< — Damian — > (5)
TN: So I’m sensing a bit of confusion but Lucia and Hugo have reconciled in 29[part 2].
It was only for an instant but Kate witnessed the distorted expression of the young Lord of Taran.
The boy that looked unlike his eight-year-old age with his upright and huge build, suddenly seemed his age when he heard those straightforward words.
Kate turned her head away slightly and let out a small laugh. She felt a bit sorry for the boy’s broken pride.
In the horse-riding field, when the noble ladies came up to greet Lucia, she had them greet Damian.
The noble ladies were as though they’d all bitten an unripe fruit for they all had sour expressions as they begrudgingly gave their greetings.
Some looked at Lucia unable to understand it at all, some looked at her with gazes that said she was too young to know about the world while some looked at her with worried gazes.
Lucia was indifferent to their gazes and acted as though she didn’t notice them. From time to time, Damian gave Lucia a peculiar gaze.
“This child is Emily.”
Lucia introduced her favorite horse to Damian. Damian took in its entire appearance and so as to not surprise it, he walked slowly to its front then stroked its back.
“It’s a good horse.” (Damian)
“You know how to discern horses?”
“I only know how to tell if it’s a good horse or not. I’m not an expert.”
“But I don’t know how to do even that. To me, because Emily is my horse, she’s the prettiest but all horses look the same to me. Kate, isn’t it great? Damian is very young but he knows a lot.”
Looking at the face of the Duchess that was filled with joy and pride, Kate simply chimed in with a smile. She sneaked a glance at the young Lord who was embarrassed and had turned his head seemingly occupied with other things.
At first, Kate couldn’t understand why Lucia was like this but eventually decide to just accept it since it wasn’t a bad thing for their mother-son relationship to get better.
After a few rounds of circling around the riding field, they ended their light session of horse riding and the two women went into the lounge (break room). As Damian had opted to keep riding, he was still outside on the field.
Every table in the lounge was filled with women, seated in groups of twos and threes. Unlike the original intention for building it, the lounge of the horse-riding field had increasingly become an active social gathering spot for women.
“People’s gazes on Damian were much colder than I expected.” (Lucia)
Kate was unsure of what reply to give so she just listened.
“Even though he’s the successor that his Grace the Duke personally chose, why are they like that?”
“That’s… probably because of the unwritten rules. Although the law states that a son would be recognized as a qualifier once they enter the family register, in reality, there are next to no cases where a son that enters the registry like that inherits the title. The ones that become Counts are barely a handful and there’s been no precedence where they’re titled higher than Marquis.”
“I see. I didn’t know that.”
In Lucia’s dream, she didn’t have any children so when she lived as the Countess, she didn’t pay attention to matters concerning succession.
“Then what happens if an official has no children apart from the child that was entered into the registry?”
“Most people adopt a son from among their relatives.”
It was the so-called noble pride.
It is said that an illegitimate child should be extremely grateful to even be recognized as a qualifier. Although Lucia was of the royal family, looking closer, she was also an illegitimate child so it left a bad taste in Kate’s mouth.
An elderly noble woman walked up to Kate and Lucia’s table. She was Countess Philia, a woman extremely healthy for her age and not inferior to anyone in her enjoyment of horse riding.
Lucia remembered hearing that when the women-only equestrian(horseback riding) practice field was created, the Countess had praised the Taran Duke till her mouth ran dry.
They went through the usual ceremonial motions of greeting each other and sending their best regards then the Countess placed two flower baskets on the table.
“I got a granddaughter just recently and it is a northern tradition to present yellow flowers to people around me as I wish for my granddaughter to be healthy and to grow up beautifully.”
“Oh my, Congratulations. Your granddaughter will grow up beautifully and healthy just like the Countess.”
When the Countess turned around to hand out flower baskets to other people, Kate spoke.
“It is a northern tradition but these days there aren’t many people that do it. Countess Philia seems quite trusting of this tradition. It is indeed correct to give out yellow flowers but…it isn’t common to give out this flower…its prices are tremendous. Countess Philia looks very happy, she must have spent a fortune.”
Lucia glanced at the flower basket and smiled ambiguously. The beautiful yellow roses looked as though they were flaunting their elegance.
The employees were lined up outside as usual to welcome the Lady of the House as she returned from her outing to the horse-riding field.
The door of the carriage opened and Lucia stepped down from the carriage. When Jerome discovered the basket of yellow roses in her hands, he grew frightened.
Jerome let out a strange sound in spite of himself but was quick to cover it up by dryly clearing his throat. The employees that noticed it acted like they didn’t hear anything.
Lucia gave him an odd look then held out her basket of flowers.
“Countess Philia said she’d gotten a granddaughter and gave me a present.”
After accepting the basket of flowers, Jerome heaved a long sigh. He didn’t want to see yellow roses anymore.
Lucia and Damian sat face to face in the receiving room, drinking tea while Jerome stood at the side, waiting on them with more tea.
“Now that I think about it, there are no roses in the garden. I’m thinking of making a rose garden next spring, what are your thoughts, Jerome?”
Jerome’s expression froze.
“About roses…can you think over it again…?”
“Master doesn’t… particularly like them.”
Lucia’s eyes grew round as she looked at Jerome then she spoke to Damian.
“Damian, tell me honestly. Did you know that there were no roses in the garden?”
“I didn’t know.”
“See? Jerome, unless a man is particularly interested in flowers, he wouldn’t really know that. I doubt if my husband is able to differentiate between varieties of flowers. Although I’m sure there’s one flower he can distinguish. Yellow…”
Jerome overdramatically cleared his throat causing a small laugh to escape from Lucia’s mouth.
“Don’t worry, even if I plant roses, I’ll exclude that color.”
The color itself wasn’t the problem but the Duke had ordered that he didn’t want to lay his eyes on any roses. This was serious. Jerome’s back broke out in cold sweat.
Damian returned to his room and Jerome finally said what he’d been hesitant to say for a while.
“Milady, about the yellow rose I talked to you about the other day. You asked me who the last recipient was, right?”
“Yes, I did. I remember.”
“Under Master’s orders, I sent a yellow rose to the Countess of Falcon.”
Jerome became nervous when she didn’t say anything in reply.
‘I said something useless! What if I offended her?’
“Why so suddenly? They must’ve met?” (Lucia)
“No!! Absolutely not. I informed his Grace that Milady was curious about it and… he asked me to send it.”
Lucia’s expression was indifferent and she replied as though it was a trivial matter. Jerome grew restless as he tried to comprehend, even if it was just a little bit, the feelings of his Mistress.
Lucia really did think it was a trivial matter. Was her husband taking care of an old lover so great that she had to jump up in joy about it? However, Lucia felt as though something had been lifted off her chest and her heart grew soft.
The longing that had been satisfied in the meantime thanks to Damian once again rose up in her heart.
‘When are you coming back? I want to see you…’
One month after leaving to subjugate barbarians, the Lord of Roam who’d been away from his seat returned.
(1) Just in case, a receiving room is a living room. Pretty much, the place you receive guests hence receiving room.
I looked into the meaning of a yellow rose and initially found that yellow flowers in general are supposed to evoke joy, friendship, success, all that good stuff.
But, yellow roses specifically signal farewell, jealousy, infidelity or a finishing love. I also read that more recently (most likely for marketing) yellow roses have been paraded to mean friendship, joy and wt not.
TL;DR: I guess you could say yellow roses have two different meanings.
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