Chapter 47


Annette peeled the washed fruit and cut it into small pieces with a knife.
Her knife work, which Catherine and Bruner had teased her about, was gradually improving.
Of course, she was still slow.


She liked doing chores so that she wouldn’t have to think.
When she put all her energy into the blade, the distracting thoughts in her head would disappear.


“Annette, when you’re done cutting, can you put it over here? I’ll do the rest.”


“Uh, yes.


Catherine was selling homemade fruit juices in the store.
Annette’s knife skills had also improved while helping her make the juice.


As she was engrossed in her work in silence for a long time, the front door opened with the sound of a lock turning.
It was Catherine’s husband, Bruner.


“It’s chilly already.
Good evening, everyone.”


Bruner took off his hat as he shivered.
Immediately, Catherine admonished him.




“Then put on a jacket.
How can you not take care of yourself like that?”


 “It’s still hot in the daytime.”


“You call that an excuse? It’s cold at night.
Is it so hard to take off during the day?”


“Yes, yes, okay.
I’ll take it with me tomorrow.
Ugh, Annette, does she nag you so much during the day too?”


Annette smiled without reply.
Catherine said Annette did nothing wrong for her to nag about, nothing to nitpick.


While the couple exchanged banters, Annette continued cutting the fruit.
But she didn’t get it as effortlessly as she just did.


Her hands moved slowly as she quietly pondered.


Her father and her ex-husband said something similar to her.
She nagged too much.


Annette was the one who took care of those around her, “her people” to be exact.


It was only by taking care of every little thing that she felt at ease.
That was her way of expressing her affection.


When did she stop doing that… 


“Where’s Olivia?”




“My princess sleeps all the time.
Daddy is upset.”


“She sleeps a lot because she’s like her father.”


“There is no one as diligent as me.”


Catherine clicked her tongue and went into the kitchen.
She prepared dinner while Bruner went into the nursery to see his sleeping daughter.


Annette peeked in and asked if she needed any help, and was kicked out to finish with the fruit.
But she could not finish her work until the meal began.


The three of them sat down at the table where the food was ready.
After Bruner briefly prayed for the meal, everyone picked up their silverware.


As they ate, they went about their day.
Annette opened her mouth only occasionally to answer a question, agree, or add a word.


“The atmosphere has been unsettled lately.”


“Is it because of the war? A deal in which we participate?”


The problem is the government….”


Annette stopped her spoon.

She thought she had glanced at an article in the newspaper about the war.
She carefully asked about the story she had picked up.


“I hear that everyone wants war… is that true?”


“That’s the atmosphere, apparently, and the hostility toward the belligerents is sky high…”


These days, the concept of ethnicity had become almost identical to the religious meaning of the word.
War was both a way of solidifying their nationalism and a means of proving their power.


The former ruling class, which emphasized the role of war leaders, as well as numerous intellectuals and artists, welcomed the war.


It was a very strange phenomenon.


“Is Padania really going to war?” (Ca)


“I think so.” (B)


“Are you not going to enlist?” (Ca)


“Where would I go without my wife and my daughter.
And my daughter is still a baby.” (B)


“How commonplace it is for men to leave their babies to go off to war.” (Ca)


“Those are professional soldiers.” (B)


“It’s common among civilians, too.” (Ca)


“Anyway, it’s not me.
Why are you so worried about it?” (Ca)


“What if you’re forced to enlist?” (Ca)


“They can’t do that these days.
We’re in an era where the King was even brought down, so there’s no forcing anyone…Ah.” (B)


Bruner, who had said something outrageous, covered his mouth with his hand.
The atmosphere quickly sobered.


Talk of revolution was a kind of inviolability to them.


Annette had never told them not to talk about it, and she hadn’t shown any qualms about it, but they didn’t even mention it.


Because Annette’s ex-husband was a military commander-in-chief.
Her ex-husband was also taboo to them.


Annette swallowed her stew and agreed with Bruner with a polite smile.


“Bruner is right.
We are not in the era of monarchy, and they cannot force people.
Don’t worry, Catherine.” (A)


“Ha, ha, see.
What are you so worried about—” (B)


“… If that’s the case, I’m glad.” (Ca)


“More importantly, are you going to look at furniture with me tomorrow? Annette, is there anything you need?” (B)


“She needs a small bookcase.
It’s roughly this big.” (Ca)


Immediately the subject was changed.
The atmosphere that had subsided was revitalized, but the strange awkwardness remained like dust.


Annette was completely indifferent to any mention of the revolution.
But she felt uncomfortable nonetheless.


The meal ended in a friendly atmosphere.
Olivia, awakened just in time, whined in her room.


Annette cleared the table for the couple, who hurried to check on their daughter.
As she lifted the plate, she suddenly noticed that her hand was shaking slightly.


Annette clenched her fists and opened them.
Then she cleared the table.
Bruner, who had arrived later, dismissed her, saying he would do the dishes.


She tended to the few remaining fruits, and before she knew it, it was late at night.
Annette finished cleaning up and went out into the living room.


“I’m turning in a little earlier.
Good night, Bruner; good night, Catherine.”


“Yes, good night, Annette.”


Annette approached Olivia who was in Catherine’s arms.
Her closer face smelled of face powder.
Her cute cheeks were soft and plump.


Olivia’s big eyes fluttered as she stared at Annette.
Annette kissed the baby’s cheek and muttered.


“Good night, Olivia.”


 “Good night, Annette.”


Catherine replied, mimicking Olivia’s baby voice.
Annette smiled lightly and waved.




After washing and dressing, Annette opened her bookshelf.
Yellow lights flickered on the gray bookshelf.


Annette’s gaze moved slowly along the print.
But then the gaze stopped moving, staring for a moment, then back to the previous one, and then staring again.


Eventually, Annette closed the bookshelf with a sigh.
Her mind was buzzing and she couldn’t see the print.


She looked at her empty hands.
The shaking had stopped, but the feeling of uneasiness, for reasons unknown, persisted.


“Will Padania really have to go to war?”


What did she know about war? Had she heard about it? Annette didn’t even know what war was.


She had no idea how it would practically affect her and Catherine’s household if Padania were to enter the war.


It suddenly seemed laughable.


She had lived for several years in the official residence as the wife of the Commander-in-Chief, how could she know so little about anything?


How pathetic could she be?


Annette, who had been ridiculing herself, realized one step too late the reason for her uneasiness.


Heiner Valdemar……….


Her ex-husband.
The war and the man were inseparable.
If Padania went to the war, he would of course be a major decision maker.


‘……It has nothing to do with me anymore…’


Annette thought dryly.


No matter what decisions he made, no matter what accomplishments he made, whether he was on the front lines or at the end of the battlefield, they now had one connecting point left: the country of Padania.


He, commander-in-chief of Padania and she, the citizen of Padania.
That was just about the extent of the relationship.


She felt no sadness or nostalgia at this fact.
She was just a little more clearly aware of a fact that she had already known before.


Annette could not define exactly what the rest of her feelings were.
She was in a state where it was difficult to even control her own feelings.


But Annette was slowly forgetting about him.
She used to think about him a hundred times a day; now she thought about him ten times a day.
And she would be able to forget him forever.


Just as the world had forgotten her.


Once again, she thought that was a blessing.




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