October in Actilus was peaceful.
For Raniero Actilus, peace was boredom. It was during these times that his nerves would get the better of him with the overwhelming boredom. This year alone, however, he seemed to pass through the period of peace quite calmly compared to previous years.
The reason was his wife.
It was because the peace Raniero hated so much was what his wife loved.
It was fortunate that the environment was peaceful. However, Angelica’s insides were swirling in turbulent waves. Ever since they went to the beast subjugation, she has been having nightmares. The nightmares were followed by self-harm. Whenever she dreamed, Angelica would set her nails into her own body so Raniero instructed her handmaidens to keep his wife’s nails short and round.
There were times when he asked what kind of dream she was dreaming of, and how it could be so painful for her to do that to herself. Then, Angelica would mumble through her sleepy eyes.
Raniero knew it was a lie. The afterimage of the dream was clearly holding her captive. It was the same even during the day when she was quite lively, as if she was not aware of it herself.
Still, he didn’t want to push her to tell him a lie.
For some reason, he couldn’t erase Angelica’s tearful face out of his head the day he pushed to question her. Even more so, the way she pushed him away at the temple and became desperately in fear of offending him.
In fact, the Emperor of Actilus usually wouldn’t care about such things.
The terrified expression on her face was rather amusing. Blocking each and every path to lose reason and being busy was merely a form of entertainment for Raniero. However, it was uncomfortable for his wife to make such a face so he didn’t dig too deep.
At least he knew that she was lying, so that was enough.
If Raniero Actilus had been a normal thinker or a little more sensitive, he might have been able to deduce that the summer hunt, which Angelica had executed so brilliantly, had been traumatizing and haunted her. Unfortunately, he was neither ordinary nor sensitive enough to make the connection between her nightmares and his own atrocities.
Little did he know that he was to blame for all the horrors Angelica had to endure.
Therefore, he didn’t regret anything he did. Because he didn’t ask her how she felt because he was afraid Angelica would cry in front of him, he didn’t even know she was distrusting of him.
Her occasional fatigue was chalked up to just nightmares.
There seemed to be nothing wrong with her relationship with him. Her frequent bad dreams were a problem, of course, but Raniero was able to wake her up every time. Trapped in the horror of her dream, he was able to whisper to Angelica that this was reality and that she was safe… At such times, she was held close to him so he didn’t get the chance to see Angelica’s eyes flicker for a moment at the words ‘You’re safe.’
Waking her up didn’t bother him in the slightest.
In Raniero’s opinion, the peace in their relationship seemed to last forever.
Wasn’t that what his wife wanted to receive as a present?
˚ ·: * ✧ * :· ˚
One day, Raniero came to the Empress’ Palace and taught Angelica how to use a bow. It was around sunset, so the ladies-in-waiting came to say goodbye.
Angelica greeted them with a kind greeting.
He, of course, couldn’t recognize the faces of the handmaids.
Raniero, who had been standing behind his wife and nodding his head without inspiration, suddenly blinked. It was because Cisen, the maid Angelica brought with her when she got married, also posted a greeting.
“It’s Cisen. I’ll be leaving now. Please rest well and have a peaceful night.”
At those words, Angelica responded with this.
“See you tomorrow morning.”
Even if he couldn’t remember her face, he knew her name. It was because she was a special person who had received Angelica’s trust and confidence.
He asked her.
“Seven out of eight are missing… even the maid you brought from your homeland.”
Angelica looked back at him and smiled.
“Oh, yeah. Only Sylvia remains at night.”
“Where is the handmaiden you brought from your homeland going?”
“I gave her a house to live in separately.”
She then added cautiously.
“Countess Fallon thought it would be politically expedient to make Cisen independent.”
“Oh, I see.”
Angelica’s connections have always been tightly held by Duchess Nerma. If she didn’t want to give the impression of being overly dependent on one person, Cisen’s independence was a great choice.
The aristocrats who previously had to go through Duchess Nerma to reach Angelica would now be able to look for opportunities while having private meetings with Cisen. Besides, it was a welcoming development for a family that wasn’t on good terms with the Nerma family. The Fallon family, who were only looking for an opportunity to keep the Duchy of Nerma in check, would have welcomed the news as well.
However, Angelica seemed a bit nervous as she explained. Her anxiety was palpable all the way here.
“Don’t you like the idea of her living outside the Imperial Palace?”
She shook her head.
“You don’t look very happy.”
Want to read more? Up to  advanced chapters are available on Patreon:
For update pings, novel discussions and/or to send mistake reports, join our discord server~!
Please consider sending some love either through the translator’s Ko-fi or by leaving a rating/review for this series on novel updates~!
Comments for chapter "Chapter 121"
Advanced chapters on this site can be unlocked with bells, but don’t worry! You are not obligated to unlock them—you may do so only if you want to read ahead. The chapters will eventually become free according to the update schedule of each novel.