TWB (Novel) Chapter 151

Extra - 7

She was grateful that he remembered even such trivial things, but Bianca didn't like going to crowded places like dances and banquets. Bianca expressed a fervent signal of rejection.

"Isn't it too much? You don't have to go through so much trouble..."

"It's not too much, Duchess of Arno. Isn't it far from undeserved now? No one in the world will ever use the term excessive to do something for you."

Odelli, who held the highest position at the pinnacle of Sevran, looked stern and objected to Bianca's words. Bianca was going to stay away from the dance-related agenda as a result of polite refusal, but when Odelli spoke like that, she couldn't say anything.

"The banquet is in a week, so let's relax before that."

Odelli chuckled softly. The anticipation on her face indicated that she had no doubts that Bianca would naturally enjoy the dance.

Bianca was embarrassed. She only liked luxuries like dresses and jewelry... She couldn't understand how such a pastime could be accepted on the same level as enjoying a banquet.

However, she couldn't even tell Odelli that she was uncomfortable with the dance. Perhaps it would have been better if she had been less close to Odelli, that way it would be much easier to betray her youthful expectations.

In the end, Bianca couldn't refuse Odelli's offer and had no choice but to nod her head.

"... Yes. I'm looking forward to it."

Yvonne and Gaspard, knowing that Bianca didn't like the commotion, looked at her from behind with regret. There were people to whom they could secretly convey the intentions their mistress couldn't express, and there were others they couldn't. Odelli was the Queen of Sevran. In short, it was the latter case.

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The conversation with Odelli took longer than expected. Bianca hurried her steps back to her quarters. She didn't run, but showed signs of haste. Yvonne, who followed Bianca's steps, joked.

"The Duke must be waiting for you."

"It would be nice if he's waiting. I'm worried he'll come looking for me wherever I go."

They walked down the hallway, chatting. Looking at the sunset light in the long corridor, it seemed like a completely different space from the previous visit to Odelli.

At that moment, a nobleman walked from the other end of the corridor. It was the first time she saw him. In fact, even if she had seen him once, Bianca wouldn't have remembered him.

The face, not much older than Bianca's, looked tense, pressed by the pressure of the palace. His attire seemed very careful, but it was still uncomfortable, and he looked like the son of a wealthy local aristocrat.

Bianca's interest ended there. At first, it was just the awareness of a stranger. Bianca passed by him, capturing even the gaze that had crossed her.

Unlike Bianca, who wasn't interested, the young nobleman couldn't take his eyes off her as soon as he spotted Bianca. His gaze moved as Bianca passed by. The blank eyes staring seemed even confused.

Yvonne and Gaspard, noticing the strange look of the man, instinctively felt that something bad would happen. Yvonne's face hardened. She just hoped that the young man would pass them smoothly.

But life doesn't always go as one wishes. The man who stopped and stared at Bianca's back as she walked away suddenly began to approach them vigorously. The confidence in his steps could be felt, as if he had made a desperate determination.

In his eyes, he saw nothing, not even the silver-haired baby Yvonne was holding, or the towering Gaspard. Only Bianca shone brightly in his hazy world. Whether bold or brave, he opened his mouth with difficulty.

"Milady."

At his call, Bianca was forced to stop. Bianca looked at him slowly, her trembling face not hidden. Bianca's eyes met his, and her face flushed. Then he stammered.

"I'm sorry to say this all of a sudden, but... From the moment I first saw the lady, I couldn't take my eyes off her like a bee possessed by the scent of flowers. If it doesn't bother you, would you mind telling me your name, madam? I want the lady to be my lady."

As Bianca suspected, he was a local noble who visited the capital for the first time after his coming-of-age ceremony. Joseph Evanov. The eldest son of Baron Evanov, who had just turned twenty, came to Lahoz on behalf of his father to deliver a letter to Odelli regarding property taxes.

Although he had come with a heavy task, Joseph's heart was filled with a rosy romance when he set foot in the capital for the first time in his life. Hearing that courtship is popular in the capital, he dreamed of dating a lady from the moment he left the estate.

But no lady was willing to deal with him, a country boy. Joseph seemed a little stunned, but he accepted it. It was because they were far from the "ideal lady" he imagined anyway.

Then, by chance, he encountered a strange woman in the hallway. She was the perfect lady of his ideals. He could feel her elegance from the tips of her fingers. Her dark brown hair and contrasting fair skin caught his attention.

Like Bianca, the saint of "The Hands of the Duke of Arno," one of the chivalric literatures he admires...

