Chapter 10.1

“Excuse me?” Cura blinked her eyes in surprise, her expression a mix of confusion and curiosity. “Why do you believe that?” 

“Well,” Elena began, her voice thoughtful, “it’s just that every time I encounter the Grand Duke, his pheromones are so potent that it leaves me breathless. I used to attribute it to nervousness, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.” 

Suddenly, Cura burst into laughter, her mirth filling the air around them.

“Cura?” Elena watched her friend with a puzzled expression, noticing the freckles dancing across her nose and cheeks as she laughed uncontrollably.

Cura, tears forming in her eyes from the laughter, wiped them away and managed to stifle her giggles. “You have no idea, Elena! You still haven’t seen what the Grand Duke is like when he’s truly angry. When he’s furious, no one dares to approach him. Sometimes, his pheromones are so overwhelming that he can barely breathe…”

Cura paused, shivering at the memory. “If you ever happen to be the cause of his anger, he could be utterly merciless. I don’t think he’s that severe with his own kind, but when it comes to other races, he shows no mercy—be it a woman, a child, or an elderly person. I even heard that he wiped out the entire White Fox tribe when he conquered Terra Demorte.”

Even in ordinary circumstances, Kennard had always carried an air of formidable and intimidating presence about him. However, the notion of him as a ruthless tyrant, as Cura described, had never crossed Kennard’s mind. Instead, whenever he directed his piercing gaze at someone, it often yielded kindness and favor.

“So, when the Grand Duke appeared with you, Elena, it took everyone by surprise. Nobody could pinpoint which tribe you belonged to, and the fact that he looked after you,” Cura explained, “led people to gossip and wonder.”

“My tribe?” Elena questioned, feeling the weight of uncertainty pressing upon her.

“There’s no tribe with red hair and gray irises. Elena, you emit a unique scent that even others can’t identify.”

Elena couldn’t help but be overcome by a sense of anonymity. She sighed deeply and buried her head in the pillow. A sudden headache washed over her, and her entire body felt heavy. Elena covered her forehead with her hand and closed her eyes.

“I might have divulged too much information all at once. Just rest for today,” Cura advised, tending to Elena’s sleeping area and adding more logs to the fireplace.

As the lamp in the bedroom was extinguished, Elena lay in the darkness with her eyes slowly reopening.

Who am I, truly? Why does the Grand Duke care for me when he knows nothing of my real identity? Is it even right for me to continue like this? She pondered, her mind inundated with countless thoughts and questions, her heart growing heavier with each passing moment.

Elena couldn’t shake the feeling that she was leading a life of comfort, relying on Kennard’s kindness without truly comprehending his underlying intentions.

“You still haven’t seen what the Grand Duke is like when he’s truly angry. When he’s furious, no one dares to approach him. Sometimes, his pheromones are so overwhelming that he can barely breathe…” Cura’s words echoed in her mind.

However, Elena couldn’t dismiss the imposing scent that always enveloped her in Kennard’s presence. While Kennard had entrusted her to Cura’s care, she felt that if she wished to continue residing here, she needed to find her own path.


“What are you up to?” Kennard’s gaze lifted from the parchment he was signing as he addressed Elena.

Despite ink dripping from the pen onto the parchment, Kennard didn’t divert his attention from her. As soon as Elena stepped into Kennard’s study, his scent enveloped her, as usual.

Elena pushed herself to move forward, despite being affected by Kennard’s pheromones and unwavering gaze. She did her utmost to appear unruffled, but it was far from easy.

The tea saucer sported a deep green hue, featuring a picturesque landscape of a serene lake and majestic mountains. Delicate flowers were meticulously engraved on the teacup. The teacup’s base was crafted from exquisite pottery, mirroring the landscape design found on the saucer.

As Elena brewed jasmine tea, its fragrant aroma filled the room.

“It’s jasmine tea. I thought you might enjoy it when you’re weary, so I prepared it,” Elena said, placing the saucer delicately in front of Kennard with both hands. Despite the simplicity of the gesture, her hands trembled slightly.

With each movement, the teacup and saucer emitted a faint clinking sound. Kennard regarded her with curiosity. “So, why did you bring this? And where are Serin and Lassino?”

Elena hadn’t yet met Serin, but she had exchanged pleasantries with Lassino earlier in the day. Lassino held the position closest to Kennard, and today, through Cura, Elena had made a request that seemed almost like a plea to serve Kennard’s tea.

“I inquired if I could serve your tea, Lord Kennard.”

“My tea? You? Why?” Kennard set down his pen and reclined in his study chair. His pumpkin-colored eyes, partially veiled by long eyelashes, gleamed with intrigue.

Elena swallowed nervously and averted her gaze, avoiding direct eye contact with Kennard. “You saved me, and you’ve allowed me to stay here. I feel a debt to you, and I want to do something in return,” she replied meekly.

Kennard leaned forward, his expression stern. “You’re doing something unnecessary. There’s no need for this. Return to your room.”

Elena remained resolute. “No. I won’t feel at ease if I don’t contribute in some way.”

“So, you wish to serve my tea?”


With a heavy sigh, Kennard ran his fingers through the furrowed brow between his eyes, his thoughts hidden behind the gesture.



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