I Tamed My Ex-Husband's Mad Dog - Chapter 19
4. The Third Summer Rose
(T/N: The flower ‘rose’ not the past tense of ‘rise’ )
“Are you coming back this year?”
The old woman bowed her head. The jacquard dress the old lady was wearing was high-quality fabric, and the heavy and dignified navy blue suited her well. But there was a sense of discomfort.
Bowing her head beside the old lady was a woman with messy blonde hair. The clothes she wore were much more shabbier compared to the old lady’s.
The robe she was wearing had been clearly worn for a long time, and there were traces of leather padding here and there. The lace hanging down the sleeves was worn out and the threads were untied. Her hands were stained with black graphite.
But the owner of that hand had a sharper eye than anyone else.
Her golden eyes, a color similar to high-quality honey, shone brilliantly, and the blonde hair that fell on her straight forehead was shiny like a freshly baked apple pie.
It was Reinhardt.
Reinhardt grabbed a letter from the walls of northern Glencia that the old lady had just given her.
The contents were simple.
It said that the guards dispatched to the North, including Dietrich and Wilhelm, would return after two and a half years or three years. Reinhardt grinned.
“When did this arrive?”
“Given the time the letter was written, it seems that there are at most two weeks left.”
Reinhardt lightly tossed the letter onto the desk. It was a light gesture.
“I think I can pick up a bunch of the white wine bought recently!”
“But that was bought for cooking,” the old woman replied harshly.
Reinhardt smiled cheerfully and pounded the desk.
“Ugh, don’t be stingy, Madam. Can’t we buy another cooking wine?”
“Rather, it seems more stingy to offer cooking alcohol to knights who have returned from hardship.”
“Oh, you should save that. After all, once they’re drunk, they won’t be able to recognize what they’re drinking anyways.”
The 27-year-old Reinhardt got up with a smile on her face.
“I think we can get carpet in the castle this time! Let’s use their return as an excuse!”
The old lady was still expressionless, but there was a little smile in her eyes.
It was Mrs. Sarah of the Luden estate.
“It’s not possible.”
“The hinges on the gates need to be changed.”
“D**n it! Can we save a little less now?”
The old lady raised her eyebrows and responded.
“And you have to order your dress too.”
Reinhardt let out a groan.
“I never meet anyone.”
“Isn’t Sir Ernst a man?”
The old woman held out her hand in front of her. She didn’t want to hear any more. Reinhardt narrowed her eyes.
“Why does it feel like the number of times you disobey me increases with each passing year?”
“It just saves time to reconsider the ridiculous proposals made by the lord I serve as the years go by.”
Reinhardt sighed. The old lady bowed her head gracefully and withdrew.
Time had unconsciously passed quickly. Summer roses bloomed twice at the Luden estate while Spring had passed three times.
This was the third summer.
Nathantine willingly offered up Leilan Marsh to rent out Wilhelm. Reinhardt saw this as a great deal. The Baron had exchanged Leilan Marsh with a boy she picked up on her way to Luden’s estate.
And, as expected, Baron Nathantine hit the ground and regretted the exchange after about two months.
Viscount Faeldon – Reinhardt – began digging up coal from Leilan Marsh, which he had paid for as a knight’s rent. In the Northeast, coal was as good as gold.
Nathantine sent an envoy to question how could coal came out of the marsh.
It seemed like he had paid an excessive price so he said he wanted her to return the other half, but Reinhardt blatantly responded on this.
〈What did you do without even reading the book written by a member of the imperial family?〉
The existence of coal in wetlands was documented in Lil Allanquez’s [The Abolition of the Cold Land]. It was full of trickster-like stories about magic and dragons, but there were still parts that were true.
Nathantine ground his teeth. He was convinced that the former Crown Princess took the wetlands from him after seeing and remembering something from the royal family’s books.
The circumstances were different before and after, but the results were not significantly different.
In fact, the coal from the Leilan marsh was not actual coal but was mud from the marsh. However the Leilan Marsh’s mud was much more valuable than black coal, because when burnt, they were long-lasting, which the North and the Northeast valued. Reinhardt gave the mud to the people of the territory first.
If you donated food in the summer, it was exchanged for Leilan mud, but the rate was ridiculously cheap. If a pound of wheat was exchanged for a pound of Leilan mud, the people stored as much Leilan mud as they needed and warmed the winter.
The forests of Luden, which often became bare mountains before winter, began to maintain their integrity even in winter. Luden got a little warmer. As the rumors spread, local residents of the provinces moved in. The absence of fifteen guards was quickly filled.
Was that all?
After making alcohol from the mud, which had a unique flavor, it was sent to the capital where many became admirers of the alcohol. The territory became a little richer.
Reinhardt, who had been expelled from the capital, gave nice clothes to Sarah as soon as she had some spare time.