Of course, he had no intention of turning Saint Bianca into his lady. Looking at the martial arts of the Duke of Arno, it was painfully clear how much he clung to his wife and how jealous he was of the men around her. Joseph was also well aware of the end of Prince Jacob's romance with Bianca.

"But it wouldn't be a problem to have a woman who resembles her as my lover."

Joseph awaited Bianca's response calmly. He had no idea that the woman in front of him was Bianca. It was probably because Bianca had been in the Arno territory. It was quite unexpected for her to come to the capital. Also, since he had just arrived in the capital today, there was no way Joseph, who turned a deaf ear to rumors, would know of her visit.

Bianca let out a groan, struggling to get rid of him. It was the duty of Yvonne, the maid, to step forward at that moment. Yvonne left Alex with Lucy and stepped forward in Bianca's place. Lifting her chin firmly, she reproached Joseph with great pressure.

"Don't make a scene out of nothing."

"How can I easily suppress this warm love at first sight? My heart is like a pile of straw burning. Please, just tell me your name."

Was it because he was intoxicated with the situation, or was he exaggerating in the first place? Faced with Joseph's reckless behavior, Bianca frowned in embarrassment.

Seeing Joseph's persistence, it seemed that words couldn't resolve it. It would be a big problem if Zachary found out about this. He's still on edge about the men around Bianca...

Just as Gaspard thought he had to intervene with a bit more force, a familiar voice they never wanted to hear came from behind them.

"Wife."

Because Bianca arrived too late, Zachary, who came out to meet her for no reason, encountered her. The faces of Bianca, Yvonne, Gaspard, and Lucy darkened abruptly.

"We're in trouble."

Only Joseph, unaware of the situation, looked at Zachary with a blank expression on his face.

Bianca struggled to change the story with a smile.

"Darling, how did you get here...?"

"I came here because you weren't arriving. By the way... Who is this?"

But there was no way Zachary would fall for such a shallow trick. Before Bianca's words could drag on, Zachary's eyes turned to Joseph with a quick response. His expression didn't change, but for a moment, everyone around him felt a chill.

If other people felt that way, how could Joseph, the person involved, feel? He was frozen like a rabbit in front of a wolf or a frog in front of a snake, seemingly unable to move.

Seeing Joseph sweating profusely in contemplation, Bianca let out a small sigh. In such a situation, simply telling the truth would only make things more complicated. It wouldn't be good for Joseph, but above all, for Bianca. Zachary becomes very tenacious when it comes to involving another man, which used to tire Bianca out a lot.

Isn't there a saying that says good things are just good? To make her feel comfortable and save Joseph, Bianca straightforwardly told a kind lie, increasing her compassion as a saint.

"I was just passing by. It's his first time in the capital, so I suppose he got lost."

"If you're lost, you should call a servant from the royal court."

Zachary clicked his tongue as if it was pathetic. His dark eyes scanned Joseph. He was a man who was no better than Zachary in any way, but Joseph clashed with Zachary's greatest weakness. His age. Despite hearing Bianca's excuse that he was just asking for directions, seeing that he appeared to be Bianca's age, he naturally distrusted him.

Joseph wasn't short either, but Zachary was tall enough to look down on him. The cold gaze left Joseph stunned.

As ignorant as Joseph may be, he had proposed a courtship to his wife under this circumstance. However, Joseph wasn't good at lying, and he didn't know how to tune in to a situation like this, so he became a dumbfounded idiot unable to say a single word.

At that moment, Lucy rushed out to calm the atmosphere.

"I'll take him and come back."

"Lucy, isn't today your first time coming to the royal palace? If you get lost..."

"Don't worry. I have a good sense of direction. I'll go and come back soon."

At Bianca's concern, Lucy responded with a smile. Lucy, Bianca, Yvonne, and Gaspard secretly looked at each other. Having reached an unspoken agreement, they nodded slightly and synchronized their pace one by one.

"That's right. Lucy will find a way. Besides, it's not too complicated to get to the quarters from here, so she'll be able to find it quickly."

"Duke, we'll be late for dinner at this rate. The lady has been very hungry for a while..."

"Yes, that's right. After talking with Her Majesty, I got very hungry..."

Bianca awkwardly pressed her stomach. It felt uncomfortable, as if it was the first time she made such a gesture.

But Zachary was completely fooled by her. After nearly twelve years of marriage, this is the first time he has seen Bianca hungry. Wasn't she the one who didn't have much appetite even when she was pregnant? Thinking about how hungry she must be to bring up that story, he quickly turned around, perplexed.

"Then let's hurry, wife."

Meanwhile, he didn't forget to pull Bianca closer to him and look at Joseph.

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