Chapter 81

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The snowfield was wide and there was no end to it.

She thought it was a deserted plain even if she went up the river by boat. Even the sound was quiet as it was covered with snow. Artizea thought that this was like going to an empty place without directions.

Of course, to the knights and Cedric surrounding the carriage, it was different. For them, it was a familiar road that they went through thousands of times more.

Knock, knock.

The sound of a tapping on the wooden shutters caused Artizea to carefully lower the shutters. Cedric looked in and asked.

“Shall we take a break?”

“Can I take a break?”

“Because it’s the beginning of the forest, there’s less wind. If you move for a while, your body will be more comfortable.”

Artizea nodded her head. It was lonesome to sit alone in a small carriage with all the windows closed.

Cedric opened the carriage door and reached out his hand. Artizea was a little shy and took the hand.

He held Artizea down.

Cedric said it was less windy, but that didn’t mean the wind stopped.

Artizea gathered and grasped her hair blown away by the blade of wind. She wanted to untie her ribbon and tie it back, but she didn’t dare to take off her mittens.

Her white face quickly turned red in the cold breeze. Cedric took off his gloves, reopened the collar of her coat, and wrapped her cheeks with both hands.

“Your hands will be sore.”

“It’s okay for a while. Isn’t the carriage uncomfortable?”

“It’s okay. I didn’t have a choice anyway.”

The official residence’s four-wheeled carriage wasn’t worth bringing. There is a need for inspection, and it is because the carriage itself was heavy.

It was the same with Artizea that even though the road was a little more difficult, it was better to get to the stronghold quickly. She was also worried about the stronghold. That is why she chose to ride alone in a small, light two wheeled carriage.

The wagons rattled without pause, and the walls were thin, so the draft was intact.

However, even if it is a four-wheeled carriage, that does not mean that the cold will disappear, anyway. She missed the carriage of the stronghold that could put a small brazier.

“When I first came here, I thought there would be nothing more difficult than taking a boat.”

Artizea smiled. Even at that time, she suffered a lot because of her motion sickness.

But it was nothing compared to going through this road.

“Move your legs. We have to keep going until evening.”

Cedric said so and put his gloves on again. Then he grabbed Artizea’s arms on both sides.

Artizea looked up puzzledly, not knowing why he was doing it. Cedric smiled and pulled her arm straight up.

“Aw aw.”

From her stiff shoulder, there was a crunch.

“Because you didn’t even walk in the cold while you were in the stronghold.”

“I walked a little in the living room.”

“What kind of exercise is spinning around in a room?”

Artizea knew nothing to say, so she laughed shamelessly. Cedric lowered her arm.

Then he stretched it to the left and right this time.

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“Ugh.”

As Artizea groaned, Cedric pulled out his hand.

He clenched and opened his fist a few times.

Artizea regrets a little because it was cold.

Cedric sighed softly. Then he brightened his expression.

“Shall we take a walk in the castle next time?”

“… Yes.”

Artizea blushed her cheeks.

Then she sighed and looked up. The forest is not deep, so she can see the sky and snow-capped mountain ranges through the coniferous forests.

“What are you thinking?”

“I think the future is far away.”

Cedric wrapped her shoulder lightly. Artizea closed her eyes for a moment as she seemed to be buried in the hem of his cloak.

It only stopped the wind, and it was worse for Cedric as his outerwear was colder. Because he continued to ride the horse. But he still warmed her body.

Artizea thought it was not bad to enjoy all the joy in her life for a moment.

“Don’t be nervous. It’s just the beginning.”

“Yes.”

“Would you like to walk?”

Cedric took his steps. Artizea also walked slowly under his arm.

There was a crisp sound in the snow. Her boots got wet on the outside.

“You can go first. If you go alone, you can shorten your time a lot.”

“That’s all right.”

“You came after me with only temporary measures at the stronghold.”

“That’s right, but there’s nothing in a hurry. Isn’t it funny to run out to save you and go back alone?”

“It’s true that you saved me. What do you think? I’m telling you to go back first to take care of emergencies, because the way back is hard.”

“I may misunderstand that you do it because you want to avoid me again.”

“I never did that.”

“Tia, I’m not particularly quick to notice, but that doesn’t mean that I’m completely stupid. You think I didn’t know you were trying to leave me on Lysia?

There was nothing to say, so Artizea bit her lips. Cedric lamented.

“Don’t think it’s okay. It’s a nuisance to Lysia in the first place.”

“Who says I did?”

“You pushed your young maid to serve tea to your husband. I thought that was something of a bad political marriage.”

Artizea’s face turned red.