Little by little, the officials of the estate, who had been anxious about whether the lord might have an accident, changed the way they thought about Reinhardt. Reinhardt was a generous lord to those around her.
‘Though I learned it from Helka.’
Reinhardt managed to enlist 3,000 private soldiers in a large estate as Helka in her previous life, but it was thanks to her virtue that was still rumored in the capital.
Reinhardt was a good lord in her previous life. She gave people money and showed generosity. Of course, it wasn’t for people, but for herself only and her revenge. Those who were bribed by Reinhardt closed their eyes and did not say anything, even when they saw the size of the enlisted men.
The result of her rebirth was good, so there was no reason not to do it again in this life. Especially in Luden. No one is on Reinhardt’s side, so why not use some money?
Reinhardt still only had two dresses, but Sarah had three new ones. As the number of residents increased, the recruited guards were given new swords and wheat. This year, as a New Year’s gift, she was able to send good-quality pepper to the vassals instead of money. Even in the capital, to buy enough pepper, you had to pay quite a bit of gold.
Nathantine stopped beating his chest as the years went by because the battle to the northern barbarians became quite long since the year Dietrich and Wilhelm participated.
The war would usually start in spring and end before midsummer. In the north, around that time, summer crops grow and harvest begins. The barbarians would return to their territories for a late summer harvest.
But there were some variables.
Reinhardt was able to receive quite a lot of information because she had enough money by selling the Leilan mud. The first year she struggled to figure out why Wilhelm and Dietrich didn’t come back, and it wasn’t until winter that she got the right information.
The lengthy war was due to none other than Wilhelm.
The northern barbarians need a strong center of gravity to live in the frigid frozen ground with their backs on the monsters of the Fram Mountains. A war chief was selected by the chiefs and the seven tribes. The current war chief now was old, and it seems like his son will likely be the next one. Had the savages successfully retreated for the late summer harvest, the following year would have had his son as the new war chief.
But Wilhelm killed the war chief’s son and destroyed them, just before they retreat in late summer.
No one knew how that was possible but it happened.
Wilhelm killed the son of the barbarian war chief while bearing the name of Nathantine. As a result, Nathantine received a very large war dividend. Enough to make up for the loss of Leilan Marsh.
It wasn’t just that. The war chief did not retreat. He took his tribe and set out to attack Glencia, where Nathantine’s soldiers were located. The barbarian shamans who wielded sorcery came forward and slaughtered the walls of Glencia by sacrificing their wrists.
In the spring of the following year, the fighting in the north continued from summer to fall. The northern barbarians gave up the harvest and fought. Their eyes reddened as they tried to loot the northern front, but it wasn’t easy. It was because of Nathantine’s Wilhelm, not Luden’s Wilhelm.
He wasn’t even 20 years old, but when they saw him fighting like a veteran and mad dog, it made everyone go speechless. After killing the war chief’s son and driving the war chief to the very end in the battle of winter, the Marquess of Glencia could not help but marvel.
The Marquess offered to have Wilhlem come under his control, and since his master was Nathantine, the Marquess would pay the price. Reinhardt’s blood almost gushed when she heard the news.
‘You crazy old man! How dare you try to take my own people!’
Of course, Dietrich didn’t let that happen. Dietrich revealed that Wilhelm was a rental knight at the Luden estate. Moreover,
「Wilhelm told the Marquess of Glencia that he would never change masters. The Marquess was disappointed, but he also said he deserved it if his master was Hu Linke’s daughter. 」
It was written in a letter from Dietrich. Reinhardt had received the letter and smiled with satisfaction. Wilhelm had only been with her for a couple of seasons, but apparently, he behaved like a very well-tamed dog. Wilhelm was on the battlefield under the name of Nathantine, so it was not easy to contact Luden. So, most of the current situation was reported by Dietrich.
Dietrich expressed some concerns in the letter about announcing the possibility of a return.
「Except for the fact that he tends to be too blind on the battlefield, he has grown into a very good knight. But as a soldier, not a knight, he’s the worst. Maybe he had grown up too much? He can’t get along with other soldiers. It is a disgrace to Ernst that my first disciple looks like this. 」
The last letter was sent last spring. Dietrich said that the war was likely to end soon as six of the seven barbarian chiefs already died, and almost all of the tribes were subdued. He also said that it would be harder to keep in contact with her since everyone went a little further into the frozen land to pursue the last war chief.
「I got a letter from my brother. He said that my sister-in-law gave birth to a child. Please give me a vacation after this battle is over. I want to see my nephew’s face.」
Inside the package of the letter was another message, which was short and crooked and scribbled on a piece of cloth.
「I look at the sword every day and think of you. 」
It was obvious who wrote it. Reinhardt looked at the piece of cloth and cried a little. It was because she missed him.
And on the evening of discussing the hinges of the castle gates and the new custom dress of the Viscount, sad news flew in.
It was news of the death of a man who thought he would return safely after the war was over.