Chapter 19.2

As Elena felt the weight of his pheromones gradually dissipating, Elena slouched where she stood, consumed by a flood of questions.

Why had he left her alone? Had he grown weary of looking after her? Did he deem her presence futile because she couldn’t contribute in the garden, struggled to ride on his back properly, and appeared to serve no purpose? Perhaps he prioritized the grievances of the long-serving servants over her. Or was it because she hadn’t gained weight as he had instructed? A whirlwind of thoughts swirled in her mind, ebbing and flowing like a tempestuous tide.

More than any other conjecture, the thought of being forsaken by Kennard itself was utterly heart-wrenching.

“No, it can’t be true,” she whispered, repeating the phrase countless times as time marched on relentlessly.

The biting cold cut through her like a dagger, and gradually, her senses began to wane. Her body quivered like a leaf in the wind, teeth chattering in the frigid air. Her once lustrous red hair lost its shine and clung to her with dampness.

It’s so cold…

Frost adorned her eyelashes, as if they were touched by a gentle snowfall. It felt as if she had been thrust into a roaring fire amidst the unforgiving cold, her bones aching with pain.

Her awareness slowly dimmed, and her vision swayed like a delicate dance. As she repeated the phrase countless times, time flowed relentlessly on.

I’ve felt this before…

No, that can’t be.

But this cold, this pain is so strangely familiar…

As her consciousness flickered in and out, something elusive flickered within her memory, only to vanish once more.

What is it? What is it?

No matter how fervently she struggled to recollect and grasp the fleeting memory, it remained obscured, ensnared within a dense fog.

Suddenly, she detected a pheromone distinct from Kennard’s.

Who is it?

One, two, three…

It was an unfamiliar scent, yet it carried a curious sense of recognition.

Sensing an approaching presence, Elena struggled to rise, using one hand for support. However, as she shifted her body, a more excruciating pain surged through her.


She couldn’t discern whether it was Kennard’s knights who had accompanied him on a hunt the previous night, or if he had dispatched them to retrieve her. Elena bit her lip, hoping it was the latter, but her optimism crumbled when she glimpsed the figures emerging from the forest.

They were foxes with eyes darker than the night sky and fur whiter than the snow. At a single glance, she recognized them as the White Fox Tribe, the original inhabitants of Terra Demorte. They had been banished beyond the new border following their defeat in the war against Kennard.

But why were they here?

Elena drew in a deep breath and staggered backward. Every fiber of her being screamed at her to flee from the impending danger. Yet, despite her instinctual urge to escape, her frozen body refused to cooperate with her will.

Elena stumbled and grasped a nearby tree trunk, desperately trying to regain her balance. Overwhelming fear washed over her like relentless waves, threatening to make her sick at any moment.

“Indeed, she’s alive,” one of the White Fox Tribe members at the forefront muttered in surprise as they laid eyes on Elena. But it was Elena who found herself truly astounded.

“You… Do you recognize me?” She asked, her frozen lips barely moving. In that moment, her lips cracked, and a bitter taste of blood met her tongue.

The white foxes exchanged glances before directing their attention back to Elena. “What are you saying? Don’t you recognize me? Are you joking right now?”

“No, I…” They clearly knew her. Yet, Elena couldn’t shake the pervasive unease that overshadowed any joy or relief she might have felt.

Her hair bristled, and a tingling sensation prickled at the nape of her neck. Elena’s grip on the tree trunk tightened, her nails digging into the rough bark.

It appeared that the White Fox Tribe believed she had been captured by Kennard. However, she hadn’t been captured; she had been brought here and cared for. Elena burned with curiosity about how the tribe recognized her, but she dared not ask. Their hostile demeanor made it evident that confronting them would be fruitless.

Elena took a cautious step backward. Her frozen body needed to find a way to escape this perilous situation. Kennard’s words, “Don’t move an inch until I return,” echoed in her mind, making it difficult to lift her foot.

But if I remain here, they might take my life.

She faced a pivotal decision: obey Kennard’s words or trust her instincts. Without further ado, gritting her teeth, Elena began to twist her body and flee.

Her frozen feet stumbled and quivered just after a few steps. She nearly tumbled to the ground but managed to regain her balance. The relentless fear of being pursued and captured by them sent shivers down her spine.

She sprinted ahead like a wind-up doll, mustering every ounce of her remaining strength. Time stretched out, as if she had been running for hours, and her steps felt heavier and slower with each passing moment.


Elena was propelled forward as something forcefully struck her back. In the wake of the impact, a sharp pain shot through her shoulders. Chilling pheromones and ragged breath enveloped Elena’s face.



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