunately, however, Zachary, the Count of Arno, was a good lord. Instead of a cow, he would take a suitable pig, a goose, a chicken, or a goat.

Last summer, a tragic incident occurred when a young man died leaving his pregnant wife behind. Zachary, who went to receive his share of the inheritance, pulled out a sword from the place and cut off a chicken's neck. He then returned with only the head. The rest of the body was left for the pregnant woman.

He, who was not eloquent, did not console the people of the territory with plausible words, nor did he boast loudly of his achievements.

However, as such anecdotes were collected and gathered, all the residents of the territory did not hesitate to praise Zachary as a good lord.

With the arrival of spring, not only the serfs were busy. The castle had to be redecorated for spring, and soon the lord and his wife would depart for the capital.

The carriage attendants meticulously inspected the wheels, the interior, and even the family crest on the center of the carriage.

In particular, the interior was important because no one but the lady would be traveling in the carriage.

He still couldn't believe that a lady like her had been patrolling the territory for a while and showing her face to her serfs.

After that, he didn't see the lady for a while. The coachman, Paul, who was checking if the seat was soft enough, mentioned as if he had just remembered.

"Oh, I haven't seen the lady these days."

"Maybe she's sick."

Theo, another young driver, who was checking if the seams of the carriage wheels were properly fitted, spoke up.

"Sick? I think you're exaggerating."

Paul's expression as he looked at the castle despite responding in that manner wasn't good.

Paul also initially thought that Bianca was just a vicious and terrifying woman.

It was said that she was an evil woman who was jealous of a pretty servant due to her ugly appearance, who scolded whenever she opened her mouth, whose eyes were filled with poison, and who treated her lord as if he were a weed.

So when he heard the news that Bianca was touring the territory, he became nervous at the thought that she might find some fault in him and cause a commotion.

However, Bianca was completely different from the servants' gossip.

Of course, he knew that Bianca was young. But the gap between knowing and actually seeing was huge.

That didn't mean she was a sweet or timid girl. She was born with a different umbilical cord than the maidservants. She was someone of noble birth.

However, she seemed far from the rumors that claimed she tortured the serfs with senseless excuses. Her pale green eyes that seemed bored, her elegant gestures, and her apparent detachment from reality did not seem to have the motivation to do so.

It was ridiculous to be jealous of a servant especially for her "ugly appearance." Although she didn't have blonde hair, a voluptuous body, and blue eyes like the sky, the general beauty standard nowadays, her appearance was not comparable to that of the wives working on the estate. Of course, appearance is not everything...

She obediently observed their work from a distance and then disappeared. That's how she remained in his mind. If she had revealed even a hint of her bad temper, he would have been able to curse her and forget her as easily as he did until now.

As Theo said, she might actually be sick. Pale skin, forearms so thin it was worrisome. It certainly wasn't a healthy look. Paul, feeling uneasy for no reason, remained silent.

Theo, unaware of Paul's feelings, focused on his work and mentioned the stories about Bianca he had gathered here and there.

"I heard it's not that she doesn't leave the castle because she's sick, but she gathered the maidservants to do something."

"Does the lady know how to embroider?"

"They're not embroidering..."

Theo clicked his tongue. He was told that the maidservants were doing something, but he forgot because he was ignorant of such things.

Just as Theo was trying to recover his hazy memories, another driver, Avery, who was listening, interjected into the conversation.

"I also heard from my wife. But even my wife doesn't know what they're doing. They gathered some people, but they remained silent."

"Since the lady is very demanding, it seems they have only gathered maidservants who can handle her personality."

"Then my wife would have been chosen."

"If your wife had been chosen, you would be in trouble!"

Paul laughed at the thought of Avery's wife. Avery's wife was a shrill cook with a loud voice. Just as she is so stubborn in running the kitchen, even if Bianca, the lord's wife, were in front of her, she wouldn't be friendly and would scratch at her personality.

Even if Mrs. Avery can handle Bianca's personality, wouldn't it be a big problem if Bianca couldn't handle Mrs. Avery's personality and got angry?

Although he's glad she's not sick.

Paul sighed in relief, but he didn't even realize why he was relieved or what he was worried about in the first place.

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