I Tamed My Ex-Husband's Mad Dog - Chapter 18
Reinhardt hugged the boy tightly as she sighed deeply.
In her previous life, Reinhardt met Bill Corona around the time when he returned to the capital after winning a war he fought for Mikhail. He passed by the Helka Estate to ask the wealthy manor for what they could provide for the Imperial Army, things like places to stay and food to eat.
During that time, Reinhardt was planning a revolt and was startled at his demands. To hide the signs of her rebellion, she agreed to meet him once.
At that time, Bill Corona looked almost like a wild man. Reinhardt almost choked in disgust when she faced the man who still hadn’t gotten rid of all the grime and filth accumulated from the battlefield. She even thought that such a man deserved to die on the battlefield, slandering him in her mind face-to-face.
What about Wilhelm now? A person is bound to change depending on the circumstances, and her position now was different from her previous life. The thought of sending the child away to the battlefield was terrifying. The northern barbarians were said to fly and crawl on the snow. Dietrich told her that Wilhelm would count as a knight, but in her eyes, she didn’t think so.
‘What if he dies?’
Reinhardt understood what Dietrich was saying when he said that she should use people like chess pieces. Dietrich wanted her to take advantage of her resources, just like her father had done.
Dietrich must’ve already thought about it. That’s why he asked her to send the child as a knight before Reinhardt had told him that she wanted to take Leilan Marsh.
The rent for the knights was expensive. The cost of territories to raise a single knight is beyond imagination.
Even though Dietrich is by her side because of his relationship with Hu Linke, if he wants to earn money, he would easily be able to sign a contract with other territories as a mercenary knight. Since he was a knight raised by Hu Linke, the money he would make would be enough money to build a mansion in the capital estate.
So, with Dietrich’s help, she would probably be able to get Leilan Marsh with ease.
It was difficult to access Nathantine’s estate, and the land that has been frozen for more than a year and a half was not that expensive. But Reinhardt felt disillusioned at the same time. As the situation changed, her thoughts on Wilhelm also changed, and she was also terrified of sending away a child that blindly follows her to go to the battlefield like that.
“Ah. I’m sorry.”
The boy wriggled as if he was uncomfortable. Reinhardt then realized that she was holding Wilhelm and released her arms. Wilhelm staggered away from her and politely put his hands forward. Although he wasn’t mature yet, his ears and beautiful face were red.
<…… Please don’t let the rumors spread that you’re dragging a young boy into the lord’s bed.>
Dietrich’s words suddenly came to mind, and Reinhardt felt awkward in an instant. Wilhelm couldn’t even look at her face.
“…… Uh, Wilhelm?”
Reinhardt spoke for a while before opening her mouth.
“Have you heard from Dietrich?”
Wilhelm’s face became still at those words. It was as if the shame that had just risen to the surface had not existed at all.
“I heard,” Wilhelm answered, staring at the floor with dark eyes.
“Even if you don’t have respect for me……. no.”
Dietrich’s words to use people like chess pieces came to mind once again. Reinhardt grinned.
“Good. I hope you can speak to me formally too.”
“… … Do you want me to speak formally?”
“Of course. If Wilhelm talks to me like that…….”
What should I say? Reinhardt thought for a moment before answering.
“I’d feel like I’m a very important person.”
“…… You are an important person.”
Wilhelm said shyly looking into her eyes. But as soon as she talked about Dietrich, his face changed again, Reinhardt continued to apologize to him.
“I’m sorry, Wilhelm. Our estate only has thirty guards. If you go, the number of conscripts will be cut in half, and the residents will be safe from the wild beasts of spring.”
“If you don’t want to go…….”
Reinhardt bit her lip as she was about to say he didn’t have to go. There are many at stake here for this little boy to be told not to go there. Reinhardt shook her head and decided to be a little firm.
“…… Won’t you think of me?”
“About you… Rein?”
It was rather cute of him to follow her as he awkwardly started speaking formally. Reinhardt smiled softly, grabbing the boy’s hand and taking it on her own. His long, cold fingers had already grown considerably larger than those boys of his age, suggesting that Wilhelm was still in the stage of growth. Wilhelm’s ears turned red again.
“Wilhelm, I can’t tell you not to go, because then I would be a Lord who abandons the people of this estate. I am the Lord of Luden, and that’s why I have to protect the lives of my people.”
“But you are also one of my people,” she continued as she tucked Wilhelm’s hair softly behind his ear.
“So I will pray for your safety every night. Please think of me, who cares about you.”
“…… Rein will? Every day?”
Reinhardt took the boy’s hand and kissed it softly on the back of his hand. Just like a knight would do to a lady. Wilhelm was startled, but he did not remove his hand from hers.
“I will think of you every day. And I will wait for you to return, praying that you will always shine the brightest on the battlefield.”
“I’ll give you this.”
Reinhardt took out what she had prepared beforehand. It was the sword of Linke. The sword that she cut off Mikhail Allanquez’s thigh with, and the one her father always drew out when he was in the battle. It was the most precious thing to her.
