Under the Oak Tree

Chapter 104: Unusual Winter (1)

Chapter 104 – Unusual Winter (1)

A fiery blush spread across Max’s face as she pushed his chest away. When Riftan loosened his arm with a reluctant face, she quickly moved away and shielded herself with a shawl. Riftan, who was looking at it with uneasy eyes, finally breathed out a loud sigh.
“We’ll see when I get back.”

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Then he shook his head, a slight smile on his lips, and walked in front of the armor stand. Max watched from far away as he wore shoulder and chest pads with intricate patterns that of a dragon, gripped knee pads around his shin, and thigh pads one after another. Finally, wearing a waist-wrapping fauld and a tasset over the pelvis, Riftan covered the gloves with silver gauntlets.

Watching the manly figure with satisfaction, Max recalled the sword ornament she had bought at the market yesterday when she saw Riftan wearing a leather belt around his waist. She went straight through the drawer and pulled out the colored strap.

“W-well….”

Riftan, with a sword around his waist, looked back at her with a curious glance. Max hesitantly held out the sword ornament.

“I b-bought this y-yesterday at the m-market on the w-way back. Sir Nirtha s-said if a k-knight had this on the s-sword… He c-can be protected by the s-spirits, so….”

He blinked blankly and looked down only at her palm. Max added mumbling.

“T-the money was g-given by Sir Nirtha, b-but…I c-chose this. It’s not a b-big deal, but… if you don’t m-mind…”

Her voice gradually crawled as he only looked down, not at all willing to accept it. Does he think it is useless? Max lowered her hand, hiding her disappointment.

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“I-if you don’t w-want to… y-you don’t have to f-force it.”

“Give it to me.”

Trying to put the decorations back in the drawer, Riftan rushed to hold her arm. Max looked back at him with a surprised look. Riftan snatched the strap from her hand and tied it to the sword with clumsy skill. The end piece, that of rough leather belts and colorful strap accessories, were ridiculously out of place.

Max blushed with shame at her awful taste.

“Thank you. I’ll keep it well.”

He kissed her on the forehead in return and turned around. For a moment, she was disappointed with the calm attitude, but Max could see the corners of his mouth twitching up.

Riftan rubbed his chin with one hand and turned around, as if to cover the uncontrollable smiles on his lips, and wrapped the robe around his body. But he couldn’t hide his reddish earlobe from Max.

She suddenly felt a tight squeeze in her chest—that of pure giddiness. Riftan was genuinely pleased with the humble gift. And she even just bought it at Hebaron’s suggestion…

Suddenly she was quite angryat herself. Even if she couldn’t give him a great gift as he did, she should have prepared something more proper. She can’t believe she made him so happy with something she bought on the street impulsively. If she could, she wanted to hit herself as hard as she could.

“I’ll be right back, so please wait for me.”

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When he was perfectly prepared with his appearance, he once again embraced her with a firm arm. Max had her face buried in his chest, trying to shake off the melancholy feeling.

Something settled on her mind—she wanted to give this person a lot in the future. She’ll do whatever she can.

And she made up her mind like that.

Riftan left with three knights, six soldiers and three in-training knights. She was anxious to see if it was too little, but Ruth reassured her by saying that the original small-scale clique consisted of only eight to as many as fourteen or fifteen people.

Max climbed onto the wall and watched until the knights were out of sight, then went to the weaving room to make sure that all the fabrics she ordered had arrived. The corner of the spacious room, where spinning wheels and looms were neatly placed, was full of quality wool, and the maids were sitting by the brazier, diligently making winter clothes.

Max interestingly watched the maids tautly spread the cloth on a large table, drawing designs on it, scissoring it with a clatter sound, and stitching the wool between the thick cloth tightly.

Although the castle, which had closed the shutters of each window due to sudden drop in temperature, was dim and dark, the maids relied on the flickering lights from the lanterns to sew skillfully. The deft touch was greeted with admiration.

“H-how long will it take?”

Rudis, who had counted the number of fabrics to her question, answered with wrinkles around her eyes. “I think we can finish it in about three to four days. I’ve distributed the clothes that we made. Until the rest of the winter clothes are complete, we’re going to take turns to wear them.”

Max came out of the weaving room with a look of relief. The castle of Calypse, where the dark had fallen, looked even more bleak. Perhaps because it was noisy preparing for the winter and decorating the castle for a while, the calm seemed more spooky than necessary. She took a look at the kitchen, the stable, and the annex with Rudis, and then returned to her room to rest.

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