Home Post 874-chapter-4


“Thunderoot! Slow down, slow down…!”

My thighs and buttocks were in agony. Because I had hiked up my skirt, my thighs were chafing against the horse’s firm sides. The only reason I was managing to stay on at all was thanks to my experience before returning. After all, it took at least a decade of riding to manage without a saddle.

‘Still, just a bit longer…’

I recalled the terrain on the way to the palace.

To get there, one must pass through the district where the nobles’ townhouses are located and cross a small mountain. If the assassins were to ambush, that path would be the only way. Beyond it, well-maintained roads resumed again.

I wasn’t far off now.







When I entered the mountain without a single light, it was truly dark. Amid the quiet chirping of crickets, any sudden rustle would likely be from wild animals moving.

And there I was, unarmed.

Thunderoot had slowed down, perhaps scared too, and I grasped its mane as if it were a lifeline.




A deer! A deer had darted out!

Thanks to the sudden stop, Thunderoot didn’t trample the deer. However, the issue was that startled Thunderoot had stopped and reared up on its hind legs!


‘I’m not dying today, no, not dying! Sophia, hang on!’


Thankfully, Thunderoot calmed down quickly, lowering its front legs, and the deer vanished as quickly as it had appeared.

Wow, I nearly died right after returning… and it would have been from breaking my neck, falling off a horse, no less. Still, Sophia wouldn’t back down that easily. I took a deep breath at the thought and tapped Thunderoot’s sides with my heels.


However, it refused to move, just snorting instead.

Tap, tap.


Hmm? Look at this.

Tap, tap!


Oh no, I was in trouble. It seemed Thunderoot didn’t want to go any further through this wilderness.

“Come on, come on, it’s okay, Thunderoot. It’s nothing. We just have to keep going, okay?”

As I stroked its soft mane, trying to soothe it, Thunderoot lifted one hoof and then… set it back down.

Oh, really!

“Thunderoot, come on, snap out of it, okay?”

Even as I said this, I felt something was off. It seemed as if the darkness behind me was gradually lifting…

“What are you doing here?”


Startled, I clung tightly to Thunderoot’s neck. Then, without any response, I slowly lifted myself and turned my head.

Huh? This man was…

“Lord Glentino?”

“Lady Bartoli?”

The familiar figure holding a torch was Owen, the eldest son of Duchy Glentino, meaning he was Arnold, my fiancé’s, brother.

Thunderoot turned its head around to face the man.

The man was dressed to go out. Yes, honestly, he looked impressive. His dirty blonde hair, the strong jawline, and deep eyes all combined into a strikingly handsome face. In addition, his somewhat nonchalant attitude and tall stature were complemented by the casually draped trench coat.

This was a face I hadn’t seen since my fiancé’s funeral before I returned. That it remains so vividly in my memory after decades suggests the man made quite an impression.

The handsome man scrutinized me, then frowned.

“Your look now…”

What, my look! He was commenting on my look?!

I was about to retort when he spoke first.

“Riding bareback without a saddle…?”

I responded.


“You must be in a lot of pain without any muscles to speak of.”

How would you know if I have muscles or not?

But then again, for me to complain, my attire made it quite obvious. Tsk. The old me would have probably fainted from embarrassment by now. For women who always wore long skirts, exposing their legs to a man who was practically a stranger was akin to an overly bold flirtation, absolutely mad.

As I tried to act nonchalant while nearly fainting from embarrassment, the man must have realized it and clicked his tongue. He took off his trench coat and then tossed it to me.

“Where are you headed this time of night? Got a lover hidden in these mountains?”

“I don’t have any men other than my fiancé!”


Ah, I should have just asked what he meant, but remembering he was my fiancé’s brother made me too conscious of my response…

I focused on wrapping the coat around my waist and tying the knot. Why was this man in these mountains at this hour anyway? As I pondered, I noticed a brown paper bag in his other hand, and poking out of it were… my indoor slippers.

Looking down, I saw my toes wriggling back at me.

Right, I was barefoot.

He probably thought someone had been kidnapped after seeing discarded indoor slippers and horse tracks while on his way back from some errand. Then, he must have gone home, gotten a horse, and followed the tracks. Despite his seemingly indifferent attitude, he appeared to have a strong sense of justice.

He asked again with a slight tilt.

“So, where were you hurrying off to in that get-up? It seemed urgent.”

“My sister is going to die.”

“…Excuse me?”

I blurted out the conclusion in my haste and then proceeded to explain more calmly.

“Leonie, the next crown princess. I found out there was an assassination order against her.”

“So, you’re chasing after her bareback?”

“Just checking! I just wanted to check.”

“…To see if your sister would actually die?”

“No, that’s not it…”

Ah, the more I talked, the worse it seemed. Did my way with words regress, too, or was it just this man’s cynicism? It seemed more like the latter.

Nonetheless, I could guess what he was trying to say.

If I thought about it calmly, Leonie would survive this assassination attempt anyway whether I go or not.

She always seemed to dodge danger as if blessed by the goddess of luck. She even had a handmaid who was supposedly loved by God. And honestly, at this point, I found my sister so annoying that I wondered if it was worth risking everything to save her.

However, my return in time has already started to change things. My attempt at a reconciliation during dinner, and now… meeting this man.

I tried to dismount Thunderoot gracefully, but looking down, I realized it was much higher than I thought.

So, I boldly asked the man.

“Could you help me down?”

Ho, really…”

The man wiped his face with his palm, set the torch down on the ground, and walked over slowly. The next moment, he slid his arms under my arms and lifted me off the horse. I thought he would just put me down on the ground, but Lord Glentino suddenly knelt on one knee and sat me on the other.

“What… What are you doing?!”

“Just stay still for a moment. Be careful not to let your feet touch the ground.”

I tensed up unknowingly. The chemise was so thin that I could feel the man’s firm thigh directly under my hips. He reached out, and to my shock, he grabbed my ankle.

‘…Is, is he crazy?!’

One does not simply grab a lady’s ankle!

Yet, the man’s hands were quite warm. Perhaps my feet were cold. Thinking about it, it was still early spring, and the nights could be quite chilly.

The man slid the slippers onto my feet, the very indoor slippers I had dropped on my way.


I hadn’t expected such kindness, so I was a bit surprised as I quietly watched him put the slippers on my feet. I got a bit more comfortable with the position and found myself leaning on his shoulder.

He spoke in a low voice.

“Truthfully, I wouldn’t recommend wearing house shoes on these mountain paths. Still, it’s better than wearing nothing at all, and my shoes would be too large for you, making it even more difficult to walk. So, wear these instead.”

“Yes… Yes.”

“Why are you suddenly as quiet as if you’ve gone mute? It’s unlike you.”

“It’s not like that!”

Really, what a peculiar character. It was like he couldn’t be satisfied without getting the last word.







So, we started walking along the road to the palace, each with a horse beside us. I knew how absurd my story sounded. Suddenly claiming my sister might be in danger and venturing alone into these mountains, yet surprisingly, the man stopped asking further questions and simply followed along.

I wondered if anyone had ever shown such trust in me through all the years, which felt quite strange.

After walking for a while, we spotted what looked like a wrecked carriage in the distance. My heart sank at the same time.


Before I knew it, I was running.

See, Sophia. What are you going to do? The future has changed. What if your assassination attempt was successful? What if you really killed your sister?

Half out of my mind, I arrived at the site of the wrecked carriage.

“Huff, Huff…”

The carriage was so thoroughly crushed that it was clear anyone inside would have certainly lost their life. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there was no sign of anyone lying around injured.

I ran towards the side of the carriage.