She knew she was hungry for his affection.

Once she starts wishing, she will be obsessed with dedicating her life to him. Once he holds his hand out, she will never be able to sway from his side.

She wasn’t sure when Cedric and Lysia fell in love in the past.

What is certain is that Cedric proposed to Lysia, who accepted the proposal.

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It was about five years after Lysia became a saintess.

There was little Cedric could gain from that marriage. This is because she was a vassal of Evron Grand Duchy.

He rather lost his prestige. Considering that she was from the rebel village, it also created a risk.

Still, the two had decided to marry.

Had Artizea not manipulated the oracle, the two would have married and kept the Grand Duchy together.

Lysia broke her engagement because of a divine message that she would be the Empress. She was worried that Cedric would be harmed because of the divine message.

Cedric left the capital and never returned again after Lysia and Lawrence were married.

And he hasn’t been with any other woman in his lifetime. Before and after.

In the end, she took Cedric away from Lysia again this time.

Artizea looked at Cedric in a confused mood.

Again, will his heart naturally lean toward Lysia after time passes?

It seemed so. How can he not love someone who is beautiful and has a shining heart like Lysia.

But maybe this time, neither of them was in a difficult situation, so the deep affection and bonds of the past could not build up.

‘Wouldn’t it be okay then?’

When all this is done anyway, she doesn’t know if she will be alive.

So, wouldn’t it be okay until then?

Her heart pounded because she felt guilty just thinking about it.

However, what would be different if she puts one more feeling on the many evils she has committed so far?

The future has already changed. Cedric could not be returned to Lysia in full condition.

This marriage was established as a real marriage. No man has ever given his heart solely to Lysia.

‘He loves me.’

The moment she recalled the words, a fever soared all over her body.

The two are not in love with each other, yet. It has not been stolen by Artizea, yet.

So just a little more like this.

Just until Cedric’s heart is taken away from her.

“Tia, what are you thinking?”

Cedric called her and asked.

“It’s your strength to think deeply, but that’s also a downside. I’m too worried.”

“It’s nothing.”

Artizea tried to divert her gaze, but Cedric caught it and looked into all sorts of emotions frosted inside her eyes.

And he lowered his head.

His lips touched hers briefly inside the coverage of the cloak. Artizea closed her eyes unknowingly.

At that moment, she had no thoughts, no guilt, no complicated mind.

She slowly opened her eyes only after Cedric’s lips fell.

Cedric tried to get his gaze off Artizea’s all-bitten lips. Her lips, which usually don’t have much blood, looked red today.

He impulsively reached out his other hand and touched her lips. Artizea’s face turned red.

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“You don’t have to try to concede me to someone else.”

“That….”

“It’s okay if you’re mistaken. That’s what you’re doing very wrong with me, Tia.”

Artizea bowed her head with a scorching face. It was actually the opposite.

She was thinking that it would be okay to sin so that she could take possession of him.

She carefully grabbed Cedric’s cuffs.

“It’s just… because I’m not used to it.”

It didn’t seem like she would ever get used to someone putting her first.

Cedric once again lowered his head.

This kiss was a little bit deeper and a little bit longer than before. Artizea grabbed Cedric’s hem, breathing embarrassingly through her nose.

Cedric hugged Artizea’s back, who had lost her balance. He bit Artizea’s lower lip with regret. And he set her upright.

When he suddenly looked around, the knights were all looking at different places.

Some were staring into the air, while others were absorbed in the stain on the nose of their shoes or observing the bark of the trees.

Cedric coughed in vain. Artizea lowered her head because her face turned red.

“We should get going. We’ll be able to get to the accommodation before they close.”

“Yes. “

“Isn’t it wet inside the boots?”

“Yes? Oh, it’s okay. Ah!”

Cedric hugged her. Artizea was embarrassed.

However, instead of struggling, she hugged his shoulders and buried her face on the back of his neck.

“You told me I had to walk…”

“It’s a field of snow.”

Cedric said in a cracked voice.

“If we go a little further, you can rest properly, so be patient.”

“Yes.”

It was then.

Hooo!

In the distance, the sound of the scouts horns rang out.

Cedric was shocked. He hastily rushed Artizea into the carriage.

“What happened, kaak!”

The door of the carriage was closed in front of her.

Cedric shouted.

“Take aim!”

From a distance, the roar of the beast screeched.

And the sound came in an instant like an avalanche. Artizea could not clearly tell the difference between the distant and near cry.

Ta-dang!

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The sound of the first firing shook the carriage like thunder.

“How is Karam here!”

Someone yelled.

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