TWB (Novel) Chapter 69

C69

After Bianca arrived in Arno, Zachary took care of her a lot.

If she wanted something to eat, she could have it. If she wanted to have something, she could have it. He took away all her duties and only gave her rights. She was his wife, whom he spoiled so much.

Although Zachary was a husband with many shortcomings, he was not powerless enough to be unable to protect her in this situation.

Zachary didn't know what Bianca had against the Blanchefort family. But even if the reason was very trivial, Zachary thought that if she was reluctant to meet, there was no need to meet.

If Zachary disrupts her meeting with Bianca, the Blancheforts may protest. From their perspective, she is just a girl who left, and she is just a younger sister. But it doesn't matter. Such voices of dissatisfaction can be tolerated.

Zachary's eyes gleamed dangerously like a wolf guarding his pack. How cruel those black eyes were, even Bianca, who was right by his side, swallowed her saliva. But instead of living a bloody life, embracing her was a greater comfort.

Everyone always told her to do something. Her duties as a countess, duties as a wife, duties as an abbess... And since she didn't do those things properly, they said she was useless.

Zachary was the one who could interfere with her obligations more than anyone else. What a great comfort to tell her that she doesn't have to do anything if she doesn't want to!

Bianca, who had less burden on her heart, was able to examine the situation more calmly. She couldn't escape from her family forever.

They had to meet once, and this was the right time to meet her family. Bianca tightly gripped her quilt and murmured with a determined voice.

"...no. Because you can't avoid it forever."

So, for you, should the Count be avoided? The question reached the back of Zachary's throat. Of course, he couldn't ask it out loud.

"Do what makes you feel comfortable. But recovering your health is the top priority."

"And making your clothes. Because I don't want to hear that I'm treating you poorly."

Bianca smiled and looked at Zachary. Zachary also smiled when the atmosphere improved enough to make jokes.

However, his smile, which couldn't shake off his concerns for Bianca, was somewhat awkward.

----

Fortunately or unfortunately, when Blanchefort arrived in the capital, Bianca was able to stand up.

Although she had just gotten out of her sickbed, Zachary showed concern for her pale face, which still looked sickly.

—"How about postponing the meeting?"

—"He is a count. I'm sure he is busy. He came all the way here, so it's better to just meet than bother changing the appointment."

Zachary's eyes shone with sadness at Bianca's calm words.
As busy as the count may be, meeting his daughter whom he hasn't seen in over a decade cannot be considered bothersome.

What the hell happened between Count Blanchefort and Bianca?

Although he was curious in his heart, he didn't ask and silently watched Bianca apply makeup.

She added vitality to her pale cheeks with pink powder. When she slightly lowered her long eyelashes, they fluttered and cast a shadow beneath her eyes. The movement, like the fluttering of a butterfly, made Zachary look at Bianca without realizing it.

Bianca had complicated thoughts in her head. She said she was prepared, but her heart trembled restlessly.

Having finished getting ready, Bianca stood up.

Her swaying movements were as unsettling as a reed swaying in the wind. Zachary hurried to Bianca and approached her. Bianca, who was already quite accustomed to being escorted, placed her hand on his without hesitation.

What Zachary felt in his hand was the light weight of a small bird perched on it.

Bianca was escorted by Zachary to the reception room where her father and brother were waiting. It wasn't a long way, but her heart raced terribly along the way.

Bianca entered the reception room.

Waiting for her in the room was a man with a straight back despite his gray hair from old age, and a young man who looked like a clumsy knight.

People who were clearly part of her family. But those people were blurry in her memory... It took her a long time to contrast the faded family portrait in her memory with the current present.

Were they like this?

Bianca stared at them without blinking.

Several decades had passed. In her past life, Bianca hadn't seen her father or brother since she got married. She only received two letters. They were the obituaries of her older brother Johaseng and her father Gustave.

Despite Gustave's death, Bianca didn't fully understand his death. Because he was a father she didn't often see anyway, and she couldn't even remember him. Although she shed tears for the regret of his death, she didn't easily realize what had changed at that time.

It was in that final moment when she was expelled from the Arno family that she realized the power of Gustave's existence. How strong of a fence her father was, if he had been alive, they wouldn't have thrown her away like that, but if he were alive, he would have....

But it was a useless lament. There was no one left to protect her, and she had to bear the karma for her mistakes. What she realized was that she had to move on her own.

Bianca's gaze was fixed on Gustave, Count Blanchefort. At that moment, he was a father for whom her existence desperately yearned, but in the end, it was all in vain. More senile than she remembered in her memory, he stood up in astonishment when Bianca entered the room.

"Bianca."

"... Long time no see, father, brother."

"You have grown very well. You resemble your mother."

"........"

Faced with Gustave's sweet and longing tone, Bianca closed her mouth without knowing what to say. The father she knew was not like this. Resolute, strict, and completely devoted to the dignity and manners of a noble.

And he raised his daughter to do the same.

Zachary tried to let go for the sake of the family reunion. But as soon as he tried to remove his hand, Bianca trembled and tightened her grip. Startled, Zachary looked at Bianca.

Bianca's profile was terribly cold. It seemed to be an unconscious reaction that she herself didn't notice. In the end, Zachary stood upright in the reception room, accompanying Bianca, and observed the Blanchefort family reunion.

"Y-you seem shy because we haven't seen each other in a long time."

It was Count Blanchefort who was quite bewildered to see Bianca, who couldn't speak easily. In politics, he never showed a wavering figure, he was a faceless man like a sword, but he seemed strangely nervous. It was as if he was looking at Bianca.

At the time of the marriage, she was a child, but it's possible that he struggled with his fully grown adult daughter.

It was also difficult for Bianca.

They weren't even warm father and daughter to begin with, but at the time of their last encounter, every strict word Gustave had said to her remained like a shackle.

"Is Count Arno kind to you?"

"... Yes."

"Then why do you look so shy? Your face is pale."

"..."

So Gustave's concerned questions were a burden.

Is he really worried?

Bianca's heart was filled with the sound of harsh refutations.

Unaware of this, Gustave added as if to appease Bianca.

"I received a message that your nanny has passed away. It must have been very heartbreaking."

"..."

"Still, this father is glad that you endured it well and didn't say you would come back."

At that moment, something exploded inside Bianca. It was as if a knife had been thrust into the heart of a pig and the blood rushed to her head.

Bianca's eyes glowed dangerously. Venom gushed from her lips, which she had kept tightly closed until now and hadn't uttered a sound.

"You didn't allow me to come back in the first place."

"... Bianca."

"You never wanted me back! Now you're Arno. Think about dying in Arno! That's what you said!"

It started as a quiet, whispering voice that ended in a heartbreaking scream.

Her large light green eyes shone without a drop of water.

Unknowingly, Bianca tightened her grip on Zachary's hand. It was a grip like the fluttering of a chick's wings, which Zachary didn't even feel. However, in her desperate grip, he felt a strong heat akin to an indelible mark that he couldn't shake off.

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