Chapter 16.2



Elena was startled once more by a sudden and thunderous noise. She instinctively covered her ears with both hands and sank onto the cold terrace. These weren’t echoes from the distant forest; they originated right here within the walls of Duke Kennard’s castle.

The nearby cacophony was so overwhelming that it resembled the crescendo of a grand orchestral performance.

Following the eerie howls, a series of dull, ominous thuds reverberated through the early morning air, as if heavy objects were plunging from great heights to meet the ground. At this hour, the castle’s inner workings remained a mystery to her, making it impossible to discern the nature of these sounds.

Elena had resided within the castle’s protective walls for several months, yet this was the first time such a disturbance had occurred. She rose slowly, gripping the icy railing for support, her eyes widening as the surreal spectacle unfolded before her.

Dozens of wolves, graceful and untamed, leapt from various points of the castle and sprinted purposefully toward the garden, their path leading them into the looming forest. Among the pack were not only black wolves resembling Kennard but also gray and red Wolves, their coats a vivid array of colors, some even bearing mixed fur patterns. 

Elena stood in breathless amazement, her hands instinctively covering her mouth in disbelief. The wolf pack vanished swiftly from view as they exited the expansive garden. Nevertheless, it was clear that their location remained discernible.

The spot from which the birds took flight in the forest was steadily receding, moving farther away from the castle with each passing moment.


Elena had never witnessed such a spectacle of dozens of wolves before, an awe-inspiring display that stirred both fear and an indescribable sense of wonder deep within her.


Elena’s gaze wandered, her hands not confined to arranging flowers in her designated vase. Several maids were huddled around the butler Lassino’s worktable, each diligently wiping down delicate ceramic dishes with soft cloths. The memory of the early morning howling and the wolf pack tugged at Elena’s thoughts, and she raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

If the howls had emanated from the distant forest, that would have been one thing, but there was no conceivable way they could have missed it if the eerie sounds had their origin within the very walls of the castle. Such a disturbance would undoubtedly have stirred commotion, yet all around her, the castle’s staff proceeded with their duties as though nothing extraordinary had occurred.

Perplexed, Elena leaned toward Cura with a faint, quizzical smile and asked, “Cura, did you hear the howling in the early morning?”

Cura, in the midst of arranging lilies in a vase beside her, looked up and nodded. “Yes, I heard it.”

Elena pressed further, curiosity piqued, “Weren’t you surprised? Didn’t it disturb you?”

“I did wake up startled in my sleep,” Cura confessed, her eyes reflecting the memory. “Oh, Elena, is this the first time you’ve heard it?”

Elena nodded with a quick and definitive movement of her head. She couldn’t recall ever hearing such howls before, so it was a reasonable assumption that this was indeed her first encounter with them.

Cura continued, “It surprised me too, since it’s been a while since I last heard those sounds.” She nonchalantly adjusted the placement of the flowers in the vase, an attitude that only deepened Elena’s bewilderment.

Elena persisted, “Did you happen to see the wolf pack as they ran into the forest?”

Cura shook her head. “I didn’t see that. You know, the servants’ quarters are at the back of the castle.”

As Cura pointed out, the quarters for the servants were situated in an annex at the rear of the castle. The more senior staff members resided on the lower floors of the castle itself, whereas the butler Lassino occupied a room at the far end of the floor where Kennard stayed.

“Did you see them, Elena?” Cura asked.

Elena answered with a hint of lingering astonishment, “Yes, I saw them – dozens of wolves, all running at once. It was quite a sight.”

Cura chuckled softly, her amusement evident. “Well, you’d be surprised if you saw it for the first time. From the sounds in the forest, it seemed like it was Serin, probably calling, and the other knights responding.”

“Knights?” Elena asked, her curiosity piqued.

Cura nodded, her tone carrying a note of pride. “The wolf pack you saw, Elena, they are the knights. As I mentioned, Serin is the Duke’s chief advisor and the leader of the knights. When the leader calls, the knights have no choice but to respond.”

“So, those wolves are the knights in their transformed state?”

Cura affirmed with a nod, “Yes.”

Elena’s memory stirred, recalling a group of knights she had glimpsed in the castle before. They had returned from some arduous training, covered in sweat and dirt, and had entered the castle. At the time, she couldn’t have fathomed that these same knights could transform into wolves.

“How do they do it? I mean, transforming?” Elena inquired, her fascination evident.

Cura contemplated for a moment before suggesting, “Should I ask the knights to show you next time?”

Elena hesitated for a brief moment. “Is that allowed?”

“We can’t ask Serin or His Highness directly, can we? I’ll find an opportunity to ask one of the knights to show you.”

“Thank you.” Elena’s excitement bubbled up at the prospect of witnessing such an extraordinary transformation. Even though she found herself intensely curious about how Kennard transformed, she couldn’t help but ponder, Why am I so excited?

In that brief moment of introspection, Elena felt a subtle blush tinge her cheeks.

Cura moved on from their conversation, directing her attention to the vases filled with beautifully decorated flowers. Elena turned to examine the vases, and just then, Lassino entered the workroom, pushing a tray laden with gleaming silverware.

Upon noticing Elena, Lassino offered a slight bow in greeting and then focused his attention on Cura and the meticulously arranged vases.



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