Wilhelm also seemed perplexed when he saw the beautiful sword. This is because it was a very disappointing thing for an apprentice knight. Reinhardt pulled Wilhelm’s hand and held it with the scabbard. The sword finished with splendid silver ornaments, shone from the boy’s hand.
“This is my father’s sword.”
“My father fell off his horse in Sarawak and died without ever drawing this sword.”
Reinhardt suppressed her sadness.
“It’s a very precious thing to me, so I hope you come back with this sword.”
Wilhelm took the sword in both hands, bewildered, and when he looked at her face, he had an expression that wanted to say something.
But Reinhardt shook her head and beckoned him to draw his sword. When Wilhelm drew his sword, it came out with a rumble and a creepy sound.
“This is the sword that cut off the Crown Prince’s leg.”
“My revenge will be completed with that sword someday. So…….”
Reinhardt put her hand over his heart and smiled.
“While you have this sword, please think of it as a way for me to be with you.”
“Rein, with me…….”
Wilhelm repeated her words like a spell. Reinhardt brushed Wilhelm’s forehead. Wilhelm was startled, but he did not avoid her hand.
“I know I’m a coward…….” Reinhardt muttered to herself.
“But Wilhelm, I have no other choice.”
All the people of the territory could either die defenseless in a barbarian attack or get invaded from another territory. When Dietrich and the guards return after the barbarian attack is over, the estate might be gone.
Even if that didn’t happen, it would be very difficult if they were isolated among the surrounding territories. Even now, Luden is still a terribly poor estate.
“… … I’ll go, Rein.”
“I’m sorry, and thank you.”
So Reinhardt felt sorry for those words, that she felt the other side of her chest was opened. The boy, with black eyes like a calf, clutched her sword and whispered.
“Instead, give me one more hug.”
Reinhardt pulled the boy into her arms and hugged him. Because Reinhardt was sitting and Wilhelm was standing, he slid his hips out as he arched his back to be embraced in her. Reinhardt patted the boy on the back.
“Dietrich said that with your strength, you’re worth more than one knight, but I’m still nervous.”
“…… Don’t talk about Dietrich.”
Reinhardt laughed a little. Wilhelm remained in her arms for a while, then asked softly.
“Knights take Lady’s handkerchiefs when they leave.”
“Oh my gosh. Who told you that?”
“Among the guards…… Marc said it.”
Marc was Mrs. Sarah’s daughter. Although she was a woman, she was a nimble child who volunteered to serve as a guard and was doing her best. It seems like she became close with Wilhelm in the meantime. Reinhardt grinned.
Knights taking Lady’s handkerchiefs were a thing of the past, that is, when Hu Linke was a vigorous young man at 30 years of age.
But, well……. Reinhardt thought of the story of Hu Linke and the Marchioness.
Hu Linke often told Reinhardt the story of how he loved his wife, but Reinhardt’s favorite was the story of the Marchioness tearing off her sleeve at Hu Linke’s sudden request for a handkerchief. The Marchioness was a poor young lady who didn’t carry a handkerchief, so she ripped off her sleeve, asking him to take her sleeve instead.
Reinhardt gently pushed Wilhelm away and took the sword from his hand. Wondering what Reinhardt was doing, Wilhelm was startled to see her ripping off her sleeve.
“Rein, this is…….”
“It’s precious, take it. I only have two sets of clothes for going out.” Reinhardt smiled.
In the Luden estate, she only had 2 sets of clothes, one of which had the sleeves torn off. But the end of the sleeves can be easily repaired by attaching lace or another fabric.
‘Ah, lace is expensive. I’m going to get scolded by Mrs. Sarah.’
She shrugged her shoulders at the thought of the small budget, but she had a positive feeling that everything would be alright.
Reinhardt cut the middle of the cuffs of her torn sleeves and made them like long strings, and wrapped them around the sword handle.
Wilhelm watched as the dark blue jacquard fabric was neatly woven into a knot. After tieing it up, Reinhardt held out the sword, and Wilhelm took it with a curious face, not knowing whether he was excited, cautious, or afraid.
“Return with your sword.”
“Yes. I will definitely return the sword to Reinhardt.”
“…… Listen, it’s not necessary to return only the sword. I’m not telling you to return because the sword is precious.”
At her words, Wilhelm looked at Reinhardt with new eyes. Reinhardt suppressed the words she wanted to say into her throat.
My father returned with this sword as a corpse. I don’t want to see something like that ever again……. Instead of those many words, Reinhardt smiled.
“Life is nothing. When you’re behind, it’s all over. Do you understand?”
His black eyes twinkled. Reinhardt avoided looking directly at the countless emotions she knew were swirling in his eyes. She knew it would be difficult to forgive herself if there was fear in his eyes.
Two days later at dawn, Wilhelm went to Nathantine with Dietrich and fifteen guards. Reinhardt had also torn the other sleeve of her dress and wrapped it around Dietrich’s sword. Wilhelm looked dissatisfied, but Dietrich smiled cheerfully and left without looking back.
At that time it was early spring, nine months after Reinhardt cut off Mikhail Allanquez’s leg.