Chapter 11.2

Kennard’s body molded against Elena’s, devoid of any space or reprieve. “How does it feel to accept my favor in this manner?”

“Your Highness, I…I cannot do this…” Elena’s voice wavered, her protest faltering.

“What do you mean by ‘this’?” Kennard’s face bore no trace of mirth, his cool, pumpkin-colored eyes with their dark irises revealing no hint of his thoughts.

Elena tightly squeezed her eyes shut, grappling with a wave of regret that washed over her.

She should have heeded Cura’s warnings, should have retreated when she met Lassino’s perplexed gaze as he adjusted his neat mustache. Yet, it was too late for regrets now. Despite her memory loss, she struggled to comprehend Kennard’s intentions, especially if he truly desired her in that way.

Slowly, Elena summoned the courage to open her eyes, though she still lacked the confidence to meet Kennard’s gaze directly. Her focus remained on his neck as she replied hesitantly, “If that’s what Your Highness desires…”

Kennard’s laughter filled the room. “If I desire it, will you yield, even if it’s not what you want?”

With a casual step back, Kennard withdrew from her, a stark contrast to his earlier predatory advance. His hands, which had gripped her waist and wrist so firmly, were now released. Elena felt an unsettling chill permeate the air as he distanced himself.

“I should fatten you up first. You’re so thin. You might not even last a single night.”

With great effort, Elena clutched the desk’s edge and managed to stand upright. Kennard briefly glanced her way before turning to sit in a nearby chair, his attention diverted to a stack of documents. He dipped the pen’s nib into an inkwell.

“That will be enough. You may leave.”

Elena hesitated, her uncertainty weighing heavily upon her. She remained unsure whether she should fulfill the favor she had originally requested or succumb to Kennard’s desires. It was as if her offer to fulfill a favor had now become a tangled web of uncertainty.

“Your Highness!” Elena called out tentatively, her voice carrying a hint of apprehension, for she was wary of incurring Kennard’s wrath. As Kennard gathered the scattered documents, his eyebrow arched in response, and his scar, which traversed his brow, seemed to undulate with each subtle movement, as if it possessed a life of its own.

“What else is on your mind? Or do you wish to continue with what we were just doing?” Kennard leisurely adjusted the ruffled collar of his shirt, leaning back in his chair. It appeared as though he could rise and approach Elena at any given moment.

“Oh, no,” Elena stammered, her nerves compelling her to take a few cautious steps backward. Observing her reaction, Kennard emitted a faint chuckle. “That will be enough; you may leave.”

With haste, Elena made her way toward the door. She yearned to break into a run, but every step felt as though shackles were bound to her ankles, impeding her movement.

“Elena.” Kennard’s voice reached her just as she neared the door, causing her to turn her head slowly to meet his gaze. Thankfully, Kennard remained seated, his attention locked onto the documents spread before him.


“I will arrange for Serin to assist you with the greenhouse plants.” 

“Lord Serin, you mean?” 

Kennard lifted his head to regard Elena, his brow furrowing deeply in clear disapproval. “Have you already met Serin?”

Elena shook her head. “No, I haven’t. Cura informed me that he serves as your assistant.”

“Is that so?” Kennard mused, tapping his index finger thoughtfully on the desk. Elena remained immobile, resembling a statue, her senses acutely attuned to his every word. Even in his seated position, an aura of unease clung to her, harkening back to their initial encounter when he had approached her with the swiftness of the wind, crossing the room from the bedroom entrance as she had taken her first cautious steps away from him.

“It’s not to my liking, but it cannot be helped,” Kennard conceded, though he left Elena pondering what exactly he meant, sensing it was unwise to inquire further.

“For now, assist Serin,” he continued.

“Yes, Your Highness,” Elena replied, a wave of relief washing over her. It appeared that this conversation was drawing to a close, and her only task now was to leave the roo

Yet, just when she thought her ordeal might be over, Kennard’s next words shattered that illusion. “Put on some weight. I will be checking on it soon.”


Elena shed her cloak and stepped into the glass greenhouse, momentarily holding her breath as the wondrous scene unfolded before her. This lush sanctuary stood in stark contrast to the chilly world outside, and its grandeur seemed to expand tenfold when viewed from within.

Sunlight, intermittently piercing through the overcast sky, bathed the greenhouse in scattered beams of radiance. Within this enclosed paradise, an array of flowers, plants, and diverse trees flourished, their varied scents initially swirling together, creating a dizzying sensory tapestry. Over time, Elena discerned each individual fragrance.

Elena’s gaze roamed leisurely, drawing her deeper into the greenhouse’s enchanting embrace. Amidst the verdant beauty, tea tables were thoughtfully placed, and at the heart of it all, small fountains and benches beckoned visitors to linger. Even to someone unfamiliar with its care, it was evident that this oasis was meticulously tended to.

Elena ventured deeper, passing among the tall, flowering trees that seemed to aspire to touch the glass ceiling, until she arrived at another glass door at the far end. It was there that she finally laid eyes on Serin, who perched atop a ladder before the resplendent flowering trees.



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