Chapter 13: To the battlefield
It was cold from the morning on that day. Is the short summer in the territory about to end? Since living in a large mansion, it has become a daily routine to walk while the powder snow flutters.
“I wonder if we won’t be able to walk soon,” Liddellina mutters.
“No, it’s not yet the season for real snowfall. It’s just a precursor to winter. Besides, is Okusama cold? It might be better to return to the mansion soon. I’ll prepare some tea.”
Dorothy is really kind.
After returning to the mansion with her, while drinking tea in the salon, a letter arrived from the main mansion. From her husband.
There was no face-to-face conversation, and if there was any business, it was a letter conversation with the servants in between. It was quite a special situation, but she had become quite accustomed to it.
However, the content of the letter was not the usual administrative communication, but something serious.
A town on the eastern border has been attacked, and war has begun with the country to the east, Friedrich will go to the battlefield for about a year.
In war, we don’t know what will happen. If he loses his life in this, it could be an eternal separation. He is trying to finish it with just one letter. It was still a shock.
But a week later, he came to another mansion. To be honest, she wasn’t expecting it, so she was surprised.
“It’s been a while.”
She was greeted in such a way by her expressionless husband. It really has been a long time, and she feels nostalgic. However, before Liddellina could speak, he immediately moved on to the matter at hand.
“As I wrote in the letter, I probably won’t be able to come back for about a year. During that time, I want you to move to the main mansion and act as the lord’s proxy. Take over from Howard.”
He speaks in a businesslike tone, calmly.
“Also, there is a surplus in the budget. If you have something you want to try for the sake of this territory, try it. Of course, it should be on a small scale.”
“Our territory is blessed with resources such as silver and minerals, but there are also places that have been untouched by repeated wars. There used to be artisans, but now they are fully occupied in the capital.”
“Um, does that mean I can start a business? For example, setting up a small workshop or something…”
“Keep the budget within half of the surplus, and leave the rest to your discretion.”
Liddellina blinked her eyes. She never expected her husband to say something like that.
“This war is probably the last one that will settle the matter with the neighboring country. After that, I want to enrich the territory.”
“Are you saying that you want me to help with that?”
“I’m not saying you have to. It will be a lot of work just to take over.”
“No, please! Let me do it.”
Liddellina’s eyes shone. She had always thought of herself as a convenient decorative wife for him, so she never expected such an offer. She wasn’t expecting it, but she was genuinely happy to be able to do something.
“Also, I left a will with a public notary in the capital. If I die in battle, or if her life or death cannot be confirmed, I want you to go to the capital and open it.”
Liddellina was shocked by the word “death in battle.” This is what it means to be a military officer’s wife. Maybe she wasn’t prepared for it.
“I understand. I will absolutely keep the promise.”
“Do you remember Tony Andrea, who greeted you at the capital’s evening party?”
“Yes, I remember him.”
He is a nice military man.
“This time, he’s also going to the battlefield, but if he is alive and I die, if you have any problems, it would be good to rely on Tony. He is a noble and his face is useful in various places.”
If he talks about specific things too much, she really worries that he will die.
“Husband, please be safe.”
Liddellina bowed her head to hide her inner anxiety.
She thought the conversation was over, but Friedrich hesitated for a while and opened his mouth again.
“Since it’s the last time, I’ll tell you. You probably already noticed, but I lack emotions and don’t understand the love between men and women.
I’m not particularly hating you, so I don’t want you to worry about my behavior. It’s not your fault, and you are probably a charming woman.”
Even though there is no warmth in his voice or expression, the words spoken pierce her heart. It’s almost like a will.
This is probably the best he can do to talk. Liddellina felt like her feelings were shaking and she quickly suppressed them. Even though he looks cold, for some reason, he doesn’t seem as scary as before.
He probably came to see her before leaving as a sign of sincerity towards his wife. She wondered what happened to him to become like this.
(Or was he never able to love anyone in the first place…?)
But it’s not something to delve into.
“Husband, I was grateful that you helped me at the ball. I haven’t been protected by anyone’s back since her parents died. That was enough. In addition, I am grateful to be able to live a rich life here. I pray for your good fortune in battle.”
A week later, at dawn, he left with the territory’s soldiers. He said it was okay not to say goodbye, so she quietly watched from the window on the second floor.
Does Friedrich not know the joy of being loved? At least Liddellina was loved and cared for by her real parents. Her childhood was a treasure for her.
“Aren’t you lonely…?”
She whispered as she watched the carriage leave with the horse.
Liddellina entrusted Howard with giving the embroidered handkerchief to her husband. She heard it would be a good luck charm on the battlefield.
Did he accept it?