How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 94. Competitive Atmosphere (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Fortunately, her sense of impending disaster was premature. Sitting by a window and reading a book, Annette turned her head as sparks exploded above the distant training field.
They had said they were using silver practice swords, so the explosions seemed excessive, in her opinion.
They’re not giving up yet…
Today was the third day of their competition. Raphael had pretended disinterest at first, but soon took the contest with Claire personally. Every morning after breakfast, the two of them ran down to the practice yard to spar until the sun went down. They would return to the house, drenched with sweat, and then sit down at the table and devour the most incredible quantity of food.
The Carnesis manor chef was delighted.
Annette admired their dedication. She had thought all swordsmen were more or less the same, but she had learned that one might differ from another in the same way noble etiquette differed from country to country. Claire was trained in the orthodox Imperial style, while Raphael used the much more unpredictable Deltium style.
“What kind of knight are you, anyway,” Claire demanded, reaching over the table with a purpling bruise on her shoulder. “You fight like a mercenary.”
“Don’t whine,” Raphael replied, lifting an eyebrow. “You just need some real combat experience. Fight a war or two, you’ll get there.”
The words were rude, but his face was filled with good humor. It was clear who had won that day. Laughing inside, Annette took a bite of her steak and then gave half to Raphael.
“Thank you, Annette,” he said, and it had vanished an instant later. Claire, who was inhaling her own dinner, frowned. She had a generally calm demeanor, but a short temper.
“You shouldn’t do that,” she said, jabbing her fork at Raphael. “How can you eat half her food, when she’s so small? Don’t you have any shame?”
He looked back at her with irritation at the rebuke, but Claire defiantly met his eyes, without the least sign that she had done anything wrong.
Annette said nothing, but put the other half of her steak on Claire’s plate, as a peace offering.
At once, Claire was torn.
Of course, she could ask the chef to cook more, but she was hungry now, and she had long ago burned away the fuel in her stomach with the intense exercise. And this was a gift from Annette.
But if she ate it, she would be as heartless as Raphael.
“It’s all right, Claire,” Annette encouraged. “I don’t like to eat too much meat.”
“Then thank you, I’ll enjoy it,” Claire said, rising briefly from her chair to kiss Annette’s cheek, and then devoured the steak almost without chewing it.
Raphael crossed his arms, disapproving. If Annette hadn’t been present, he would have offered a number of sarcastic remarks. As if sensing his mood, Annette gave him a gentle nudge, only to be met with a scowl. From his expression, he seemed to think he didn’t deserve a reprimand when he had behaved himself and held his tongue.
Actually, she was very grateful to see someone as standoffish as Raphael socializing with her sister-in-law. She smiled at his sulky face.
“If you’ve finished dinner, can we talk for a bit, Raphael?”
“…Okay,” he agreed, after a moment. It felt like it had been a long time since she had smiled at him like that, and her smile was so dazzling, it momentarily paralyzed him. Posted only on NovelUtopia
Lately, he seemed to have acquired some strange condition that slowed the world down, when Annette was near.
As he stood up to follow her like a man bewitched, Claire watched him in utter shock. That looked like…true love.
The fork dropped from her fingers. Until that moment, she had still been convinced that Raphael was gay.
Raphael noticed nothing. He drifted after dainty Annette into the night garden. A chilly breeze gently ran through his hair, but it wasn’t too brisk, but rather refreshing.
“The air is pleasantly cool,” Annette began, after a moment’s hesitation, and was surprised as Raphael approached and wrapped his arms around her shoulders.
“Are you cold?” he asked.
Annette looked at the arms about her with trembling eyes. He must be worried because she had just been ill, and though she tried awkwardly to slip away, she wasn’t strong enough to escape.
“Thank you for being kind to Claire,” she said, giving up. “She’s very important to me.
“It’s nothing. My brother-in-law will be arriving tomorrow, right?”
“Yes, so long as there are no delays on the journey.”