Saios Annex. Sophia had cleaned up and gone to bed already, but I couldn’t sleep.
“We cannot be separated until death sets us apart.” A long sigh came out. How could I make such a false oath to live? Right then, the door across the garden opened, and Gerald strode in.
‘Oh… what’s that? Now that you said you could never break up and you wouldn’t divorce, you’re thinking of going in and out of other people’s spaces as you please?’
‘I should have slept early.’
I folded my arms, turned my back, and tried to go to the bedroom. But…
In the moonlight, his obsidian hair shimmered. His pure white skin shone like a pearl in the sea. In addition, his long arms and strong legs idly moving as he entered made it impossible to take my eyes off him. So my legs unwillingly approached him.
“You can’t sleep?” Gerard greeted politely.
‘Again, what’s with this civility?’
Then Gerard’s gaze shifted to the water purifier behind me.
“Is that the water purifier he developed?”
‘What? You hated it before…’
“Yeees. That’s right.”
“Curtis said you explained to him the purification system, isn’t that right?”
“Can you explain it to me, too?”
‘Ohhh- what’s up with him? To listen to what I have to say…’
“It’s getting late; let’s move to the drawing-room. I don’t think it’s something that can be explained briefly.”
Gerard nodded softly at my suggestion.
“In the future, if you want to make something or need a book, always tell me first.”
‘Omg! What’s wrong with this person?!’
I was bewildered by his 180-degree change of attitude. He brushed past me. His body scent gently led me.
* * *
The time with him was quite helpful. So today, as the Grand Duchess, I decided to tour the estates including the ‘Shlezen Orphanage.’ Aside from the advice on the management of seaweed and seafood, such as anchovies, kelp, and seaweed, I needed to check if it could be commercialized under the Shlezen name.
“It is an honor to see Her Highness the Grand Duchess again!”
Ariel greeted me.
“The archduke ordered me to bring the carriage, but if you want to examine all parts of the territory quickly, a horse would be more suitable. Which one would you like to ride?”
“Yes. Actually, it would be impossible to make an excursion to all of His Highness’ estate in one day, even on horseback.”
I hesitated. Horse, I rode it when I went on a trip to Jeju Island. However, it was more about taking a commemorative photo while riding on a horse tied to the reins.
“I’ll take you to the carriage.”
As I hesitated, Ariel hurriedly retracted the offer.
“No, let’s go on horse!”
I decided to trust Sinclair’s body. Most of all, I didn’t want to imagine the pain of the last time I traveled on a wagon.
As a result, we went to the stable in Shlezen Castle.
Of course, since it was a stable, the scent of nature that harmonized with the smell of dung and grass stung my nose, but the horses were so beautiful that my eyes widened even though I wasn’t an illiterate of horses at all. The expression of Ace, the stable keeper, was bright with pride. He seemed to see it as an opportunity to show off his abilities to the fullest.
“Our Grand Duchy’s stable is qualitatively different from other places. We separate each horse for riding, light load, and heavy load according to their job, check their health, and raise them to the best of their abilities.”
All the noises in the world disappeared, and only one horse held my sight. With a sharply stretched neckline, its body was all black. In addition, red eyes like a red spinel that burned like flames stared at me proudly.
‘This is it, Sinclair?’ I couldn’t help but notice my heart beating fast, but I couldn’t stop my feet from rushing in that direction.
“I decided on this child.”
However, Ace resolutely cut my words.
“It’s dangerous. No one has tamed that horse yet.”
“Is it? Then I want to try even more.”
The desire to win started a fire within me. I asked, stroking its black mane, shining like obsidian, resembling Theodor and Gerard’s hair.
“What’s this child’s name?”
“A horse is given a name by the one who tames it, but as no one has tamed it yet, it has no name.”
“Is that so?”
“Aside from that, he’s a ferocious male.”
It would be an honor to be able to tame such a beautiful wild horse. Since it’s a character in the book, I hoped the author had prepared this level of unexpectedness. I quickly grabbed the horse’s reins and opened the cage door. Ace bit his lower lip with a nervous expression, but Ariel was pretty calm. She silently placed the saddle worn by the late empress Stephanie on the horse’s back. Only then, Ace reluctantly brought a wooden stepping board. When the saddle was ready, I jumped without stepping on the wooden step, one foot in the stirrup.
‘Ooh, I like this feeling.’ At the same time, the other leg lightly crossed over the horse’s body and put the remaining foot comfortably in the stirrup on the other side. And as if I was used to it, I leaned my upper body slightly and hugged the horse. Surprisingly, words I hadn’t thought of came out.
“Aren’t you a good boy? I will give you a name.”
The horse, known for its roughness, heard the Grand Duchess’ words and gracefully prepared to dispatch, waving its tail and snorting. As if familiar with this situation, Sinclair straightened her back and created a straight line from her ears, shoulders, hips, and heels. And as if used to it, my legs lightly pressed the side of the horse and it started to stride slowly.
‘Uh? Is she a heaven-sent rider?’ Ace covered his mouth with both hands and couldn’t hide his admiration.
‘What are you so surprised about?’ Actually, I was surprised too. The transformation of a cowardly, timid, abused witch!
My two legs tightened and loosened against the horse’s torso, adjusting its speed. As I moved, the stables that looked wide, narrowed. There was a section in which to make a curve. Without panicking, my hand held the reins firmly, and galloped with a right turn and left turn signal.
‘Oooh, Sinclair! This girl! I thought she was timid, but she was a speed freak!’
Then, my feet and thighs tightened and loosened its sides, giving orders and becoming one with the horse.
“Hahahahaha!” My hair fluttered in the wind.
The knights training at the training camp in the distance looked at me and kept their eyes on me for a long time with their eyes wide open. A few of them slammed their training swords as an expression of respect for taming a dangerous wild horse. Other knights followed suit.
Clank~ Clank~ Clank~! I waved at them in return. The sound of swords clashing filled the training camp and the field. For the first time in my life, I felt a running instinct that pierced my heart. I was sure that this horse would become my favorite.
‘Alright, it’s time to leave.’
I turned and headed to the stables and then–
In the distance, I saw a small figure running dangerously.